Family holidays 2013
As easy as loading the car
The main reason that most family holidays were taken in the UK until a couple of decades ago wasn’t just the cost, but how to transport a bundle of excited kids and all their paraphernalia a couple of thousand miles to the sunshine. The explosion of low-cost airlines opened up a tremendous choice of family orientated destinations; small local airports and short transfers to the resorts made a family holiday abroad as easy as loading a car and travelling a couple of hundred miles to the seaside. Almost guaranteed sunshine in many parts of Europe coupled with relatively short flying times were just too tempting, and the sunny all-year-round climate in destinations such as the Canary Islands made winter family holidays extremely popular.
The ever popular beach
Beach resorts have always been the mainstay of the family holiday market, and the proliferation of EU Blue flags guarantees very high standards of cleanliness and safety, (many family beaches have professional beach lifeguards). Most resorts that specialise in family breaks will have wide beaches with gently shelving sand and safe shallow water, perfect for children and inexperienced swimmers. And there will usually be a lot more than sand on offer to keep everyone happy; water sports, excursions and boat trips, water parks and aquatic zoos will keep kids of all ages happy when they’ve got fed up of building castles or burying dad in the sand.
Many of the more popular family orientated hotels and resorts are specifically designed so that everyone has a great time. Child care facilities such as kids clubs, play grounds and child-sized swimming pools are often overseen by professional staff or entertainers, and combine fun for the youngsters with a relaxing break for the parents. Leaving the children to play organised games or with a ski school is a great way of guaranteeing stress-free family holidays.
Holidays with small children are relatively straightforward but older children and teenagers may need more entertainment and you could find your beach resort has organised entertainment and activities specifically for older children and teenagers. While family holidays tend to revolve around the beach, remember that many beach resorts are surrounded by beautiful countryside and national parks, with plenty of opportunities for healthy activities like horse riding, canoeing, nature safaris, cycling and walking.
It’s your holiday as well
The beach is always popular, but don’t forget to look at other options that can provide happy holiday experiences. Children love farm holidays, where they get to look after the animals and be part of country life, or you could find that your family feels happier staying at a small country hotel and enjoying a series of days out to zoos, adventure playgrounds and theme parks, or simply riding their bikes around country lanes. Or you may prefer the simplicity of a family getaway in a self catering villa with your own private swimming pool. Finding a balance between relaxation and things to do is the secret of good family holidays, because don’t forget, it’s your holiday as well.
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