School is almost over, which means it is time to take a family trip. Get out of the rut of Disney vacations and beach trips. Traveling with your family is a memorable and bonding experience that leaves a huge impression on kids. It exposes them to new places and cultures, opens their mind to new possibilities and makes them understand the world better. As you begin to plan your summer vacations, here are some unique ideas to consider.
Stay on a farm or dude ranch where you can learn how to live off the land, take care of animals and lend a helping hand. Spend time in nature, go horseback riding, birdwatching or just run in the fields. Your kids will sleep peacefully at night after days filled with physical activities.
Here are 10 recommended family dude ranches across the US according to the Dude Ranchers Association.
Lion pride at Masai Mara, Kenya
If your kids are into wildlife, take them to a game park for a once in a lifetime experience where they can watch lions, zebras and wilderness in their natural habitats. Most of the Big 5 game reserves are located in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, but there are also opportunities to see pandas in China, orangutans in Indonesia, giant tortoise on the Galapagos islands in Ecuador, and rhinos in Nepal. You can stay overnight in tented camps, take guided jeep tours to see animals and birds, and watch thousands of stars in the night.
Read best animal adventures for families according to Lonely Planet.
Driving through Yosemite National Park, CA
Get your finicky toddlers and disinterested teens in a rented RV or camper and drive through a national park. This is a great opportunity for parents to teach their kids about nature, history and connect with each other. From Grand Canyon in Utah, Banff in Canada, Yosemite in California, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, to Tulum in Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala, there is a variety of mountains, lakes, beaches, waterfalls and forests landscapes to chose from across the world. You can also socialize with other families at campgrounds, invent games, play music and make amores by the fire.
Best national parks in US to visit with kids according to Full Suitcase.
Farm stay in Germany
HOME AND FARM STAYS
Think a family vacation to Italy is more than what you can afford? Many family run farms around the worlds seek help managing their harvests in exchange for room and board, others will just rent out the space. This is a great way to visit European destinations yet experience the true culture by staying at quaint villages in the countryside and eating the local food. You can stay at a working sheep farm in New Zealand, a vineyards in Italy, a horse ranch in Germany, or a donkey farm in Portugal.
Depending on the farm, you may feed hens, turkeys, ducks, and cattle, assist with vegetable gardening or simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Search for a farm stay by location on the FarmStayPlanet.