As we are in lockdown at the moment and travel is prohibited, please use this guide for information purposes only until we are safe to travel again!
Holidays with the kids are packed full of unforgettable adventures, but if you don’t plan your family holiday before you get to your destination, then you may end up with a huge nightmare rather than a treasured memory. There is so much to think about before setting off on holiday, from ensuring the passports are valid, to checking the hotel is kid-friendly. So, I’ve compiled an extensive guide on fun holidays for kids to enjoy, which includes planning and prepping tips as well as the best destinations around the globe right now which you should check out with the family when it’s safe to travel.
Plan for a family holiday with the kids
You’re probably thinking, “Well, duh!”
But, I mean ACTUALLY plan for a holiday with the children. It’s all well and good dreaming about spas and lounging by the beach while you’re sipping a mojito, but, when you have kids, things may not always be so ‘relaxed’. If you want to have a less stressful holiday, you will need to think about your children’s needs too. Consider family-friendly hotels that include activities for children, family restaurants and, more importantly, child-safe accommodation. Also, look for hotels with a creche so you can have that relaxing spa session and enjoy some respite from the non-stop action kids bring to a holiday.
You don’t need to plan every activity to a ‘T’, but having a general idea of your outcome, will aid you to prepare for the holiday process, like booking all-inclusive packages (or separate flights and accommodation details), as well as where to eat, top places to visit and the flight back. Some websites like Away with the Kids offers to take the pain out of searching for affordable places to stay where the family are welcome, regardless of accommodation type, amenities or facilities.
Don’t worry, we’ll go into more detail on all of these later in the article. Just have a ballpark idea in mind while we jet through this guide (pun intended!).
So, let’s begin! The first step to planning your holiday is:
Check the passports
I cannot stress this enough. Take it from me because I have firsthand experience! My husband and then four-year-old son had to drive to Switzerland alone because my then five-year-old’s passport had expired. I ended up travelling by plane with my eldest the next day, but this palaver could have been avoided if we had just checked his passport during the planning process.
So, PLEASE CHECK YOUR PASSPORTS way in advance. New rules state that from 1 January 2021 you will need to have at least six months left on your passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). And, this includes your child’s passport too.
Consider your method of travel
We have tried most, if not all methods of travel, from riding in style in a camper van to cruising along in the ferry, and I have to say, no matter which way we chose with the kids, it turned out to be one heck of an adventure! Below are some modes of travel and what you should expect/plan when travelling by that vehicle of choice:
Take the train
Taking the train from London to Paris is becoming a fast favourite for Brits because it’s fast, simple, and the kids love it! Plus, you don’t have to worry about long lines at the airport or getting lost on the road. If you’re planning a staycation, then there are loads of hidden pockets of gold in the UK, which boast fabulous views, great attractions for kids, and a happy holiday atmosphere, especially when the sun is shining. For example, the beautiful coastal town of Devon provides the best of what the British have to offer, while cultural York is steeped in history. Eastbourne boasts one of the best airshows in Europe and you can try your hand at a new watersport by the coast too. It’s very easy to find trains to Eastbourne or any other town you’re looking to
You could also take the coach, which saves you even more money! Megabus has some of the cheapest fare tickets in the country, so you could afford to spend more on your destination!
Prepare the car for long-distance travel
In 2016, we had decided to set off on our longest and most arduous journey yet, an exhausting 13-hour road trip to Switzerland. And, even though I said I wasn’t going to do that again, we are actually planning to hire a car and make the journey to Switzerland again with three children now!
We didn’t have to worry about baggage control, or waiting in the long stuffy queues at the airport. We could set off and stop at wherever we wanted and the towns and landmarks we saw on the way were magical. We captured so many memories on camera during our travels which we wouldn’t have been able to have seen if we flew by plane. Despite the numerous pit stops, the boys (then four and five) were absolutely fine and rode along the trip like warriors.
Travelling by car is probably one of the most overlooked methods of travel, but it can be such a fun way to spend time with the kids. However, even the most joyous of car journeys can be wrecked by an untimely car disaster (well, let’s face it, they’re never actually timely, are they?).
Remember to check the oil and air in the tyres. If you have noticed any problems with your car beforehand, then make sure you sort these issues out before you set off as well, so you don’t breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
Also, check whether your insurance is up to date and that it covers long-distance too. If you’re leasing your car, then some companies will cap the yearly mileage, so make sure your road trip doesn’t exceed the limit. Researching different car cover policies will also help you find insurance that won’t break the bank.
If a long road trip isn’t for you, then, thankfully, the UK has tons of other awesome road trips to offer. Deals and discounts company, www.myvouchercodes.co.uk has some top tips on what to see and do on your UK road trip, as well as the important issue of costs and how to plan for a summer road trip. They also have a really cool infographic, which lists the 5 UK road trips perfect for families and individuals alike!
But if you do fancy planning a trip to Europe by car then Kwik Fit have come up with some great routes for you in the form of an eBook. I also go through some of these road trips below.
Rent an RV/Campervan for a travel home away from home
Driving in an RV is a fun way to travel whatever the weather because you have all the facilities to hand to make yourself a mobile home away from home. And with RVs, the journey can be more enjoyable than the destination itself! So I would strongly suggest renting an RV for your next family holiday – the kids will never forget the memories they made travelling in their home away from home.
US friends, click here to rent your RV now
UK friends, If you have a VW van, you can convert your van into a campervan, so you can still enjoy a scenic road trip, but with the comfort of beds, kitchen equipment and even toilet facilities.
To find the best van for conversion, Sherwood Campers provides services for a reasonable fee, so you can enjoy #vanlife in style!
Don’t forget your Sat Nav!
We all love to be spontaneous at times, but there’s nothing like a good old planned route to keep you on track. You can plan your route using the AA route planner, or just use your car/van’s in-built sat-nav. Apps like Waze are great because they alert you to traffic jams and hazards on the road. I’m really impressed with how drivers look out for each other on Waze and even alert others if authority are trawling the streets.
Take the plane
If you want to spend more time on holiday and less time on travel, a flight trip to Switzerland is only about 90 minutes, and it may just be easier to manage with young kids in tow. If you already have your accommodation sorted, Skyscanner compares prices and finds you the cheapest flights wherever and whenever you want to go.
Check-in online before you travel too, to save on the long queues and unnecessary airport hassle. Also, know the right time to book your ticket to save money. What do I mean? Well, there is a knack to knowing when to book your plane ticket!
So, when should you actually book your plane ticket then?
The next big seasonal holiday is coming up over the summer period and flight tickets can grow sky-high in the space of just a few weeks, especially when you are forking out for a whole family. Momondo, a free global travel search site that compares millions of cheap flights, hotels, and car hire deals, brings out a study every year that aggregates data from billions of flights to give you the best ways to save money. It is worth looking at the results of their Annual Flight Study, but here is a rundown of what Momondo found, based on 13 billion fares across the top 100 routes.
