6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids

These destinations are too hot, too bold, and too far away to enjoy right now.

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids

By Cemile Kavountzis, The Nest

These destinations are too sexy, too adventurous, and too far away for tikes. So enjoy them now!

Moshi, Tanzania

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids

There are tons to do in this top adventure destination, like going on a safari near the Ngorongoro Crater (a hotbed for wildlife). Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro also sets the “thrill” bar high—like 19,341 feet high—but it takes days of serious hiking to get to the top (you’ll sleep in tents along the way).

Where to Stay

Located on the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro, the brightly colored Springlands Hotel is outfitted with African handicrafts and supports “green” tourism (from $72).

Head north from Serengeti National Park for comfy tents at the Ikoma Safari Camp (from $300) or go east to the Pongwe Beach Hotel in Zanzibar (from $160).

What to Do

Sign up for a tour with a company like 2Afrika (they’ll help plan your safari from bottom to top). En route to Serengeti National Park, stop at Lake Manyara in the scenic Rift Valley.

Check out the sand art colors of the Olduvai Gorge, a ravine in Great Rift Valley.

Visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Crater where you’ll see black rhinos and more.

Go to a Maasai manyatta (another word for “homestead”). These indigenous people are known for their tribal dress, including robes, beaded necklaces, and walking sticks.

What to Bring

Outdoor gear. There aren’t any outdoor outfitters in Tanzania, so bring day packs, sleeping bags, and lots of layers (you’ll need clothing for all four seasons). Shorts, sweaters, and rain jackets are all essentials.

Mykonos, Greece

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids
© photography/Shutterstock

Since the days of the ancient symposia, when philosophers like Plato discussed issues while playing a prototype of beer pong (no, really!), Greeks have loved to party. Even adults take a daily afternoon snooze to recharge before dancing all night.

Where to Stay

The stucco walls, blue shutters, and classic furniture make the Tagoo Hotel feel about as authentic as a Greek Yaya's home—with a posh roof- balcony pool (from $94).

Near the center of Mykonos, couples-only Bill & Coo Suites and Lounge has a swank cocktail bar and pool overlooking the Aegean Sea (from $290).

What to Do

See offshore reefs with Mykonos Diving Center, which offers training for rookies.

Go al fresco at Matsuhisa Mykonos at the Belvedere Hotel. The sushi hot spot is a fave among celebs.

Rent a moped and check out the island's 20 beaches.

Hit Cavo Paradiso where hot global DJs like Carl Cox and David Morales have manned the decks.

What to Bring

Deodorant. Many stores don't have it.

Talkeetna, Alaska

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids

Ready for some serious action? Touch down in Anchorage and take a bush plane to the one-time mining town of Talkeetna. The treacherous transport alone makes this a not-so-kid-friendly destination (although it's a wild ride for adults).

Where to Stay

A five-mile hike from a historic 59er homestead cabin, the family-run Denali Fireside Cabins & Suites brims with welcoming charm in its cute cabin suites with gas fireplaces, covered outdoor decks, and hand-sewn quilts (from $99).

On the south side of Mount McKinley, the mid-size Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is a comfortable base with romantic add-ons like Jacuzzis and fireplaces (from $209).

What to Do

Flight-see over the alpine tundra, granite gorges, and glaciers that surround Mount McKinley and Denali National Park (Talkeetna Air can plan it for you). Tip: This isn't an excursion to take if you get motion sickness.

Heli-ski (a commonly used term for accessing off-trail, downhill skiing via helicopter instead of a ski lift) near Anchorage with Chugach Powder Guides.

Put your best camera to use in Denali National Park & Preserve, but respect the park's guidelines on how close you can actually get to the grizzly bears that inhabit the area.

Register at least two months ahead of your trip if you want to go on a climbing expedition on Mount McKinley (you'll need to get a permit). Hire a guide or head out on your own.

Meet the sled dogs of Denali with a visit to the park's very own kennel.

What to Bring

A sleep mask. During summer months, the sunsets as late as 11:40 p.m. in southern parts of the state and don't set at all for 84 days in the northernmost regions. In the winter, bring a watch with an alarm setting —Anchorage only gets six hours of daylight in December, making it somewhat hard to keep track of time.

