I’m a huge advocate for traveling with kids, obviously. I’ve taken my toddler to more than a handful of countries already. There are some trips to take before you have kids though. Get out there and get these ones in before you plan a family because they become increasingly difficult to accomplish with a baby in tow. These seven places are where you’ll want to be on your own schedule to get adventurous, sample the wines, and explore the wild side.
7 Trips to Take Before You Have Kids
With more than 400 wineries, days in Nape Valley are filled with sampling the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Merlot, which doesn’t exactly scream child-friendly. You can bike through vineyards on bike tours or use your own two feet to walk around downtown Napa. They even offer a wine tasting card that gets you samples at 12 tasting rooms. Either way, you’ll be pretty liquored up by the end of the day.
The spectacular natural wonders and extreme adventures of New Zealand should be at the top of your bucket list before having children. This expensive trip is also one heck of a long flight and filled with activities totally unfriendly for kids. Travel to Auckland to the Sky Tower to see a view 610 feet high from a 360 degree angle or sail or hike at the Bay of Islands. Bunjee jump off the Kawarau Bridge, skydive, or experience white water rafting over grade five rapids. Doesn’t exactly sound like a walk in the park for children, does it?
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
On the 26-mile trail to Machu Picchu, you’ll pass five lesser-recognized Incan towns that were once thriving. You can expect to walk 6 to 9 hours per day and stay at campsites along the way. The Inca Trail is considered a moderate hike. It’s not a technical hike, but there are a lot of Inca staircases to walk up and down, and the altitude may affect some individuals. The train is an option, but if you’re going to travel all that way, you might as well do it right.
Carnival Rio de Janeiro
Every year, millions of people turn up for the biggest party on Earth, Carnival. From the sexy beaches to the nightlife, this is an experience you’ll want to do without bedtimes and inquisitive minds. Held every year during the week leading up to Lent, Rio Carnival attracts visitors from all corners the globe. Samba music can be heard coming from neighborhoods throughout the city and crowds gather to dance and play all day, night and straight into the next morning.
Rio de Janeiro is a great place for families, but Carnival is something to experience without the kids.
Sail to Antarctica on Tall Ship Bark Europa
Sailing as part of the training crew on Bark Europa will be the greatest travel adventure of your life. For 22 days, you’ll sail on a tall ship to the most remote place on the plant. Once in Antarctica, you’ll see thousands of penguins and dolphins. Whales grace you with their presence on a daily basis and a polar dip in thermal currents at Pendulum Cove is just another average adventure. You can climb an active volcano and sled down a glacier, but you’ll need to do it all without younger family members. Sailing the Drake Passage, being part of the training crew, and sailing for 22 days might be a little much for little ones.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is a unique adventure. An Africa Adventure Safaris 5-day, Uganda itinerary includes gorillas, chimps, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, and tree climbing lions, none of which sound like a great playground for children. With an age limit of 15, you’ll be waiting a long time for this one if you want to bring your kids.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Soaring above the rippling tea plantations and low hills of northeastern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak. Hiking for more than a week through the spectacular landscapes of five temperate zones could be a challenge with a baby strapped to your back. On this once-in-a-lifetime trek, you’ll take in extraordinary views extending hundreds of miles, and experience the sunrise from the roof of Africa. Although the official lower age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for trekking to Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, tour companies usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years, which is, yet again, a long wait if you have a newborn or toddler.
Alternative Thinking to Trips to Take Before You have Kids
I didn’t experience any of these trips before starting a family. Does that mean I can’t do all of them? Heck no! In January, I sailed to Antarctica with Bark Europa. It was the most difficult and most rewarding travel adventure of my life. 24 days away from Athena was a major challenge but she was happily spending time with her dad as well as her grandmother and grandfather while I was away. It was a learning adventure for the entire family.
In May, I will go gorilla trekking in Uganda with Africa Adventure Safaris and I plan to complete the other experiences before Athena leaves the nest.
We are only restricted by our imagination. Your travel life doesn’t end because you start a family. A new adventure is just beginning. Have you done any of these trips with kids? Thoughts?