Whether you’re a devoted cyclist or a leisure rider, a wonderful way to experience a new destination is by bicycle. Cycling is more popular than ever, and the trend of exploring far-off destinations by bike is on the rise. An array of companies across the globe offer guided cycling tours of varying lengths, locations, price points, and surfaces. Here are six exceptional experiences hosted by top-notch operators, ranging from epic road rides across Europe to leisurely tours in Cajun Country and from gravel grinders in Tuscany to high-altitude mountain bike excursions in New Zealand. 

1.      Discover SE Asia by Bike 

This new cycling tour from Grasshopper Adventures is the essential discovery trip of Thailand, Cambodia and the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It includes a wide variety of dynamic riding, ranging from single-lane bike trails to remote backroads through the countryside. The itinerary includes must-sees, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Archaeological Park, the Silk Islands and Cai Rang Floating Market.

2.      Big Easy Bicycle Tour 

Cycle of Life Adventures’ New Orleans Big Easy Bike Tour includes riding the routes of the Mardi Gras Parade, exploring historic neighborhoods with lavish 300-year-old mansions, overnighting in plantation houses draped by live oaks, biking the levees on the Mississippi River Trail and pedaling along Lake Pontchartrain.

3.       Bike New Zealand’s South Island 

Get off the beaten track and into New Zealand’s wild, dramatic landscapes on a mountain bike tour of the South Island with H+I Adventures. This trip takes riders from coastal cliffs near Christchurch to the flowing singletrack of Craigieburn, the rainforest and ridgelines of the Old Ghost Road, the technical trails of Alexandra and, finally, the descents around Queenstown.

4.       Cycle from Venice to Athens 

Ride & Seek, an adventure cycling company offering itineraries that follow in the footsteps of historical figures, is thrilled to announce The Marco Polo Expedition. This epic cycling tour leads riders 1,900 km from Venice to Athens, Greece. Guests will cycle down the coast from Italy through Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece.

5.       Pedal Volcanos in Ecuador 

Ride to waterfalls, lakes and Inca ruins during the day, and stay in classic haciendas each night on a tour of the foothills around Ecuador’s Cotopaxi National Park with Adventure Life. At the end of the trip, take on the thrilling descent of Cotopaxi Volcano itself into the valley below.

6.       Gravel Tour Tuscany 

Cycle Tuscany’s historic gravel roads on a new eight-day cycling trip that crisscrosses Italy’s famous Chianti region. The trip, offered by Tourissimo and Ride & Seek, passes through medieval hilltop towns and by abbeys, wineries and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Be ready for steep climbs and winding descents when you join this trip.

Published in Adventure

 

Soak up the magic of the Matterhorn as Zermatt in Switzerland becomes the first European destination partner on theIkon Pass. Now Ikon Pass holders have access to snow at 41 global destinations across five continents.

The Matterhorn towers over more than 3,500 acres (1,416 hectares) of terrain that spans both Switzerland and Italy, offering Swiss hospitality coupled with Italian lifestyle, in the highest skiable terrain offered in the picturesque Alps. Connected lift service offers Ikon Pass holders access to Rothorn, Gornergrat and the Schwarzsee-Matterhorn glacier paradise within the Zermatt ski area, plus Cervinia-Valtournenche ski areas in Italy, collectively known as Matterhorn ski paradise.

Ikon Pass holders will have seven-day access to Zermatt and the Matterhorn ski paradise network on the Ikon Pass with no blackout dates, and five-day access on the Ikon Base Pass, also with no blackout dates.

The Ikon Pass unlocks adventure with access to 41 iconic winter destinations across the Americas, Switzerland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and is a collaboration of industry leaders – Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, SkiBig3, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Taos Ski Valley, Sugarbush Resort, Zermatt, Thredbo, Mt Buller, Niseko United, Valle Nevado, and NZ Ski. 

Published in Ski

Are you considering a family trip to Europe sometime soon?

Here: data collected by KAYAK that may inspire your family travel plans.  

