Family Adventures

A whole generation of globetrotting backpackers from the 1980s and 1990s now have young families. Rather than shred their passports and settle for the odd week with the grandparents, they also want adventure and unusual places – everything, in fact that they had before, except with youngsters in tow.

Eagerly meeting this demand are several adventure tour operators with dedicated family programmes offering everything from a fortnight in Borneo travelling by longboat to visit Iban headhunters to a week in Egypt sailing down the Nile. Relaxed in the knowledge that a reputable tour operator has taken care of all technical and safety issues, you can take your tribe whitewater rafting in Nepal, horse riding in Iceland, canyoning in Croatia or sea kayaking in New Zealand. The world has become an enormous adventure playground where kids can sample tamed-down versions of all the things that got their parents whooping it up 20 years earlier.

The thrills and spills may be the lure of these trips, but school-age children will also absorb a huge amount of educational value from them. They’ll interact with children from other cultures and learn firsthand about efforts to save endangered wildlife. They’ll expand their palettes as well as their minds and they pick up a new skill or two, whether it’s how to speak a few words of Spanish or haggle in a Turkish bazaar.

Usually, the minimum age for family adventure trips is around five or six, but you can also find tours suitable for children as young as two. Others, meanwhile, are reserved exclusively for teenagers.

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