Airports across the U.S. are likely to get crowded in the coming weeks as travelers set off on their summer vacations, with many Americans expected to head overseas for trips postponed by the pandemic.
For families, some of the best international getaways include Prince Edward Island in Canada; Cairo, Egypt; Ischia, Italy; and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, according to Jacqui Gifford, editor-in-chief of Travel and Leisure. Those destinations offer plenty of fun for children but also feature relaxing activities for mom and dad, Gifford told CBS News.
For Ischia, a small island in the Gulf of Naples known for its hot springs and magnificent coastal views, the kids will enjoy the flight into Naples, Italy, then be wowed by a one-hour boat ride to the island, Gifford said.
“It’s got beautiful beaches, cliffs, amazing hotels that sort of capture that old-school charm of Italy,” she said. “You can walk in these beautiful towns at night. I think it’s pretty family friendly, too, because in general you have a more affordable experience.”
Affordability is key when traveling abroad this year, with travel experts predicting that flights will be more expensive.
Airfares on international flights are projected to hit their highest level since 2019, before the pandemic grounded most vacation travel. The average ticket to Europe is projected to cost around $1,100, while flying to Asia will top $1,800 per ticket, according to travel reservation app Hopper. The average ticket to Africa or the Middle East will cost around $1,454 and a trip to Australia and surrounding nations is expected to average $1,709, the app estimates.
Those higher prices stem from the rising cost of jet fuel and strong demand for overseas travel during the first full summer where international destinations have lifted their pandemic protocols.
If Italy isn’t the right fit, Gifford also said families should consider Cairo because “it’s like a living museum.” Tourists can also head south to visit the storied pyramids, King’s Tut tomb and many other vestiges of ancient Egypt.
“What’s amazing that’s happening right now in Egypt is you have the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is in a soft opening phrase, is finally opening at the end of this year.”
In search of good value
Canada’s Prince Edward Island is famous for its red sandy beaches and is particularly affordable for families on the East Coast, Gifford said. The Galapagos islands, the site of Charles Darwin’s pioneering explorations, is a good pick if families who want a more outdoorsy vacation, while it’s cheaper to fly to South America now than it was before the pandemic, she said.
The average flight to South America is expected to cost $692, down 9% from 2019, according to Hopper.
“If your kids are interested in wildlife and nature, it’s one of the world’s most pristine national parks,” Gifford said of the Galapagos. “I think, in terms of just dollars, that’s one to look into.”