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FAMILY HOLIDAYS LONG-HAUL DESTINATIONS


A sunny summer holiday in the Med is all well and good, but for parents eager to mix things up with an adventure farther afield – whether exotic and culture-rich or fun-packed and family-focused – there are plenty of options. We’ve rounded up eight of


the best to inspire clients after a long-haul, hassle-free getaway that both kids and parents will remember for years to come.


1


COSTA RICA Monkeys swinging through the canopies, sloths lazing about in


the trees – Costa Rica is certainly wealthy in the wildlife stakes and families are flocking to see it first- hand. Cox & Kings has reported a 5% year-on-year increase in family bookings, while Jacada Travel says most of its 2018 bookings have been for family trips. “It’s easily accessible from the UK with direct British Airways flights from London to San José, and it offers a wide variety of activities, from ziplining through the rainforest in Manuel Antonio National Park to turtle spotting in Tortuguero,” says Colin Stewart, chairman of the Latin American Travel Association. Trafalgar’s Monkeys, Jungles &


Volcanoes tour is a good-value, family-oriented itinerary featuring the country’s highlights. For those with more time, Journey Latin America suggests heading south to Uvita and Dominical to tag on a whale-watching trip. Book it: Trafalgar’s seven- night tour starts at £1,495 for


adults and £1,337 for under-18s, including bed-and-breakfast accommodation, some meals, all transport, entrance fees and the services of a tour director. trafalgar.com


2 THE US


Not only does the US offer just about everything a family might


ask for – theme parks, beaches, landscapes and cities – but it’s relatively affordable, with the Post Office’s annual Best Bargains report recently naming Orlando as the best-value long- haul break in the world. Look to the latest additions


to help sell the Florida favourite to those who’ve been there, done that and got the ‘I heart Florida’ t-shirt: think Universal’s Volcano Bay, Lego Ninjago World at Legoland Florida Resort, and Walt Disney World Resort’s magical, bioluminescent land, Pandora – The World of Avatar. But don’t rule out the rest of


the country. With its extraordinary landscapes, the southwest is a dream for active kids and parents alike, and booking a group tour eases the strain of organising accommodation, activities and a complex itinerary. Tauck’s family-oriented Red


Rocks & Painted Canyons trip meanders through Utah, Nevada and Arizona with inclusions ranging from a flightseeing tour over Rainbow Bridge and Lake Powell to a private lake cruise to the Navajo Nation. Book it: The eight-day Red Rocks


& Painted Canyons tour starts at £2,480 per person, including accommodation, most meals and activities, transport and the services of a Tauck director. tauck.co.uk


3 MAURITIUS


Mauritius might be a winner with the honeymoon crowd, but


it’s fast becoming a familyfriendly region too thanks to its comparatively good value, direct flights and a raft of outdoor adventures, from quad biking and zip-lining to hiking and biking. A host of family-friendly hotels


gives it further welly. For a luxury, ocean-front option, Carrier suggests Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, home to the Hobbit Village Kids’ Club – think Hobbit-sized furnishings flanking a pool, amphitheatre and playroom – alongside Karokan, a teen hangout that offers regatta sailing, patisserie classes and other activities for those keen to escape their parents’ clutches. Book it: A week’s half-board at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita with Carrier starts at £7,835 for a family of three sharing a garden Pool Villa. The price includes Emirates flights from Gatwick and private transfers, departing October 20. carrier.co.uk


4


DUBAI Dubai wears the crown when it comes to family holidays in the Middle


East, thanks to its sweep of


attractions, which span IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts to Dubai Aquarium, KidZania, Wild Wadi Waterpark, sand-buggy tours in the desert and plenty more. Gold Medal reports particular


growth in the family sector, and with a string of family-focused resorts on hand alongside several ‘kids go free’ offers, it’s not hard to see what’s driving the trend. Recommend Atlantis The Palm


for the ultimate family experience, with complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers Aquarium, as well as kids’ and teens’ clubs, the Little Pirates Playground and a babysitting service. Book it: Three nights in a Deluxe Room at Atlantis The Palm costs from £529 per person based on two adults and two children sharing, including Emirates flights from Gatwick for travel from August 6-13, including reduced rates and complimentary half-board. goldmedal.co.uk


5


THAILAND When it comes to variety – spectacular temples, culture-filled cities and idyllic beaches – Thailand is something of a superstar. Add in widely spoken English, excellent food and welcoming people, and it makes perfect family holiday sense. For kids seeking a trip to


remember, Premier Holidays recommends Elephant Hills,


8 February 2018 travelweekly.co.uk 41


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