Are you a parent with school-age children and you all love going on holiday?
Hi, my name is Claire Green and together with my husband Christian, we own an independent travel agency called Thames Travel & we have both worked in travel for nearly 20 years. We have two young children aged 10 and 7 and because we’ve holidayed far and wide with them over the past 10 years, we’ve become experts in family travel!
With so many amazing hotels, destinations and experiences, in many incredible places around the world, it can be quite daunting choosing the right one for you and your family. So, I’m really pleased to share our guide of Where To Go When at those all-important term time breaks and also a little insight into the holidays that have worked for us, in the hope of offering you some holiday inspiration…
Feb Half Term:
If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the ideal time to go skiing. You don’t have to go too far either, as the likes of France & Italy offer a wide range of resorts for varying abilities. We can recommend resorts that have the best ski schools for children as young as 3 years old and accommodation choices include chalets, apartments, hotels and even the all-inclusive resorts with the likes of Club Med and Mark Warner.
However, if it’s sunshine you’re after, then The Canary Islands are warm year-round with excellent accommodation, plus South Africa, The Maldives & The Caribbean are also warm and inviting during the month of Feb!
Again, skiing is great at this time of year! We went to Tignes with Club Med last Easter and we all loved it! Our children were 6 & 8yrs at the time and we felt it was the perfect age, as they quickly gained confidence and were off up the mountain by day 2! I’d like to reassure you that there is still plenty of snow at this time of year and the temperature is so much warmer too – be careful not to get ‘Panda Eyes’ from your goggles!
Other top suggestions for an Easter getaway include places such as Dubai & Abu Dhabi, plus Thailand & Vietnam, Florida and The Caribbean. At Easter, it’s great to be able to take up to 2 weeks and so we highly recommend getting further afield.
May Half Term:
Our top destinations for families at this time include Lanzarote, Tenerife, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Dubai and Oman. They each offer warm temperatures, a focus on being family-friendly and they’re great value too. I can help you with a simple apartment in Greece, or a beachfront hotel in Lanzarote with a kids club, to an All-Inclusive luxury hotel in Dubai, there really is something for everyone and every budget as well.
In May last year, we went to Turkey for the first time and stayed at Gloria Verde near Antalya. This All-Inclusive hotel was right on the beach, with spacious family rooms, excellent dining, plus brilliant childcare and evening entertainment. Another highlight was the hotel’s waterslides, which we initially weren’t too sure about, but it turned out that we loved going on them just as much as the kids!
We all know that July & August are the peak months for family travel, and you’d be right in thinking that of course we recommend European destinations including Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Italy, Greece, Portugal & Spain. But you might also be interested in knowing our ‘Wild Card’ suggestions, as there are some seriously great places that offer exceptional value during our summer months.
Did you know that The Seychelles & Mauritius are perfect for families at this time? The weather is in the mid 20’s, there’s a wide range of hotels from 3-5 star, the staff are amazing with children and the time difference is just 2 hours. Okay, so the flight is a whopping 12 hours, but you can take a night flight both ways to maximise your time in resort and reduce the impact of jet-lag and the best bit is the price! Mauritius offers 5-star hotels with 4-star prices! We stayed at a lovely Beachcomber hotel a few years ago, the kids loved the glass-bottom boat tour and we loved tennis, golf and water-skiing!
October Half Term:
We find that this is a very popular time for a break with the family. The kids are just back to school and a dose of winter sun is well needed! The Canary Islands feature here too as again the islands offer gorgeous year-round sunshine. We also recommend Asia & Abu Dhabi with guaranteed sunshine and even Cyprus. But a special recommendation for a quick trip at this time of year would be to hop on the Eurostar over to Disneyland Paris. There are some fabulous Halloween parades and as the evenings get darker earlier you can enjoy the fireworks without it getting too late for little ones.
Quite rightly, most of us would like some heat at Christmas time and so a great recommendation is The Caribbean. I personally know many of the hotels across lots of the islands as I spent 10 years working for a number of boutique Caribbean hotels. Barbados, Antigua & St Lucia all have fantastic family-friendly hotels, with gorgeous white sand beaches, great kids-clubs, superb dining and that infectious west-indian charm! Other popular destinations include Australia & New Zealand, Malaysia, The Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Lastly, don’t forget about a Santa Break in December too! You can of course go all out and be immersed in everything Father Christmas and watch the joy on your little ones faces as they make cookies with Mrs Christmas and receive a personal gift. Or you can have a short afternoon visit to the big man and then spend the rest of your time snowmobiling in search of the Northern Lights, taking a Huskie Ride, tobogganing down snowy slopes & taking a Reindeer sleigh ride! I have been to Lapland and personally tried all of these awesome activities and would highly recommend adding it your bucket list!
Our absolute Top Tip for any holiday is to BOOK EARLY! Flights come out 11 months before departure so that’s when there is the best availability and most competitive prices.
Claire, Christian & their small team offer a very personal service in arranging holidays worldwide. Being an independent travel agent, Claire has the freedom to work with all the leading UK Tour Operators, meaning you pay not a penny more by booking your holiday at Thames Travel and instead gain expert knowledge, world-wide experience and financial security.
To find out more about Thames Travel you can visit:
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