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Travelling with your family should be something to enjoy and remember for all, the right reasons. So where should you head for great family holidays? We offer you the top 10 choices for value for money family breaks.
One of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Menorca is a superb beach destination to take the family. Reached in only two and a half hours from the UK and with lots of gently shelving beaches and a relaxed family atmosphere, there is a wide range of accommodation to choose from including villas, apartments and hotels to suit all budgets and styles.
The island’s resorts are only really open in the summer months and temperatures do fall in the winter months, however when it’s warm it is sublime.
With theme parks, entertainment galore and water parks to enjoy there is plenty to keep the family occupied in sunny Florida
Eating out is relatively cheap and easy with lots of variety. For added convenience, choose a holiday home complete with a private pool and hire a car to make the most of your time with many houses having private pools too.
And if you fancy a change from Orlando, head to the beaches around Clearwater, Daytona, spend some time in Miami or the Florida Keys, or visit the Everglades to get back to nature.
With more than one hundred islands to choose from, Greece offers a wide range of holiday options for the family and a great welcome from the locals. The big-draw islands of Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Kos all have resorts ideal for families with safe beaches, lots of family activities and a wide choice of places to eat out and stay. However, it is the simple pleasures that Greece offers families that will have you coming back for more and more.
Remember, summer temperatures can hit well over 30C so it is important to consider having air-conditioning for your little ones. The islands are reached on non-stop flights from all over the UK in around three hours.
Portugal’s southern coast is a firm favourite with Brits. Its sandy beaches, ease of access from the UK and wide range of value for money accommodation has people coming back for more year after year. There are plenty of places to eat out that cater for families as well as lots of activities such as tennis and watersports of all types.
Summer temperatures do not get too hot and you can still enjoy a break in the winter months, although always be aware of the ocean as there are strong undercurrents off the coast. With holiday complexes, lots of self-catering apartments and a huge array of villas, this is a great value-for-money family choice.
Mum and dad may well remember their own childhood holidays to the Great British Holiday Park, however things have moved on; the renaissance of brands such as Butlins and Pontins now add to the success of Haven and Center Parcs.
These days, holiday parks cater for entertainment, and have more activities that you can imagine both indoors and out. There is also a wide range of catering options from full board to self-catering.
Choosing the right park with the right mix of entertainment and facilities is key to your enjoyment, but many are also close to beaches or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty so you can enjoy the scenery as well.
Perhaps it's not the most obvious option, however, there are many cruises now aimed fairly and squarely at family holidays. Pick a cruise line that caters specifically for younger children and teenagers – many offer lots of organised activities while you are at sea.
Days in port can be spent exploring new places and the opportunity to holiday in a way totally different to normal is really exciting for children. The sheer excitement of arriving and departing on a boat is fascinating.
Safety need not be a worry on board as the ships cater for children and they are looked after at all times. They even have entertainment for the little ones. And if you want to go all out family-friendly, take a Disney cruise complete with characters on board.
Brits looking for a holiday at home, the UK’s capital offers so much for the family to enjoy.
World-class museums and galleries, river boats, the London Eye, and entertainment of all kinds, London has it all. You can see historic buildings, visit London Zoo and take a city tyour on an open-top bus. Many attractions gear up for younger members of the family with dedicated staff and options to help you make the most of your time.
And don’t forget an extensive range of festivals, events and processions such as the Lord Mayor’s day and family day at the Notting Hill Carnival. You could even enjoy a family theatre break to see shows such as The Lion King.
Accommodation is wide and varied and there are now many apartment style properties ideal for a family stay.
From snorkelling in the Red Sea to exploring pyramids, tombs and mummies, Egypt is ideal for children, however you may want to avoid the hottest times of the year in the summer school holidays.
Sail on the Nile, clamber over ancient monuments and then rest in your holiday hotel – just ensure you book one with a pool. The sheer difference of culture here will be exciting for little ones, and will really add to the experience for the whole family.
Holidaying in the Mexican beach resorts not only offers the chance of a great tan and lots of beach activities for the family but also an opportunity to explore history with trips out to see Mayan ruins and ancient history.
The resorts tend to be Americanised and the hotels are geared up to visitors of all ages, with many offering childrens clubs.
Learning to ski or snow board at an early age really helps you to get going on the snow before you develop any sense of fear. With short flight times to the Alps, where better to learn than in France or Switzerland at one of the many family friendly ski resorts?
Ensure you pick a property with easy access to the ski schools and slopes and kit out the family with equipment to keep them warm and safe in the snow. By evening, you can eat out in atmospheric restaurants ofr self cater in an apartment and make your own fun.
Many resorts also offer lots of other activities such as toboggans, ice skating, snowmobiles, paragliding, horse riding and indoor swimming pools – if the family has any energy left for that.