A family vacation with a difference

Want a family vacation with a difference this summer? Try the Ozarks ... photo by CC user oakleyoriginals on Flickr

What are family vacations for? We like to pretend they’re about relaxation, but seriously, how much rest can you really expect when you’re traveling with excited kids? From their perspective, vacations are about adventure. Running with this, and giving them a real adventure, can be thrilling for the whole family. It can be educational for them and build up their confidence, as well as giving them an enthusiasm for exploring the world, which they’ll never lose.


If you want to give your kids a connection with ancient history, there’s nowhere quite as spectacular as Egypt. Ride across the desert on camels, see the Sphinx and the pyramids, learn the secrets of the Valley of the Kings, and view real mummies and amazing treasures in the museums of Cairo. An adventure such as this will also give your kids the chance to find out about another culture, try different foods, and see how other people live.

The Ozark Mountains

Sometimes, the most exciting adventures take place close to home. If you’re a follower of Outdoor Traveler’s Facebook, you’ll no doubt have seen some of their pictures of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, among America’s greatest natural treasures. Follow the trails on foot, on horse, or on mountain bike. Go swimming in the sparkling, clear rivers and lakes, or go underground to explore extensive cave systems with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Make sure you don’t need an ESTA visa before entering the states to avoid any headache!


There’s no city on earth like Rio de Janeiro, and although Carnival itself isn’t suitable for young children, there are lots of other festivities throughout the year that they’ll love. Travel by cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain from which you can see for miles, relax together on golden beaches, then jet off down south to explore the jungle, walking the trails in search of exotic wildlife. Take in the breathtaking sight of Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s most celebrated natural wonders.


Not every vacation has to be somewhere sunny. Finland is a fascinating place to visit, and never more so than in winter, where, up in the north, days go by with the sun never rising. Instead, the sky is illuminated by the aurora borealis, an unforgettable sight. While you’re there, you can stay in a hotel carved out of ice, go dog sledding, cross country skiing, or skating on a frozen lake – and still find the time for a snowball fight.

Adventures such as this will give your children wonderful stories to share at school and will really broaden their horizons. There’s nothing like taking on a physical challenge and succeeding to convince a child that the difficulties life presents can be overcome, and doing these things alongside adults makes them less scary at the time. It can even make the adults seem cool! Adventuring together is a bonding experience that will leave you all with happy memories, pictures to enjoy, and jokes to laugh about in the years to come. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy your family vacation.