Family Holiday Travel Inc.

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Rating of Family Holiday Travel Inc. on our page is 4.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about reservation by calling them: (905) 604—1025. Whatever you are searching for in a holiday, look if the business has it on the regular internet site: Feel free to tour them at: Canada, Markham, ON L3R 5T5, 8339 Kennedy Rd UNIT2555.

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  • Tourism in Markham
  • Family Holiday Travel Inc.

Travel agencies in Markham

  • UCruising of Unionville Unionville, ON L3R 9W4, 8360 Kennedy Rd Unit 68
  • Miracle Holidays Unionville, ON L3R 1M6, 8392 Kennedy Rd
  • Travel Lovers Group ON L3P 1Y3, 178 Main St N

Hotels in Markham

  • Toronto Marriott Markham ON L6G 0E6, 170 Enterprise Blvd
  • Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa ON L6G 1A5, 8500 Warden Ave.
  • Premiere Suites ON L3R 7Z9, 23 Cox Blvd

Tour operators in Markham

  • CPTrip Service Inc. ON L3R 9Z4, 145 Royal Crest Ct Unit 32
  • WeChina Vacation ON L3R 0G6, 3621 Hwy 7 #502
  • Nexus Holidays ON L3R 0E7, 600 Alden Rd #312

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A group of four kiddos smiles and poses on a family trip in Morocco

Family Vacations & Tours

  • Ways to travel
  • Family Adventure Holidays & Tours

Who needs a ball pit and a buffet when you've got the whole world to play in?

We've developed a better style of  family  travel - one that favors real-world experiences over the ones behind a screen and always includes kid-friendly accommodations and activities. Think: traveling in a tuk-tuk through the streets of  Bangkok  and kicking a football with Maasai tribespeople to catching an overnight train in  Egypt  or searching for wildlife with a wolf tracker in  Yellowstone National Park . Enjoy the journey through incredible destinations with other like-minded families eager to make memories to last a lifetime. Your sense of adventure doesn't disappear when you have kids, so why should your family holiday options be limited?

Our family vacations & tours

Vietnam family holiday, 13 days from 1845.

Experience the Asia of old on a family adventure that captures the spirit of Vietnam....

Vietnam Family Holiday Comfort

13 days from 2050.

Experience Vietnamese customs and charms on a 13-day family adventure from Hanoi to Ho...

South Africa Family Safari with Teenagers

12 days from 2275.

Enjoy this Teenage Family Adventure, while hiking, canoeing, snorkeling, rafting,...

Borneo Family Holiday

9 days from 1695.

Travel to Borneo to visit orangutan sanctuaries and explore lush jungles. See the best...

Morocco Family Holiday Comfort

10 days from 1255.

Take your family on a Moroccan adventure through Casablanca, Fes, Midelt, Merzouga, Ait...

family holiday travel inc

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

Morocco Family Holiday

8 days from 604.

Travel to Morocco and embark on a family adventure. Take a tour of Marrakech, relax on...

Vietnam Family Holiday with Teenagers

9 days from 1345.

Get the most out of your family getaway by cycling, kayaking, walking and cruising...

Sri Lanka Family Holiday

12 days from 1755.

Discover Sri Lanka on an 11-day tour that will captivate kids and adults alike, with...

Best of Morocco Family Holiday

12 days from 1269.

Looking for the best Moroccan family holiday? This trip has everything from Fes, Meknes...

Botswana Family Safari with Teenagers

10 days from 2200.

Take your family to Victoria Falls, Okavango River and Chobe National Park on this teen...

Costa Rica Family Holiday

10 days from 2115.

This family-style trip through Costa Rica begins and ends in San Jose, taking in the...

Japan Family Holiday

12 days from 4619.

Discover Japan on this 12-day family tour. Sample fresh sushi in Tokyo, soak in onsen...

Egypt Family Holiday

8 days from 2050.

Decode the secrets of the Great Sphinx and more during this family adventure through...

Turkey Family Holiday

10 days from 2380.

Discover Turkey on this family adventure through Istanbul, Goreme, Selcuk, Pamukkale...

Tanzania Family Safari

8 days from 2400.

Experience the people, culture and wildlife of Kenya and Tanzania on a small group...

Peru Family Holiday

9 days from 2905.

Visit Peru on this Family Adventure, travelling through Lima, Cusco and Aguas Calientes...

Northern India Family Holiday

10 days from 1231.

Take an action-packed family tour of India, following tiger trails, visiting Delhi and...

Mexico Family Holiday

7 days from 1670.

Travel the Yucatan from Playa del Carmen through Tulum, Izamal and Merida on a 7-day...

South Korea Family Holiday

8 days from 2684.

Take an eye-opening family holiday to South Korea, and discover temples, monks, hotpot,...

Map of Bali Family Holiday with Teenagers including Indonesia

Bali Family Holiday with Teenagers

8 days from 1510.

Ricepaddles, rapids, bikes and beaches – find it all as you travel to Ubud, Candi Dasa,...

Summer Pyrenees Family Holiday with teenagers

8 days from 1185.

Walk, ride and raft on this European adventure into the heart of the Pyrenees. Unleash...

Egypt Family Holiday Comfort

8 days from 2210.

Step back in time on an 8-day family Egyptian adventure through Cairo, Aswan and Luxor....

Best of Costa Rica Family Holiday

14 days from 3915.

Take a family adventure to the wilds of Costa Rica, starting in San Jose and visiting...

Uluru & Kings Canyon Family Adventure

4 days from 1195.

Discover the best of Australia's Red Centre on a four-day family adventure with...

Egypt and Jordan Family Holiday

15 days from 4515, borneo family holiday comfort, 10 days from 2014.

Discover the best that Borneo has to offer on this unforgettable family adventure...

China Family Holiday

12 days from 3410.

Travel to the Land of the Dragon and explore Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Chengdu and Hong...

Cambodia Family Holiday with Teenagers

8 days from 1140.

Encounter Cambodia's complex history and welcoming culture on a small-group family...

Kenya Family Safari

8 days from 2689.

Track your way across the plains of Kenya on this thrilling safari, covering Nairobi,...

Jordan Family Holiday

8 days from 1957.

Discover lost cities on a family adventure in Jordan. From the capital Amman to the...

Thailand Family Holiday

12 days from 2130.

Enjoy the sights, culture and history of Thailand on a fun family trip. Eat yummy food,...

Japan Highlights Family Holiday

8 days from 3800.

Take a fun family adventure to Japan and visit Tokyo, Kawane, Kyoto and Osaka. Travel...

Map of Turkey Family Holiday with Teenagers including Turkey

Turkey Family Holiday with Teenagers

8 days from 1690.

Exploring Turkey’s coast with your teenagers, visiting ruins in Xanthos, hiking...

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Family Holiday

6 days from 3845.

Take the family on a 6-day adventure in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks....

Map of Italy Family Holiday  including Italy

Italy Family Holiday

8 days from 2960.

From the ruins of Rome, to the ancient city of Pompeii and the seaside delights of...

Northern India Family Holiday Comfort

14 days from 2135.

Tour Northern India on this comfortable family holiday from Delhi to Agra, Ranthambhore...

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Teenage Family Vacations

family holiday travel inc

Wildlife Family Vacations

family holiday travel inc

Active Family Vacations

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School Vacations

Why choose intrepid.

family holiday travel inc

Just for families

The clue’s in the title. These trips are for families only (including any aunts, uncles or cousins who’d like to come along, of course). As long as you’re traveling with a child under the age of 18, you’re a family in our eyes. Plus, unlike other travel companies, children aged 17 years and younger receive a 10% discount on the price of their trip.

family holiday travel inc

Travel with other families

Traveling the Intrepid way is a bit like traveling with a group of friends. These trips are made up of 3–5 like-minded families, and the kids tend to hit it off straight away, allowing you to enjoy some well-earned R&R. We often find the whole family ends up making friendships with people from all over the world, staying in touch long after the adventure ends.

family holiday travel inc

Small group sizes

Intrepid’s family group sizes are small enough to avoid the crowds and reach some out-of-the-way places but big enough for a good social mix. Our average group size of 10 allows us to hop aboard local boats, buses or trains, eat at friendly, family-run restaurants and kick back in traditional accommodation and homestays.

family holiday travel inc

Action packed

We know the biggest challenge on a family trip is keeping the kids entertained, so we’ve planned in advance. Nearly all of our hotels feature pools, and each day has a great mix of action-packed adventure and flexible free time. Your local leader can also suggest activities based on your kid’s hobbies or school curriculum.

family holiday travel inc

Safety first

Our local leaders are specially trained to run family adventures, so you’ll be well taken care of. You can also rest easy knowing we conduct safety assessments on all our activities to meet local standards as well as our own comprehensive safety policy. 

family holiday travel inc

Sustainable travel

We strive to use travel as a force for good. That’s why we choose to give back to the communities we visit, carbon offset all our trips and take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously. We’ve been officially certified as the world’s largest travel B Corp, which means when you choose Intrepid Travel, you can rest assured you’re traveling to improve the planet.

Family favorites

The scaly face of an Iguana looking at the camera as it lies on a tree

Come for the biodiverse landscapes of Costa Rica and stay for the fascinating wildlife lurking in the country’s tropical wilderness. Spot three-toed sloths as they munch on their leafy food, listen out for the call of howler monkeys as they swing from tree to tree, and catch sight of a slow-moving iguana as it moves along the jungle floor – all within the extraordinary Manuel Antonio National Park. 

Mother and tiger cub rest in Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

Rajasthan, India

With palaces, forts, festivals and wildlife encounters to take the breath away, Rajasthan in India is a must-see for all families. We stay in century-old heritage accommodation, living life like a Maharaja and Maharani. Trace the tracks of Bengal tigers in the jungle, wander through lush palace gardens, clock the famous Taj Mahal and ride the rails through the sun-kissed countryside.

Family tour through the streets of Essaouira

Essaouira, Morocco

An artists’ town through and through, Essaouira is full of surprises. First, there’s the beautiful blue-specked townscape, with its whitewashed seaside houses you could stare at for an age. Dig a little deeper and find galleries, boutiques, wood workshops and a colorful heritage of Portuguese, British, French and Jewish influences.

Colorful tradtional wear of the Maasai tribe in the Loita hills

Loita Hills, Kenya

Nestled in the Great Rift Valley, Loita Hills is a special place. It’s the town the Maasai call home, and it’s a privilege to spend time with such a proud and joyous people. Join in the famous Maasai jumping dance and remember to get a snap of the family leaping for the sky. 

A brightly colored Citadel in Hue, Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam

Deep dive into Hue - a spectacular city with a royal past - on your family adventure through Vietnam. Whether you’re excited to travel the atmospheric streets on a cyclo tour, visit ancient pagodas built for religious figures, marvel at impressive citadels fit for royalty or join members of the community for a traditional paper flower-making class at a local non-government organization, there’s a little something for everyone in this cultural country. 

A young girl holding up a piece of pizza in Italy with her mouth open

If there’s a destination fit for family travel, it’s Italy – think pizza and gelato making in Sorrento, scialatielli tasting (fresh pasta) in Minori, and history lessons about Mt Vesuvius while looking at the volcano itself. Packed with food and local artisan experiences, you and your kids will get a real taste of Italy while also getting the chance to appreciate the country’s breathtaking coastal scenery and learn about its captivating past. 

Where we stay

We take a lot of care in choosing your accommodation and try to avoid the big chain hotels. Your accommodation could be a locally run hotel in Europe, a jungle lodge in Latin America, or a small, family-friendly hotel. No matter where you stay, it will be of good quality and most rooms will feature en suite bathrooms and air conditioning as standard. We also prefer hotels that provide triple or quad rooms and always try to offer adjoining rooms for parents and kids when they are available.

Learn more about accommodation

family holiday travel inc

Looking for a tailor-made vacation?

If you like the sound of our style of travel but would rather vacation with just your family and friends, we can help. Most of our trips are also available as private departures and come with all the excitement and inclusions of a regular departure, but we can tweak and adjust the details until they fit just right.

Get in touch with our team , who will work with you to provide the best family travel experience for you and your family. 

family holiday travel inc

Read our Family FAQs

Read more about family travel.

family holiday travel inc

Nov 28, 2023

7 ways for kids to live a day in the....

From samurais to Santa, there are big shoes to step into on Intrepid’s newest...

family holiday travel inc

6 amazing new trips for families only 

The newest additions to Intrepid’s family range pack heaps of adventure into some...

family holiday travel inc

Nov 08, 2018

How to have the ultimate family....

If you’re after a family adventure beyond the gated mega-resorts, here are 5...

family holiday travel inc

Jun 23, 2021

Family fun for every age in australia....

Even if your family has already seen a lot of Australia and New Zealand, these kid...

family holiday travel inc

Dec 22, 2017

Packing the perfect rucksack for a....

We’re no strangers to rucksacks and know that using every inch of space is key, so...

family holiday travel inc

Dec 16, 2014

17 tips for a healthy and happy....

Taking your pint-sized people travelling in India would likely be out of the...

Responsible travel

A family of travelers gathers with a local at Ait Benhaddou in Morocco

Little travelers like to ask big questions. That’s where we come in. With so much for kids to learn about around the world – we believe in doing our bit to bring up the next generation of responsible travelers. This means educating the travel community about low-impact, sustainable travel practices and sharing ways in which we can all travel responsibly.

Learn how to travel responsibly as a family

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A family enjoying their vacation

The Best Family Vacations Last Forever

You’ll agree, family vacations last much longer than the trip. Some moments are captured and framed, while others resurface as stories that are shared over and over again. Which makes planning that perfect getaway with the kids so worth it. Whether you’re looking at a family resort or a vacation package in an exotic country, our Liberty Travel consultants will guide you with their in-depth knowledge of places that offer multigenerational fun. So, let’s start exploring.

Get ready to pack for your vacation

All-inclusive Vs. Customized Family Vacation Packages

Liberty Travel Spoiler Alert: Both are time-tested and family-approved. It’s just a matter of what you’re looking for in your next trip.


  • Leave your wallet behind Rooms, dining, drinks, resort activities…are all a part of the package.
  • Ideal for tropical vacations Mix rest and relaxation with some fun activities.
  • Your vacation, your way Variation and flexibility just add to the thrill.
  • Ideal for exploring cultures From exotic destinations to historic ones, soak it all in.

Top Family Vacation Destinations

Meet our family vacation experts.

Gina Harvat, travel agent

Gina Harvat

Milla Cassidy, travel agent

Milla Cassidy

Andrea Migliaccio, travel agent

Andrea Migliaccio

Nazli Ilie, travel agent

Terri Perlman

Kristine Troiano, travel agent

Kristine Troiano

Families that travel together stay together

Can a Family Vacation Truly be Fun for All Ages?

The short answer is: Yes. But some effort goes into planning it. Our Liberty Travel consultants will tell you that as families grow, so do their interests and abilities. So, a standard vacation package may not fit all.

If you have a baby, consider booking a luxury hotel that accommodates even the littlest travelers, for maximum flexibility. Or go the all-inclusive route with resort packages that offer professional childcare. With school-aged kids, consider a vacation package that stimulates their curious minds, like a trip to a National park or a kid-friendly resort. Got teens? Well, you can go places. The point is, whether or not they want to. Let’s get them involved in the planning. The world is your playground, and we’ll help you design a vacation they will never forget.

Other Vacation Types

Your perfect vacation is out there, it’s time to discover it.

The Liberty Travel Experience

At Liberty Travel it’s the people who make a difference. Our travel experts craft the perfect trip for every traveler through our award-winning customer service. Real people helping real people. Beside you every step of the way.

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We are honored to be named United States’ Leading Travel Agency at the 30th annual World Travel Awards. Thank you for trusting us with crafting your incredible vacations.

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If you would like to speak with a consultant now, please call 1-888-343-2128 .

A Liberty Travel consultant or one of our third party independent advisors who are part of our member network, Independent by Liberty Travel will contact you within 1 business day. If you would like to speak to a Liberty Travel consultant or one of our independent advisors now, please call 1-888-343-2128 . A non-refundable consulting deposit may be required to start the planning process for certain multi-city itineraries based upon complexity. This consulting deposit will be applied towards your final trip cost at the time of booking. You acknowledge that by submitting this inquiry form that your information may be disclosed to our third party independent advisors who are part of our member network, Independent by Liberty Travel for the purpose of facilitating your inquiry and your travel services booking. Accordingly, you are deemed to consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information by us to our third party independent advisors who are part of our member network, Independent by Liberty Travel and relevant travel service providers for the purpose of facilitating your inquiry and your travel services booking and in accordance with the Liberty Travel Privacy Notice .

