The Best Family Gap Year Destinations – As Recommended By Top Family Travel Bloggers

One of the most exciting parts of planning a family gap year is choosing where to travel to. There are so many amazing places on our planet that it can be hard to narrow down where to travel to – I know we certainly suffer from that problem!

To help get some pointers on the best places to travel to on a family gap year, I reached out to some of the most experienced family travellers there are out there and asked for their recommendations on where to go. Here are their thoughts broken down by region!

Asia

Aonang Beach, Thailand

Aonang Beach

Aonang is a beach town about 40 mins drive from Krabi in Thailand. Traditionally it’s been popular with backpackers due to the affordable prices of accommodation in this area. I think its a great location for a family gap year as its affordable and in close proximity of an international airport (Air Asia flies in and out to Kuala Lumpur) and is only a long tail boat ride away from top Thai spots such as Railway Beach, Koh Phi Phi, Kok Yao, Koh Lanta and a bit further away in Phuket.

I love Aonang as its a bit quieter and less hustle than some of the other Thai islands and beaches. Food was very affordable and there is an international medical centre on the main road. My daughter had to visit as she came down with an ear infection while we were in Aonang. There are also some upmarket hotels in case you want to spoil yourself for a night or two every now and then.

Recommendation from Sally Lucas, Our 3 Kids v The World.

Mongolia

mongolia

Mongolia is the perfect place to disconnect from the modern world and explore outside your comfort zone. All the time reconnecting with your own family as you travel.  A land of sweeping plains and deserts and people thriving while living the nomadic lifestyle. Join a local family and stay in a traditional Ger amongst the mountains, river and roaming animals. Kids can wash and play in the river, collect water for drinking and wander the land in search for cow pats for the fire!

Galloping on horses across flat plains is a fantastic way to explore and learn more about Ghengis Khan by visiting his huge statue around an hour from the capital Ulan Bator. Over summer witness the spectacular Nadam Festival where you can see traditional dancing, costumes, horse racing, wrestling and archery, a great way to celebrate local culture.

Recommendation from Bron Leeks, Smiths Holiday Road.

Ko Ngai, Thailand

 

Ko Ngai

Koh Ngai is our favourite place in all of Thailand. It is a tiny island in the Andaman Sea where hornbills swoop overhead and karst islands rise out of azure sea to provide the perfect view. It is a perfect beach for young children to play with shallow waters, soft white sands and shade throughout the day.

The interior is jungle clad providing adventurous walking options for older children, who will also love being able to snorkel with colourful fish over the small reef just a short swim from the beach.

Kayaking is another great option here with trips to deserted beaches and tiny karst islands a favourite with many visitors.

The beach is the main draw though and is one of our favourites in all of Thailand, the view is just spectacular while the warm calm seas invite you to take a dip.

We’ve visited this tiny paradise a couple of times now and have loved every minute!

Recommendation from Chris at More Life In Your Days

Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

 

One of the best places we visited on our family gap year was Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was an ideal location for us as first-time visitors to Asia: developed enough to avoid major culture shock, but so wildly different than anything we’d ever experienced! The newness of a place like Chiang Mai was intoxicating for us all: Buddhist temples on every corner, $1 fresh coconuts at the ready to beat the heat of Southeast Asia, and new words and customs to learn.

Beyond the overall feel of the city, Chiang Mai is a big enough place that there are activities to keep a family busy for weeks, months or even years. In addition to temple-hopping, you can learn how to cook authentic Thai food, have an up-close encounter with rescued elephants, get a bargain-priced massage and stay out late taking in the many night markets.

The final reason why Chiang Mai is a fantastic place for families on a gap year is that your dollar (or Euro or pound) will stretch very far thanks to the reasonable prices in the city. We enjoyed a two-bedroom suite at a hostel for just $35 per night (including breakfast!) and most hearty dinners out were just $15 for the four of us. Long-term travel can be financially draining, but a visit to Chiang Mai is certainly easy on the wallet! You can find more details about visiting Chiang Mai with kids here.

Recommended by Melissa from The Family Voyage.

 

Penang, Malaysia

 

batu ferringhi

Penang is a great destination for a family gap year because there are fun things to do, there is fabulous food and it’s an easy place to get to and travel around.

Penang is a small island off the coast of North East Malaysia. There is an international airport as well as buses from the rest of Malaysia. The island itself has a lot of variety from the colonial architecture in Georgetown to the beach in Batu Ferringhi to the jungle covered interior. English is widely spoken.

