Happy Holidays – My Top 5 Travel Destinations

Happy Holidays - My Top 5 Travel Destinations

From more adventurous travels to lazy days by the pool, we are always busy creating happy holiday memories with our family.  My whole family loves to travel, with both my children taking their first flights at just 3 months old.  I am a true believer in travel broadening the mind and one of my top ambitions in life is to one day live in another country.  Here I share a little about 5 of the happiest holidays we have enjoyed as a family so far…

1) Canada

I finally made it to Canada last year for the first time and I was not disappointed!  Canada has always been a place I longed to go too and I had never heard anything but good things about it.  Our trip took us to Toronto and Montreal with stopovers in Kingston and Gananoque.  Each place was so different and gave a new experience, it is certainly a holiday that none of us can forget and a benchmark for future holidaying adventures!

Toronto was full of experiences, the CN Tower, the aquarium, the ferry to Centre Island, Centre Island itself!  The zoo, getting lost in the underground city, sport stadiums, I could go on.  It was also a reasonable drive to Niagara Falls which was so incredible we went twice!  Add it to your bucket list if it isn’t already on there!

Happy Holidays - My Top 5 Travel Destinations

Montreal had a much different flavour, more bohemian with arts, food and culture to the fore.  We didn’t get to see as much as we wanted but we did spend a brilliant day at the Biodome.  On the old Olympic site the Biodome showcased the diverse environments and animals to be found in Canada.  This was another experience that we did twice because the beaver was sooo cool!

Of Kingston and Gananoque we only got the merest hint of what these places offer but the 1000 Island region was certainly a visual treat.

2) The Happiest Place on Earth – Walt Disney World Florida

Since travelling to Disney as children my entire family has always had a love for all things Disney!  We try to visit Florida every 3-5 years, so there is time for new rides, etc to be built but not too long for us to have to wait!  Besides Disney itself Florida offers so many choices you can never cover it all in 1 trip.  Beaches, everglades, theme parks, cities, shopping and the brilliant Kennedy Space Centre there is just too much.

Happy Holidays - My Top 5 Travel Destinations

When it comes to the theme parks again there is so much choice it probably comes down to personal preference.  Being Disney nuts we spend the majority of our time there but we have also done universal, sea world, busch gardens and LEGOLAND.  Sticking to the parks is fun but it is great to plan in a few days to see a bit more of this brilliant state.  If you are heading out to Disney anytime soon make sure to have a read of our Top 10 rides chosen by my 6 year old.  Dinner with Shamu is also always on our list as well, such amazing creatures so up close!

3) Cruising

Cruising has got to be one of the best ways to see multiple places in one holiday.  The thing with cruises is they are only as good as you make them.  You really have to get into the cruising spirit to get the best out of them.  I have been lucky enough to experience 5 cruises, 2 as a child, 1 as part of a couple and 2 more as a parent, each time the boat has held something different to experience. 

As a child I loved the freedom of being able to go around the boat alone and explore, meeting new people.  Also all the food and drinks were amazing because all inclusive wasn’t really a thing back then!  The midnight buffet was a must if only to take photos, I am not sure if any boats still do the midnight buffet though, sadly.

Happy Holidays - My Top 5 Travel Destinations

As a couple we enjoyed watching the sights change around us from our balcony and the many varied restaurants.  Finally as parents we got to experience the full spectrum of activities, the pool, the art gallery, the shows, bingo, dance lessons, language lessons and towel folding demonstrations.  There really is so much to do and that is before we have even stepped off the boat.

With a different city to explore each day there is no way a cruise could not be a memorable experience!  So far we have visited Russia, many islands in the Caribbean, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Dubai, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Katar.  Next on the hitlist we are hoping to experience the Norwegian Fjords and Nova Scotia.

4) Centre Parcs

Another happy holiday memory from my own childhood, Centre Parcs has become an annual ritual for us with our girls.  The best bit is the way the activities grow with them, the worst bit, self catering! (I hate cooking!)  We love to go on masse with the rest of our family so we can swim, cycle and play badminton (Badders) together as a group.  Although the weather is not always on side we still have a great time regardless indoors or out.

While we know that it is hideously overpriced and expensive to go we also know that we are guaranteed a good week together, swimming and spotting the animals are both free when you get there so that helps!  I would love to know if any of you have been to one of the European Centre Parcs and how they compare as we have always wondered.  If you know whether they are worth the visit or would like to write us a short review we would love it, just drop a comment or send it here.

5) Dubai

The Emirates is a fascinating destination which is ever evolving.  When we first visited well over 15 years ago it was tiny, with trips to the museums and souks on the menu.  The one shopping mall that we visited was pretty small and you only saw groups of men walking around. The Palm and The World were just being started on our 2nd visit but a bad experience on that trip saw us remove it from our list.  That is until they built the Atlantis Hotel there.

Happy Holidays - My Top 5 Travel Destinations

The Atlantis has always been a bucket list destination for us so we decided to give it another chance…….We loved it!!!   Dubai has completely transformed to a very family friendly destination.  Ski slopes, humungous shopping malls, fast cars, tallest buildings, dancing fountains, water parks, theme parks an endless playground!

Every holiday holds happy times but these just stand out in my mind.  I am still hoping to make even more happy memories in the years to come, the top places on my list to make them in are:

Japan

China (particularly seeing the Great Wall)

Vancouver

New Orleans

Sydney

Iceland

Norway

Berlin

My list is endless…..Just show me the world!

Sam x

 

Post Author: livelaughgiraffe

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