We’ve all got a holiday wish list, right? All those amazing things we’d love to do while we still can. I for one would love to cruise the Norwegian Fjords, go horse riding on an Australian beach and travel in a Thai tuk-tuk. But when you have kids, it all seems that bit less realistic. Only, what if it isn’t? Some of those things on your bucket list could well be just the inspiration you need to have your most incredible family holiday yet.
1) Scuba-diving in the Red Sea
You probably already know that the clear, calm waters of the Red Sea are full of colourful fish and beautiful reefs. But did you also know that scuba-diving’s really fun for kids? There are lots of dive centres on the Red Sea Riviera with courses for children as young as 8 and organised trips to dive with the local sea life; like the one at SENTIDO Mamlouk Palace Resort in Hurghada. Stay at this All Inclusive hotel and you’ll also get access to the hotel next door, which has a great waterpark. Fantastic news if you’re a family of real water babies!
2) See the Northern Lights
Ok, so the Northern Lights can be pretty elusive at times and there are no guarantees you’ll actually get to see them; but if you go to Iceland to look for them you’ll have such an exciting time that chasing the Northern Lights in the dead of night will just feel like part of the adventure. There are eerie lava fields, spectacular geysers, steaming hot springs and all sorts of other weird and wonderful things to explore, after all. With cold temperatures and lots of ground to cover, this one’s probably best for older children.
3) Visit Pompeii & Herculaneum
Pompeii’s been on my bucket list since I was at school (though, of course, it wasn’t called that then), so this is a bit of a personal one. There’s nothing like being amongst actual ancient ruins to bring history alive. Walking along actual Roman streets and seeing actual Roman murals and plaster casts of actual Romans is likely to be really inspiring for kids. What better way to feed their imaginations? Of course, being in the Naples area you’ll also be in the perfect place for feeding everyone’s tummies, with all those classic pizza and pasta dishes on local menus.
4) Watch the USA’s Independence Day fireworks
With parades, parties, barbecues and awesome firework displays, the whole of the USA marks Independence Day with a bang every year. Taking place on 4 July, it’s a real spectacle, and famous the world over. You don’t have to be a grown-up to take part, so why not make it part of a family holiday to somewhere like Florida? You might even be able to tick another item or two off your bucket list while you’re there, like having fun at Walt Disney World in Orlando, driving across the Florida Keys, visiting the Kennedy Space Center or exploring the beautiful seaside city of Miami.
5) Explore the rainforest
You don’t have to ditch the kids to have an adventure in a tropical rainforest. Treat the family to a holiday on the Caribbean island of St Lucia and you could venture into the lush greenery to look out for exotic wildlife and even ride a zip line through the trees. St Lucia’s also known for its dramatic mountain peaks, unspoilt beaches and luxurious feel, so you can look forward to a relaxing holiday with plenty of activities on hand if you want them. You might even get to see seahorses and turtles at the beach.
6) Discover Dubai
With its gleaming skyscrapers, huge malls and bustling souks, Dubai may seem like a playground for glamorous grown-ups, but look closer and you’ll also find theme parks and family-friendly hotels. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing this unbelievable desert city for yourself, don’t be afraid to go now. Make the new Dubai Parks & Resorts your focus and you’ll be onto a winner, with three theme parks, a waterpark and all sorts of dining and entertainment on hand. Don’t miss your chance to head out across the dunes to meet real Bedouins while you’re there for the full experience. It’ll be an eye-opening trip for all of you.
I hope this little taster’s been enough to whet your appetite to try something new with your kids; just make sure they’re old enough for you all to enjoy your trip to the full before you book. Where do you think you’ll take them? Or have you already ticked something off your bucket list while on a family holiday? Use the comments to let me know.