Penang, like the rest of Malaysia, is a melting pot of cultures particularly Malay, Chinese and Indian. It’s fun to explore their different parts of the island and even better to taste the best of their cuisines. Malaysia is very kid friendly and kids are welcome everywhere.

There are many activities for families. Our favourites are hanging out in Batu Ferringhi, the beach area, going to ESCAPE which is a water park with adventure activities, enjoying Youth Park and taking the funicular railway up Penang Hill for great views over the city.

Recommendation from Sharon Gourlay, Dive Into Malaysia

 

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

 

Perhentian Islands

Even ten years later my kids claim their visit to the Perhentian Islands was the best ever! We stayed at the secluded Bubbles Dive Resort, accessed only by boat.

During the day we snorkelled in the beautiful, calm, blue waters of the private bay. My kids also enjoyed exploring the small creek that empties into the sea near the resort. We arranged a boat trip to go snorkelling further out, swimming with turtles and black tip reef sharks. All snorkelling equipment, including life jackets, were provided by the resort.

Bubbles is also an eco resort, and is involved heavily in the preservation of the green sea turtles which nest on the beach. We were provided with a short education session one evening, and we given the option of being woken if a turtle comes and nests on the beach. We had an amazing experience seeing a huge mama turtle come up and lay her eggs.

As the name suggests, Bubbles Dive Resort in also a Scuba training facility, so this may be the perfect opportunity to learn how to dive too.

This is the perfect place to relax for a few days while also learning something new about the conservation efforts in the area.

Recommendation from Josie Kelsh, Josie Wanders

 

Kyoto, Japan

 

Japan was the first stop on our family gap year. While Tokyo is the centre for everything modern, Kyoto is the cultural heart of Japan.

We loved Kyoto as you can experience the best of Japan all in one place. Temples, gardens, delicious food, ancient laneways and many great day trips out of the city too.

Our kids loved visiting Nara to feed the deer, walking up through the orange gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha and discovering little statues along the way. They loved tasting the treats in the amazing Department Store food halls.

Kyoto is a great place to travel with kids as the local people are helpful, it is very safe to travel around and the public transport system is excellent. The cultural differences were significant enough for our kids for them to enjoy noticing the small things as we explored the city. Like the vending machines selling anything and everything, traditionally dressed women in beautiful kimonos and modern gadgets like robots and tiny single person cars.

There is so much to do in Kyoto with kids, so if you don’t have a lot of time you need to be selective about where you go. It is easy to get temple overload, so choose just a few to visit and mix it up with other activities for the kids.

Recommendation by Rachel Rodda, Adventure and Sunshine

 

Cappadocia, Turkey

 

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the most magical places on Earth…especially for kids. Not only is the landscape straight out of a fairytale, but the food is good, the activities are fun, and the people love children.

One of the first things you must do when visiting is go to Goreme National Park and learn about the history of the entire area. This will set you up for exploring all the other places as well, like Pigeon Valley, Rose Valley, Uchisar, and many of the surrounding towns. Goreme is my favorite town, because the famed stone fairy chimneys are everywhere, and many of the tours and activities originate from there.

Some of the fun things to do are take a horse ride, four-wheeler, or hot air balloon ride around, through, and over the amazing scenery. However, you should also visit the ceramic studios in Avanos, or a rug dealer (for some tea and a chat), or a town market. My favorite market is Urgup’s, which is on Saturdays all year long.

There are plenty of great restaurants to try as well, but the one everyone should go to is the Dibek Restaurant in Goreme. It’s run by Mehmet and his family, and he can tell you some great stories. Have your hotel call him the night before to make your reservations and at least one of you order the famous Tepsi Kebab, a delicious tomato and lamb or chicken stew, that takes many hours to prepare.

There’s no place like Cappadocia, so don’t miss out!

Recommendation from Corrine Vail, Reflections Enroute

 

Southern Province, Sri Lanka

 

Udawalawe elephant transit centre

The Southern Province of Sri Lanka is the ideal location for a family gap year. We lived in this province for 10 months, based in Tangalle and Tissamaharama.

The entire Southern Province is an ideal location for epic animal adventures. There are so many beautiful national parks; Udawalawe, Yala, and Bundala. We visited the only real elephant orphanage near Udawalawe. We were lucky enough to see the big 4 – sloth bear, leopard, elephants and wild buffalo. The beaches around the southern province are world-famous with the best surfing around Weligama.  Mirissa is the only place in the world blue whales reside year-round. We saw 10 whales and it was magical.

