International travel is a wonderful way to broaden your family’s horizons and show them culture and history beyond your current zip code. When people think of traveling internationally, they are often turned off because of the challenges…long flights, foreign language, different currency, and the list could go on and on. However, international traveling exposes your family to a world beyond their current boundaries. They will gain new experiences and create memories far beyond their wildest dreams. Traveling to another country is an opportunity everyone should have, and for families, options are available for every type of vacation you can imagine.
Destination Delight: 5 International Vacations for Families
Exploring China’s Charm
In addition to the People’s Republic of China having the largest population, China is full of centuries-long traditions and cultural events. With a vacation in China, spending time in Beijing is a must. Your family can take a pedicab tour of the capital city and enjoy a tea ceremony together. If your children enjoy martial arts, China is the perfect place to receive Kung Fu lessons. For a peek into China’s history, your family should visit the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, and the Ming Tombs. China’s culture can also be observed by taking in a performance at the National Ballet of China or strolling through Fragrant Hills Park. Of course, a trip to China would not be complete without visiting the pandas at Beijing Zoo.
While Beijing is a popular tourist city, other cities in China would make excellent destinations as well. In Xi’an, your family will be enthralled while studying the Terracotta Army. Although a self-governing city, Hong Kong is equally full of Chinese cultural experiences. Your children will enjoy visiting a 19th century pirate’s stomping ground at Cheung Po Tsai Cave and an authentic village at Kat Hing Wai Walled Village. Allowing your family to see firsthand a different culture is an enlightening experience, and China is the opportune place to explore culture.
Central America Adventure Seekers
For the adventure seeking family, Costa Rica is a destination that will fill your vacation with much excitement and adventure. Starting your vacation near the Arenal Volcano, your family will enjoy zip-lining, horseback riding, river rafting, and exploring caves and waterfalls. With over 25 national parks, Costa Rica has plenty of hiking adventures awaiting your family. In La Virgen, your family will enjoy touring the Finca Corsicana Pineapple Plantation where you can observe how pineapples are planted, harvested, and packaged into various products. On Costa Rica’s coast, your vacation will be complete with time spent swimming and surfing at the beach and visiting the Sea Turtle Conservancy at Tortuguero National Park.
African Animal Lovers
Africa is home to many exotic animals, and South Africa is the ideal place to start exploring the animal kingdom. Of course, you cannot travel to South Africa without going on a safari, and many tours are available at both morning and night to view a wide variety of animals. In Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Zoo is a world-renowned facility full of unique animals. Close to Johannesburg, Lion Park in Gauteng and the Ann van Dyk Cheetah and Wildlife Centre in De Wildt both offer up-close experiences with members of the cat family. Rounding out the South African adventure in Cape Town, sea life can be explored at the Two Oceans Aquarium and Boulders Beach, where you can observe African penguins in their natural element. No trip to Cape Town is complete without stopping by Table Mountain which has an all-encompassing view of the city and beyond. Additional entertainment opportunities include traveling to Garden Route for Monkeyland and to Knysna for the Featherbed Nature Reserve and the Knysna Elephant Park.
Central Europe: A History Lover’s Paradise
Europe has one of the richest histories full of wars, power struggles, and hierarchies, and your family will be easily captivated with a vacation here. In Austria, Vienna includes St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna, and the Vienna State Opera House, with origins dating back to the mid-19th century, and Salzburg is the birthplace of music and the location for many The Sound of Music scenes. One country over, the Czech Republic has quite an interesting history as well. Prague is known for marionette dolls, and your family will enjoy a performance at the National Marionette Theatre and observing how they are constructed. The Charles Bridge is a must-see because of its connection to medieval trade routes of Eastern to Western Europe, and the Czech Republic has numerous castles worthy of a tour including Karlštejn Castle, Prague Castle, and Špilberk Castle.
Also in Central Europe, Germany has an extensive history worth exploring too. While in Berlin, the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial are excellent opportunities to learn more about Germany’s past, and traveling to Brandenburg will allow you to see the Brandenburg Gate which is a symbol of both Germany’s tumultuous and peaceful periods. Other locations prevalent to Germany’s history include Olympiapark in Munich and Heidelberg Old City in Heidelberg. Noteworthy German castles include Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau and Heidelberg Castle in Heidelberg.
A Sunny Excursion Down Under
If you are looking for fun in the sun, Australia is the place for your family. From snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef to surfing at one of Australia’s numerous beaches, you will definitely receive your share of Aussie sunshine. Exclusive to Australia, attractions include Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera House, and a host of caves. For animal enthusiasts, your family should visit Featherdale Wildlife Park, where you can hold a koala and feed a kangaroo, and the Kangaroo Sanctuary, where you can tour kangaroos in their natural setting. Australia is in close proximity to New Zealand and Tasmania which both offer phenomenal beaches and attractions.
Traveling to a foreign country is an excellent option for family vacations. Not only are you making lifelong memories, you are exposing your family to new cultures and histories. Along with having fun, they are learning information without even realizing it. International travel opens up your family’s experience scope to include adventures far beyond their wildest imaginations. The world has 195 counties…pack your bags and start exploring today!
Samantha handles media relations for Caliber Collision, and in her spare time, she enjoys making a difference in her local community by volunteering with several non-profit organizations.