-          Reykjavik reigns as the top European destination to score an airfare deal. Over half (56%) of the airports reviewed offered this Icelandic hotspot as the cheapest European destination to fly to this summer.  

-          Now may be the time to experience the Nordic Countries’ famous midnight sun phenomenon. In addition to Reykjavik, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen all appear on the list.

-          East Coasters can score the best deals. 6 of the 10 cheapest flights were in Eastern states including New York, Florida, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Find your city below: 

Cheapest European City by State

Origin State

Origin Airport

Destination City

Median Airfare (USD)

Alabama

HSV

Reykjavik

$735

Alabama

BHM

Reykjavik

$660

Alaska

ANC

Reykjavik

$693

Arizona

PHX

Reykjavik

$831

Arizona

TUS

Reykjavik

$662

Arkansas

MEM

London

$985

California

LAX

Barcelona

$614

California

SFO

Barcelona

$583

California

SAN

Copenhagen

$863

Colorado

DEN

Reykjavik

$618

Connecticut

BDL

Dublin

$682

Delaware

BWI

Lisbon

$686

Florida

MCO

London

$661

Florida

TPA

London

$661

Florida

MIA

Madrid

$550

Georgia

SAV

Amsterdam

$838

Georgia

ATL

Reykjavik

$754

Hawaii

HNL

Reykjavik

$612

Hawaii

KOA

Reykjavik

$619

Idaho

SLC

Reykjavik

$685

Illinois

ORD

Dublin

$721

Indiana

IND

Reykjavik

$720

Iowa

DSM

Reykjavik

$669

Kansas

MCI

Reykjavik

$616

Kentucky

CVG

Reykjavik

$681

Kentucky

SDF

Milan

$985

Louisiana

MSY

Reykjavik

$616

Maine

BGR

Reykjavik

$631

Maryland

BWI

Lisbon

$686

Massachusetts

BOS

Oslo

$596

Michigan

DTW

Reykjavik

$648

Michigan

FNT

Dublin

$798

Minnesota

MSP

Reykjavik

$487

Mississippi

GPT

Reykjavik

$646

Missouri

MCI

Reykjavik

$575

Missouri

STL

Reykjavik

$616

Montana

BIL

Reykjavik

$617

Nebraska

OMA

Reykjavik

$605

Nevada

LAS

London

$716

Nevada

RNO

Reykjavik

$754

New Hampshire

BOS

Oslo

$596

New Jersey

EWR

Dublin

$608

New Mexico

ABQ

Reykjavik

$635

New York

JFK

Madrid

$564

New York

BUF

Reykjavik

$616

New York

LGA

Helsinki

$523

North Carolina

CLT

Lisbon

$803

North Carolina

RDU

Reykjavik

$663

North Dakota

FAR

Reykjavik

$687

Ohio

CLE

Reykjavik

$453

Ohio

CMH

Reykjavik

$616

Oklahoma

OKC

Reykjavik

$656

Oklahoma

TUL

Reykjavik

$654

Oregon

PDX

Reykjavik

$638

Pennsylvania

PHL

Cork

$661

Pennsylvania

PIT

Frankfurt

$679

Rhode Island

PVD

Dublin

$441

South Carolina

CHS

Reykjavik

$667

South Dakota

OMA

Reykjavik

$605

Tennessee

BNA

Reykjavik

$656

Texas

AUS

London

$752

Texas

IAH

Luxembourg

$664

Utah

SLC

Reykjavik

$685

Vermont

BTV

Milan

$647

Virginia

ORF

Reykjavik

$616

Virginia

RIC

Reykjavik

$616

Washington

SEA

Manchester

$729

West Virginia

PIT

Frankfurt

$679

Wisconsin

MKE

Oslo

$694

Wyoming

BIL

Reykjavik

$617

Washington DC

IAD

Stockholm

$685

Methodology:

KAYAK considered searches on the US KAYAK site between April 15, 2018 through April 15, 2019 for travel between May 24, 2019 through September 2, 2019. All data was pulled from KAYAK’s internal database; prices may vary.