The region is developed enough for comfortable travel, but exotic enough to feel like an adventurous location. There is a large ex-pat community, particularly around Galle. It is very cheap to rent a villa even if you pay “tourist prices”. We secured a place with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, furnished villa in Tangalle for <$60USD per week.

Transportation is cheap if you stick to tuk-tuks and if you are brave enough for the local bus. The hire of vans is expensive due to the insane importation taxes. You are able to get 3-month visas easily. Any further extension is so expensive and you are best going on a visa-run. Luckily, you are a mere 2-hour flight to the Maldives or Southern India.

We loved our time in Sri Lanka. The people are so friendly and welcoming. Sri Lankan food is delicious and cheap. We miss the coconut rice and our daily neighbourhood monkey troupe disturbances.

Recommendation from Alana Tagliabue, Family Bites Travel

Africa

The Garden Route, South Africa

 

South Africa garden route

South Africa was the final stop on our family round the world trip. Our road trip along the Garden Route was a highlight of our time in this fascinating country.Travelling by car is perfect with kids as you are able to travel at your own pace, stopping whenever and wherever you wish, for as long as you want. We spent a week travelling the Garden Route in South Africa, starting in Cape Town and ending up in Port Elizabeth. This stretch of coastline is not only beautifully scenic but offers so many animal encounters, perfect for kids of all ages.

There is so much to see and do along the Garden Route: Hermanus for whale-watching, Gansbaai for Great White Shark cage diving, Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay for their beautiful coastal scenery, animal encounters and fantastic hiking, and finally Storms River with its maritime National Park, perfect for hiking.

Recommendation from Nicky Williams, Go Live Young

 

Etosha, Namibia

 

Namibia with kids

Earlier this year, we spent 101 days travelling around Africa in a Land Rover with our boys (aged 2 and 4). In that time we did a lot of safari drives, and many people have asked us, which was the best? My answer is always, Etosha National Park.

Firstly, Etosha is one of the best value safaris in Africa. Africa can be expensive and park fees in some countries are extremely high. However, Etosha is VERY affordable. Day entry for foreign adults is N$80 (£4.50) – cheaper if you’re a Namibian resident, N$10 per standard vehicle (£0.57) and children under 16 are FREE!

Secondly, there is an abundance of wildlife and wildlife spotting is very easy. The low-growing vegetation over flat open plains promotes the best conditions for spotting the animals. You can literally see for miles! There is only the grass for animals to hide in, therefore spotting of elephants, giraffe, zebras and even rhinos is pretty much guaranteed. You may have to look a little harder for lions or leopards (although you’ll probably spot the cars before the animals). Though what’s probably easier, is to park up by one of the watering holes and watch the wildlife come to you.

 

lions etosha national park

Also, the majority of roads around the national park are well maintained, and the campgrounds even have swimming pools to cool off, and watering holes to watch animals at night.

Recommendation from Jenny Lynn, The TraveLynn Family

 

Dahab, Egypt

 

dahab egypt

When you’re travelling long-term with your family, you’ll be looking for a good mix of exciting and relaxing places. Travelling with kids can be tiring! Dahab is an excellent place to catch up on some much-needed rest, while still offering enough activities to keep your family happy.

Both the Lighthouse area, Public Beach and Dahab’s Laguna offer a nice shallow beach area for kids of all ages to swim and play. Lighthouse is also excellent for snorkelling, and there are many other places in Dahab that are suitable for snorkelling with kids (bring your own kids’ snorkel gear so you’re sure it fits). Apart from snorkelling there are plenty of other water sports you can do in Dahab, such as scuba diving, freediving, windsurfing and kite surfing. And if playing in the water hasn’t left you too tired, you can also enjoy a tasty Bedouin barbecue in the mountains, go on a camel safari, do some yoga, go mountain climbing, go on a quad bike safari or stay overnight in one of the Bedouin camps and sleep under the stars.

Dahab is a destination you can visit year-round with 365 days of sunshine and hardly any rain, but the best months are April/May and September/October. Beware, a lot of people end up staying in Dahab much longer than they planned! It’s just such a place…

Recommendation from Lisa van den Berg, Flipflop Globetrotters

 

Europe

Malaga, Spain

 

Malaga

The Malaga region is a wonderful stop on any family gap year. Malaga city is easy to get to with low-cost carriers flying into Malaga airport from most major destinations in Europe.


Once you’re in the city centre, it’s easily walkable and highly pedestrianised. With so many open-air attractions such as the Alcazaba and the Roman Theatre, you needn’t worry about your kids making noise in a museum or gallery.

