Travel scenes from childhood constitute some of our most cherished memories – travel shapes who we are and strengthens character – so it’s little wonder that parents want to create wonderful life-enhancing experiences for their children to remember.
Ahead of the summer holidays, Andrea Oschetti of Blueflower introduces ways to create more meaningful travel adventures for all the family.
Cities and culture
European capitals during the summer are a controversial proposition. The idea of a charming city escape soon vanishes under the reality of tedious waiting times and frayed tempers as you battle with tourist crowds and long lines – a recipe for disaster when travelling with young and restless children. The devil is in the detail: book one of Blueflower’s summer family trips to London, Rome or Paris and you’ll enjoy a more engaging and meaningful city experience thanks to skip-the-line tickets, certified guides and activities tailored specifically for children.
When in Rome train in the gladiatorial arts and take a mountain bike adventure through the catacombs, refuelling on gelato and pizza along the way. This immersive adventure is a big hit with kids little and big; by the time you get to the Colosseum you’ll all be experts in Roman history.
To make your stay in any of these European capitals luxurious and pleasant, avoid the uncertainty of Airbnb and use One Fine Stay which, with its distinguished properties and superb service standards, is ideal for families.
Tokyo is another great destination for a family holiday – the Nippon capital offers an array of child and teen-friendly activities, from sumo wrestling matches to robot shows. In contrast to the high-octane excitement is the subdued elegance of Aman Tokyo, on the doorstep of the Imperial Palace Gardens and a mere shuffle from upscale shopping and dining at Ginza. For a truly unforgettable family adventure, I would also add a helicopter ride to Mount Fuji, followed by a day of tranquil nature amid Miyazaki-like dreamworlds near Hakone.
Read more: 6 Alternative Sight-Sees
While we’re on the subject of nature, let me introduce you to where I spent my childhood holidays: The Dolomites. Home to dramatic views, thousands of hiking and biking trails and exciting gastronomy, the Italian Alps offer true mountain adventure. As a kid, I would go crazy climbing the via ferrata, and I must confess my love of cycling has a rather marked Dolomite palette; as an adult, I love trail running from hut to hut, becoming fitter as I draw inspiration from the beautiful peaks. In these mountains you will find unparalleled hospitality with my dear friends’ chic alpine lodge Ciasa Salares.
Look, mum, a lion!
If you’re looking for adventure in places a little wilder than the European Alps, Tanzania provides a rewarding wildlife experience. The great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti occurs during the summer months, making it an exciting time for a family safari. We work in partnership with Asilia Africa to create one-of-a-kind luxury adventures that take you from camp-to-camp to follow the migration.
Next-level beach vacations
Let me finish with two destinations that take the summer beach vacation to an entirely new level – both are secrets among travel circles and exclusively for connoisseurs. First, the remote, largely unexplored, and devilishly inaccessible region of Raja Ampat in the Coral Triangle, Indonesia. For a second-to-none family adventure, Coral Triangle Safaris will whisk you across magical archipelagos to remote coves and legendary dive sites on their traditional wooden luxury yacht – there’s even an option for children to obtain their PADI certification.
Lastly, my soul turns to Italy once again. While most summer holiday makers have their eyes set on the Amalfi Coast, I advocate for the lesser-visited Puglia on the southern Adriatic Coast. Stacked with heritage sites, medieval towns, cobblestone villages and not forgetting a spectacular coastline, the heel of Italy is brimming with culture, music, incredible food and architecture. The majestic, all-villa Borgo Egnazia is luxurious beach retreat complete with championship golf course, two private beaches and spa… welcome to the real-deal Italy.