Best time to book your ticket is…
… If you book 56 days in advance, which will save you around 28% on your ticket. The worst day to book is on the day you plan to fly, where prices can sometimes triple in value. To stay on top of price fares, create a ‘Fare Alert’ with Momondo so you can receive notifications of up to twice a week about any noticeable changes in price. This way you do not miss out on the best deals again.
The best day to fly is…
On a Tuesday.
Tuesday is the day you can get the best airfare deals, saving you around 11% on your ticket fee, while Saturday is the worst day to fly. Also, flying on a Tuesday means that when you get back you only endure 3 days of work before it is the weekend again.
The best time to fly is…
In the evening.
After sunset to sunrise is the best time to fly. What time you arrive obviously depends on where you are heading
Other budget-friendly tips for saving money on your flights
- Search for flights everywhere on the net, so you can be sure to get the best bang for your buck. Expedia offers access to the very best deals available when you need to travel and they have partnered with Groupon Coupons, so you can save even more money
- Flying indirect may seem a little more cumbersome, but it does shave pounds off your overall flight tickets
- Travel out of season. Travelling off-peak means you will find better bargains and beautiful countries with their long seasonal weather, so you do not have to miss out on the summer sun or the winter snow just because you’re not travelling during Christmas or the summer season.
- Find small airports that offer cheaper fares. Even though there may be an airport right next to you, travelling to an airport further away might help to slice those flight fees.
- Bring your own food on board. Flight food is expensive and a luxury you do not need to include with your fare tickets. Preparing snacks for the plane can ensure you know what the family is eating and you can make it as healthy or as ‘naughty’ as you want. I would not recommend the latter unless you want sugar-crazed children running up and down the aisles of the plane…
For more great ways to save money on your flight tickets, visit Momondo’s website.
Prepare your accommodation
Are you going to book an all-inclusive package which includes flight and hotel? Or are you going to take a different form of transport and book the accommodation separately? Maybe you have family/friends living at the destination so you can save money on accommodation costs. Whichever you decide it’s important to get all the logistics sorted out before you set off.
When booking a hotel, check that it’s child-friendly. We once booked two rooms at a nearby hotel in North Cyprus and failed to mention that the rooms needed to be child-friendly. So, they housed us right by a swimming pool and the rooms were covered with marble flooring. Plus, the stairs were divided only by metal gates, which meant a child could quite easily slip through and fall to the hard floor. It was not child-friendly at all! We managed to switch rooms, but we could have avoided this situation by mentioning we had young children.
Also, ensure that family-friendly hotels are also walking distance from nearby children’s activities or an outdoor playground which will keep the kids busy when you want to lounge about and relax. You can even try something different and look into ice hotels if you’re planning a winter holiday. Igloo-style rooms are a growing trend now and can be an extra fun experience for the kids. Whichever you choose, make sure the room has easy access to the child-friendly amenities, so you’re not dragging your kids back and forth.
Think about travel insurance
It makes sense for families who are frequent travellers to purchase annual travel insurance. This type of insurance is ideal for travellers who undertake several trips over a period of 12 months. There are a range of insurance options that you can take out which provides coverage for 365 days.
Choosing a multi-trip annual plan is more cost-effective and convenient. Here are some of the benefits of taking out annual travel insurance:
If you take out the 45-day annual multi-trip coverage, you get free winter sports cover for 17 days.
Many insurance companies offer annual trip coverage where the duration of each stay can last up to 45 days. On top of this, they also offer free winter sports cover if you plan to go cross-country skiing or snowboarding. The free winter sports coverage may last up to 17 days.
For people ages 65 and above, you can have individual trip durations that last up to 120 days at a time.
The older you get, the harder it is to get good coverage. However, the best travel insurance companies offer trip durations up to 120 days at a time if the insured is 65 years old and above.
Couples are offered discounts, and if there are children under 17 years old, they get free coverage.
Families and couples can access a special annual travel insurance package that has great discounts. The whole family is protected as children are covered at no additional cost.
There are no hidden costs and there are low excess levels. 24-hour Emergency Assistance is also available.
Once the insured pays the premium, they will not be charged with any other costs. Having low excess levels mean that the amount you agree to pay once you make the claim on the policy will not be high. Another valuable perk is that 24-hour emergency assistance is available to you. This is especially useful in foreign countries where the costs of emergency assistance are prohibitive.
Cruise cover is included as standard.
If you are going on a cruise, you will also get coverage during the duration of the trip, whether you are on-board or your ship is docked in a port of call.
You will always be covered for the next twelve months no matter how many holidays you take within the period.
As long as your 12-month period has not lapsed, you can take as many holidays or business trips as you want and you will be covered for each of your trips.
These are just some of the benefits of taking out annual travel insurance. It is more practical to have this kind of insurance because it will save regular travellers a lot of money. There is travel insurance available that provides multi-trip annual coverage, so there is less worry whenever you travel, whether for business or for pleasure.
I remember once when my suitcase went missing, I freaked out because I had all my toiletries in that case. I managed to get it back at the airport, thankfully, but it scared me into thinking about packing smart. Now we divide all our clothes between four suitcases so if one suitcase does go missing, one of us will not be completely left high and dry without anything for the holiday.
Packing all the baby/toddler/child essentials can add a surprising amount of weight to your luggage, so cut down where you can by opting for lightweight buggy and travel-sized toys and sanitary products. Also, if you can, try to buy toiletries and other everyday products at the destination you’re travelling too, to cut down on luggage size. Make sure you don’t forget the all-important suncream! Brands like Skinnies Eco Sunscreen is suitable for all ages and offers maximum protection too.
Also packing activity packs for older kids will keep them occupied for much longer. More on what to pack for kids below.
Find the best personalised luggage tags here
Pack lots of snacks – I mean lots!
Snacks keep kids busy, so make sure you have them in abundance. Try not to offer snacks that are high in sugar, otherwise, you may see a huge energy outburst, followed by a sugar crash and irritable children. Great travel-friendly snacks can include banana bread, cheese strings, pretzels, peanut butter on celery or breadsticks, mini pancakes and wraps. You also save a lot of money, as buying food on the plane or at the airport can come with a premium
Be careful with things like baby food and milk when travelling by plane as you can only carry 100ml through airport security in containers.
Give yourself plenty of time
Every simple task can be made so much harder when you travel with kids, so give yourself plenty of time for every milestone. Rushing around and being late will cause your stress levels to sky rocket especially if you have fussy children.
Pack a surprise bag for each child
I like to pack a rucksack/carry on Trunki with surprise activity packs, books, pencil case, cards and toys, as well as a lunchbox of snacks and something to drink too. And, I don’t let them see the rucksack until they sit down and they are ready for travel. So if we’re taking a taxi to the airport, then I won’t give them their rucksacks until they are seated on the plane. This is so I ensure maximum time is used to keep them occupied and then hubby and I can take turns to have a nap while the boys get stuck in. An added bonus is to make sure the rucksack is waterproof, so if something leaks it doesn’t spill out of the bag, and vice versa if something gets wet, it doesn’t affect the contents of the bag.
