Your sense of adventure doesn’t disappear just because you have kids, so why should your family holidays be limited to the usual suspects?
We’ve developed a better style of family travel, one that favours real life experiences over the virtual ones. Start with kid-friendly hotels (swimming pool included), and then sprinkle in a tuk-tuk ride through the streets of Bangkok, a football match with Maasai tribesmen or sailing down the Nile in an Egyptian felucca. Who needs a ball pit and a buffet when you’ve got the whole world to play in?
Why do an Intrepid family tour?
Just for families: The clue’s in the title. These trips are for families only (including any aunts, uncles or cousins who’d like to come along, of course). As long as you’re travelling with a child under the age of 18, you’re a family in our eyes. Plus, unlike the other guys, children 14 and under on Intrepid trips qualify for child rates, which means 10% off the price of their trip.
Small group sizes: Intrepid’s family group sizes are small enough to avoid the crowds and reach some out-of-the-way places, but big enough for a good social mix. Our average group size of 10 allows us to hop aboard local boats, buses or trains, eat at friendly, family-run restaurants and kick back in traditional accommodation and homestays.
Action packed: We know the biggest challenge on a family trip is keeping the kids entertained. So we’ve planned in advance. Nearly all of our hotels feature pools, and each day has a great mix of action-packed adventure and flexible free time. Your local leader can also suggest activities based on your kid’s hobbies or school curriculum.
Where can we take a family adventure?
A taste of what's in store...
Each of Intrepid's family trips has been built with a smooth blend of action-packed activities and flexible family time, just the way we like it. Want to know the sort of adventures you can expect with us? We’ve picked out a few of our favourites.
Our family trips are just that – for the whole family. That means you don’t have to leave aunties, uncles and grandparents at home. As long as there is at least one child under the age of 18 travelling with you, you’re a family group. Older families should check out our regular Intrepid adventures.
Most of our trips have a minimum age of either 5 or 11 years old. Trips with a minimum age of 5 are suitable for all ages, and we can even tell you in advance the age of kids already booked on that departure. Most of our travellers are between the ages of 8 and 18 years old.
Our teenage trips have a minimum age of 11 and offer more active and challenging itineraries designed especially for older children. If you also have younger children, we will look at allowing them onto these trips on a case-by-case basis, depending on the activities on the trip and their ages.
For more information, contact one of our travel experts or your travel agent.
Grassroots travel means that we try to do everything the local way, and that means eating at local restaurants. The food is always freshly made and delicious, and there is generally a great variety on offer.
There are not always specific kids’ menus available, so if you feel your children might be hesitant to try the food, why not cook some of the local dishes at home before you go (and maybe take along snacks that you know they like).
We try to accommodate all food requirements, so make sure you advise us at the time of booking. Although we endeavour to have alternative options available, it may be difficult in some restaurants to determine if foods are 100% allergen-free. We advise that you take the same precautions as you would when eating out at a restaurant in your home country, and maybe take along snacks that you know are safe as a precaution.
There is usually a vegetarian option available, and most picnic and buffet-style meals will have lots of salads, rice dishes and breads. Unlike big veggie destinations like India or South-East Asia, some countries do not traditionally offer a wide range of vegetarian options. Please talk to our travel experts if in doubt.
Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses that reflect the character of the area. Generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips, chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
Families of two will always get a twin room to themselves. For groups of three we will try our best to find a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it’s impossible to provide a triple room, you can decide which of your party takes a separate single room.
For families of four or more we will most likely find two twin rooms. Where possible, we’ll aim put you in a quadruple room. While we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little or no control over where your rooms will be.
Swimming is always a big draw for kids, so we try to use hotels with pools where possible. Depending on how far off the beaten track the itinerary wanders, there may not be hotels with pools nearby, but we’ll try to find you a freshwater lake or secluded beach where you can cool off.
As the dynamic of the kids’ group evolves, you may find that they want to share rooms with their friends instead of siblings etc. Once keys have been allocated, we are happy for parents to decide on the rooming arrangements of the kids as they feel suitable.
The amenities for each hotel we use are listed in the detailed trip notes that are included with each trip.
Activities are definitely optional, and it may be possible to just watch, stay at the hotel or do some independent exploring. Either way, parents are responsible for their child at all times, so you will need to supervise if a child wants to opt out.
We often cover a lot of ground, especially on our family treks where terrain can be challenging and steep. When rain is a possibility, you will all need waterproof footwear with a good grip. For any trips that aren’t specifically trekking, then a comfortable, sturdy pair of shoes such as trainers or sneakers will work fine.
