Alaska Tordrillo Mountain Lodge
© Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

5 unique travel ideas for a family vacation 2022

The year 2022 is all about the extraordinary: These five travel ideas for parents and their children will ensure that the next family vacation is something very special.

April 1, 2022

Mallorca, Lake Garda or Crete - beautiful, but already seen everything? In 2022, we'll be setting out on new paths on our family vacation: In the cenotes in Mexico, we'll enter magical cave pools together, while in Sardinia we'll find ourselves in the midst of a herd of wild horses. The largest aquarium in Asia in Japan gives us pause in awe, as does the sight of gigantic glaciers in Alaska - and in Kenya we follow the tracks of wild animals in the savannah.

In these Five destinations families experience great things. And collect memories that will connect forever.

Snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico? Family vacations can be this exciting. © Shutterstock

1. the big five: on safari in kenya

Best time to visit: December to March
Who for: Culturally open families with children from 6 years of age
What: Safari, Wilderness, Culture

Joyfully and somewhat reservedly, the children stroke the coarse skin of a gentle giant, while the adults' hearts leap as they watch a leopard gracefully stride across the savannah, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of a giraffe just dining from treetops. This is the adventure of safari. And it's much more family-friendly than you might think at first glance.


Gentle giants: The first encounter with an elephant is magical. © andBeyond

Various providers offer safe trips in Africa's wilderness, planned from A to Z. Not only the children will rave about these experiences for weeks and years to come! For example, the andBeyond WILDChild Children's program is especially great; designed specifically for kids of different ages. While the little ones read tracks, make their own bow and arrow or Zulu beads, parents go on age-appropriate safari tours, help out with animal conservation projects or dive into Africa's underwater world. Also, the South African award-winning travel company Go2Africa has been taking traveling families on tours into the wilderness since 1998, for example with his Kenya Big 5 & Rhino Tracking Safari.

Recommended reading: These are the 5 most beautiful safari parks in Africa.

Family vacation with culture and adventure in the savannah of Kenya. © andBeyond

2. culture and far east: Japan

Best time to visit: January - June
Who for: Curious families with children 5 years and older
What: Culture, city, nature

The country is still considered an insider's tip for family vacations - yet Japan, between historical culture and future-oriented technology, is an excellent destination for the whole clan. And not only because the people here are extremely child-friendly - also in terms of sights and experiences, the island nation offers something suitable for every age group. 

Kultur Japan

Experience the Far East and get to know the world of geishas: Japan turns a family vacation into a cultural adventure. © Cosmin Georgian

Exciting museums stand side by side with theme parks, and spectacular landscapes stretch out all around, leaving both five-year-olds and mid-forties in awe. In terms of taste, you can be open to new things in Japan, from the classic bento boxes, which are sure to please the whole family as a snack during the day, to authentic cuisine in the izakayas, which are more suitable for older children. The luxury travel provider away from it all, for example, takes the whole clan on a gourmet tour to the land of smiles.

The Shinkansen train takes you across the entire country at lightning speed: from the tropical beaches of Kyūshūs to the mystical Fushimi-Inari-Taisha shrine in Kyōto. From Asia's largest aquarium, the Kaiyukan, you travel straight to the heart of the Odaiba entertainment district in the bay of Tokyo. One thing is clear: In Japan, you can get around as quickly as you can comfortably - with the whole family.

In Tokyo, you'll drive through cherry trees in bloom until April - but the city is worth visiting in other ways, too. © Kristin Wilson

3. wilderness adventure: Alaska

Best time to visit: mid-June to mid-September
Who for: Sports and adventure-loving families with children aged 14 and over.
What: Wilderness, sports, adventure

Trees as tall as houses, idyllic river landscapes and mountain scenery that takes our breath away: Alaska is the epitome of wilderness. And certainly the last place you'd think of for a family vacation. Yet that's what makes the northernmost state in the U.S. so perfect for this. Young people in particular are often not in the mood for "dull sightseeing with mom and dad". Alaska offers - besides unique Instagram motifs, which are highly prized by young and old alike - the family the opportunity to embark on an adventure together. Something that immensely strengthens bonds.

