Where to Go in 2020: Your Family’s Travel Guide for the New Year
Jordan is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in the Middle East, and for good reason. Its rich history and natural beauty appeal to history buffs, as well as adventure-loving families. Kids will love riding on camels through the desert, while a visit to Petra is a must for any parent. For more Jordan travel inspiration, check out our friends at Flashpacking Family.
2. STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
In a country where it’s acceptable for kids to eat pancakes for every meal, Sweden’s capital is the pinnacle of family-friendliness. Stockholm is designed with the well-being of families in mind. Kids have free admission to almost all museums, parents with a stroller ride the bus for free and the founders of BabyBjörn built a modern art museum on a beautiful island, where — you guessed it — you can rent baby carriers for free to tour the museum. Want to learn more? Here is our local guide to the best things to do with kids in Stockholm.
3. BARCELONA, SPAIN
Kids will love exploring Park Güell’s whimsical designs. Photo: Ranjana Armstrong
After Stockholm, the Catalan capital, Barcelona, is one of our favorite European cities for families. Home to Gaudi’s famous Park Güell and breathtaking Sagra Familia, Barcelona appeals to families interested in architecture, art, history and food. Kids will love riding the cable cars up to Montjuïc Castle, chasing parrots through Ciutadella Park and learning about local marine life at the delightful Barcelona Aquarium. Parents will marvel at the incredibly varied architecture, enjoy fresh seafood and enjoy exploring the city’s narrow medieval streets.
The Namib Desert is a giant sandbox waiting for your kids to explore. Photo: Ranjana Armstrong
Namibia is to Africa what Iceland is to Europe, but without the crowds — which makes it the perfect destination for adventure-loving families who want to get off the beaten path. Like Iceland, Namibia is easily explored by car and offers wonderful camping options for families traveling on a budget. Its landscapes are equally stunning and also highly photogenic. You just don’t have the waterfalls, but you’ve got some of the largest dunes in the world to explore. Kids will love running down those dunes! And your entire family will never forget seeing elephants, rhinos and lions at the water holes in Etosha National Park. Namibia is also almost entirely void of malaria, which makes it suitable for even the youngest of travelers. So, stop dreaming about that African safari holiday and make it a reality!
5. ZION NATIONAL PARK, UNITED STATES
The views from Angels Landing are phenomenal. Photo: Ranjana Armstrong
If you are looking for stunning landscapes on the North American continent, Zion National Park is as good as it’s going to get. Novice hikers will welcome the kid-friendly hikes along Zion’s valley, while adventure-seeking families may want to try a walk along the Narrows or brave the sheer drops at Angels Landing. And while you are out West, why not combine a visit to Zion with a few extra days at Capitol Reef National Park? Cassidy Arch makes for an incredible backdrop for your family’s next holiday photo. And if you want a pro to take your photo, reach out to local mom and nugget contributor Arika Bower, from Zion Adventure Photog. She also has a lot of tips on what to do in Utah with kids.
6. TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Where the rainforest meets the sea. Photo: Ranjana Armstrong
If you’re planning a trip-of-a-lifetime to Australia, you’ll want to add Tropical North Queensland to your itinerary. From snorkeling or diving at the Great Barrier Reef, to exploring the Daintree Rainforest, there is something here for the whole family. Be sure to include a trip to the Atherton Tablelands, where you can immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture and hear the stories of their ancestors. Kids will also love swimming in volcanic lakes and getting up close to a 400-year-old strangler fig tree. Get your family excited and hear from a local kid about what it’s like to live where the rainforest meets the sea.
Your kids will love a husky-sled ride. Photo: Cat Holladay
Looking for a less tropical destination? The happiest country in the world may very well also be the happiest family vacation destination. Finland’s pristine nature and untouched archipelagos will impress all nature-loving families. And, there’s so much more. From quaint fishing villages to kid-friendly castles, to seeing the northern lights or joining a reindeer-sled ride, Finland will delight kids and parents alike. And, did we mention the jolly old man with the red coat also lives here? It’s truly a place that offers something for everyone, and it’s fun year-round.
8. NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES
Kids will love the Domino Playground on New York’s East River. Photo: Ranjana Armstrong
The city that never sleeps welcomes families with open arms. There are so many kid-friendly museums and family-focused activities in New York City, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But if we had to, we’d suggest you take your kids to the Top of the Rock, then hop on the ferry to the Domino Playground, followed by ice cream at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. For more, here’s our full kid-approved guide to New York with kids.
9. TORONTO, CANADA
Canada’s most diverse city should be on top of the list of all food-loving parents. Thanks to its multicultural population, families can experience food from all around the world in just one place. And, the place to be is the neighborhood of Kensington Market. After you spend an afternoon here tasting all the different foods, burn off some energy at the many kid-friendly activities Toronto offers for families. Kids will love exploring the interactive exhibits at the Ontario Science Centre and walking on the glass platform of the CN Tower. For more ideas, listen with your kids to what a local kid loves about Toronto.
Beijing’s Temple of Heaven is one of the many beautiful temples waiting to be explored. Photo: Ranjana Armstrong
Thailand and Bali are the hotspots for any family traveling to Asia, but we think 2020 will be the year Instagram starts seeing an influx of cute babies on the Great Wall or at the foot of the tallest carved Buddhas in the world. China is a surprisingly family-friendly country with a rich history and culture. It’s also affordable, and the people love kids! Plus, they have one of the most efficient high-speed train systems in the world, and many train stations offer playgrounds, nursing rooms and even cribs for napping. Kids will love seeing cuddly pandas in Chengdu, browsing local markets or staying overnight at a minority village. Parents will enjoy amazing food, beautiful temples and photogenic landscapes.