Travelling with children? From babes-in-arms and toddlers to energetic young teenagers, you don’t have to compromise your holiday fun just because you’re travelling with young ones. You just need to choose the right destination. Here’s our pick of 10 great destinations for family travel and children’s holiday activities.
Best Places to go for a Holiday with Kids
Kids love Bali. Whether you opt to head for the hills for a chilled-out experience in Ubud or go for a more lively scene in, say, Seminyak, there is plenty fun things to do for children.
From elephant safaris and monkey sanctuaries where they can get up close to the wildlife, to adventure parks such as Waterbom Park in Kuta. Older kids will love having a go at some water sports at Bali’s beaches.
Bali also offers a wealth of family-friendly restaurants and resorts.
London, United Kingdom
Once the kids have passed the toddler stage, they’ll be ready to hit the big city. In London, they’ll get giddy with excitement when they recognise the sights from books and movies.
Think of the magical London scenes from Peter Pan, Mary Poppins and more recently Harry Potter.
And then there’s all that glorious history entrenched in this city, such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. See it all from a river cruise or an open-top bus. Better yet, get a bird’s-eye view from the London Eye.
Koh Samui, Thailand
For parents seeking a relaxing holiday where the kids can have fun while Moms and Pops have a break, Koh Samui is full of child-friendly resorts.
Thai child-friendly resorts come complete with kids clubs and babysitting services – a godsend whenparents want to simply relax poolside.
Older kids will love Koh Samui’s beaches for a little rolling about in the sand or marine adventures.. At Koh Samui you can take the little ones fishing, kayaking, snorkelling and island-hopping. Alternatively, you can head inland for elephant safaris.
If you want to show your children some of nature’s breathtaking beauty spots, then you can’t go pass up a trip to New Zealand. With many of the country’s most scenic spots located relatively close together, a holiday in New Zealand is fairly manageable so it’s possible to see and do a lot, even on a short trip.
There’s hiking through stunning mountains in summer and skiing in winter, as well as numerous energetic activities in the adventurer’s heaven that is Queenstown. Ride bikes with your children along rivers, across bridges, through farms. Go for a swim at Alpine Aqualand or have your kids ride a horse outdoors in Wanaka. You could also treat your kids to the rare experience of Whale Watching in Kaikoura.
With all the beautiful natural scenery in New Zealand, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of free activities as well. Visit the Abel Tasman National Park, see the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks geysers, walk along the Hokitika Gorge across the swing bridge…and when I say there’s many many more options, it’s no exagerration.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Vietnam is another great destination for children. In fact, many holiday makers find adventurous travel with kids relatively easy here.
The beautiful Halong Bay offers adventure, and more chilled-out pastimes to suit the age and interests of your children. Family cruises present a chance for the family to take in the breathtaking bay without getting wet, while older kids will love the chance to swim and kayak among the beautiful scenery of Halong Bay.
We recently counted it on our list of hotels with the best views in Asia, and there’s no doubt Emeraude Classic Cruises (pictured above) is a great way to experience Halong Bay. Send the kids into the water with a kayak while you have a cocktail on the open deck. You could even take cooking lessons on board.
With its culture and canals, Amsterdam is a cool kids destination. It’s a small ‘big city’ with a relaxed vibe. You can take your kids on a boat ride, a tram ride or a bike ride; bikes for hire come with special kids’ seats.
The city is full of museums and arty kids will enjoy the Van Gogh Museum where many of Van Gogh’s original works of art are on display; or the Hermitage Amsterdam (an outpost of the famous St Petersburg museum) which has a dedicated space for kids.
Hong Kong, China
Kids will find the heady atmosphere of Hong Kong thrilling and there’s plenty for them to do. Hong Kong Disneyland may not be on the scale of other ‘Disneys’ but hey, it’s still Disneyland. In fact, its size and proximity to the city make it more manageable.
There’s also Ocean Park Hong Kong with its memorable views from the Cable Car; a Star Ferry ride to Kowloon; the Hong Kong Science Museum, and Madame Tussauds Hong Kong at the Peak Tower. Youngsters who are interested in the natural world should check out the stunning rock formations at Hong Kong Global Geopark.
If you have a mini martial arts dude, he’ll love the picture opps on Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars — strike a pose by Jackie Chan’s star or the statue of Bruce Lee.
An island paradise resplendent with beautiful beaches and forests, Langkawi has plenty of luxury villas and hotels complete with babysitting and kids’ activities to give adults plenty of relaxation.
There’s also lots of interesting wildlife to check out at sanctuaries. Educational tours include exploring the diverse local eco-systems. Some resorts, such as the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, are so child-friendly they even offer kids yoga so you can all return from your vacation chilled out!
New York, United States
What child wouldn’t get a kick out of a trip to one of the world’s best known cities? While young kids could be a little overwhelmed by the in-your-face business of New York, there’s plenty for kids beyond the toddler stage. Seeing sights as famous as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge and walking in Central Park will give them a thrill.
And then there’s plenty of culture too – the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) offer special programs tailored to kids of various ages.
Often associated with honeymooning and romantic holidays, the Maldives is surprisingly child-friendly.
It offers parents the chance for romance while the kids are being looked after. This is far from a being budget holiday spot, but is geared towards total relaxation for parents – it’s all about winding down, swimming, beautiful pools and beaches.