If you have some extra money and time, a family vacation to a totally new destination can be a life-changing experience, or at least a chance to relax and reconnect with your family members. Africa and Asia are less traditional family vacation destinations than places like Europe or the tropics, but there are still family-friendly attractions, and the culture of these areas is rich and steeped in history.
An African Safari
If your kids loved the Lion King and insist on going to see the elephants, giraffes, and other African zoo animals, you might consider an African safari for your next vacation. It can sound intimidating or even dangerous, and it’s true that there are areas of Africa to avoid, but there are other areas that are quite safe and comfortable, and won’t require jungle-slashing or dangerous encounters with wild animals. This will almost certainly be the highlight of your children’s summer! Not many kids can say they went to Africa on a safari, after all. For more money, you can take a catered vacation and you won’t have to worry about settling any of the details.
There are African nature reserves to see, campgrounds to stay at, and sometimes you can even visit villages and get a taste of culture shock as you realize just how different life is in Africa compared to your hometown. This awareness of global issues and cultural differences will benefit your children enormously.
An Asian Trek Through History
A somewhat nontraditional destination for families, Asia is nevertheless hospitable, more or less safe, and has a fascinating history. There is a fascination with Japan in particular among teens and kids today, and being able to visit the site of the 2008 Beijing Games, the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima, or taste authentic Korean cuisine at historic, family-run restaurants will be an experience your child will always remember.
Visit China to see the Yellow River, the Great Wall, the impressive mountain ranges, or cultural destinations. It might be a little tricky to arrange a visit, since China is still a somewhat closed country, but well worth it. This is the perfect excuse for a history lesson, too!
Japan holds numerous little oddities that will fascinate your kids, from vending machines everywhere to individual cities’ culinary specializations. Tokyo might be an overwhelming and modern destination, but older areas of Japan like Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima have more ancient Shinto shrines and other cultural delights.
Korea has an interesting history as well, and your children will love the hustle and bustle of Seoul or the quiet, relaxed atmosphere of the rural areas. Agriculture is still a big part of some areas of Korea, from the citrus fruit farms in the south to the numerous rice farms in the flatlands.
Your children will become world travelers in no time! The exposure to completely different cultures, ways of life, and languages can be an eye-opening experience, but will benefit your children in many ways later in life.
- How to Successfully Travel With Your Family
- Family Camping Trips on a Budget
- Cruises for the Whole Family
- How to Buy an RV for Your Family