Queenstown, New Zealand

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids
© Rebecca Bredehoft

After laughing your ass off through two seasons of Flight of the Conchords and being mesmerized through three super-long installments of The Lord of the Rings, you're ready to see what this natural beauty is all about. What you're not ready for? A marathon 13-hour flight from L.A. to Auckland with a crying baby/squirming toddler/inquisitive five-year-old kicking the seat in front of you nonstop.

Where to Stay

Looking out to the blue Lake Wakatipu, the windows of the year-old Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments seem more like an HD screensaver. The rooms in this cozy upscale lodge have custom furniture and super-private balconies (from $325).

Stay at the country-chic Dairy Private Luxury Hotel after hitting New Zealand's outdoors. It's worth it just for the buffet: made-to-order pancakes, eggs, bacon, and corned beef hash browns (from $365).

What to Do

Take the plunge with a bungee jump off the legendary Kawarau Bridge, the spot where the craze all started.

Get a bird's-eye view of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains; then skydive or take a thrilling loop-di-loop acrobatic flight.

White water raft the choppy Shotover River with up to grade five rapids if you're really serious paddlers. First-timers will be steered toward the lackadaisical Kawarau River (Queenstown Rafting can help you arrange either trip).

What to Bring

Sunscreen. Kiwis adopted their own version of “stop, drop and roll" for sunburn: “slip, slop, slap and wrap," as in slip on a shirt, slop on SPF, slap on a hat, and wrap on a pair of sunglasses.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids
© masterlu_info/Dreamstime

Bus from the capital, Phnom Penh, to the ancient city of Siem Reap. It's not the sort of ride you'd take kids on; it's six hours, and the locals have a habit of singing karaoke (fun for entertainment, bad for napping). Plus, the buses rarely have seatbelts, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a car seat even if there were something to strap it in with. The ride's well worth it though to see the 900-year-old ruins and stunning landscape.

Where to Stay

The earthy, minimalist aesthetic of the seven-room Viroth's Hotel feels just like stepping into a rock garden with a well-placed salt-water pool, rooftop Jacuzzi, and spa (from $90).

Go for the name, stay for the bargain basement nightly rates at The Kool Hotel, where you'll also get discounts on food and massages. The friendly staff rolls out the welcome mat with a refreshing drink when you arrive, serves up awesome local dishes, and can arrange any day trips you desire (from $55).

What to Do

Check out the ancient temples at Angkor Wat at sunset—or sunrise— nicknamed the “magic hours” for shutterbugs.

Explore the floating village of Kompong Phluk and the flooded forest with a local tour service like Saron Tours. Or have your hotel arrange a trip with a local guide.

Shop for silk hangings and Buddhist curios at the stalls of the Old Market (Phsar Chas) on the south side of town.

Hunker down in a plastic chair on the north end of the Old Market and try the super-cheap street food, like Khmer satay.

Drink and dance at Nest, a bar-café that serves up small plates while DJs set a relaxed lounge vibe.

What to Bring

Bug spray. The (very) hot, humid climate is essentially a gigantic breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects that bite.

Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids
© Fabian Schmiedlechner / EyeEm/Getty Images

Travelers have been heading to Argentina lately, but the real gem is the hot spot next door. Skip the cities and head to some of Uruguay's most popular remote beach towns, like Jose Ignacio and Cabo Polonio. The latter is full of bars that still operate by candlelight, but don't be fooled—the super-sexy ambiance is really because there's no electricity.

Where to Stay

Just a short walk from a vast beach, there are plenty of hammocks to chill out on outside the eight rooms at Posada Arenas de Jose Ignacio (from $120).

Want to feel like a celeb? Naomi Watts and Paula Abdul have hidden away at the glamorous yet mellow Casa Suaya (from $200).

What to Do

Go on a full-moon horseback ride along Laguna Garzón beach.

Hire a resident fisherman to take you out for a catch—or a scenic boat cruise.

Visit the Jose Ignacio Lighthouse.

Learn to windsurf with Laura Moñino in Laguna Garzón.

Drive a half-hour to Punta del Este and take a boat to see sea lions at Isla de Lobos.

What to Bring

Cash. There are no ATMs in Jose Ignacio—and most places don't accept credit cards.


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Travel Magazine: 6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids
6 Places to Go Before You Have Kids
These destinations are too hot, too bold, and too far away to enjoy right now.
Travel Magazine
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