Maybe this pandemic thing has its upsides. Maybe us refraining from short trips or from traveling way too often is the only way to save money for the trip of a lifetime. This is why I asked family travel bloggers from around the world to share their favorite family trips, along with cost estimates and accommodation recommendations, to get us in the mood.

You’ll notice that most trips are with kids over the age of 6, so that gives us time to prepare, right?

Namibia, Kenya, Laos, Thailand, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, here we go!
Where’s your next destination?

Africa

Namibia

Namibia isn’t the first place people think of taking a young family to. It isn’t even top of most people’s lists when they think about visiting Africa. However, Namibia is an incredibly underrated destination and is actually a fantastic place to visit with kids. There is loads to do and some truly incredible places to see including the red dunes and a ghost town in the Kalahari Desert, shipwrecks off the Skeleton Coast, rock carvings and paintings in Twyfelfontein, more sand dunes and the stunning scorched trees in Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei, and wildlife safaris in Etosha National Park. You can easily fill a two-week itinerary in Namibia.
The best way to travel in Namibia is to do a self-drive safari whereby you hire a 4×4 with tents on the top! It is a really fun and safe way to travel in the country and to keep the costs down. Travelling this way and mixing accommodation options between camping, guesthouses and lodges can cost between £4-5000 excluding flights and food. Limiting it to camping only will obviously keep this cost down further. Visitors with higher budgets could opt to fly between locations (the driving is long and intense!) or to upgrade their lodging choices.
Emma, Wanderlust and Wetwipes

Kenya Safari with small kids

If there is one place to take your family on a trip of a lifetime, then it’s an adventure to Kenya. For those of you who don’t think this is possible with a family, or that think this is a holiday for adults then you couldn’t be more wrong.
I took my family to Kenya when my twins were 4 and toddler was 18 months and honestly –  those memories will stay with us for ever. The girls absolutely loved it and it was a really easy holiday with a young family.
We started our holiday in Nairobi and spent 2 nights here. The Nairobi highlights are definitely the Giraffe Centre and Elephant orphanage – you have to visit these two places!
From Nairobi we took a short flight to the Maasai Mara for the safari of a lifetime! We stayed at the most child friendly camp ‘House in the Wild’. The camp was on the edge of the Mara river and the perfect location for spotting game. We literally saw everything from lions and elephants, to cheetahs with cubs, giraffes, buffalo and zebras.
From our safari we took 2 flights down to the coast for a few days relaxation. We stayed at the Turtle Bay Beach Resort in Mombasa. A family friendly resort on the beach with play areas and a kid’s club.
We travelled around Kenya via car and small planes. With young children, I can highly recommend flying but it does add to the cost.
Estimated Cost for a 2 week trip for a family of 5 £10,000-15,000.
Anna, Twins & Travels 

 

Asia

Kyoto, Japan

Japan is one of the most beautiful and family friendly countries you can visit. If you truly want to experience Japanese culture, head to Kyoto. It’s full of tradition, colorful shrines, delicious food, and some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Our favorite stops include the monkey park, Fushimi Inari (the famous orange shrine you see all over Instagram), Kinkakji (golden pavilion), and the bamboo grove. All of these places are super kid friendly. For meals, try some street food, kid friendly ramen, or a food tour.
Kyoto’s proximity to Tokyo makes it easily accessible. If flying into Tokyo, it’s a short bullet train away. Plus, you’ll to experience one of the famous bullet trains. Getting around Kyoto is also pretty easy. Many places are a quick stroll away or you can take the train for sights that are further away.
When you consider where to stay, we loved the traditional Japanese house. We stayed at this one, which was centrally located and offers two bedrooms (plus your choice of bed or the tatami mat). We went traditional with the tatami mat and it was a super fun experience. Highly recommend Airbnb for all the traditional options!
The weather in Kyoto is pretty temperate year round, but we’d suggest visiting when the weather is warm and you can wander around outside. Many of the popular things to see are located outside. March/April is a great time to visit for Cherry Blossom season (but prices can be higher during this time). And August – October. June and July are the rainy season, and this is when we visited so we can attest to rain most days.
Kyoto is perfect for experiencing Japanese culture in a family friendly environment.
We traveled to Kyoto with two kids: 3 year old and 2 month old
Average cost: $1500 for meals, Airbnb, entrance fees, and train transportation (not including airfare) for a family of 4 for 7 nights.
Brittany, Family On Standby

Phuket, Thailand

Lounge by a pool or do it all – this rift exists in our marriage and now reaches into our family travel life. Finding the spot for both the loungers and go-getters is a constant challenge for our family of 6. Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort was just what we needed. Phuket is one of Thailand’s (pre-COVID) tourist hotspots, but this resort stands alone on a lush private bay lined with idyllic sand and home to a local reef. For the passive relaxers, there are beach loungers, pool chairs, hammocks, shady palms, and a lot of self-care options at Le Spa. For those who cannot sit still, the activity offerings are immense: mini golf, driving range, beach volleyball, tennis, basketball, a sizeable fitness centre, squash, bocci, table tennis, and water sports equipment are all included at no extra cost. There’s also a dive shop on site that offers free trials for the SCUBA inclined. The action is not limited to adults as the Kids Club has great events and a wonderful space for children. With 8 restaurants on site and Karon and Patong towns not far away, there is something for everyone.
Cost estimate: Approximately $200 USD/night for 2 adjoining rooms for a family of 2 adults and 2-3 kids (includes taxes and breakfast). Budget an additional $80 USD per day for food and drinks.
The trip is ideal for kids of all ages and ours were 11 months, 2 years, 7 years and 9 years at the time of the trip.
Amber, WYK & Co 

