Arranging a family holiday can be a tricky affair. Especially with children of different ages, when it can be hard to find a holiday that suits everyone’s needs. People tend to go for classic destinations, such as France or Spain, for the guaranteed sunshine and all-inclusive resorts. But if you’re looking for somewhere a little different or further afield, it can be hard to know where to go.
So if you’ve been trawling the internet trying to find a destination that’ll be a hit with your family – look no further. Here’s our pick of the best family holiday destinations.
Whether your kids are still in primary school or in their teens, Africa’s iconic wildlife won’t fail to amaze. And Kenya boasts one of the best safari destinations on the continent. The Masai Mara is a vast, protected area consisting of rolling grasslands and lone acacia trees. Home to the famous Big Five – rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard – the Masai Mara offers excellent game viewing year-round.
Other popular species include giraffe, antelope, zebra and hyena, with the annual migration of the wildebeests taking place every September and October. Nothing compares to seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. And a holiday to Kenya would not only be an exciting safari adventure, but a chance for your kids to learn about these wonderful creatures and why their conservation is so important.
It’s also key to note that there is a risk of malaria in Kenya. So before you travel, be sure to check with your doctor to see what antimalarial medication your family will need.
They’ll have learnt about it in class, but you can’t beat seeing Egypt’s ancient wonders in real life. Close to Cairo is the Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Giza – one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. And at the Egyptian Museum, the entire family can marvel at mummies, grave goods and the golden treasures of King Tutankhamen.
Besides discovering the mysteries of the Land of the Pharaohs, there’s plenty of other options to relax and enjoy some quality time together. Soak up the sun on a leisurely cruise down the River Nile or unwind with a book whilst the kids play in the hotel pool. A camel ride is also guaranteed to bring plenty of smiles.
An adventure for the young and old, China offers a wealth of attractions worth the long flight. You can walk a section of the legendary Great Wall, which spans over 6,000 kilometres across the country. Or marvel at the famous terracotta army in Xi’an, and the unique facial expressions of each warrior. China’s national animal, the lovable Giant Panda, is also guaranteed to be a hit with the kids.
Besides its world-famous sights, China’s cities are well-worth exploring. Dominating the centre of Beijing is the Forbidden City, which, as the world’s largest palace complex, contains more than 8,700 rooms.
The glimmering metropolis of Shanghai stands in stark contrast to the surrounding traditional villages and will wow you all with its soaring skyscrapers. The city is also home to Shanghai Disneyland, making a great alternative to the classic Disneyland holidays in Paris or Florida. And with the largest Disney castle in the world, Shanghai’s resort certainly won’t disappoint.
For a holiday the younger kids are truly going to love, there’s nowhere better than Finland at Christmas time. Head over to the capital of Finish Lapland, Rovaniemi, and just wait for the excitement when you tell them that this is the home of Santa Claus. You’ll be able to experience crossing the Article Circle as you go to meet the man himself and his team of cheery elves.
But that’s not all Finland has to offer. Other activities include riding a husky or reindeer sleigh through the magical frozen landscape. And if you head out in search of the Northern Lights, the whole family will be spellbound by the array of colours filling the arctic sky.
If you’re looking for a holiday that’s out of the ordinary, why not take your family to Borneo? The country is home to some of the world’s oldest rainforest, offering the chance for a remote jungle experience. You can walk above these ancient trees on the Poring treetop canopy walkway or cruise along the Kinabatangan River in search of wildlife.
Endemic species include the Pygmy Elephant and long nosed Proboscis Monkey. But one of Borneo’s best known, and most endangered, species is the orangutan. A day trip to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is your family’s best bet to see these incredible great apes. Your kids can marvel at both cute furry babies and the adult orangutans that reside here until they can be released into the wild.
Camping in the Sahara Desert of Morocco is an overnight stay like no other. From Merzouga, you and your family can ride on camels to the huge sand dunes of Erg Chebbi and a remote Berber camp. Here you’ll all enjoy local food and music whilst watching the spectacular sunset, then lie back for a night under the glittering Saharan stars.
From the desert, your Moroccan adventure could take you to the Atlantic coast beaches or the High Atlas Mountains. With so much to choose from, you’re sure to find something to suit everybody. The bustling souks of Marrakech and ancient medina of Essaouira make for great cultural experiences. And teens will be thrilled to learn that the UNESCO-listed city of Ait Benhaddou was the filming location for many famous movies and TV series including Gladiator and Game of Thrones.
If you want a trip that’s packed with culture, then India is the destination for your family. Explore the bustling capital of Delhi and world famous Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan to house his beloved wife’s tomb, this is one of the most extravagant monuments ever built out of love. Combined with the Pink City of Jaipur, delicious cuisine and diverse landscapes, India’s Golden Triangle provides some very special memories.
Heading away from the cities, your holiday could take you to India’s national parks. Pench National Park is the real life setting of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ and one of country’s premier tiger reserves. It also boasts a wealth of other flora and fauna only found on the Indian subcontinent.
Touring India is a unique holiday experience and one better suited to families with teenagers. The commotion of India’s streets can be overwhelming and hazardous for smaller children. But the country makes for an excellent holiday destination once they are old enough to fully enjoy it.
Offering a great combination of adventure and relaxation, Vietnam is the perfect family holiday destination in Southeast Asia. Take a cyclo tour of the bustling cities of Hanoi and Saigon. Or, for a taste of rural life, cycle to the Tra Que Village and discover the traditional farming practices of the locals.
No trip to Vietnam would be complete without a visit to the natural wonder that is Halong Bay. Best experienced aboard a traditional junk boat, this stunning landscape consists of some 2,000 karst islands surrounded by emerald-coloured waters.
When you’re done sightseeing, Vietnam’s stunning beaches offer ample opportunities for you all to relax and soak up the sun. Kids can play in the endless white sands or snorkel in the pristine blue waters. And in the evening, either enjoy delicious Vietnamese cuisine at a restaurant or try making it yourselves at a local cooking school.
Take your teens to Thailand and watch them marvel at all this beguiling country has to offer. Starting in Bangkok, you can explore with an exhilarating tuk tuk ride or board a longtail boat to discover the labyrinth of canals that crisscross this bustling city.
Heading to Thailand’s former capital, Ayutthaya, you’ll find yourselves admiring ancient ruins and temples, with the nearby Erawan National Park containing stunning waterfalls, jungle and nature trails. Close to Chiang Mai, you can also visit the Baan Tong Luang Hill Tribes village, where you’ll be able to learn about the lifestyle and customs of four Thai hill tribes.
One of Thailand’s most unusual buildings is the Wat Rong Khun or White Temple. Once inside, icons from modern culture, such as superman, spaceships and Neo from the Matrix, reveal the Buddha’s teachings and stories about his life – creating a unique experience that’s sure to entertain the whole family.
Want to take your family to one of these destinations? Check out our range of family tours.