With summer holiday time looming, many parents are spending their hours frantically flipping through resort brochures or clicking through web-pages in an aim to find that one elusive Holy Grail of travelling; a holiday abroad that can satisfy the disparate demands of the whole family.
Sure, it may be tempting to play it safe and opt for your typical two-week beach holiday, and for weary parents the thought of a relaxing time spent lounging by the pool doesn’t sound too bad at all. But remember, however much you may enjoy simply kicking back with a cocktail in hand, the kids may just want something a little more stimulating, and they will NOT be shy in letting you know about it.
So if you want to avoid two weeks spent desperately trying to shut out that timeless mantra of ‘Mum… We’re BORED!’, while you try to catch up on the latest Jackie Collins, why not try one of these more adventurous trips?
Desert Trekking – Pyramids and Petra
Family holidays don’t come much more epic than a trip through the desert! Let your kids unleash their inner explorer and set off on a journey from the amazing pyramids of Egypt, through the spectacular plains of the Sinai desert to the wondrous sand-sculpted city of Petra.
All this action can be covered in only two weeks, and kids will love taking on challenging activities along the way like riding horseback through the desert, climbing the lower reaches of Mt Sinai, sleeping out under the stars in a Bedouin tent and making like Lawrence of Arabia on a camel ride through Wadi Rum.
By the end of each day the little tykes should be absolutely shattered and ready for bed, leaving you free to enjoy some delicious local dining, sip drinks by the pool or maybe try out your haggling skills at a local bazar.
Taking on the Big One – Everest, Nepal
Most expeditions to the world’s highest mountain may involve hazardous climbing routes, freezing conditions and the threat of yetis, but there is a way of experiencing the grandeur and beauty of Everest without your toes falling off through frostbite.
Those looking for a much more manageable mountain experience can opt for an adventure holiday that allows you to trek in the foothills of the Everest valley, and while the climbing is still challenging, it’s unlikely to result in a re-enactment on shows like ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’.
Designed with teenagers and older children in mind, families can still experience some of Everest’s most famous sites over a six day walking holiday, from Kathmandau’s ancient temples and traditional markets to the ‘Sherpa capital’ of Namche.
Stunning peaks, dramatic cliff-top views and beautiful mountain lakes are your reward for some strenuous climbing, and you can be sure that the kids will be far too amazed by the other-worldly environment and exciting exploration for boredom to even cross their minds.
Elephant Riding – Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an absolutely beautiful island fringed with lush vegetation, delicious food and some of the most beautiful crystal-clear waters you could hope to dive into. Yet while it may be tempting to spend your holiday floating around on a Lilo, there’s so much more to do in this island paradise, as your kids will no doubt remind you!
For a start, Sri Lanka has an abundance of fascinating flora and fauna to excite and educate both children and adults. Organised trips into the island’s interior are a superb way to see rare animals like the sloth bear, the purple-faced langur, the tiny slow loris and beautiful tree climbing leopards. There are many national parks and conservation areas to explore protecting herds of deer, wild boar peacocks and crocodiles, and jeep safaris can be organised to see this great array of wildlife.
Even better is the experience of exploring the beautiful interior of the island on the back of an elephant. Elephant trekking is not only great fun for the kids, but also helps fund conservation projects in Sri Lanka. These projects ensure wild elephants that have been orphaned or neglected are nurtured and cared for until they’re strong enough to make it on their own, and the whole family will love the chance to help feed, wash and help look after these magnificent creatures.
So if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting than the usual beach holiday, try out one of these more adventurous family trips this summer. You’ll see some amazing sights, experience wonderful animals and keep child boredom consigned to term time. Plus, you never know, the kids may be so grateful they’ll give you a bit of peace, quiet and time to yourself. Well, we can dream can’t we?