When you have school-aged children, family holidays need to be planned around the academic calendar. We hope we can save you some of the endless research with this list of our top destinations to visit over each of this year’s school breaks.
If you already know which holiday period you want to be travelling in, click ahead to that section:
Flight time: London to Reykjavik in 3h30m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. The air, even in the urban centre of Reykjavik, is remarkably pure and unpolluted. It’s an incredibly healthy environment for your kids to explore and play in.
If you’re going to have to trudge through the last month of deep winter, why not do it somewhere with with vast starry skies and the chance to see the Northern Lights? EasyJet and Wow Air run affordable flights between London and Reykjavik. You can land in winter wonderland with your family in a little over three hours, hence making Iceland the perfect choice for a long weekend over the Spring half-term.
Flight time: London to Havana in 10h10m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? Cuba is a wonderful spot for a family holiday because it offers something for everyone. There are beautiful tropical beaches with well run resorts for families with young children. For teenagers and parents, it’s the chance of a lifetime to experience a culture and society completely unique in the modern day.
As of 2019, Cuba is slowly changing, with global commercialism slowly returning to its sleepy streets. There is much that hasn’t changed, however. Decades of being relatively isolated from the rest of the world means there is a strong sense of community among Cubans. In the back of a vintage Cadillac, explore the streets of Havana. Explore the colourful colonial spectacle of Trinidad on foot. In Cayo Santa Maria, you can enjoy the perfect Caribbean beach side day. All in all, visit Cuba with your family before it completely transforms again, wiping out traces of its recent history.
Flight time: London to Buenos Aires in 14 hours, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? With Norwegian Air’s new low-cost direct route to Buenos Aires, holidays in Argentina are easier than ever. April in this part of the world signals autumn. It is the perfect weather for exploring the great outdoors. For young kids, there are beaches along the length of the Atlantic coast. On the other hand, Buenos Aires is bursting with museums and beautiful streets for older families to explore.
The national parks of Argentina, like Iguazú and Península Valdés, offer something for everyone in the family. For instance, kids will love the easy hikes and horse riding tracks. There is also an incredible diversity of wildlife: seals, penguins, whales and more.
Flight time: London to Hanoi in 11h20m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? For your kids, Vietnam can be a fascinating and colourful window into a world completely unlike their own. It boasts complex ancient and modern history while its landscapes include fantastical mountains, rivers and valleys. As a result, a holiday in Vietnam can prove a great education for your children while also being a fun adventure!
Two favourites of families visiting Vietnam are Sapa and Hue. In Sapa, you can stay with a local family and spend a few days taking in the cool, green environs of then northern mountains and maybe going on a trek or two. Hue is an ornate imperial city that sits on the lazily flowing Perfume River. Here you can spend a day exploring the citadel walls or you could take a dragon boat down the river. In short, your family is bound to love a holiday in Vietnam.
Flight time: London to Marrakesh in 3h30m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? The expanse of the Sahara Desert and the snowy peaks of the Atlas mountains are sure to hold an irresistible allure for your children. Moroccans are family-oriented people and will be extra nice to families with young children. Additionally, the weather in May ranges from a low of 15 °C to highs of 29 °C, which mean you don’t have to bother too much with carrying multiple layers.
If you’re a family that’s up for some adventure, Morocco offers up a plethora of possibilities. Camel rides, quad-biking and camping under the stars in the Sahara. Surfing and other beach sports in Essaouira. Of course, cities like Marrakesh and Fez offer endless hidden squares and alleys for exploration. Your children will likely want to try every activity on offer but we advise contacting our local agency to tailor the tour according to your family’s special requirements.
Flight time: London to Dubrovnik in 2h 50m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? Croatia is a Mediterranean paradise for families with children of any age. Plus, the shoulder season of May offers the entire range of summer activities, minus the typical summer tourist hordes.
Young kids will love splashing about in the idyllic beaches of Dubrovnik, Vis, or the Dalmatian Coast. Older teens would be thrilled to know that Dubrovnik is one of the major shooting locations for Game of Thrones. There are also any number of adventure activities your family can try, from hiking in Plitvice to snorkelling and sea kayaking off the Paklinski islands. Finally, for those interested in history and architecture, Dubrovnik is an intriguing fusion of multiple cultures and it is a delight to tour.
