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11days in Easter-Safari, beach or Florida?

(20 Posts)
WhereShallWeGo Mon 24-Feb-14 09:40:16

We are hopeless with travel plans. Please help me decide and plan our 11 day holiday during Easter Break this year. DDs are 10 & 8 and curious but not super active or overly patient. I would like a chill out holiday but we feel 11 days on a beach might be a bit of a cop out as we don't go away all that much.

I have reservations (no pun intended) about all three... Such as - Are we really a Safari people? Is Safari too tiring and not enough relaxing for holiday? Is Easter a good time for family safari?

Are the theme parks in Florida too busy in Easter? Would DH and myself get to enjoy the trip?

And finally, are we going to manage getting any holiday planned on time? Arrrgh! Please, you wise Mners, HELP! Any advise gratefully received.

foxdongle Mon 24-Feb-14 10:45:27

can't help you with the safari, but would love to do one.

been to Florida twice but not at Easter-your children are a good age for Florida and you could chill at the waterparks or have a few days by the beach or book a hotel with a nice pool. Florida is a busy/tiring, but great fun holiday whenever you go tbh. our dcs are not patient either but when we queued took phones and played angry birds/4pics etc. The DIBB is a really good website with loads of info about Florida from people who go all the time.

We get bored on just beach holidays now so we cruise, if you're interested in that there are cruises that do mainly beach stops at Easter -Canaries, Greek or Carribean islands would be warm, but we usually book early.

My brother and his family love Dubai- beaches and other things to do and go most Easters.

Also we have been to Mauritius - mainly beach but other things to see.
hope that helps smile

Creamycoolerwithcream Mon 24-Feb-14 10:55:29

I was also going to suggest Dubai. I just got back and travelled with my 13 and 15 year old boys and DH and there was literally too much to do. My boys loved the waterpark, we did sightseeing, went to the desert, sunbathing and swimming, my sons played beach football. The hotel had an aquarium so we visited that each afternoon. There was stuff for all ages, it felt very chilled but interesting at the same time. I thought it may be like Turkey or Egypt where people are always trying to sell you stuff but it was completely different and the hotels are out of this world, pure luxury.
Another suggestion is Mexico where you could do a mixture of beach, sightseeing and jungly type stuff like ziplining and visit the eco water parks.

WhereShallWeGo Mon 24-Feb-14 12:12:55

Thank you foxdongle and Creamycooler for your replies. Very helpful. Haven't been to Dubai or Mexico so they can be in the contentions, too, if not this time perhaps in the future. I really didn't know that there were things to do in Dubai. Many friends have been but I always assumed it was just staying by the pool holiday. <ignorant>

fox I will look at DIBB to see if we can find the right balance of chilling as well as exploring/doing theme parks. I know that DDs will love going there even though they are total wuss so not want to go on scary rides!

Creamy Is the Mexico option a bit like the Costa Rica 'soft adventure' holiday type? Friends mentioned it to me in the past and also recommended Audley Travel but I never got around to checking it.

Off to do some more research but maybe I need to priotise the Florida, or else we won't get to go anywhere... Thanks again, both of you.

givemeaclue Mon 24-Feb-14 12:15:07

Check flights for Florida are still available, some dates with some airlines for Easter 2015 are sold out, although more will be available nearer the time that doesn't help you

Not all safaris take children that young so again, check

WhereShallWeGo Mon 24-Feb-14 12:20:59

Thanks given - that's a good idea. We are cursed with my tardiness/disorganization.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 24-Feb-14 13:15:06

What sort of things do you as a family like doing?. Do you like sightseeing etc?.

I'd cross Florida of the list as I doubt very much you would find any availability now for direct flights to Orlando at Easter. These usually get sold around a year in advance and sell quickly.

WhereShallWeGo Mon 24-Feb-14 20:32:35

Thanks Attila. I could see loads of flights but as you say no signs of direct flights on skyscanner.sad

We like light weight sight seeing and doing general frou frou cultural stuff. Done a few mini city breaks (Barcelona, Amsterdam, Florence etc) and enjoyed visiting museums & historical sites, walking round or trying local transport and food, going to local market and proper shops etc. That said, we don't cram too many sights in a day. We also love relaxing by the pool, preferably somewhere warm. But I'd feel guilty just chilling the whole time.

My dilemma boils down to making the most of opportunity for everyone (such as, educational, or worthwhile, for a want of a better word) at the same time picking something enjoyable! Our DDs are probably easy to please as they don't get to go long haul often and will be excited to go on holiday for that long. But as someone above said, the safari choices might be limited because of age restrictions, plus it seems too late for Florida. My DH & I would sit by the pool the whole time quite happily.

Might be time I give a travel agent a call. [defeated]

MillyMollyMama Tue 25-Feb-14 07:59:43

We have been to Tanzania at Easter. It is the cusp of the rainy season but how can anyone not be inspired by the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Crater? Our children have always found spotting game fun and are interested in photography.

