Bike the mythical pine forests of Scotland? Absolutely. Ride camels in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza? Check. Make your own gelato in Italy? Sure thing.
Ready or not, summer is on the horizon. Here are the 6 best places to travel in June 2020.
Italy: Rome, Florence & Venice
For kids, few things in Italy are more exciting than discovering decadent plazas and gargoyle-crowned spires. Walk among the crumbling pillars of Rome’s ancient
Floating along the canals of Venice, the narrow waterways feel poetic, lilting back and forth with a gentle sway. The rhythmic lapping of the waves on the vibrant architecture become lyrical.
Speaking of poetry, much has been written about the massive dome of the Florence Cathedral. Maybe a few words will come to you when you visit iconic Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti or the historic artisan neighborhood of Oltrarno. Perhaps you’ll be swayed to write when you see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, too.
Come for the History, Stay for the Gelato
One of the best parts about visiting Italy is experiencing its rich tradition of artisan handiwork. Don’t just buy souvenirs – make them! Bake pizza in Florence. Paint your own frescoes. Craft your own gelato. Here are some of the best artisan crafts to try in Italy.
The Galapagos Islands
Six-hundred miles from the coast of Ecuador lie the beaches of the Galapagos Islands, beloved by snorkelers and sea-lions alike. It’s where Charles Darwin performed his famous finch observations. It’s also where kids, grandkids, grandparents, aunts, uncles and anyone can find something new to do!
Expect to see a ton of new animals: frigate bids perch on mangrove trees and steal fish from blue-footed boobies. When you snorkel in Whale Bay’s pristine mangrove forests, you might see king angel fish, damselfish, barberfish and surgeonfish. Ninety-seven percent of the Galapagos Islands are protected national parks, meaning all that beauty is untouched.
Active Fun in the Sun
The Galapagos Islands pack the active adventure of an entire continent into one volcanic archipelago. Hike Sierra Negra Volcano, visit a giant tortoise breeding center and kayak, snorkel and bike on the islands. Explore an underground, 1,300-foot-long lava tunnel. Then give back to the ecosystem by helping to plant native Miconia trees.
Thanks to warm June temperatures and sandy beaches, the Galapagos are great for an afternoon on the water, making it one of the best places to travel in June 2020. You can even learn to surf with the help of a specialized instructor. Hang ten!
[LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GALAPGOS ISLANDS]
Egypt: Cairo, Aswan & Luxor
Want to step back in time? Step into Egypt’s ancient tombs, temples and pyramids. This country’s colossal history, iconic artistry and friendly people draw millions of international visitors every year.
[Here’s how the Rosentreter family spent their vacation in Egypt.]
Some of the highlights from their vacation:
- The Pyramids of Giza – and they rode camels in the shadow of the pyramids!
- The Temples of Abu Simbel, adorned with massive statues.
- The Valley of the Kings, dramatic burial tombs for Egyptian royalty, including Tutankhamun.
- The Temple of Kom Ombo and its 300 crocodile mummies.
- The Colossi of Memnon, two famous stone statues built 3,4000 years ago.
The people of Egypt are warm and inviting. Have lunch with them in a traditional Nubian village and learn about their customs. Venture into Khan el-Khalili Bazaar for total immersion in everyday Egyptian life. You’ll stroll among shops selling wood carvings, blown glass, hand-woven carpets and other craftwork. With the support and help of your guides, you can even barter for souvenirs, if you’d like!
Egypt is hot in June, but there’s plenty to do indoors (or in-ruins!) during the hottest parts of the day. A sunset Nile ride is the perfect chance to cool off, cruising past ancient monuments and farmers in their fields.
What makes a place magical? Rolling green hills? Gothic castles, cities with brick streets?
Scotland is home to reindeer herds and Harry Potter, but its bikeable pine forests, wildflower meadows and towering waterfalls deserve love too. What’s more, the misty lochs and seal-inhabited inlets are great places to hike, kayak and canoe, easily making Scotland of one of the best places to travel in June 2020.
The friends you make are just as unforgettable. Through our Friends Across Borders program, hang out with local kids and learn to play shinty – a Celtic sport similar to field hockey. You’ll laugh and make memories along the way.
Scotland is cool in June (hovering in the low sixties), making it a great place to escape the heatwaves at home. It’s the perfect weather to shoot medieval longbows, hike the wildflower meadows of Glen Nevis and canoe the waters of Loch Tay.
This beautiful, mountainous and culturally rich South American country is the hiking family’s dream. Of course, you’ll want to spend a day on the trails at Machu Picchu. But you’ll miss out on so many other great trails if you stop there – not to mention the culture of the Sacred Valley!
More than Machu Picchu
The mountain-hugged Sacred Valley brims with beautiful vistas and indigenous history. In the city of Cuzco is Koricancha, a Hispanic convent built on the single most important temple of the Incan Empire, the Sun Temple.
The surrounding region of the Sacred Valley is home to even more amazing ruins and rocky knolls. The Maras salt terraces is a terraced gorge filled with salt pans and an awesome hiking trail.
Peru is home to a large indigenous population that values their cultural heritage. In the Andean village of Chinchero, visit local Quechua women who practice a traditional form of back-strap weaving. Then meet up with your Peruvian pen pal though our Friends Across Borders program. You’ll have time to play soccer or just hang out.
[Read the letter exchange between two 8-year-old pen pals – one from Minnesota, one from Cuzco.]
Want to camp at an Incan granite quarry? Spend a day hiking to Qachikata Quarry, then settle down for a night on a beautiful mountainside plateau. The stars loom lightyears above. In the valley below, Incan ruins stand frozen in time.
Thailand Multi-Sport Adventure
Kids around the world adore Thailand’s approachable food, beaches and glittering-gold temples, and for good reason. Bangkok’s markets are a foodie paradise, where you can try some signature dishes, including dumplings, rice crepes and old-style Thai coffee.
The city is also home to the gold-trimmed Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, where the sacred Emerald Buddha stands. Wat Pho’s 150-foot-long reclining Buddha statue is a hot item for kids who love big, shimmering, golden objects. They’ll never forget it!
[Here’s a rundown of some Thai temples the kids will love.]
Active adventurers can hike Doi Inthanon National Park, a beautiful landscape of forests, waterfalls and temple ruins. Kayak and swim at Sri Lanna National Park and canoe through Phang Nga Bay’s mangrove forests and hidden lagoons.
Sports and games are the common language of children. When you visit Thailand, hang out with your pen pals and their families through our Friends Across Borders program. You’ll learn to play takraw, an exciting game described as “kick volleyball.” It’s fun for everyone – and one of the best places to travel in June 2020!