Family holidays are an opportunity to break the routine and spend quality time together. It’s a chance to create happy, lasting memories before your kids get older and decide friends are more fun to holiday with. With the restraints of being tied to school holidays, it’s a good idea to do your research to find the best deals.
We’ve put together a few ideas for family holidays that won’t break the bank.
Exploring Zante, Greece
If you are a family of 5 or more, villas are a great idea. Sleeping arrangements are more flexible and you are not bound to the set mealtimes you grapple with at hotels. Opt for a villa with a pool, all that swimming and splashing will burn the kids’ energy. And what better place to rent a villa, than the Greek island of Zante (Zakynthos). There is plenty to do, with sandy beaches, fishing harbours, traditional villages and old monasteries to visit. Greeks are famed for their hospitality, and it’s not unusual for neighbours to bring gifts of home-grown or freshly baked produce to your villa. Many restaurants also offer free children’s meals. May and October half terms are good times to visit, when the heat is more comfortable for children.
We love: Tsilivi. Children are welcomed, the beach is safe, it has a small water park and you can rent a car to explore the rest of the island.
Fun in the Black Forest
This might not be the first destination that springs to mind for a family holiday, but with its wonderful scenery and delicious food, it’s certainly worth a visit. Farms offer reasonably priced accommodation and double up as pop up restaurants, perfect for families. You can relax in the beautiful surroundings, or get active. There are lakes to swim in and vast forests to explore. Freiburg, Germany is also home to Europa-Park, Germany’s biggest theme park with over 100 attractions and shows to keep the whole family entertained.
We love: Freiburg. Nestled among the mountains in the Black Forest, this destination is ideal for both busy families or those that want to relax and be at one with nature.
Camping in France
If there is one place in the world that’s geared up for camping with kids, it’s France. Gone are the days of canvas tents; holidaymakers can now choose from Gypsy caravans, safari tents, log cabins or even tree houses. Most French campsites (holiday parcs) have swimming pools and there’s lots to do onsite to keep the kids busy. Facilities vary between parcs, but you will often find crazy golf, trampolines, cycling, karting, archery and even boating lakes. To make more of your holiday and reduce travel time, opt to fly, then hire a car or use public transport to get to the campsite.
We love: The Vendee. This area has gorgeous beaches, lakes, meadows and woods. There is also the Puy du Fou theme park for a day out, or several chateaux to visit.
Beach holiday in Majorca
Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, is ideal for children. There are long, sandy beaches with calm, shallow water for younger children, and kiteboarding, sailing and other water sports for teenagers. Majorca has plenty of family-friendly hotels and villas to offer. The island has a definite child-friendly vibe. Another plus, Majorca is great for a holiday in the October half term when temperatures hover at around 20 degrees and the prices are lower than during the summer holidays.
We love: Alcúdia. A historic old town with a busy marina, and 5-mile beach which is very safe for children.
Get active in Bulgaria
Offering skiing in the winter and spring, Bulgaria is also great in the summer for mountain biking, hiking and horse riding. It boasts some amazing beaches too. For a budget family holiday, Bulgaria is a must. In recent years, skiing has become an affordable holiday for families. It’s one of the few sports you can do together for the rest of your lives. Apart from the health benefits, any active holiday in Bulgaria is great for kids that get bored easily. Book accommodation on the edge of the resort. It will mean a bit of a walk, drive or bus ride to the beach, mountains or slopes, but is also substantially cheaper. Self-catering will also save you money, but meals in restaurants are also much cheaper in Bulgaria than in the UK, so dining out is a viable option.
We love: Bansko. Less expensive than a ski or activity holiday in the Alps, Bansko is a stunning tree-lined resort, open from early December through to mid-April for skiing, and all year round for other activities.