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The best family holiday destinations in the world

By Condé Nast Traveller and Issy von Simson

The best family holiday destinations in the world

From holidays in the sun to the most family-friendly spots in Europe , here are some of our top picks of the best family holiday destinations in the world to take the whole crew.

ROAD TRIPPING IN CHILE     Replacing the depths of a British winter with the technicolour high of a Chilean summer is...


Replacing the depths of a British winter with the technicolour high of a Chilean summer is delightfully disorientating. The sky is steeped in blue, the roads are lined with saucepan-sized hydrangeas and avocado trees dangle their fruit as we make for the wild Pacific Coast. Our sons, aged three and five, were born in Santiago – this is a much-anticipated trip back to a country that owns a chapter of our life. Our first stop is a two-hour drive north-west of the city, and the view from the car window switches from bucolic to Sahara-like with goats nibbling on squat trees. Then, abruptly, the land drops away and the cliff-clinging road leads down to Zapallar, a horseshoe cove where butterscotch- coloured sand spreads out before fantasy houses separated by woodland and agapanthus-filled gardens. To my mind, it’s Chile’s prettiest beach town. We’re staying in a green-and-white doll’s house, Hotel Isla Seca, its walls hung with photographs of 1880s society and a guest-book entry from Margaret Thatcher’s visit in 1994. Days are spent ordering Pisco Sours and ceviche at El Chiringuito as the boys watch jumping dolphins and wave at pelicans. The smells tug at the strings of nostalgia – salty seafood, citrusy pine trees, sun-baked stone.

Next up: Santiago , a city that is like a magic box where all the best bits are tucked away in hidden compartments. We race to Metissage, our favourite bakery in Vitacura – its hot chocolate is so thick you eat it with a spoon – and have lunch at Mestizo with a view of flamingos. Then it’s time to move south-west, to the beach at Matanzas – but first we eat at Santa Rita (pictured), where French vines first took root more than 150 years ago. Waiters like the penguins from Mary Poppins appear with cloche-covered dishes. We go on a tour of the immense gardens, nodding admiringly at South America’s tallest bougainvillaea while trying to keep the boys from dive-bombing into the Roman baths. From old world to surfer’s paradise, we arrive at Hotel Surazo in the early evening. The next day we delight in dragging ourselves up the steep sides of sand dunes only to whoop back down again, free and weightless. Evenings are for eating: plates piled high with grilled octopus followed by meaty white kingklip and creamed polenta, toes in the sand, bodies warmed by the fire pit. We’ve saved Matetic Vineyard in the Casablanca Valley for our last stop. Again, the smells draw me in – here it’s sun-drenched terracotta tiles and the olive-oily woodiness of the plants. I sit in dappled shade by the pool with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc as the children learn to leap in like little frogs. I think of the popular saying ‘ más chileno que los poroto s’ (more Chilean than beans). It may not be as charismatic as Argentina or as legendary as Peru, but Chile is wholesome, understated and genuinely nourishing for a family. Gabriel O’Rorke

BOOK IT Journey Latin America offers a 12-day trip to Santiago, Zapallar, Matetic and Matanzas from £3,018 per person, including flights, transfers, excursions and some meals;

TEMPLE HOPPING IN LUANG PRABANG     Some places leave their mark so much so that you find yourself longing for them...


Some places leave their mark, so much so that you find yourself longing for them years later. I had always wanted to return to Luang Prabang in Laos, with my pre-school daughter by my side. The heavy, fragrant air and quiet streets, packed between the muddy banks of two rivers, combine to create a bewitching effect. Wandering its dusty, forest-fringed lanes is such an escape from modern life. When I finally booked a trip for us I was delighted to find that she too was entranced. She loves treasure maps, so Luang Prabang was hers, with dozens of temples to explore. ‘Buddha!’ she would shout triumphantly in the delicious freshness of the mornings as she darted between blossom-laden frangipani trees, spying statues beneath pointy roofs, or leapt up steps guarded by many-headed serpents. This was a magical kingdom where orange-robed monks padded around on business of great importance. She learned to remove her shoes before sitting quietly at a Buddha’s feet and staring up into his wise eyes. Enlightenment was perhaps some way off, but we achieved moderate success at least on the road to sitting still, if only for a minute.

The city has a cosy café culture and our favourite haunt was Le Banneton, where I would linger under cooling ceiling fans over organic Laotian coffee, my daughter wolfing down French pastries. For sheer beauty, Wat Xieng Thong was our favourite, offering a great haul of ‘treasure’ – rows of gilded figures propped up against red ochre walls brimming with colourful glass tiles. We’d go for strolls, spotting smaller compounds behind tangles of vines or following the rhythmic chanting. At Wat Choumkhong, we found a golden monkey in the garden and at Wat Xieng Muang, we watched statues being restored in the shade of crinkly banana leaves. Wat Pa Phai was tiny but had the most gorgeous setting, surrounded by feathery tamarind trees, towering palms and spiky bromeliads. When the sun began to sink behind forested hills on the far side of the Mekong, we ordered ice cream at rustic riverbank bars and watched barges idle past. We blinked like magpies at exquisite tribal jewellery and browsed indigo-dyed blouses and patterned jackets, whooping as the tuk-tuk bounced over bumpy roads on the way to the night market. Just opposite, the royal temple shone in the darkness, its tiered roof swooping upwards to meet the stars. Luang Prabang had fed my daughter’s imagination. Natalie Paris

BOOK IT Red Savannah offers a seven-night private trip in Laos for a family of two adults and one child from £1,458 per person. Excludes international flights;

ISLAND ROAMING IN MADEIRA     We were a family in transition illness teenage breakups leaving school. An escape was...


We were a family in transition: illness, teenage break-ups, leaving school. An escape was needed, quickly, so I did something I’d never considered before and booked a five-day trip to Madeira . There was no chance to plan – we just threw some clothes in our bags and set out for this island trying to shrug off its reputation as holiday hotspot for octogenarian ladies. In Funchal we took the cable car to the tropical gardens at Monte and whizzed back down in wicker sledges. The sturdy rental car managed to rev up precipitous tracks past Cadillac-pink belladonna lilies, eucalyptus and UNESCO-protected pockets of laurel forest to hike to waterfalls and lagoons. One afternoon we headed up the mountain of Achada do Teixeira, arriving in the early evening just as the sun was doing spectacular things with shades of pink and gold. We walked to the highest peak, Pico Ruivo, through an amphitheatre of jagged summits while beneath us the clouds shapeshifted into dragons and whales. It would have made a great picture: the five of us striding towards the horizon, children up front, faces like trailblazers. On past holidays they have demanded downtime, screen time, pool time – but now there was no such request. Lockdown had made us all greedy for experience; they wanted to feast on the foreignness of everything.

One night we found ourselves on a street framed in drifts of bougainvillaea: purple, magenta, blazing orange. We settled at a restaurant with chequered tablecloths and devoured plates of soft Azeitão cheese, limpets in a garlicky marinade and ferocious-looking black scabbard-fish. My son ate this – the same boy who a few years ago was prone to throwing a fit over a fish finger. Another evening we shared a table with a local family in Câmara de Lobos and in faltering Portuguese engaged in a lively conversation punctuated by nods while a stray feline did figures of eight through our legs. The proprietor insisted that we try poncho , a tooth-achingly sweet liqueur, and my eldest became tipsy and revealed secret crushes she later denied. On the last day we took another cable car to Fajã dos Padres. Some 450 years ago, an intrepid band of Jesuits arrived here by boat. Beneath the towering rock, they grew figs, mangoes, sweet potato and prickly pears. Today, this jewel-green spit of land still sparkles with flowers and flashes of birds and butterflies – the perfect place to pass the day. The children padded off to find a cool spot under a mimosa tree, lazily keeping an eye on the shimmering sea – unwittingly putting sights and sounds into their pockets to sustain them when we returned home. Emma Inglis

BOOK IT Doubles at Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Madeira from about £285;

OFFBEAT EXPLORING IN ANTIGUA     When Queen Elizabeth II came to visit this Caribbean island in 1966 the roads she...


When Queen Elizabeth II came to visit this Caribbean island in 1966, the roads she travelled on were freshly tarmacked so that her driving experience could be as pleasing as possible. And in that spirit, the something-for-everyone hotels, white beaches and shallow waters are what has made Antigua an evergreen winter-sun retreat. But my two boys and I wanted to get closer to local life. We wanted to travel the pot-holed roads, the ones the Queen did not see. We’d already joined the fishermen at Keeling Point and pulled up lobster from cages. We’d talked to the white-haired Englishman who had been shipwrecked 20 years ago, living in his boat with a broken mast ever since. We’d sat down with the fruit sellers on Old Road who’d set up stalls piled high with whatever they’d picked that day, and eaten at the no-name place. But here we were, on a Saturday night, and the capital St John’s seemed oddly deserted. The air was filled with frogs chirping in the bulrushes; a cow crossed the street. Otherwise it was empty.

Our taxi dropped us off at a restaurant where a waiter led us to a small tilted table with insects whirling around. ‘Do you have wine by the glass? I asked, opening the C&C Wine House menu. ‘Alas, no wine,’ the waiter informed us. I ordered a beer. He wafted his hand dismissively, disappeared then reappeared with our food – seared tuna with toasted sesame, fresh as the breeze. Just as we were finishing, I became aware of drumming. ‘Jump up,’ the waiter said. ‘There’s a street party on the boardwalk.’ We followed him towards the quay, straining to hear. As we rounded the corner the music hit us – a steel drum, a saxophone, nimble fingers stringing a guitar. People twisted and jived, welcoming us to join in. We did. Local life, it turns out, is actually easy to find amid the glitz. This is what makes the island unique – the paved and unpaved roads running into each other, wherever you go. Lindsay Hawdon

BOOK IT British Airways flies direct from London Gatwick to Antigua;

FISHING IN THE SELOUS     The red path ribbons through bush that is blushing green at the first rain. We dont see...


The red path ribbons through bush that is blushing green at the first rain. We don’t see another vehicle; it’s like we’ve got the land all to ourselves. Originally called the Selous after the English conservationist who inspired novelist Henry Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain, Tanzania’s Nyerere National Park was renamed in 2019 in a nod to the country’s first president. It is one of the biggest on the continent – more than twice the size of Kruger. We’re on the Rufiji River to catch tiger fish. Africa’s most exciting freshwater species, they run a hard, fast fight. They’ll whip the line so that it whines, breaking the surface then darting beneath the boat. It lurches but the tigers only yield when they tire, and often they don’t. When we can’t get them, we catch enormous catfish with fingernail-pink skin and whiskered heads. My eldest daughter explains her passion for fishing – ‘time to think’, she says. Which is why her brother isn’t keen. But tigers are never dull. And there’s always something to watch here. Hippos glare at us. They look like fat labradors, except less friendly. Crocs litter banks like driftwood. When they become aware of us, they scuttle into the water and lurk like submarines.

Sandy banks yield to steep cliffs; hyrax scream and fish eagles cry, combining in a scary movie soundtrack. This is one of the few parks where you can walk and fly-camp – all that’s between you and the dark is a sheet of canvas. I worry the children will get bored on a game drive after the river’s excitement, but our guide is used to engaging youngsters, pointing out tracks. We watch birds on Lake Tagalala. A pair of lapwings furiously defend their nest from an egret picking its way towards a fishing spot. Ducking the lapwings’ dive-bombing, it comes at its prey from a horizontal angle, folding its neck gracefully so the head is almost at water level and the shadow doesn’t give its position away. Then it strikes. Perhaps we should approach the tigers with more cunning too. Anthea Rowan

BOOK IT Nomad Tanzania offers a seven-night safari in southern Tanzania from about £3,985 per person, including activities such as fishing, meals and domestic transfers. Excludes international flights;

CAMPING IN SOUTHWEST FRANCE     The crossChannel camping holiday is an ageold tradition that launches a thousand roof...


The cross-Channel camping holiday is an age-old tradition that launches a thousand roof racks at dawn, military-grade packing lists fluttering in their wake. Six hundred years ago, English pennants were raised at Crécy and Agincourt; now multi-coloured settlements appear each summer around rural France, punctuated by the clack of paddleball and young voices in faltering French asking for croissants. Camping here was until recently of the pitch-your-own variety, or of ready-pegged sites under the Eurocamp banner, but that’s been changing over the past few years as smaller, more individual glamping spots have emerged. The Loire, Brittany and Normandy are well-mapped, but we headed south to Lot-et- Garonne, a region tucked beneath the Dordogne with few claims to fame. Framed in part by the two rivers that give the area its name, the landscape was defined by the Hundred Years’ War, with bastides crouching on hilltops amid a sea of fields, orchards and woods. La Parenthèse campsite is positioned around a gaggle of old farm buildings a few miles north of the town of Monflanquin. Alongside individual pitches, there’s a herd of safari-style tents set on raised wooden decks with kitchen spaces and bunk beds, and a couple of chairs on the terrace.

The best campsites aren’t just fields with enough space for tents but little worlds that have their own centres of gravity, their own rituals and myths. La Parenthèse could be plotted out like Pooh’s map of 100 Acre Wood. The steep ascent from the trees, past meadows to the goats of the petting zoo and the pétanque court; the short-cut down ditches to the pool and bar for baguettes and citron pressé ; behind it the lake with its white-sand beach and leaky boat that crews of children row to the middle then yell to be rescued. On Friday night it’s the mussel-and-frites beach party, excitable small helpers dispatched to gather branches for toasting s’mores. One afternoon, tipsy with the heat, I swung with our son in hammocks and saw a travelling circus arriving in the field below – a miraculous intrusion from the outside world. Within striking distance are pools for wild swimming, and the nearest town, Villeréal, a medieval time capsule with absinthe- coloured shutters and a covered market where locals have been buying farm food for the past 700 years. But for the most part we kept to the slow rhythms, embracing the midday langueur , watching our son slip away with new friends, an absence of any real plans. Campsites may have evolved since my own childhood trips in the early 1980s, but at places like this that decade’s sense of children being able to roam free, without supervision, remains. Rick Jordan

BOOK IT Visit l or

NATURALSPRING SWIMMING IN ICELAND     Last summer I realised that all of my daughters friends could swim  some really...


Last summer I realised that all of my daughter’s friends could swim – some really well – but we’d totally missed the memo about booking lessons. We thought that a few weeks at a villa with a pool would fix the situation, but before we knew it, borders were closing and our choice of destinations dwindled. But just as limitations foster creativity, the lack of options led to an incredible counterintuitive idea. They took us to a land where naturally hot springs flow straight out of the ground, with dramatic waterfalls, glacial pools and the famous Blue Lagoon. A place where the swimming culture is so strong that the community gathering place is the hot tub at the local pool, rather than the pub. If you can learn to swim anywhere in the world, why not do it in Iceland? We hatched a plan: rent a campervan , drive round the 800-mile Route 1 and hit the water twice a day. Every hour or so along the way, there was somewhere exceptional to plunge into: hot springs and rivers, municipal pools and no-frills spas, off-the-beaten track spots. Into our luggage went multiple towels, a pair of swimming costumes and a very warm jumper each.

Our first dip was in Reykjadalur Valley, an hour from Reykjavík. The perplexed look on the children’s faces at the bath-warm temperature was worth 45 minutes of moaning about the walk up a steep dusty path – the fast-flowing river was hidden up a slope beyond bubbling mud patches and sharply defined alpine valleys that cut the sky in half. Later at Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that tumbles 200ft down to a deep, dark pool, we watched circular rainbows veiled in cold mist dance in the late-afternoon sun. Early the next day we sought out Seljavellir. It looks like an ordinary outdoor lido, except that it is moored to the base of a mountain, a 15-minute walk along a stony path. We sank into its warm mossy waters, luxuriating in having it all to ourselves. Further along the route, the glamorous hexagonal floating pools at Vök Baths near Egilsstaðir called to us. There are legends about a lake-dwelling creature but that didn’t deter the locals from taking a brisk immersion before returning to the steamy spa. The kids squealed with delight when their father attempted the same. Mývatn Nature Baths, along the northern stretch of the circular route, was a delirious splash of blue in a lunar landscape with an eggy whiff. It was just deep enough for my eldest to stand on tiptoes – ideal if you’re learning to swim – and the sky was so bright we needed sunglasses. But the best moments of all were also the strangest: the tin bath by the side of the road, filled with natural spring water too hot to sit in; the falls at Dettifoss, where 100,000 gallons per second thundered by; the clifftop Geosea spa in Húsavík, where we strained our eyes looking for whales far out at sea while the wind blew the sand from the shore below up into our faces. With the children asleep in the campervan one night, I sat under the midnight sun and soaked up the scenery. There was a black-sand beach before me and shadows of dark islands offshore. Kittiwakes wheeled around the sea-thrift-dotted cliffs. I thought about how my memories of swimming lessons are tinged with chlorine and too-tight goggles, but theirs will be lost in this: mountains, magic and the scent of sulphur. Laura Dixon

BOOK IT Check out Indie Campers for campervan tours and use the Hot Spring Iceland app to locate swimming spots.

