When you’re going on vacation with your family, you want everyone to have the best time possible, but you also want to keep everyone safe. As you plan your family travel extravaganza, make sure you consider aspects such as crime rates, robberies, a lack of kid-friendly activities, drug issues, rough waters, and things of that nature. Remember, too, that for all the places you have to cross off your list, there are ten other hot spots your family will love. Here are 5 places you shouldn’t bring the family (and where to go instead).
1. The Battle of Brazil: Maceió vs. Rio de Janeiro
Image via Flickr by Cyro A. Silva
Avoid: Brazil is a beautiful place, but it’s regrettably filled with several cities that aren’t as desirable. Although Maceió features stunning scenery and magical beaches, the crime rate has sadly increased in recent years. While there are certain spots within the northern city that are still considered safe, the risk isn’t worth it, especially when you’re traveling with your family. The government is actively trying to clean up both the city and its reputation, but as yet, its beauty isn’t safe.
Instead: Rio de Janeiro, however, is a wildly popular tourist destination, and it’s family friendly. The locals love taking their children everywhere with them, so it’s simply a matter of course for visitors to do the same. The beaches are even more breathtaking here. Plus there are parks, such as the beloved Wet ‘n Wild Rio park, and the affordable but educational Jardim Zoologico. You might not want to take the kids to Carnival, at least not all aspects, but there’s more than enough to tempt you.
2. A Mexico Match: Ciudad Juarez vs. Cancun
Image via Flickr by shinya
Avoid: Sunny vacations are ideal for families, and if you’re looking for something exotic but still relatively close, Mexico probably tops your list. While there are many cities in the vibrant country calling your name, Ciudad Juarez isn’t one of them. The government has taken a strong stand against crime, but the city is still one of the most dangerous places to visit. While it’s filled with culture, sun, and native experiences, the fact remains that there are better, safer places to get them.
Instead: Cancun probably seems like an adult-oriented paradise, but that’s not the case at all. There are loads of family friendly resorts and vacation rentals in Cancun, which allow your family to have the time of your lives in a place that feels like home.
The culture here is even richer, with Mayan excursions and tours beckoning once you’re ready to get off the beach. There are even eco-friendly adventure parks designed to invite a greener vacation. Take advantage of the water parks, the zoos, and the aquarium, where you can visit with friendly dolphins, tropical fish, sharks, and stingrays.
3. The German Joust: Brandenburg vs. Munich
Image via Flickr by maveric2003
Avoid: Germany is chock-full of culture, art, and old-world European decadence. The vibe there is looser than you might imagine—especially in Brandenburg. Although it’s an old, inspired city, it’s a little too fancy-free for the kids. Why is that? Well, in addition to several fetish clubs and steamy night spots, there’s also a castle that doubles as a refuge for swingers. While the city is gorgeous in the daytime, once the sun goes down things get pretty kinky, so you’ll want to keep little eyes averted.
Instead: The good news is that the entire family can still get an amazing experience filled with history and local culture. Think about looking for rentals in Munich and staying for a week or two, because there’s simply so much to see and do. For kids and parents who love technology, a visit to the Deutsch Museum is a must. For an experience that takes you back in time, take the train to the Neuschwanstein Castle or visit Rothenburg and the Harburg Fortress.
4. Fight for France: Agde vs. Paris
Image via Flickr by mK B.
Avoid: Agde is a gorgeous seaside town right on the Mediterranean. It is stunning, centrally located, and easy to reach by train or plane. It is famous for its resorts and beaches, not to mention its water sports and romantic walkways. The only problem is that it is also sometimes known as the Naked City. Unquestionably an adult-oriented paradise, it’s no place for the tykes unless you want to spend your whole vacation answering a lot of awkward questions. While parents might want to take go there for an anniversary someday, let the kids experience French culture elsewhere.
Instead: For instance, Paris is the perfect spot for a family vacation. Steeped in art, history, and culture, it’s a fantastic place to introduce the kids to fun and education. In addition to all the famous spots, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, there are all sorts of kid-friendly activities waiting. Let them explore the open markets, introduce them to classic French cuisine, and take them to perfectly charming puppet shows, modern museums just for kids, and even Disneyland.
5. Michigan Match-Up: Detroit vs. Mackinac Island
Image via Flickr by ***Bud***
Avoid: Stateside, there are lots of places you likely want to visit, but they should wait until the kids are older. Detroit is at the top of the list, because although it has features such as the DIA and sweeping views of Lake Michigan, it’s just not entirely safe for youngsters. The bustling city is currently undergoing massive renovations designed to make it much safer and more welcoming, and it is actually succeeding admirably. At the same time, you might want to give it a few years before taking the kids.
Instead: Mackinac Island is quaint, charming, and actually very informative and educational. The island is small, ideal for little legs to explore, and all the rushing traffic you see in Detroit is nonexistent here. Instead, the kids can ride their bikes, skate, or get around in carriages. There’s even a ferry to take you to and fro, so you’ll still enjoy those glorious water views.
Never feel too scared to travel with your family, just do a little research before you go. What’s your ideal, super safe, fun-filled family trip?