Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) have scoured the globe for the best destinations to visit with kids in tow.
Choose from beach breaks with fantastic kids clubs to keep the little ones entertained, to full-on family adventures in Vietnam, Chile and further afield. Here are some great ideas for the Easter holidays and beyond.
1. AUSTRALIA HAS THE ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL: If it’s good enough for the Royals… Prince William, Kate and George paid a visit to Australia this time last year (and stayed at Longitude 131°). While their seal of approval is undoubtedly a draw, Easter is a good time to visit due to comfortable temperatures, vibrant landscapes and great opportunities for viewing wildlife. Head south for the tail end of the Australian summer and celebrate Easter at the Sydney Royal Easter Show or Anzac Day on the 25th April.
2. THAILAND IS MORE FAMILY-FRIENDLY THAN YOU THINK: Uniquely warm and welcoming and jam-packed with exciting cities and idyllic islands, Thailand is a surprisingly family friendly destination thanks to a wealth of educational experiences (Thai cooking lessons, bamboo rafting, diving) and animal encounters (learning to become an elephant mahout is A&Ks favourite). In recent years Koh Samui has hit the luxury market and is no longer the first choice for roaming backpackers, but rather families looking for a multitude of leisure experiences in one place.
3. CYCLING THROUGH VIETNAM IS THE IDEAL WAY TO TIRE ACTIVE KIDS: Burn off some energy and experience the cultural side of Vietnam on a unique two-wheeled adventure. Rolling through the narrow highways of Hanoi to the diverse metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, kids will love the charming street scenes and beautiful blue skies as they cycle just like a local. Travel over the Easter break and you’ll find the best weather, consistent for almost all parts of the country.
4. CALIFORNIA SURFING LESSONS WILL MAKE THEIR CLASSMATES GREEN WITH ENVY: The iconic OC: glamorous yet laid-back and perfect for a family escape. California overflows with surfing hotspots, action-packed theme parks and super cool cities and has plenty on offer for kids to get stuck into. Travel in half-term or Easter and enjoy lovely warm weather, good surf and surprisingly good value. A&Ks’ family California itinerary includes car rental, making it easier to get your brood from A to B.
5. CAPE TOWN OFFERS A COOL YET EDUCATIONAL BREAK: Located in the heart of the Mother City, Cape Town is the perfect base from which to explore the sights of the city with little ones in tow, such as Boulders Beach and Camps Bay. The sheer amount of sights to explore, from Table Mountain to Robben Island, means you’d barely need to leave the city to enjoy a fun-packed stay.
6. BOTSWANA ENJOYS THE START OF THE DRY SEASON – AND THERE’S NO TIME DIFFERENCE: Visit Botswana at the start of the dry season for an Easter holiday break that takes in lush green landscapes, clear skies and prime wildlife viewing opportunities. Kids will love the chance to view lion, giraffe, elephant and leopard and because there’s only an hour’s time difference, there’s no jet lag so your holiday can start immediately.
7. SRI LANKA IS SUNNY AND PACKED WITH EDUCATIONAL SIGHTS: Travel to Sri Lanka on the 25th March and you’ll not only benefit from one of the best months in which to travel but also a host of fun and educational activities to keep little ones (and big ones) occupied. Visit the cave temples of Dambulla, observe an evening Puja ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth and enjoy leopard game drives in Yala National Park.
8. CRUISE THE NILE AND EXPERIENCE EGYPT WITHOUT THE CROWDS: Travellers are returning to Egypt in their droves, but the main sites are still relatively free of crowds. Offering amazing value for money and the ease of full board accommodation, the stylish Sanctuary Sun Boats that cruise the Nile are the ideal way to visit Egypt with minimal hassle. A&K’s brilliant team of guides and Egyptologists on the ground will look after you every step of the way and you’ll be entertained and educated in safety and style.
9. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE MALDIVES – FOR LESS: Located on one of the larger Maldivian Islands offering much more than just the obligatory sun, sea and sand, Shangri-La Villingili features a fantastic children’s area with an abundance of activities. Travel over the Easter break and you’ll find blue skies, agreeable temperatures and a sea like warm bath, with just a smattering of tropical rainfall thrown in to freshen things up.
