A person zip lining above a tropical rainforest canopy in Costa Rica.

Expeditions blog

Five family expedition experiences you’ll never forget

A family holiday is one of the best ways to connect with your loved ones, spending quality time with one another as you experience the wonders of our world. If you’re looking to create memories to last a lifetime, there’s no better place to start than with one of our carefully curated family journeys.
December 1, 2022

A family holiday is one of the best ways to connect with your loved ones, spending quality time with one another as you experience the wonders of our world. If you’re looking to create memories to last a lifetime, there’s no better place to start than with one of our carefully curated family journeys.

Delivered in partnership with G Adventures and led by local guides specially trained to engage younger travellers, these trips capture the essence of National Geographic. Journeys of discovery, exploration and education, they aim to inspire a whole new generation of adventurers through enlightening experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations.

From sumo wrestling lessons in Japan to opportunities to become a junior ranger at the Yellowstone National Park, children will be able to engage with new cultures in highly immersive ways. Our dedicated Family Trip Specialists are perfectly placed to help you plan your trip, while local experts will ensure you make the most of each destination, so your only focus is on enjoying these precious family moments.

Explore five of our top experiences for families looking to broaden their horizons:

1. Zip-lining through the forests of Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica

Best for: budding scientists

A destination known for championing its homegrown biodiversity, Costa Rica’s smouldering volcanic peaks, dense green forests and white-sand beaches will bring a whole new meaning to science and geography lessons.

For the past few decades, Costa Rica has been pioneering environmental policies and sustainable action. Perhaps the best way for younger visitors to immerse themselves in the tangible passion for ecotourism is by zipping at speed through the vast green forests of Rincon de la Vieja, flying past giant blue butterflies and sloths hidden in the trees.

In nearby Monteverde, you can discover the forest’s nocturnal residents with local naturalists and learn about the reforestation efforts underway at the Monteverde Institute, a research and educational organisation supported by National Geographic.

Then, our Costa Rica family journey takes you down to the Gold Coast, where the picturesque beaches and plentiful surfing opportunities of the Pacific Ocean will be a sure hit with adrenaline-hungry teens.

2. A hands-on Second World War history lesson in Bayeux, France

Best for: an on-location education

The magnitude of the Second World War may be hard to grasp for some young minds, but a trip to the French city of Bayeux can be a truly eye-opening experience into soldiers’ lives.

An immersive experience that allows youngsters to climb aboard military vehicles, suit themselves up with field jackets and delve into the clandestine operations behind the scenes, it will leave all family members with a renewed respect for these forces. Our France family journey also lets you tick off some classic French experiences, from climbing at the Eiffel Tower to exploring the home and gardens that inspired impressionist pioneer Claude Monet.

A river winds through rice fields in Tam Coc, Ninh Binh in Vietnam.

3. A boat trip down the Ngo Dong River, Vietnam

Best for: all-round exploration

For a family experience that plunges you into a whole new world, board one of the traditional sampan boats that snake along the mist-shrouded pond-green river of Ngo Dong. Here, you will float atop striking green waters, skirting vast limestone karsts as you glide between the paddy fields of the Ninh Binh province. It’s an experience sure to mesmerise children and adults alike, as you gaze out at the surrounding scenery with shared wonder.

Away from the water, Vietnam serves up plenty more opportunity for exploration. Teens will relish the bright lights of Hanoi, with its cool urban edge and historical charm, as well as the chaotic, switched-on city of Ho Chi Minh. Children with seemingly endless stomachs can take on a mouth-watering noodle tour in the coastal enclave of Hoi An, while history-hungry parents will appreciate hopping over the border to Cambodia to introduce younger travellers to the remarkable ruins of Angkor Wat.

4. Exploring Machu Picchu, Peru

Best for: inquisitive teens

You might have to set your alarm unspeakably early, but it’s well worth it to reach Peru’s ‘lost’ city of the Incas before the crowds arrive.

As the heavy morning mist lifts above the peak of Huayna Picchu, — almost 8,000 ft above sea level — you’ll find yourself at the heart of one of the world’s most iconic destinations. Rich in both mystery and history, the citadel’s 600-year-old walls and crumbling ramparts are effectively brought to life by our expert guides as they share stories of the Inca empire.  Older children and adults alike will be fascinated by the magnitude of this civilisation and its unique culture, sparking a curiosity that will last long after the trip is over.

5. Amping up the adrenaline at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Best for: fearless families

The thunderous roar of Africa’s Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the smoke that thunders’, truly sets the benchmark when it comes to epic family travel experiences. You’ll roar with delight yourselves as you take to the waters, whitewater rafting up and over energetic rapids in a thrilling adventure older children will savour.

For an equally adrenaline-inducing adventure, take to the waters of the nail-biting Devil’s Pool — sitting on the falls’ edge — where swimmers great and small gather amid the spray of the pounding water. Or there’s always the option to take to the skies, with a helicopter flight above the gargantuan cascades. However you decide to explore it, Victoria Falls will provide unforgettable moments, sure to be shared gleefully with classmates and colleagues alike.

And the adventures don’t stop there. On our Southern Africa itinerary, they come thick and fast, whether you want to hike up Table Mountain or safari across the Kruger National Park. On the latter, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five — an incredible experience that wildlife lovers, both young and old, will never forget.

Seamless family adventures

Stuck for where to find inspiration? Our family tours head to all corners of the globe, from the ancient souks of Marrakech and glaciers of Iceland to the vast gorges of the Grand Canyon and the plains of the Kruger National Park.

Each itinerary is thoughtfully curated for families with children aged seven and up and includes child-friendly meal options, family-focused accommodations and specially trained guides. What’s more, on our family journeys you’ll be helping to further the work of the scientists, explorers and educators of National Geographic, as each year a proportion of our proceeds go to the National Geographic Society.


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