Eating with kids around Malaga is super-simple too. Check out the cafe chain, Granier, for an easy and quick lunch stop for the kids. For around 3 euros they can get a mini-pizza or bocadillo (a filled roll) and a drink. As a bonus, their coffee is top notch and only around 1.20 a cup.

Our favourite thing to do in Malaga with kids is to get outdoors. The weather in Malaga is almost always great,  so hanging out at the playground (our toddler loves the Pocoyo park in Benalmadena pueblo) or just heading to the beach are great ways to spend time as a family. There are plenty of blue-flag beaches in the Malaga area. Closest to the city centre check out Playa la Malagueta, or further afield I recommend Playa de los Boliches, which you can reach in 30 minutes on the train.

Recommendation from Emma Healey, Little House Lovely Home

Valencia, Spain

 

Valencia

Coming from France for our stopover in Spain, coastal Valencia swept us off our feet immediately. The vibrant modern city offered endless activities and things to do for the whole family, as well as being easily accessible, creative and accommodating. Valencia’s climate is pleasant all year round and kids are welcomed everywhere —in fact, the whole town seems to be set up for their entertainment.

Amongst its incredible museums and historical sites, Valencia packed with parks, playgrounds and beaches. We highly recommend visiting Almonia Archaeological site where you can see Roman Baths and some serious structural remnants, and Felipe Science Museum — one of the first interactive museums in Europe. Another great place to hang out with the family is Gulliver park- an adventure outdoor space located near the Science Centre.

The history here is at every corner: Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart are the oldest and best-preserved Towers in the city. Climb Torres de Serranos for FREE on Sundays and enjoy the view around. Valencia is a foodie heaven where meals are delicious and affordable. This is where you will find the best paella in the country, after all, it’s the origin place on the dish.

Recommendation from Alex Palombo, Laska Baby Travel

Dublin, Ireland

 

dublin

 

Dublin is a wonderful city to visit as a family and a great base to visit Ireland, if you want to mix urban adventure with outdoor pursuits.

The city is compact in size, easy to navigate even on your first visit and it has a very friendly atmosphere. Kids are everywhere in Dublin, and you can meet local families in the many city parks or the several kids play centres around the city.

For culture loving families, the city has much to offer: right in the centre of town you have Trinity College, which is wonderful and home of the impressive books of Kells as well as the Long Room, a library kids may enjoy as reminiscent of the Jedi archive from Star Wars. Nearby there is Dublin castle, where you can learn about Ireland’s history and the Natural History Museum, always fun with little ones. A great place to mix learning and fun is also Dublinia, an interactive museum of Dublin’s Viking past.

For when the kids want to play, Dublin has many cool locations to choose from such as many playgrounds and indoor play areas, a welcome refuge to let the kids let off steam when the weather turns!

Between family-friendly activity and well-functioning services, Dublin truly is a great destination for a family gap year!

Recommendation from Marta Correale, Learning Escapes Family Travel Blog

The Ring of Kerry, Ireland

 

Ring of Kerry

Ireland is a great country to include in a family gap year of traveling but if I had to narrow it down to one area, I’d choose the Ring of Kerry. This 179km circular tourist route from Killarney, through Kenmare and passing through towns such as Sneem, Cahersiveen and back to Killarney is a stunning part of Ireland. Part of the Ring of Kerry also follows the Wild Atlantic Way.

The quaint villages are lovely, and most will have somewhere to get a bite to eat. There are lots of walks and hikes within the Ring of Kerry for families who enjoy the outdoors and there are lakes, rivers and stunning views to enjoy. One of the most famous places in the Ring of Kerry is the Gap of Dunloe and kids will enjoy a ride in a pony cart through the Gap.

When visiting with kids, stop into one of the local post offices and get them each a Wild Atlantic Way Passport. Then hunt out each stop along the Ring of Kerry and get your stamps to validate your visit. It’ll be exciting for them to get their stamps and make the route more interesting at the same time.

Recommendation from Cath Jordan – Passports and Adventures

Provence, France

provence

We originally come to Provence for a semi-gap year (from another part of France), and ended up staying for good! It’s a region of France that’s so diverse, so beautiful, and so bountiful. As a family, we particularly enjoy the climate, which allows us to make the most of the spectacular outdoors all year round. There are loads of stunning walks, beaches and lakes to enjoy. And in the winter you have the ski fields on your doorstep too!

