It’s actually a scientifically proven fact that travel enhances brain development in children…
So whether you choose to chill out on the beach or explore hidden temples together, you can book your next trip smug with the knowledge that this vital bonding time away creates happier, healthier families. We can arrange everything from luxury beach hotels with kids clubs and free ice cream to intrepid family journeys across exotic far-flung continents— perfectly tailored to you.
There’s no need to feel daunted about long-haul travel either, no matter how young your brood is. We’ve got all the tips and tricks to make travelling with little ones easy, from choosing the most child-friendly airlines and hotels to arranging car seats, providing packing lists and choosing manageable activities which everyone will enjoy, no matter how young or old! We can’t fit all our ideas onto our website as no two family holidays are ever the same, but here’s some inspiration.
THE ULTIMATE FAMILY CULTURE TRIP: JORDAN
Only 5.5 hours from London, this safe Middle Eastern country tops our list of cultural holidays for families. Absolutely awash with Roman ruins and ancient Nabatean cities to explore, kids also love sliding down sand dunes, snorkelling with tropical fish in the Red Sea, hiking through stream-filled gorges, and hands-on cooking classes. The lovely city of Amman makes a great base to see Roman chariot races at the ancient city of Jerash. Kids who like to hike will love the amazing trail through the siq to Petra—those who don’t will enjoy the journey by donkey or camel instead! Staying overnight in a luxurious ‘bubble tent’ hosted by Beduin in Wadi Rum is great fun, and to round things off a relaxing stay either on the Red Sea or Dead Sea pleases everyone, with deluxe rooms, amazing swimming pools and even kids clubs.
Best for: Ages 4-16 (though we can make this work for toddlers too)
When to go: October to April so if you have school age children pick Oct or Feb half term, or Easter holidays
TW’s favourite Jordan hotels for families: Fairmont Amman, Kempinski Dead Sea, Movenpick Tala Bay
THE ULTIMATE FAMILY COMBO: HONG KONG AND BALI
This easy-going exploration works for families with children of any age, and the best part is that Bali is one of the few parts of S. E. Asia which is great to visit during the school summer holidays. Combining three nights in vibrant Hong Kong (including a day at Disneyland Hong Kong) with a two-centre stay in Bali, this holiday gives a lot of variety without too much moving around. There are some incredible family-friendly hotels in Bali —forget squeezing into a boxy hotel room, Bali is all about luxury villa resorts. We recommend combining easy-going Jimbaran or Nusa Dua beach with a retreat in the hills near Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital. Younger children will love the sand, the monkeys and the chocolate factory (yes, really!) whilst older kids can choose from surf lessons, rafting trips and cooking classes to fire their imaginations.
Best for: Kids of all ages, including babies
When to go: May to September for the best weather
TW’s recommended family hotels: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, The Villas at Ayana – Jimbaran, Ritz Carlton Mandapa – Ubud
THE ULTIMATE FAMILY ALL-ROUNDER: CAPE TOWN AND SAFARI
South Africa’s Cape is an ideal family destination: the flights are direct and there’s virtually no jet-lag, with only 1 hour time difference. Everybody loves Cape Town, it’s easy-going and beautiful, with so much to see and do, from taking the cable car up Table Mountain, to swimming with penguins at Boulders Beach. Older kids can try shark dives, horse-rides and canoeing trips. We recommend combining the city with the beautiful town of Franschhoek, famous for its food and wine (one for the parents!), or the coastal whale-mecca of Hermanus. The safari portion of this holiday can either be in the malaria –free Eastern Cape or in the leopard-rich Sabi Sand concession of Kruger National Park—we know exactly which safari lodges to recommend to suit children of any age.
Best for: Families with children of any age, including babies
When to go: October to April for the best Cape Weather, all year round for other parts of SA
TW’s favourite SA family hotels: More Quarters—Cape Town, The Thatch House—Hermanus, Shamwari—Eastern Cape
THE ULTIMATE FAMILY HALF TERM BREAK: DUBAI
Where’s hot when it’s cold in Europe, easily reached without a long-haul flight, has great beaches and some of the best family hotels in the world? The answer is always Dubai. Once a dusty backwater, Dubai is now one of the world’s most sophisticated cities, blessed with miles of pristine golden coastline and every amenity and activity a family could ever ask for. Direct flights get you there in 7 hours flat, and you are spoiled for choice when it comes to luxury family accommodation, with almost all beach hotels featuring a kids club—some even with their own water park! With average room sizes of 50sqm you can often fit two adults and two children into one room comfortably. But you can also go one better as there’s a plethora of luxury villa and apartment resorts, offering from one to four bedrooms so you can all spread out. With excellent dining, clean, shallow beaches, safe streets and world-class shopping, Dubai has it all.
Best for: Families of all ages and sizes
When to go: October to April
TW’s favourite Dubai family hotels: Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Sofitel The Palm, Anantara The Palm
THE ULTIMATE SHORT HAUL FAMILY BREAK: SANI RESORT, GREECE
Simply put, there is no better kids club in the whole of Europe than the one at Sani Resort near Halkidiki in Greece. Run by a UK company to OFSTED standards and taking babies from 4 months, the resort’s creche is the ultimate respite for frazzled parents. For older kids, the mini club is completely free from age 4, and the exciting activities on offer will have your kids begging to be allowed to go. There’s also swimming, tennis and watersports tuition available (even a football camp run by the Chelsea FC Football foundation). With luxe family accommodation including two bedroom suites, children’s menus at the restaurants and even a complimentary ’babe watch’ service to keep an eye on your little ones at the beach, this sophisticated, chic resort makes it so easy for families that nothing else quite compares ever again.
Best for: Families with babies and toddlers, families with school-aged children
When to go: May until September
Other short haul family beach hotels: Ritz-Carlton Abama (Tenerife), Martinhal (Portugal), Sun Gardens (Croatia)
We hope you’ve enjoyed browsing this small selection of our family holiday recommendations. There are too many incredible places, experiences and luxury hotels for us to detail them all here, but trust us when we say: whatever the ages of your kids, and whether it’s a quick beach break or a 12 month long family gap year, we do it. We have the expertise to hand-pick every hotel and experience to create an unforgettable, personalised family holiday of a lifetime. Top tip: we have family recommendations in almost all of our other holiday collections, so browse those too for further inspiration.