5 Ideas for memorable and affordable family vacations abroad
Too often, families assume that international travel is out of their reach. However with the U.S. dollar stronger than it’s been in years, traveling abroad could cost your family about the same - or even less - than traveling within the USA. Here’s our top picks for international family destinations this year; some may surprise you!
It’s a great time to visit America’s neighbor to the north. With the strong dollar, it’s an affordable destination with the added benefit of no language barrier and no need for visas. The country’s national park system is celebrating its 150th anniversary with free admission all yearlong. And the country boasts some real beauties like Banff National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park, where you can take a glass bottom boat to explore underwater shipwrecks in Lake Huron. Montreal, a city with a real European feel, also is marking its 375th anniversary with lots of free festivities.
Seeing the Northern Lights is a bucket lister. But did you know that the phenomena, measured by the number sunspots visible on the sun, occurs in 11-year cycles? This year marks the tailend of the current cycle. So now’s the time to be thinking about trips to Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Icelandic Air offers several non-stop flights from U.S. cities, like Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Chicago.
Want to watch those lights from the comfort of your own glass-topped igloo in Finland’s Lapland? Read our review of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
KidTripster Tip: If you’re looking for a two-fer, head to Churchill in Manitoba, Canada. In November, you can attempt to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while also seeing polar bears! It’s the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” Stay in a place like Lazy Bear Lodge or take an Arctic cruise with Adventure Canada.
If you’ve ever wanted to take the family to Paris, you probably won’t find a more affordable time to do it. Since the terror attacks in France, hotel prices have dropped by about 30%. And the crowds at world-class attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower have thinned.
Read what our KidTripster Teens like to do in Paris. Click here.
Travelers in the know have Slovenia on their lists. Yes, Slovenia! Located Central Europe south of Austria, it boasts breathtaking scenery. Lake Bled is an absolute must. The town of Ljubljana has a youthful vibe with an Italian-influenced foodie scene.
KidTripster Tip: Bee tourism is buzzing in Slovenia! You can take a tasting tour or go to beekeeper camp where you and your kids can don beekeeper suits!
We love Cambodia for families, even more so that its neighbor, Thailand. Traveling here is extremely affordable and easy, as the economy actually runs on U.S. dollars. Cambodia is rich in history from the World Heritage Site of Angkor to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. You’ll find beach resorts, family-friendly boutique hotels, and delicious Cambodian cuisine. Plus, there are countless opportunities for both family adventures and socially-responsible travel experiences. Most of all, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more gracious hosts than the Cambodian people. To read more about our top 9 reasons to visit Cambodia, click here.
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah has visited 33 countries on six continents, most of them with her children. Next stop: Antarctica!