For some folks, travel is about pure relaxation – the chance to get away and do nothing. Of course, once these folks have kids, they realize there’s no such thing as a relaxing day at the beach.

So here’s a potential alternative that can enable you to have fun, explore a new place and – most importantly, perhaps – keep the kids busy.

Family adventure travel.

Adventure travel is defined by the Adventure Travel Trade Association as “a tourist activity that features physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature.” Usually, people think of a nature-oriented trip when they think of adventure travel. And that can be great for young adults who want to challenge themselves. But what about young families looking for something more exhilarating than schlepping 200 pounds of equipment from the beach house to the beach?

For those families there is the emerging trend of family adventure travel – explorations that challenge you, get you back to nature, and are specifically designed for families with children. There are packages that can take you to the wilds of Africa, the mountains of Asia or the islands of the Caribbean.

Here is a checklist of what the best family travel adventures offer:

  • Exploration – The point of an adventure vacation is to dive into a destination and discover what it’s all about, whether it’s the local wildlife or the local culture. A great travel adventure should be an educational experience that your kids — and you — never forget.
  • Exhilaration – This is not a week spent reading in a hammock. There could be some physical exertion, some new experiences, and even some thrills.
  • Safety – Some adventure travel can take you right to the edge – or even past the edge – of danger. When your children and maybe their grandparents are involved, safety becomes a key consideration when planning the trip. So if you’re headed up the side of a mountain, take the easier route.
  • Togetherness – The point of this trip is to be together, whether on a raft in the rapids or on the same rope headed up a mountain. The best adventure vacation will keep you together while you’re at your destination, and for years to come as you relive the experience.
  • Accommodation – A family adventure vacation has to fit the whole family. If it’s too dangerous, or beyond the athleticism of the family, that’s an obvious problem. And if it pushes too hard without breaks, that brings the whole thing crashing down. Don’t be the overzealous Type-A dad who pushes his kids past the breaking point. It’s supposed to be fun.

About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit

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