Our family experts, many of whom are parents, have specifically crafted the itineraries to make sure they run at a family-friendly pace and keep travelling time to a minimum. Plenty of free time is included for families to participate in activities that suit their interests, and group activities are designed to work around meal times.
Our activities are aimed at all ages, and we encourage every member of the family to get involved.
Yes – our Family Adventure leaders are all experienced in working with children. They are friendly, organised and have a great rapport with the kids. They undergo extra rigorous training to make sure they can work well with the dynamic of the younger group members.
Although we employ special leaders that have relevant experience in looking after children, they are not employed to provide childcare. Leaders are present to handle all logistics and make sure that your trip runs smoothly, but parents must be responsible for children at all times.
Health and safety
In most countries we travel to there are private, western-style hospitals or medical centres. If you have any medical issues, mention them to your leader (who in turn can contact the local operational office for advice or assistance), but also make sure to contact your insurance provider.
The insurance provider will offer assistance, advice and usually have a recommended medical centre or hospital that has English-speaking medical staff.
While not required, it’s always good to be prepared for any little bumps or bruises along the way. Without going overboard, we recommend bringing a supply of Band-Aids and disinfectant, some paracetamol, motion sickness tablets (if necessary), hydrolytes (or something similar) and any personal medical items that might be needed throughout the duration of the trip.
If a family member is travelling with prescription medicine, it is recommended that they travel with extra in the case of loss or if it is spoilt or damaged.
We’d also recommend carrying a doctor’s letter or prescription with you and advising the Leader on Day 1 of the trip of any medical conditions. If you’re travelling with any medicine that needs to be refrigerated, you must let our sales team know at the time of booking.
Please contact your local doctor or specialist traveller’s vaccination centre at least 60 days prior to departure. They can give you all the information about what specific vaccinations should be taken prior to your trip.
All families must have comprehensive travel insurance to cover them in the event of illness or medical emergency, preferably a policy that includes repatriation. You’ll need to provide details of insurance to your leader on Day 1 of the trip.
We regularly check all of our vehicles to ensure that they adhere to strict safety requirements. With the exception of a few buses in Burma, all Intrepid vehicles are fitted with seatbelts.
When it comes to participating in organised activities, we use and regularly audit trusted operators who are well aware of the necessary safety equipment and procedures, including supplying correctly fitting life-jackets and helmets.
Your group leader will be able to offer advice on a case-by-case basis. If you are advised not to drink groundwater, we recommend that you pack water purification tablets rather than buying bottled water (it’s better for the environment).
All of the hotels we use will have western-style flushing toilets. In some rural areas, please be advised that toilet facilities may be of a more rudimentary standard than your family enjoys at home. In these circumstances we recommend carrying hand sanitation products. Remember – it’s all part of the experience!
Borneo Family Adventure, April 2017
Overall, I don't think Borneo has enough to offer for a 11 day trip based on our experience. I think the trip was padded out somewhat & there is not enough interesting sights to see & do. Sabah Tea Garden - should have included a visit to tea factory & be served a cup of tea on arrival! Poring hot springs - very disappointing - dirty & not inviting! Perhaps a longer walk could have been included as most travellers on these trips are those who are used to walking (children included) Homestay - should be cancelled ... not really an opportunity to learn about their culture! Jungle eco camp - too much time wasted prior to getting on to jungle boat! The stay itself was good - jungle cruise, cooking lesson & fishing were real highlights. Seeing the probiscus monkeys in the wild was great! Sepilok - A real highlight both probiscus monkeys & orangutans Pulau Tiga - fantastic place - very relaxing, interesting & enjoyable. Food was great & really good interaction with local people! Local guide was very good too. Lankkah Syabas - perhaps we should have had more time at Pulau Tiga & less time here.
Review submitted 21 May 2017
Vietnam Family Holiday , April 2017
We all had a wonderful time. Our guide was exceptional and ensured we immersed ourselves in the culture and history of this diverse and complex country. We felt safe and well looked after and had a really happy group to travel with. We loved every minute.
Review submitted 06 May 2017
Vietnam Family Holiday , April 2017
Steve and Megan Dixon
This was a very well organised trip and well researched. The trip was varied and catered for all needs. The places we ate at had been well checked out and were all great. Our tour guide was amazing and really was the icing on the cake for us. There were also some optional extras that you could do as well, which we did most of. A trip like this is a safe way to get the full cultural experience for a family.
Review submitted 01 May 2017