I am a single mother and have the first three weeks in August to take my 10 year old daughter on a really wonderful holiday. I would like her to experience a very different culture and for the holiday to be an unusual experience. For me the weather has to be good (I don’t mind rain as long as it clears quite quickly and is then sunny.) We love animals, nature and historical sites and would like to end up on a beautiful sandy beach. All ideas gratefully received as I really don’t know where to start.
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Hey Renata – what a lucky daughter you have! I often travel with my mum (perhaps she’s the only one that can put up with me for extended periods of time!), she makes a great companion!
A couple of years ago we spent two weeks in Kenya together – we flew to Nairobi and started an 8-day safari right away which led us into Tanzania and through some of the major Kenyan safari parks. I’d thoroughly recommend a safari for you and your daughter – especially one where all transport and accommodation is included. There’ll be plenty of animals, new cultures to learn about and it’ll make travelling with a 10-year-old relatively stress free!
After our time on safari, we headed to Mombasa (on the night train, which if you get a first class ticket would be great fun for you and your daughter – meals and a private cabin included) and straight down the coast to Diani Beach where we spent the rest of the trip chilling out on a stretch of white sand, snorkelling and swimming in the sea. It was beautiful and I’d thoroughly recommend!
We only went for two weeks, but you can easily fill 3 in Kenya if you spend some time in Mombasa or go up to Lamu (an island off the north coast) – we didn’t have time to visit Lamu but I heard some fantastic things about it from other travellers.
I hope this advice helps – do remember to check what the FCO are saying about Kenya though as there are some concerns about particular areas. Here’s their advice page: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya
If Kenya isn’t up your street or you’re too wary about the FCO advice, then I’d suggest India as your next bet. It’s cheap, fun and colourful with plenty of culture and religion to learn about and miles of beautiful beaches in the south (Goa, Karnataka or Kerala are great for beaches). For animals you can do tiger safaris and visit one of the many national parks inland.
Do let us know where you’re hoping to go – would love to hear about it!
Good luck and happy travels,
To second what Lottie said – what a lucky daughter! That sounds amazing. I have some really fond memories of holidays in Europe when I was younger. In particular the north of Italy was wonderful , with gorgeous sunny weather that wasn’t as cloyingly hot as the south. We dosed up on culture in Venice and Veneto, hiked around on Monte Baldo (and saw some very chilled out cows up on the peak!), wandered cobbled towns and historic sites, and ended up lazing on Lake Garda’s lesser-known beaches every evening.
It can be busy around August wherever you go, so I’d suggest steering clear of very popular destinations. Our article on the best things to do in August (http://www.roughguides.com/article/the-best-places-to-visit-in-august/) suggests a few places with really great things going on, some of which are a little more off the beaten track, like staying in Umbria when all of Italy flocks to Tuscany!
I hope this helps, and do let us know where you end up going!