Make sure you pick quiet games that are best used for public transport, so it doesn’t annoy the nearby passengers. And, have plenty of toys on hand for your young ones: from the car ride to the airport to the plane journey itself.
Don’t forget comforts like your baby’s soother, soft toy, blanket or even type of food. It will help them to calm down during long car rides or plane journeys.
Bring the internet with you
Technology is evolving at an exponential rate. You can now purchase dongles, which come loaded with a certain amount of money, so you can access the online world, but cease when you use up all the money. TEP Wireless allows you to travel anywhere with internet access, just like when you are at home.
The ‘Teppy’ which is a handheld device, provides you with wireless internet access anywhere in the United Kingdom. It works just like a WiFi hotspot, but the great thing is that it fits in your pocket and you can take it anywhere.
How does the TEP Wireless work?
Unlike mobile data networks,
It works by connecting to a local 3G/4G mobile network, where it then creates a private WiFi network, which you can share with up to 5 of your devices.
Specifications and features
- 8-hour battery life, 20 hours on standby
- Connects up to 5 devices at the same time
- No setup or cables required
- Creates a wireless hotspot 15 metres around you
- Creates your own WiFi network and unique password
- The TEP Wireless is powered by leading operators worldwide
- No data limits or caps
- Receive the TEP Wireless anywhere in the world (even at airports) and return in the post once you’re back home.
- Secure and private (your data connection is safe)
- No more roaming charges
- 24/7 customer support via phone, email, chat, social media, WhatsApp or SMS
- 100% money-back guarantee
How do I get a TEP Wireless?
There are two options to obtaining a TEP Wireless, you can either purchase it outright for £89.99, which offers you free 5 days’ worth of internet, or you can rent from as low as £6.50 per day for unlimited internet. To rent a TEP Wireless, you just choose your destination, the start and end date of when you need the Teppy and how many devices you require, and then the TEP would be delivered to wherever and whenever you need it.
For frequent travellers, you’re probably better off buying the TEP, which offers you your own private wireless hotspot and you get full access to the cheapest daily connection rates available. You only pay when you connect, which is £5.50 per day.
Families can travel and enjoy the internet together
Get the kids involved in the holiday details
If your children are old enough to understand, it’s important to keep them in the loop with what’s going to happen before you set off. Discuss the journey and update them throughout the trip if it is a long-distant journey. If they need it, help them to be less apprehensive of flying and talk them through take-off and landing. We give the kids responsibility by telling them to keep an eye on road signs to our destination or flight details at the airport. Keeping kids occupied is better than dealing with bored kids – believe me!
Park your car at the airport
A few years ago, we travelled to North Cyprus for my brother’s wedding, but we had no idea how we were going to get to the airport as we were travelling during work/school days and no one was around to drop us off and pick us up. We pondered over taking a cab, which would have cost us £70 each way, which we thought was too expensive. So we decided to follow the airport car parking option for the first time. Not having any idea where to start looking for quotes, we turned to our friend ‘Google’, which fired up hundreds of thousands of results from various sources, offering competitive prices. After scouring all the reviews and every single website in the search engine, we settled for a website called SkyParkSecure which offers a service that compares prices and reviews from over 300 UK airport parking services and with a 96% review rating.
On the homepage, we selected our airport, which was Heathrow, the date and time we would need to drop and pick up the car, and then we hit ‘Search Prices’.
We found a quote for £58.78 and we were massively impressed with the large discount, especially as this amount covered both drop-off and pick up – taking a cab one-way was almost £20 more expensive!
The booking process was very simple, we inputted our car registration details, the dates and times we wanted to drop off and pick up the car and our flight details. We paid straight away online via PayPal and received a booking confirmation email immediately from Heathrow Happydays Meet & Greet, which listed out all our information and a detailed description of where to go and what time to get to the car park on the day of drop off and pick up, so there was no confusion with instructions.
Dropping off our car
On the day, we followed our booking confirmation instructions and headed over to Heathrow Terminal 5. The confirmation email is extensive and includes detailed instructions for each terminal in Heathrow. For Terminal 5 instructions, we followed the signs to the Short Stay Car Park and Level 4. We took our ticket from the barrier and made our way to Zones R to S, as stated in the email. We were advised to call the driver about 15 – 20 minutes before we arrived at the terminal to make sure he was ready to pick up and park the car for the duration of our five-day trip. The driver, who was wearing a black jacket as stated in the email, was waiting for us already by the ticket pay machine. We parked our car in one of the designated bay areas signposted as “Off Airport Meet & Greet” and left the keys with the driver, as we signed a few forms and headed over to the entrance to Terminal 5, which was just by the car. This car parking area is ideal for families, as there
Picking up our car
After a fantastic wedding and a brilliant holiday, we were ready to head back to our car, which was already waiting for us at the same car parking bay. We checked around for any scuffs and marks on the car and couldn’t find anything at all, so the car had been kept very well during the five days. After waiting just a few minutes for the keys, we were ready to head back home. There were no delays and the drivers were approachable and easy to communicate with.
Overall, we would consider using the same airport car parking service again. We found the entire process to be very simple to book online and follow via the booking confirmation instructions. If you look carefully online and use SkyParkSecure’s website to browse reviews and prices, you will find the right airport car parking service for you at generally much cheaper rates than a one-way cab fare. And the process is ideal for families because you don’t have to worry about public transport, dodgy cabs, and reliance on family or friends to drop you off and pick you up. Just park your car at the airport and then pick it back up in the same place when you’re back from your holiday.
For more information on how to book via SkyParkSecure, please visit their website here. For Heathrow-specific car park services, you can visit here.
Some more travel hacks
Helpling came up with some travel hacks that I think we can all spend a few minutes looking at, especially if we have holidays planned. Check out the really cool infographic below, which includes hacks on how to book cheaper tickets, what essentials you’ll need to pack in your hand luggage for the plane and ways to keep your money safe at your destination.
Where to go on your holiday? That is the question!
One of the trickiest decisions to make is where to take the family for a vacation. You will, of course, need plenty of fun and excitement, but it is still important for mum and dad to be able to relax and enjoy themselves too. Below are some holiday ideas to consider.
Go on a cruise
Child-Friendly Facilities and Events
Cruise liners are packed full of amazing facilities well-suited to families. The kids can enjoy swimming, sports, adventure playgrounds and even rides on a cruise ship. Certain cruises will also have kids’ clubs, film nights, children’s parties and plenty more events that are sure to excite and amuse the little ones. Many of these will be supervised, which means you can enjoy some peace and quiet, whether it is lounging by the pool or booking in for that pampering session at the spa we talked about earlier.
