Where to go? Long haul, DS 5&8(20 Posts)
DH & I travelled a fair bit pre kids, but took a temporary hiatus during the young child stage, and opted for easier short haul kids club holidays.
DS1 is now 8, DS2 is 5, and we feel like we could easily manage a long-haul holiday and would love to show them somewhere a bit different outside of Europe, have an adventure, but also be able to relax for some time on a beach. Does anyone have any recommendations for 2 weeks in August?
Could do west coast of the US, but i think they would get fed up with the long car journeys
Possibly Miami & Florida Keys, but it doesn't quite feel adventurous enough
We love Vietnam, but I am worried it might feel like a slog instead of a holiday, with all the rail journeys etc
I think whatever we do needs to be focussed around some child-friendly beaches (neither are strong swimmers) so they could potter around and rest up in-between any traveling
You don't have to travel by train in Vietnam. You could go to Hoi An - beach at an bang - and then travel by car to Hue - about 3 hours but you can stop on the way at the hai van pass to break the journey. Flights in Vietnam are also pretty cheap with Viet Jet. I did the following route last year in the summer
Hoi An to Hue (car), then flight with Viet Jet to Hanoi, flight with Vietnam airlines to Luang Prabang and flight with air asia to Bangkok. Lots to see, some beach and pool time and no really long journeys. However, central Vietnam was very hot and humid - high 30s/low 40s.
Another option - Vancouver, Victoria, Tofino, Nanaimo and Whistler - not too much driving and will be a lot cooler.
Thailand! Specifically Ko Samui, I went there with my family, albiet my kids are slightly older but we all loved it! Its a small island however this is a load to do and there tourist area has a really nice buzzy kind of vibe to it, with loads of intresting resteraunts, shops, coffee shops and bars aswell as everything else you would expect to find. There are loads of tours and you can get a boat out to different islands which we did where you can go do all sorts of activites, a real kid friendly place!
Also Bali if your willing to go a bit further, we also have been there and found it probably had bit more culture than Ko Samui but was bigger and is beautiful! You can go up the mountain to see ancient temples or visit the rice paddy fields that have made the place famous, loads of water sports too, and really easy to hire a driver for the day to take to you around. Bali is also a good base if you want to explore other islands too and some of the indoensian Islands remian fairly untouched so you do get an authentic experience.
If I were you i'd just stay in once place though as use it as a base for lots of activites, the children are young and at that age they just want to have fun, maybe when they are a bit older and can appreciate travelling a bit more i'd take them on a multi-stop vacation, but to a 5 year old and an 8 year old a beach is a beach no matter where it is.
Would also like to add you can stop off at Bangkok or Singapore before travelling onwards if you do want a bit of variety, we did that with both of the holidays mentioned above as they were connecting flights anyway so stayed about 3 days in each city.
Mauritius - lovely beaches, temples, mountains
Yes, Malaysia - specifically Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. Great weather in August. Climb the mountain. See the apes. Shangri La is lovely there.
We ended up in Namibia looking for somewhere exotic but ok weather wise in August.
My first question is does it HAVE to be August? If you can move to Easter hols I think you’ll have better options.
ShanghaiDiva how did you fid the beaches in Hoi An? When we visited a decade ago the waves were terrifyingly huge and dangerous, which was our worry with taking our children this time.
Bubs101 Thailand & Bali are both a good shout and I will look into both. Are there any non-touristy parts of Koh Samui? When we went there a few years back it felt like we could have been on holiday anywhere, it didn't feel like Thailand, hence not considering it before. I will look at Krabi too.
OKhitmewithit Unfortunately we are stuck with the August holidays, we can't get away any sooner than that.
We are lucky enough to have BA miles and so we are looking to fly into a major airport - USA, Bangkok, Hong Kong etc, and then transfer flights from there. Will look at Malaysia, Thailand, Bali & Vietnam
Safari would be amazing but im not sure if that's right for us at the moment because DS8 (ASD) really struggles with sitting still, especially in hot weather. But would be interested to hear if I have the wrong perception of safari.
Have been to An bang a couple of times and didn't think the waves were huge, but my children are older.
