Family Sojourns

As much as you dread this time of the year, one can’t ignore the growing excitement in the air as its time for summer getaways. Here are some destinations that might help bring the mercury down.

South Africa
From penguins on the beach to the ‘big five’, the land of Proteas is a great choice for a family vacation. The country that Nelson Mandela changed forever is home to mind-blowing diversity of travel experiences.

July_2014_Travel-02South Africa has an amazing climate, fabulous beaches, friendly people, great food, fascinating cultures and wildlife. Here is one place in the world where your child can ride an elephant, feed an ostrich, walk with penguins, dance with Zulus, learn about life in the townships and villages and even pet a lion cub. And with hotel rates down by eight per cent, it’s attracting many visitors this year.

If watching wild beasts are on top of your agenda, head to Kruger National Park, one of the best on the continent. Beach lovers have a lot in store in Cape Town where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. The Atlantic side is great for sunbathing and beautiful sunsets. Swimmers and surfers should head to the eastern beaches.

Eastern Europe
Cities like Paris, Rome and Zurich are some of the most obvious locations that come to mind when you think of Europe. But the much forgotten Eastern half of the continent offers a bevy of travel options.

July_2014_Travel-03From architecture, art and culture, history, shopping and entertainment, these small countries will leave you charmed. Prague is a great place to start; then we suggest you make a road trip out of this one, charting your own route and stopping at leisure.

Traverse along to the cultural hub Tallinn in Estonia, the galleries of Budapest, cafés and markets of Belarus or head to the Julian Alps at Slovenia’s dramatic northwest frontier with Italy. Make sure to visit the incredibly scenic Vrši? Pass here.

The long days of European summer remain full of activity; the cities are alive during the after hours. The hotels are great and relatively cheaper. You’ll always find great food, entertainment, weather and people.

New Zealand
This country offers a lot more than the breathtaking scenery you have seen in The Lord of the Rings movies. While you might not spot any hobbits, there are plenty of discoveries in store for your family.

July_2014_Travel-04You could walk on some of the most amazing beaches or explore a parrot-filled jungle with its own glacier. Enjoy a day at a high country sheep station, where you can check on baby lambs and watch the sheepdogs do their work or take a jet boat ride on the Dart River.

You’re in for a variety of experiences from the metropolitan hustle-bustle of Queenstown to the tranquillity of Northland. Even though its winter, Bay of Plenty has wonderful thermal areas to enjoy, in addition to kayaking and white-water rafting.

Adults can enjoy the produce of some award-winning wineries, some of the most scenic walks on earth and fine shopping. Witnessing the biodiversity of the region would be great for kids.

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