Long-Haul Family Holidays
The Mediterranean has long been the staple holiday destination for British families looking for some well-earned Summer Sun. However, for parents who want to mix things up and take their kids on an adventure farther afield there are plenty of options. Whether it’s travel to somewhere exotic and rich in culture or just fun-filled and action-packed, long-haul holidays can be surprisingly family-friendly.
- Costa Rica
For any family who has a passion for wildlife, Costa Rica has a lot going for it, monkeys swinging in the canopies and sloths lazing in the trees. With activities like ziplining through the rainforest and turtle spotting on the coast. And with British Airways flying direct from London to San Jose, Costa Rica is easily accessible from the UK. Trafalgar has a 7 day Monkeys, Jungles & Volcanoes tour starting from £1,495 for an adult and £1,337 for under-18s.
The expansion of Dubai as a holiday destination shows no signs of abating, and is increasingly shifting focus towards to family travel. With IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks & Resorts, KidZania, Wild Wadi waterpark, sand buggy tours of the desert, there is certainly plenty to do. There is also a strong push towards providing more value to families with ‘kids go free’ offers and theme park entrance included. An example of this comes from Gold Medal with a three night stay at Atlantis The Palm in August starting from £529 including complimentary half board and entrance to Aquaventure Waterpark.
A country of variety, Thailand offers both culture, wildlife, and idyllic beaches. Families will love Elephant Hills, a luxury tented camp in Khao Sok where they can feed and wash the elephants. It’s easily combined with a beach break at Khao Lak and both Emirates and Qatar airlines offer flight into Phuket, removing the need to transit through Bangkok.
- The United States
An old favourite with British travellers, Florida has been hugely popular for decades. Recently being named as the best-value long haul destination by the Post Office’s Best Bargains report, Orlando is constantly evolving and offering something new to those who haven’t been in a while. Recent additions include Universal’s Volcano Bay, Lego Ninjago World at Legoland Florida Resort, and Watl Disney World Resort’s magical, bioluminescent land, Pandora – The World of Avatar.
However, the rest of the country also offers a massive amount for families. Just think of the Southwest and its cowboy landscapes, canyons and big skies. Utah, Nevada and Arizona make for a great family holiday with visits to the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and the Navajo Nation.Tauck have an eight day Red Rocks & Painted Canyons tour starting from £2,480 per person that makes for an unforgettable family holiday.
- South Africa
Nothing beats Kruger National Park for giving youngsters their first tastes of a safari.
To stay in the heart of it, the &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge features family cottages, alongside a ‘wild child’ programme offering baking, village walks and more. Anti-malarial medication is not suitable for under-12s, so the game reserves in the Eastern Cape are a good alternative for younger families.
A style of holiday that is becoming much younger in it’s focus, cruising gives families the opportunity to explore a variety of destinations whilst only unpacking once. The features on the larger, modern ships by the like of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival are enough to keep a family entertained without ever disembarking the ship. Cruise lines are not only added more family friendly entertainment but also family cabins. For example, aboard Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, the Family Connected Junior Suites connects three cabins, a junior suite, a studio cabin (meant for one but that can sleep two) and a regular balcony stateroom.
NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, will have a two-storey electric go-kart race track and double loop waterslides that extend over the side of the ship. A 7 night cruise on the Norwegian Bliss around the Caribbean from Miami starts from £1,729 for a balcony cabin including flights and 1 night in a Miami hotel.
These are just half a dozen of the amazing, long-haul destinations that are suitable for families. So maybe consider something more adventurous for your family holiday this year, it’s a big world out there.