A guide to planning an alternative family holiday

There’s no reason why you have to stick to the same tried and tested family holiday model every time you go away – especially if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous. We’re going to give you some tips about how to plan an action-packed family break, as well as suggest a few options that are open to you.

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Firstly, it’s best to plan your holiday as a family, because this will help get the kids really excited about where you’re going and what you’re doing – a real blessing if you’ve got disinterested teenagers.

Secondly, to give you peace of mind when you’re arranging your break – and to make it easier for you – it’s best to go on an organised tour. This doesn’t mean you’ll be restricted in terms of what you do; in fact, it could open doors that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

The companies that offer adventurous family trips have extensive knowledge of the destinations they serve, which means they can introduce you to parts that you may not find on your own, as well as having connections with a host of activity providers who can make sure your holiday is full of thrills and spills.

Where to go

When you’ve taken the decision to be adventurous with your family break, the world really is your oyster. There’s such a wide variety of places to explore when you open up to the possibility of going off the beaten track. The following are just a few of our picks that we think are particularly good for families.

Borneo

Borneo in Malaysia is a wonderful choice if your children love wildlife, as there are some amazing reserves and sanctuaries on the island. Of course, Borneo is most famous for its orang utans, which you can get unbelievably close to at a rescue centre in Sepilok.

You can also go on jungle walks to see some more of the local wildlife, such as the proboscis monkeys that live in this part of the world, or even take a trip down the river to explore a little further afield. Mum and dad will certainly appreciate the chance to unwind in the natural hot springs in Poring, while you can all round off your trip with a bit of rest and relaxation on one of Borneo’s beautiful beaches.

Costa Rica

For plenty of action and adventure, Costa Rica is a fantastic choice. It boasts a wide variety of landscapes, including volcanoes, rainforests and beaches, while it’s become something of a mecca for travellers looking for an action-packed break.

On a family getaway here you can go white water rafting, fly through the rainforest canopy on a zip line, canoe along the coast, cycle around a volcano and go horse riding with the local cowboys. There’s certainly a lot to keep people of all ages occupied, making it a fantastic choice for families with older children who’ve got an adventurous streak.

Gozo

You don’t have to fly halfway around the world to find action and adventure, though, as there are lots of places in Europe that have plenty to offer on that front. One such example is the island of Gozo, which is part of Malta.

The emphasis here is on coastal activities, with kayaking in sea caves, mountain biking along coastal trails, abseiling and climbing on cliffs, and snorkelling in the warm Mediterranean waters that surround the isle among the things you can look forward to.