Little history buffs (or kids who just like dressing up as knights) will love the ruined castles that pepper every village crest. With their caves and network of tunnels, they’re a joy to discover. And foodies will love the fresh and tasty produce that’s readily available in the region’s markets.

Provence attracts people from around the world – so it’s quite an international place to live – and we’ve found the locals to be both welcoming and friendly towards foreigners. Although it’s not the route we’ve taken, there are also a few international schools in Provence if you wanted to keep your child(ren)’s schooling in line with what they’re used to back home. Overall, it’s a really easy place to take a family gap-year – just be prepared not to want to leave at the end!

Recommendation from Nadine Maffre, Le Long Weekend

 

Paris, France

 

Paris is a great destination to include in your gap year around the world with kids. The French capital has a very interesting history which covers all the main historical periods, and some of its most beautiful sites are still witness of this glorious past. Paris is also a hot place for arts, especially impressionism, modern and contemporary art, and we are sure that you will find interesting and entertaining museums also suitable for your kids.

French food is very good and healthy and during your gap year you will want to try some French traditional dishes (and a bit of local life) in the best Parisian bistros, or some street food on the go like yummy crêpes, jambon-beurre sandwiches or hearty falafels. Finally, Paris is super well connected to the rest of the country, especially by train, so it may be a good idea to use Paris as a starting point for visiting other interesting places in France.

Recommendation from Elisa, World in Paris blog

 

Ortigia, Sicily

 

Ortigia is a small island off the south-east coast of Sicily. It’s actually the historic core of the ancient Greek (and modern Italian) city of Syracuse, but completely different in feel to the mainland part of the city.

We recently spent a week there with our two-year-old son, having researched many other destinations. Ortigia seemed to be the most suitable for a child that age.

The island has sea views on two sides, and is packed with historic treasures. Much of it dates from the 17th century, and one of the joys of the place is wandering the slightly crumbling Baroque streets and alleyways. Once you enter the labyrinth it seems much bigger than it actually is. It’s also very child-friendly. Many of the streets are pedestrianised, so the kids can walk around safely. There are also a couple of small beaches.

Ortigia is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, The main square, the Piazza del Duomo, is one of the loveliest squares in Europe, with cafes a quarter the price of what you’d pay in Piazza San Marco in Venice. There’s also a fantastic produce market where you can stock up on some of the best fresh ingredients you’ll ever find.

Recommendation by David Angel – Delve Into Europe

The Ring Road, Iceland

 

There’s no better way of seeing Iceland than taking a road trip around its famous Ring Road.  The scenery that you’ll encounter along this route is incredible, making the journey worth it in itself.

The Ring Road circles the island and runs close to many of Iceland’s top attractions.  You’ll drive past glaciers snaking their way down mountainsides, play on black sand beaches, get soaked by waterfalls (and the weather) and even encounter volcanic activity.  If you visit in the summer look out for puffins and take a whale watching trip where you’re practically guaranteed to see humpbacks, minke and more.

You might find the famous waterfalls along the south coast somewhat crowded compared to elsewhere on the Ring Road, so I’d advise driving anticlockwise so you see the busiest parts first.  Once you get past Vik the crowds will die down and you could even have some places to yourself.

One of the more offbeat attractions we visited was Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon on the way to the magnificent Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, which is unmissable.  Possibly our favourite place was Lake Myvatn in the north of Iceland.  The whole area has been shaped by volcanoes and you can even walk on still smoking lava from the most recent eruption.

You’ll need to allow two weeks to see Iceland without rushing.

Recommended by Emily Cole, Kids and Compass

 

The Americas

Disney World, Orlando, USA

 

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is a bucket list must for just about every family and a perfect destination for a family gap year vacation. It can be an expensive place to visit and if you can go when all the other children are at school then accommodation will be cheaper and hopefully, the parks will also be a bit quieter. Disney World now has 4 main theme parks in Orlando – Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Across the parks, you can expect plenty of Disney character meet and greets, amazing rides, shows, firework displays and so much more. Most of the parks you could easily spend two days at, if not more. They also have two water parks Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, plus Disney Springs packed full with shops and restaurants. They will be experiences that you will cherish forever and never forget. Their onsite accommodation is also pretty amazing and varied, they even have budget range hotels like Disney’s Art of Animation which is as equally great as the top price hotels.

Recommended by Suzy McCullough, Our Bucketlist Lives

Cusco, Peru

Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco Peru is a great base while on a family gap year.  Though remote, located high in the Andes, Cusco is by far from isolated. In fact, it acts as the gateway to Machu Picchu and several MILLION tourists pass through each year. This means that there is a vibrant expat community, several bilingual schools, Montessori inspired play areas, and sufficient connection with creature comforts to make it a sensible place to base your family for a period of time. For example, many Spanish schools are set up to teach children or families.

