You know how much we adore family travel so Penny's guest post is right up our alley. In fact we agree with her 100% since we do all of these when on vacation.
Seeing the world through the eyes of your children is a very different thing to the travelling you may have done pre-family. It's exciting, busier and sometimes more challenging but inevitably a whole lot of fun. So here are five great holiday activities to try out with the family.
1. Back To Nature
Leave the iPad behind and get back to nature, where the primary focus is exploring a new destination and the natural delights it has to offer. From the beach to the bushwalks, a nature-focused holiday inspires children's natural curiosity.
For somewhere unique, what about Lord Howe Island? Located 600 kilometres off the NSW coastline of Australia, this pristine environment offers snorkelling, swimming, rainforest walks, wildlife and beautiful views from the once volcanic mountain peak. Best of all, it's an environment where the kids can also bicycle safely. Visitor numbers are capped, making this a truly unique experience, but accommodation options like Pinetrees Lodge offer a variety of rooms including three- and four-bedroom family suites.
2. Camping It
Whether it's sleeping under the stars, toasting marshmallows by the fire or simply pitching a tent, kids love camping – and the more involved they feel, the more fun it is! Even small children get a kick out of setting up their own digs and then sleeping in them. It's not roughing it so much as loving it. Even if it's just a tent in the backyard, any form of camping will do.
Of course, there are different degrees of camping; there's the comfort of caravan parks, the semi-isolation of national parks, and the true grit of heading bush.
3. Thrills And Spills
The lure of rollercoasters, the thrill of things that spin and the spills of giant waterslides – it's a child’s and (let's be honest) big kid’s dream come true. Fun parks are destined to delight families no matter what the age, whether it's Dreamworld, Jamberoo, Disneyland or Alton Towers.
4. Talk To The Animals
Some of the best memories are made at zoos and nature parks. Remember those sunny days of your childhood overlooking the harbour as you checked out the giraffes at Sydney's Toronga Zoo, watched the seals at SeaWorld, or enjoyed a safari at Yellowstone National Park? No doubt about it – animal experiences can create truly magical moments for your family to cherish of years to come.
For families, adventures that feature wildlife are also great opportunities to learn about the environment, nature and wildlife.
5. Cultural Immersion
Children are hugely adaptable, so what about a holiday with an emphasis on culture? It might be a visit to a village in Vanuatu, a day at school in Japan or even taste-testing the culinary delights of other cultures. The more exposure they get to other traditions and customs, the better equipped they are to become global citizens.
Holidaying with children isn't so much about catering to them as including them in the plans. The emphasis might be relaxation, education, fun or culture, but regardless of the angle, seeing the world through the eyes of your children brings a whole new dimension to travelling.
Penny Stuart is a mum living in Adelaide, SA. She spends most of her holiday taking the kids some place new in her favourite part of the world - Australia.