Far-flung family hotels we love




Arriving here feels as if you have slipped off the map somewhere between Robinson Crusoe’s island and The Lost World . Cast adrift from the west coast of Africa , Príncipe is an intrepid adventure of natural highs. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the smallest of the two-island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe , it is also the focus of a sustainable tourism project dreamt up by South African millionaire and philanthropist Mark Shuttleworth. Locals are employed at his three hotels run under the name Here Be Dragons; Bom Bom, Roça Sundy and Sundy Praia, the smartest of the trio. Its 15 tented villas have taken root in a thick tangle of almond and banana trees to avoid disorientating the turtles that frequently settle on this deserted scoop of sand.

The extraordinary landscape begs exploration – the emerald rainforest’s biodiversity has earned it the title of the Galápagos of Africa. A hike with a guide to Príncipe’s O Que Pipi waterfall turns into a botany class with lacy white tattoos fashioned from fern leaves for little arms, followed by a cooling dip under the falls. Then there are night-time excursions to see turtles nesting on Praia Grande and a visit to Roça Sundy’s chocolate factory, while a boat trip to castaway beaches ends at the pin-up Praia Banana, where the captain encourages plucky plunges into the clear blue water. At Sundy Praia’s cathedral- like Oca restaurant there’s a chance to taste the exotic local bounty; fresh fish grilled in banana leaves and Calulu soup made with produce from the hotel’s organic farm Paciência. It’s all a subtle lesson for curious young minds about different cultures and the challenges facing Príncipe’s precious flora and fauna. Splendid isolation does not come more splendidly isolated than this.

INSIDER TIP To really bring the country’s geography to life, head to the southern coast of São Tomé where Rolas Island is sliced in two by the equator line and stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern.

BOOK IT Doubles from about £620 half board;

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Farm stays with lashings of grown-up appeal are nothing new in the Cape , especially on heritage wine estates. What gives La Cotte the edge is its prime position in Franschhoek – the village’s restaurants, galleries and boutiques are within walking distance. You can nip down to Main Road for an ice cream or take the old-fashioned wine tram all the way to Babylonstoren for lunch. Then there are the unmarred views, a rarity in these parts. Sitting on the deep veranda of the hotel’s Cape Dutch manor house, it’s easy to imagine why French Huguenots put down roots here in the 17th century.

The farm’s 25 hectares are fed by a mountain spring, keeping not only the vast grounds springy and lush for playing on but also the Chardonnay and Shiraz-producing vineyards in good nick. Spring water flows from the taps too, adding sustainability clout along with compostable bin liners and coffee pods by Terbadore, a local roastery, in the rooms. The self-contained Orchard and Forest cottages, some with two or three bedrooms, have been a hit with families since the property opened. All the Orchard dwellings have mini pools in their gardens, while the Forest ones share a 65ft pool and dining pavilion that is lovely for evening barbecues. Eight new hotel rooms and a two-bedroom pool house are the most recent additions.

Wherever you check in, La Cotte aces a modern-British country-pile vibe, cleverly layered with Cape antiques and traditional textiles (rare suzanis from Uzbekistan , block prints from the south of Jaipur). The whole place reflects South Africa’s jumble of global influences and bristles with history. The enormous oak trees surrounding the estate were planted from acorns brought back from scorched Delville Wood in France after World War I. There are plans to use the water mill, the second oldest in the country, as a wine emporium, while the restaurant is supplied by fresh farm produce including vegetables, eggs and honey (there are 24 hives tucked into three hectares of preserved renosterveld fynbos). Small-scale and low-key, this is a haunt that families return to time and again because it feels like home – nothing is prescribed, anything is possible, and young children have what they really need: space and freedom.

INSIDER TIP While the cottages take first prize for longer stays, especially for multi-age parties, the new rooms suit families with older teens or couples with a baby or toddler in tow (cots and camp beds can be set up).

BOOK IT Africa Travel offers seven nights in a two-bedroom Forest Cottage from £4,495 for a family of two adults and two children under 12, including flights and car hire;



Conservation was as high a priority as privacy for Joali’s owner, Turkish businesswoman Esin Güral Argat, when she began plotting out this hideaway. To protect both, not only did she buy a handful of neighbouring isles and employ an almost entirely Maldivian team to pull together the property’s thatched rooftops, hibiscus-shaped fans and liquid-look marble interiors, but she also kickstarted reef regeneration and local tree-planting initiatives to help offset your journey before you’ve even stepped foot on the sun-bleached boardwalk. This escape had a big budget, but despite its self-appointed title of art hotel, there is nothing pretentious about it: the seaplane pilot flies barefoot for the 45-minute transfer from Malé; a giant inflatable flamingo bobs in the pool, and there’s a spirited sense of freedom throughout.

South African designer Porky Hefer’s jolly 15ft manta-ray-shaped treehouse charms both intrepid toddlers and solitude-seeking teens, plus parents can book it for cocktails at dusk. A single lap of the cavernous, iPad-controlled villas designed by renowned Istanbul studio Autoban will wear out lively little ones, but an ice-cream pit stop at La Joie’s will revive them for a scavenger hunt led by the kids’ club team. Out on the water, a divemaster teaches buoyancy skills and fish identification while spinner dolphins swim alongside the boat on trips to nearby thilas (underwater mountains).

The northern Raa Atoll is one of the least developed in the archipelago and has great diversity at its drop-offs, which makes for interesting snorkelling and diving. Back at the beach, the lagoon is gentle and perfectly clear, with turtles often spotted in the shallows. Trip along to the restaurants at any time of day – a godsend for disrupted sleep schedules and fussy appetites – while your personal jadugar (butler) organises everything from spa treatments to water sports and barbecues on the sand. A factory reset for the whole family.

INSIDER TIP Save on precious packing space – villas have help-yourself snorkels, fins and beach bags, as well as baby monitors on request.

BOOK IT Turquoise Holidays offers seven nights from £13,999, half board, for a family of two adults and one child, including flights and seaplane transfers;




Forget tents and sleeping bags. Glamping in Japan is elevated to near- spiritual heights by hotel brand Hoshinoya and its 40 minimalist cube cabins scattered among red-pine forests. Two hours by train from Tokyo ’s skyscraper hub Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi prefecture, home to green peaks and mirror-like lakes, this space nails that very Japanese balance of being deeply in touch with its environment and simultaneously contemporary and stylish. New arrivals, kids included, pick from a range of chic utilitarian rucksacks packed with camping gear to use during their stay.

The heartbeat is the Cloud Terrace, a network of wooden platforms that weaves through forested mountainside, helmed by expert staff who will quickly become your children’s new best friends. A wander might lead to hammocks looped between trunks, decks for morning stretches, music concerts or a campfire where marshmallows are toasted around the clock. At the outdoor Forest Kitchen, make rice balls with wild vegetables or unicorn-shaped pizzas (a pointy bamboo shoot is the perfect horn); let off steam with a wood-chopping session; and go forest bathing amid the trees. Concrete lodges, designed by architect Rie Azuma, have stripped-back white interiors with cloud-like bedding, Snow Peak titanium cups hanging on the wall and wellies by the door. Eyes are drawn through floor-to-ceiling windows to Mount Fuji. There are also spacious terraces (safety nets are available) with in-built fire pits. Everything is in tune with nature – even the food. In the glass-fronted dining room, seasonal game from venison to boar is served (warming wintertime shabu shabu hot pots or fatty cuts with local fruits in summer). And one of the best ways to start the day? A sunrise canoe trip on the still waters of Lake Kawaguchi as Fuji looms startlingly close.

INSIDE TIP While each S Cabin comes with its own wood-burning stove, go for the F Cabins which have a bigger terrace for families to spread out on.

BOOK IT Doubles from about £690;




Some may be quick to dismiss the Seychelles as a destination for high-end honeymoons. But this Indian Ocean archipelago, with unique wildlife, reliably fabulous weather and just a four-hour time difference from the UK, is a good bet year round for a real escape, even if you flop straight into a resort. For families, the multi-layered offering at Constance Ephelia makes all sorts of sense. It is a hotel of two halves: a bustling south side dotted with swimming pools and, in the north, large suites and a note-perfect beach. Bedrooms are a minute’s stroll from some of the loveliest sands in the Seychelles and the quiet bay is glorious for water babies (and wobbly adult paddleboarders). Little ones can spy dancing parrot and angelfish in the shallows. For older children, there are snorkels and sea kayaks, plus a zip wire and climbing wall. Parents will appreciate the one-level pool villas, where travel-worn adults can sunbathe as toddlers snooze indoors.

The bacchanalian breakfast is hard to resist, from the waffle station to the technicolour tropical fruit. In the evening, the fairy-lit Asian restaurant Adam and Eve is a favourite for its Sichuan aubergines and pad thai, while the children’s menu delivers with fish tacos and cornflake chicken. The kids’ club is brilliantly equipped: mini sun loungers and umbrellas beside the shallow pool; a wooden kitchen. Beyond this, a wander past mangroves and chirruping frogs is a leap into David Attenborough territory, with huge but harmless palm spiders, giant tortoises and scuttling red crabs. By the end, it’s hard to drag young explorers away from their waxy-leaved empires, barefoot, salt-whipped and fully embracing island life.

INSIDER TIP Bicycles are the best way to get around to avoid the buggy wait. They come free with villas or are rentable (baby seats available on request).

BOOK IT Sovereign Luxury Travel offers seven nights from £5,299, half board, for a family of two adults and one child, including flights and transfers;




Plenty of Thai hideaways promise the away-from-it-all experience: private beaches, secluded coves, backdrops of rainforest untouched by anyone but gibbons. But many also forget to mention the rowdy day-trippers docking their speedboats out front in the morning, the villages chock-a-block with diving schools and moped rentals just beyond their gates. Not this one. For a hotel of this calibre, the kind with all the bells and whistles that stretch beyond the usual suspects, Six Senses Yao Noi feels really, truly off the beaten track.

Draped over a hilly slice of jungle on Koh Yao Noi, a sleepy island 45 minutes from Phuket by boat, the villas blend in seamlessly with their tropical surroundings. With thatched roofs and bamboo details, they could be dwellings straight out of The Jungle Book , only with swimming pools and spa-like bathtubs that have brilliant views over the limestone pinnacles rising out of Phang Nga Bay. Little Mowglis are in good hands with the linen-clad staff, whether they’re off hunting for seashells on the (actually private) beach or joining the Junior Eco Warrior programme to build hornbill houses from recycled timber and search for wildlife along the property’s mangrove mazes. Grown-ups can then retreat to the spa, a small village of salas and longhouses, a blend-your-own coconut-oil apothecary and some techy bits for in-depth wellness screenings – all wrapped by gardens as soul-soothing as the therapists’ hands.

At the restaurants – close to the sand or in the glass-floored pavilion deep in the forest – the offering is equally feel-good: coconut chia bowls at breakfast and superfood salads with quinoa and greens plucked from the organic garden, balanced out by a dangerously accessible all-you-can-eat ice-cream counter. This is toes-in-the-sand, phones-on-flight- mode territory. Back to nature without the slightest hint of roughing it.

INSIDER TIP As a brand, Six Senses is big on sustainability, recycling every bit of waste down to the metal staples from the finance department. The behind-the-scenes tour here is an eco eye-opener for all ages.

BOOK IT Scott Dunn offers seven nights from £7,800 for a family of two adults and one child, including breakfast, flights and transfers;




It would be hard to imagine a more polished and shiny version of a Bedouin retreat. Surrounded by desert but less than an hour from Dubai , this hotel hunkers down in the middle of a 1,200-acre nature reserve. It has a delicious sense of remoteness while actually being only 12 miles from the coast. Not that anyone will hanker after the beach here. There is far too much to be getting on with, from knock-your-socks-off falconry displays to bicycle rides along lantern-lit pathways, camel treks and wonderful Arabian horses to take out exploring. Set within the folds of the saffron sand dunes, villas are vast affairs, so large they have wings, dressing rooms, sitting rooms, decked terraces and temperature-controlled swimming pools to cool down in. There’s a main pool too, for more sociable splashing about, and three restaurants to pick from. Farmhouse has the edge, with its blink-and-you-could-be-in- California menu: lobster chowder, burrata salad and wagyu burgers, plus views of gazelles gathering at the watering hole. Enjoy a drink while they do.

This used to be the Banyan Tree hotel with a strong wellness focus, so the spa is a full-throttle maze of saunas and steam rooms, experience showers and jet baths. While parents uncoil in clouds of hydrotherapy, little guests can explore the adventure centre, meet the pet snakes and develop archery skills. More than 100 endangered Arabian oryx share the reserve, so accompanying rangers on daily feeding trips is a rare treat for budding biologists. Dusk strolls are equally exciting: bats flap and swoop, occasional stray gazelles dart past and trees burst into song, choruses of nesting birds hidden behind dense leaves. After dark, there’s stargazing. Aided by computerised telescopes and astronomical laser pointers, rangers identify the constellations that once guided the nomadic Bedouins who roamed this land long before holidaymakers.

INSIDER TIP The Ras Al Khaimah region is made up of mountains as well as dunes; make sure to hit the exhilarating summit of Jebel Jais – the UAE’s highest peak which also has the world’s longest zipline.

BOOK IT Villas from about £360;




Places like this are as rare as hens’ teeth now that pretty much every beach worth its salt has been discovered. So when something as exotic and remote as Karpaha Sands pops up, it’s thrilling travel news. For those hankering for the smarts and seclusion of the Maldives without the exorbitant price tag or tiny-island fatigue, then this unique set-up on Sri Lanka’s lesser-explored east coast is not to be missed. It’s not the easiest site to get to unless you take a seaplane, but boy is it worth it. Set on a 14-acre former coconut plantation between Passikudah and Batticaloa, the 17 African-safari -inspired tents have been arranged as if they were chess pieces throughout lush gardens that lead to a stretch of palm-fringed shore lapped by the Bay of Bengal. They are deliciously big with soaring canvas roofs, huge beds, deep bathtubs, outdoor rain showers and, most importantly, a light footprint.

The waterfront Palam dwellings have winning views of the surf, but for families, the impressively spacious two-bedroom Seed lodges, set further back within their own gardens, are brilliant. French owner Jerome Mathieu has lived an international life, which is evident throughout the property in the quirky artwork and exceptional food – a blend of Sri Lankan and Mediterranean . Feasts can be taken on your private terrace, in the two-storey main restaurant and bar or on the beach for a seafood barbecue under the stars. Mathieu has young children and has kitted out the retreat with a stylish library and playroom, although the turquoise sea and powder-soft sand are playground enough for those of any age – the calm waters offer excellent snorkelling, while diving can be arranged at nearby shipwrecks. Stay a few nights at the end of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle tour or simply check in and unplug indefinitely, drifting off for an afternoon nap to the rhythmic calling of Tamil fishermen slowly hauling in their catches as they’ve done for centuries.

INSIDER TIP Don’t pigeonhole a stay here just for winter sun – the east-coast location means the weather is fantastic in the summer holidays.

BOOK IT Seed Suites from about £150;




Anyone who watched Bloodline will already know that the Florida Keys have a lilting, quasi-Caribbean sultriness as heavy as humidity. With the islands probably better known as a world-class sport-fishing destination, until now the crowd has been distinctly khaki sandals and wide-brimmed hats, and the stays – a chintzy bedroom in a cute farmhouse at best, a roadside motel at worst – reflected that. If you went south to Key West, you would get more bling for your buck, but that is as edgy as it is exotic, and the drive itself is enough to turn most parents ashen. Now, Isla Bella on Knights Key in the less-familiar Middle Keys has opened up this string of islets to a different tribe: discerning families. Just two-and-a-bit hours in the car from Miami , it makes a great bolt-on to a city trip.

