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Recommendations for Family mid-haul holiday as alternative to your standard Spain etc?

(28 Posts)
Rosvita Sat 18-May-13 14:09:43

Hi all,
Just wondered if anyone had any recommendations on a family holiday mid-haul with 2 young children (currently 4 and 2)? I am getting a bit fed up of doing your bog-standard all inclusive holiday to Spain:Majorca/Ibiza etc-all very 'samey' and getting increasingly more expensive as the children get older.i have said to dh I'd rather go on holiday every other year meaning with extra time to save we could afford to go on a slightly better holiday(imo).struggling to think of where we'd like to go though -even when we went to Dominican Republic before the kids the resort was very similar to some of the European all inclusives.i'm not sure of turkey or Tunisia as worries about safety and they don't really make me feel that I 'have to go there' iyswim.i like the idea of Egypt but dh not keen due to all the hagglers he perceives being there.the thought of Dubai or Lapland (extremely different I know!) appeal to me.

Just from now on I have decided if we're going to spend out on a holiday I'd rather spend a bit extra and go less frequently to make it worth it.

dementedma Thu 13-Jun-13 20:59:33

Our kids are much older but we are off to Poland this year, which is something quite different for us

singaporefling Tue 11-Jun-13 22:38:03

Kalkan in south east turkey - divine. They're so friendly with the kids and our whole family...if my dad goes for a walk into the village, someone at some point will sit him down with a cold drink and have a chat (he's in his 80's)... Our kids love it, the beach clubs are good, my husband takes his grandkids 3 and 1 sailing for the whole day, the food is fresh and gorgeous, the beach/ park are lovely - perfect! And the shops are also fabulous!

jamtoast12 Tue 11-Jun-13 21:44:23

Rosvita sorry only seen message today!

We went with thomsons for four days. Paid £2300 for family of four inc activity day, gala meal and outer wear. Kids were 5&7 which were the perfect ages i think.

It was amazing! We went to saariselka. We booked in June 2012 for the dec and June was the cheapest time to book. There are no such thing as cheap deals to lapland.... The prices simply went up closer to the time before selling out completely. Rovaniemi had availability left but it also had no snow for the first week of dec so research on trip advisor!

Don't book Transun as reviews awful. Don't pay for a day trip as its 3 hour flight alone each way so you only get about 5 hours there!

Thomsons are the cheapest, we thought they were great. Esprit get great reviews too but are more expensive. The tasters are a couple of minutes longer with esprit (15 min versus 10min) but for an average 1k saving you may as well pay for longer better excursions in resort (we did a 3 hour husky day ever!)
Highly recommend it!

Rosvita Sun 09-Jun-13 22:04:21

Jamtoast -v interested in lapland -they do a day trip from our local airport but its with transun, which I've heard bad things about.who did you go with and where did you stay and for how long?what age were the kids?i was thinking of going next year when they're 6 and 4.if we can't make it then we won't be able to go until they're 8 and 6 which I think may be too old?!

noramum Sun 09-Jun-13 20:54:54

A bit different and you won't have the sun guarantee but have a look at

It is mainly in Austria and southern Germany but friends went there regularly and enjoyed it.

Tortington Sun 09-Jun-13 20:36:42

i detest AI holidays for that reason - they are all the same.

you could consider a key camp holiday - kids roam round free doing activities all day - whilst you get pissed enjoy a fruity glas off wine and read a book

croatia was nice - not so cheap though

turkey is safe AFAIK in tourist areas, and as the poster before said, its nice if its not too british like marmaris

but the history of turkey and the ruins you can see, and the people, and the haggling at the market - if that's what you want to do

dh went for a cut throat shave he raved about it all holiday - it cost £3 or something daft

flower11 Sun 09-Jun-13 20:32:20

We had a lovely holiday to croatia a couple of years ago, went with thompsons, stayed in a realy nice hotel near the beach a short bus ride from dubrovnik, beautiful city to look round, and lots of boat trips out to pretty towns and islands. Very child friendly but not overly touristy like spain, turkey etc.

jamtoast12 Sun 09-Jun-13 19:35:26

Lapland... Simply the best holiday we have ever and worth every penny!

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supersue1969 Sat 18-May-13 22:29:02

I was just thinking again I thought might be worth a mention. Our first holiday with dd1 was to Italy. We flew to Bergamo (Easyjet) and went to Lake Como, Lake Garda and Venice. It was a lovely holiday. Obviously she was a baby in a pram then so easy. I am not sure if it would be toddler proof but just thought I would mention it as an idea.

supersue1969 Sat 18-May-13 22:14:11

Sounds interesting I suppose I have been mainly thinking Europe. I know the Caribbean would be out of our price range but will look into Mexico.