Avalon Waterways has announced  that Elizabeth Gilbert, acclaimed author of the award-winning, New York Times-bestselling EAT PRAY LOVE, will christen the Avalon Envision on the Danube River during an international ceremony this Spring in Budapest.

 “As somebody who is almost pathologically obsessed with travel and adventure, what could be more fun than being named the godmother of a beautiful riverboat? I’m honored and delighted to be part of this lovely endeavor,” Ms. Gilbert said of her godmother duties. 

“From EAT PRAY LOVE to BIG MAGIC, as an author, Ms. Gilbert has invited her readers to envision something different; a hint of a life or journey outside their comfort zone,” said Pam Hoffee, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “An inspired choice as godmother of the Avalon Envision, she has helped us embrace curiosity each day in search of extraordinary. This is something we ask our travelers to do on their journeys across the world with Avalon.”

Avalon Waterways

After the christening ceremony, the 443-foot, 166-passenger Avalon Envision will join an all Suite Ship fleet to sail the Danube River throughout 2019.

“With the addition of the Avalon Envision, there’s only one point-of-view on an Avalon Waterways cruise – the suite view,” said Hoffee.  “For the first time, our entire fleet in Europe and Southeast Asia is comprised completely of Suite Ships, each featuring our signature Panorama Suites with the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony and an inviting bed facing the ever-changing scenery on two full decks of every ship. Even seasoned travelers have never seen – or experienced – the world like this.”

Creating wider openings for the wide-eyed, Avalon Waterways’ Open-Air Balconies were designed with views in mind. A Panorama Suite highlight on all of the Suite Ships of Avalon, these wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows open 11-feet wide in Europe and 14-feet wide in Southeast Asia. Wider than any other balconies in the industry. They blur the line between outside and in while forming a comfortable and spacious seating area without compromising room space. As a result, Avalon guests can enjoy 100 percent of their Panorama Suite, 100 percent of the time.

Published in Cruise

When it comes to making travel plans, the options can be overwhelming. 

Five intrepid family travel experts add to the mix with their top picks for a memorable winter season adventure. 

White Key Villas FamilyTravel.com

Go for a Greek Getaway. 

"People tend to stay close to home with kids. But, I firmly believe in opening their hearts and minds early with further flung travel,” explained Becca Hensley, an Austin-based parent and travel and lifestyle writer.  “That doesn't mean you shouldn't have support though. You'll manage to relax, spoil yourself and hang with the family in style if you book a villa with Greek-owned, White Key Villas.”

“They're congenial and involved--and they love kids and catering to families,” adds Hensley.  “With more than 200 handpicked villas to choose from,  in destinations from Paros to Patmos, the homes are all privately owned, and vary in size and orientation. Costing the same as villas in Hawaii or the Caribbean, the Greek villas come with outstanding staff support, VIP experiences, and special treats for children.” Contact: www.whitekeyvillas.com; www.BeccaHensley.com

 Quebec City

Chill in Quebec City, Canada

“Unlike many Americans, most Canadians seem to enjoy winter — even celebrate it, “observes Rainer Jenss, founder and CEO of the Family Travel Association, an organization that advocates for 

  travel as an important part of every child’s education.“That’s why I have often packed up the car and driven north of the border with my kids — to take advantage of all the festivities in a frigid, but fun wintertime destination,” explained Runs, father of two and a New York resident.  “Winter Carnival, held every year in early February, has what every kid loves: parades, snow sculptures, shows, skating. and plenty of hot chocolate. It’s also culturally rich, since French is the predominant language, adding another dimension to the getaway for Americans .” 

Contact: https://www.quebecregion.com/en/www.FamilyTravel.org.

 duderanch.org vista verde familytravel.com

Winter on the Ranch 

Vista Verde, a Colorado guest ranch,  is a winter wonderland for families with kids of all ages, advises Nancy Schretter,  the Founder & Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network. “There are so many fun things to do there - from snow tubing and cross-country skiing to snowmobiling, snowshoeing and fat tire biking in the snow. They also have a great kids program.” 

