Encountering an elephant on an African safari (Shutterstock)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 10 September

Meet the icons: 9 life-changing family holidays you’ll want to book now

From trekking in Nepal and safaris in Africa, to experiencing Japanese culture and chasing the northern lights in Sweden, these amazing family holidays are bound to give your kids a love of travel

1: Travel to the 'roof of the world' in Nepal

Family trekking the Annapurna trail (Shutterstock)

Family trekking the Annapurna trail (Shutterstock)

Trek the Annapurna, go on a tiger safari in Chitwan National Park, and discover the chaotic colours of Kathmandu on this action-packed family adventure in Nepal with Intrepid.

It’s a journey designed to introduce your kids to the wonders of the 'roof of the world', from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya to the steamy jungles of Chitwan. You’ll trek into the incredible Annapurna Range, passing through remote villages, sipping chai in mountain teahouses, and enjoying breath-taking views. In Kathmandu you’ll meet colourful sadhus and visit ancient temples, before working as a team to battle the rapids of the Seti River.  

Finally, Chitwan National Park awaits, where you’ll search for hidden tigers and look out for crocs while floating in a dugout canoe.

Trip: Nepal Family Holiday with teenagers

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures in Jan, Apr, Sep & Dec

How long: 11 days

How much: From £1,225 (exc. flights)

2: Discover biodiversity and adventure in Costa Rica

Riding the canopy tram in Costa Rica (Rainbow Tours)

Riding the canopy tram in Costa Rica (Rainbow Tours)

Introduce the whole family to the natural wonders of Costa Rica and discover its extraordinary rainforests, volcanoes and beaches on this 10-day eco holiday with Rainbow Tours. 

It’s the perfect balance of adventure and family together-time. You’ll zip-wire through rainforest canopies and raft down rivers in search of monkeys, butterflies, and sloths. Then explore jungles under the cover of darkness in search of brightly-coloured frogs before soaking in bubbling volcanic springs. 

Your Costa Rican adventure ends on the beautiful Pacific coast in Manuel Antonio for a few days of R&R, while the kids can take part in a host of activities. This is the perfect introduction to Costa Rica's incredible biodiversity.

Trip: Costa Rica for Families

Who: Rainbow Tours

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,095 (inc. flights)

3: Meet orangutans in Borneo

A baby orangutan in Borneo (Dreamstime)

A baby orangutan in Borneo (Dreamstime)

Pack up your troupe and head into Borneo's lush jungles on a wildlife adventure like no other with Intrepid.

You’ll meet all of Borneo’s most famous residents. Watch young orangutans learning to climb for the first time at the Sepilok Sanctuary, and spot proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants on a cruise down the Kinabatangan River. You'll also visit a Dusun village where a local tribe will treat you to a traditional feast.

To finish, you’ll spend a few days on the idyllic Manukan Island, lapping up the sun and sand as well as meeting turtles and other brightly-coloured fish on snorkelling trips.

Trip: Borneo Family Holiday Comfort

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures Jan, Apr, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep & Dec

How long: 10 days

How much: From £1,330 (exc. flights)

4: Chase the Northern Lights in Arctic Sweden

Kids cuddling a husky (KE Adventure Travel)

Kids cuddling a husky (KE Adventure Travel)

Rattle through the tundra on a husky sledge, snowshoe across frozen lakes, and watch the dazzling dance of the aurora borealis on this exciting winter adventure in Arctic Sweden with KE Adventure Travel.

Starting with an exhilarating snowmobile ride across frozen lakes and along winding forest trails, you and your family will spend the next couple of days riding on a husky dog-sled, taking a night-time snowshoe hike, and learning the basics of ski-touring. Your base is Camp Ripan, a well-appointed wilderness camp where the cabins are cosy and come with their own spas.

Just remember to look up. When the weather is clear, this is one of the best places on Earth to see the northern lights. 

All meals and activities are included, making this an unforgettable family holiday in a gorgeous winter wonderland.

Trip: Winter Wonderland Arctic Family Adventure

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr & Dec

How long: 6 days

How much: £1,295 (exc. flights)

5: Encounter elephants in Botswana

Watching elephants at a watering hole in Botswana (Shutterstock)

Watching elephants at a watering hole in Botswana (Shutterstock)

Take your kids on a safari in one of the safest and most beautiful corners of Africa on this wildlife adventure through Botswana with KE Adventure Travel.