Another option would be Malaysian Borneo - weather is decent at that time of year and it's a short flight from HK. I prefer Sarawak to Sabah but both have great opportunities for kayaking (dd was 7 when we did this), long houses, great wildlife and good food. We also spend at couple of days in Brunei - great for rainforest and tree top walks - but also a similar walk in the Kota Kinabalu national park - did this when dd was 5 so suitable for your boys.
Java and Bali also have good weather in August. I liked Java - we went to Merapi volcano area (kids loved it) and also Borobudor.
We went to Peru last August when our son was 5. We didn't go to any beaches but were up in the mountains and did quite a bit of walking and then visiting ruins including Machu Picchu. We had a fantastic time. DS really enjoyed it, as most of the site seeing was outdoors. The weather was nice, mostly dry and warm but not too hot. Also if you're looking at BA they fly direct to Lima.
Following with interest have similar ages about to post re jet lag and kids as not sure which way is best
We are taking our two (4 and 7) to California in April. Thought about South East Asia but flights were much more expensive than flying into LA. We are hiring a car and doing a road trip around the state - lots of lovely beaches. Flying Air NZ direct and they have great economy seats where if you book 3 together the footrests all fold up to make a flat surface so the kids can sleep. Slightly dreading the flight nonetheless!
I would recommend SAN Diego - loads of kid friendly activities. The zoo, beaches, Legoland, water parks, country walks (short enough for little legs). If you wanted a change of scenery you could fly up to San Francisco for a couple of days (3/4 would be enough for children that age) then fly home from there.
There are some fab air bnb places in both San Diego and San Francisco. I would say LA traffic and the type of things to do there would be better when the kids are older. My brother lives there so we know it quite well, our two are 12 and 14 now and they are about the right age for LA now, but loved San Diego and San Francisco more.
We disliked San Diego. It’s very touristy and like a theme park. Zoos are great in the uk and we have Lego land too! Beaches nice though! Thee are better places. San Francisco is lovely and has the trolley cars. A coast drive to LA is great. Plenty to see and do on the way! The beach side town of Carmel is lovely. There are missions, whales and great walks. We avoid theme parks!
Having taken our DDs on safari several times, yes, you do have to sit still! You cannot have your child annoying everyone else. Or the animals. You would feel awful about this so it’s best avoided - at the moment! You could, though, look at Namibia and minimise the game park time. There’s plenty to do.
Peru is great. We did a family adventure there with a dedicated family holiday company. You need to be aware that Machu Picchu has very steep, unfenced, drops. You would need to watch your children and keep hold of them - unlike one family we travelled with who had an Asd boy! My heart was in my mouth!
We travelled to Boston with our DDs and then went to Cape Cod. The dedicated family holiday companies have great holiday ideas and I would look at their suggestions. I have heard people speak highly of the adventures they have done in South Africa and Vietnam. They set up activities suitable for families and everyone else is a family!
I can second Boston and Cape Cod, which our two lives last August aged 6 and 8. Easy peasy long haul trip, and so much to do ( or just chill in the gorgeous beaches and eat your weight in lobster).
We've been to Antigua with 3 dcs in August...had brilliant weather ( occasionally a short lived downpour in the afternoon which would be quite welcoming!)..chartered a yacht for the day and took a helicopter flight to Montserrat
Also been to Cuba in August...very humid in Havana but pleasant in Varadero
Krabi is stunning but I wouldn't go in August as it's monsoon season.
Costa Rica? Lovely beaches, plenty of wildlife, wonderful people, they love kids as so many latin countries do. Direct flights I think from LGW. You could also go to Pacific northwest of the USA, fly into Seattle and drive to Van, again, lovely beaches, whale watching, Vancouver Island, whistler in the summer is great. Or Rockies? It's a beautiful drive Calgary to Jasper! Hot springs in Banff, that crazy railroad. Try Canadreams to rent an RV. We used anywhere.com, we went with them to CR, kids were 4 and 6 and they had a blast finding tarantula houses, rope bridges through the rainforest and howler monkeys trying to steal stuff around the pool.
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