10. CHILE IS THE PERFECT DESTINATION FOR ACTIVE FAMILIES: Chile may not be the first destination that springs to mind when planning a family holiday, but stick with us. The country is brimming with exciting experiences that keep inquisitive minds occupied. Learn how to become a gaucho, make unique chocolate treats or participate in a traditional harvest in the Casablanca Valley, hand-picking grapes to be used for the next vintage’s premium wines (parents can sample these later). In the south of the country experienced guides can lead family-friendly hikes, and Torres del Paine plays host to a wide array of sporting events.
11. EXPLORE OMAN AND ENJOY FANTASTIC WEATHER AND FACILITIES: Half terms are a mere week, meaning long haul flights are often out of the question. Oman is the best of both worlds: far enough to feel like an adventure, but a flight time of around eight hours to prevent kids getting too bored. Stay at the Shangri-La Al Bandar, part of the exclusive Bar Al Jissah resort, and you’ll enjoy its fantastic family facilities at one of the best times of the year for good weather, with the possibility to combine with time in the mountains and desert for a chance to experience the real Arabia.
12. DUBAI IS THE PERFECT KIDS PLAYGROUND: Dubai is always a safe bet for a family getaway, thanks to its multitude of cheerfully brash waterparks, malls and cultural centres: it’s practically a playground. Atlantis, The Palm is undoubtedly one of the most child-friendly hotels in the city, with free entry into Aquaventure Water Park and a fabulous location.
13. GROUP TRAVEL MAKES DISCOVERING INDOCHINA EASY: Keen on the excitement of exploring Asia but want the support of group travel? A&Ks’ new Small Luxury Group Journeys include a selection of family departures, with enriching activities and family-friendly hotels, and the added extras of built in family time and insightful Tour Directors to assist you at every step of the way (plus a discount of up to £500 per child). Their Indochina and Angkor Wat itinerary takes in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, visiting vibrant cities and the stunning karst scenery of Ha Long Bay.
14. LITTLE ONES WILL LOVE CYPRUS’ FANTASTIC KIDS CLUBS: Cyprus not only offers incredible value, but some of the best luxury hotels in Europe. The Anassa, located on the northwest coast, has one of the best kids clubs A&K has encountered, and you can hire bikes, enjoy watersports or tennis and explore the kilometre-long sandy beach.
15. PORTUGAL IS PACKED WITH DESERTED BEACHES: Portugal’s year round temperate climate makes it an ideal destination at any time, but travel in early spring and you’ll find deserted beaches and masses of room in the gardens for kid’s playtime.
16. THE FRENCH RIVIERA IS GLAM YET UNCROWDED: The French Riviera needs no introduction, but allow A&K to let you in on their little secret along the coast. The Royal Riviera has its own beach, and due to the ban on motorised vessels around the Cap, it’s a peaceful stay on the busy coast. What’s more, the outdoor pool is open and heated all year round.
17. ROME IS A LIVING HISTORY LESSON: Built on the site of a former gladiator barracks, Palazzo Manfredi oozes history, with the Colosseum right outside your door providing a spectacular night display. Visit in the Easter break and you can take the kids to the Leonardo da Vinci Machines Exhibition, celebrating the universal genius of the inventor at the historic Palazzo della Cancelleria.
18. NOT ALL HALF-TERM HOLIDAYS NEED TO INVOLVE CHILDREN: Keen to put some space between you and the kids? Leave the little rascals with family or friends and escape to La Mamounia, possibly one of the most romantic hotels in the world and once the preferred residence of none other than Sir Winston Churchill.
AND FINALLY… A VILLA OR CHALET OFFERS A HOME FROM HOME WITH A DIFFERENCE: With Christmas and the New Year under our belts, most of us are looking forward to sunny climes and summer holidays. Many of A&Ks’ villas and chalets have availability for the Easter holidays. With snow remaining in resorts such as Zermatt and Val d’Isère until late April, you’ll find plenty of chalets with weeks free for the Easter break. If it’s sun you’re after, Mediterranean islands such as Crete, Mallorca and Ibiza have clear skies and warm temperatures from early April onwards. All you need to do is take your pick…
If you’re keen on getting away, but haven’t seen what you’re looking for in this article, why not call Ultimate Destinations to discuss your options further? And if you’re not looking to travel just yet, you could just think about Christmas…
Call Ultimate Destinations on 01923 284148 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we will be delighted to be of service.