It’s a journey that will transport you through some of the most unique and diverse game reserves and national parks in Africa. Starting in Maun, you’ll head straight to the wetland of the Okavango Delta, where guides will pole you through this incredible wildlife haven in a traditional mokoro (dug-out canoe). Next, you'll visit Moremi Game Reserve, searching for the Big Five with the help of an expert guide. Then Savuti and Chobe National Park, famous for its huge elephant population.

Your final stop is Victoria Falls, the ‘Smoke That Thunders’ – an unforgettable end to an African adventure that your kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

Trip: Okavango and Botswana Family Safari

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures in Mar, April, Jul, Aug & Dec

How long: 13 days

How much: From £1,995 (exc. flights)

6: Get up close and personal with wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

Young family watching a marine iguana (Dreamstime)

Young family watching a marine iguana (Dreamstime)

If your kids adore animals, they’ll love this family adventure in the Galapagos Islands with Intrepid. Wildlife encounters of the very closest kind are guaranteed.

Unafraid of humans, the animals of the Galapagos will graze, sleep and play on the beaches, mountains and rocks – completely unfazed by your presence. You’ll snorkel with sea lions, marvel at the plodding giant tortoises, and walk amongst frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas. You’ll spot whales, dolphins and sharks as you cruise from one island to the next, exploring this wildlife wonderland.

With spare time in Quito and Santa Cruz Island, you'll have plenty of opportunities to embark on more hiking adventures or go shopping at local markets.

Trip: Galapagos Family Holiday

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures in Jan, Apr, Jul, Aug & Dec

How long: 8 days

How much: From £1,714 (exc. flights)

7: Discover ninjas and snow monkeys in Japan

A geisha in Kyoto (Dreamstime)

A geisha in Kyoto (Dreamstime)

From the neon lights of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto, there's so much to see on this family-friendly tour of the country’s dazzling highlights with Exsus Travel.

Starting in Tokyo, you’ll explore its tiny alleyways, sampling all kinds of quirky treats and exploring the home of anime and manga. Next, the mountainous Yudanaka region, where hot springs and snow monkeys await. Finally, Kyoto: a city of ancient shrines, immaculate geishas and towering bamboo forest.

Both family-friendly and mind boggling in equal measure, Japan is the perfect destination for you and your kids.

Trip: Japan Family Holiday: Ninjas, Snow Monkeys And Ancient Temples

Who: Exsus Travel

When: Departures Dec & Jan

How long: 8 nights

How much: From £4,450 (inc. flights)

8: Follow the Inca Trail in Peru

Family looking across Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

Family looking across Machu Picchu (Shutterstock)

Introduce your kids to the grand landscapes, colonial cities and exotic wildlife of Peru on this tour of the ancient world of the Incas with Journey Latin America.

It’s a trip that will take you from dizzying heights at the rim of the Colca Canyon, to the floating reed island homes of the Uros Indians on Lake Titicaca – and on to Machu Picchu, the Inca's 'Lost City', which was once buried under the tropical forest which surrounds it. You’ll encounter Peru’s traditional rural lifestyle, meet local farmers and fishermen, and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. An exhilarating train ride will take you to the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, before a short flight and boat ride to a wildlife lodge in the Amazon for more adventure and wildlife spotting.

Trip: Family Peru: Machu Picchu And Amazon Adventures

Who: Journey Latin America

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 19 days

How much: From £3,620 (exc. flights)

9: Go wild in Sri Lanka

Elephants bathing in Sri Lanka (Dreamstime)

Elephants bathing in Sri Lanka (Dreamstime)

Encounter Sri Lanka’s astounding diversity of wildlife while enjoying the creature comforts of some of the country’s coolest eco-hotels on this family adventure holiday with Exsus. 

At Minneriya National Park you’ll meet elephants – lots of them. The park forms part of an elephant corridor that joins up with Kaudulla and Wasgamuwa national parks, and large numbers of the beasts can be found here. At Yala National Park you and your family will go in search of leopards. The trip ends on the unspoilt Kalpitiya Peninsula on the northwest coast, where you'll have the chance to see hatchling turtles on some of Sri Lanka's most beautiful beaches.

This a trip for adventurous families who want a wildlife-packed yet luxurious holiday.

Trip: Family Wildlife Holiday In Sri Lanka: Leopard Spotting, Hatchling Turtles, And An Elephant Orphanage

Who: Exsus Travel

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 12 nights

How much: From £2,100 (inc. flights)