The problem with planning a famcation (family + vacation!) is that everybody thinks like you- they too search the internet for the ‘best family vacation destinations in the world’! And thus, you, along with your family, end up in a crowded city, with long queues at tourist attractions, expensive hotels and jam-packed public transport. If you want to avoid this and have a fun filled famcation instead, here’s a list of 9 underrated family vacation destinations you should consider while planning for your escapade with the family.
9 lesser known destinations for a perfect "family vacation"
1. Bentota, Sri LankaBest time to visit: October to April Located a couple of hours’ drive from the capital city of Colombo, Bentota is a cute little sandy piece of paradise on Sri Lanka’s coast.
- If your family is into water sports, this town is a must-visit! Activities that you can undertake in Bentota with your family include surfing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, wind surfing, elephant rides, snorkeling, diving, river fishing and several more.
- If you have a toddler, s/he will love visiting the Kosgoda turtle hatchery and learning about the different types of turtles and getting to gently touch day-old turtle hatchlings.
- Major tourist attractions in Bentota include the beautiful Bentota beach, the Galapatha Raja Maha Vihare Buddhist temple and Brief Gardens.
2. Portland, Maine, USABest time to visit: May to September If you think Portland is a sleepy coastal city, well, you are not wrong! But it is so much more too.
- Apart from indulging in some delectable sea food with your family, you can go island hopping at the Casco Bay Islands that are situated off the coast of Portland.
- You can head over to the 68-acre waterfront park at the Eastern Promenade and play some outdoor sports like volleyball, badminton and football or fly kites at the beach.
- A climb up the historical Portland Observatory will give you stunning views of the harbour.
- You can also go on a beer sampling tour if all of you in the family are of legal drinking age.
3. Adelaide, AustraliaBest time to visit: March to May and September to November Search on the internet for an Australian vacation with family and chances are you will be advised to go to Sydney or Melbourne. Well, while everybody else goes there, you can beat the crowds and head over to the mesmerizing city of Adelaide instead. Especially if your kids are all grown up.
- Because Adelaide is known to be a gateway to the wine producing region! You can head over to Barossa valley or Clare Valley for some wine tasting sessions .
- Some family-friendly tourist attractions in Adelaide include the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, the zoo, the Cleland Wildlife Park and the Ayers Historic House Museum.
4. Billund, DenmarkBest time to visit: April to August Just one word - Legoland! A family holiday in Billund is incomplete without a visit to the super exciting Legoland, regardless of your age! It is for everyone- the 4-year-old, the 14-year-old, the 40-year-old and even the 74-year-old! The birthplace of the Lego brick, Billund fondly calls itself the ‘capital of children’. With the focus completely on children and their entertainment, Billund offers lots of fun activities and child-friendly accommodations. Attractions apart from Legoland include Lalandia, Billund Sculpture Park and the nearby Givskud zoo.
5. St. Petersburg, RussiaBest time to visit: March to September An offbeat destination for a famcation, St. Petersburg is still relatively unexplored as far as holidays with families are concerned. But the city is already fully prepped up to greet you and your kids with open arms!
- It has beautiful open parks and gardens, intriguing museums, quaint cafes and bustling restaurants and hosts several festivals and cultural events during the summer.
- The Leningrad Zoo, the St. Petersburg Dolphinarium, an enthralling performance at the Ciniselli Circus, the Piterland Aquapark, the Doll Museum, the imaginative Muzey Teney (Shadow Museum) and a lot many other attractions - all of them are waiting to entertain your entire family.
- And needless to say, while in St. Petersburg, Russia, you just have to visit the stunningly exquisite Peterhof Palace complex and the charming Savior On Spilled Blood church.
6. Mount Kilimanjaro, TanzaniaBest time to visit: January to March and June to October If your kids love adventure and trekking, what better destination for a famcation than the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro? It is, after all, the tallest mountain in Africa! With a summit that stands at a staggering 19,341 feet above sea level, the minimum age for climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro is 10 years. However, the mountain climbing authority generally grants permission to children who have a good experience in trekking in high altitude. Having several routes, the June to October trekking season is also summer vacation time in Europe, so, the trekking routes are generally full of people. The January to March trekking season is generally colder, and thus, less crowded.
Also read: 10 Must-Visit Game Reserves In Africa!
7. Cardiff, WalesBest time to visit: All year round Entertaining the little ones in Cardiff is super easy!
- This capital city of Wales is home to fun, family-friendly tourist attractions like the picturesque Cardiff Castle, the St Fagans National Museum of History, the gothic revival castle Castell Coch, the scenic Bute Park and the science and discovery center of Techniquest.
- Activities you can undertake as a family in Cardiff include ice skating at the Ice Arena Wales, playing a game of golf at the Treetop Adventure Golf, cycling in the Pontcanna Fields, jumping your heart out at the Infinity trampoline park and exploring the Cardiff Bay area on foot.
8. Rajasthan, IndiaBest time to visit: November to March The state of Rajasthan in India, in its entirety, is a huge playground for the kids and the kids at heart! Young or old, Rajasthan manages to impress every age group with its abundance of interesting places to visit and activities to undertake.
- On your family vacation, you could either explore the wild side of Rajasthan at the Ranthambore National Park or go on a thrilling camel-back ride in the Sam Sand Dunes.
- You can attend a fascinating puppet-making workshop in the city of Jodhpur or go on an elephant ride in Jaipur’s Amber Fort.
- While in Jaipur, you all can also solve the mysteries of the Jantar Mantar Observatory.
9. Galapagos Islands, EcuadorBest time to visit: May to September The South American country of Ecuador manages to charm every visitor with its natural beauty, its warm hospitality and its delectable food cuisine. On your famcation to this delightful country, you can explore the theory of evolution at the enchanting Galapagos Islands.
- Located in the Pacific ocean, the Galapagos Islands are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Penguins, seals, giant tortoise, marine iguanas, waved albatrosses and bottlenose dolphins are just few of the several inhabitants of the islands.
- Activities you can undertake on the islands include diving, snorkeling, wildlife safaris, hiking, kayaking and boating.
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