Tired of going back to the same few places for your family holidays? Instead of the usual vacation spots, try venturing just a little further off the beaten path to other family-friendly destinations. We have 5 suggestions for alternative cities to visit within the same popular regions.
Australia: Tasmania instead of Perth
For an idyllic family vacation Down Under, the destinations that come to mind are probably Perth or Gold Coast. But if you’re looking for a little more adventure, head to the island of Tasmania. Be thrilled by native and exotic wildlife at Seahorse World and Bornorong Wildlife Sanctuary, or explore Hastings Caves to admire the majestic limestone formations and take a dip in the thermal pool.
To get to Tasmania, you’d need to take a ship from Melbourne, which gives you the bonus experience of a cruise holiday. You can rent a car and drive directly on and off the ship, making it much easier when travelling with kids. While there’s a restaurant on the ship, you might want to bring along your Thermos® Food Jar to cook or tabao (takeaway) a more wholesome meal for your toddler before boarding.
China: Xiamen instead of Beijing
Xiamen may not be as glitzy as Beijing or Shanghai, but the picturesque port city is a rising creative hub that offers a great mix of urban and laidback vibes. Being in the Fujian province means you should feel at home with the dialect and cuisine, which includes favourites like popiah, peanut soup, and oyster omelette, albeit with a local twist. The Fujian connection also means you’d find familiar Taiwanese snacks, like pineapple pastries and nougat. There’s even a whole street dedicated to Taiwanese food!
For entertainment, there’s a firefly park and safari park for budding wildlife explorers, as well as a science and technology museum. You could also plan a day trip to the offshore islet Gulangyu, where you’d find charming little shops along cobblestone streets selling handicrafts and delicious street food.
Japan: Kyushu instead of Osaka
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities, like Osaka and Tokyo, to enjoy life at a slower pace on Japan’s southernmost island. Your itinerary can be filled with fun activities, like savouring authentic tonkotsu ramen in Fukuoka, taking dips in the 1,200-year-old onsen in Saga, admiring the grandeur of volcanic Mount Aso, feasting on Kurobuta pork in Kagoshima, petting capybaras at the Nagasaki Bio Park, and experience a replica Dutch village at Huis ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo.
Note that Kyushu has a warmer climate than other parts of Japan, so make sure your family packs their Thermos® One-Push Tumblers and Thermos® Straw Bottles in their luggage.
UK: Edinburgh instead of London
Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the British Museum are all places you should visit once in your life, but if you’re already been to London, you should head north for a change and explore Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Named the first UNESCO City of Literature, the hilly, cobblestone-covered town is known for its cultural importance as the base for many famous authors, including JK Rowling. You can enjoy a cuppa at the very same café where she began writing the Harry Potter series, and take a stroll in the nearby Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, where she found inspiration for character names, such as Thomas Riddle.
For older kids, a ghostly tour around the underground vaults will prove to be a memorable experience, while the younger ones would enjoy a trip to the Edinburgh Zoo.
Portugal: Porto instead of Lisbon
Gaining popularity among holidaymakers looking for a Mediterranean getaway without the hefty price tags of Italy, Greece or Spain, Portugal is a great place to visit with the whole family. But instead of flying to the capital city of Lisbon, try venturing a little north to Porto. While they are both hilly coastal cities with exquisite scenery and local fare, Porto seems to always be ever so slightly overlooked even though it houses a UNESCO World Heritage site.
One of the best ways to experience the city is onboard the river cruise, or on foot to explore the many colourful street art plastered across the city. For day activities, a visit to the Zoo Santo Inácio is sure to delight the kids, especially when they get to walk through a glass corridor in the middle of the lion enclosure.