“We went horseback riding along snow-packed trails and riding in a one-horse open sleigh ... something I always wanted to do,” added Schretter, who writes about travel from her home in Virginia. 

Downhill skiing and snowboarding are available at nearby Steamboat Ski Resort and one of the ranch's vehicles will take families there, notes Schretter. 

 Contact: www.VistaVerde.com ; www.DudeRanch.org 

 Costa Rica cloud forest

Consider Costa Rica 

“it’s my favorite destination for families who love nature and wildlife,” explains LiLing Pang the Co-founder and CEO of Trekaroo.com, an independent family travel community.

“This Central American country is safe and easy to negotiate even for those who do not speak Spanish. In a week, you could be bird watching and zip-lining in the Monte Verde cloud forest, surfing and boogie boarding along the white sand beaches of the Guanacaste region, and watching playful monkeys and sloths in the rainforest,” offers the California-based mom and entrepreneur. December through May is the dry season in Costa Rica, adds Pang, which makes exploring that much easier. 

Contact: www.VisitCostaRica.com ; www.trekaroo.com 

Susan Pohlman. FamilyTravel.com

Always Italy 

“Italy is a great family destination any time of the year,” suggests Susan Pohlman, a mother of two, who’s award-winning book 

'Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home, chronicles her family’s adventures during an unexpected sabbatical in the small town of Nervi, near Genoa, Italy. 

“Italians are all about family, so we felt welcomed at every turn,” explains Pohlman. “The food, the rich culture and history and the extraordinary landscape make for a great family experience in every season.” 

Contact: www.Italia.it;  www.SusanPohlman.com 

Published in Top Stories

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) protects and preserves significant and inspirational places around the world.  Locations carrying the important designation of World Heritage site, provide an impressive history lesson as well as a virtual tour of many of the world’s most meaningful places.

Here are six you and your family won't want to miss:

Paddling canals in Strasbourg

Strasbourg, France.

The French city’s old town is an island – the Grande Ile – circled by canals and the River Ill. Families can get a unique view of this historic enclave by paddling a canoe through the canals, including the chance to maneuver through a lock with the help of a trusted guide from Adventures by Disney and AmaWaterways. You can’t miss the city’s Gothic cathedral which rises high above Strasbourg and was said to be the world’s tallest building until 1874. Climb 320 steps to a viewing platform for a bird’s eye view. And be sure to spend time inside the cathedral, taking note of the historic stained glass windows that survived many war-torn years. Also of interest is the world’s largest astronomical clock. Considered a Renaissance masterpiece, it was assembled by a team of artists, mathematicians, and technicians,  and also shows signs of the zodiac, equinoxes, and leap years.

Contact: www.AmaWaterways.comwww.AdventuresbyDisney.com 

angkor wat heritage sites familytravel.com 

Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Family members who have seen the Tomb Raider films will particularly enjoy exploring the Angkor Archeological Park, unfolding deep within the Siem Reap province.  While hundreds of archeological and artistic temples and ancient structures remain, the most familiar (it’s on the Cambodian flag) is Angkor Wat. Built in the 12thcentury to honor Vishnu, a Hindu God, the temple's bas relief galleries inform modern visitors of life in ancient times.  Also of note is the remarkable water system, including moats, canals and reservoirs, that once provided water and crop assistance for the thriving communities. Visitors arrive via river cruises on the Mekong or a stop in Siem Riep where lodging and tours are plentiful. Contact: VikingCruises.com; TourismCambodia.com.

Amalfi Coast. Italy.  

Nirvana for artists, photographers and foodies, the picturesque coastal area offers a sensual mix of cultural, natural and historic wonders. While the small communities were once only accessible by mule, modern day train travel makes it easy to visit the enchanting towns that spill toward the sea from their steep and craggy origins. During the warmer months, sail boats dot the watery landscape and boat taxis provide additional access. Contact: RailEurope.com; AmalfiCoast.com.

Angkor wat heritage sites familytravel.com

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia.

