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Holidays

First holiday abroad with kids

8 replies

Sceptre86 · 21/02/2020 21:32

We are hoping to go abroad in September, two adults and two children aged 4 and 3. I would like some advice on where to go, (we are UK based) that would offer warm weather but not too hot for kids, a shortish journey time and a family friendly safe area. Would you stick to a resort type holiday with children this young? I have not travelled much abroad myself but would like to visit countries with a lot of history and enjoy visiting landmarks and that type of thing but am not sure if that is the right for kids this young?

I was thinking maybe we should just stick to the UK until the kids are older but dh reassures me that people do take their kids abroad at this age we just need some guidance on where to go?

We have so far just done short breaks away in the UK and had a lovely time but was really hoping to catch some sun this year. I would really appreciate hearing from mumsnetters on where they took their kids on the first breaks abroad.

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Salene · 21/02/2020 21:39

We went in February last year for first time with 2 and 4 year old to Yas Island Abu Dhabi

We had a fantastic time, Warner brother studios, Yas water park , Ferrari world .

Kids absolutely loved it to

7 hour flight from uk.

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KoalasandRabbit · 22/02/2020 00:09

We always went abroad shorthaul at that age and the kids loved all the holidays and so did we.

Italy is very family friendly and we've done Venice, Rome, by Sorrento, Sicily and Florence and Pisa and all nice though Pisa was really just Leaning Tower and probably a bit young for that and Florence very art museumy, again more for older. Sicily or the coast around Sorrento / Positano could work well if you could get hotel with pool or apartments with pool for when not by beach if in Sicily.

We also did Stockholm and Copenhagen including Tivoli which worked well and very child friendly and safe. When we just wanted to collapse we did resort hotels with AI which kids absolutely loved - places like Magic Natura which has a waterpark and zoo and took some day trips, super easy and constant entertainment for kids. Some hour long kids clubs for kids to meet others and you get an hour to swim / sleep etc but not a great cultural experience.

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Puddleofmilk · 22/02/2020 07:28

Agree with @Salene Abu Dhabi and Dubai are great with young children. Possibly the friendliest hotel staff in the world to children. There is also a Uber like service with car seats in it called Careem (spelling?) for getting about.

In Europe, Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza are great in September fur young children and just a 2 hour flight too!!

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reluctantbrit · 22/02/2020 19:15

We did self catering in a villa in Majorca when DD was 4, not bad but she was a bit bored and since then we normally did Aparthotels where there is a playground and pools but the option to have AI or Sc or everything in between,

A second bedroom or at least living room with sleep sofa is a must as it means you can put the children down but still have space for you to sit together and enjoy a drink.

If you go outside of school holidays check if hotels do have clubs still operating and/or children entertainment. Often it winds down after the Summer holiday season.

While you can easily visit “big things” with young children, they will most likely forget about it, for city breaks for their benefit I would wait until they are older.

Majorca has a lot to do and visit, it is definitely a place you can spend 2 weeks outside the hotel and pool and don’t get bored. Safe, easy to get around with a hire car and child friendly.

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KittenVsBox · 22/02/2020 19:30

I wouldnt go to the Middle East in September. It's HOT.
South Spain? Italy? Only a couple of hours.
Canaries? Cyprus? 4 ish hours.

At that age, mine were happy with a beach, pool and a play ground. Sightseeing and museums were only tolerated for short periods. Happy kids make for lower stress holidays!

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Sceptre86 · 23/02/2020 22:39

Thanks for all the advice, I had thought of Majorca just because flight times are not very long and I think a resort type of holiday might be easier for the kids. I will definitely look up all the places that have been suggested. My dh would love to go to Dubai but I am concerned that the flight would be very difficult to manage with young kids, also kids haven't really experienced extreme heat as they are Scottish.

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SJaneS48 · 24/02/2020 12:06

Dubai will be pretty vile in September (I lived there for 4 years) - very hot! We’ve travelled a lot with both DD. Resorts have a lot to offer on the child friendly, kids clubs front - it’s all personal though but I do find AI (All Inclusive) places a bit dull as I get bored just lying around by a pool and stuff your faces buffets. It is the easiest route to go though if you’re not very confident travellers. What we tended to do when the kids were smaller was 3/4 days in a city to do the cultural/history bit then spend 4-5 days in a family friendly hotel for pool/beach time. Mixing it up that way keeps everyone happy! I DIY holidays so book flights using Skyscanner, transfers through Hoppa and then booking.com for hotels. Some suggestions are:

  • Lisbon then a couple of days on the coast at Estoril/Cascais which is about 1/2 hour away by train


  • Catania in Sicily for 2 days then take the train to Taormina (25 minutes from memory!). Taormina is beautiful, will be just past peak tourist season. It has a gorgeous Greek theatre in the centre of the town, lifts down to the beach and you can do a tour to Etna (which is still smoking!)


  • Nice, hire an AirBnB apartment for a couple of days, then move on to a hotel with a pool at Beaulieu sur Mer. Again you can get there by train


Just because you’re travelling with kids, holidays don’t need to be boring and it’s good for them too to see a bit of the world!
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cazzyg · 25/02/2020 03:09

There are so many places you can go with young children. Our first family holiday was Mallorca. It’s a nice easy flight and not too hot in September but the sea is still lovely and warm. Puerto Pollensa and Cala D’or are family friendly resorts. Puerto Pollensa has a fair bit near by to do and a good bus service for trips.

Rhodes is a bit further away but has lots of history and you could combine a beach resort with a location just outside Rhodes Town which is lovely.

You could also look at beach resorts in the Costa Brava which has Barcelona on the doorstep for a bit of culture.

Jet2 iOS good for packages and the rresort check/in for the return hornet is a good send with young children.

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