For a truly outdoor activity-centric family vacation, GoVoluntouring.com offers a family excursion from the remote highlands of Northern Thailand. Not a spa in sight, but you and your kids will stay fit with a foot trek into steamy rainforests to visit colorful hill tribes, you’ll cruise down the River Kwai on kayaks, and discover the lesser-known side of Chiang Mai from a bicycle. You can explore Kanchanaburi and visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial, plus spend a night aboard a jungle raft. Accommodations vary from hotels, lodges, overnight trains, guesthouses, camping, or a home stay. It is a 12-day trip with a maximum group of 12 people, so invite a few other families or bring your extended family.
5. Lion’s & Tigers and Golf…Oh My
This is a trip that is sure to please every member of your family. Great Safaris has teamed up with pro player and instructor Jerry Martin to design two unique African golf vacations. In addition to a wildlife safari, you can tee off at several of South Africa’s most prestigious golf clubs: Royal Cape, Leopard Creek and Steenberg Golf Clubs near Cape Town, Kruger Park, and Elephant Hills at Victoria Falls. All of the courses are right in the heart of Africa’s “Big 5.” The accommodations are in luxurious boutique hotels and bush lodges in the wilderness. Great Safari’s customizes every trip to suit your family’s wishes. For example, while you’re golfing or wine tasting, your kids can do an all-day walking safari or shark cage dive. It’s all up to you!
Andean Discovery offers a Peru Culture, Culinary, & Family Adventure Tour. The 7-night 8-day excursion includes day hikes through the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. You’ll participate in a traditional Pacha Manca Ceremony, where the food is harvested and cooked while buried in hot stones as a sacrifice to Mother Earth. You and your kids will visit an elementary school in Aguas Calientes (near Machu Picchu). Plus, attend a cooking class with a local Peruvian family. The package includes all your meals, activities, transfers, trains, and some airfare.
7. Central American Luxury
Located on Nicaragua’s Emerald coast, Mukul is the perfect combination of nature, activities, and luxury suited for your entire family. The resort is located near a world-class surf break, featuring some of the world’s best waves. You can take a surf lesson; learn about their sea turtle conservation program, or bike one of their 12km nature trails. Mukul also offers the Kul Kids program, which includes making Nicaraguan-style art, collecting shells, nature hiking, sightseeing for monkeys, movie nights, and more. Hot tip: Opt for the helicopter transfer from the airport and you’ll be blown away by the views as you arrive at the resort.
Accessible by a 45-minute scenic sea plane ride from Vancouver, British Columbia, sits the exclusive eco-safari destination called Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. With only 20 luxury guest tents, this is glamping at its finest. Daily wilderness activities are highly personalized and customized based on your experience level, willingness, and desires. You and your family may choose to go in search of black bears, whales, or a variety of other wildlife native to the region. Or, take on a mountain-fed rushing river in a kayak, or experience a gentler ocean kayak cruise to private inlets and hidden coves. Hot tip: The best times to bear watch are the early mornings of late summer/early autumn, when they feast on the spawning salmon.
For some more traditional spa travel ideas, check out:
- The Coolest Outdoor Showers from Around the World
- 3 New Fit Travel Ideas
- There’s What in my Facial? World’s Weirdest Spa Treatments
By Kerri Zane for PeterGreenberg.com. Kerri Zane is a family travel expert and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom’s Guide to Finding the REAL One, on sale now. For more advice on health, parenting or Kerri’s exclusive MomEscapes, visit her at KerriZane.com.