This iconic structure, comprised of interlocking concrete shells, anchors one of the world’s most famous harbors. Visually stimulating and home to a menu of family-friendly performances and programs, the architectural trendsetter debuted in 1973. Whether you take in a walking tour and observe the opera house glinting in the sunlight or aglow after nightfall, you’ll appreciate its artistic vibe and global significance. Contact:  SydneyOperaHouse.com.

Austin Adventures Macchu Picchu

Machu Picchu. Peru.

Make your way to this extraordinary archeological site just as the Incas did. Choose from two or four day treks along the Inca Trail that culminate in stunning views of the “lost city” where palaces, terraces, walls and plazas cling to the mountainside. It was not until 1911, that a Peruvian guide led Yale Professor Hiram Bingham to the ancient site on the eastern slopes of the Andes. Mysteries remain as to how the Incas were able to construct the complex more than 500 years ago and why it was abandoned not long after. Train trips are also available from Cusco. Contact: www.AustinAdventures.comwww.FamilyAdventures.com

Taos Pueblo. Taos, NM.

Continuously inhabited for more than 1000 years, this remarkable community remains a pristine example of Native American culture, tradition and architecture. UNESCO makes note of the Pueblo Indians’ ability to retain meaningful and long held traditions despite pressure from the outside world.  Close to 1900 Pueblo Indians still live, full or part time within the community, in homes made of adobe bricks, vigas and latillas. Take a walking tour of the area and uncover a rich history, view native arts and crafts and observe a way of life rarely glimpsed in our otherwise high-tech world. Contact: (505 )758-1028; www.TaosPueblo.com; http://www.nps.gov/history/worldheritage/taos.htm

Published in Top Stories

When the school bell rings, must family travel plans come to end?  

Here are five ways to keep your family vacation dreams on track while school is in session. 

know your options

Know your options.  

Scan the school, sports and activity calendars to assess windows of opportunity. Will your children participate in multiple sports, school theatre productions or volunteer activities? Pair those results with your work and personal calendars for the best picture possible.

If you have multiple children in different schools, do their holiday and other school vacation times match up?  Do any family members have milestone birthdays, reunions or anniversary celebrations in the works that you won’t want to miss?

Once you’ve reviewed commitments and calendars you are ready to plan.

Plan a family vacation Familytravel.com

Advance planning.-

Research reveals that by planning ahead, more families will actually take much-needed and longer vacations and thus reap a multitude of personal and professional benefits.

Taking time to create a thoughtful bucket list can make it easier to plan for meaningful vacations, those that are a deliberate reflection of your values, hopes and dreams. So before you begin listing desired destinations, ask yourself what aspects of the world - geographically, spiritually and culturally - you want to share with your family.

By crafting a strategy in advance and executing early, you’ll have more flight options, your pick of tour departures, the best cabins on a cruise ship and more options in popular resort areas.

Busy families have a hard time planning a family vacation.

A day here. A week there?

It’s no secret that holiday weeks and Spring Break in popular destinations can be pricier than at other times of the year. So does it make sense to snag a few days from the school calendar to learn and experience the world outside the walls of the classroom?

That’s a decision only parents can make given the requirements of individual schools, the temperaments and needs of each child and the cost benefit analysis of each opportunity. If you do decide to travel while school is in session, you’ll find fewer crowds, better prices and expanded options. 

Get outdoors with the kids

The vacation mindset.

The true value of a family vacation has less to do with boarding a snazzy cruise ship or checking in to a faraway resort. It’s more about the quality of a shared experience. So when time is short, make the most of the hours you do have available and put your plan on the calendar.

Go fishing, hiking or horseback riding for a day. Visit a water or theme park.   Spend the night at a nearby hotel. Camp in a state park or even your own backyard and enjoy the mini- getaway. 

family sabbatical 

A family sabbatical.

For those who would like to travel deeper, learn a new language, immerse in a culture or simply see the world with the kids while they can, a longer adventure may fit the bill. Consider spending the months ahead planning a lengthy holiday – weeks, months or even a year - with the kids. Consider an adventure that may involve road schooling, financial reconfiguration, the disposition of some belongings and some rigorous map study. Many who have chosen this path, report that the transformative experience was well worth upsetting the family apple cart. 

