13 trips to give your kids wanderlust

Having children is no barrier to having exciting, exotic adventures. There are plenty of great trips designed with families in mind – these are our top picks

5 mins

Gawp at the Big Five, Kenya

Eating breakfast with giraffes and visiting orphaned elephants are just two of the wonderful wildlife encounters included on Abercrombie & Kent’s 8-night Family Safari to Kenya.

You’ll also walk in Laikipia with expert guides, who’ll help you track lions and zebra. And you’ll explore the Masai Mara from a luxury camp (complete with pool) to tick off the Big Five; visit July-October to see the Great Migration too.

Cheetah with cub, Masai Mara (Shutterstock)
Cheetah with cub, Masai Mara (Shutterstock)

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Sleep under the aurora, Finland

On this 4-day trip, whizz to north Finland in the school holidays on Off the Map Travel’s Half-Term Lights in Lapland. From a chalet in Kilpisjarvi, head out to hunt for the northern lights, both on foot and in a glass-topped Aurora Snowcat.

Then ride a snowmobile to the Three Country Cairn – where Sweden, Finland and Norway meet – nipping into Norway to explore the Lyngen Alps by husky-sled before heading back to a Finnish kota (hut) with a warming fire.

Northern Lights above water's edge (Shutterstock)
Northern Lights above water's edge (Shutterstock)

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5 warm ways to watch the Northern Lights | No need to brave the cold
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Spot bears and whales in BC, Canada

See the best of Canada over 12 days on KE Adventure’s intimate British Columbia Bonanza trip. Kayak among seals, scale Stawamus Chief (one of the world’s largest granite monoliths), bike the Galloping Goose Trail and take a boat trip to look for bears and whales.

Flowers bordering Emerald Lake, BC (Shutterstock)
Flowers bordering Emerald Lake, BC (Shutterstock)

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An Inuit adventure cruise in Arctic Canada | Taking to the high, cold seas
Meet Canada's ice bears | Get up close with frosty grizzlies
Whale watching in Canada | The best whale watching in the world

Live like a warrior in Mongolia

Become a nomad on a Mongolia Family Adventure with Wild Frontiers. Over 14 days you'll learn to fire arrows, paddle a kayak and sleep in a traditional ger (tent). Then train for a junior version of the Nadaam Festival before hitting the dunes of Mongol Els.

Mongolia Family Adventure (Wild Frontiers)

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A visit to the Gobi desert | Dinosaurs, camels and Genghis Khan
Your guide to the real Mongolia | It's wild and wonderful
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Mountains and medinas in Morocco

Zig-zag from the alleys of Marrakech, over the Atlas, into the Sahara, across to the Atlantic and back to Marrakech on Oasis Overland’s 12-day Souks, Sand Dunes and Surf trip. Highlights include camel treks and a visit to the old city of Ait Benhaddou, the set of many a Hollywood movie.

Mountains and Medinas (Oasis Overland)

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Rocking the kasbah in Morocco | A spectacular spot in the mountains
A weekend in Tangier, Morocco | Get lost in the maze of the medina
Climbing Mount Toubkal | the highest peak in North Africa

Be inspired by classic Scotland

Wilderness Scotland’s 6-night Treasure Highlands trip is inspired by the spirit of Stevenson’s tale, which was written in the Cairngorms. This trip does some geocaching in the national park, plus sea kayaking around the Sound of Arisaig and biking in the Great Glen. Also, ride the Fort William-Mallaig steam train to feel like Harry Potter.

Treasure Highlands (Wilderness Scotland)

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Encounter the Incas, Peru

Have your kids studied the Inca at school? Then show them the real thing on Journey Latin America’s 19-day Family Peru trip. Peer into Colca Canyon, be wowed by Cusco, visit Machu Picchu and stroll in the Sacred Valley. Finish up in the Amazon jungle.

