Hello everyone! I am Nadeen and I am thrilled to be a guest writer on Fab Haute Mama! You can find my travel, foodie and wine stories on my blog, The Sophisticated Life! In this post I will be discussing my favorite thing in the world-traveling! Are you planning a summer or holiday family vacation and seeking something unique? The Grand Canyon, Disneyworld and heading to a beach resort are all popular ideas but what if your family desires some adventure and international flavor? If so, consider a trip to Athens, Greece, a Mediterranean cruise or a trip to the Dominican Republic!
When most people think of a family vacation to Europe they consider cities such as London, Rome and Paris. In the post “5 Favorite Cities to Visit in Europe with Kids”, Kirsten of Kids Are A Trip gives valuable travel advice on these cities as well as Barcelona & Copenhagen. However, I am here to tell you to consider Athens for your next family vacation. Like Rome, Athens is filled with historical monuments and artifacts. While in school I loved learning about Greek mythology and Greek architecture and I am sure your children and/or teens are enjoying this as well. Taking them to see these sites in person will truly blow their minds. Athens is the capital city and the largest city in Greece. It is also one of the oldest cities in the world. Athens is often referred to as the “cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.” It definitely feels metropolitan with bustling streets and sidewalks, countless restaurants, shops and hotels. All through these buildings you can see evidence of the ancient monuments. Athens was the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and it hosted the 2004 Olympic Games 108 years later. The biggest draw to Athens is of course the Acropolis. It can be seen on a hilltop throughout the city, even lit up at night. The most famous building within the Acropolis is the Parthenon. There are many replicas throughout the World including one in Nashville TN! While visiting the Acropolis be sure to take note of the remains of the theater, the temples and visit the Acropolis museum. The most unique structure in my opinion is the Erechtheion temple which has “Caryatids”-columns shaped as women holding up the porch of the temple. What a symbol of female strength and power! And of course there is all the delicious Greek food! Your family will indulge in feta cheese, gyros, numerous types of olives, fresh Mediterranean fish, eggplant and zucchini dishes and much more!
When most people thinking of going on a cruise for a family vacation they imagine a Disney cruise or a Caribbean cruise. But what if you have been there done that or have the urge to go an international family vacation? A Mediterranean cruise is perfect in fulfilling both! I had the good fortune to cruise the Mediterranean Sea on Norwegian Epic last fall and I was initially surprised by all the children and even babies that were on board. But then it made sense. Cruises, even Mediterranean ones are very affordable compared to other vacations. Think of it as an all-inclusive resort at sea. Your meals and non-alcoholic drinks are included, there is constant entertainment and best of all for families-daycare! For older children there are teen centers and activities including a sports deck. For younger children Norwegian Epic had a kid zone, kiddie pools and Nickelodeon characters. There were several casual family friendly restaurants on the ship as well as 24 hour room service. Once in port at locations such as Rome,Florence and the South of France, depending on the ages of your children, you may choose to take them touring with you OR make use of babysitting services on the ship. This is a win-win situation since you will have both a family vacation as well as some alone adult time. There are several cruise lines that sail along the Mediterranean Sea so be sure to read my “Cruise Tips & Tricks” article to assist you in planning this wonderful family vacation.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
If you are planning your family vacation and do not wish to travel far from the U.S., consider a trip to the Dominican Republic! I have visited this Caribbean island twice in the past 4 months and I can tell you it has a lot to offer. Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola which is also occupied by Haiti. The population is diverse with 73 % being classified as multiracial. The official language is Spanishwhich allows for great practice if your children are taking that language in school. Punta Cana consists of endless hotels and all-inclusive resorts located directly on the beach. From luxury to budget accommodations, you can have your pick. On my first visit I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino which had several pool areas for children as well as daily family activities. From Punta Cana it is possible to take day trips to both the capital of Santa Domingo or to La Romana. In Santa Domingo be sure to visit the “Colonial Zone” which is the site of the first known cathedral, castle and monastery built in the Americas. While sightseeing in La Romana I was able to watch children playing baseball which is a very popular sport on the island. We also enjoyed touring the historic Casa de Campo which is home to many celebrities as well as a school for budding artists. While in the Dominican Republic enjoy listening and dancing to merengue and “bachata” which is a Latin genre of music originating in Dominican Republic. Beautiful beaches, great food, good music, diverse culture and historical areas make Dominican Republic the ideal place for your Caribbean family vacation.
I hope you have enjoyed these unique international destinations for your family vacation! Tell us where you plan to travel with your family this year!