These days a traditional vacation consisting of sun, sea and sand is just one option among many for your family holiday. Whilst relaxing at the beach or by the pool certainly has its virtues, many families are deciding to take the plunge on altogether more adventurous holiday choices – Family road trips.
Road trips in particular are becoming more and more popular with families looking for an original, exciting adventure that’s sure to last long in the memory. Whether it’s a jaunt through Western Europe or a classic American adventure, family road trips are a wonderful way to relax, bond and make unforgettable memories together.
In this list, we will take a look at some of the greatest family road trips on earth. Touching almost every continent, our selection of the world’s greatest family road trips is sure to include something that will pique your curiosity.
So, without further ado, here is our collection of the world’s greatest family road trips…
Europe 101: London to Lisbon
This family road trip is best enjoyed during May/June or September, when the weather is balmy but the tourist hordes not quite as thick as during the peak summer months. Starting in London, enjoy a leisurely drive down to catch the ferry at Dover before making your way leisurely down the entire length of mainland western Europe. Taking in four countries, the beauty of this classic route for a family road trip is the flexibility it allows.
Once you arrive in Calais, you have the option to head directly south to the bright lights of Paris. Yet for those who prefer a more provincial vibe, a south-westerly route through Normandy and the Loire Valley might be preferable. Children in particular will adore the natural beauty and opportunity for activity in rural France. The option of taking the coastal road all the way down into the Basque region means plenty of fun at the beach and perhaps even some surf lessons.
Once you arrive in Spain, you once again have the option of heading southeast into the mountainous region of Catalonia and it’s energetic capital Barcelona. Otherwise, keep things heading west and follow the northern Spanish coast all the way to Galicia to dine on fresh seafood and sample the famous local hospitality. From there, you can follow the coast road all the way down to Lisbon on this nautical route through western Europe.
This classic European family road trip is enjoyed by thousands each year who love the variety, flexibility and of course the sheer beauty of the scenery along the way.
Europe has a lot of beautiful spots to visit. You are afraid of spending too much money on that? No problem: We prepared a list of how to travel cheap in Europe. And these are the 10 most budget-friendly AND beautiful destinations in Europe – why not make a little detour?
One of the most famous road trips: Route 66
It would be unfair to create any sort of road trip list without including this classic route through the United States. Stretching all the way from Chicago to Santa Monica, Route 66 is the definitive American road trip and remains a popular option for families as well as couples and groups of friends.
The beauty taking a family road trip along Route 66 is the possibility for exploring some of the nation’s most stunning wildlife. Although there’s bound to be plenty of time spent in the car on such a long journey, the sheer number of diners and motels along the way make Route 66 road trips 100% family-friendly. The stunning landscapes of northern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona will live long in the memory of those lucky enough to undertake a Route 66 road trip, making a big impression of children especially.
Another great aspect of this classic family road trip is the fact that is ends in sunny California, meaning trips to some of the world’s best theme parks that are sure to thrill children (and adults) of all ages. Without a doubt, the memories of a family road trip along Route 66 will be remembered forever and the effect of such a trip on family bonding and relaxation will be felt for just as long.
Did you know… that you can find some weird postcard-worthy roadside attractions in America. Get inspired!
You’re looking for a city trip to America next to your road trip? Why not… check out our City Edition with some reeeally cool and interesting cities in America.
The Exotic Road Trip: Bangkok to Singapore
This is a slightly less well-traversed family road trip option that is ideal for those seeking a truly memorable, slightly more challenging experience. Whilst the quality of the roads in Thailand and Malaysia may not be quite as high as those in the U.S.A or western Europe, they are certainly good enough to feel safe on a family road trip through mainland Southeast Asia. Taking in much of Thailand and almost the entire length of Malaysia, this family road trip will charm the entire family.
With careful planning, it is possible to stay in excellent hotels along the entire route. Indeed, much of this road trip encompasses stunning stretches of coastline that’s home to some of Asia’s most stunning beaches. Landing in the vibrant metropolis of Bangkok, you will head south and almost immediately be greeted by a rural landscape dominated by rice paddies and the curious smiles of some of the friendliest people on earth. Take a ferry for a few days stopover on Koh Samui or Koh Phangan before heading south into Malaysia.
Once there, you can easily access the colonial gem of Penang, home to some of the region’s finest food, before taking the coast road toward Kuala Lumpur. Finish up by spending a few nights of well-earned luxury in a five star Singapore high rise hotel.
Kids will love a family road trip through southeast Asia as it combines a sense of the exotic with all the comforts of a western holiday. The beaches of Thailand and Malaysia are stunning whilst there’s ample opportunity to experience the rural way of life that dominates the region. With three enormous global cities included in the itinerary, there’s more than enough scope for a dash of luxury on this memorable family road trip.
So, there you have it. Taking a family road trip has never been easier with the increasing quality of roads and infrastructure across the globe making long car journeys a breeze. Planning ahead is always a good idea with children, as is taking your time and driving in chunks of four to six hours per day. This way the entire family can enjoy what has the potential to be a truly memorable vacation on the road.