It is important for families to take time away from their day-to-day lives and habits and to go out and experience the world. Family holidays can improve relationships as well as improving health, which just goes to show that they really are beneficial.
There are so many different things you can do as a family to bond with minimal impact to the environment, such as rare wildlife spotting and going on adventures, all whilst avoiding overtourism. We’ve put together a list of holiday ideas and countries that would be perfect for families because they offer something for all ages, and of course, these holidays also encourage eco-friendly practices. To find out more about avoiding overtourism, take a look at our article Can Overtourism Be Stopped?
The Best Destinations for Wildlife Spotting
Almost everybody loves animals. There are so many incredible species that many people will never get to see in person, and visiting wildlife is one of the best eco-friendly activities you can do on holiday, if done responsibly*. So here we have compiled some of the best countries that are great for wildlife spotting for the family.
*Find out more about responsible wildlife spotting on holiday in our article What is the difference between a zoo and a wildlife sanctuary?
Ecuador is one of the ‘17 megadiverse countries in the world’, and that is no surprise considering the different types of geographical regions this country offers (coastal, highlands and jungle). There are so many animals you might get to see in Ecuador, including, sloths, tapirs and jaguars to name a few. You could visit the Amazon Rainforest and be a part of the amazing conservation efforts out there, or take a trip to the Galapagos Islands and stay at eco-friendly lodges such as Chez Manany Galapagos Ecolodge, which is perfect for families. Children will be awestruck by the animals they will see and it truly is a once in a lifetime experience.
Ecotourism is a spreading trend in Tanzania, to ensure that the influx of tourism doesn’t ruin the natural beauty of this area. This country is home to the world-famous Serengeti National Park, and visitors might get to see incredible animals in their habitat, rather than in a zoo, such as lions, hippos and wildebeests. Eco-friendly lodges are on the rise in this country as they offer guests a chance to see the amazing wildlife in a way that is low-impact. In many cases, visiting these lodges helps to fight illegal poaching and hunting. What better way for a family to experience the magic of the African bush?
According to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, Canada ranks in the 25 most eco-friendly countries in the world. It is an incredibly biodiverse country and wildlife spotting can include polar bears, reindeer and narwhals. A trip to Northern Canada is likely to include arctic wildlife spotting, whereas a trip to Prince Albert National Park, further down South can introduce you to a whole new bunch of animals such as bears and bisons.
Aside from its astounding natural beauty, New Zealand is a great place to visit for wildlife spotting. Whales, penguins and seals all await those who visit the islands. On top of that, New Zealand is heralded as an incredibly eco-conscious country because it is home to so much beautiful nature and protected national parks. It is easy to find places that support ecotourism in New Zealand, and children will love it.
The Best Destinations for Adventure
Adventure holidays are loved equally by adults and children. With mountain biking, skiing, caving and diving being just some of the things that families can get involved in when on holiday. These countries offer great adventurous activities for all of the family to enjoy.
Few places rival Australia’s sense of adventure. The incredibly diverse, sun-soaked landscape offers so many thrilling outdoor activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and abseiling, that there is always something to keep everybody entertained.
Portugal might not be the first country that comes to your mind when you think of adventure, but actually, this country has more to offer than first meets the eye. Cycling and horseback riding allows you to see the natural beauty and diversity the country has to offer, whilst diving and surfing allow you to explore the beautiful beaches and ocean. Ecotourism is taking off in Portugal, meaning that taking the family on an eco-holiday in Portugal should be easy!
The land of ice and fire is, of course, renowned for adventure. The experiences in this special country seem endless, whether you visit all of the natural wonders on the Golden Circle or stay up to see the northern lights, there are countless great adventures waiting. Not forgetting to mention that this country is mostly powered on renewable energy, so environmental protection is high on the agenda.
We couldn’t not add the EPI’s best-performing country to the list. This country is dedicated to recycling, as you must pay to have your rubbish collected, but recycling is free. On top of that, it is perfect for an adventure holiday, as one of the best skiing destinations in the world. Families can also try mountaineering and thermal swimming, so the fun never really stops.
Eco Family Holidays Are the Way Forward
Learning about the world and experiencing some of the most unique things on the planet is incredibly important and is the perfect way to bond as a family and make memories that will last a lifetime. It’s important that it’s done responsibly though, with environmental damage becoming worse and worse every day. Sustainable tourism is more important than ever before.
If you would like to learn more about being responsible when you travel, read our blog article Eco Travel Checklist for Ethical Travellers.
Kiwano can help you towards the first step of becoming a green traveller, by providing a list of green accommodations for you to stay at and giving you further tips on how to stay green as a traveller.