It’s January, so pound for pound you’re probably regretting putting that extra chocolate bar in your kid’s stocking. But not to fear — there’s plenty of ways to burn off some calories together on a family wellness trip.
Get your om away from home with a yoga or Pilates retreat for those ages 18+ with SolSeed, which offers small-group bonding experiences year-round in the Azores, San Jan Del Sur, Nicaragua, Bocas Del Toro, Panama and Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The guide-instructors for daily classes and excursions are all young and dynamic, and lodgings are eco-chic. In Guatemala, for instance, you’ll practice lakeside and enjoy sunbathing, swimming, massage, kayaking, volcano hiking, horseback riding and stand up paddle boarding. SolSeed plans to add family retreat trips in 2018, perfect for kids to experience Mayan cultures and visit neighboring villages near Lake Atitlan. Not thinking internationally? Kripalu in Massachusetts has family retreat programs for parents plus kids ages 5–12 or 13–18. Meal choices are child-friendly, and there are both shorter and longer themed programs like arts, circus and mother-daughter weekends.
Winter’s the perfect time for relaxation and roughing it at Lake Tahoe, where Northstar California Resort offers showshoeing and cross-country skiing in addition to traditional downhill. Children and teens can benefit from beginner lessons or your family can book a small group or private guided experience (there’s also women-only experiences for girls’ weekends). All are offered for different ability levels. Seasonal classes for winter months are mountainside yoga, winter strength and après stretch.
Think river cruising is just for sitting back? Think again. Each tour with U by Uniworld includes free bicycle use and walking sticks for trekking along the banks of some of Europe’s most treasured rivers. On their Castles Along the Rhine tour, kids and families can monkey around on ziplines at a climbing forest in Germany, and on Enchanting Danube & Munich, hike to Vogelbergsteig and Dürnstein Castle ruins. Departures are scheduled during summer and winter breaks.
You’ve probably purchased plenty of sports gear for your brood at REI, but the brand’s Family Adventures give you a chance to use it, whether it’s hiking America’s national parks, sea kayaking in the Galapagos, hiking Machu Picchu, paddleboarding and snorkeling in California, or admiring the Big Five on safari in Africa. Getaways are shorter and planned around school breaks and seasonality in destinations as exotic as Thailand.
At BodyHoliday in St. Lucia, the WellFit Families program includes special one-week adventures for the whole family, with a slew of themed active features like sailing, windsurfing, yoga, biking, hiking and team sports like volleyball. Special guest athletes — including Olympian sprinters Jamie Baulch and Marlon Devonish, Olympian swimmer Michael Jamieson and former NFL player Randy Moss — all make appearances for family training sessions. You’ll get the best of wellness and a tropical vacation. Don’t miss the new yoga and spinning treehouse, hung high in the clouds, with floor-to-ceiling treetop panoramas.
For wheel fun, Ciclismo Classico offers up some of its bike-tour adventures with families in mind. With routes for all different ages and ability levels on the same tour, Mom, Dad, teens and tweens can all enjoy an itinerary in the Dolomites, for instance, or in Provence, Sicily or the Mediterranean. Although each tour offers cooking lessons and culinary lessons — and convenient summertime itineraries for kids on school break — you won’t have to worry about breaking your diet when you pedal 10-plus miles a day to burn off all of those calories. Other activities include kayaking and horseback riding with stays in cozy villas and B&Bs.
Interested in off-the-beaten-path? Backroads’ combination hiking and biking tours give your legs the ultimate workout. With adventures tailored to older teens and 20s (Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland), 9- to 17-year-olds (Yellowstone, Hawai’i, Costa Rica), and 8-and-unders (Canadian Rockies, Holland & Belgium, Loire Valley), each itinerary is customized for ability level and interests. Plus the guides split up the time so parents can enjoy a few hours when the kids are entertained so they get a true sense of vacation relaxation.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
More than 1,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid, the seven Canary Islands are also part of Spain. They are the tallest peaks of ancient volcanoes rising out of the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North Africa. Two of these volcanoes, both still active, offer exciting adventures for families traveling to the islands.
Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.
If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.