The secluded 24-acre estate, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, was a reported 100-million-dollar build, and you can well believe it. The mile of freshly raked sand, knitted by breeze-slung palms and strategically placed hammocks, is flanked by striking white buildings. Yes, it’s big – there are 199 bedrooms and five pools – but the crisp styling and low-key atmosphere means this is definitely a resort for non-resort people. So glide to one of the shaded pods and watch the kids dig for shark teeth in the ankle-deep lagoon with the preppy blonde twins from Texas as you sip something long and rum-laced, occasionally misting them with Sun Bum factor 50+.

Head over to the Marketplace for smoothies, snacks and ice cream, or book in at the Beach Bar for conch fritters and lobster. Dinner is at Il Postino – sit outside to soak up the Ibizan vibe, or by one of the fire pits beside the water if you can bear to drink your wine from a plastic cup, because USA + sand = regulations. The service is charming, if not snappy, but there’s no rush, right? Besides, the food is fabulous. Older children can peel off to poolside movie nights or games of cornhole with friends they met on a kayak expedition that morning. You too might surprise yourself by enjoying the social buzz that starts with hermit-crab races and ends with Gin Slings. Each bedroom has a sea view and either a balcony or beach access; decks are pretty open plan, which doesn’t suit everyone. But what they lack in privacy, they make up for in comfort – and as every parent will attest, sitting in the balmy air as the sun drops below the water and little ones sink into a heat-blushed sleep is the definitive holiday benchmark.

INSIDER TIP Real beach babes will miss the proper sweeps of the Florida Gulf, but the sandbars, coastline and mangroves of the Keys are prime for adventure: from snorkelling and wreck diving to stand-up paddleboarding and PADI courses. Just keep your eyes peeled for manatees and crocodiles.

BOOK IT Doubles from about £210;




The Makgadikgadi Pans are not your typical safari landscape. These vast salt flats fringing Botswana ’s north-eastern Kalahari can feel desolate: a terrain of dust storms and mirages. But their golden grasslands harbour unusual wildlife, from aardvarks to bat-eared foxes. And when summer rains fill the pans, zebras and wildebeest arrive in their thousands, bringing lions and cheetahs – but none of the crowds that throng better-known destinations further north. This is a region of big skies and empty horizons. In short, explorer country. And Camp Kalahari encapsulates that old-school adventure vibe.

Set in a palm grove where crocodile hunter Jack Bousfield once broke his journey, it shares access to one million acres of private reserve with the much- loved Jack’s Camp and a handful of others. The 12 Meru tents, two of them set up for families, nod to a sepia-tinted age of discovery with their four-posters, antique chests and Moroccan kilims , while local artefacts celebrate the indigenous San community. Activities extend far beyond the daily game drives. Children can play detective on guided walks with the Ju/’hoansi bushmen while teenagers take a quad-bike spin. And nothing brings the whole clan together quite like meeting the native meerkat troop, whose sentries may clamber onto your head for a better view. There’s a swimming pool, though during the dry season it’s often shared with thirsty elephants. And at the end of a dusty day, sundowners and lemonades are sipped on the crust of a salt flat beneath the rising moon.

Among the sandy walkways and twinkling lanterns of the lodge, dinner brings with it the frisson that your group might just be the only people on the planet. Many tie in a stay here with a more conventional safari experience a short flight north at Sable Alley on the edge of the Okavango Delta, where waterways and hippo-crammed pools are a perfect foil to the pans’ arid expanse. Botswana’s combination of the wet and the dry is unlike any other in Africa and, in young hearts and minds, might just ignite a lifetime love affair with nature.

INSIDER TIP Don’t pass up a night drive at the camp. This is one of the top spots in Africa to glimpse the elusive aardvark and other shy nocturnal creatures.

BOOK IT Aardvark Safaris offers a seven-night stay at Camp Kalahari and Sable Alley from £12,516, full board, for a family of four, including all activities and internal transfers;

OneOnly The Palm Dubai

One&Only The Palm, Dubai

An intrepid excursion

No one says no to anything in Dubai. When there isn’t any land left with beachfront access, they simply build another island and ship in new sand. Which is how The Palm came about, a man-made peninsula that juts out into the Arabian sea and is filling up with next-level all-glass villas the size of hotels and hotels the size of small cities. And yet right at the furthest frond of the Palm is a rather surprising oasis. Forget, if you can, the changing-every-minute backdrop of the city’s buildings and building sites. Here, all is quiet. The soundtrack is of birdsong and tree frogs. Lolloping rabbits nibble the lawns and woodpeckers tap away. Moorish archways give way to Andalusian-style villas-as-riads, where frangipani trees drop their flowers in the still heat.

Lie on a sunbed facing the pool, and you could, almost, be at a hacienda in southern Spain . Of all the Dubai hotels (there are so many now, with more bedrooms than London , or Paris , or New York ), this is the one where you really tune out. The swimming pool takes centre-stage, lined with day beds, air-conditioned cabanas for snoozing mini ones, shallow sections for paddling and enough space for splashing and squawking without entirely ruining everyone else’s holiday. In the Manor House, the kids’ club is like a thrilling secret, packed with toys, but actually children tend to gallop to the beach for a spin in a Hobie Cat, perfect their game on the tennis courts or get their hands henna-painted in the garden. While Stay by Yannick Alléno with its liquid-nitrogen-freezing food theatrics is a bit of a stretch for kids, the yacht-club-like overwater 101 Dining Lounge has squid-ink calamari, grilled tiger prawns and miso cod. For those with only few days to spare but in need of vitamin D, this is a ludicrously easy, no-questions-asked fly-and-flop.

INSIDER TIP The all-singing, all-dancing One&Only Royal Mirage is more often touted as the one for families, but staying here – smaller, quieter – is a clever side-step.

BOOK IT Destinology offers five nights from £1,455 per person, half board, including flights and transfers. +44 1204 474801;

Read the Bohemian guide to Dubai

Originally published in the June 2018 issue of Condé Nast Traveller

The Datai Langkawai

The Datai Langkawai


The jungle retreat

There was a time in the 1990s when every British family raced to the Datai for half-term. The jungle hotel by the late, great architect Kerry Hill on Langkawi, a barely-heard-of dot off Malaysia ’s north-west coast, became the most talked-about hotspot. Even timeless properties get tired, though, and in 2017 it closed for a £45million refurbishment. Rather than an over-zealous facelift, the revamp feels like a catch-up with an old friend – one who’s been in Bali on a surf-sabbatical and has come back buzzing with new yoga moves. Much is familiar: rainforest-luxe structures, lotus-filled ponds, Malaysian dishes at The Gulai House.

The location is still raw and out there – unlocked doors opened by macaques searching for mangoes; the Andaman Sea alternating between being kingfisher-blue and restless, and emerald and flat. But there are changes, too. Rooms have been reimagined by Hills’ original co-collaborator Didier Lefort, timber beams and floors sanded back, and gold and green accents added in a nod to the island’s 500-plus species of butterflies. A clutch of new rainforest villas have been added, but top billing goes to the Datai Estate Villa, a five-bedroom whopper with two pools and butler. The eco agenda has been ramped up with a water-bottling plant and permaculture garden. While competition is stiff when it comes to South-east Asian island escapes – Singapore ’s Cempedak, Bawah in Indonesia and new Cambodian arrivals are snapping at its heels – this combination of one of the world’s oldest rainforests and most alluring beaches is hard to beat.

INSIDER TIP Potential sites in Penang and Borneo have been scouted. Two Datais would make a trip even more worthwhile, so keep an ear to the ground.

BOOK IT Doubles from £470, including breakfast. +60 4 9500 500; Malaysia Airlines flies twice daily from London to Langkawi via Kuala Lumpur.

Find our review of The Datai, Langkawi



A beach-front breather

When Silversands opened last year at the northern tip of curving Grand Anse beach , the turbo-contemporary design was a game-changing first for low-key, laid-back Grenada. At a glance it seems almost too crisp to be family-friendly: all that floor-to-ceiling glass, walnut wood and smooth Calacatta marble. But it works brilliantly for those with teens who are savvy enough to appreciate the vibe – especially the beach-club-like Grenadian Grill which whips up lobster quesadillas for lunch – but equally still young enough to happily while away afternoons splashing about in the sea.

The beachfront pavilion villas are the ones to book, with four bedrooms, a private pool and sun deck, and an open-plan living and dining room. While kids get stuck into watersports – the see-through kayaks are great fun – grown-ups can head to the spa for a quartz-sand massage. It’s worth noting that the 330ft pool, the longest in the Caribbean, is for over-12s only. Adventure junkies might want to try some of the more high-adrenalin activities, too. Charter a traditional Carriacou sloop and go snorkelling at the Underwater Sculpture Park – book with Savvy Sailing and on the way back budding sailors can take a turn steering – sign up for a dune-buggy tour, or get a bird’s-eye view of the jungle on the Grenada High Wire canopy obstacle course before cooling off at Seven Sisters waterfall. Back at the hotel, dinner is delicious shrimp tempura and Singapore noodles at Asian-fusion restaurant Asiatique. Or slices of pizza served from the pop-up tuk-tuk, eaten poolside as the DJ plays mash-ups of Nineties classics. A sophisticated Caribbean crash pad with unexpectedly serious design kudos.

INSIDER TIP BB’s Crabback restaurant is a local favourite on the waterfront in St George’s. Order the crab, served in its shell, or spicy jerk chicken.

BOOK IT Carrier offers seven nights in a villa from £25,370, based on a family of four, including breakfast, flights and transfers. +44 161 492 1354;

Search the secret islands of the Caribbean

Tierra Atacama

Tierra Atacama


The outdoor thrill

Chile is a case study in vast, surreal landscape shifts, outdoorsy thrills and vineyards worth flying for. Families, though, will find their sweet spot in the Atacama . The driest desert in the world looks like the surface of the moon, with waterless ravines and crusted-over salt flats stretching out for miles. Granted, a near-rainless plateau might sound harsh for little ones. But the Atacama becomes wildly hospitable when bedding down at desert-modernist Tierra Atacama in San Pedro, its plunge pool overlooking the often-smoking Licancabur volcano and outdoor showers for children who want to spot the constellations while shampooing. The Tierra brand, which also has properties in Chiloé and Patagonia, is known for its smart adventure lodges that are child-friendly without looking like it. The Atacama outpost embraces Chilean modernist design – cowhide rugs, wooden shutters, white mud walls, floor-to-ceiling windows framing Andean peaks – without making parents feel like they have to hold their breath when they herd their clan through the lobby. Experienced teenage equestrians can gallop through the dunes or head up to 14,000ft pre-dawn, drinking coca tea – which helps adjust to the altitude – around trippy natural geysers. Families with five- to 12-year-olds can walk the trails among the rock formations in Valle de la Luna or watch flamingos take off over the Salar de Atacama. After dark, go stargazing with an astronomer – this is one of the best spots in the world to see the Milky Way because of the absence of artificial light. Once the brood is in bed, it’s time for Pisco Sours and empanadas by the fireplace. As it turns out, properly adventurous destinations are the hottest family-holiday trend.

INSIDER TIP Bring an extra swimming costume for the nearby thermal spring and salt-water pools, which are shallow enough for paddling.

BOOK IT Doubles from about £590 per person, full board. Children from age five, from about £130. +56 55 255 5975;

Camp out in the Atacama

The house swap

The house swap


Last summer our family (me, my husband and our three-year-old daughter) swapped our East London flat for a waterfront warehouse apartment in Williamsburg . I think we got the better deal somehow. I threw myself into it, joining a Facebook group for Greenpoint parents to get under the skin of the neighbourhood. And while Big Apple living was huge fun, the best part of the adventure was our road trip out of the sizzling city.

Using the money saved from the swap, we hired a car and spent a week in Upstate New York . Just two hours’ drive along Route 17 are charming towns studded with farm-to-fork restaurants and nice-as-pie places to stay. Most people head straight to Hudson but we wanted to sniff out something different, and ended up in Livingston Manor, a Catskills town that is home to a group of retro-rustic hotels run by Sims and Kirsten Foster.

We stayed at The Arnold House, a former boarding house reimagined as a mountain hideout with its own tavern, spa and fairy-lit barns that host bands on Friday nights. Here was good old-fashioned hospitality, with staff knocking up boiled eggs, warm bread and maple butter for our travel-weary toddler, showing us stacks of board games and s’mores kits to be roasted in the gardens. Their sister property nearby, the North Branch Inn, has its own skittles alley and is a beautiful spot for an early supper.

We wandered into Livingston Manor for lunches at the Main Street Farm deli and browsed around Nest, a lifestyle store owned by a former Vogue art director. On other days we swam at the Fosters’ newest venture, The DeBruce, which has amazing mountain views. A (free) tour of Apple Pond Farm in nearby Callicoon gave our daughter an incredible experience milking goats and feeding chickens. On our way back to New York we stopped in Woodstock, a tie-dyed time-warp arts colony with shops brimming with pottery and paintings. We grabbed ice cream at a nostalgia-tinted parlour then drove for a swim at Peekamoose Blue Hole. Real vintage Americana stuff.

INSIDER TIP Before leaving the city we swung by children’s swap-shop Flying Squirrel in Brooklyn for a scooter. Our daughter used it every day. We sold it back at the end of our trip in exchange for clothes for her. By Rohini Wahi

BOOK IT Start a conversation about a swap on Facebook community groups. Or visit or .

Eat to the beat: Williamsburg

Urban grazing in Stockholm

Urban grazing in Stockholm


Only the Swedish capital could have produced a phenomenon like Abba. However edgy the city looks in Scandi noirs, in reality it’s opulent and fun. There are 14 islands, palaces everywhere and, in winter, everything’s covered in twinkly lights. Nothing has been under-designed, and even the stations look either retro or funky. Ride a retro ferry to the funfair, or head off to Södermalm for vintage or a pink furry coat.

Teenagers will love it, especially ultra-cool cafés such as Urban Deli. The best place for lunch is the attic of the photography museum Fotografiska, a vast post-industrial space with wide-angle views of the harbour. Then ride the Twister at Gröna Lund, or visit the wolves of Skansen Zoo. And, for downtime, slope back to the Nobis Hotel, which was created out of two huge old banks. Inside there’s a quirky brilliance in the giant lampshades, the earthy colours, the handmade African wardrobes, and the central space, which is like a soaring rocket silo with chandeliers.

Have dinner in the startling silvery bistro, or head for the bar and drink like Midas, surrounded by gold. To restart the engines in the morning, there’s a full Swedish breakfast deep in the vaults. Your salmon and värdshusknäcke (crispbread) comes with a story too. It was here, in 1973, that a bank robber charmed his four hostages, giving us a new term, ‘ Stockholm syndrome’.

Nobis is also right where it matters. It’s only a short hop to the crooked, cobbled world of the old city, Gamla Stan. And a 10-minute tram-ride east is Djurgården, with its museums. Don’t miss the Vasamuseet, whose centrepiece, a six-storey shipwreck, is a time-capsule from 1628; or, if your super troupers still need glitz, go for overload and the Abba Museum.

INSIDER TIP If you’re seeing all the sights, consider a Stockholm Pass. A few museums, however, are free, including the Royal Armoury, where you’ll find golden coaches, an assassin’s outfit and Marie-Antoinette’s inkwell. For a full rundown on children’s activities, see . By John Gimlette

BOOK IT Baltic Travel offers three nights from £495 per person, based on two adults sharing, including flights and airport trains. +44 20 8233 2875;

Things to do on a family city break in Stockholm

Back to nature bonding in the jungle

Back to nature bonding in the jungle


If you can’t up sticks and permanently move to Bali to enrol your children at the Green School – currently the coolest place on the planet for a free-range education – then this is the next best thing. During the summer holidays , the eco-friendly outfit operates family camps on a delightful site adjoining the school, where there are bamboo huts with bunk beds, mess rooms and communal showers.

It’s a bit like being at boarding school, except the weather is sultry, the food is fantastically healthy, the teachers are the loveliest bunch of enthusiastic young Balinese and classes are all about making connections and having fun. That might mean shimmying up a coconut tree (with a harness), embarking on a night safari to spot chameleons, or building a raft from scratch as a family and then taking it down to the river for a float.

The kitchen serves generous salads, vegetarian and vegan options, and gluten-free food too. Under peer pressure, children will go with the flow and gobble up grilled tofu and lentil pancakes. Families come from all over the world and make for a fascinating bunch, from boho jet-setters and European eco-warriors to those who are on a year’s sabbatical after enjoying corporate success.

There can be a competitive edge, especially at the finale of the DIY shadow-puppet contest, but generally it’s all a bit of a love-in and by the end you’ll be swapping email addresses promising to share recipes for oatmeal cakes.

