Here's the page for the vacation ideas that are a bit unusual, beyond the usual thinking (and very much "out of the box" of the popular resort-type of getaway.)
Photo © Sami Sarkis/Getty Images.
About's Guide for Africa for Visitors has practical advice for these peak experiences: what countries are best for families; doing your own trip, in South Africa; safari tour options; age considerations and more. She also suggests some top places for Family Safaris in Africa
Photo (c) Teresa Plowright.
Thailand is a wonderful country for travel: logistics are easy, and visitors are given a warm welcome in The Land of Smiles. Thailand offers history to explore, stupendous temples, and tribal cultures; the country also has miles of beautiful beaches. Thailand is also a well-known for being an affordable destination.
"Family Adventures" are escorted tours that offer hassle-free travel experiences to families, all-details handled, with "best of the best" itineraries. These adventure tours in Asia combine learning about local history and culture with kid-friendly fun activities.
Photo courtesy of Village Tours & Treks.
Sign us up for this one: I've long wanted to visit the fascinating small country of Bhutan. Village Tours and Treks offers excursions to Bhutan, and kids are welcome. Their Villages Tour has been named as one of National Geographic Travelers’ "Tours of a Lifetime".
Photo courtesy of Tony Conboy III.
Want to wander with the family "somewhere really different": out of the ordinary, but also a safe, easy place to visit? The island of Taiwan, off the coast of China, has urban attractions and also some breathtaking natural wonders. And though exotic, Taiwan is also a safe destination and an easy one for visitors to explore.
Mesa Verde - Photo courtesy of Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
The Four Corners area -- where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet-- has beautiful red rock canyons and mesas, and centuries of history visible in the rock art and spectacular cliff dwellings of the "Anasazi" ancestral Pueblo Indians. Crow Canyon Archaelogical Center, in SW Colorado, has programs that let visitors actually participate in research. Annual "Family Archaeology Week" offers a hands-on introduction to archaeology, and to the history and culture of the Pueblo Indians. For ex., some programs include tours to Mesa Verde (left).
Photo courtesy of Xanterra Parks and Resorts.
There's so much to experience at Yellowstone National Park: the opportunities to see wildlife, the "geothermal features" that include geysers, hotsprings, beautiful travertine terraces... Yellowstone is truly a "learning vacation", and families can make the most of their visit through "Lodging and Learning" programs that include hikes with a naturalist, animal-tracking and more, at a reasonable price.
Photo courtesy of Wanderlust Festival.
Here's a great way for a family to enjoy yoga on a getaway: Wanderlust
is a set of annual festivals that combine yoga and music in spectactular settings -- usually during summer at ski resorts such as Squaw Valley, at Tahoe in California, or Copper Mountain in Colorado, or Whistler BC. Wanderlust festivals are family-friendly and some of the locations offer kids' programs; dozens of yoga classes are offered, often by well-known teacher.
Photo courtesy of Irish Horse-Drawn Caravans.
It's definitely a vacation your neighbors haven't done yet.
And what a way to see the famed Irish countryside: in your own comfy gypsy-style caravan, drawn by a patient horse.
"Voluntourism" has been a growing trend: many people want to "do some good" during their vacation-time. A number of organizations will set up "volunteer vacations" for families with older kids. However, there are issues to consider about voluntourism, especially when volunteering in an orphanage; also, be aware that often the real benefit is to the volunteer.
It doesn't get much more "away from it all" than this: for starters, Bequia -- in the St. Vincent and Grenadine Islands-- is one of the least-developed Caribbean isles; and "Moonhole Bequia" a secluded location with several villas for rent. With open arches and local stone used for building, photos evoke the kind of place the Flintstones might live -- but in a good way. Blue seas below, white-sand beach, staff to cook and clean... and at a reasonable price (especially if shared with another family.) No phone or electricity; solar-powered lights and kerosene lamps; small fridge (propane fuel). Bequia can be reached by plane from Barbados, or ferry from St. Vincent.
Galapagos family adventure, photo courtesy of Austin-Lehman Adventures.
Galapagos family adventure, New Mexico at Christmas, Ice Hotels, dog sledding... Maybe this is the year to try something completely different for a winter vacation.