Taking a vacation that is rich in outdoor pursuits offers plenty of entertainment, and a little bit of adventure may be just what the family wants, but this doesn’t have to mean a trip to an expensive theme park or a pricy overseas resort. With a little bit of imagination, alternative family destinations can be found offering the best ingredients for a great holiday, made even better by being a tad out of the ordinary. It’s certainly possible to save money, if that is a consideration, and also to venture into territory the family has not previously explored, and still have lots of fun.
Grand Canyon National Park
The truly awesome spectacle that is the Grand Canyon makes this a first-class winner with parents and children alike. There’s so much to do and to see here, from guided tours to river trips, from hiking or catching a shuttle bus, to backpacking and even taking a ride on a mule. The Grand Canyon evokes the Wild West in the imagination and there are Grand Canyon hotels on the same theme that the kids will love.
The whole family can explore the nature of this fascinating area and along the South Rim discover more about the history of the Grand Canyon via the information centers and museums. It is also possible to rent a bicycle and take a guided tour. Near Desert View take the time to learn about the life of the Pueblo Indian. Along the North Rim a winding scenic drive will reveal the extent of this inspiring and powerful landscape that is of immense proportions.
Tour Europe on a budget
The classic European resorts tend to be the most expensive ones – Greece, Tuscany and the Costa del Sol, for example. The same experiences can be had at cheaper alternative destinations, however, so trying out Albania, Croatia and Bulgaria is likely to surprise and delight everyone, including the person holding the purse strings. Right next door to Greece, Albania shares similar deep blue seas, lovely beaches and the warm climate of its neighbor. The coastline of Ionia is a fabulous alternative to the Greek islands and much more affordable than Kefalonia or Corfu.
The Istria region in Croatia is a lot like Tuscany, where food and wine are of immense importance. The largest city, Pula, is an acknowledged center of gastronomic excellence, whilst the wine growing in the region benefits from both a Continental and a sub-Mediterranean climate. Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast is the ideal spot for a beach vacation with a difference – there are family resorts, plus warm seas and sands, but at a fraction of the cost of the Spanish ‘costas.’
From the Wild West to the equivalent of the wilds of Africa (without going there)try a safari in British Columbia for an amazing choice of excursions for families keen on wildlife. Wolves, grizzly bears and deer can be stalked in the forests, mountains and national parks, with something to please enthusiasts of all ages. There are also great seal and whale-watching areas accessible via speedboats for an extra thrill.