There is also the possibility of booking a themed cruise. Disney cruises are a popular type where everything is Disney themed, including film showings, Disney parties and even the kids’ favourite characters who are on board to entertain. Themed cruises have become very popular in recent years and now there are all kinds to choose from. The best way to find these cruises is to visit specialists, such as Bolsover Cruise Club who can take your details down and offer you the best cruise holiday catered to your requirements.
One of the best aspects of cruise holidays is you can travel to several different places in one trip, which means you can show your kids the great beauty of the world in a stress-free environment. During port days, there are all kinds of brilliant excursions that allow the family to explore and go on an adventure.
Cruises are very family-friendly, which means there is an opportunity for your kids to make new friends and spend time with those their age. And, who knows, they may come away with a penpal for life!
Cruising can also represent brilliant value for money, as you can incorporate any activity into one trip, i.e. dining, sports activities, movies, basking in the sun (if you’re cruising through the heat) and any other activity you could think of, the cruise holiday probably has some service related to it. Cruiseagency.com.au offer lots of cruise holiday packages, which can be tailor-made to your own specifications. Plus, they offer cruise deals of the week, so you can get the most bang for your buck. Take a look at their website here and start putting together your very first action-packed cruise holiday with the family.
When you’re planning a staycation, the beach is hard to beat. Britain boasts some stunning coastal paths and shorelines. A trip to your nearest beach, possibly with the dog in tow, will make for a great family day out. The United Kingdom is one of the top travel destinations for families in the world because it offers plenty of awe-inspiring attractions, as well as thrilling activities for kids of all ages.
Visit Central London
I’m a born and bred Londoner, but I don’t visit Central London nearly as much as tourists do. When hubby and I jumped on the tube one day with our two boys and headed over to the heart of the capital, we were amazed at how much we ended up doing simply by walking around the beautiful City.
Open all year round, 24 hours a day, this busy city is bustling to the brim with people from all parts of the globe, visiting spectacular sites and world-famous events. Any time of the year, you will catch something going on. If you’re from London, a Zone 1 – 5 Underground Travelcard can take you pretty much anywhere around London for the day, but if you’re from a little further out, then there are a huge selection of family-friendly hotels in London where you can catch a breather with the kids.
On a clear day, your first port-of-call should be the London Eye, which offers magnificent views over the Thames and many of the famous London landmarks, like the Wembley Stadium and the Shard. Then a short distance away, you can visit the London Aquarium or head on over to the London Dungeons if you fancy giving the kids a little fright.
Don’t forget to take a boat trip from the London Eye to the maritime Greenwich, which takes you through many of London’s most famous sights. The National Maritime Museum is a fantastic place to visit where kids can learn all about the history of seafaring.
There’s so much more to do and Google is your friend when planning a visit to London. Or, better still, ask a local, and they’ll happily point you to the best places to go with the family. Don’t forget that a lot of London Undergrounds offer lift access, so you can drag your buggies with you too!
When in the UK, go camping!
My husband is a huge fan of camping, but I would be too if I grew up in the beautiful countryside of Switzerland. I, however, am a born and bred Londoner and, despite numerous requests to take me along with the kids, I have always been reluctant to step out onto the wilderness for fear of bugs, mud, and, well, lack of running water and electricity. There’s no doubt that kids love camping, it offers simple fun in the great outdoors where the kids are almost guaranteed to make new friends fast and disappear down the field building a den or playing cricket!
My boys went camping with my brother and husband to our local country park where they enjoyed a summer night’s stay in the middle of the vast open field. I just popped in during the day to have a drink with them, and then left to go sleep in my own bed.
There are plenty of campsites to choose from that can cater to any type of family.
You can opt for a Tipi & Yurt holiday in Wales or luxury glamping in Norfolk (more my cup of tea!). But, whether you fancy camping under the stars without the hassle of a carload of camping equipment and no space to squeeze the kids, or a family adventure holiday in fabulous luxury safari lodges, Britain is brimming with places to satisfy even the most citified of persons.
Steeped in history, Cork and the surrounding County Cork are the perfect areas to explore fun activities like ghost-hunting!. Whether you choose to join an organised tour or bring the whole family with you, you’re in for a real fright. If you’re travelling from England, then you only need a car hire in the UK to bring you to some of the most renowned haunted sites in Cork, which are:
The Lake in Cork Lough Park
Legend has it the area was once owned by a king who declared the well out of bounds to local people. Only his daughter the princess was allowed to use it. Unfortunately for her, the well overflowed one night as she drew water from it, flooding the surrounding area and killing herself and her family too. Apparently, you can still hear the family’s screams at night from beneath the icy waters of the lake.
The Rocking Virgin Mary
On the 22nd of July 1985 at a roadside grotto in Ballinspittle, two women observed the statue of the Virgin Mary rocking on its heels. They witnessed exactly the same thing when they returned the following night with friends. Thousands of people have flocked to the statue since then to see if they will see the same. Ballinspittle Statue is still on the move!
Church of the Resurrection, Farranree
On the 13th of September 1985, three children watched as the Virgin Mary started moving and almost fell on top of them. The mother of one of the children claimed the statue’s eyes turned red and its cheeks and feet turned black as it moved.
Every seven years the ghostly figure of a foal is seen in Kanturk. Don’t go looking for it though, it’s said that if you see it you’ll be dead within a day!
On New Year’s Eve, it’s said the water in Kinsale Well turns into wine. However, anyone looking into the well at this time will die. A couple who went to see if this legend was true was reportedly found dead next to the well one New Years Day.
Book yourself into a Travelodge with the family this year and head off to this enchanting area of Cork to see for yourself just how haunted the town really is. But make sure the children are old enough to handle the spooky sites because you may even stumble across a ghost yourself!
The Cornish coast in south-west England has a pleasantly warm climate and is one of the country’s most beautiful, peaceful and exciting spots.
There are some lovely, and relatively secluded cottages, available to hire in Cornwall. They can play host to some fantastic family bonding time away from civilisation — allowing loud toddlers to play to their heart’s content! Try to go for accommodation that offers you and your family space but is still within walking distance to activities to keep children entertained — like the beach. In Cornwall, you can visit Newquay Zoo and the Minack Theatre, which is based in Porthcurno and features comedy puppet shows for kids.
A few years ago, my family and I visited Verwood in Dorset. We stayed in a quaint little lodge owned by a lovely couple who have lived in Verwood for the last 50 years. We even managed to visit a local adventure park and the beautiful nature that surrounded the wonderful county. As my husband’s family live in the neighbouring town of Ringwood, it gave us the perfect opportunity to do some sight-seeing around town and visit the family over the course of the weekend, instead of driving to and fro from London in one day. It was a great call from hubby because I would have had no idea how amazingly serene, calm and stunning Dorset is, especially in the summer. As a Londoner, I am sometimes guilty of thinking that London is the only place in the world, but I soon realised that there are other, even
Scottish west coast
Like Cornwall, the Scottish coast can provide a fantastic backdrop for you to enjoy a beautiful family getaway — however, the weather may be slightly cooler than its southern comparison! Visit here, and you’ll have your choice of child-friendly hotels and quiet chalets to choose from.
