Travel can be one of the great pleasures of life, and it shows in how people treat the prospect of their holidays and overseas adventures. Many people will save for months, if not years, in order to visit a destination or have an overseas adventure that uplifts and moves them. And many other people will spend large stretches of the year focusing on the vacation they’re due to have later on, as a motivation for all those long hours in the office.
Of course, there are many things you can do on your travels. You can go and party on some of the wildest beaches and strips in the world. You can swim with sharks, bungee jump, or climb tall mountains.
But what if you have kids that you want to take along on your adventures? Well, in that case, the game certainly changes a bit. But by no means does your vacation have to be dull.
Here are some things you can do abroad with your kids that they are likely to love — and that maybe you will, too.
Check out some great theme parks
The world is full of intriguing and exciting theme parks, and as you might have guessed, Disney World and the associated attractions make up one of the world’s golden standard theme-park attractions — if not being, in fact, at the very top of the list.
Finding a good EPCOT guide could be an excellent first-step in researching some of the surrounding attractions, as EPCOT — the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow — features both displays of futuristic technology, and also displays about the various cultures of the world, all a stone’s throw from Mickey Mouse and pals.
But, of course, there are plenty of other theme parks to enjoy, in plenty of other places. In France, near Paris and the country’s own Disneyland attraction, you can find Parc Asterix, a theme park dedicated to the adventures of the famous cartoon Gaul. And in England, you could find Legoland Windsor, and Thorpe Park.
Virtually any place you might care to travel to will have something in the way of theme parks, for families and kids to enjoy.
At a theme park, your kids will be able to marvel at the special displays, colourful attractions, games, prizes, and attractions designed specifically for them. You, in turn, can enjoy all of those things too, along with, perhaps, some of the more daring roller-coasters and more grownup-centric rides.
Spend some time away from the constant hum of technology, and get out into nature
We live in an always-on, digitally and technologically-driven world these days, and, although the technologies we surround ourselves with do certainly have their upsides, evidence shows that they also take a negative toll on many of us.
Research consistently finds that people who spend more time on social media are more depressed, anxious, and suffer from lower self-esteem, than people who either use social media in a more moderate way, or who abstain from social media altogether. And that’s just one example.
Being always surrounded by technology can cause a sort of constant low-level stress and tension. We’re always in touch with the outside world. We’re always receiving the latest news reports. Our bosses and contacts can always email, message, or phone us.
If this is bad for adults, it’s even worse for kids, with children who spend a significant amount of their early lives in front of tablets and other computer screens being far more likely to experience social and emotional issues later in life.
Do your kids, and yourselves, a favour and consider escaping to nature on your vacation. Spend some time away from the constant hum of technology (take as little with it as possible, and only check on it in case of emergencies), and go camping somewhere wild and beautiful. Play your cards right, and you could even end up somewhere exotic and incredible, such as a Nordic igloo-hotel, under the Northern Lights.
Visit museums that show a glimpse of the ancient world
Kids have different interests, for sure, but it seems to be a pretty common phenomenon that they can appreciate reconstructed dinosaurs, real-life asteroids from outer space, and ancient columns, carvings, cultural landmarks, and artworks from long lost and ancient civilisations.
Visiting museums that show a glimpse of the ancient world can be a phenomenal experience for kids — entertaining and educational at the same time — while also having enough depth and interesting insight for grownups to enjoy — perhaps even more than the kids, assuming you’ve got the patience and curiosity to pay attention.
The world is a big and wondrous place, and museums routinely seem to be some of the best places available for exploring and appreciating the wide array of things to be seen, and to get a sense of the sheer scope of things.
Try out some new sports and activities that you might not get the opportunity to try at home
If you go on vacation somewhere cold and snowy, with the right number of mountains, you and your kids can enjoy tobogganing downhill, and can also try out sports and activities that you might not yet have had the opportunity to try; such as snowboarding and skiing.
And if you go somewhere sandy, and with the right number of dunes, you can try out sandboarding, and other desert-appropriate activities.
Humans naturally evolved to be physically active, and some of the greatest pleasures of life can often be found during different forms of outdoor play. As adults and children alike rarely spend enough time being physically active, these days, why not take full advantage of any opportunities for local and seasonal sports, and outdoor games, found in different locations?
You could teach your children to snorkel, and, depending on their age, could even sign up for family SCUBA diving classes, get your PADI licenses together, and enjoy the surreal but breathtaking (no pun intended) experience of breathing underwater and seeing the aquatic world up-close.