Different family holidays

When was the last time your family raced through a pristine winter wonderland with your own team of huskies, tracked game with Masai warriors deep in the African bush, or went white-water rafting through spectacular canyons in Turkey? With quality time as a family increasingly hard to find, such family adventures are the perfect tonic to today's hectic life style. A holiday should invigorate each family member and bring them together through new experiences, fun and the excitement of discovery. Not only are the memories vividly imprinted on young minds, but a child's excitement re-awakens a sense of wonder amongst parents for the natural and cultural treasures of our world. Classic sun, sea and sand package holidays are now being overlooked by families that demand something more from their holiday time together. A new breed of family adventure holidays stimulate, educate and enrich both adults and children. † Sun and sand could well make an appearance; of course, it's just more likely to come with the added pleasure of a few camels and a Bedouin guide, or a pre-dawn trek to the top of a Namibian sand dune to watch the sunrise across the desert. If you are new to the world of adventure travel, you might be forgiven for thinking travelling with children to far off lands is bound to end in mishap. The truth is, kids travel well. Children are welcomed around the world in a way that adults rarely are, which makes for unique experiences and the chance for the whole family to delight in discovering different cultures, inspiring scenery and awesome wildlife. "But my kids aren't old enough," I hear you cry Ķ well there is no Äòright' age at which to start travelling with kids. Even children as young as two or three years old are more adaptable than you might imagine, so don't be put off. To give an example, a multi-day trek in the Nepali Himalaya would be seen by many as a step too far for a family, but those in the know, know different. Teenagers love the active exploration, soaring majestic mountains, bustling village life and evenings filled with the magic of traditional songs around the campfire. And even with young children there are options that make such an undertaking fun and highly feasible. When little legs are tired of trekking children can be carried in specially adapted padded baskets by friendly porters. The animals, farms and other children make for a constant source of entertainment. And what an experience? Can there be a better way to learn about religions, history, cultures and people? Schooling and books can only ever teach us so much about the world. Some things just have to be experienced. It's a similar story in Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia or the Americas, where you could be exploring vibrant markets full of strange smells and tantalising sounds, riding across the high plains of Arizona on horse back, or learning about the big five on a specialist family safari. Family adventures aren't just about exploring the more unusual destinations, as the popularity of multi-activity holidays in Europe proves. If adrenalin sports aren't your scene, then why not go bear watching in Eastern Europe, spend a day learning how to make pizzas in Italy before cycling through the rolling landscapes of Tuscany, or put your thermals on and watch the stunning northern lights on a winter adventure high above the Arctic Circle. You don't have to rough it. Comfortable hotels and adventure can mix very well, although everyone should, at least once in their lives, experience the wonder of falling asleep under a blanket of a billion desert stars. So don your safety helmet, wetsuit and life jacket and take the plunge, for as Mark Twain once wrote: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."