The Scottish west coast is perfect for those travelling with an infant as well as older kids. There’s no need to head abroad for beautiful beaches — the Scottish west coast is peppered with gorgeous coastlines. Head to Sanna Bay, which features white sand and turquoise water, or take a family cycling trip n the incredible landscape of Glencoe.
Go to an airshow
There are tons of outdoor activities to enjoy when the weather plays nice, and an airshow packs a lot of punch into one event. Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow opened its doors on 11th August 2016 for a four-day event that provided tons of entertainment for kids of all ages. If you have never been to an airshow before, here are five reasons why you should take the kids to an airshow this summer:
Yep, 100% free. If you’re not one of those who can afford to buy or rent a private jet, then this is the next best thing. You just turn up and enjoy all the spectacular flying displays without spending a dime. The Airbourne show has been voted the UK’s best FREE airshow by Airscene and celebrates 28 years of airshow excellence this year. And, this is because there is so much to do on the ground as well as in the sky!
Planes and helicopters with mad skills will be putting on a mind-blowing flying display
Kids are mesmerised by things that fly in the sky. So, as well as enjoying all the ground attractions, look up and watch the amazing flying shows. Catch Mustangs, Spitfires, the RAF Red Arrows, Blenheim and many more lighting up the sky. There are tons of viewing areas to catch up on all the action too.
There are many viewing areas, each with their own ground action
Seafront & Beach is the prime position, on the seafront, as it’s the frontline of all the flying action. Other views are the Western Lawns & Wish Tower and if you head over to Beachy Head, you can watch the flying action while enjoying some refreshments. Reserve some Exclusive Seating at the Bandstand so you can enjoy the flying display line uninterrupted. You can also relax, chat and come and go as you please. Adult tickets cost £12 and children cost £8 per person. For more information, visit Airbourne Airshow’s website here: http://bit.ly/29tJhiW.
There are so many attractions for the kids to enjoy on the ground
Kids will get to watch the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and the Royal Air Force at work and even get to ask them questions about what they do. Older kids can take on the Royal Marines Commando Challenge and see how long it takes to lift the power bags around the course. And, The Army also has an inflatable assault course for you to test out your fitness and agility, along with a Gazelle helicopter on display.
There are two designated beach play areas for children, with giant inflatables and bungee trampolining. Check out the Play Zones marked on the sitemap in the Airbourne 2016 programme to find these areas.
The entertainment doesn’t stop when the sky gets dark
To top off the day’s events, fireworks will light up the night sky and live bands kick off some musical entertainment on the music stage by the beach. Relax and dance to the music while delighting in some refreshments for your eyes and your taste buds!
To plan your visit and get the most out of the Airbourne Airshow, visit their website here: http://bit.ly/29tJhiW and stay tuned for latest updates on the Airbourne Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2939inp.
You don’t have to endure long flight journeys because Europe is bustling with some hidden holiday gems that are waiting for you to experience with the family. And, you don’t have to worry about the wintry weather either because some of these lucky countries experience the warm sun long into the winter season. So, here are the top family holiday destinations in Europe, which you can enjoy all year round.
Disneyland Paris is on a lot of parents’ bucket lists let alone their children’s. Although this destination may be best suited for youngsters, all kids will enjoy the colours, lights and characters on
Based in the capital city of France, it’s just a short journey away from the UK, making it a superb holiday choice if you’re travelling with babies or excitable toddlers. At Disneyland Paris, you have a wide selection of shows, rides and attractions designed to captivate and entertain babies, toddlers and adults. Wander through Wonderland at Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, go up in the air on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, enjoy the bouncing Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin ride, or book to meet Mickey Mouse himself!
Situated on the southwest tip of Portugal, the Algarve is a great family destination that can be enjoyed whatever the weather. During the summer, weather temperatures can get between 26 to 28 degrees, but you can enjoy the Algarve during the winter months too, where it rarely drops to below 16 degrees Celsius. Just a short flight away (approx. three hours from the UK), you can fly the kids to the Algarve during the Easter break to enjoy warmer climes, kids’ clubs, and lots of other great family activities full to the brim, so you’re guaranteed to not get bored!
Like Disneyland, Portugal’s famous Algarve region is just a short trip from the UK, with a flight taking approximately two-and-a-half to three hours. So, if you think your little one can handle the journey, treat yourself to a holiday abroad!
The Algarve region has long been a favourite haunt for British tourists, so it has plenty of child-friendly resorts, hotels and activities that will suit kids from newborn to teens. There are lots of water parks around the area featuring sections for babies, although I’d recommend choosing some of the calmer towns.
Click here for more package deals to the Algarve. Prices start from as low as £59 per person.
If you think you can trust your toddler on a long flight, why not give Tenerife a go? After a four to five-hour flight, you’ll land on one of the most popular islands in the Canaries and a place where there’s no time difference — no need to spend time and effort getting your little one adjusted to a regular sleeping pattern!
Perhaps a high selling point for young families, many hotels offer an on-site childcare service so you can pencil in some alone time should you wish. How about taking a scenic walk up Mount Teide or giving a few organised water sports a go? Tenerife has a fantastic climate for children as well — not too hot, a little rain and practically no humidity, which will make sleeping more comfortable.
Tips to make the most of your holiday to the family-friendly Canary Island
If you’ve ever returned from a holiday with your young kids feeling anything but recharged then it’s time to consider a destination such as Tenerife for your next break. If the promise of direct flights from the UK, no time difference and average winter temperatures of 22°C are not enough, accommodation choices such as CLC World Resorts & Hotels are designed to make travelling with kids as relaxing as possible. Plus, you’ll find there’s plenty to tire toddlers out on the largest of the Canary Islands, both on and off your resort!
Adventures for active toddlers
Slam Park: This Thai-themed water park is not only Tenerife’s most popular attraction but ‘The Best Water Park in the World,’ according to TripAdvisor. While many of the rides have height restrictions, your toddler will love splashing around in the shallow waters of Siam Beach and visiting Sea Lion Park. Sun loungers, life jackets and umbrellas are included in the admission price.
Loro Park: Cuddly otters, friendly dolphins and cheeky meerkats are three of the toddler-friendly animals at Loro Park, another of Tenerife’s top attractions. Along with fish, birds and reptiles, top billing here goes to the jaguars, lions and gorillas.
Mount Teide Cable Car: At the interior of the island, the volcanic Mount Teide is the highest peak in Spain, a massive 3,718 metres above sea level. An hour’s drive away from CLC’s resorts in Tenerife, toddlers aged two and above will love the cable car that transports you to the summit. The journey takes eight minutes and the doors open onto spellbinding views across to neighbouring islands. Operators recommend arriving early – for both the views and the lack of queues; good tips if you have a toddler who gets bored
Submarine Safari: Strictly reserved for ages two+, this hour-long journey departs and returns to San Miguel Marina and will submerge you in an underwater world of colour as you get up close to a dazzling array of fish and other marine life – all enjoyed from the comfort of a bright red and yellow submarine.
