Saturday,  November 26, 2022  3:48 am

4 epic family-friendly trips to take this year

4 epic family-friendly trips to take this year
South Africa’s Kruger Park draws many families of animal lovers. Credit: Courtesy of South African Tourism.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

With adventure travel operators offering programs geared toward all ages and fitness levels, more and more families are taking part and exploring together. 

READ MORE: Family travel on the grow, says new report

And for agents, family groups plus unique destinations can equal large commissions. Here’s a look at some popular family adventure destinations and the offerings available there.

Galapagos: a different world

A rugged landscape, unique wildlife and feeling like you’re in a different world – it could only be the Galapagos! Drawing thousands of visitors every year, the island chain offers travellers the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime experiences; from seeing the giant Galapagos tortoises and marine iguanas in the wild to world-class diving opportunities, such a unique location makes Galapagos the perfect destination for families to explore together.

G Adventures’ family itinerary in Galapagos offers opportunities to snorkel, hike, kayak, and swim the islands, as well as visit a giant tortoise breeding centre and the Charles Darwin Research Station.

A family encounter with a sea lion on a G Adventures trip in the Galapagos. Photo credit: G Adventures

South Pacific: an idyllic escape

Whether part of a cruise or a luxury getaway, the vastness and untouched beauty of the South Pacific yield plenty of chances for families to explore together. White sand beaches, blue waters and verdant islands are the primary colours of this region, painting an idyllic escape for the entire family.

On its South Pacific cruises during the summer and holiday season, Paul Gauguin has partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society to offer families a range of ecology-themed activities for all ages, from discovering marine life while snorkeling to beach excursions in Tahiti and the Society Islands.

Family adventures in the South Pacific with Paul Gauguin  Credit: Courtesy of Pacific Beachcomber/Paul Gauguin Cruises

South Africa: go wild on safari

From the city lights of Johannesburg to its multiple distinct ecosystems just waiting to be explored, South Africa’s popularity as a travel destination continues to grow – especially amongst Canadians, who continue to enjoy a favourable exchange rate!

In terms of active travel, Kruger Park is without a doubt the star of the show, drawing increasing numbers of families eager to catch a glimpse of the “Big 5” – specifically lions, elephants, leopards, cape buffalo and rhinos.

Visits to the park are incorporated in many of Goway’s South Africa itineraries, including Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge and Adventures in Nature, which allow families to explore the park and get in touch with their wild side.

South Africa’s Kruger Park draws many families of animal lovers. Credit: Courtesy of South African Tourism

Costa Rica: a prime spot for eco-tourism

With a tropical rainforest enveloping the slopes of towering volcanoes to its pristine Caribbean beaches, Costa Rica’s reputation as a destination with something for everyone is well deserved! The country’s lush surroundings have made it a prime spot for eco-tourism, a travel style appealing to all members of the family.

 Underwater exploration in Costa Rica. Credit: Courtesy of Visit Costa Rica

On Intrepid Travel’s Costa Rica Family Holiday, families will head into the wilderness of Tortuguero National Park, where they will experience the coastal lagoons by boat and spend two nights in a riverbank lodge. The tour operator also offers a version of the itinerary exclusively for single parents, grouping together single-parent families on an exploration of the Costa Rican countryside.

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