11 Incredible Trips to Take Before Having Kids
Before you enter parenthood, plan a dream trip to one of these spots. From Angkor Wat to Route 66, you'll gain so many interesting travel experiences that you'll want to tell your kids about one day.
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Before you plan to have kids, consider taking one (or more!) of these bucket list trips. Some are too physically challenging to undertake with children, others too expensive, too far away or simply more fun without worrying about attending to children’s interests.
And in the case of the Maldives, pictured here, if you wait until your hypothetical offspring are all grown, you may just miss your chance. The nation of 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean is drowning under rising sea levels.
Milford Track, New Zealand
This 53-kilometer walk traverses lakes, fjords, and peaks via rope bridges, boardwalks and alpine passes. The breathtaking scenery includes skyscraping mountains, deep river valleys and New Zealand’s tallest waterfall. Add on a side trip to Sydney or the Great Barrier Reef while you’re there – you probably won’t be eager to take the 24-hour flight from the U.S. again after you’ve had kids.
At the opposite end of the travel spectrum are family-friendly destinations that are actually way better without kids. Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World is one of those trips. Enjoy the park without strollers and backpacks, hit all the rides (even those with height requirements), and sample cocktails from around the world at Epcot.
Italy's Amalfi Coast
A beautiful, pricey destination with not much for kids to do except take in the scenery, the 50 miles of steep cliffs rising out of southern Italy’s Mediterranean coastline offers cultural sophistication and romantic, picturesque scenery.
Erosion caused by extreme weather conditions combined with damage from tourism also threatens Machu Picchu. Located 8,000 feet above sea level in a remote area of Peru’s Andes Mountains, the “Lost City of the Incas” is considered one of the greatest ancient ruins in the world. Difficult to get to, expensive, and endangered, Machu Picchu is more appropriate for an adults-only trip than for one with kids in tow.
Another area under threat from climate change, New Orleans, with its historic districts, unique culture, and lively nightlife, is the city where you can indulge your inner adult. So make music and make merry in the Big Easy – sans kids.
Road Trip Across America
A cross-country road trip is the dream of many young Americans (and non-Americans, too). Now’s the time to head out on Route 66 with your spirit of adventure – before any backseat whines of “Are we there yet?” can spoil your drive.
For a combination of history, culture and natural beauty, is there any trip more enticing than Israel? Given the longstanding unrest in the region, many parents prefer not to take kids. Plus, many locales in Israel, like Safed in the northern mountains, with its thriving artists’ community and deep spiritual traditions are best suited to your undivided adult attention.
Like Israel, Cambodia has a rich spiritual tradition and deeply painful recent history. The many reminders of this history – from land mines to the Killing Fields are probably too disturbing for children, but intrepid adults who make their way across the Southeast Asian country from Phnom Penh to Angkor Wat via bus, boat or on the back of a local’s moped, will be rewarded with gorgeous scenery, ancient temples and friendly people.
Looking for a trip that’s even pricier, further away and less kid-friendly? Why not travel to the literal end of the earth? A number of cruise ships offer excursions, often via Zodiac, to the Antarctic Peninsula, where you can hike a glacier, take a polar plunge, kayak icy waters and observe native wildlife like penguins!
Morocco Beyond Marrakech
Visiting Morocco will change your view of the world, however many travelers consider the North African country too challenging, physically and logistically to manage with kids. Hire a guide and be sure to tour the sites outside of Marrakech. Berber villages and Fez, a city that still has a 12th-century feel, are must-sees.