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Need recommendations for longhaul in December with kids(9 Posts)
We don’t celebrate Christmas so we usually do a big holiday during the school break. Kids are 9 and 5. A gorgeous beach is a must but it’s a long trip so we’d like to be able to do something else too. In the past we’ve gone to the Maldives, which was a bit boring for the kids, and Thailand, which was perfect as we traveled to a few different places while we were there. Basically we’d love to travel around or stay in an interesting city for a week or so, then relax at the beach for another week. We live in the UK but we are American so we don’t want to do Florida or the Caribbean. We’ve been to Dubai and have no need to go back. We can’t handle a flight more than 12-14 hours so Australia is out. That leaves somewhere in Asia or Africa I guess but where? We were thinking maybe Vietnam? Any other suggestions greatly appreciated. Budget is generous but not totally ridiculous — think 5-star hotels and economy plus .
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
South Africa? About 11 hours overnight flight from London, no jet lag. Beautiful beaches, the Rand is super cheap making it fantastic to eat out, great food. Plenty to sightsee and do from Cape Town if you hire a car. We hired an apartment but if budget isn't an issue for you maybe nice hotel for a few days . My kids were 8 and 4 when we went and they loved it.
Around Cape Town is good, Table Mountain, penguins on beach, safari to see big 5 at Acquila for kids. Do need to stay in safe places but if you've got budget that shouldn't be an issue. We stayed in Vineyard hotel which was amazing - views of Table Mountain from pool, tropical gardens with giant turtle in, amazing breakfasts and good choice of excursions. It was pre kids so may not be the best value option with kids.
Costa Rica was also great for kids, beach was nice but not amazing, but lots of kids activities like ziplining, seeing animals in the wild, horseriding, rainforest but obviously its not in Asia or Africa.
Sri Lanka is lovely. Lots to see and do. Perfect weather at Christmas.
BELIZE - mayan ruins, howler monkey hikes through the rainforest, boat trips to view manatees, snorkelling, swimming with sharks and rays, tyre tube floats, zip lining - I could go on and on. Mine loved it. Its different and you can do what we did and stay in 3 different places over the 2 weeks - in the jungle, further north and on the main island.
Vietnam or Cambodia could work...
Vietnam is easy to travel through - could spend some time in Hanoi, and go on a Halong Bay trip for a night or 2. Then go down to Hue and Hoi An - Hue good for history and ruins and Hoi An for beaches and the very pretty town. It’s very cheap and the food is amazing - whatever you do, don’t go all inclusive, you’d miss out!!
Cambodia you could start in Siem Reap to see Angkor temples for a few days, then head to the beach and finish in Phnom Penh?
Sri Lanka is another good option. Could go up to Sigiriya / Dambulla / Kandy for culture, can get to Minneriya for elephant safari, then head to the south coast for the beach? Mirissa or Tangalle are nice. Also visit Galle Fort.
Brazil would work. You can do Rio and then down to Iguasu Falls and then to Paraty for beaches or north of Rio where there are beaches. The Amazon for wildlife is an alternative.
If you always go at Christmas, you are limiting yourselves in terms of where you can go. You can go to Peru which is brillient for children but not sure of the weather in December. No nice beaches though.
The other alternatives are Africa. A trip down the Nile. Any safari destination followed by a beach in Kenya or Zanzibar. South Africa is an excellent choice. Plenty to see and do. I highly recommend guest houses there. They have pools and are beautiful (choose the best). Highly recommended.
For what it's worth, here are some suggestions if you're looking for travel and beach (all roughly 10 hours flying):
1. Depending on your passport restrictions (being American), Cuba is an astonishing destination - you can combine a week touring Havana and Vinhales and a week on the beach,
2. The Carribean at that time is dry season, so Antigua, St Lucia, the Grenadine islands all have a combination of touring and beach
3. The Mayan coast of Mexico has some really interesting cultural tours (Mayan history) and incredible beach resorts (including America's Cup sailing races in Cozumel). Avoid Cancun.
4. You could combine a week's safari in Tanzania and a beach resort in Zanzibar
5. Goa, India is still an anachronism in that it's part of India but retains its Portuguese Catholic influence in culture, history and cuisine.
6. You can combine a tour of Jordan for a week withe a week in Tel Aviv or Eilat in Israel, giving you history, beach and a party vibe.
7. If you want something completely different away from the heat, I would recommend a luxury tour of Iceland (Northern Lights, geysers, snowmobiling on glaciers, scuba diving amongst icebergs and exploring volcanoes and an incredible social scene.
If there's anything there or somethign else you're thinking of, please let me know and I can designe a personalized itinerary for you. So many places, so little time..... .
We are off to Sri Lanka this Christmas. Great history, culture, wildlife, food. DCs are 10 & 7.
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