Published in Top Stories

Warm up with a sun-drenched and relaxing family getaway. From Costa Rica to California to the Caribbean, these experiences will tempt you to begin packing....right now. 

 Four Seasons Costa Rica #FamilyTravel

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagaya.

Seamlessly integrating the Peninsula’s vibrant landscape with the amenities of a contemporary eco-luxury hotel, the Forbes Five-Star luxury, 182-room resort has recently reopened, revealing the results of an imaginative $35 million renovation.

Tap into the “pura vida” lifestyle (it's for real) and choose from a long list of adventure, spa, fitness and wellness opportunities served up in a relaxed and welcoming indoor-outdoor environment. Access kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis from the beach or relax by one of several pools that overlook the volcanic sand beach areas.

For a family-friendly introduction to the exotic fauna and flora of Costa Rica take a guided tour of the Trail of the Giants, a scenic adventure that showcases the region’s birds, monkeys, iguanas, butterflies and giant trees while providing jaw dropping views of the resort’s Arnold Palmer golf course and the Pacific Ocean. The Kids For All Seasons club features a kid-sized pool and junior lounge chairs as well as a range of immersive programs to entice the youngest guests. 

Contact: https://www.fourseasons.com/costarica/

Hotel Del family travel

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California

A family favorite, this iconic Victorian gem is the crown jewel of one of the most popular beach vacation spots in the United States. The long, wide stretch of sand provides easy access to the water and thus the perfect home base for your family’s seaside activities. Get out the boogie boards, issue a beach volleyball challenge, take surfing lessons, learn the secrets of mermaid fitness or join a clambake. Top-notch children’s and teen programs and spa options are also available. You’ll create your own family history in this legendary beach destination.

Contact: www.Hoteldel.com  

royal caribbean family travel

Set sail with Royal Caribbean.

You’ll find plenty of family adventure onboard the megaships headed for the sun-drenched Caribbean waters. Snap a selfie with your favorite Dreamworks characters or test your skills on the rock-climbing wall. Go ashore and enjoy water sports and cultural outings. Push your limits on the longest zip line over water, test your skills on the Flow Rider surf simulator and take in high-diving, and acrobatic performances at an outdoor AquaTheatre. There is entertainment for every age group, an array of dining options to suit every taste and the option to relax by the pool with your favorite book. Check for special savings on last minute departures. Contact: www.RoyalCaribbean.com.

Fairmont del mar family travel

Del Mar, CA.

Immerse your family in Old World, Mediterranean-inspired luxury when you check into the family-friendly, 249-room Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Lounge aside one of four heated pools, check out the equestrian center, sign up for a guided hike into the adjacent canyon preserve, or consider a mother-daughter spa treatment. Get in the swing of things on the Tom Fazio-designed golf course or pile into the free shuttle for a day at the beach.

For an extraordinary dining experience, indulge in an adults-only evening at Chef William Bradley’s Addison, Southern California’s only five-star, five-diamond restaurant. It's an experience you will long remember and be eager to tell your foodie friends about. 

Contact: www.fairmont.com/san-diego/ ; www.addisondelmar.com 

hawks cay family travel

Hawk’s Cay Resort, Duck Key, FL.

While some parts of this popular family resort may still be recovering from hurricane damage, guests eager to return to this sunny stretch in the Florida Keys can take advantage of up to 30 percent discounts for stays in resort villas. The Can’t Wait Rate includes access to Coral Cay, the kid’s activities center, where a putting course, the wet and wild Pirate Ship pool and a long list of other activities will be available. The spa, boat ramp and Angler & Ale waterfront restaurant will also be open. Families can also check out the dolphin research facility, learn to stand up paddleboard, go fishing or explore the underwater world with a snorkel. Sounds like a great family vacation!