INSIDER TIP Before camp starts, spend a few days in Ubud exploring the temples and markets. Afterwards head to the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay , which has a great children’s club. You might deserve the break.

BOOK IT A five-day course at Green Camp costs from about £1,700 for two adults and two children under 12 years old (under-fives are free of charge), including all meals and activities.

Check into family-friendly Villa Arjuna, Canggu, Bali

The Inca adventure

The Inca adventure


An archaeology holiday might not be the way to sell it, but a trip through Peru ’s highlands is likely to be profoundly educational and deeply enjoyable. For children, as for adults, it’s all about making connections. Peruvian indigenous peoples, and their clothes, culture and food, remain a force in this mesmerising region – and going overland helps to link must-see sites with present-day realities. Big, blue, deliriously beautiful Lake Titicaca is enticing.

But to get to know it, approach from multiple angles. Sleek Titilaka Lodge is the ultimate base: wake up with the immense, glass-calm lake filling your bedroom window, then, after breakfast, set off on a small boat to visit the Uros people, who dwell on floating reed islands. There are also pole-rafting excursions and bustling market visits. The fine Peruvian fusion food, from subtle sea-bass ceviche to tender llama steaks and grilled guinea pig (gulp), helps to power lungs and legs.

From the lake it’s a day’s drive across the Andean high plain, an otherworldly region of golden grassland, llama herds and sudden views of snow-capped peaks. Around dusk, the road dips into a lush valley, peppers and potatoes sprouting on tidy terraces, to Cusco, the Incas’ navel of the world. A couple of nights at Inkaterra La Casona, a restored 16th-century manor house, allows time to stroll through artsy San Blas and see the Sacsayhuamán ruins. Then onwards, 35 miles north of Cusco to the Explora Sacred Valley.

Here, on the banks of the Urubamba River, a menu of 20 or so explorations includes trips to a salt mine, a walk through the living Inca town of Ollantaytambo and a thrilling, mainly downhill bike ride into the valley. One last climactic quest: Machu Picchu, reached by the Pullman-style Hiram Bingham train, with music and dancing as you roll. Walk up to the Sun Gate to take in the views and celebrate the collective knock-your-socks-off conquest.

INSIDER TIP Go easy for the first day or two to acclimatise to the thin air. By Chris Moss

BOOK IT Journey Latin America offers a 12-day overland holiday in Peru similar to the above, with driver, from £4,612 per person, including flights. +44 20 8600 1881;

Machu Picchu tours and alternative trails

Wine and wildlife on the Cape

Wine and wildlife on the Cape


A driving holiday with small children might sound like madness, but park those fears: epic as it is, South Africa is crammed with charming small towns, so the next stop is never more than an hour away. It’s wildlife that tops the agenda, even on an African odyssey without a safari. Kicking off in Cape Town , that means Boulders Beach, home to thousands of penguins, then back to the Mount Nelson Hotel for afternoon tea. At the foot of Table Mountain, it’s brilliantly positioned for whizzing to the top by cable car or eating your way around the foodie hubs of Bree, Long and Kloof Streets (all ages will love the ice cream at Unframed).

Inland, in the pretty, laid-back wine town of Franschhoek , La Clé des Montagnes has five villas – each with their own pool as well as nothing-is-too-much-trouble staff to whip up French toast or light a braai. If you pick your estates right, winery hopping offers as much for children as their Shiraz-loving parents. Picnic by the lily-pad lake at Solms-Delta, taste grape juices at Grande Provence or explore the gardens at Babylonstoren, where turkeys and ducks roam. Road signs here warn of baboons, which flash their pink bottoms.

But soon the gentle vine-covered slopes give way to the arid landscape of the Little Karoo. Just off Route 60, the Robertson Small hotel has a great guide to nearby vineyards and farms, though it would be easy never to leave its gardens, having story-time on the cactus-print sofas and dips in the two pools. Further south, there’s an edge-of-the-world feel to the beaches of De Hoop Nature Reserve. And this is where the wildlife count really racks up: ostriches on the way to breakfast, antelope by the jungle gym and cheeky guinea fowl trying to steal your lunch. Low tide at beautiful Koppie Alleen beach reveals octopus and crabs, urchins and starfish in the rockpools. By the end, as Africa starts to seep under their skin, children are a little bit wilder, a little bit freer and a little bit more full of wonder.

INSIDER TIP Stop at Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre near Stellenbosch to feed Gerry, a rescue giraffe, and befriend llamas and lemurs. By Fiona Kerr

BOOK IT Africa Travel (+44 20 7843 3591; ) offers an eight- night trip, staying at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, La Clé des Montagnes, Robertson Small and De Hoop Nature Reserve, from £1,998 per person, based on two adults and two children, including breakfast, car hire and flights.

Our guide to Cape Town

A mindblowing roam through Rajasthan

A mind-blowing roam through Rajasthan


All involved! India is all involved – from the moment we climb into the little van that will scoot us around Rajasthan , its windows looking onto a kaleidoscope world of bleating, beeping street life. My 10-year-old beams (forget the overnight flight, forget the tussles at the airport, forget the heat that hits like a brick): ‘Mama, I feel so alive!’ Here are children with eyes like almonds, mothers with skin as worn as shoes, an unconcerned cow crossing the road, taking its holy unholy time. Drinks stalls, umbrella stands, a swathe of men having their hair cut, their manes wet and grooved like otters, slipper shops and flip-flops, mangoes the size of the sun.

In the countryside around Amanbagh it feels as if we have stepped back into medieval times; ladies scythe fields of corn the colour of dawn, a leopard hunts in the night, grunting in the chase. Everywhere we go – every feast, every forage – our paths are lit by candles, and there’s the strain of a sitar. Monkeys stare imperiously at us in the ruined temples, and pick at each other, the flame trees of the forest are in flower and shimmer filament orange in the heat. We spend an afternoon at a village house and try to carry an urn of water on our heads like the locals. Then off we roll to Jaipur and Suján Rajmahal Palace , a trippy dream of Willy Wonka happiness, where the wallpaper covers not just inside the house but outside too. The train hoots past the garden, men wear turbans the colour of candy floss, and we listen to jazz root-tooting from speakers in the drawing room where Princess Diana used to keep cool. We paint elephants, we watch the furious whiplash of the carpet weaver’s loom. At the Gem Palace we sit in Fifties Buicks parked out back and try on necklaces that cost a million bucks.

At The Oberoi Udaivilas the children are given wooden ducks that they pull on pieces of string, clip-clopping over the miles of shiny black-and-white-marble corridors. We have supper on a boat at sunset and watch egrets flying home to roost, the lake a melted pink mirror. We zoom around town on tuk-tuks and buy bracelets and boxes and pretty little linen dresses. One dusk, in the desert at Mihir Garh, we are looking out the long windows sliced into the walls. We gaze at a slow procession of goats being hurried home, their bells tinkling away, the farmers bringing up the rear. Suddenly a horse dashes into view – a beautiful creature as polished as a chess piece – galloping across the field, snorting and neighing, its tail high in the air like a plume.

At Umaid Bhawan, we have tea with the maharaja. He is not wearing a crown. The children politely pop sandwiches into their mouths, and then impolitely push them back them out again. At breakfast they feed the peacocks on the steps of the palace. At supper they dance with the dancing girls in the courtyard to the high-low holler of the band. Before bed we look at the offerings around the sink in our bathroom; it is a shop in itself, everything you could ever want and more. Nail files, ear buds, toothpicks, shoe-shining kits, eye drops, mints, a packet of safety pins fanned out exactly according to size. We stare at it all for a long time. India: rigorous, glamorous, shocking, mesmerising. India is all involved. By Melinda Stevens

BOOK IT Scott Dunn offers a Rajasthan trip from £4,600 per person, based on a family of four staying on a B&B basis, including three nights at Amanbagh, three nights at Sujan Rajmahal Palace, two nights at The Oberoi Udaivilas, two nights at Mihir Garh, two nights at Umaid Bhawan Palace and one night at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, flights, private transfers and guides. +44 20 8682 5075;

Get inspired with these beautiful pictures of Rajasthan, India

A tale of two Thai cities

A tale of two Thai cities


Bangkok is an exhilarating entry point to Asia . It’s exotic, unfamiliar, heady from the smell of jasmine and sizzling street-food stalls, with a honking roar of bumper-to-bumper traffic as its soundtrack. Children will have their eyes out on stalks: the glitter of gilded temples, the giant Buddha, the squealing thrill of a kamikaze tuk-tuk ride. Hole up in the reassuring calm of the Mandarin Oriental , where guests of all ages are nannied and pampered. Rooms in the River Wing have amazing views of the Chao Phraya below, particularly at night when the neon skyscrapers wink at an endless parade of lantern-lit boats. The hotel’s world-famous staff are brilliant with even the tiniest guests, from the amiable pool attendant supplying goggles, sun cream and impromptu rides around the gardens on his towel trolley to the butlers who leave hand-carved chocolate elephants by little ones’ beds at night. Thai people love children and, rather than hushing them up, they encourage sticky fingers at high tea in the Authors’ Lounge and enthusiastic youngsters to dance along when the band strikes up in lobby at 6pm sharp. Whizz across the river on the shuttle boat for Thai boxing lessons and cookery classes, or ask the concierge to book a longtail boat trip around the khlongs (Bangkok’s network of canals) to spot huge crocodile-like water monitors.

The adventure continues an hour’s flight north in Chiang Mai . The Dhara Dhevi is a magnificent mini fiefdom on the outskirts of town which draws on traditional Lanna architecture with a palatial lobby, hidden shrines, walls of dragon carvings and a Rolls-Royce-badged buggy to ferry everyone around. The two-bedroom family villas come with teak-wood floors, pianos, hot tubs and four-poster beds.

It’s tempting to just kick back but an hour’s drive into the jungle there’s zip wiring, excursions to see native hill tribes and ethical elephant camps that limit the number of visitors and rides. Back at the kids’ club, though, everyone gets an opportunity to hop on a water buffalo to ride out into the paddy fields to plant rice. There are also yoga sessions for children and craft classes with local women to make paper lanterns. Just factor in that there might be tears when it’s time to kiss the resident pet pigmy ponies goodbye. By Olivia Falcon INSIDER TIP Call in at the Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park in Chiang Mai where they turn dung into stationery – guaranteed giggles for weeks.

BOOK IT Turquoise Holidays offers seven nights from £2,025 per adult and £1,350 per child, based on two adults and one child sharing, with three nights at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok and four nights at the Dhara Dhevi, including flights and transfers. +44 1494 678400;

Above: elephants in Chiang Mai.

Five brilliant boutique hotels in Bangkok

A safari with a twist

A safari with a twist


A four-tonne african elephant leant against our flimsy canvas tent, somewhat alarming my wife by scratching his tusk just as she was dressing for dinner. My teenage children had a fit of giggles as they heard their mother ask over the walkie-talkie if anyone had a gun, as she believed this was needed to scare it away. ‘His tusks are making a dent in my gauze window,’ she whispered down the line to our safari guide, who was sitting by a roaring campfire with the children and me as I sipped a whisky sundowner. We had all been advised never to leave our tent without calling for an escort. Life in the Tanzanian bush carries a risk. By the time two men – without guns – reached the tent the elephant had sauntered off. Later that night lions growled hungrily outside. Some buffalo left marks, which we saw on the ground when dawn broke and vultures circled above. Earlier, when I was in the outside shower, one side open to the savanna, zebra and impala had wandered past a matter of yards away.

From the moment we had left Kilimanjaro airport we were not so much looking for animals as being stalked by them. Straightaway we had halted to watch two cheetahs lazing in the curved branches of a sausage tree by the roadside. Later, on an afternoon game drive, a pride of 22 lions, including 12 cubs, sprawled before us. We saw a tower of giraffes, a dazzle of zebras and herds of (as well as solitary) male elephants.

We saw a tower of giraffes, a dazzle of zebras and herds of male elephants.

Tanzania is the ultimate animal-viewing paradise, with about 50 per cent of the biomass of all animals in Africa. Our safari in four different camps was wild and unpredictable yet also spoiled and deeply comfortable. Indiana Jones meets Ralph Lauren. It was a spectacular adventure on small planes and in fly camps, soaring above heart-stopping panoramic landscapes and tracking elephants on the ground (with armed escorts). We went to Masai villages where the children jumped with warriors with spears and sat on the dirt floor in their thatched huts. The safari camps were all owned by Asilia, a company committed to all that is eco and sustainable, as well as a decent nod to luxury and wellbeing. Part of Asilia’s purpose is to help support local education. This trip was about seeing hippos yawning in the river, about rising early for a surprise Ritz -standard silver-service breakfast set up on a remote prehistoric rocky outcrop, or enjoying an impromptu picnic in the middle of lion country. But a visit to a primary school with its safari-funded books and teachers proved equally moving.

Every day brought new sights. Baboons as well as red-billed storks. Always impala and Thomson’s gazelle, the Bambis of Africa. One male elephant blocked our road. ‘Do not move,’ our guide whispered urgently. The bull drew back its ears, harrumphed and stepped towards us. This was all of 30ft away. And he was big. He could flip our vehicle as if tossing a frisbee. Everywhere umbrella acacia trees seemed planted as if for photo opportunities. The vast skies, the sense of space and isolation were mesmerising for the children. Giraffes were majestically odd with their tufted ears and catwalk high legs. Mating ostriches with outrageous red necks inflamed by lust were comical. All co-existed. Fear arrived with the threat of sugar badgers breaking into our tents, their razor claws as sharp as their sense of smell. My children immediately gave up all their secret supplies of chewing gum and sweets voluntarily for fear of night-time invasions.

Here was the Great Migration and we were alone on the bank watching it at dawn as the sun rose.

And then there was the wildebeest migration, the most spectacular animal event on the planet, with a million of them on the run. We were mid bacon and eggs when our breathless guide rushed in and told us to get in the Land Rover immediately. We dashed. Then, hanging on for dear life, we bumped and banged about along tracks and trails until we came to the Tarangire River. And there they were: 25,000 wildebeest on the opposite bank. It was like an apocalyptic scene, as if the natural world sensed something terrifying that we didn’t. These ragtag animals started to wade into the river one by one, followed by a few more, until suddenly it was filled with a twisted mass of horns and hide and an incessant bleat of panic and fear. Here was the Great Migration and we were alone on the bank watching it at dawn as the sun rose. They rushed past our vehicle, bedraggled and relentless. This was nature raw and surreal. We were utterly engrossed as mothers crossed the river only to realise forlornly that their calf was not with them. Zebras were caught up in the mêlée. One beast got its leg caught between two rocks mid-stream. And then we were joined on the bank by a lioness, who saw in these tired and disorientated animals an opportunity for a free lunch. A crocodile came upstream and snapped its jaws around a young beast about 200ft from us.

It was Africa more intense and exciting than we had even dared hope. The force was as unstoppable as the tide or a thunderclap – animals compelled for their very survival to go south to seek land with rain. Wildebeest, our guide told us, are apparently what God made from the spares parts of rest of the animals. Horns of buffalo. Tail of horse. Face of grasshopper. Leg of topi. Millions of them racing for survival, as we bore witness. By Geordie Greig

BOOK IT Africa Travel can arrange a family holiday to Tanzania, including one night at the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge and two nights each at Oliver’s Camp, Dunia Camp and Ubuntu Camp, from £5,275 per adult and £3,095 per child under 12 years, based on two adults and two children travelling, full board, with flights, all road and light aircraft transfers and safari activities. A three-night extension to Essque Zalu on Zanzibar costs from £770 per adult and £340 per child. + 44 20 7843 3591;

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The best family-friendly holiday destinations

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Thursday January 19 2023, 10:00am

Finding somewhere that will please the whole family is easier said than done. Little ones tend to be happy with a beach and a pool — but what about teens who fancy getting their teeth into some culture too? Here are the destinations that will please the whole clan.

Main photo: on the beach in Greece (Getty Images)

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Norfolk is great for wild shores and seal colonies, while endless walks and Beatrix Potter adventures await in Lakeland. The Isle of Wight tempts with retro theme parks, crazy golf, zoos and natural wonders such as The Needles. Most established for families, however, is Cornwall , thanks to an abundance of sandy beaches that can be combined with jungly gardens, castles, clifftop theatres, farm parks, pirate experiences, steam railways and the UK’s yummiest ice cream. Having some of the country’s warmest weather helps, too, as does the county’s array of hotels and resorts. Choose either a lively town base such as Falmouth or Padstow, or a seaside property promising quietude.