Food for younger palates
Apart from the deliciously juicy fresh fruits such as bananas, papayas and mangoes that are a staple of the local diet, the cuisine of Tenerife is made for toddlers. Local ingredients range from the exciting and adventurous – young imaginations will love the promise of parrot fish or rock cold for dinner – to the most beloved dish across the whole of the island, papas arrugadas, or wrinkled potatoes, served with mojo or dipping sauce.
Where to stay in Tenerife
Of all Tenerife’s holiday resorts, CLC Sunningdale Village is designed with ultimate family relaxation in mind. You’ll immediately relax in your surroundings: spacious and well-equipped apartments, a dedicated kids’ pool and great menus, including a fun one of the kids, ensure you’re able to really recharge and unwind without having to leave the resort. Yet CLC World Tenerife’s close proximity to Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas means the island’s most popular and vibrant attractions are never far away.
Just a short flight away (approx. two hours), Majorca is well known for its beautiful beaches and warm summers. In October the weather cools down a bit, with average temperatures at around 18 degrees, with some days reaching 20 degrees Celsius. During the winter, the weather is still in the double digits and, although, it’s not hot enough for the beach, it is still pleasant enough to enjoy the great outdoors with the family. The warmer weather picks up again into the spring, with average temperatures hitting around 18 to 19 degrees Celsius – perfect weather for strolling outside and viewing the beautiful sights. The East coast typically attracts families looking for a quiet and relaxing break. Package holidays are available, which can range from self-catering to all-inclusive – or something in between.
Some all-inclusive deals start at around £116 per person for five nights, depending on the hotel and time. Holiday Gems has a range of Majorca deals for all seasons, so it’s worth checking them out now.
Between the coast of North Africa and Greece, Crete sits in the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest of the Greek Islands. Its location means you get beautiful warm weather from May to October, making it a popular destination for beachgoers. However, there are tons of things to do off-peak, like exploring the country’s rich history, with Romans, Minoans and Venetians who have left their mark on the Island. Families can also enjoy lots of great facilities and entertainment and Crete is just a four-hour flight away from the UK, so you can catch the beginnings of the warm summer now.
Package deals can start from as low as £99 per person. Click here for more information.
The Antalya region, otherwise known as the Turkish Riviera is steeped in history and boasting some of Europe’s finest beaches. However, there are tons of great historic sites to enjoy off-peak, like monuments, bazaars, markets, restaurants and quality hotels. Temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees Celsius between May and October and so Antalya would make a great Easter holiday destination for the family, at only approx. four short hours away by plane.
Package deals start from as low as £109 per person. Click here for more information.
Cyprus, the birthplace of Aphrodite, is a tiny island as it is, but it boasts absolute beauty and has enticed people to visit from around the world. With historical landscapes, warm climate, and rich culture, it’s no surprise that families return to Cyprus repeatedly. There is plenty to do in Cyprus, which hosts an average of 340 days of sunshine throughout the year. Late spring and autumn are the best times to visit as temperatures are still very warm but not blistering hot. During the winter, you can even ski in the snow-capped mountains and then explore the beautiful Mediterranean waters in the afternoon. Being Turkish Cypriot myself, I would thoroughly recommend you take the 30-minute drive from the South of Cyprus to the Northern part, where culture and history changes, but you can still see the full beauty of Cyprus. Easily my favourite go-to family destination of the lot.
After doing some research and trying to find some great ideas on where to travel next, I stumbled upon an article about Sicily and the island looks breathtakingly beautiful. Here are five reasons why you should holiday in Sicily with the family:
Sicily is bigger than you think. It takes about five hours to drive from the east coast to the west. Palermo, its capital, is the place to go to find the heart of Sicily and other great landmarks like Zingaro Nature Reserve. Check out this infographic below of some unforgettable tour ideas to make the most out of your holiday in Sicily.
The authentic Mediterranean food
Fruits and vegetables are ripe and rich and Sicilian food apparently offers a more specific and authentic twist on Italian food. The locals love to eat!
The biggest active volcano in Europe!
There is a park in Catania where you can sit and watch the sun set and its colours bounce off the landmark active volcano, Mount Etna.
Hospitable, warm and friendly, you should expect a Mediterranean welcome when you visit Sicily. But, this isn’t a place for lager louts or rowdy tourists – the locals do not particularly understand the drunken, boozy way of life. Ideal for families then!
The views look delicious. The 280 beaches in Sicily are said to be some of the most beautiful in the world, along with the amazing weather that Sicilians enjoy for half of the year. Summers stretch from May to October and the island enjoys many vibrant colours, thanks to its rugged coastal landscapes and white golden beaches. See for yourself:
If you are in Europe this summer and want to check out Sicily during your travels, there are ferries to Sicily that you can take from parts of Italy, so you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and stop off in Sicily for some extra Mediterranean culture (my favourite kind).
If you’re looking to tick all the boxes during your summer holiday with the family, i.e. sun, sea, sand, heat and activities aplenty, then Sicily is definitely up there on the list of places to visit this year. The island’s virtually untouched beauty is a sight for sore eyes and a great place to build on the bank of great memories with the family.
So, this time we’re heading over to Elba Island, a quiet retreat on the Tuscan coast and an island that’s best known for Napoleon’s exile. Last year, the family and I were but a stone’s throw away in Perugia and I loved our time there so much that I never wanted to leave. I loved the people, the culture, the town, and the stress-free lifestyle… it fit me like a glove. So, even though I can think of twice as many more reasons, here are just five no-brainers as to why you should holiday in Elba Island with the family this summer:
The colourful small towns
There seems to be a trend on Elba Island where pockets of towns are draped in all the colours of the rainbow. And, every part has its own unique feel, culture and, even, economy! San Piero’s economy is based on granite extraction while Marciana, for example, is based on agriculture, woodcutting and sheep farming due to its plentiful chestnut trees. Rio is a mining town and Portoferraio is the place that harboured Napoleon. The Italian dialects may prove a challenge to a beginner, but there’s no way you can get bored in Elba, especially if you can just escape to the sea.
The beaches are beautiful, but the Mediterranean Sea is magnificent – I know, I’ve enjoyed it all the way from North Cyprus and Tuscany. While we’re educating ourselves on the different islands on the Med, below is a map of the countries that surround that beautiful sea. The red cross/arrow shows where Elba Island is situated and the blue cross/arrow shows where my ethnic roots, North Cyprus, is on the map.