Fluffy1234 Sat 18-May-13 22:07:15

If you don't fancy a cruise it's probably not worth trying. I really enjoy a wide variety of holidays including cruising. A cruise along the Pacific coast of Mexico was one of my favourites. Seeing nothing but the ocean and the whales on the days at sea was incredible. My favourite trip on that cruise was to a village called Yelapa which was sandwiched between the jungle and the Ocean. Definetely no busy cities on that trip.
Like you I also love South Africa, the beauty, the weather,the people plus no jet lag.

supersue1969 Sat 18-May-13 21:58:11

Btw in terms of safety I really would have no worries at all about going to Thailand with kids - we felt it very safe and easy to travel around.

supersue1969 Sat 18-May-13 21:55:41

I have weighed up cruises and have fancied it but I always decide against it in the end as I think with little ones it is probably not worth it. My reason for this is - when you are on the ship it would just be like being in an all inclusive resort . then I reckon as most ports are not really close 'the sights; getting of the ship and being away from the cabin all day in busy cities would be a nightmare.

Sorry to hijack the thread but would be interested if anyone could be persuade me that my conclusions are incorrect.

supersue1969 Sat 18-May-13 21:51:13

For Thailand we flew to Bangkok - then got a connecting flight to Krabi. (which is near where the beach was filmed). We stayed in Ao Nang at the Thai Krabi Village Hotel which was great. We had interconnecting rooms. The facilities were great and it was a tuk tuk ride town/ beach which the kids loved. There are other beaches and islands that can be visited just short long boat rides away.

I have been to Bangkok pre kids and would not fancy it with kids but the beach resorts are perfect.

We didn't actually stay at this place as I decided on Ao Nang but I found a child friendly hotel called something like vijit resort in Phuket, that looks good.

Rosvita Sat 18-May-13 21:03:31

Thanks fluffy - will have a look at the cruises.

Fluffy1234 Sat 18-May-13 20:35:20

You can do a fly/cruise for instance fly to Barcelona and then go on a med cruise. Or you can cruise from the U.k, we've not done this before but are trying it for the first time this year when visit the Baltic. I thought it was a good way of seeing a different part of the world with lots of entertainment for the DC and total relaxation for the whole family.

Rosvita Sat 18-May-13 20:23:40

Think I'll need to win the lottery to see all the places I want to see!

Rosvita Sat 18-May-13 20:23:00

Supersue have been to Marrakech when I was younger with my parents -it was the only holiday I ever fainted on from the heat!but a good holiday nonetheless-we have a fab photo of us all standing at the top of a sand-dune in the Sahara desert - we got up in the middle of the night to go trekking across the desert on camels -fantastic.also have fond memories of the mint tea and the rug houses (if that's what you call them where they literally have hundreds of rugs laid out and you haggle them down). Thailand is on my list but not sure whereabouts would be good with kids -keen on seeing Bangkok but concerned about safety and would like to see Phuket and the place where they filmed The Beach.
Fluffy not considered a cruise before - presumably you have to fly 1st to get in the region for where the cruise goes from (if its a tropical cruise quite far away) - sorry have no clue when it comes to cruises!

Fluffy1234 Sat 18-May-13 19:52:33

Would you consider a cruise? Loads to do on board for your DH and DC and you could get to do some sightseeing in a different country nearly every day.

Other options are twin center holidays. I've done a few to the Caribbean with the DC where we have spent half the holiday at a beach resort and then for instance stayed in Havanna for a few days.

I know you said you enjoy all inclusive hotels but varying this would make a big change.

supersue1969 Sat 18-May-13 19:33:15

Have a look at a tour operator called bushbaby travel. They specialise in holidays with children. We have had 2 fantastic holidays with them, one to South Africa (a long flight but on the same time line - so if you do a night flight - kids sleep all the way and arrive in the morning) and also to Marrekesh. Both were great holidays with toddlers.

In addition, I would recommend Thailand for holiday with kids. The flight is long but again do it at night. We booked the flight and accommodation ourselves (at the time the kids were 4 and 2) and had a fab time. The Thai's love kids and could not do enough for us and the hotels were really child friendly.

I do understand what you mean about the samey costas but all three of these holidays were very unique and v child friendly. And to be honest as I am a teacher so have to go on holiday in the school holidays they did not cost us anymore than the standard package holiday to Spain.

Let me know if you what the names of hotels or more details.

Rosvita Sat 18-May-13 18:41:34

Thanks for replies.I hadn't considered a villa option -just prefer to book all through a reputable travel agent and have found sometimes packages cheaper than booking travel and accommodation separately -flights seem so expensive nowadays!also our kids eat quite a lot so makes it easier to pay for ai but still venture out of resort for 1 or 2 meals and to go to the beach,get ice-creams etc.
Husband is happy with beer,pool and sun,and kids like the splash parks,pool,park,evening entertainment etc.i like bits of this but have always preferred to do more active things on holiday -I love excursions-theme parks,water parks,sealife parks (option to swim with dolphins etc) also up for elephant rides,safari anything a clue my favourite holidays have been Vegas,San fran and LA (10 day trip pre-kids) and short break to Disneyland Paris last year.
Looking at going October or may half term next year.would Portugal be hot then?thanks for all your replies.

diabolo Sat 18-May-13 17:54:10

I missed the all-inc detail in your OP and totally agree with special.

Use your cash to book a private villa with a pool through Owners Direct or similar, self-catering doesn't mean you have to slave away in a kitchen - eat out, have BBQs, hire a car and go exploring and find the 'real' destination, not just the purpose built tourist.

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