We have taken the DSs to Dubai (stayed with friends) when they were younger and that can be fun (Wild Wadi, trips to the desert etc). We are also thinking of a "big" holiday at the moment....DH was made redundant, and depending on when he finds a new job, we may have some money left over to blow on a holiday. DSs a bit older than yours, but we are thinking NY/ Florida / Carribean (DH's choice) or SE Asia (my choice). I am sure you could get some good deals to Thailand or similar. Probably more to do than the Maldives (we had a holiday there pre-kids and wouldn't rush back).
As for most holidays, we go to France. You can camp (kids love it) or you could hire a cottage - there are some very reasonably priced ones out there. We always go independently - mainly because we have a small house and are usually headed in that direction! So we haven't been affected by price hikes.
Yes, it's the prohibitive cost of travel in the school holidays which means this will probably be the last 'flyaway' one - it'll be European camping all the way from 2014 onwards! I hadn't thought of the 'club' type holidays - I will take a look, thanks whatever.
Why will it be your last family holiday? Is it the prices or timings of holidays when they start school that mean you can't go away together?
If it's price it's more the package type holidays that really rocket up TBH during school holidays. Crusies, ski holidays and AI deals. The a more individual holiday isn't so bad. Road trips and the like we found we cheaper in August as Italy, Florida, Dubai and other places are cheaper due to weather or social factors.
It is very difficult to go skiing on the cheap once they are in school. You really are limited to cold Christmas, hefty half term prices or slushy snow at Easter. Still if you only have May that's not an option!
I think you'll have lots of choice in May - have a look at Mark Warner or Club Med etc as those are the ones that have killer prices in school hols.
DH and I are going around in circles... we are tied in to 2 weeks in May (work committments) and this will be our last family holiday before DD starts school in September. The last 3 Septembers we have had villas in Mallorca as it's just perfect for little ones (and us) but this time we want to spread our wings and do something different while it's still (relatively) affordable.
Any suggestions? We like villas but DD is at that age where she makes friends easily so a resort with a kids club (and therefore other families) would be ideal. DH would love the Maldives but at £4k it's out of our league. Not sure any of us are ready for Disney yet, Sri Lanka looks amazing but also pricey, would love a US road trip but 4 is too young - what do we want?!