Traveling with the family

Traveling as a family can be incredibly rewarding, providing ample bonding time and creating memories to last a lifetime. But, as many of us are also parents of small children, we know it can also be hard. Naps, jet-lag, bedtimes, food preferences, and having enough to do throughout the day are all concerns when planning family travel. That’s where we come in. Extraordinary Journeys wants to hear from the whole family – what are everyone’s ages, needs, interests, abilities, and priorities. Based on that information, we will recommend the right countries and properties to take the stress out of your day to day on the ground and create a journey everyone will love.

For families with younger kids (or families with any health or safety concerns), we love:

  • South Africa is home to several malaria-free parks such as the Eastern Cape and Madikwe. Camps like Kwandwe, Ant’s Nest, Grootbos, and Jaci’s are some of our family safari favorites. Swimming pools, specialized children’s activities and child-minding are all included and prevalent. Combine safari with Cape Town, the winelands (very family-friendly) or Victoria Falls for variety that will keep everyone excited to experience what’s next.
  • Ecuador offers a multitude of amazing family-friendly lodges and locations. Galapagos Safari Camp is the perfect land-based option to explore the iconic archipelago in a relaxed manner, Hacienda Zuleta provides a look into ancient Andean cultures and landscapes, and Mashpi Lodge, located in the Cloud Forest, is a haven for orchids, butterflies, and cute furry creatures – a child’s dream!
  • New Zealand, an incredibly safe destination, is also perfect for children of all ages, offering a plethora of activities from hiking, to shepherding, to horse riding, to coastal drives and scenic picnics. We adore Cape Kidnappers Farm and Blanket Bay for active families.

A few destinations we love for families with teens:

  • Israel and Jordan can be stand alone destinations, or easily paired. They are each safe, and some of the most progressive countries in the Middle East. Dive into the history, spirituality, ancient lifestyles, and desert landscapes on offer. Add in some time by the Red Sea in Eilat or Aqaba for snorkeling or scuba.
  • Kenya offers that perfect blend of unbeatable safari, with access to authentic cultural experiences. Learn about Maasai or Samburu tribal culture, as well as conservation, all while staying at a down to earth and family-owned property such as Ol Pejeta Cottages or Lewa House.
  • Even the most stubborn teen will surely be delighted by the colors, architecture, and energy of Cuba. Dance in famous salsa or jazz clubs, explore the mogotes of Viñales by horseback, and wander the crumbling, picturesque streets of Old Havana.

Check out our blog about safari destinations by age group, written by Lara Ray, our resident safari mom extraordinaire.

Depending on the size of your family, you may want to consider an exclusive-use property, which truly feels like a home away from home. Check out our multi-generational travel tips as well.

Put down your phones and iPads, pick up a pair of binoculars or a paddle. Take those headphones out of your ears, and instead listen to the sounds of nature, or stories about local tribes or indigenous communities. Our travelers all say that when they take this break from their busy lives and the modern world to step back, pause, appreciate the wildlife, wilderness, and cultures different than their own, that their adventures live on around the dinner table for years beyond.

Family-friendly itineraries

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