Contact: www.hawkscay.com

Published in Resorts

One of the hottest trends in travel is EAT vacations. We’re not talking about tours with celebrity chefs. Rather, families are looking for trips that provide memorable Experiences, real Adventure and Transformative moments. 

Here are five ideas that may fit the bill.

Visit Palau for family travel

1. Discover Palau.

Located in the westernmost corner of Micronesia, Palau, an archipelago of more than 586 islands, consistently ranks as one of the world's best dive destinations. Pay off for the lengthy travel time includes 1,450 species of fish, 500 species of coral as well as rare sharks and stingrays.

You may have heard about the opportunity to snorkel amidst the moon and golden jellies of Jellyfish Lake. For now, the lake is closed to snorkelers while the environment recovers from complications of drought. It is still possible to hike around the 12,000-year-old marine lake where scores of gelatinous creatures waft through the water following the arc of the sun.

When not diving, snorkeling or kayaking through the turquoise waters tap into the country's considerable WWII history that incudes sunken ships and planes.

Contact: www.Visit-Palau.com ; www.FamilyDivers.com


visit Cambodia Angkor wat familytravel

Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Fans of the Tomb Raider film series will particularly enjoy exploring the Angkor Archeological Park, unfolding deep within the Siem Reap province. While hundreds of archeological and artistic temples and ancient structures remain, the most familiar (it’s on the Cambodian flag) is Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century to honor Vishnu, a Hindu God, the temple's bas relief galleries inform modern visitors of life in ancient times.

Also of note is the remarkable water system, including moats, canals and reservoirs, that once provided water and crop assistance for the thriving communities. Visitors arrive via river cruises on the Mekong or a stop in Siem Riep where lodging and tours are plentiful.

Contact: www.VikingCruises.com ; www.TourismCambodia.com.

May your way into the Colorado backcountry. Huts.org familytravel

Choose your backcountry.

For an EAT trifecta, establish a pure connection with nature, off the beaten path. Hike, paddle or float into a pristine location where your family can learn or hone their wilderness skills. Choose a destination suitable for the ages and abilities of your crew. Encourage each person to take responsibility for the adventure whether that is early research, carrying a small pack, collecting kindling or serving as master storyteller around the fire.

For the youngest set, get started with an overnight in the backyard or a nearby park. That way, should the weather or unforeseen forces create a kink in your plan, warm and dry shelter is nearby.
Contact: www.Backcountry.com; www.NPS.gov  ; www.Huts.org

Dali with kids familytravel.com

The Dalí Museum. St. Petersburg, FLA 

The budding artist in your clan will be transformed by a visit to this 66,450-square-foot museum that houses the most comprehensive collection of Salvador Dali’s works in the world. Enjoy the priceless collection of masterpieces, paintings, photographs, watercolors and books sure to inspire the whole family.

Younger children will enjoy the “Dillydally with Dali” program offered daily, which includes puzzles, games, story hour and creative expression. Be there on the first Saturday of the month, for Breakfast With Dali, a morning that includes a junior-focused tour, followed by a buffet breakfast. Children under five are admitted free.

Contact: www.TheDali.org ; www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com

Boundary waters canoe trip familytravel.com

Boundary Waters Canoe Trips. Ely, MN.

Ease your canoes into the pristine water and look forward to peaceful days of paddling amidst a sparsely populated, one million-plus acre expanse of wilderness. Listen to the waves lapping against the shoreline and the haunting lullaby offered by local loons as you drift to sleep in one of 2,000 secluded campsites that dot the lake region. Wake to the sounds of birds chirping in the birch trees and enjoy breakfast over a campfire. Then set out to explore more of the 1,500 miles of canoe routes that crisscross the waterways.

Contact: www.boundarywatersoutfitters.com  www.ExploreMinnesota.com.

 

 

 

Published in Adventure

Editor's Note: Teddy Hayes took a break from collegiate studies to spend six months in Ecuador learning Spanish, salsa dancing, volunteering and traveling. He spent time bunking with family friends who were in the midst of a year long Ecuadoran adventure. Their goal: to provide their two young children the taste of another culture.  

Published in Travel Essays