Trying to find alternative family vacation destinations which are just as fun as the staples is not as easy as you might think.
Considering the different likes and dislikes of every family member can tie you up in knots. One member may like outdoor activities and hiking, while another may like shopping and dining. Still another might just like to people-watch at a café all day. Avoid the usual tourist destinations and go somewhere different this year with the family.
Our guide to family vacation destinations around the world has some places you may have never heard of, but they have lots to do and see for every type of traveler.
Here are our top 5 alternative family vacation destinations:
Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama
The Pacific side of Panama is the place to go and get away from it all. It’s so remote that, once you land, you should plan on using a series of taxis and buses to get where you need to go. Here, you can unplug, relax, and take it easy as you listen to the sounds of waves crashing on the shore. Panama has dozens of islands that are great setting-off points for deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Many of them are uninhabited, so you and the family could have one all to yourself for a day.
Ghent is a Dutch-speaking city that boasts the largest car-free city center in Belgium. Take a bicycle tour of the city, or hop in a boat and tour the architecture while floating down the canals. The highlight of the city is Gravensteen Castle. When you enter, a knight will direct you to the castle stairs, which you must climb if you want to sit in the king’s throne.
Warm Mediterranean breezes cool the island of Cyprus, off the coast of Turkey. The traditional birthplace of Aphrodite features pristine beaches and historic ruins for you to explore in between stops for halloumi cheese and delicious Commandaria wine. Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to ancient ruins of Roman villas and the Tomb of the Kings. Full of tombs carved into the rock, the fourth-century ruins were once a necropolis.
The second-largest Bavarian city in Germany is historic for a few reasons. It’s where the World War II war crimes tribunal, the Nuremberg Trials, took place. The courthouse is still functioning, and you can visit the room where it all took place. Tour the 13th-century city walls and its five gates while touring the Bavarian architecture that survived World War II. When the kids grow weary of the touring, take them to Europe’s largest iMax movie theater to enjoy a flick.
By the way: Traveling in a group always has the potential for problems. Read our guide on how to travel in a group to avoid any issues!
If traveling to Romania, this city is world-famous for its spa treatments and mud baths on the naturally salty Bear Lake. Vacationers slather the healing mud all over their bodies and float in the salty waters. Underneath all of this is the famed Salina Praid, a massive salt mine renowned for its healing microclimate. The mine is home to a beautiful Orthodox church that was carved into the salt; it still holds services today. Mixed in with all the natural underground beauty is an amusement park, Club Aventura Praid.