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  • Writer's pictureRachel Smith

Best Overseas Vacations for Families

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Looking to take your vacation abroad this year but not sure where? Traveling internationally can be intimidating, especially when the whole family’s involved. But get ready to sit back and relax, because we’ve found the five best overseas vacations for families.

1. Iceland

Starting off we have Iceland, one of the safest destinations in the world. Your little ones will love the Viking tales the country’s known for. Better yet, hop on a boat tour from Reykjavik and give them the firsthand experience! With Blue Whale sightings and glaciers aplenty, they’ll be feeling the adventurous spirit in no time. While hikes around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula will get you up close and personal with gorgeous rock formations and waterfalls, a drive along Ring Road will immerse you in the scenery from the comfort of your own rental car. Unwind afterwards in one of Iceland’s famous geothermal pools, like the Myvatn Nature Baths.

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2. Costa Rica

From beaches to rainforests, Costa Rica has it all. Try taking a hike through the Children’s Eternal Rainforest for the chance to show them sloths, monkeys and toucans. Or head to the Catalina Islands for snorkeling around gorgeous coral reefs and a relaxing catamaran cruise at sunset. The Río Celeste is a great option for hiking or tubing, with spectacular waterfalls flowing into picture-perfect blue pools. But if you need a break from all the adventure, pack a picnic and head to Flamingo Beach for white sands and blue water as far as the eye can see.

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3. Switzerland

The fairytale feeling of small towns in Switzerland with the Alps for a backdrop makes this country one of the best overseas vacations for families. The Sportbahnen Kerenzerberg is a great first stop in the summer, starting with a picturesque chair lift through the mountains and followed by an optional scooter race to the bottom. Hiking is a must, but don’t break out your mountain climbing gear just yet. The Habergschwänd-Talsee Nature Trail in Filzbach is just over a mile long but offers perfect forest views. There’s endless gourmet restaurants to choose from during your stay, however the Fondue Tram in Zürich may be the most fun. Take in the town as you’re offered all-you-can-eat fondue during the two-hour ride.

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4. Turks and Caicos

If a tropical beach is all you want and more, the Turks and Caicos Islands are your match made in heaven. With turquoise water and clear skies all around, it’s hard to go wrong. Let the kids get their kicks snorkeling or fishing before relaxing by Grace Bay Beach, voted one of the best beaches in the world by Tripadvisor. Next, head to the Iguana Islands to get up close and personal with the local wildlife. If you’re in town on a Thursday, check out the weekly Island Fish Fry at Bight Park for local acts, amazing food and a great sense of community.

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5. Portugal

Portugal is another one of the safest tourist-friendly vacation destinations perfect for those new to overseas travel. A private boat tour near the Grotte de Benagil offers incomparable views of natural rock formations that are impossible to forget. Get an up-close view with a kayak tour of the Algarve – keep an eye out for dolphins! If you’re looking to keep the trip as educational as it is exciting, take a look around Alentejo. The medieval castles looking over the beaches and vineyards are sure to make the kids enjoy the itinerary just as much as you do.

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There’s no need for family travels abroad to be as hectic as they sometimes seem. Get to know the country before you go, keep your itinerary up to date, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable overseas vacation.

Rachel Rebecca Smith is a graduate student at James Madison University. After earning a BA in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at JMU, she decided to return to the program for her Master’s. She will graduate with her MA in WRTC this May.

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