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Navigating family-friendly holidays: TUI’s expert advice for every situation

From accessible getaways to teen-friendly accommodation, a TUI Travel Expert provides invaluable insights for your family holiday needs.

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Sep 14, 2023

Family holiday by the pool

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Planning a family holiday can be both exciting and challenging, especially when you have specific requirements or unique needs to consider. To make your travel experience more enjoyable, we recently held an AMA with TUI, providing space for Mumsnet users to ask their questions about travel planning. 

From finding accessible holidays for children with additional needs to locating vegan-friendly hotels and ensuring smooth check-in processes with young children, TUI Travel Expert and mum of two, Hannah, provides valuable tips and recommendations for a hassle-free family getaway.

So, whether you're a parent in search of the perfect holiday spot or a grandparent looking to book adjoining rooms, we've got you covered… Find the most common themes and questions our Mumsnet users ask answered below.

On accessible holidays 

Mumsnet user, BristolMum96, asked: 

“Is there a way to search for accessible holidays? Travelling with a child in a wheelchair is proving to be difficult.”

Hannah says:

“Yes, we have a whole page on our website for accessible holidays. We also have a dedicated Assisted Travel to help with any questions or concerns. You can pop into a TUI Store, too, and speak to one of our friendly Travel Experts. 

This last year we have partnered with the accessibility experts AccessAble, who have been visiting some of our most popular hotels and creating handy Access Guides. These will be published on our TUI website very soon. 

“My dad uses a mobility scooter and we’ve been on a few lovely TUI holidays.”  

Read next: Discover 8 resorts the whole family can visit together in 2024

On aparthotels

cancan678 asked: “We love apartment hotels but they can be hard to find. Where are they most common?” 

Hannah says: 

“They’re more common in Spain, especially the Balearic Islands

“My top picks are TUI BLUE Alcudia Pins and Protur Safari Park. I know the Canary Islands, especially Gran Canaria, have a good selection to choose from. 

“I’d recommend taking a look along the south coast in places like Puerto Rico. I’ve also stayed in some nice ones in Greece.

TUI family holiday

On SEND and sensory needs

MissHavershamReturns asked: “Do you have any plans to start recommending holidays that are particularly suitable for neurodiverse kids? We need a short transfer from the airport, special assistance in the airport etc for our autistic son.” 

Hannah says:

“Our dedicated Assisted Travel know their stuff when it comes to holidays and travelling with a neurodiversity

“You can speak to them in store, online and over the phone, and they can organise assistance at the airport for you. Plus, you can pick up a sunflower lanyard in your local TUI Store.

“I always find it helpful getting to the airport early, that way I have time to calm my little boy down and explain what is happening. We have a few hotels and destinations where the transfer times range from 10 to 30 minutes. I’ve stayed at the TUI BLUE Tropical and Holiday Village Türkiye before – both in Turkey – where it’s a short 20-minute transfer from the airport to the hotel.”

purplepandas asked: “What holiday set up would you suggest for young teens (one with sensory needs and difficulties with crowds)?”

Hannah says:
“We have a variety of room options that are suited to young teens. Some accommodation has two or three rooms, including ones with dividers that make it easier to be together but also have some privacy. 

“You can choose which specific room type you’d like when you book, so you can rest assured it’ll meet everyone’s requirements. 

“If you’re worried about crowds, some hotel rooms have private pools, and we have villas in quiet areas that come with car hire included.” 

On dietary requirements

GuardiansPlayList asked: “What are your best all inclusive resorts for Coeliacs? Doesn’t matter what country!”

Hannah says:

TUI MAGIC LIFE hotels, Holiday Villages, TUI BLUE resorts, Marella Cruises and TUI River Cruises are all great for Coeliacs. 

“They showcase food ingredients clearly, and you can let your waiters know when you’re dining and they’ll make sure you get diet-appropriate options. 

“I’ve recently had a customer who went on a gulet cruise around Turkey. Before she travelled, our Assisted Travel Team asked for a list of foods she could and couldn't eat, then passed it to the chefs onboard.”

Dashel asked: “We’re a vegan family, apart from the TUI BLUE hotels, what is the best way to find vegan friendly hotels and cruises?” 

Hannah says:

“A lot of our hotels cater for dietary needs, but I’d suggest looking at our premium and a la carte holiday types. These hotels are more likely to include vegan-friendly dining options. 

“My colleague, who’s vegan, recently went on a cruise with our sister company, Marella Cruises, and absolutely loved it. There was always a vegan option on the menus and at the buffets. I’m vegetarian and have always found hotel's very accommodating."

Mother and daughter on holiday by the pool

When travelling with babies

Wanttoplayboardgames asked: “My little girl is 9 weeks old and we'd love a winter break, we've reviewed the TUI website but find it hard to find suitable holidays or information about travelling with babies, it's all for kids around 2+”

Hannah says:

“Firstly, congratulations! I’ve taken both of mine away when they were under two. I’ve stayed at a TUI BLUE resort, and a Holiday Village since everything’s easy to organise, like being able to hire all the baby equipment needed and the baby lounges. The lounges are great as they’re air-conditioned rooms stocked with toys, and are fully fitted with changing and feeding facilities 

Wanttoplayboardgames adds: “My question is how best can we find suitable holidays for little babies? Thank you!”