Back to Elba Island. Its 156 beaches boast crystal clear and inviting water with coastlines ranging from rocky coves to white golden sand. During the high season, you may find that you are sharing the space with hordes of sun worshippers, but the beach offers more than just basking by the sea. You can also enjoy the amenities and facilities the beaches have to offer, like snack bars and diving centres. The main fine-sand beaches in Elba to visit, however, are Procchio, Fetovaia, Cavoli, Marina di Campo and Biodola. Whichever, your choice (perhaps visit all five?), the salty Mediterranean will also leave you with glowing skin and a certain state of euphoria that one only gets when they’re gracing the Mediterranean waters.
The steeped history
The northern coast of Elba faces the Ligurian Sea, the eastern coast faces the Piombino Channel, the southern coast, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the western tip divides the Corsica Channel from neighbouring Corsica. So, no town is without its own unique history and culture. A major historical mark was Elba Island’s harbouring of Napoleon during his exile in 1814. If you want to know more, there’s a great post on the history of Isola d’-Elba on thinkingnomads.com. But, the infographic below should point you to some of the best sites Elba Island offers for a great family holiday.
If you love culture then you’re heading to the right place. Art thrives and diversity lives through its people. The island is large enough to host eight different municipalities: Portoferraio, Marciana, Marciana Marina, Campo nell’Elba, Porto Azzurro, Rio Marina, Capoliveri, and Rio Elba. Each one has its own unique characteristic, from the architecture to the subtle linguistic diversity.
Elba’s views and landscapes look simply breathtaking, not just promoting itself as an island surrounded by sea, but a place enriched in nature and wonder. The climate is mostly Mediterranean, except for Mount Capanne, where winter can get quite cold. Any road racers in the family will enjoy the network of trails that Elba Island offers, so get out your dirt bikes for some fun! There are also great alternative routes for families with children, so you will not have to compete with the racers on the road. The following infographic provides you with five great attractions to make the most out of your holiday to Elba with the family:
There are so many things you can do with the family in Elba Island, but if you’re visiting from Italy, check out the ferries to Elba from the mainland, so you know your travel options before you set off.
Sardinia is Gino D’Acampo’s home town and boasts a whole load of reasons why you should take the kids on holiday here.
“You will always find me in Sardinia.”Gino D’Acampo, Celebrity TV Chef
It has been said that Sardinia’s beaches are extraordinary and that there are literally thousands to choose from. When your only headache is choosing which of the beautiful beaches you should take your family to, then I can safely say that you don’t need painkillers – visit them all!
The Italian Food
It’s a fair assumption that food can rarely be disappointing or unappealing when you are visiting a part of Italy, for the locals share a real adoration for their cuisine. The island boasts its own culinary traditions, from Su Porcheddu, which is a roast suckling pig, to Culurgiones, which are stuffed pasta pockets made with semolina flour – there are choices aplenty! But, if you just want to stick to pizza or pasta, it’s still a safe bet to enjoy these staple recipes from where they were first born.
The island is steeped in history wherever you go. What may look like piles of rocks to you are ancient prehistoric structures that stretch back to thousands of years. If you are fond of diving, the Roman ruins in Nora offer divers tonnes of wonders to explore beneath the water. The Nuraghi, one of the well-known symbols of Sardinia can be experienced all over the island, so be sure to visit one of the 7,000 megalithic monuments during your holiday.
The wondrous nature
To get the most out of Sardinia, you can book a tour where you can visit some of the most beautiful natural resorts on the Island. Check out the infographic below for some tour ideas that you can appreciate with the family.
Festivals are big in Sardinia and during the summer, you’ll get to enjoy life with the locals at some amazing shows, like the horse races or the annual Sardinian Reggae Festival. Whatever you fancy, Sardinia is rife with life and full of excitement.
A nature holiday in Sardinia might sound like your idea of fun with the family. If you prefer laying by the beach, checking out some of the hotspot festivals or learning about the historical Nuraghi, Sardinia has a little something for everyone. And, if you’re visiting from Europe, there are ferries to Sardinia from parts of Italy, so be sure to check out your options while you are frequenting the mainland Italy.
Christmas is such a magical time of the year. Families get together to enjoy the festivities and presents are aplenty. There are tons of events open during winter, and Santa’s Lapland is one of the most popular destinations for family goers during the Christmas period, often getting booked up in as much as six months in advance. It’s hard to imagine a bigger Christmas treat for kids than going to meet Santa at his own home in Lapland, and the beauty of this experience is that you are going to the real Finnish Lapland, a deep snow winter wonderland above the Arctic Circle.
There are tons of things to do and you can buy packages of three-day or two-night breaks in the first week of December, which include flights, accommodation, and activities. Kids get to meet the real Father Christmas on his snowmobile and older children and adults can enjoy husky dog rides. Visit www.santaslapland.com for more information on what you can do over in Santa’s Lapland, which also hosts a fantastic blog about what Santa is doing now in the offseason.
Some fun road trips to take in Europe
Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria
The Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is a high alpine mountain pass that weaves through the Austrian Alps. At 48km and reaching more than 2,500m altitude, it’s not for the faint of heart but if you take a small, light car with you, you can witness the sheer beauty in the late spring, early summer, as the route is closed from November until May as it becomes dangerous during the winter. There is a toll charge of £35 per car and £25 per motorcycle. While you’re there, make sure to stop off at the Hohe Tauern National Park, which is the largest national park in Middle Europe.
Length and time:
30 miles, approximately 1 hour
Route 500, Germany
A particular favourite for motorcyclists, the oldest and most treasured Santa’s Lapland road through Germany’s Black Forest is purely magic, sending adventurous drivers deep into the midst of the forest and through the mountains. Take a dip in the Baden Springs, stop off at Hohenbaden castle, and take in the crystal clear air in Freudenstadt at the Eastern edge of the Northern Black Forest. If you’re travelling by car, have some seasonal tyres fitted so you’re covered in all weather conditions. Motorcyclists are banned from certain parts of Route 500 so check your route beforehand.
Length and time:
40 miles, approximately 1 hour
EuroAirport Basel, Frankfurt Airport, Stuttgart
The ‘Trolls Path’ in Norway has one of Europe’s most winding roads, with a steep 10-degree incline and 11 hairpin bends. However, you can stop at the stunning views of Stigfossen Waterfall, which falls for more than 1,000 metres, and the famous National Tourist Route which leads you through the Norwegian fjords and across one of the world’s most stomach-churning bridges. The challenging terrain would probably fit a smaller car with a four-wheel-drive that’s great for gripping the winding roads. The route is closed through late autumn and all of winter, so head over in the summer.
Length and time:
4 miles, 2-3 hours (including landmark stops)
Molde Airport, Aro
Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Ireland’s picturesque Iveragh peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, offers an unforgettable Irish journey, where you’ll transition from forest to leafy upland to beach scenes to fishing harbours. Experienced routers recommend starting the journey in Killarney and then taking the N72 up to Killorglin. From there you can join the N80 around the peninsula to Kenmare before returning to Killarney via the N71. Always drive anticlockwise around the Ring of Kerry to avoid traffic issues in the narrower sections of the route. It would be handy to have a paper map to hand too if digital navigation fails as mobile signals will often dip through the forests. The lanes are narrow, so opt for a smaller car that will allow you to easily navigate the curves with ease.