  • Best beaches in Cornwall
  • Best family-friendly hotels in the UK

Kayaking at San Giorgio Maggiore island in Venice

There’s plenty of choice here. You could opt for sun-drenched Lake Garda, head for the rolling vineyards and medieval villages of Tuscany , or try the swish resorts of the Tuscan coast, a base from which to take day trips to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower or to San Gimignano, famed for its wonky, 13th-century skyscrapers. Children love Sicily — what child wouldn’t be intrigued by the chance to scramble up an active volcano? Sardinia has a wide choice of luxury resorts and aquamarine water to rival the Caribbean, while the ravishing Amalfi coast is the gateway to Pompeii and the brooding Vesuvius. And there’s endless opportunity to add a twist to a traditional activity; learning to row in the Venice lagoon, for example, or joining a pizza-making class, or going to gladiator school in Rome . Then there’s the gelato, Italy’s exceptional ice cream — arguably the best in the world, with dozens of flavours and combinations.

  • Best family hotels in Sardinia

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Greece is comfortable and manageable as a family holiday destination, whether you’re looking for a luxury resort with kids’ clubs included or a laid-back villa holiday. Tour the Acropolis in Athens , and the impressive Acropolis Museum, or climb the zigzag path to the top of the caldera in Santorini . Learn about the Minotaur in Crete or look out for loggerhead turtles drifting through the blue depths off Zakynthos. Hire a boat for the day in Corfu and putter around the craggy north coast, or explore the medieval old town of Rhodes .

Nothing beats a villa for seclusion and space — and nowhere beats Greece as the place to rent one. Large holiday properties around the Greek islands typically have ample room for family or multi-generation breaks, including gardens and, usually, a private pool. But which island to choose? As the biggest, Crete has the widest range of distractions: everything from sea kayaking and caves to dinosaur and water parks, plus fascinating history and hundreds of shallow, sandy beaches. Zakynthos and Cephalonia essentially provide smaller, more soulful versions of that, minus some of the crowds but usually a little pricier; conveniently, all three enjoy direct UK flight connections.

  • Best all-inclusive hotels in Greece
  • Best villas in Greece

An Atlantic puffin in the Westfjords, Iceland, which is one of the best family holiday destinations

For older kids who are into Game of Thrones , much of which was shot here, there’s the added thrill of exploring the filming locations in Iceland . There’s plenty to see around Reykjavik — the Golden Circle route, which takes in the mighty Geysir and the dramatic falls of Gullfoss, for starters. At the geothermal Blue Lagoon, splashing around in the steaming water is fun for all ages. Other activities include white-water rafting, or riding the good-natured Icelandic horses across volcanic landscapes. In the north, in the Westfjords, there’s spectacular whale-watching, as well as ravishing scenery. The bird cliffs at Latrabjarg are spectacular, teeming with puffins, guillemots, northern gannets and razorbills, while Raudasandur (Red Sands) beach is the perfect place to spot seals. Join the “Inside the Glacier” experience, which takes you deep inside Langjokull glacier and will teach children all they need to know about glaciaton — and global warming.

  • Best hotels in Iceland
  • Best things to do in Iceland

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5. South Africa

There are some superb luxury lodges in South Africa that welcome families — as well as game drives, they’ll lay on kids’ clubs to entertain children in the quieter part of the day. In addition to wildlife viewing, the country packs in the attractions, both natural and man-made. Drive the beautiful coast road along the Garden Route between Cape Town and Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), arguably one of the world’s loveliest road trips, with beaches, vineyards and pretty towns to explore along the way. Hang out in Cape Town for trips up Table Mountain, visits to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, the colourful craft stalls at Greenmarket Square and the world-class food scene.

  • Best South Africa itineraries
  • Best safaris in South Africa

Platja de Alcudia in Mallorca, which is one of the best family holiday destinations

6. Mallorca

As the largest of Spain ’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca does the best job of satisfying all of the family. Cool coastal resorts such as Alcudia promise the sun and sand in spades, as well as calm waters, child-friendly rooms and restaurants, and excellent kids’ clubs for when parents need a massage or romantic time alone. There are schools of seaside cocktail bars for the latter, as well as golf courses, mountain biking, caves, water parks, an aquarium and lots of shopping markets to investigate. This far south in Europe, temperatures stay pleasantly warm from April to October, yet only a short flight is necessary.

  • Best family hotels in Mallorca
  • Best things to do in Mallorca

Proboscis monkeys in Malaysian Borneo, which is one of the best family holiday destinations

7. Malaysian Borneo

You’ll need to first take a long flight to Kuala Lumpur — and to be ready for the fact that package holidays might not always run as smoothly as their European or Caribbean equivalents. But the upside is child-focused resorts with superb kids’ clubs and swimming pools. It involves desert islands, sandy beaches and river cruises. And it involves thrilling monkey forests — including mangrove tracts in which the large, endemic proboscis swings about — and orangutan rehabilitation centres. The state of Sabah has most to offer, and is easiest to travel around.

Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong Delta (Alamy)

8. The Mekong

Visits to floating villages and temples, cycling narrow trails between swathes of green paddy fields and poking around teeming markets are all part of the experience. Voyages begin or end with a few days in Cambodia ’s buzzing Siem Reap, where the main attraction is the magnificent temples of Angkor, many of them almost consumed by dense rainforest. Ho Chi Minh City, at the other end of any Mekong cruise, is an assault on the senses, ancient temples and sizzling street food stalls a contrast to the glassy skyscrapers of the centre. There’s a sobering side to the journey, too, with a chance to learn about the tragic history of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and Vietnam during wartime. For kids, the Cu Chi tunnels outside Ho Chi Minh City is an interesting way to put the long conflict, which lasted from 1955 until 1975, in context.

  • Best hotels in Vietnam
  • Best things to do in Cambodia and Vietnam

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9. The Caribbean

Families will love the western Caribbean itineraries, taking in places such as Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica , or Seven Mile Beach and Stingray City on Grand Cayman . Eastern and southern Caribbean voyages might include Barbados , mountainous St Lucia , the fabulous beaches of Antigua and the dreamy islands of the Grenadines. Most of the bigger cruise lines have a private beach or island, often better equipped than any theme park and all yours for a day of water sports, beach barbecues or simply swinging in a hammock under a coconut palm. On every last island, beautiful beaches of white sand and warm waters give way to palm trees and then a tropical interior. Even better, the archipelago’s equatorial position also means it delivers sun-soaked winter holidays. Consider a cruise: often enjoyed after a hotel stay, these enable families to explore the culture of multiple isles — one route mixes calypso-loving Trinidad & Tobago with Creole-infused St Lucia, for instance — and deliver endless entertainment for all ages between stops. There are typically on-board pool decks, classes and live entertainment to delve into, plus a distinct dining option as part of your all-inclusive board.

  • Best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean
  • Best Caribbean resorts for families

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10. Sri Lanka

Search for wild elephants and leopards in the national parks of Sri Lanka , visit temples and clamber up the astonishing Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress perched on an outcrop looming almost 200m (600ft) over the surrounding jungle and accessed via 1,250 steps. Arty, colonial Galle, a Unesco world heritage site, is a suitably laid-back place to stay for a day or two, with lovely beaches and some smart hotels, while dreamy Mirissa, in the far south, all coconut palms and laid-back guesthouses, is the perfect spot for whale-watching by day — and teens will appreciate the party scene after dark.

  • Best beaches in Sri Lanka
  • Best Sri Lanka tours

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11. Thailand

Walk with elephants at an ethical elephant camp in the Golden Triangle, where northern Thailand borders Laos and Myanmar, or visit remote hill tribes to learn about their way of life. Older kids will love the adventure of ziplining, rafting and cycling through lush countryside and green paddy fields. Thailand works well as a multi-centre family holiday, combining the north with a couple of days in vibrant Bangkok and a week or so chilling out on the gorgeous beaches, limpid waters and luxury resorts of Koh Samui or Phuket in the south.

  • Best family hotels in Thailand

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12. Croatia

There’s so much more than first meets the eye in Croatia , especially when you venture beyond Dubrovnik . National parks where waterfalls tumble over rocks and birds of prey circle above jagged canyons. Sun-bleached islands where rocky shores fall into crystal-clear water. The ancient Diocletian’s Palace forms the living heart of Split, or sleepy Korcula, the perfect island for wine-tasting (for adults, of course), cycling, boat trips and sea kayaking. The summer holiday season runs from May to late September, when the days are still balmy and the sea blissfully warm.

  • Best things to do in Croatia
  • Best luxury villas in Croatia

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12. Costa Rica

A holiday in Costa Rica is a great introduction to the animals, birds and insects of the tropical rainforest. Hike through national parks fringed with white sand beaches and look for toucans, emerald green tree frogs or comical capuchin monkeys. Try white-water rafting, or drift through a tunnel of green trees along slow-flowing rivers. Or zipline over the forest canopy; the opportunities for adventure are endless. If you stay on the west coast, there are surf schools for kids too.

  • Best places to see wildlife in Costa Rica

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So-called for its wealth of cultural riches, India ’s Golden Triangle, involving three northwestern cities, is a circuit that can be easily accomplished by road or rail. Direct flights see most itineraries begin in the sprawling capital of Delhi , typically with a rickshaw ride around the new town. Agra’s bucket-list headline act is the marble Taj Mahal mausoleum, a monument to love, while desert-set Jaipur promises brilliant bazaars and evocative pink buildings. Many hotels in the region are set up for families and international guests, and itineraries can be tailored to involve tiger-spotting safaris or fairytale stays in a former maharaja’s palace.

  • Best places to visit in India

Camels in Petra, Jordan, which is one of the best family holiday destinations

Nobody could fail to be wowed by the drama of Petra, hewn out of rose-red sandstone, deep in the desert, or the craggy expanse of Wadi Rum, known among the older generation as the setting for Lawrence of Arabia and by Star Wars fans as a backdrop to The Rise of Skywalker . Kids will love Jordan for the chance to ride camels, sleep under the stars in the desert, bob around in the mineral-rich Dead Sea and snorkel over the coral reefs of the Red Sea.

  • Best things to do in Jordan

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family holidays

The ultimate guide to Family Holidays

  • experiences
  • destinations

It can be difficult coming up with the perfect family holiday solution. Often you’re trying to please people with wildly different tastes and interests and it can be hard striking a compromise.

Thankfully there are some tried and tested options that offer something for everyone.

Best travel experiences for families

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There’s a reason beach holidays appeal to families: kids can amuse themselves with snorkelling and watersports for hours while parents chill out and read a book. Similarly ski holidays , camping in national parks and road trips where you explore different towns along the way can keep everyone amused.

Ask the kids where they want to go on holiday and most will say Disneyland. You can now visit the happiest place on Earth in Paris , the US and Tokyo .

Anything involving wildlife is usually a hit. Going on safari to see the animals of Africa first-hand , spotting monkeys in Bali and exploring the jungle in Thailand or Borneo will offer ever-lasting travel memories for all ages.

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Disneyland: a parents’ survival guide

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Family fun at Hong Kong Disneyland

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NASA’s historic mission control room in Houston, USA.

10 NASA facts that will totally space you out

 Here are 10 far-out facts that prove that NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, is another world. By Steve Madgwick (...

The home of Roman gladiators, The Colosseum.

You (or your kids) could attend Gladiator School in Rome

Susan Murphy sends her husband and son into battle to review the Eternal City's Roman Gladiator School.   Ulfragar, Son o...

Exhibit at The Million Toy Museum in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

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An ancient Thai city filled with remnants of a turbulent past and millions of toys. Tim Richards takes a nostalgic trip in a uniqu...

Best ways to travel with kids

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A couple of the simplest ways to tackle a family holiday is by choosing a cruise or a family-friendly resort, where everything is taken care of and included (so you don’t have to have a nightly debate about where you’re going to eat). Settling into a resort or a cruise also means you’re not travelling about and exhausting everyone, and there are plenty of activities provided to keep the whole family occupied.

Read up on tips in advance to help take some of the pain out of travelling with small children – especially on long haul flights – and why not make your holiday a multigenerational one? You’ll have an extra set of hands to help with the kids and the memories you make will be all the richer when shared with grandparents.

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10 ‘kid-proof’ family travel insurance tips

Get insurance for any eventuality when taking the kids abroad on a family holiday, writes Sally Webb; it could mean you get to hit...

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First-hand advice to exploring Africa with kids

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Multi-gen’ travel: with kids, parents AND grandparents

Multi-generational travel is a buzzword in travel right now, and can make for some of the most memorable journeys. Words by Susan ...

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Best mother-daughter getaways, which Grandma can join too!

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Best destinations for families

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Some destinations are a better all-ages pick than others.

Bali can be an easy choice, partly due to the short flight time and partly because there’s plenty of spacious villa-style accommodation that comes with a private pool and child-minding options. Fiji is another destination that is well and truly geared to families , with a wealth of outdoor activities on offer for young and old.

Japan’s big cities are full of colour and lights and there are plenty of weird and wacky things to amuse little people (Hello Kitty Café, anyone ?)

Both Hawaii and Dubai have a huge number of attractions that will appeal to children, including theme parks, natural wonders and mind-boggling shopping malls.

New Zealand won’t be a huge culture shock to sensitive little ones. The fact that it is easy to explore in a campervan and there are plenty of adventure activities on offer (from white water rafting to skiing) makes it a strong choice.

Samoa is fast becoming a hot destination for families – there are loads of enticing activities, like swimming with turtles in the peaceful waters of a lagoon, enjoying the natural waterslides at Papaseea Sliding Rocks  or playing a spot of kilikti (Samoan cricket) with the local kids.

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TPG’s 8 top family vacation destinations for 2024

Tarah Chieffi

Deciding which eight destinations across the globe deserve a spot on TPG's list of best family vacation destinations to visit this year was no easy task.

We researched new resorts, activities and events and pulled from our own extensive travel experience to find the spots your family will still be talking about years after you return home from your trip.

Related: Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel

Of course, we also had to throw in a few of our dream destinations.

Whether your family prefers cities, beaches , theme parks or the great outdoors, you'll find your perfect family vacation spot on this list.

With four major theme parks in the area, Orlando bills itself as the "theme park capital of the world." Because those parks are always competing for the top spot in travelers' hearts (and their wallets), there's always something new to do.

Disney is nearing the completion of Epcot's multiyear makeover with the recent opening of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana and the debut of an all-new nighttime spectacular called "Luminous The Symphony of Us."

Related: Why Epcot is now Disney World's must-do park

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In 2024, the focus will shift to Magic Kingdom, with the opening of Tiana's Bayou Adventure. The attraction is expected to open in late 2024. Perhaps more important than any new attraction, beginning Jan. 9, 2024, a Disney World visit will feel much like it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. This date marks the end of theme park reservations and 2 p.m. park-hopping restrictions , as well as the return of the Disney Dining Plan .

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At Universal Orlando, 2023 saw the debut of Minion Land and the new Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast attraction. This is just Universal's first step to introduce more kid-friendly programming. In 2024, Universal Studios Florida will open a land themed to DreamWorks Animation films like "Shrek," "Trolls" and "Kung Fu Panda."

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SeaWorld Orlando has been on a regular cadence of adding new attractions every year and 2024 is no different. After opening the Ice Breaker coaster in 2022 and Pipeline: The Surf Coaster in 2023, the marine-themed park will open a family-friendly launch coaster called Penguin Trek in 2024.

The Orlando area is also home to the headwaters of the Everglades, which provides ample opportunities for outdoorsy families to explore the flora and fauna that call the Everglades home. Both Wild Florida and Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures offer airboat tours where you're almost guaranteed to spot a few alligators. Or, you can take it slow on a kayak tour in one of Get Up and Go Kayaking's clear kayaks.

Where to stay

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The Evermore Orlando Resort will open next door to Disney World on Jan. 1, 2024. The resort will feature a variety of accommodation types, from vacation villas to luxury hotel rooms at Orlando's first Conrad Hotel, as well as a 20-acre tropical beach complex with an 8-acre lagoon for swimming and water sports.

Room rates at the Conrad Orlando start at around $580 or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

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Also near Disney World, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando recently completed property-wide renovations, including transformed guest rooms, new restaurants and dining menus, a reimagined spa and golf club and more. Room rates start at around $560 or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Oahu, Hawaii

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From swimming in the jewel-toned waters of the Pacific Ocean to hiking through lush green landscapes and experiencing Hawaii's rich history and time-honored traditions, Oahu has so much to offer families in search of a tropical beach vacation.