However, despite this access to modern services,  a few kilometres out of the centre of Cusco you are in another world, that of the mestizo, the urban poor, the Quechua speaking indigenous of Peru. The great disparity between the cosmopolitan touristed areas and the typical Peruvian areas can sometimes be disappointing, but means that you can live in a typical Peruvian neighbourhood while accessing more Western services, like bilingual schools.

Furthermore, Cusco makes a wonderful base for the adventure inclined family – there are treks in every direction, typical Quechua villages, and the entire Sacred Valley to explore.

Our daughter is a “Cusquena” born in Cusco, while we were living there.  You can read a full list of things to do in Cusco here.

Recommended by Ariana Svenson, A World of Travels With Kids

 

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

 

Our family of four (with two kids under 10), went to Cabo San Lucas for a family vacation.  We chose the Hilton in Cabo San Lucas due to its reviews as a self-sufficient resort in Mexico.  It did live up to its name.  Three pools, next to the beach, excellent restaurants, and shops.  The best thing about it was the kids club!  This was not the main reason we chose this place.  However, it was a delightful and pleasant surprise.  Once we discovered the kids club, our children looked forward to waking up and being dropped off at a particular time.  They had different activities planned each day. One night, they were having their own great time watching “Finding Nemo,” eating popcorn and laying in cosy bean bags.  There’s no extra charge for this kids club!

Lesson learned, when choosing a vacation resort/hotel for a bit of a break while on your family gap year, it’s worth seeing if they offer a kids club or camp.  Your kids will thank you, and you will have more bonding with your spouse or just plain uninterrupted time sitting by the pool reading a book.

Recommended by Cristy Murray, Alaska Mom Life

Monteverde, Costa Rica

There are lots of varied, family-friendly attractions in Monteverde in northern Costa Rica making it an ideal stop on a family gap year. Many visitors choose to stay in the small, friendly town of Santa Elena, with its well-stocked supermarket and several great restaurants. With the area famous for its dairy farms, be sure to try the delicious local cheeses and ice cream. In Santa Elena you can visit the beautiful Orchid Garden, stunning butterflies at the Jardin De Mariposa or – our kids favourite – the snakes at the Serpentario.

Most travellers come to Monteverde to visit one of the stunning cloud forest reserves. There are three major reserves to visit, each with winding paths leading through dense jungle to expansive viewpoints over the scenic cloud forest region.  There are walks to suit all abilities and ages.  Listen for the ever-present drum of Hummingbird wings and you may be lucky enough to spot the rare Resplendent Quetzal. Appreciate a different viewpoint of the forest by walking amongst the tree canopy on the hanging bridges at Selvatura Park or at Sky Adventures. If you want more excitement, these locations offer thrilling zip lining with the longest zip line a breathtaking 1 kilometre long! Our kids loved it!

All the family will enjoy joining a guided night walk to see nocturnal frogs, tarantulas and ever lovable sloths. Visit a coffee farm or a chocolate farm to discover how chocolate and coffee are made and enjoy the free tastings!

There is so much to see and do in Monteverde and once you visit, you will not want to leave.

 

Recommended by Sinead Camplin, Map Made Memories

Hershey Park, Pennsylvania, USA

Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, US isn’t about the chocolates. But it might as well be because it’s a great place that kids and adults will love.

There’s the Pioneer Frontier where most of the kids’ rides are located at. That said, you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy your time in that area. If you’re an adult, you’ll also find great rides exclusively for adults. Plus, you’d get to see some iconic Hershey characters you’ll surely love.

There are also plenty of free games kids will enjoy. Hershey Park employees are great at giving instructions to kids, telling them how to play the games, etc. – something you wouldn’t see in other amusement parks.

As for the adults, there are endless ways to enjoy the park. You can go to the Hershey Garden if you like nature-type activity, and the ever famous Hershey Chocolate World – a tour full of sweet and fun ways to see, taste, create, and enjoy chocolates. Who doesn’t love that, right?

Hershey Park is just a family-friendly park that kids and adults will love. Don’t be surprised if you end up going back again to this place year after year. It’s simply a great, sweet place (literally).

Recommended by Allan Liwanag, The Practical Saver

 

So there you have it – the top places to travel on a family gap year. Where would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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Mickey at Tokyo DisneySea