“A lot of our holidays are well suited for little babies. As I mentioned earlier, I loved taking mine away when they were babies, and we’ve stayed in everything from TUI BLUE resorts to Holiday Villages. Both of these options offer baby equipment hire, so you don’t have to worry about lugging any big bits of kit with you on and off planes. They’ve also got loads of facilities that are specifically suited for babies. There are baby lounges where they can play with toys in air-conditioned rooms. These spaces are also fitted with changing and feeding stations. Some of the restaurants also have stations where you can heat up milk or baby food. If they don’t have stations, the waiters will be able to help you out.”

Read next: Win a TUI holiday voucher worth £2,000 to spend on your next trip

On multigenerational travel

JacCharlton asked: “Can you book adjoining rooms for larger families (eg grandparents)?”

Hannah says: 

“Yes, you can. Pop in store and our Travel Experts will be able to show you our range of interconnecting rooms.”

Family paddling in the sea on a TUI holiday

When travelling with teenagers

Gazelda asked: “A frequent thread on MN and convos with friends is how to take teens away. We'd like separate rooms, but guaranteed to be adjoining or connecting. I want a hotel rather than villa or self catering.

Hannah says:

“We’ve got loads of options that suit families travelling with teenagers. We’ve got interconnecting rooms and big family suites that come with dividers, making it easy to be together while also ensuring everyone can have some privacy. 

“Marella Cruises are also great for this, too. You can book a suite that has separate sleeping areas for parents and children. Or, if you’d prefer to have two cabins next to each other, you can book which specific individual cabins you’d like when you book your cruise. 

“If you want more help organising your ideal holiday, visit one of our stores and speak to a TUI Travel Expert. 

Gazelda adds: “As more families are having one child only, I imagine this will become more of a request as families want the buzz of others at a hotel or resort rather than having to do daily trips if staying at a villa just so that the three (or 2 in the case of single parent families) don't go stir crazy.

Hannah says:

“I personally love the TUI BLUE For Families resorts or Holiday Villages, because there’s a great atmosphere, especially around the main swimming pool. I’ve been away with my friends before, one who has a 9-year-old. He’s always made friends playing football, or in the pool and had a great time on holiday. These larger resorts have loads of organised competitions and sports tournaments, so it’s easy for kids to get involved and meet others.”

On travelling with young children

ScienceDadOliver asked: “Do you have any tips for making the check-in process smoother with young children? Also, what's your go-to strategy for keeping the little ones entertained during flights? Thanks!” 

Hannah says:

“Oof, we’ve all been there! Take all the snacks you can fit in your bag. I always take a hand luggage suitcase or rucksack full of snacks, nappies, fidget toys, colouring supplies etc. just so they have lots of different ways of passing the time. 

“More options mean the less likely they are to get bored. Also, a change of clothes for you and children is an essential. I went on a flight once and my little girl spilled her just-opened drink all down me! Certain airports also have family security areas, which are easier and quicker than standard security. 

“Depending on which airport you’re flying from, we offer holiday extras like security fast track and airport lounge access, too. These help make the process of getting through the airport easier and ensure your little ones have somewhere comfy to sit while you wait for your flight. 

“Aside from all that, getting to the airport a little bit earlier can help things go smoother, as well. You can check out our piece on tips for travelling with young children.

About TUI

When it comes to booking a holiday, we know everyone likes something different - from great value all inclusive deals with TUI Magic Life where kids can go free at selected hotels to our action packed Holiday Village options and our TUI BLUE for families hotels which cater for everyone and are handpicked just for your family.

Our holiday portfolio ticks off everything from beach holidays and city breaks through to lakes and mountain getaways. We also offer tours that let you experience exotic places like Costa Rica, South Africa and Japan in a brand new way, and multi-destination trips with over 5,000 combinations to choose from. As one of the biggest UK holiday companies, we're here whenever you need us - via our stores, website or 24/7 Holidayline. Book your TUI holiday today for a £0 deposit when you pay via direct debit.

About the expert

Hannah is a mum of two young, lively children aged two and four. She’s worked for TUI for 19 years and is currently a Deputy Retail Manager in the TUI Westwood store. 

As a mum, she understands the importance of seamless family travel, and has been lucky enough to experience all that TUI has to offer on her own holidays. From partying in Ibiza to grown-up, luxury holidays. These days, times have changed, and she now chooses from all of TUI’s family friendly hotels.

Travelling with young children can be stressful, but she knows that with TUI hotels that all boxes are ticked. From an endless children's buffet which caters for her forever hungry four year old, to the safe haven of the creche for her little one. When the creche and kids’ club grant her a blissful 2-hour window, you'll find her lost in the pages of a good book!

About the author

Rebecca Roberts is a writer, editor, and content marketing expert hailing from Leeds. Here at Mumsnet, she commissions, writes, and edits to bring parents content designed to make life easier. After birthing two babies just 15 months apart, she knows all too well the struggle of finding a family holiday that suits everyone’s individual needs and tastes. That’s why, when reading one of our guides you know you can trust her experience and recommendations.

Beyond her role as an editor here at Mumsnet, Rebecca can be found balancing life as a working mum of two toddlers and when she’s not at her desk, you’ll likely find her at a local playgroup, in a nearby coffee shop, or walking the dog.