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International Trips

Whether you’re looking for a couple’s trip, a solo getaway or a destination for the entire family, we found a few spots that are sure to provide an educational, memorable and worldly experience. A quick Internet
search will uncover innumerable lists that highlight the best international vacations, but we’ve summed up a few of our favorites and why we think they’ll be adventures of a lifetime!
Travel alerts and warnings: always research as much as you can about the international destination you’re interested in exploring. The U.S. Department of State provides safety and security information as well as up-to-date travel warnings.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Official language: Danish, but most Danes understand and speak some English.

Currency: U.S. dollars must be exchanged for the Danish Kroner; all international credit cards are accepted, although many shops require a card that uses the “chip or PIN” system.

Where is it? Denmark is a country in Northern Europe. It borders the Baltic Sea and the North Sea on a peninsula north of Germany. In comparison, it is slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts.

Must-see attractions: The Christianborg Palace is a great place to spend the entire day. You can see the royal stables, climb the tower and even venture under the palace to see ruins. Treat yourself to some shopping at Strøget, and be sure to climb The Round Tower, it’s the oldest functioning observatory in Europe.

Family-friendly tips: Denmark is a safe and relaxed country with many family-friendly sites. Copenhagen is home to The Little Mermaid statue in the harbor, Amalienborg Palace (the Danish royal family residence since 1794), Tivoli Gardens, Wheel of Copenhagen (a Ferris wheel similar to the London Eye), Bakken (the world’s oldest amusement park) and a wonderful zoo, aquarium and national museum.

When to go: June is highly recommended with its long days and warm weather while July and August are good alternatives. However, July and August are also the most popular tourist months, so you will experience more crowds. If you want to avoid the high season altogether, May and September are good months to target.

Belize

Official language: English, but unique dialects are spoken throughout.

Currency: U.S. dollars are accepted throughout the country but can also be exchanged for the Belize dollar. Most accommodations and tours will be listed in U.S. dollars while most restaurants, shops, etc. are listed in Belize dollars.

Where is it? Belize is located in Central America. It is bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea.

Must-see attractions: Grab your hiking boots and climb Ca’ana, the tallest Mayan structure in Belize. Towering 140 feet high, the pyramid has amazing views of the jungle surrounding it. No trip is complete without a stop at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. As the world’s first jaguar preserve, it has made great strides to protect the animal in its natural habitat.

Family-friendly tips: The average yearly temperature in Belize is 84°F, so it’s always warm, yet comfortable. If your family loves to be outdoors, this is the place for you. From exploring ancient Mayan temples to scuba diving inside and outside the Belize Barrier Reef, the incredible beauty of this country will not disappoint. There are also beautiful beaches where “shirts, shoes and worries are optional.”

When to go: While the weather in Belize makes it a great place to visit nearly year-round, the high season is from November to May while the low season is from June to October.

The Galapagos Islands

Official language: Spanish.

Currency: The U.S. dollar is the official currency on the Galapagos Islands.

Where is it? The island group is located on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean.

Must-see attractions: If you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike through the island’s lava tunnels. While the trek will involve a little crawling, we promise it’s worth the effort! Don’t miss your favorite bird, reptile, mammal or fish while you’re on the islands. Visit the Galapagos Island online photo gallery to see where each animal lives.

Family-friendly tips: You will be following in Charles Darwin’s footsteps when you travel around the Galapagos Islands. Animal lovers will have a great time exploring the islands and seeing the amazing natural life there. From walking paths to boat rides, you’ll find a tour the entire family can enjoy.

When to go: While it’s never a bad time to visit the islands, high travel season usually happens from mid-June through early September, then again from mid-December through mid-January. The rainy season lasts from December through May, but it’s a little warmer during this time.

Florence, Italy

Official language: Italian

Currency: The Euro is the official currency.

Where is it? Florence is in northern Italy.

Must-see attractions: The city has an endless number of stunning cathedrals that could fill days of sightseeing. Rent a Vespa to tour the town instead of booking a bus or renting a car. Art lovers will get lost in the Uffizi Gallery. Try to pre-purchase your museum tickets, otherwise you could be waiting in a five-hour-long line!

Family-friendly tips: Italy has a reputation for being very child-friendly. Its paved streets make Florence easy to navigate with strollers and with gelato on every corner travelers of all ages will be very happy. From the antique wood carousel in the Piazza della Repubblica to the many museums and tours, Florence would make the perfect family trip.

When to go: High season in Italy is mid-June through August, while low season is November through March.

Quebec City, Canada

Official Language: French, but more than a third of city residents can also speak English

Currency: The Canadian dollar is the official currency, but American currency is widely accepted.

Where is it? Quebec City is the second largest city in Quebec after Montreal. Located on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River, the low-lying city is surrounded by the Laurentian Mountains and Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond).

Must-see attractions: Take a stroll through Old Québec. This UNESCO World Heritage site has beautiful architecture, horse-drawn carriages and street performers – you’ll think you stepped back into history! Before you leave, stop by Montmorency Falls Park to see the 83-meter-tall waterfall. Even taller than Niagara Falls, you can see them from a gondola ride or by trekking along walking trails.

Family-friendly tips: The French-Canadian culture is very child-oriented with walkways built to accommodate strollers and breastfeeding-friendly decals in many restaurant windows. Families love the annual Expo Quebec, not only for the fun rides and activities for all ages, but also for its farm animals, science pavilion and fascinating exhibits.

When to go: The best times to visit Quebec City are June through September and December through February. These times are packed with festivals and seasonal celebrations like Carnaval.

Paris, France

Official language: French

Currency: The Euro is the official currency.

Where is it? Located on the bank of the Seine River, the city of Paris is in the northern central area of France. With more than two million inhabitants, it is the fifth largest city in the European Union.

Must-see attractions: After your obligatory stops at the Eiffel Tour and L’Arc de Triomphe, tour the city’s amazing museums. Say “hi” to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre or visit the Musée d’Orsay to see the world’s largest collection of Impressionist art – in a converted railway station. Shop for food and wine on Rue des Martyrs. From fruit to fish and high-end pastries to chocolatiers, you’ll find great food – and great people watching.

Family-friendly tips: Paris is often recommended as the best place to visit for families traveling to Europe. The city is packed with child-friendly activities like the bird market, marionette shows, and the Luxembourg Gardens’ toy sailboats and carousel.

When to go: The best time to visit Paris is from June to August. The temperatures are in the mid-70s and the days are longer, allowing more time to enjoy all the outdoor dining and cafés the city has to offer.

Sydney, Australia

Official Language: There is no official language, but around 75 percent of the residents speak English.

Currency: The Australian dollar is the official currency.

Where is it? Sydney is located on Australia’s east coast, surrounded by one of the world’s largest natural harbors and the Blue Mountains to the west.

Must-see attractions: If you can plan a trip in January, stop by the Sydney Festival. The city center transforms into a cultural event filled with music, art and surprise performances. Even if you can’t make it to the Sydney Festival, you’ll find great live music throughout the city all year long. From major concerts to local performers, you’ll find something to fit your tastes.

Family-friendly tips: Australia offers lots of great opportunities for family fun including Bondi Beach, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the famous Sydney Opera House. The view from Mrs Macquaries Point is renowned for being one of the best in the world, with full views of both the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

When to go: Although Sydney has comfortable temperatures year round, the best time to visit is from late September to early December to avoid the high tourist season during the start of America’s winter.