Llama at Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)
Llama at Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

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Horse riding on the Salkantay Trek, Peru | Giddy-up the Inca way
Peru on a plate | Explore the country's foodie hotspots
Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca | Braving the rainy season

Mix it up in Costa Rica

If your kids have a bottomless pit of energy, they'll love Active Costa Rica with Families Worldwide. Canoe in Cahuita NP, go choc-tasting, horse trek through Pozo Azul’s jungle, raft the Sarapiqui, mountain bike around Arenal Volcano and zip-wire through Monteverde’s forests. An action-packed 10 days. Phew!

Ziplining in Costa Rica (Shutterstock)
Ziplining in Costa Rica (Shutterstock)

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5 Costa Rican eco-lodges | Where the kids can run wild
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See mysterious cities in Cambodia & Thailand

Let your teens have a real Indiana Jones adventure on All Points East’s 14-day Ruined Cities & Tropical Islands trip – though it’s adaptable for kids of any ages. Visit Phnom Penh, explore Angkor’s jungly temples, ride Battambang’s unusual ‘bamboo train’ and then retreat to Thailand’s paradise isles.

Angkor Wat (Shutterstock)
Angkor Wat (Shutterstock)

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Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains | Trekking trails and rainforest
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10. Drive the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland

Enjoy a geography lesson out of the classroom on Discover The World's 4-day Volcanic Explorer trip. Self-drive your way through the Golden Circle trio of Gullfoss waterfall, Strokkur geyser and Thingvellir National Park. Hop on the ferry to the volcanic island of Heimaey and trade cold for hot as you tread across the 8km Solheimajokull glacier before walking across the lava flow-ridden Reykjanes Peninsula.

Gulfoss, Iceland (Shutterstock)
Gulfoss, Iceland (Shutterstock)

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Wildlife watching in winter Iceland | Whales and more
Sailing in the west Fjords, Iceland | Adventure on the open seas
Where to hike in magical East Iceland | Land of trolls and 'little people'

11. Tea and temples of Sri Lanka

Packed with activities that both toddlers and parents can enjoy, explore the teardrop-shaped island with Selective Asia on a 12-day Sri Lanka Family Adventure.

Support elephants at a sanctuary en route to sacred Kandy city, unravel the mysteries behind the Temple of the Tooth Relic and get some of the best views of the country in Knuckles Mountain Range and sitting atop Lipton’s Seat. Finish with a flurry of wildlife: take a safari through Yala National Park, go whale watching and witness hatching baby turtles.

Elephant group in a river (Shutterstock)
Elephant group in a river (Shutterstock)

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Sri Lanka's best national parks | For an incredible safari
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12. The ultimate USA road trip

There will be no cries of ‘are we there yet?’ on American Sky's Attractions of the West by Motorhome trip. On this 15-day adventure the whole family can gawp at the Grand Canyon before being wowed at three national parks: the cliffs and Sequoia forests of Yosemite, hanging gardens of Zion and the wind-sculpted ‘hoodoo’ stone sculptures of Bryce. Then, swap big landscape for big city as you’re dazzled by the bright lights of San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Sunset at Toroweap, Grand Canyon National Park (Shutterstock)
Sunset at Toroweap, Grand Canyon National Park (Shutterstock)

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13. Namibia's dunes and dolphins

Get to grips with wild and wonderful Namibia on a 10-day Namibia Family Adventure with World Expeditions. On regular stops around the country, walk through the rich red dunes of the Namib Desert, cross the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the Skeleton Coast and spot dolphins, whales and turtles at Pelican Point.

Explore in the shadow of Brandberg Mountain – Namibia’s highest – before spotting black rhino, elephants and lions at Etosha National Park.

Black rhino, oryx and springboks (Shutterstock)
Black rhino, oryx and springboks (Shutterstock)

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At home with the Himba of Namibia | A fascinating cultural exchange
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Main image: Family Safari to Kenya (Abercrombie & Kent)

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