For many families, the main objective for a winter holiday is to escape the miserable weather and have some quality family time away from the humdrum of the daily grind. In our experience, happy children equates to happy parents – so you want somewhere where they can run around and “be children”, whilst of course still being both interesting, fun and a bit spoiling for you.
Everyone’s idea of a holiday is different: for parents in need of some r&r with kids that are into everything, then a beach resort with inclusive activities is just the ticket; alternatively for those families that like to keep themselves on the move and prefer to explore then a road trip might be for you! More families are also looking to learn about and discover different parts of the world, be it by some intrepid exploring or more of an educational-based itinerary. Finally, there are those families that can’t sit still, needing to be kept active and busy up to the point of exhaustion!
Luxury Beach Resort..
We detail below our top resort picks in different corners of the world, this list is by no means exhaustive and we do have some more affordable options up our sleeve. All of these are serviced by convenient direct flights, so are perfect for a 7 night escape….
Carlisle Bay, Antigua: With luxury family rooms directly in their own little section on the perfectly protected beach, Carlisle Bay is a world leader in stylish understated luxury. Ever popular with couples and families, everyone is guaranteed a happy time. The occasional all-inclusive offers are recommended.
Al Bustan, Muscat: Re-opening next month after a year long renovation, the new water based kids playground will provide endless entertainment for the little ones, whilst you can enjoy the state-of-the-art opulent surroundings, one of the best beaches in Muscat and a brand new water sports centre.
O&O Saint Geran, Mauritius: Having re-opened last year, we have had nothing but absolutely amazing feedback from families staying in this iconic hotel, with hands down the best location on the island.
Ritz-Carlton Abama, Tenerife: This top notch resort has all you could wish for, giving no reason to leave it’s welcoming confines. Beautiful family friendly rooms, out of this world restaurants, more pools than you can shake a stick at and a small beach.
Family Road Trip…
Once the kids reach a certain age a good road trip opens up a new world of exciting options. Turn a holiday into an adventure that creates lifelong memories.
South Africa. The perfect Autumn, Winter or Easter family getaway. To get the most out of this beautiful country, you really need to get out on the open road! Fly directly into Cape Town and spend a couple of days exploring and learning in this magnificent city. Then get in your car and take the short drive up to the Winelands, where there is now a whole host of fun family activities on offer, from cycling to picnics, from wild swimming to lazy brunches. Then take the stunning drive, through the mountain passes of the Karoo to the quaint town of Oudtshoorn – the ostrich capital of the world. Then have some beach time on the Garden Route, before the highlight … a big 5, malaria free safari in the Eastern Cape.
Sri Lanka. Although we wouldn’t advise necessarily driving your own car, the undoubted best way to explore this stunning and diverse country is by car. Careful route planning is key, as there are two distinct monsoon seasons in Sri Lanka therefore it’s important to plan on the most reliable options. There are destinations and experiences to suit all ages, from learning about making tea in the Hill country to having a full immersion into the ancient history of the cultural triangle, a thrilling safari through one of the country’s many wonderful National Parks and of course a well earned beach break is always a must! The South West coast delivers stunning scenery, a wide range of hotel and villa options to suit all tastes and a plethora of activities including surfing, sailing, whale watching and not forgetting a bit of cricket too!
Northern Vietnam. If you’d prefer to travel on foot than by car then our Winter months are the perfect time of year to be trekking through the mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam. Ranging from light and easy day treks with a base at one of Sapa’s comfortable hotels or Eco lodges, to multi-day treks. Overnight stays on treks over a number of days will be in hill tribe villages. Here you are always warmly welcomed; traditional dress is still worn, buffalo are farmed in the valleys and the mountainsides are terraced for miles with lush green rice paddies. A truly authentic and exhilirating experience.
Costa Rica. If you want to take a walk on the wild side, then why not explore the hugely varied but easily navigable ecosystems of Costa Rica. Crammed with wildlife, no wonder it’s the world’s premier eco-tourism destination. Stay in authentic haciendas, white water raft into pristine rainforest camps, hike up active volcanos, zip-line through the cloud forests, spot Sloths in the Tortuguero and finish with some time on the beautiful Pacific coast where you can surf, snorkel, sail, and kayak – if you’re not too exhausted.
Cambodia: Being home to the world’s largest religious monument certainly does make Cambodia a strong contender for any family looking for an educational and cultural trip. Not only are the temples of Angkor Wat absolutely fascinating -giving a glimpse into the lives of the ancient Khmer civilisation, but they are also exciting as many are still surrounded by jungle and some are even in amongst the trees which makes for some great exploring!
Italy: The Winter months are actually a great time to visit the European cities of culture; especially February half term when crowds will be at a minimum. Get the imagination flowing with stories of Gladiators and Centurions in Rome, then astound them with the beauty of the Renaissance in Florence, before finishing in Venice, a city that will never fail to intrigue even the most wondering minds.
Skiing – If you’re thinking of a family skiing holiday this season, our first piece of advice would be to book as soon as possible – as prices will only get higher and availability even scarcer. Ed visited Megeve late last season and was incredibly impressed with all the hotels and the general set up for families. If the season is anything like the last it will be perfect all the way through to Easter, though in normal seasons it’s better over February half term. If you’re looking at the Easter Holidays, it might be a safer bet to go slightly higher – somewhere like La Plagne, which is an excellent all round family resort with lots of great options for all budgets.
New Zealand – Often referred to as the adventure capital of the world, New Zealand is a true active enthusiast’s paradise. With vast areas of beautiful National Park such as Fiordland in the very South of the country which is famous for their mighty Milford and Doubtful sounds. To Abel Tasman at the North West tip of the South Island which hugs the rugged coastline and covers large forested areas with idyllic quiet coves and bays all to yourself. You have so many options to either traverse by foot or get on your bike(!) both in the North and South Island; this is the ultimate time of year to travel to NZ so availability can be tight in the peak months, but there’s till space to be found.
|Make this Autumn and Winter your time for discovery. We’re here to help you put together your dream itinerary. To find out more, please get in touch.