For family travel, bold is better
Morocco has become a popular destination for families looking to up the ante in terms of adventure. (Panoramic Images/Getty)
You can say many things about the travel industry, but it is not slow to fill a niche. Hot on the heels of glamping, staycations and a dozen other irritating neologisms is the (as yet not portmanteau’d) trend for adventurous holidays the whole family can enjoy, in destinations as diverse as Morocco, Borneo and Costa Rica.
While not new, family adventure holidays are growing quickly in popularity, and there are at least half a dozen specialists in the market. Some have been offering these trips for more than a decade, and all say demand is rising fast. There are also signs that big operators are adding adventurous elements to family holidays, for instance offering mountain-bike excursions or including surf waves on cruise ships.
The reasons are clear according to Claire Wilson, managing director of the Adventure Company, the family offshoot of Intrepid Travel: ‘Traditionally, most families have taken a bucket and spade holiday, where they’ve stayed in one resort or destination. Increasingly, families are looking for more memorable ways to spend their holiday time, with activities that they can share and enjoy together, such as travelling on a felucca down the Nile, getting up close to incredible wildlife on safari or camping out under the desert stars.’
The growth in this type of holiday can be attributed to parents’ attitudes as much as anything else. With gap years and backpacking adventures behind them, there isn’t the perception that having kids is a barrier to further explorations. That said, the security and help with planning offered by an experienced operator can help to win over a sceptical partner.
There are other advantages, says Helene Cooper, content manager at Imaginative Traveller. ‘On a small group trip, with two or more families, the kids babysit themselves and parents are happy because they get to go somewhere they’re interested in.’
This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.