You are likely to stay at a resort with beach access, so let's explore some of Oahu's top attractions off the beach. If your kids are up for a hike, they'll be rewarded with picture-perfect views and a peek into Hawaii's military history on the Diamond Head State Monument . There is a small entry fee of $5 per person (free for Hawaii residents and children ages 3 and under).

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About 30 minutes away by car, you can visit Pearl Harbor . Here, you can visit the Pearl Harbor memorials, explore a large collection of aircraft in the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, discover the USS Bowfin Submarine and so much more. Guided tours and individual ticket packages are available.

With six "Jurassic Park" films released in the past 30 years, your kids are likely as big fans of the franchise as you are. At Kualoa Ranch , you can visit some of the real-life filming locations from these films, along with other popular movies like "Kong Skull Island" and "50 First Dates."

Related: Save money: How you can book flights to Hawaii using points and miles in 2024

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If you are a Disney family through and through, there's no better place to stay than Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa . You can spend your days swimming in the pool, snorkeling in the hotel's private lagoon and playing on the beach or check out the Disney offerings like character meet-and-greets, animation classes or movies under the stars. Kids ages 4-12 can visit Aunty's Beach House, a kids club included in the cost of your stay.

Room rates start at around $569 per night when booked with cash or from about $336 if booked with rented points from a site like David's Vacation Club .

Related: 11 best family resorts in Hawaii for a relaxing vacation

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Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort offers families direct access to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, but also has a smaller, calm lagoon that may be more popular with younger kids. This resort has five outdoor pools — some with waterslides — hula and lei-making lessons, fish feeding and luau feasts with traditional Samoan, Tahitian and Hawaiian dancing every Sunday through Thursday.

Rates at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort start at around $250 or 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Families who want to enjoy Arizona's natural beauty and year-round warm weather have a lot of new options to choose from in 2024 when it comes to places to stay and play.

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In addition to timeless landmarks like the Grand Canyon , Monument Valley and Camelback Mountain, President Biden recently designated one million acres of land near the Grand Canyon as the Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument , ensuring the land, which is home to several native tribes, remains protected. In addition, Chiricahua National Monument in Willcox, Arizona, may soon be Arizona's newest National Park.

Related: What to pack and where to stay: TPG's ultimate Grand Canyon family vacation guide

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Slated to open sometime in 2024, Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale, Arizona, will feature attractions based on favorite toys like Hot Wheels, Barbie and more. There will be an entire land themed to "Thomas & Friends," two thrilling Hot Wheels roller coasters and a life-size Barbie Beach House with a rooftop bar and restaurant.

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The Mattel Adventure Park mentioned above will be located at the also-soon-to-open Vai Resort . Vai will be the state's largest resort, with more than 1,100 rooms and suites, a world-class concert venue and a 6-acre swimming complex with a sandy beach.

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In other recent opening news, the 141-room Global Ambassador Hotel opened on Dec. 6 at the crossroads of Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Phoenix. This luxury property has a world-class spa and fitness center, select guest rooms with views of Camelback Mountain and a climate-controlled pool. Room rates start at around $560 per night, and it will also be part of Chase's Luxury Resort & Hotel Collectio n and Mr & Mrs Smith , beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The Guanacaste province of Costa Rica is a destination where eco-conscious families can combine lazy days on the beach with outdoor adventures in the region's lush, tropical rainforest.

Related: 6 adventurous activities in Costa Rica for families

Playa Tamarindo — along with nearby beaches Playa Grande and Playa Langosta — is well-known for its surf-ready waves, even if you have little (or no) experience on a surfboard. A number of local surf shops offer surfing lessons or boogie board rentals if you aren't quite ready to brave the waves while standing.

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If you can pull yourself away from the surf (and you should), there are ample opportunities to experience the jungles of Costa Rica.

Related: Epic wildlife and sustainable luxury define travel to Costa Rica in 2024

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You'll need to travel a decent way inland, so the easiest option is to book a half-day or full-day tour that leaves from Guanacaste. Spend a day in the treetops of Monteverde's Cloud Forest, see some of Costa Rica's breathtakingly blue waterfalls or visit Arenal Volcano National Park.

If you book through Viator, you can get up to 10% cash back through the Rakuten shopping portal or earn miles through the Delta SkyMiles or AAdvantage portals .

Related: Frontier Airlines' unlimited all-you-can-fly pass now valid for kids, includes $200 flight credit

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If you are looking for an all-inclusive option, check out The Westin Reserva Conchal on Playa Conchal. The resort has a dedicated section for families that is close to the pool, beach, restaurants and the included kids club. Family suites have bunk beds, a sofa bed and a queen bed so everyone can sleep comfortably. All-inclusive rates at The Westin Reserva Conchal start at $425 or 73,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, based on double occupancy.

Related: The 13 best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica for beach visits or hiking trips

The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa is another family-friendly option located on the shores of Playa Mansita, just a short drive from the town of Tamarindo. You can spend your days soaking in the large oceanfront pool, playing in the sand or exploring the shopping and dining in town. The JW Adventure Kids Club is open to kids ages 4-12 and offers supervised activities and a playground. Room rates start at around $617 or 36,800 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Disney's Lighthouse Point, Bahamas

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While not a traditional destination you can drive or fly to and stay overnight, Disney Cruise Line's newest private island deserves a spot on this list. Beginning in June of 2024, select Disney Cruise Line itineraries will include a stop at Lighthouse Point. The inaugural sailing will be a seven-night sailing on the Disney Fantasy that stops at Lighthouse Point and Castaway Cay, but all other sailings that visit the new island will be on board the Disney Magic .

Related: Port alert: These 2 cruise lines are building new private destinations in the Bahamas

Lighthouse Point was thoughtfully planned and built to incorporate environmental and cultural awareness into its design and amenities. Disney partnered with local artists to create murals, sculptures and other elements of the island and also plans to offer programming in the island's Arts and Cultural Pavilion that honors Bahamian traditions and shore excursions developed in partnership with local tour operators.

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Lighthouse Point will have a family beach with a water play area for kids and an adults-only beach with a dedicated bar and dining area. Cabanas are available to rent in both sections. Guests can also play volleyball, borrow bikes and water sports equipment or explore nature trails.

Paradise Coast, Florida

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Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades comprise Southwest Florida's Paradise Coast, an area where you can experience the full breadth of what Florida has to offer. In Naples and Marco Island, you can enjoy five-star accommodations and pristine beaches; in the Everglades, you can immerse yourself in the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S.

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At Everglades National Park , you can view wildlife including alligators, birds, otters and more, on one of the park's many hiking trails or on a guided tram, kayak or airboat tour .

Related: TPG's favorite national parks: A month-by-month guide

Families will also enjoy the educational fun at Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (especially if you are in need of a rainy day activity) and the wet and wild excitement of Naples' Sun-N-Fun Lagoon . If you aren't staying directly on the beach (or just want to hop around and explore), Vanderbilt Beach is a popular spot for swimming, shelling and watersports that's also close to shopping and dining. If you travel about 20 miles north of Naples to Lovers State Park, you can swim in more seclusion than the popular in-town beaches or soak up the dog days of summer with your canine companion at Dog Beach Park.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Naples reopened in July of 2023 after an extensive transformation. The hotel added three new dining outlets, newly designed guest rooms and a redesigned pool area with four pools, luxury cabanas and immersive water features. What hasn't changed are Ritz-Carlton's extraordinary guest service and the breathtaking ocean views.

Room rates start at around $783 or 80,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Beginning in October 2024, families can visit the newest location in the Great Wolf Lodge water park resort family. Guest suites in this 500-room resort are designed with families in mind. Standard family suites have two queen beds and a sleeper sofa, but we recommend opting for one of the themed suites with a queen bed for parents and a separate bunk bed area for kids. Admission to the resort's 100,000-square-foot indoor water park is included in your stay. Room rates start at around $200 per night.

Regardless of when you visit the City of Light , you'll be greeted with endless museums, historical landmarks and sprawling green spaces to discover. There is one very special reason to visit in 2024 that may dominate your time in Paris, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those lucky enough to be there in person.

Related: 2024 Paris Olympics: How I used points and miles to save money on business-class flights and hotel nights

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The 2024 Summer Olympics are being held in France from July 26-Aug. 11, and the opening ceremonies will kick off along the Seine in Paris. Some events will require you to travel outside of the city, but some are taking place right in the heart of Paris. You can watch beach volleyball near the Eiffel Tower, fencing and Taekwondo at the Grand Palais and tennis at the 95-year-old Roland-Garros Stadium.

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While you're in town, you can get to Disneyland Paris by bus or train in under an hour. If you prefer to spend more than one day at Disneyland Paris, you can stay in one of the park's eight themed hotels, including the recently reimagined five-star Disneyland Hotel .

Securing hotel reservations in Paris during the Olympics could almost be a Games event in itself. Your best option is likely going to be an official Olympics travel package , which includes a hotel stay and tickets to one or more events.

Related: The best hotels in Paris


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All eyes will be on the sky in Indianapolis this spring. On April 8, 2024, millions of Americans will be in the path of a rare total solar eclipse , though only a handful of major cities will be along the path of totality with up to four minutes of dark skies.

Indianapolis is one such city along the so-called path of totality, and they are planning a full weekend of fun, including educational films and lectures, games, live entertainment and more between April 5–8, 2024. The best viewing spots will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and White River State Park, but events are being held all over town.

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The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo are also getting in on the action. These also happen to be two of the best attractions for families visiting Indianapolis any time of year. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis recently renovated its interactive dinosaur exhibit, and the Indianapolis Zoo has rides and attractions in addition to animal habitats.

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The JW Marriott Indianapolis is located within walking distance of White River State Park. Guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of downtown so you can enjoy the city skyline when you aren't looking up at the sky. Rates start at around $150 or 31,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Families can sleep in a converted 1920s Pullman train car at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station for a unique stay. Traditional rooms are also available, along with an indoor pool, two restaurants and nods to the property's former life as the country's first Union Station. Room rates start at around $170 or 22,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Bottom line

At TPG, we are on a never-ending quest to provide travelers with vacation experiences that fit their budget, family size and travel style. Families have endless vacation destinations to choose from, and we've compiled the best of the best to help you create your dream getaway.

Related reading:

  • 21 best all-inclusive resorts for families
  • The top credit cards for families
  • Spare yourself the hassle and stress with these 8 perfect family staycation destinations
  • 13 best family attractions in the US
  • 25 best all-inclusive resorts in the world, according to frequent travelers

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Apart Hotel Yantar is one of the top choices for your stay based on our traveler data, and this 3-star hotel offers free parking and free WiFi. It's located 1.9 mi (3 km) from Electrostal History and Art Museum. Another good option is Apartments , located 4.6 mi (7.4 km) away.

Hotel Mys Otdykha Nadezhda : Offers spa services, an indoor pool, and free parking. Park Hotel Yahonty Noginsk and Areal Congress Hotel are a couple of other choices that feature an onsite pool.

Visitors can enjoy all that Elektrostal has to offer including its museums. There are 35 hotels and other accommodations in the surrounding area. Find out more about Elektrostal .

A favorite place to visit is Electrostal History and Art Museum . You'll also find History of Russian Scarfs and Shawls Museum and Central Museum of the Air Forces at Monino in the area. Check out what more to see and do in Expedia's Elektrostal guide .

The hottest months are usually July and August with an average temp of 63°F, while the coldest months are January and February with an average of 22°F. The snowiest months in Elektrostal are February, December, November, and January, with each month seeing an average of 34 inches of snowfall.

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The Best Family Travel Insurance Plans (2024)

Find the best travel insurance policies to protect you and your loved ones on your adventures.

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Charlotte Whitaker is a content writer and PR professional currently writing for clients in the travel, tourism and recruitment industries. Coverage highlights for her PR clients include publications such as National Geographic, Forbes, Travel+Leisure, TimeOut and CNN. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling to the next destination on her bucket list or relaxing in the countryside of the north of England, which she calls home.

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Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.

If you are traveling as a family, you can protect your international vacation with travel insurance. Travel insurance helps you recover nonrefundable expenses such as airfare, hotel reservations and excursions if you’re forced to cancel your trip or leave early due to an emergency. Travel insurance can also help your family cover the cost of lost baggage and emergency medical expenses.

While there are dozens of travel insurance providers offering policies across the country, not every option is ideal for families. Read on to learn more about our top-rated travel insurance providers for families, what to look for in coverage and how to get a quote.

  • Travel Provider Brand Comparison
  • Ranking Travel Insurance Providers
  • Top Companies

How Much Does Travel Insurance for Families Cost?

  • Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Which Provider Offers the Best Family Travel Insurance?

  • Methodology

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Compare the Best Travel Insurance for Families

Ready to start comparing travel insurance providers for families? The following are our top choices for travel insurance coverage for families.

How We Ranked Family Travel Insurance Companies

To determine the best travel insurance companies for families, we looked at the following characteristics of each insurance provider.

  • Complementary children’s coverage: Select travel insurance providers offer complementary coverage for children with the purchase of an adult policy. We rated these providers highly in our review as many families will include children in travel plans.
  • Cost: Next, we compared the cost of coverage for family-oriented policy choices offered by each provider. Companies with more affordable policies for a variety of traveler ages scored higher than those with more expensive plans.
  • Coverage options: Travel insurance providers with more policy and add-on choices offer customers higher levels of customization. We ranked these providers above those with more limited plan offerings.
  • Types of coverage: Insurance providers with multiple types of coverage included in each plan scored higher than those with more limited benefits. For example, we considered baggage benefits, travel delay compensation, medical evacuation coverage and more.
  • Reimbursement limits: We prioritized recommending companies with higher maximum reimbursement limits for major policy components like trip interruption coverage and lost bags.

Top 6 Travel Insurance Plans for Families

Below is our list of the best travel insurance companies for all-inclusive resort vacations:

  • Travelex : Our pick for budget travelers.
  • Berkshire Hathaway:  Our pick for luxury travelers.
  • Nationwide Travel Insurance:  Our pick for cruise travel.
  • Generali Global Assistance:  Our pick for emergency assistance.
  • Allianz Global Assistance:  Our pick for concierge services.
  • AXA Assistance USA:  Our pick for leisure travelers.

Why Trust MarketWatch Guides

Our editorial team follows a comprehensive methodology for rating and reviewing travel insurance companies. Advertisers have no effect on our rankings.

Companies Reviewed

Quotes Collected

Rating Factors


  • Average plan cost: $242
  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • CFAR coverage: Add-on
  • COVID-19 coverage: Yes

Why We Picked Travelex for Families

Travelex is our top-rated choice for family travel insurance thanks to its all-inclusive Travel Select policies. Travel Select plans include coverage for one child under the age of 17 with the purchase of an adult travel insurance policy. You could save up to 50% on coverage by purchasing a plan with Travelex if you have an equal number of children and adults traveling together.

If your family will be traveling as a group of adults, consider Travelex’s Travel Basic policy option, which is available from $60 for low-cost trips. This policy includes a host of general coverages competitive with other travel insurance providers, ranging from up to $15,000 in emergency medical coverage, $150,000 in emergency evacuation coverage and $500 in trip delay benefits. This can be a viable budget option for families looking for affordable individual protections.

Pros and Cons

Add-on options.

If you want to expand the coverage of your travel insurance plan, Travelex has the following upgrades:

  • Additional medical coverage
  • CFAR (cancel for any reason)
  • Car rental collision
  • Adventure sports cover
  • Flight accidental death and dismemberment

Based on quotes we obtained, a family of four going on a week-long, $8,000 vacation to Mexico should expect to pay $200  for a Travelex plan.

To learn more: Travelex travel insurance review

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

  • Average plan cost: $273

Why We Picked Berkshire Hathaway

If your family is traveling together, you could have a higher-value vacation that you need to insure. While most insurance providers place caps on the total trip cost they will reimburse, Berkshire Hathaway offers luxury coverage with higher-than-average limits. With the Berkshire Hathaway LuxuryCare plan, you can protect each traveler with up to $100,000 in individual cancellation protection — ideal for high-value international travel.

Berkshire Hathaway’s policies are a bit more expensive than competitors, which means premiums for families will be higher as well. However, its plans are also more inclusive, with up to $1 million in medical evacuation coverage and up to $2,000 for trip delay expenses. Berkshire Hathaway also offers unique plans for adventure travelers and cruise-goers, with specific coverages outfitted to your planned excursions.

Berkshire Hathaway’s LuxuryCare plan covers most travel expenses, such as in a medical emergency. Add-ons are available, but this level of coverage is comprehensive for international travel for families.