Flight time: London to Tokyo in 12h40m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? Japan, especially for families with young children, is a land straight out of a fairy tale. While everyday life here is drastically different from the Western everyday, it is also as clean and safe as any developed European country, if not more so.
If the biggest challenge of travelling with young children is fighting boredom, then consider your problem solved! Your kids will be too busy gaping at all the incredible sights and revelling in all the new experiences. Tokyo is a playground for all ages: from gawking at the street fashion of Harajuku, to interacting with the exhibits at the Studio Ghibli museum, to picnicking in scenic gardens like Kiyosumi garden. Then, you can take a Shinkansen (a high-speed bullet train) out to any of Japan’s diverse regions. You can go up north to Hokkaido, with its cooler climate and countryside festivals, or head all the way South to the sub-tropical Okinawa. The best way to plan a trip around the mind-boggling variety Japan offers is to contact one of our local experts.
Flight time: London to Bogota in 11h10m, on a nonstop flight
Is it family-friendly? Colombia is a land reformed. While some social issues still persist, Colombia is safe for family travel and in fact, has seen a year-on-year rise in families visiting from the U.K.
Cartagena is undoubtedly the jewel of the Caribbean, with rich history, beautiful colonial architecture and tropical beaches. In Bogota, you can explore its artistic and hip streets and check out any of its insightful museums. Be careful though, you might experience altitude sickness in Bogota and need to let your body acclimatise gradually. Tayrona National Park is a paradise of jungles and beaches. Stay in an eco-lodge and make the best of beach and wildlife. To better understand the diversity on offer in Colombia, get in touch with our local agents.
Flight time: London to Bangkok in 11h30m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? Thailand is the perfect budget-friendly tropical island destination for a young family. Accommodation is great value for money so that means you can spend more on fun activities and experiences.
The end of October signals the beginning of the cool season in Thailand. This means you can do a lot of outdoor activities without contending with the scorching heat of the summers. Thailand offers an excellent array of seaside activities, from guided snorkelling and canoeing tours in Phuket to an astonishingly diverse aquarium in Bangkok. If your family wants to learn more about Thailand’s culture and history, there are a lot of impressive sites to see. Chiang Mai is a favourite, with over three hundred temples built in the Lan Na architectural style. Then, there are also Ayutthaya, Wat Mahathat, and Sukhothai, part of the ancient Siam kingdom. Plan a trip according to your tastes with the help of our local agent in Thailand.
Flight time: London to Cape Town in 12 hours, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? When guided by a local expert, a holiday in South Africa is perfectly safe and friendly for a family with children.
If your kids are budding wildlife enthusiasts, visiting South Africa will be like seeing their story books come to life. Of course, there is the popular Kruger National Park, where it is possible to see the famous Big Five animals. But it’s not just that, there’s Boulder’s Beach with African penguins and freely roaming elephant herds in Addo Elephant National Park. There a host of other natural attractions, private game reserves, and parks you can visit, according to your family’s interests.
Flight time: London to Colombo in 10h30m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? Sri Lanka is a safe family destination, with a warm welcoming culture that loves children. It is perfect for an active family, with endless outdoor activities.
Sri Lanka is the ideal location to catch some winter sun. A popular activity is to go on a safari: Yala National Park has the world’s largest population of leopards and you can try to spot a blue whale on a whale-watching tour from Mirissa or Kalpitiya. Additionally, high adrenaline activities include everything from surfing and snorkelling to white water rafting and canyoning. If you want to dig into its culture and history, Sri Lanka has tea plantations, colonial cities, archaeological ruins, Buddhist temples and stupas and so much more!
Flight time: London to Moscow in 3h40m, on a non-stop flight
Is it family-friendly? If your family has a spirit for adventure, Russia offers the perfect winter wonderland to explore.
Russia is the largest country in the world: with vast and varied natural splendour as you drive west to east, rich culture and architecture, shifting political traditions, and one of the most distinguished literary traditions in the world, Russia will be an education for your children. Whether you want to take the Trans-Siberian Railway across the breadth of Russia or spend your time exploring the heritage of the cities on the Golden Circle (which starts in Moscow and ends in St. Petersburg) our local agencies will help build the right itinerary for you.
Looking for more inspiration and resources while planning your family holiday this year? Visit the Evaneos website to learn about the other destinations we create tailor-made tours for and browse the best of our family holiday tours.