I probably don't need to remind you that Father's Day is on 19 June. It might be too late to plan a getaway with your own dad or your kids' dad this month, and these things often involve more planning and budgeting than on-the-whim travel, but here are some ideas from Pentravel for now and down the line that dads will love (depending on their tastes), and that moms and kids will also benefit from (unlike those Father's Day gift of socks, shower gel or coffee mugs).
Here are Pentravel's ideas to enjoy some quality dad time, family time, and "me time", and best thing is, they don't need to cost the earth. If I could choose something for my hubby right now, it would either be a week in the bush, a weekend in Dullstroom, or if we're going big, a week in Paris.
For adventurous families: For big and small boys who love to fish, the majestic coast of Mozambique is just a short flight away (big bonus especially if your children are still little). There are several villages along the coast where one can take part in both deep sea and estuary fishing. Active adventures are endless and will keep you entertained all day long: gear up and go and catch some big fish or turn it up a notch and add some high-endurance dune-riding, wake-boarding, snorkelling and kayaking to the mix. Top tip: Live in Jo’burg or Durban? Self-drive to Mozambique instead of flying.
Dads with lads: Have you ever wanted to see Lewis Hamilton live in action at a Grand Prix? There is nothing like the thrill of watching Formula One drivers race around a course at top speeds. Or the smell of burning rubber and the sound of tyres screeching as Maseratis, Ferraris and Alfa Romeo engines roar around every bend. Why not book the Ultimate Boys Adventure and take your Dad or Lad on a trip to Malaysia or Germany to experience the Grand Prix in the flesh for three days with official grandstand tickets?
If golf is more your thing and you want to stay local, teach your little man how to play a whole in one at Fancourt in George. It offers world class golf with all three of its courses ranked among Golf Digest’s top 20 in the country. Off the green, you and the kids also have access to the hotel’s many child and Dad friendly activities like fishing, mountain biking or tennis. Top tip: Most Grand Prix packages only include a few nights in the destination; extend your stay and make the most of your airfare.
Dads with 14-going-on-20 year olds: Cycling holidays are very popular and Europe has some of the safest and most accessible routes available. It’s also the ultimate way to experience the beauty of a country and cultivate a love for travel among your teen-going-on-20 year old. Take in the sights of Tuscany in Italy, renowned for some of the world’s most recognisable Renaissance-era art and architecture and diverse natural landscapes with olive groves and vineyards. Or go wine tasting (adults only, even if she thinks she’s 18) with local meats and cheeses and sign-up for a cooking class that uses local organic produce; ideal for little ladies who have a culinary flair. Top tip: If you travel with G Adventures you can cycle through Tuscany or the Loire Valley. Ask your agent for all the info.
For nature-loving families: Discover the magic of the Arctic with an otherworldly, spell-bounding trip to Finland on board a cruise liner or while exploring Iceland’s many winter wonders. Without any urban distractions, you and your kids can experience nature at its very best with a sighting of the Northern Lights, or bird, bear and reindeer spotting. You can even discover what a glacier feels like by literally walking on it! If you and your son have a need for speed, then take in the breath-taking views of the wilderness by renting cross-country skis to enjoy an epic overland rush. Top tip: You’re guaranteed to see the Northern Lights when you cruise with Hurtigruten; they’ll book you on another cruise if you miss the natural spectacular the first time around.
For bush-loving families: If you love the idea of camping but don’t want to pack up the kitchen sink, cook or do your own dishes, try glamping (camping without the fuss) for a few days at a game lodge. The Kruger National Park is home to the Big Five and also thousands of bird species, insects, other mammals and reptiles; a wild classroom that is just teeming with life. There is nothing quite like looking into the eyes of a lion during a sighting with your dad close by or sitting next to the campfire at night reminiscing about the days of rare leopard sighting with your kids. And just think of all those close encounter stories you have to share when you get home! Top tip: Avoid long queues to get in and out of the park by staying close to the gate or within the reserve itself.
Visit www.pentravel.co.za for more information.