Based on quotes we obtained, a family of four going on a week-long, $8,000 vacation to Mexico should expect to pay  $168 for a Berkshire plan.

Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance

  • Average plan cost: $228
  • AM Best Rating: A+

Why We Picked Generali Global Assistance

If you plan to visit an international destination with young children and you want to add another layer of safety, consider a travel insurance policy from Generali.

Generali Global Assistance is our top choice for international travel assistance, as all of its plans include 24/7 multilingual travel assistance that can help you while abroad. This can be a major benefit if you’re traveling to an area where you do not speak the primary language spoken, especially with young children. We also suggest considering Generali’s plans if you are looking for extra assistance planning your family’s trip, as all plans come with complimentary concierge pre-trip assistance.

  • Rental car damage on standard insurance plan, up to $25,000 per person per plan
  • Trip cancellation for any reason on premium travel insurance plan

Based on quotes we obtained, a family of four going on a week-long, $8,000 vacation to Mexico should expect to pay $359 for a Generali plan.

To learn more: Generali Global Assistance travel insurance review

Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz Global Assistance

  • Average plan cost: $283

Why We Picked Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz is another top selection for families looking for free children’s coverage with adult travel insurance. The company’s OneTrip Prime policy option includes free coverage for children under the age of 17. However, you must purchase adult coverage and plan to travel with the child. Like Travelex’s family coverage, this could potentially save up to 50% on insurance costs for family vacations.

The OneTrip Prime policy is one of Allianz’s most comprehensive and inclusive options, with up to $100,000 in trip interruption coverage, $50,000 in emergency medical protections and $1,000 for lost baggage. This policy also includes a few unique inclusions, including up to $500 in last-minute travel itinerary changes.

The following add-on options come with Allianz Global Assistance:

  • Winter sports and ski insurance
  • Cancel anytime upgrade

Based on quotes we obtained, a family of four going on a week-long, $8,000 vacation to Mexico should expect to pay  $250 for a Allianz plan.

To learn more: Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance review

AXA Assistance USA

AXA Assistance USA

  • Average plan cost: $266
  • COVID-19 coverage: No

Why We Picked AXA Assistance

If you are planning to travel with your family to a remote area or partake in outdoor activities, consider AXA’s travel insurance policies . In the event of a medical evacuation or illness, AXA will arrange complimentary return transportation for a travel companion or unattended minor. In the event of a sudden medical emergency that leaves a minor unattended, AXA will arrange an escort to accompany the child and ensure their safe return home. This can be a major benefit and offer peace of mind if you’re a parent traveling alone with a minor child.

  • CFAR coverage available on the platinum plan
  • Collision damage waiver available on gold and platinum plans

Based on quotes we obtained, a family of four going on a week-long, $8,000 vacation to Mexico should expect to pay $276 for a AXA plan.

To learn more:   AXA travel insurance review

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel insurance policies often offer a range of coverage options for families traveling together. These include the following:

Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage

Trip cancellation coverage refers to circumstances that may force you to cancel a vacation before departure. Trip interruption coverage applies when you may have to cut your vacation short because of unforeseen circumstances. Most insurance policies cover you in both cases.

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage reimburses you for medical costs should you have to pay for a medical emergency or need medical attention. Reimbursable events can include basic health care treatment, ambulance fees or repatriation costs in the event of a death. The maximum limit of coverage varies among insurance policies.

Baggage Loss, Delay and Damage Coverage

Most insurance policies give coverage if your luggage is delayed, lost or stolen on your family vacation (as long as the event isn’t your fault or is out of your control). The maximum coverage you can receive depends on the travel insurance policy.

If possessions within your baggage are particularly expensive or if together they add up to a high dollar amount, you may want your family insurance policy to have a larger coverage limit for baggage. You can also take out single-item coverage for something specific if it’s that valuable.

Does Standard Travel Insurance Cover Family Members?

Standard travel insurance policies cover you and your family members. The difference between standard travel insurance and family insurance is that family insurance typically covers families of two adults with at least one and up to eight children under 18.

With family travel insurance, you are offered peace of mind that your insurance policy has been crafted with families in mind to cover your needs.

Common Add-Ons

Common add-ons for travelers and families can include:

  • Winter sports coverage: For those hoping to ski or snowboard and partake in winter sports activities
  • Cruise coverage: For groups who will be venturing on cruises during their vacation

Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage: A financial backstop if you  must cancel your vacation outside of the policy guidelines

The cost of travel insurance for families will depend on the number of family members, the location of the trip, the trip duration, and the total cost. The table below compares costs for basic coverage for a family of four going on a week-long $8,000 vacation to Mexico:

Is Family Travel Insurance Worth It?

Family travel insurance is necessary if you invest a lot of money for a grand family vacation. Knowing that you have comprehensive cover for every member of your party makes it more convenient for travels when you want protection from a range of eventualities.

With a range of family travel insurance policies available, families have ample choices to find a policy that matches their trip, coverage needs and budget.

The best travel insurance policy for you and your family will vary based on your trip and the coverage you need. A family cruise vacation could warrant getting insurance from a specialist such as Nationwide. But Allianz Global Insurance may be a better option if you’re looking for a comprehensive policy with basic coverage and good value for money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you travel separately on family travel insurance.

Some family policies let you travel separately, but you should check with your insurance provider and your policy terms to see if you’re covered.

Is it better to buy travel insurance as a group or individual?

Buying family and group travel insurance is much more convenient and easier to insure everyone on a trip. Group coverage is also likely to be less expensive than purchasing individual policies for every group member. Children sometimes get included for free in family policies.

Does credit card travel insurance cover a family?

You may have insurance to cover your whole family from the credit card you use to book your trip. This is something that varies by bank. You’ll need to talk to your credit card issuer to ask about travel coverage.

Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Travel Insurance Companies for Families

  • A 30-year-old couple taking a $5,000 vacation to Mexico.
  • A family of four taking an $8,000 vacation to Mexico.
  • A 65-year-old couple taking a $7,000 vacation to the United Kingdom.
  • A 30-year-old couple taking a $7,000 trip to the United Kingdom.
  • A 19-year-old taking a $2,000 trip to France.
  • A 27-year-old couple taking a $1,200 trip to Greece.
  • A 51-year-old couple taking a $2,000 trip to Spain.
  • Plan availability (10%): We look for insurers with a variety of travel insurance plans and the ability to customize a policy with coverage upgrades.
  • Coverage details (29%): We review the baseline coverage each company offers in its cheapest comprehensive plan. A provider with robust coverage earns full points, including baggage delay and loss, COVID-19 coverage, emergency evacuation and medical coverage, trip delay and cancellation coverage, and more. Companies also receive points for offering a variety of policy add-ons like accidental death and dismemberment, extreme sports, valuable items, cancel for any reason coverage and more.
  • Coverage times and amounts (34%): We compare each company’s waiting periods and maximum reimbursement amounts for baggage, travel and weather delays. Companies that offer customers reimbursement after fewer than 12 hours of delays earn full points in this category. We also reward travel insurance providers that cover more than 100% of trip costs in the event of cancellations or interruptions.
  • Company service and reviews (17%): We look for indicators that a company is well-prepared to respond to customer needs. Companies with an established global resource network, 24/7 emergency hotline, mobile app, multiple ways to file a claim and concierge services score higher in this category. We assess reputation by evaluating consumer reviews, third-party financial strength and customer experience ratings, specifically from AM Best and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Tori Addison is an editor with over five years of experience in the digital marketing industry. Her includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.

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11 Best Tour Operators for Planning a Family Vacation

Looking for a way to make family vacation planning faster, easier, and dare we say it, hassle free? Then what you need are these family-friendly tour operators. These travel planning companies specialize in curated itineraries that travelers can simply step in to as easily as a favorite pair of travel pants. It’s one-stop shopping for vacations with everything from hotels to sightseeing preplanned, and unlike a travel agent, you’ll be able to choose from established journeys instead of having to make dozens of decisions. If your family loves to meet new people, choose a group itinerary; if you’d prefer to circle up with your fam and not make small talk, then focus on a company that offers individual itineraries. Best of all, these travel planning companies all focus on being kid-friendly and ensuring that you’re making memories instead of worrying about travel details. Read on for the best tour operators for families.

Adventures by Disney

When it comes to family-friendly entertainment, it’s hard to beat Disney, and the company’s trip planning arm excels equally excels at creating adventures for families that span the globe and take all the guesswork out of traveling with kids. What you’re getting isn’t a tour bus driven by Mickey Mouse, but a focus instead on attention to detail, luxurious accommodations, and VIP treatment and surprises that you can’t get on your own, like a private tour of the Sistine Chapel in Rome on their popular Viva Italia tour. And Disney’s guides are the top echelon of the industry (they only hire about 3% of applicants who come from an international pool of 1,500 candidates every year). Select from 35 amazing itineraries across six continents including favorites like Yellowstone National Park, London and Paris, Japan, South Africa, Galapagos, and their newest addition, Egypt; they even offer luxe river cruises on the Danube, Rhine, and Seine. You’ll pay a premium, but tours start the second you step off the plane and continue until you’re safely delivered on your way back home, and include everything from tips to the bellman to gelato on walking tours to commemorative pins presented every day of your trip.

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Perfect for families looking for a stress-free and affordable getaway, Trafalgar’s guided vacations make it easy to travel the world with kids in tow with more than 100 itineraries to choose from throughout 44 countries. For example, adventurous families can head to one of the most biodiverse destinations on the planet on Trafalgar’s Monkeys, Jungles & Volcanoes itinerary in Costa Rica to spot colorful toucans and adorable sloths in the lush canopy of the rainforests. For a historic vacation, parents can take a step back in time with their kids on the Wild West Cowboys and Buffalos itinerary that includes the Oregon Trail, Yellowstone National Park, and Mount Rushmore. All Trafalgar itineraries include expert guides, accommodations, transportation and multiple meals and also include authentic “Be My Guest” experiences with locals.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid offers a full range of experiences for families in their  Family Holidays  line, which are specifically designed to make adventure travel accessible for children by authentically introducing them to different cultures. Itineraries for these trips are appropriate for ages 5 and up (one of the youngest minimums for group trips) and include kid-friendly accommodations and activities lots of opportunities for kids to make friends with their fellow travelers, or even with local kids they meet along the way. One thing we especially love, special itineraries just for solo parents or for those traveling with teens (a rarity), including two great trips: Egypt for Solo Parents and a Turkey Family Holiday with Teenagers.

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Courtesy of Thomson Family Adventures

Thomson Family Adventures

With 90 itineraries around the globe, Thomson excels at offering something for everyone in their wide range of family-focused group adventures. Some top trip picks include: an outdoor adventure to Iceland where families can ride Icelandic horses; a Vietnam culinary immersion including a Vespa street food tour of Ho Chi Minh City and visits to organic farms along the Mekong Delta; a safari in Tanzania; and a Southern Italy sojourn that includes island hopping in the Aeolian Islands and a hike on Mt. Etna.

Big Five Tours & Expeditions

This tour operator , which started in Kenya as a safari specialist more than 40 years ago, now offers customized, luxury adventure travel to more than 45 destinations worldwide. To appeal to families, they created a “Kids Kouncil” consists of children ages 6 to 15 to help them create family travel itineraries that are especially appealing to kids. The result? The company’s first Kids Kouncil-approved tour launched in February 2019, a journey to India that includes experiences ranging from exploring the natural habitat of tigers in Panna National Park, to visiting the one-of-a-kind Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, to a fun and thrilling family Segway tour through New Delhi. Up next: Japan and Peru.

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Courtesy of Melissa Klurman

Brendan Vacations

Brendan is a regional specialist with a focus solely on Ireland and Scotland; if you’re looking to discover your family roots on the Emerald Isle or explore the green hills of these two family-friendly islands, this is your perfect option. Plus, Brendan offers a unique personalized touring option: Private chauffer tours where a personal driver whisks your family around the Irish countryside on a personalized itinerary that includes everything from a lesson in hurling in Kilkenny to kayaking in the Dingle Bay. Plus you can sleep in a real castle and make chocolate with a master confectioner, all without having to navigate the roads or make a hotel or dinner reservation on your own; a true treasure at the end of your vacation rainbow.

Niquesa Travel

For ultra-high end luxury trips with completely unique itineraries, consider this London-based boutique company that focuses on experiential travel with custom trips in far-flung corners of the globe. We appreciate Niquesa’s mix of whimsy and adventure that make these private journeys as much fun for adults as they are for kids. Two that stand out are “X Marks the Spot,” an island-hopping Caribbean escape that includes stops in glamorous Mustique and comes Canouan complete with a fun-filled family treasure hunt sailing around the Tobago Cays. And the “X Box Detox,” perfect for teens, a creative film-making adventure to Kenya to explore the Maasai Mara on a safari that even includes a helicopter flight to track elephants with the Mara Elephant Project.

Tauck is known not only for its international group itineraries, but also for its special focus on multigenerational family travel, with nearly a third of guests on its Bridges itineraries comprised of grandparents and grandchildren traveling together, or “skip-generation” travel. The Bridges itineraries, designed specifically for families, explore destinations around the globe ranging from European odysseys to African safaris, expeditions in Latin America to adventures in North America’s national parks. Tauck also offers family river cruises that includes a Family Host aboard every ship to facilitate special activities. Tauck also created a “Just For Kids” Bridges brochure to help get kids involved in the vacation planning process.

family holiday travel inc

Abercrombie & Kent

Although all of the tour operators on our list offer immersive trips in global locales, A&K focuses on some of the most adventurous options, while also focusing on luxury and comfort. For anyone who’s tried to plan an exotic or remote vacation, you know how overwhelming the planning process may seem, which is why we especially like A&K’s   Luxury Family Journeys . Itineraries explore destinations ranging from Egypt to the Galápagos Islands, making sure your kids are unplugged and immersing themselves in one-of-a-kind destinations. The one trip we think might take the cake for memorable family adventures: An expedition to Antarctica, which the company promises will be a family fun voyage to the sprawling white continent thanks to its special expedition team and special family programming that includes workshops and special excursions to see penguins, seals, and whales.

Butterfield & Robison

These immersive luxury international trips offer small group departures that focus on specific age ranges, which is especially helpful for getting kids to bond with other kids on their vacation. A few highlights of their group departures include a December adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia for ages 12 and up that delves into the lush Vietnamese countryside and visits Cambodia’s most famous temple, Angkor Wat, and June departures for Puglia, Italy’s most bambini-friendly region, where kids 8 and up can snorkel in the Adriatic, get a first-hand archery lesson, and learn how to make pasta by hand. There are also private family trip options including a far-flung family safari to Botswana and a kayaking trip in New Zealand as well as easier to reach options, like biking in Quebec City or visiting the national parks in Utah.

family holiday travel inc

Courtesy of Pelorus

There’s a special personal touch to every Pelorus tailored luxury journey . Before you commit to one of their itineraries, a representative will even set up a Skype call or meet face-to-face with all clients first to make sure every destination, activity, hotel, and stop is tailored to ALL ages and interests for every member of your family. They frequently set up totally different activities for different family members so that everyone on the trip is getting to do what most interests them. One particularly unique experience: Allowing travelers to safely climb the Redwoods in California and sleep in the canopies overnight (while also taking tree samples to help scientists on the ground). They’ve also arranged for a child to get PADI certified prior to a big diving trip—that’s right, before the journey began—so that the whole family could dive together.

By Melissa Klurman

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Yantar Hotel

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YANTAR HOTEL - Reviews, Photos (Elektrostal, Russia) - Tripadvisor


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    Family Holiday Travel Inc. Trade Name: Family Holiday Travel Inc. Supervisor/Manager: Xiao Yi Xu -- President / Manager. Address: 193-1571 Sandhurst Cir Scarborough, ON M1V 1V2 CANADA. Work Phone: (416) 800-7132. Registered Since: 08-16-2019. Active To: 09-30-2024. Website:

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    Noginsk. 25.1 miles to Zhukovsky International Airport. 2.2 miles to Noginsk Museum and Exhibition Center. The Apelsin Hotel in Elektrostal near Moscow is a relatively new Hotel (opend in 2013) Due to the stay from winter to summer i can claim that the rooms are nicely warm in winter and with own (quite) AC are...


    The Apelsin Hotel in Elektrostal near Moscow is a relatively new Hotel (opend in 2013) Due to the stay from winter to summer i can claim that the rooms are nicely warm in winter and with own (quite) AC are... Good hotel overall. Pleasant staff. But there is no desk in standard rooms.