8 Once in a Lifetime Family Vacations ...

A family vacation is just that – with the entire family, and let’s be fair, even before the worldwide recession, it was never a very cheap excursion, especially if you were going to change time zones. Everybody talks about that once in a lifetime family vacation that they have been dreaming about since they were teenagers, but once the responsibilities of life kicked in, they kind of shelved their dreams in lieu of education and medical bills. However, all is not entirely lost. There are those spectacular destinations, that will be suitable for the entire family, without anyone having to sacrifice their dream holiday ideas. Here are just 8 Once in a Lifetime Family Vacations:

1. Safari in Africa

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The African culture is all about family, sharing experiences and passing them on through generations. So what better place for a fully on family vacation experience than the raw, rugged intense love of Africa. Gone are the days of ‘’roughing it’’ in the back of beyond with absolutely nothing but your plane ticket and passport to keep you warm at night. African hospitality knows no end with the luxurious tented camps, complete with all the modern bells and whistles one could possibly need. Take a walk through the African Bush as night, escorted by experienced guides and have first hand sightings of wild animals in their natural environment. Enjoy a candlelit bath under the stars and put your feet up while your ice melts in your cocktail, as your children will have gone to bed at sunset, happy and exhausted from the day’s adventures.

2. Experience the Northern Lights

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If you have read the book, ‘’The Northern Lights’’, by Nora Roberts, you will have absolutely nothing else on your list other than this. The family vacation takes on epic proportions of the spectacular, only don’t expect to come back with a suntan. The out of the world phenomenon, the aurora borealis, is a naturally occurring light show in the sky, at night, however, what they tell you in the small print though, is that you have to travel to Alaska to see it, and make no mistake, it will be worth every minute you are there! January will be your best bet. Make your way to Alaska, and the closer you get to the North Pole, the better. Take the headache out of travelling with potentially bored children, and hop on an Alaskan Cruise liner and enjoy every minute, but be clear that you need to choose your times of the year correctly as you can only the lights in the dark, and for some months of the year, Alaska has daylight for 24 hours straight.

3. Charter a Sailboat

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Conjure up visions of Robinson Crusoe and Nims Island, and you get the picture. Definitely the most incredible way to bond with your family, as there are no distractions whatsoever. Just your family, the captain of the boat and a small crew that will provide you with all your meals, look after you while you are on board, and will be around you for the duration of the charter. Definitely not the cheapest family breakaway, but one that will build memories that will last a life time. Hop on and off the islands in the Caribbean, snorkel and swim with dolphins, and disembark at a small port for some light retail therapy. Your kids will treasure those memories forever and your cool status as parents will double clutch it up a few knots.

4. The Dude Ranch

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Nothing says Wild Wild West like a Dude ranch, and working one is a chance for you to embrace your inner cowboy or inner cowgirl and just have fun. Your kids, apart from thinking their parents are hysterical when they get into the Dude Ranch vibe, will love every single minute of it, and their TV, games and computers back home will be but a distant memory. Fishing, trail walks in the outdoors, supper cooked on an open fire, camp fire songs and even square dancing will have the city slicker kids wanting to stay forever when it is time to go home.

5. Experience the Olympic Games

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There can be nothing quite like a trip like this for the entire family, to be part of something so big, so legendary, to make a trip in history. The next few Olympic Games are being held in some amazing locations, London in 2012 (there’s still time to arrange a family vacation to the UK), Russia in 2014, Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Combine a cultural extravaganza with a chance to see the entire world come together to compete in a truly historic even that goes as far back as to the life and times of Ancient Greece.

6. Catch a Sunrise from the Top of a Volcano

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How this family vacation could be topped, I am not quite sure, and there is no question that this is a serious once in a lifetime experience. Travel to the South Islands of New Zealand and hike up Mount Tarawera, in Rotorua, and peer over the edge of the side of an enormous volcano. Or get on down to Hawaii, where family friendly tour groups take people of all ages up to the top of the volcanoes. Older kids can hike or ride a bicycle down. If you really want to splash out, charter a helicopter to take you and the family to the top and down.

7. Swim with the Dolphins

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Ponto da Ouro, Mozambique; crystal clear, sparkling azure waters, palm lined strips of pristine white sand, and lots and lots of playful dolphins just waiting for you to get in and swim with them. Experienced guides take people of all ages out into the water to experience the once in a lifetime dolphin encounter. People who have swam with dolphins, say that they feel as if they have experienced a spiritual awakening. Definitely one of the most affordable options, as your holiday accommodation can be included in the packaged tours, right on the beach.

8. Camel Riding in Cairo

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There’s nothing quite like the magic and intrigue of Ancient Egypt to stun a sour teenager into silence and awe, or a camel ride alongside the pyramids to entrance a miserable toddler. Walk through the Egyptian Museum and be enthralled by the Pharaohs’ treasures. Don’t forget to drag the kids through the Mummy room, your cool status will go up a notch. Climb the pyramids and tour through the ancient passages of time, and be transported to the mystical times No matter where you of Ancient Egypt.

No matter where you take your family vacation this year, make it count; choose a spectacular place that will have the children talking about it for years afterwards. A family trip doesn’t have to be especially expensive or stressful, and sometimes you will surprise yourself, you don’t need to travel too far. A family vacation is a time for the family to bond, out of their routine and away from the stresses of everyday life. This list is only 8 Once in a Lifetime Family Vacations; what would you put on your favourite bucket list of family holidays?

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