Taking a family vacation is truly special. It is a time to reconnect, to grow, to bond, to learn about each other, and to experience new things together. You and your children will build memories that you will remember and recall fondly at family events forever. Getting the warm and fuzzies? Rightly so. However, the reality of family travel is not always all rainbows and sunflowers (although it can be!).
There are a lot of challenges that come with planning a vacation for the family. Taking a family tour or cruise can eliminate many of these, leaving the organisation and logistics to someone else so you can kick back and just enjoy spending time together. Itineraries are designed with the whole family in mind, so everyone will have a vacation to remember.
Europe serves up a smorgasbord of experiences that the whole family can enjoy, sans the side of stress. Here are some to consider for a stress-free family vacation to Europe.
Take a Tour of Italy
Italy is a great destination for the whole family. Cities like Rome and Florence have plenty of history and art to wow you, and there is plenty of kid-appeal in the stories of gladiators and ancient roman times. Plus, when the little ones tire of sightseeing, a pizzeria or gelato shop is never far away.
In Venice everyone will be equally impressed by the gondola rides as you wind through pretty canals and under intricate bridges, and the maze of cobblestone streets are perfect for a relaxed stroll. If cities aren’t your thing then perhaps hit the beaches of the Amalfi Coast to catch some rays while the kids swim and build sandcastles to their hearts’ content.
Tour & Island Hop in Greece
Between the olive groves and tavernas are ample historic sites, charismatic cities, and gorgeous rural towns. Perhaps start sharing stories of Zeus, Apollo, and other legends of Greek history to peak interest in your little ones before your trip, and then watch the whole family hanging on your guide’s every word as you discover the history and mythology of this intriguing country.
You can also go island hopping with the family to take in the stunning treasures of the Aegean. Wander between the white washed buildings of Mykonos, swim in crystal clear waters, and catch some incredible sunsets from the coastline of Santorini.
Explore the Coastline and National Parks of Croatia
Explore the Dalmatian Coast taking in the pristine beaches and old world charm of Croatia with the whole family. Dubrovnik and Split are perfect to uncover history and culture, while on the island of Korcula there are agritourism projects where the kids can learn about the working farms and enjoy some local produce. There’s plenty of local produce for you too (vineyard visit anyone?) and even some nice flat paths to take a family bike ride and work off your holiday treats.
If it is an active adventure that you are after, perhaps head to Paklenica National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park. With these incredibly scenic backdrops you can cycle through beech and black pine forests, go chasing waterfalls, try kayaking and white water rafting, and hike through lush forests. Postcard perfect.
Relax on a Multi-Country River Cruise
River cruising is one of the most relaxing ways to travel with the family. You only unpack once, and you have a floating ba
se that travels with you. You’ll spend less time on the road and as most cruising is done overnight, your days are filled with activities. There are also plenty of common areas onboard to either relax or play some games, and everyone will love spending time on the sun deck taking in the view.
There are designated family cruises so your fellow travelers are ready-made friends for your youngsters, and you kn
ow that the excursions and onboard activities will be suitable for the whole family. Popular itineraries include cruising the Rhine between Amsterdam and Basel, the Danube between Budapest and Nuremberg, or the Seine on a round trip from Paris.
Join a Festive Season Departure
Europe lights up like a winter wonderland over the festive season. Christmas markets are adorned with fairy lights and heavy with the scent of cinnamon, and the streets twinkle with tinsel and merriment. There are Christmas Market trips specifically designed to take in all the fun and showcase the best of the festive season in Europe.
For a truly special experience (and one the kids will never forget) perhaps take a tour of Finland that includes a stop at the Santa Claus Workshop and the chance to meet Santa Claus himself. This, along with the reindeer you’ll spot along the way, will make for the most festive Christmas you can imagine!
About Global Journeys
Global Journeys specializes in multi-day guided tours, ocean cruising and river cruises. Partnering with the world’s leading travel operators they offer their clients over 5,000 trips worldwide.