Our little boy Jacob has just turned 2 years old. And at 2 years old, he has been to 19 countries so far. We take this guy everywhere with us. His first international trip was to New Caledonia at 5 months old. We have been to some of the major tourist locations, and some of the lesser known destinations.
Flights.com asked us to share our five favourite (and sometimes obscure) destinations for travelling with children. You will need to hop on a plane to visit these places, so make sure you are prepared for air travel with your little ones.
Malaysia is my favourite country in South East Asia. I like to call it Asia 101 as it offers the entire Asian experience, but without the craziness, scams, and touts that often characterize other Asian destinations.
Borneo is a large island located west of the main peninsula of Malaysia. But don’t let the short plane right across the ocean detract you. Borneo. Is. Amazing. It’s full of vibrant tribal cultures, delicious food, unique flora, and some of the best wildlife spotting opportunities in Asia.
In the Kinabatang region of Sabah you can see Proboscis monkeys, Macaques, Orangutans, snakes, crocodiles, elephants, and dozens of varieties of birds all in one hour long river cruise. Or if you don’t want to venture into the jungle, you can easily see birdlife, orangutans and sun bears at the various conservation centres in Sepilok.
Dig the Tropics, Australia
If your kids are like mine, then digging in the dirt is high up on their list of favourite things to do. So why not make digging in the dirt a fun and engaging educational experience. (And one that Mom and Dad will love as well.) In central Queensland, in the geologically diverse Capricorn region, you can follow a road trip route called “Dig the Tropics”. This route will take you to places where you can dig for thunder eggs, formed by ancient lava flow, look for sapphires laying on the ground, learn about the coal industry, and even look for dinosaur fossils.
Rangitoto Island, New Zealand
Rangitoto Island is New Zealand’s newest island in the Auckland gulf. Formed by a volcanic explosion, this now dormant volcanic island is a unique landscape of black volcanic rock, lava caves and unique vegetation. The island can be reached by a short ferry ride from Auckland’s harbour, and makes a great day excursion for families. There are hiking paths all around the island allowing you to explore this interesting terrain. Some highlights include hiking to the summit of the now dormant volcano and looking across to views of Auckland’s downtown, hiking to a ship graveyard, where shipwrecks stick out of the water, and exploring lava caves.
Noumea, New Caledonia
Noumea is a French oasis in the middle of the Pacific. This Pacific island is a protectorate of France and offers a unique blend of Pacific and French cultures. The capitol of New Caledonia is Noumea and this small island city is an absolutely great place to travel with kids. Pictured below is Jacob at the Noumea Aquarium, one of our favourite attractions in the city. There is also a great zoo and forest park, an interesting museum, and plenty of beaches and nearby islands to explore, swim and snorkel. There is so much for little ones to do in Noumea that we wrote a whole post about it last year.
Just a short plane journey from Europe, Cyprus is a Mediterranean island full of ancient ruins, a vibrant culture, great food, and plenty of activities for both parents and kids. It’s also a great budget destination. Paphos which is located nearby to one of the main airports is home to some stunning Greek ruins, an ancient tomb complex, the beach and for the kids – a massive water park.
The great thing about Cyrpus, is there is just as much to keep Mom and Dad happy and entertained as well. Think great food, delicious local wines, and lots and lots of history to explore.
Cyprus is also a very budget destination, making it easy on the wallet for that next family getaway.