Christmas is fast approaching, and with it, the stress of coming up with a great, original idea of what to give your offspring for their Christmas present is rising. A lot of kids nowadays are lucky enough to already have a bike, a wardrobe full of clothes and multiple electronic devices strewn around the bedroom floor – so what are we meant to give them now?
The best present that I can think of isn’t a tangible, physical one, but the awesome experience of travelling to a new country. And there is no way your child should get to go on their own, so you as their parent will just have to tag along too and make it a whole family affair!
That’s what we have decided to do this Christmas - the whole family is off to Myanmar in early December, forgoing the traditional presents under the tree and stuffed turkey for lunch, for 4 weeks of backpacking around this recently opened country. Christmas Day will be spent hot air ballooning over the ancient temples of Bagan and the New Year will be welcomed in on the shores of Inle Lake.
My top 3 picks for easy family travel are as follows:
Vietnam - The energy of Vietnam is invigorating and infectious. Whether navigating the hustling Ho Chi Minh City by moped or the spectacular Halong Bay by boat, cruising the backwaters of the Mekong Delta or strolling the backalleys of Hoi An, you will find the people, scenery, sights and tastes of Vietnam an experience to treasure.
Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka remains one of our favourite destinations to travel as a family. The country features landscapes, nature, beaches, history and culture all within a relatively small area, eliminating the necessity for any long journeys which makes it suitable for even the youngest of families.
Borneo - home to amazing wildlife, stunning scenery, indigenous tribes and tranquil islands surrounded by clear seas teeming with life - this is a slice of paradise on earth that really has it all! The extensive regional airline network enables you to easily explore the likes of Kota Kinabalu, Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, the renowned snorkelling and diving of Sipadan, the bat swarms of Miri and the headhunter villages in the remote rainforests of Sarawak.
So, dare to be different this Christmas and give your kids the gift of travel - a present that will keep on giving amazing memories for a lifetime and not just end up discarded on the bedroom floor. Best of all, you won’t have to endure the nightmare that is Christmas shopping, bumping shoulders with other weary parents, trudging from shop to shop trying to find inspiration for that prefect gift.