Traveling with kids can be a big adventure or a big headache. But whether or not schlepping around Disneyland with a pile of kids and their snacks and their toys and their electronic gizmos is your idea of a good time, you’ve got to agree that there are a few travel destinations you should get out of the way before you’ve got little ones running around.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
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Long-haul flights with crying babies and whiny kids aren’t fun for anybody, and flying from New York to Auckland takes a whopping 18 hours! If you’ve yet to settle down and are willing to make the trek, New Zealand is the perfect destination for child-free adventure.
Bungee jump off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, go black water rafting at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves or scuba dive at one of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite spots, Poor Knight’s Islands Marine Reserve. Finally, enjoy a glass of chardonnay while you take in the gorgeous vistas at one of NZ’s award-winning wineries.
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On the surface, the Dutch might seem like a reserved people, with their wooden shoes and lovely tulip fields, but anyone who’s been to Amsterdam can tell you that they know how to party. From the chilled-out coffee shops where cannabis can be legally purchased and consumed to the notorious Red Light District, Amsterdam’s nightlife has a lot to offer a grown up with no responsibilities.
If you do ever take kids there, be sure to mind the open canals and busy bicycle paths. That’s probably also good advice for all you adult travelers too, especially if you’ve sampled a few too many of the city’s herbal wares.
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Between the 20-hour flight, the time difference, the temperature change and the culture shock, Thailand would be a lot for a child traveler to take in. Better to get it out of the way now so you can experience everything this exotic country has to offer.
Take a late-night stroll through the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, meditate somberly at one of the country’s many Buddhist temples and drift around the Thai Islands on a yacht tour. End your day with an all-night party under a full moon with a hundred drunken, neon-clad strangers, then fall asleep in the white sand under the twinkling stars.