So you’ve taken the grandchildren camping, you’ve been to Disneyland and maybe Hawaii, but where to
next? The world is full of fabulous family destinations—places where grandparents can spend quality time with their grandchildren and make the kind of memories that last forever.
With that in mind, Live and Invest Overseas offers you our list of top picks of vacations to take with your grandchildren…
1. Bocas Del Toro, Panama
While many people think of Bocas Del Toro as a backpacker hotspot, this beautiful Panamanian archipelago has more than enough to keep the entire family interested. Kids will love swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and spotting sloths. Watching marine turtles emerge from the ocean in the dark of night is a magical experience for young and old alike, and there are enough trekking and sailing options to keep you happily occupied for weeks. When everyone is activitied out, you can blob on the beach. Perfecto.
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
If your little ones are animal lovers, consider a trip to Chiang Mai in Thailand’s beautiful north. Patara Elephant Park is a wonderful place for children, who will learn how to feed and bathe the elephants. You’ll also have fun looking for monkeys in one of Chiang Mai’s national parks or munching on fried grasshoppers at the night market.
Visit in April and the kids can be part of the biggest water-fight in the world, the annual Thai New Year festival, Songkran. The water is symbolic of cleansing, and be warned—no one is safe!
Your grandchildren will be welcome everywhere here. Thais are famous for their love of children, and there is a wide range of family-friendly hotels available for every budget.
3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
There may not be a better place on earth to take your grandchildren than Ecuador’s famous Galapagos Islands. A trip to this eco-paradise is an adventure and learning experience rolled in to one. Teaching your grandchildren the value of protecting the environment is infinitely easier with the help of giant tortoises, friendly penguins, and enormous dragon-like lizards.
Most Galapagos trips are seven-day cruises on small ships, and a number of operators offer family tours with plenty of specially designed children’s activities.
4. The Dominican Republic
Sometimes everyone just needs to chill out. If you’re looking for a laid-back break with plenty of time to relax, consider a kid-friendly, all-inclusive resort in the gorgeous Dominican Republic. You can splash in the pool, explore the beach, jump off waterfalls (…or take pictures of the kids jumping off waterfalls), share seafood lunches under sun umbrellas, and best of all, when Grandma and Grandpa have exhausted themselves, there’ll still be plenty of fantastic activities to keep the grandchildren busy at the resort Kid’s Club.
5. Paris, France
Euro Disneyland aside, Paris might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of travelling with children. But in fact, combining senior discounts with children’s prices can make France a much more affordable option—and the City of Light has plenty to offer both the young and young at heart. Top of the list is Aquarium de Paris – Cinéaqua, which augments a traditional aquarium with the magic of cinema. Children will love seeing sharks up close in the shark tunnel and stroking the friendly sturgeons in the petting pool.
Puppet shows and pony rides are de rigueur at the famous Luxembourg Gardens, and it’s also worthwhile heading east to the enormous Bois de Vincennes, where you can hire a rowboat, visit a medieval castle, or stop in at the petting zoo.
6. Vilanova, Spain
Spain is a very popular holiday spot during the European summer, but the Catalan town of Vilanova, less than an hour from Barcelona, manages to avoid the spotlight and is much more relaxed than surrounding towns as a result. Vilanova is a perfect vacation spot for slightly older children. The fascinating Museu-biblioteca Victor Balaguer has collections of Roman and Egyptian artifacts (including the mummy of a small girl), and the long central promenade of the town is ideal for an easy bike ride. The beach is safe for children, with no rocks or waves and a very gentle incline, and an amusement park, Port Aventura, and water park are just a short drive away.
If you fancy venturing in Barcelona, trains leave four times an hour.
Tourists love romantic Argentina for the wine, the steak, and the tango, but this energetic South American country is also a fabulous option for grandparents seeking an active vacation with older children. A horse riding trip in Patagonia or Cordoba offers stunning scenery, an insight in to the intriguing gaucho culture, and a chance to learn about, and bond with, horses. Trips can be customized to suit the fitness and experience of each group.
Sunny Belize is a brilliant place to share an adventure with your grandchildren. Just a short flight from the United States, this beautiful English-speaking country offers sandy beaches, Mayan ruins, and rain forests.
If you’re up for the challenge, you can rappel down waterfalls, explore caves, raft rapids, visit ancient temples, kayak, snorkel, swim, and hike. If you need recovery time, Belize is also home to great—and surprisingly affordable resorts.
9. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, in central Turkey, is the kind of place that might be imagined by Dr. Seuss. Dating back more than 4,000 years, the intriguing Anatolian landscape is characterized by the soft stone “fairy chimneys” that rise from the ground and hint at the world below.
Some of the underground cities of the Cappadocia region are home to up to eight stories of tunnels and caves, as well as all manner of churches, museums, and frescoes. Above ground it’s considered one of the best places in the world to take a hot-air balloon ride.
And after all—who wouldn’t want to stay in an underground cave hotel?
Mexico is a popular vacation destination for families from the United States, but forgo the usual all-inclusive resorts and you and your grandchildren could find yourselves on a trip of a much more memorable kind…
Visit Xcaret Conservation Park, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, and get cheek to cheek to with dolphins, snorkel along an underground river, and break out some moves with a local dance troupe. And while you’re in the Yucatan, take a trip to Chichen Itza. The 600 stone buildings that make up the Mayan ruin are considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Older children will be astounded by the Mayans’ grasp of architecture, astronomy, technology, and art.