A Family Affair

If you haven’t already booked your family summer vacation yet, here is a look at three ‘fun for all’ destinations that you might have overlooked.

Rajasthan, India
The Low-down: Translating to ‘the land of kings’, Rajasthan is India’s second largest state; it is in no shortage of adventures. It pulsates with culture, colour and utmost natural beauty. From majestic palaces and forts, sand dunes and wildlife, both kids and adults are offered the best of India.

Always an abundance of festivals and fairs, the arts and culture scene is bustling and as a family you will get to immerse in a diverse range of rich traditions. With temples dating back to the seventh century and sanctuaries sheltering varied animal and plant species, this trip is definitely for a family looking for a whirlwind of adventure.

X-Factor: No trip to North India is complete without visiting the world’s biggest ode to love, the Taj Mahal. Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the state’s capital and is full of life, busy shoppers and endless bazaars. Where else can you find elephants riding along with cars and buses on the streets?

A great treat for kids are overnight camel safaris offered by many hotels. A must visit is the Ranthambore National Park that houses some of the world’s most exotic animals. Here you can enjoy wildlife viewing, bird watching and hot air ballooning among many other exciting activities. One of its biggest attractions is the chance to see a tiger in the wild.

Best For: Culture vultures, art enthusiasts and nature adventure seekers. History lovers will get to see tales of magnificent palaces, forts and kings come to life before their eyes.

Tokyo, Japan

The Low-down: No place will have you and your family mesmerised and entertained quite like Tokyo. The modern cosmopolitan city not only comes fully packed with out of this world skyscrapers and shopping complexes, but it is steeped in history, traditions and, contrary to popular belief, some of the world’s most beautiful sceneries.

Shibuya, one of the 23 city wards of Tokyo, boasts the ultimate in shopping, entertainment and dining. A must visit for families is Tokyo Disney, which is one of the most popular theme parks in the world. As the city surges forward, shaping the world with its cutting-edge technologies, Japan remains undeniably attached to its ancient heritage and this is a sight to see!

X-Factor: For a dose of culture, the city offers a plethora of museums. The Tokyo National Museum houses the largest collection of Japanese artefacts and artworks in the world with over 100,000 pieces. The Edo Tokyo Museum takes you back in time, focusing on changes in the city’s 400-year history.

The Sony Showroom may seem like it’s geared towards the techno-loving father, but kids will have endless fun in this building. To catch a glimpse of the wildlife that Japan has to offer, the Ueno Zoo is the oldest and largest in the country. It is home to over 2,800 animals from 500 different species including the Sumatran tiger and the Western lowland gorilla.

Don’t miss the host of religious, historic and cultural sights including Asakusa Shrine and the Imperial Palace.

Best For: Tech-savvy travellers, foodies and anyone who is willing to jump into the foreign world of Japanese culture.

California, USA
The Low-down: A perfect summer destination, California offers attractions for the entire family. Boasting some of the world’s best beaches, theme parks, outdoor adventures and so much more, this trip isn’t for the fainthearted.

With a wealth of things to do, top spots include the Golden Gate Bridge, Universal Studios and Lake Tahoe ski resorts. The state is particularly beautiful this month, especially with the extravagant Cinco de Mayo celebrations and meteor shower sightings.

What better way to get a family closer together than a fully fledged road trip? Rent out a car, hit the Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy some of the best ocean views through Orange County, LA, Santa Monica and Malibu.

X-Factor: Dubbed as one of National Geographic Traveller’s 50 Places of a Lifetime, Big Sur’s beaches, mountains and redwood epitomise America’s scenic natural beauty. One destination that both kids and adults will appreciate is the Mecca of movies and stars, Hollywood.

Visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood Bowl, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre. Probably the most famous animal park in the world, San Diego Zoo features over 4,000 animals and 6,500 varieties of exotic plants including a children’s section, where kids can feed the animals.

If you are looking to escape the summer heat, the state is home to the internationally-acclaimed California Ski Resort. The adventuring family can take part in activities like skiing, snow boarding, cross country trailing and terrain parks.

Best For: California’s diverse attractions work for both travellers looking for an unforgettable adventurous trip or for families that want a laidback, lazy summer getaway.

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Yin and Yang

Rebirth and Renewal