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Travel

Giving the gift of travel: Islands, ski trips, ranches, more

The Hilltop Ocean View Suite at the Four

The Hilltop Ocean View Suite at the Four Seasons Desroches Island in the Seychelles. Photo Credit: Four Seasons Desroches Island / Ken Seet

This year, give the gift of travel experiences that will create lasting memories. Here are five to consider.  

1. ISLAND LOVERS. The Four Seasons Desroches Island in the Seychelles pairs warm and welcoming service, top-notch cuisine and rustic luxury with a pristine natural environment. Stay in villas, suites or expansive residences, each with private pools and beach access. Youngsters can explore with the Kids for All Seasons crew while adults spend the day deep-sea fishing or relaxing in the open-air spa.

INFO fourseasons.com/seychellesdesroches

2. NATIONAL PARK LOVERS. The Oasis at Death Valley, with two hotels to choose from, is your perfect base camp for exploring the expansive park. At The Inn at Death Valley, casitas provide privacy and luxury within easy walking distance of a spring-fed pool. The Ranch at Death Valley offers a more casual, family-friendly setting with a children’s playground, expansive lawns and fire pits, as well as a spring-fed pool. 

INFO oasisatdeathvalley.com

3. BIRD LOVERS. Visit Southern Arizona to see as many as 250 bird species including more than 15 kinds of hummingbirds, the elegant trogon and a painted redstart. Make your way to Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area, a 49,000-acre conservation region, rich with winged wildlife. Each January, the Wings Over Wilcox (WOW) festival celebrates the sand hill cranes that migrate to the area.

INFO southernarizonaguide.com; natureconservancy.org; visitarizona.com

4. HORSE LOVERS. Consider a ranch vacation where you can ride in open meadows, on mountain trails or in the desert. Will your family members participate in a real cattle drive? Are you up for a horse pack trip into the backcountry? Will your youngsters be eager to learn the skills for team penning and other arena games? The options are yours at working dude ranches and guest ranches across the country.

INFO duderanch.org; top50ranches.com

5. SNOW LOVERS. At more than 21 resorts throughout Colorado, kids are offered the opportunity to ski free. For example, kids under 5 always ski free at Arapahoe, Aspen Snowmass and Loveland. Steamboat's Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs enable children 12 and younger to ski free the same number of days as their parent/grandparent with the purchase of a 5-or-more-day adult lift ticket. 

INFO coloradoski.com

Travel Extras