 

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Laos

Discover Laos on your next family adventure. Laos is a fantastic place to explore where you get great value for money. There are loads of things to do in Vientiane and it’s a great place to start a family trip. Stay at Champa Garden Hotel for easy access to wander the streets on foot, eat in local restaurants and markets. Book a taxi for the day and visit the many attractions around the capital, including the Buddha Park just 30km out of the centre of town.
Take the local bus to Vang Vieng, ride a tuk tuk, walk through rice paddies and take in the remarkable countryside. For children under 5, there are many great opportunities including walks, river play, waterfalls and caves to explore. Phoxay Ngam Resort is a beautiful family accommodation, out of the hustle and bustle and conveniently offers a free shuttle to the centre of town.
Finally, take a private vehicle or a cheaper option is the local bus, to Luang Prabang. Must do family friendly activities include exploring the streets on foot, eating at the night market, crossing the Mekong River by long boat, visiting Kuang Si Falls and climbing to the top of Mt Phousi. Stay at My Laos Home Boutique Hotel for convenience, comfort and space. If you are the adventurous type, look up White Elephant Adventures for a family friendly activity.
For a two week family trip including accommodation and transport between cities, you should budget for $100/day.
Erin, Love To Travel, Stay-Eat-Do

 

 

 

Oceania

The Great Ocean Road, Australia

A family trip along The Great Ocean Road is a must-do for anyone who is travelling within Australia. There are many tour options, but the best way to really explore this magnificent part of Victoria is by taking 7-10 days and doing a self drive Great Ocean Road trip.
Coming out of Melbourne, travel through Torquay, the beginning of the Surf Coast, stop in at the infamous Bells Beach and for a walk along the not so populated Point Addis. Many people opt for the full coastal drive, which is truly spectacular, however, not perhaps so much for those who suffer from motion sickness! Alternatively, you can also explore inland as well taking in some of the beautiful hinterland behind Lorne and through the Otway National Park.
Lorne is a popular holiday destination and a great place to explore many beaches and towns along the coast. From there holiday makers can either continue along the coast for great views or go inland to save on the car sickness. Head towards the 12 Apostles and make Port Campbell the next place to stay for great exploration opportunities. Don’t miss Loch Ard Gorge, Timboon and the Bay of Islands.
With another few days go the extra mile onto Port Fairy, a gorgeous quaint seaside port town full of character and charisma. There are a great range of Port Fairy accommodation options, from free camping through to luxury hotels and homestays with ocean and river views.
A family trip along The Great Ocean Road can vary significantly in cost, depending on the choice of accommodation style. For accommodation, prices range from $80/night for campsites, $150-200/night basic hotel, $200-300/night Airbnb and beyond.
Erin, Australian Mountains To Sea

New Zealand

Hi there, we’re Active Family Travel Specialists in New Zealand. I am Jen and we travel with our three young children, 7, 5 and 2 years old, road tripping around New Zealand as much as possible.
New Zealand is one of the best travel destinations as it has almost every type of scenery within quite a small country.  It has dramatic mountains, rainforests, beautiful beaches, volcanoes, vast lakes and incredibly blue coastline. It is perfect for families with young children and all travellers in fact.
Cultural lovers should head to Rotorua, New Zealand’s cultural capital. There are many things to do in Rotorua such as try a traditional hangi where your meal is cooked in the ground all day long over hot rocks and learn about Maori culture with a cultural show.  Or explore the spiritual land in Rotorua’s geothermal area, exploring geysers and bubbling mud pools.
If you love being outdoors, then a New Zealand walk is a must.  The Hooker Valley Track is a popular trail, taking 3 hours return on a flat track.  It has three incredible swing bridges and ends with a majestic view of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.  Or if you are after a challenging hike, Roys Peak in Wanaka or Ben Lomond in Queenstown might take your fancy.
Adventure junkies can’t miss Queenstown.  This small town nestled in the mountain ranges has everything from bungy jumping to jet boating to skydiving to packrafting, all within driving distance of the town.  If you are after tamer adventures, perhaps a spot of ziplining or boat cruises is more up your alley.
Wherever you choose to holiday in New Zealand, make sure you allow enough time to really explore.  Everyone who visits always says they wished they had longer, so don’t cut yourself short.
Cost: Mid range accommodation from $150 per night or from $200 per night in high tourist locations such as Queenstown. Campsites at full serviced holiday parks from $35-40 per night. Campsites at basic Department of Conservation sites from $8 per adult. Freedom camping in designated areas – free. Rental care hire from $50 for a small car or $75 per day for a family vehicle. Campervan hire from $75 per day in winter or $250 -$400 per day in peak season. Eating out – $25 per main for pub style meal or $35-40 per main at a quality restaurant.
Jennifer, Backyard Travel Family

You can click on the links within the texts to read more about the destinations mentioned and contact the family travel bloggers for more information.

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