If you’re filled with dread when the school holidays roll around, it could be worth planning a holiday. Keeping young children entertained can be an uphill struggle, and you may find a week of playdates, soft-play-hell and cinema trips takes its toll on your bank balance and your sanity. Instead, you could spend it on a trip away; booking last-minute package holidays can save you money, and a family break could be a lot cheaper than you think. Here are some great ideas if you’re after a dose of February fun.
Life’s a beach
Let’s face it, a beach can present endless options for young children. For a simple and affordable break, short haul-options such as Cyprus can offer up child-friendly resorts, a dash of sightseeing and hours of sandcastle-building fun. February temperatures won’t be scorchingly hot, but you can expect mild, pleasant days with highs of 20°C. If you want guaranteed heat and sunshine, however, the Canary Islands offer plenty of choice for families with attractions such as Siam Park in Tenerife open through the year.
While the thought of a long-haul destination may not be instantly appealing to families, it can offer a variety of benefits. Sometimes young babies sleep for long periods, so if you can sync their nap with your flight, it might be less hassle than you think. Conversely, while toddlers and young children may struggle with long flights, kids aged eight and over may find enough to keep them busy with in-flight entertainment and some screen time. Islands such as St Lucia offer all-inclusive hotels packed with family-friendly options as well as a host of day-trip options including zip-lining or a trip to Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. Many hotels have supervised kids’ clubs so you can enjoy some quality time to hit the onsite spa or a la carte restaurants without the tots in tow.
Skiing can be a magical family-holiday option if you choose the right resort. Going at half-term needn’t be too expensive, either, with many free or reduced child places available. Not only that, but self-catering chalets can help you save money on pricey meals out. Some hotels across France and Italy also offer affordable childcare options, so you can enjoy some child-free time. Meribel, in the heart of the French Alps, is a popular choice with varied runs, themed ski areas and Parc Olympique which has a host of indoor activities including swimming, ice skating and bowling. If it’s your first time skiing it could be worth hiring rather than buying ski equipment, you can find some competitive rates if you shop around.
If you don’t fancy the idea of chilling on a sunbed, then an activity break could fit the bill. Older kids, tweens and teens could find lots to make them smile in Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera with resorts such as of Marsa Alam and Sharm El Sheikh offer endless possibilities for underwater exploration. This is a great place to learn to dive or snorkel with the pristine coral reefs and abundant marine life. There are numerous PADI-certified schools and teachers offering classes for both newbies and experienced divers. Those who prefer to stay closer to home will find Croatia packed with options for active families including cycling holidays, rafting and canyoning opportunities.
If you prefer to avoid flights altogether, a staycation in the UK can offer a wealth of sightseeing opportunities – just pack up the car and go! Destinations such as Devon offer a host of sightseeing possibilities with Dartmoor’s various hills and tors providing exciting climbing opportunities. There are also beautiful natural attractions such as Becky Falls, which reopens after its winter break on 15 February 2020.
Family holidays can offer busy working parents the chance to reconnect and spend quality time together. If you’re willing to be flexible, you’ll be able to bag a last-minute bargain. And by doing so, you’re likely to avoid those dreaded words ‘I’m bored’ when February half-term arrives!
Have you already booked your family holidays for February or the summer?
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