Length and time:
110 miles, allow 1 – 2 days for full circuit during daylight
Route One, Iceland
Iceland’s Route One offers spectacular sights, from erupting geysers spurting boiling water metres up in the air, to volcanoes and lava fields of the Blue Lagoon and it’s so simple to book an Iceland car rental. You can spot extraordinary waterfalls and even try your luck at whale-watching, as well as catching the Northern Lights. Route One is accented with photo opportunities along the way, so leave plenty of time in your schedule to enjoy the detours and explore the track. Stop at the Solhelmasandur Plane Crash where a United States Navy DC-3 plane crashed on the beach in 1974. Make sure to fill up your tank before you head off as there aren’t many gas stations around. Also, many of the stations are self-service so ensure to pack your credit card too. A good quality four-wheel drive will be able to take you through the elements on this route.
Length and time:
800 miles, 7 – 10 days
Spoleto to Norcia, Italy
Italy is well known for its scenery as well as it’s coffee and gelato, and this scenic route does not disappoint. Sample the olives in Spoleto as you start on your journey and take in the town before you hit the road towards Valnerina. Then head upwards towards Norcia and grab yourself some fresh Italian air where you can visit the Benedictine monastery and the incredible views of the Sibillini mountains. To make sure you witness the mass of floral nature at the Piano Grande, visit in late May to early June when it will be in full bloom. The Castelluccio village is 1,452 metres high in the sky so even when the sun is shining down on your bonnet, prepare for snow and ice when you reach this point. Make sure to pack sunscreen and sunglasses as well as a warm hat and glasses. Consider driving an automatic car for greater ease of use and driver comfort.
Length and time:
101 miles. allow 4 – 6 hours to include photo opportunities
Other great destinations outside of Europe
Thinking of travelling further away from Europe? Here are some great choices for family-friendly holidays further abroad.
Sharm el-Sheikh is a top class holiday destination with winter temperatures averaging in the pleasant 20s. During the winter months, the normally blistering summer heat reduces slightly to around eight or nine hours per day, which makes Sharm el-Sheikh an ideal holiday choice for families. The December month brings a cool mid-20 degree weather, with a gentle cool breeze in the air, so it’s not too hot for the kids and the sea is still warm and crystal clear.
There are lots of options for families with flights to Egypt covering the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, boasting a wide range of benefits at an excellent value for money. The majority of hotels have their own swimming pools, theme parks, daytime activities such as tennis courts and beach volleyball, as well as a fun kids club to keep children entertained throughout their holiday. It may be too cold to take the kids snorkelling, so a glass-bottom boat trip would be a great choice to still see the amazing underwater world without getting wet. Glass bottom boats can be found cruising in Naama Bay, which is nothing short of amazing as you get to watch the scuba divers below at dive sites such as Ras Katy.
If water activities are not your thing, you can book camel rides through the desert and fun safari daytrips, offering your family memories that will last a lifetime.
Sharm el-Sheikh even offers many organised trips with English speaking tour guides who will look after you and make sure you get to see all the top sights. There are lots of family events available at a drop of a hat, with holiday representatives available to help you join in on group activities to fill up your day. The markets are filled with traditional local Egyptian merchants, all readily available to serve the family tourists’ every need.
For those visiting Sharm el-Sheikh from the United Kingdom, you will usually be offered all inclusive packages within your holiday deal, so there is no reason to leave the resort or spend any extra money. You won’t need a Visa to visit Sharm el-Sheikh, but if you are planning to visit Cairo or Jordon, then you will need to buy a Visa, which can be collected at the airport for around $15-$20.
Thomson holidays are offering all-inclusive packages to Sharm El Sheikh for around £400 per person for 7 nights (includes 2 adults and 2 children).
Take a family tour to India
India is like a different planet, and its magic lies within its vibrant culture and nature. From the temples of Varanasi to the marble fortresses of Delhi, you’ll be confident in learning that there is something for everyone to see in India. Touring India with the family will allow you to witness what this vast country has to offer, from the countless temples to the infamous Indian slums. Book a tour with Jules Verne and their expert guides will show you all the hidden gems you might miss if you travelled without.
Head over to the Caribbean and experience the ultimate paradigm of crystal clear waters and life as it should be. And, if money was not an issue, book an all-inclusive package to the best places to stay in Turks and Caicos Villas, where you could enjoy a large villa with a beachfront, pool, mini bar for the adults, and top-class amenities that come with a 24-hour concierge. You wouldn’t have to leave the villa for a few days, you could just chill and lap up the beauty of the Caribbean climes.
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Mauritius. So, I decided to do some digging to see if I could find five great reasons to take the kids to Mauritius during their summer holiday. And, here is what I found:
Any country’s weather would be better than England’s weather. In the summer months, we tend to still haul our umbrellas, jackets and hats around with us, as well as our sun cream on the odd occasion that it actually feels a little like summer for five minutes. In Mauritius, the weather is hot (but not unbearable) from March to December every year. Even in the winter, Mauritius is a beautiful 20-odd
There are so many activities for the kids to do
Forget the island’s beautiful beaches and coastline for a moment. There are TONS of things for the kids to do, I mean tons and tons. Here are but a few ideas:
- Adventure activities – which include quad biking, horseback riding, buggy rides and zip-lining
- Panoramic landscapes – I mean, beautiful nature reserves, and greenery that rivals England’s green grass of home
- Museums – The Blue Penny Museum is home to the world’s most expensive stamp and the National History Museum houses the bones of the now-extinct Dodo.
- Walking with lions – Whaaat!? Yes, you can do a safari and interact with the legendary African animals, like feeding the giraffes and walking with lions. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
There are loads of package deals available for families that includes flight and family-friendly resorts and which are perfect for kids and adults alike. Thompsons offers a Mauritius Smart Travel Program that promises to offer a cooler, quieter and a whole lot more affordable holiday package for 2 adults and 2 kids (you have to pay extra for extra kids).
If you love food, then you’ll love Mauritian food. You can experience street food to Michelin-style fine dining and all will be culturally sublime on the palate. Some foods to try are:
- Dhol Puris
- Gateaux arouille
- Gateaux piments
The glaring warmth of Mauritius is reflected in its people, who are genuine, natural and welcoming. Mauritius is often referred to as the Continent-Island and Mauritians pride themselves on being able to live and respect different ethnic origins, which makes a great change to the world’s current political and racial crises.
“The whole world in one island.” Mauritius 365
So, next summer will be all about taking in the cultural sights, partaking in some crazy family activities and, of course, lounging on the beautiful beaches (it would be a crime not to), but Mauritius has a lot to offer and, perhaps, a country that we could all learn a thing or two from.
If you have any other top destinations that warrant being on the top family-friendly holiday list, then please share in the comments below.
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