Jet-setting families are always on the lookout for their next major adventure, and anyone who has been at it for long has likely realized the folly of playing it cheap by trying to take the family to the same hostels and low-cost eateries they visited during their college backpacking days. There’s just no denying that traveling with kids requires additional safety and comfort considerations, and if you have the money you should definitely opt for luxurious accommodations when you travel with the whole crew. So if you’re looking for a few new places to take your vacay that can offer you not only new and exciting adventures, but also a bevy of lavish amenities, here are a few unique destinations you may want to consider.
1. Poseidon Mystery Island, Fiji. Although there is plenty to keep you occupied aboveground, the real draw of this so-called mystery island is the underwater resort located there, with 24 suites situated 40 feet below the surf of the island’s crystal-clear lagoon. Interested? It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you and the kids will never forget. Unfortunately, it will cost you about $15K per person, which includes airfare and a 6-night stay (although only a third of your visit will occur in the undersea lodgings, with the other four nights spent at the beachside resort). Still, if money is no object in your quest for global domination, this destination is definitely unforgettable.
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates. You might not be terribly keen to travel around the Middle East these days, but if you actually want to go you probably won’t find more luxurious accommodations (that are actually willing to accommodate western travelers) than in this virtual city of gold. Classic Mercedes Benzes are de rigueur with the wealthy elite (read: the majority) in this dazzling destination, and if you go during their annual Shopping Festival (starting mid-February and lasting for 32 days) you’ll not only find incredible deals on luxury goods, you’ll also get a chance to gawk at travelers from all over the world since about 3 million people flock to Dubai for this fantastic fit of capitalism. Book early.
3. Longitude 131?, Australia. If only you had the latitude, you could find this hotspot down under. While the name is a nod to the otherwise unremarkable desert locale of this splendid tent city, the real treasure lies not in the incredible gourmet food you’ll get (despite the fact that you’re living in a glorified tent, miles from human civilization), but in the scenery. A clear view of Uluru, Australia’s famous monolith, will serve as the first thing you see each morning when you wake.
4. Machu Picchu, Peru. Okay, so luxury is not exactly the name of the game when it comes to the world’s most famous and well-preserved set of pre-Columbian ruins, at least not unless a grueling 4-day hike through the mountains with a pack mule sounds like a step up from your normal routine. Luckily, travelers looking for a little more expedience can get it by having a helicopter drop them at this mountaintop site, which is truly unique if not totally extravagant.
5. Santorini, Greece. Although luxury holidays in northern Cyprus are always a good bet, this sleepy, old-world island is better for a little R&R than a thrilling adventure. But the island of Santorini is just a hop, skip, and jump away, with its famous wall of white-tiled buildings rising out of the cerulean sea like some otherworldly crystalline growth. You can walk the narrow streets to haggle with vendors or head down to the docks for a dip or a boat ride by day, then hike the caldera to watch what locals claim is the best sunset in the world. And finally, you can spend the evening sampling Santorini wines and club-hopping the night away (just ask the concierge at your resort to hook you up with a local sitter service).
6. Queensland, Australia. Vacationing in Queesland is popular with both domestic and international tourists. Considered Australia’s playground for holidays, some must see destinations include the heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, the dense rainforests of the tropical north, the world famous Gold Coast, or many Queensland island resorts. Cheap holidays Queensland can be fun and family friendly, or romantic and relaxing- depending on the type of vacation experience you are after. For a more luxury trip, consider a cruise, tour, or all inclusive wilderness getaway.