Our Top 3 Favorite Destinations
Choosing a favorite destination is really difficult! We love every place that we visit for different reasons. These three destinations have stood out to us as being amazingly beautiful while also having some of the best outdoor adventure activities for families.
South Island, New Zealand
The first country that we visited was New Zealand and it remains to be our favorite place we’ve ever been to! We planned a 30-day road trip on the South Island during the months of September-October. Prior to our trip we had heard from many people that New Zealand was a place that we had to go especially if we loved outdoor adventure. Well, the South Island far exceeded all our expectations. Here are just a few things that we loved about New Zealand.
Variety of landscape
New Zealand has a little bit of everything, beautiful mountain ranges, large glaciers, golden sand beaches, and crystal clear rivers. Road tripping around the island gives you a feel for the landscape and allows you to see the variety.
Ease of travel
The roads are nicely paved and there are helpful signs for travelers all over the island. We never had any issues with bad traffic or finding directions. We also had amazing cell-service all over the island which was a big plus for us.
The kindness of the people
Everywhere we went we were greeted by the incredibly nice locals. They were very helpful and eager to make sure that we were having a good time in their country, we also loved their accents! We stayed in Airbnbs all over the island and often made great friends with our hosts. The local people were also sweet with Whitney and very helpful with any baby needs that we had.
Family-friendly adventure activities
We did a lot of hiking in New Zealand and many of the trails were perfect for us and Whitney. We noticed many young families all over the island, many of them were carrying babies or toddlers! Some of our favorite trails were in Aoraki National Park (Mt. Cook), and Abel Tasman National Park. There are all kinds of activities for kids young and old. We can’t wait to go back when our kids are older to do some rafting, kayaking, and more bungee jumping!
Surprised to see Iceland on this list? Probably not! We know that Iceland is a very popular travel destination right now and now we can understand why! The country of Iceland is insanely beautiful, rugged, and dramatic. For our trip, we traveled in a campervan and it was perfect for our family of three. We went during the month of August which ended up being a great time of year to visit because it was near the end of the busiest summer season.
Traveling in a campervan gave us access to be at some of the most beautiful waterfalls early in the morning or late in the evening. The campervan also allowed us flexibility to stay at some sites longer than planned or make unexpected stops when we wanted to! There were more than enough waterfalls and short hikes very close to the main road which was perfect for us to see with Whitney.
We went to Guatemala to experience and photograph the active volcano Fuego and that we did! Mike spent 6 days photographing the eruptions on Fuego. Photographing a volcano had been a dream of Mike’s since he was a kid, we were so glad we could make it happen in Guatemala!
Mike and I both got to experience Fuego when my parents came to visit us and watch the girls. Seeing the eruptions as a couple was such a great experience for us. Watching (and hearing) constant eruptions throughout the day and night was one of the coolest and most incredible things that we’ve ever done. It’s the type of experience that you feel is once in a lifetime!
During our 30 days in Guatemala we stayed in the city of Antigua which is just about 45 minutes from the foot of Acatenango, the volcano next to Fuego. There are many guide companies located in Antigua who lead groups up the volcano for the experience. We went with the company OX Expeditions, we loved their guides and thought they did a great job.
We also wanted to mention that there is another active volcano near Antigua called Pacaya which is an easier hike and more accessible for families with young kids. Many of the guide companies in Antigua also offer tours to see this volcano!