After careful consideration and fine combing through our many travels so far, we the Cool Kidz have put together a list of the best family places to travel in 2016. Join us on the adventure to see what amazing sights made the cut. Since it is still 2015, you do have enough time to start planning. But a warning is due before continuing: you might be severely tempted to just go… Let’s see if we can awaken a serious wanderlust in you as I did in me, when putting this list together…
Without a doubt our favorite French region. It is wild, unexpected and breathtakingly beautiful without sounding like a cliché. It holds a special charm, people are friendly as in friendlier than French usually are. So, they kind of restore your faith in the nation as a whole. Their English is however not so great, so being prepared to try a bit of French gets you a long way. But for all the tasty treats like the croissants and baguettes it is definitely worth it.
Don’t miss out on Brittany’s sweet and savory pancakes filled with all things imaginable. Kids will love you for it.
A pro tip: Camping in France is generally very affordable, but we rented a small mobile home in the camp set right smack on the sandy beach that goes on for kilometers. Due to winds, rain in the mornings and everything in between – it was the right decision.
2) Singapore, Singapore
Since coming back from Singapore, I have mentioned it so many times on our blog, simply because the kids loved it the most. Stela wants to live there forever and it is one of the few places she still mentions. It is an incredibly family friendly city, safe beyond any doubt and easy to navigate if on foot or with a stroller. There are so many great things to see and experience whether you are traveling alone or with kids of any age. The food is great, the weather always nice and people very helpful.
Playground such as the one at Children’s Garden (on the photo above) get a whole different meaning in Singapore. Make sure you give kids plenty of time to indulge in them.
The only downside to this great place is of course the money. While there are free things to enjoy such as the above mentioned playground, SIngapore is expensive.
3) The Dolomites, Italy
Like the great wall in the Game of Thrones. Sorry, for this analogy – but as a big GOT fan I just couldn’t help it. Famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier called them “…the most impressive buildings in the world”. The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. Their unmistakable shape is the result of changes that have occurred over millions of years. Once the massifs were coral reefs that formed in the subtropical ocean. Over time the sea bottom lowered and the reefs raised up.
With incredible nature and historical richness this region is perfect for exploring, so take your time and keep coming back for more. Don’t worry about the kids, they too will be impressed.
To further enjoy it, skip expensive restaurants pack your lunch and throw a blanket on a perfect meadow and have yourself a relaxing picnic in the mountains.
You can reach pretty high by car, so you will not need to carry the goodies too far and then kids can run around and play in the meadows while you take a siesta on the blanket and indulge in your surroundings. Trust me it beats any restaurant.
4) Soca valley, Slovenia
My absolute favorite place in our home country. I tell my kids river Soca is magical. So, why would I tell you anything differently. There is probably a very coherent scientific explanations for the emerald green water that has been inspiring and astonishing people for decades but for the sake of the argument, let’s leave it with special powers. After countless visits its untamed beauty still takes my breath away.
On our last trip we had fun camping right on the banks of the river and its sound lulled us to sleep every night and made us rush to observe it the second we woke up. Both the region as well as the river itself offer great many activities from hiking the surrounding mountain peaks to diving right in and trying out some of the world’s best white water rafting.
Here is a list of other perfect family activities to try in Slovenia.
I again am running a risk of sounding like cliché but my first impression of Bali was actually of its people. I found them all incredible friendly and always with a smile on their face. I realize of course their lives are not easy but they don’t show it. So, to me Bali will always be an island of smiles. In all of my trips I was never on the receiving end of so many.
But Bali is also a place of great many differences. On the one side it’s a party place – traveling with two small kids we found nothing about those, on the other it is a spiritual sanctuary. It is wild with their jungles and tame on their beaches. The capital Ubud beckons you to stay further and explore. And I wish we did, but Bali for me was a paradise, a place to just relax and enjoy my family.
Take it easy in Bali and let the kids enjoy all the swimming and soaking in the water.
6) Korcula, Croatia
While Croatia has many stunning islands and seaside towns and you can’t go wrong whichever you pick, we enjoyed Korcula tremendously.
Great perk for the kids is that the legend says Marco Polo was born here. You can even visit the house he was born in.
But I find it hard to believe, as the historic fortified town on the east coast of the island of Korcula, is just too hard to leave behind.
The old part with buildings such as the Cathedral of St Mark and the Town Hall are safely guarded by the walls. And there are great many views of the inlets around it.
A Pro tip: Rent an apartment in one of the many small bays in Korcula, that way you have it almost to yourself.
7) Salzburg, Austria
Considered to be one of Austria’s prettiest cities, it impresses visitors with its remarkable exterior; baroque architecture, an imposing castle guarding the region from a steep rock and the river Salzach diving the city in two. But you can also visit it in the rain and it makes you appreciate the fact that the city, most famous for being Mozart’s birthplace, also has an interesting interior. It will keep you busy and dry.
The place is a haven for kids with so many great options and places to visit. Check out our kids’ favorite three.
A Pro tip: When traveling with kids we love to take it easy, especially when it comes to lunch. The more relaxed it is, the better. In Salzburg a great place to have a relaxed lunch is the Monastery Mülln Salzburg with its great beer garden, under the lush shade of old chestnut trees. Kids don’t need to sit still but can safely explore the surroundings and you can enjoy your glass of great beer.
8) Isle of Anglesy, Wales
I fell in love with Wales. Perhaps it was because we are very partial when it comes to the UK, or maybe it because it was our first trip as family of four. We chose the magnificent Isle of Anglesey amidst green lush pastures filled with sheep. We found and roamed the beautiful sandy beaches but lost them to the sea, which reclaimed them along with our sandy castles, much to Stela’s despair. Narrow roads with few cars were no hassle for hubbs as he could only drive in the middle not having to think which side of the road to actually take. We made daily trips around the island of Anglesey and enjoyed the perfect English weather.
Wales certainly exceeded my expectations as it has something for everyone. History buffs (me) are covered by the magnificent castles along the shore such as the one in Caernarfon, or the beautiful medieval Conwy castle where you can just feel the stories it harbors. Nature lovers (my husband) get a kick out of Snowdonia national park.
And the kids? Don’t worry. They have them covered with these 5 great family friendly attractions.
9) Lipno Lake, Czech Republic
Lipno lake in the amazing Czech Republic. We have found an apartment right on its shores and this photo captures the first glimpse of the morning. The whole region is very family friendly, with great offer of activities and many lovely towns and villages to explore. Be warned Czech Republic might seem like a fairy tale with the abundance of perfect castles, seating neatly on top of the hills, watching the small medieval villages defy the years.
Try the Lipno Treetop Walkway, it’s really great and a bit scary at times as well. Scary only for me, kids had no trouble looking down.
10) Lake Huron, Canada
The absolute highlight of our Canadian journey was the weekend stay at lake Huron. We rented a cottage, located on the shores of Bruce Peninsula. And it had everything you’d need and more to have an excellent stay. But what really give us a kick was the huge foot dock with a hot tub and a large gas barbecue. Both of which we put to a great use in the evening. We had plans to do so much when we first got there, but it was just so amazingly awesome (for the lack of a better word) that we discarded them all and just enjoyed our time around the property. We rowed, explored the neighboring town of Tobermory, took a boat trip around the area and despite being late September both of us just had to take dip in the lake.
Help us pick the winner. Where would you most like to go?