February 21, 2013

5 Exotic Family Friendly Travel Destinations

With so much information now available online, planning a family vacation is in many ways easier than ever. What remains difficult, however, is the real world task of getting everyone to agree on one location.

Choosing an unusual, exotic destination is a unique way to solve this problem. Propose an idea that no one may have thought of, and let natural curiosity take over. Pay particular attention to where you might be staying, as the same old hotel room takes away from the fun of it. Opt for family holiday villas in magnificent natural settings, or a castle, or even a tent. Here are some ideas to get the process rolling.

1. Run Wild In Costa Rica

With stunning beaches, tropical rainforests, and a full range of outdoor activities, this Central American nation is a true paradise for nature lovers. The tourism infrastructure is excellent, and Costa Rica also ranks as one of the safest locations in all of Latin America. As an added bonus, it’s also very affordable.

This is an especially good choice for active families that enjoy outdoor activities. Virtually any water sport can be practiced here, from surfing and swimming to rafting and kayaking. Families can ride horses, climb a volcano, or camp in magnificent natural parks. Wildlife is also abundant and spectacular, so be sure to bring a camera.

2. Stay At A Western Dude Ranch

Get to know the real American West by staying (and working) at a dude ranch. From Montana and Wyoming down south to Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, there are several dude ranches that offer families a true pioneer experience out on the open plains.

No cell phones, no video games – just you and your family spending the day together outside, sharing dinner and stories from the day around the evening campfire. Also, some offer a more rustic experience, while others feature five-star accommodations and even luxury spas.


3. Go On An African Safari

Yes, it’s true, you can indeed take your children on safari in Africa. Just make sure to do your research, as some areas have minimum age requirements.

Which country you choose is also important, as conditions vary greatly in different regions of the continent. South Africa, for instance, has excellent roads and therefore offers good flexibility if you have small children.


A safari is an unforgettable experience, offering your family the chance to watch a real live National Geographic show right before their eyes.

4. Live The European Castle Fairy Tale

From The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Harry Potter, European castles feature prominently in our treasured fairy tales. Why not give your family the chance to spend a few nights in the real thing? From ancient stone walls to woven tapestries and a knight’s shining armor, castles are filled with wonders for the whole family.

To give the vacation added meaning, you can choose a country to which your family has an ancestral connection. There are numerous options in virtually any part of Europe, from France and Spain to the UK, Germany and Scandinavia.

5. Sample The Wonders Of Indonesia

This stunning group of volcanic islands in Southeast Asia offers a unique cultural experience that your family will never forget. Like Costa Rica, it features spectacular beaches and every type of water sport, all at a very affordable price.

Indonesia is also renowned for its bustling cultural activity, with ancient temples, exotic foods and music and dance that will delight visitors of all ages. Put it all together, and it seems impossible for anyone in your family to become bored.