You have early game drives, about 6 am, come back for breakfast and then go out again in the late afternoon. It is magical and some properties have pools. Could not say about flight availability but frankly, this is a fabulous experience for children and miles away from the Florida type of holiday, as you could imagine. I know family adventure companies go there so you could see if they have late availability so you might be with other families. Some safari camps have age 12 as a restriction but many do not. We have also stayed with the Explorer camps in Kenya in the Masai Mara and Samburu and they are designed for families. You just need to get going with the research.

South Africa is also very possible in April and you could visit Kruger and Hulshlue Impholozi (first word not spelt right I know!). This is also a good time to visit Cape Town and you could go along the garden route but there are no whales at Hermanus in April. You would really enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer and again you might get a family type holiday company with availability. We have been to safari destinations in South Africa with our children and had no problems whatsoever. Hope you get something for this year but start planning for 2015 as you would get better choice. Do a safari though - you will not regret it!

WhereShallWeGo Tue 25-Feb-14 11:43:12

Thank you MillyMollyMama for your input above. Glad to hear that your children enjoyed the safari experience. I am still quite interested in Safari idea so will also enquire about the possibility. Slightly worried about security re SA but I guess there's always a risk these days wherever you go.

My husband subsequently found Virgin Holidays and said that there were still direct flights available to Florida but then we digressed and ended up discussing Mauritius!

In an ideal world, we would do all three... eventually. Thanks for your encouragement about not missing the boat next year getting going with planning holidays for 2015!

nannyafrica Tue 25-Feb-14 17:02:26

Have a look at Zambia for a safari, South Luangwa National Park is one of my favorites. Croc Valley Camp have family rooms, you are still in the green season but the park is great anytime of year. It's around £100 a night full board with 2 game drives included. There is swimming pool which is great for kids and the camp is next to the river so wildlife does wander into camp each day. I had an elephant come to drink while I was taking a shower he put his trunk over the grass wall of my open air bathroom!!!! then a family of elephant decided to come right into the bar.
You could then over to Vic Falls or over to Lake Malawi for a relax.

MillyMollyMama Tue 25-Feb-14 17:41:46

Don't worry about safety in SA. The South Africans do all the worrying but you do as you are told and stay out of the townships. An organised holiday will not present you with any difficulties. We love Zambia too but April can be too early there as many camps open in May. Some will have April availability but the better camps will not be open. When your DCs are older you can do walking safaris in Zambia. Seeing a pride of lions on foot does get the heart racing, for definite!!! Enjoy wherever you go.

WhereShallWeGo Sun 04-May-14 22:26:50

An old thread but wanted to update. Sorry for the delay - gave up MN for lent and then life took over!

Very happy to report we managed to go to SA for a short safari (3 days so 6 game drives) and went to Abu Dhabi for a resort holiday afterwards. The safari was amazing for all of us. The kids were good age to go. I can honestly say it was our BEST family holiday. Thank you MMM and others for your replies and encouragement.

MillyMollyMama Mon 05-May-14 19:28:19

I am so glad you went!!! You will be hooked now!

WhereShallWeGo Mon 05-May-14 20:27:20

I know, I know, MMM! It was unlike anything else we had done before and really exciting every time. Quite £££ so won't be able to do it often but we thought it worth every penny and would definitely go back!

ChippyMinton Wed 07-May-14 16:57:42

That sounds amazing. Can you recommend the safari company? I'm looking for ideas for a big birthday trip with DC aged 11-13, that isn't Disney.

MillyMollyMama Wed 07-May-14 21:47:55

I would seriously look at The Adventure Company who do family/teen holidays (with parents of course) to South Africa and their itinerary is very good if you like wildlife. It will virtually guarantee you see a wide variety of wildlife and also some fantastic country and cultural sights. Their lodges will not be 5*, but the animals are the same! We have also used Expert Africa who have lots of options, and Abercrombie and Kent who do a family holiday to Kenya.

WhereShallWeGo Fri 09-May-14 11:29:21

ChippyMinton We went to Trailfinders because we were seriously late booking everything but they recommended a good lodge (bushcamp where there was no real electricity in our hut!) and a do-able routes. As MMM says above, it isn't luxury but we loved it. The food was surprisingly good and plenty. When we go next time, I would endeavour to look at some companies recommended by MMM but that will be a while yet!

ChippyMinton Fri 09-May-14 17:28:36

thanks. so it was independent rather than a package? Will check out the adventure company - I had a quote from them for another destination, I think, but it was £££.

WhereShallWeGo Fri 09-May-14 18:19:15

It was a packaged tour that they put together. We told them the dates & budget plus the fact we wanted to do some safari, beach or Florida. And they initially suggested one that was safari in SA and then off to Mauritius. Unfortunately, though, late booking meant we would have wasted a whole day in Jo'g waiting for connection so we went for Abu Dhabi instead where the flights fit together better. Was £££ for us but I gather that's standard when you want to do safari during school holiday.

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