Forget the flop and drop. These exciting family adventures are guaranteed to keep the kids active and entertained. They might learn something too
A proboscis monkey in Borneo (Dreamstime)
Combining adventure and education, this could well be the perfect family holiday. You and the kids will stay in authentic tribal longhouses, experiencing the local lifestyle first hand, as well as learning skills like lighting fires and shooting blowpipes that are essential to surviving in the rainforest.
The kids will also experience unforgettable encounters with the legendary wildlife of Borneo. On Selingan Island, your children will help on the turtle conservation project. At the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, they’ll learn how these great apes are being rescued and rehabilitated. And a river boat trip up the mighty Kinabatangan river will reveal a host of wildlife superstars, from pigmy elephants to the extraordinary proboscis monkey.
When: April – September. Dates available on request.
How long: 15 days
How much: From £2,579 (inc. return flights from UK)
Prospective cowgirl (Dreamstime)
Say ‘Howdy’ to the real Wild West, a place of monumental landscapes and thrilling encounters that your family will remember for the rest of their lives.
Travelling through Bryce Canyon, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, you’ll wander through ancient landscapes, staying with the Navajo and learning their traditional ways. Then it’s on to an authentic Dude Ranch where you’ll emerge from your covered cowboy wagon each morning to learn a new skills like cattle herding, lassoing and cooking beans on an open fire.
Who: KE Adventures
When: 25 Jun, 23 Jul and 13 Aug, 2017
How long: 13 days
How much: From £1,845 (excl flights)
Family watching elephants (Dreamstime)
From your base at the spectacular Tuningi Safari Lodge, on the edge of Kruger’s malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, you’ll venture out on short game tours with experience naturalists, in search of Africa’s most famous animals. With the Big Five (and more) ticked off, it’s down to Cape Town for beaches, penguins and a cheeky sundowner (evening drink) for mum and dad.
Who: Rainbow Tours
When: Flexible dates
How long: 13 days
How much: £2,670 (inc flights from UK)
Just hanging around in Costa Rica (Dreamstime)
Costa Rica is arguable the world’s best family holiday destination – combining amazing wildlife, spectacular beaches and rainforest and the odd adventure activity, like white water rafting, too.
Starting in the country’s lush Central Valley, you’ll visit the Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall and help out at a wildlife rescue centre. Then it’s on to Arenal, with its dramatic volcano and hot springs and a host of activities like bird watching, rafting, horse riding and zip-lining.
Finally, unwind on the long, sandy beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, before returning home refreshed and invigorated.
Who: Sunvil Traveller
When: Between July and November, 2017
How long: 11 days
How much: From £5985 total per family (based on 2 adults & 2 children, incl airfares from UK)
Kayaking in Baja (Dreamstime)
Over eight days, you’ll circumnavigate the island, pulling in at a series of rocky bays where the beaches are sugar white and the sea varies from cobalt to jade. Here, you’ll camp for the night, feasting on freshly caught seafood, before casting off again onto the ocean where an abundance of sea life, including whales, awaits.
How long: 11 days
How much: £1,819 (excl flights)
Dracula’s Castle at night (Dreamstime)
On this three-day, Dracula-themed short break in the heart of darkest Transylvania, you and your family will be thoroughly immersed in the world of Bram Stoker’s creation and his real-life counterpart, Vlad the Impaler.
Starting with a ritual killing of the living dead, a traditional Transylvanian ceremony to help a haunted spirit to gain his peace, you’ll visit Bran Castle, known locally as Dracula’s Castle, and stay in the Medieval Saxon Citadel of Sighisoara – Vlad the Impaler’s birth place and the best preserved medieval citadel in Europe.
And on your final night? A vampire feast to celebrate surviving.
How long: 3 days
How much: €599 (excl flights)
Meeting the locals at Machu Picchu (Dreamstime)
Peru – and, in particular, Machu Picchu – is on most people’s bucket lists. Your kids will be able to tick it off, as well as the Amazon and Cusco, on this action-packed trip that would leave Indiana Jones breathless.
Starting with a motorised canoe trip up the Amazon to G Adventure’s exclusive lodge, your family will explore the jungle with highly-trained naturalists and guides. Then it’s back to the Andes and the Urubamba Valley, where the world’s most famous ruins await.
Along the way, your kids will get ample to opportunity to mingle with locals kids and experience what life is like for them in this part of the world.
Who: G Adventures
When: All year
How long: 9 days
How much: £1,249 (excl flights)
Main image: Kids white water rafting (Dreamstime)