© Alaska Todrillo Mountain Lodge

The glacier panorama of Alaska will not be forgotten so quickly - impressive. © Alaska Todrillo Mountain Lodge

Alaska's nature is particularly impressive in the Tordrillo Mountains on the west coast of Cook Inlets. Hundreds of glaciers and the highest mountains in North America have gathered here in breathtaking solitude and inspire outdoor aficionados in summer and winter. Forty minutes by plane from Anchorage, situated on the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake, the luxurious Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is the ideal starting point for the family adventure Alaska.

The program is varied and gets the pulse racing, both from exertion and excitement: Helicopter rides over rugged, snow-covered ranges and glaciers. You pay a personal visit to huge, ancient ice giants. And after a nerve-wracking climbing tour, you dare to take a soothing plunge into crystal-clear mountain lakes. A Once-In-A-Lifetime Vacation!

Alaska climbing adventure: an unforgettable family experience. © Brandon Cole

4. reefs and ruins: Mexico

Best time to visit: January - June
Who for: Families who love variety, with children from 6 years of age
What: jungle, beach, culture

An almost undeniable fascination grips us at the thought of Mexico. The country can boast with paradisiacal sandy beaches just as much as tropical Rainforestsfrom which a daily concerto of monkey cries and birdsong emanates. In between, ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins bear witness to the golden age of Mesoamerica. Not to mention the excellent cuisine, to which even small gourmets will not say no! If you get lost here with your family, you will surely return soon.

Recommended reading: This is how beautiful the Pacific coast of Mexico is.

Tulum in Mexiko

In Tulum, Mayan ruins stand between palm trees and a sandy beach - those who spend their family vacation here experience the best of both worlds. © Anna Sullivan

From palm-fringed dream beaches, you can take a boat out into the blue expanses, for example to the fabulous Great Blue Hole, an epic undersea doline in the Pacific Ocean, not far from Belize. If adventure drives you into the Yucatán jungle, dive with your family into the crystal-clear waters of a mystical cenote - highlights include the Kankirixche, the Chihuo Hol and Pixya. And the abandoned ruins of Chichén Itzá, Tulum or Teotihuacan should also be seen. The kids will proudly tell about this even years later. With the tour operator Pelorus, which specializes in family vacations, you can take a Combi trip from Belize to Mexico to experience the highlights of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Travelers to the Atlantic coast experience the diversity of the nearshore underwater world while diving in the Gulf of California. It is not for nothing that Jacques Coustaeau once called these waters "The World's Aquarium."

The cenotes in Yucatán are magical places. © Shutterstock

5. family vacation between sea and wild horses: Sardinia

Best time to visit: January - June
Who for: Beach and nature loving families with children of all ages.
What: Beach, nature, island idyll, wild horses

Not so far away, but quite spectacular: Sardinia! The most beautiful way to see the Italian island is on a round trip by car. Especially for families with smaller children, the "Caribbean of the Mediterranean" is the ideal destination. And not just because of the turquoise, almost transparent water and the fine, white sandy beaches, which are perfect for days spent together by the sea and industrious sandcastle builders.

Inspiration: These are the 5 most beautiful beaches in Sardinia.

Horses in the meadow of Asinara island, Sardinia.

Wild horses grazing in Sardinia - a real sight to see. © Shutterstock

Cagliari - just waiting to proudly display its colorful house fronts - is perfect for leisurely strolls through charming medieval alleys. At every corner the smell of fresh espresso and sweet papassini or amaretti wafts up to the noses of strollers and tempts them to linger. A trip inland belongs on every bucket list: Archaeological sites are scattered all over the island, and the nuraghi, prehistoric tower buildings in the area of Bari Sardo, are particularly beautiful.

And then it's off to see the wild horses on the Giara di Gesturi plateau. Having a picnic in the shade, you can watch the animals grazing peacefully or galloping freely across the plain. Back on the coast, the small bay of Monte Turno proves to be the perfect swimming spot for young children. And Sardinia has plenty else up its sleeve for families - from boat trips and bike tours on La Maddalena to a visit to the beautiful stalactite cave Grotte di Nettuno near Alghero.

Recommended reading: These are the 10 most beautiful hotels in Sardinia.

Beach, culture and wild horses: Sardinia is the perfect destination for those who don't want to fly too far, but still crave special experiences. © Shutterstock

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