The school holidays are always a highly anticipated time of the year. Finally, the kids get a well-deserved break from their homework and the parents get to take a break from, well, pretending they know how to solve their kids homework. Luckily, every year promises 4 school holidays to look forward to, 2 week-long breaks and 2 longer semester breaks ideal for a longer family holiday:
- March Holidays 2019: 16 to 24 March
- June Holidays 2019: 1 to 30 June
- September Holidays 2019: 7 to 15 September
- December Holidays 2019: 16 November to 31 December
With so many chances to go on vacation, put a little planning in and you can go somewhere really exciting. Bintan is always next door, but where else can you go that’s fun for Mummy and Daddy, and a great educational experience for the kids? Here are some wonderful destinations around the world to plot on your map for the 2020 school holidays. Get those crayons out and make your pros and cons list for these places near and far, then start putting money into the piggy bank!
Great Family Destinations for the 2020 School Holidays
Fun Trips for the March Holidays
1) Melbourne, Australia
Australia’s close proximity to Southeast Asia makes it a premier family holiday destination for residents. March is a particularly good time to visit Australia, too, since autumn is just setting in and the weather is generally pleasant. Head on over to Melbourne, Australia’s laid-back southeastern capital, where there’s a variety of fun activities that kids will love.
Start off your vacation with a day trip to Melbourne Zoo located right in the heart of the city. Kids will have a field day as they’re introduced to different members of the animal kingdom and explore the different themed areas of the zoo. Alternatively, you can visit the SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium if you prefer to look at marine wildlife.
For old-fashioned thrills and exciting rides, Luna Park Melbourne is the place for you. The bright lights, roller coaster rides, and games will keep the little ones entertained for hours on end. You can also go on an eco-adventure at Phillip Island where you’ll find go-karts, a mini-golf course, and more tourist attractions!
Stay at one of the many family-friendly hotels at the heart of the city such as The Larwill Studio which is just a 15-minute walk to Melbourne Zoo.
2) Seoul, South Korea
Best known as the birthplace of KPop, Seoul offers visitors a slew of family-friendly activities that’ll show you that it’s much more than that. From delicious Korean food to breathtaking natural landscapes, Seoul is a great city to visit during March when the weather is cool and inviting.
Have the Coex Aquarium, Seoul’s largest aquarium, at the top of your itinerary. Teeming with more than 40,000 species of marine wildlife, kids can get up close and personal with sharks, stingrays, and jellyfishes as you glide through the aquarium on a conveyor belt. Thrill-seeking families can make a beeline for Lotte World, an enormous recreation complex with the world’s largest indoor theme park.
For those looking to shop to their heart’s content, Myeong-dong is Seoul’s premier shopping district where you’ll find numerous international brands and luxury department stores. Other key places to visit include Bukchon Hanok Village and N Seoul Tower. At the end of the day, retire to your luxurious room at Lotte Hotel Seoul, one of the most family-friendly luxury hotels in Seoul.
Destinations for the June Holidays
1) Sorrento Coast, Italy
Sorrento Coast is one of Italy’s most photogenic coastal cities. Located in the southwest, this city faces the Bay of Naples on the Sorrentine Peninsula. Set on top of cliffs overlooking the majestic marina, Sorrento looks like something straight out of a postcard.
One of the most popular things to do in the area is to embark on a fun road trip along the Amalfi Coast. Considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amalfi Coast has become a popular location for road trippers looking for stunning views of Italy. You can start at Sorrento and travel to the different coastal areas of Italy including Pompeii, Positano, Path of the Gods, and more.
Alternatively, families can enjoy a relaxing day at one of Sorrento’s most popular beaches, Marina Grande Beach. Check in at Maison San Pablo Bed and Breakfast for a comfortable stay. If you’re looking for a nice place to eat, look no further than Piazza Tasso, Sorrento’s busy main square teeming with top-notch restaurants and historic buildings. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the breathtaking ruins of Deep Valley of the Mills.
Make the most of your trip by checking out this guide on the best time to visit the Mediterranean Coast.
2) Osaka, Japan
If you find Tokyo too touristy, you can opt for the equally popular city of Osaka. This enormous port city is located on Honshu island and is teeming with tourist destinations that cater to different interests. From a glitzy nightlife to amazing heritage sites to delectable Japanese food, Osaka is a must-visit destination for the whole family.
Make sure you take the kids to Universal Studios Japan where they can enjoy fun rides and movie-themed games. Stay at the nearby Hotel Keihan Universal Tower which is just 6 minutes away. Even on school holidays, the Osaka Science Museum is also popular among kids because they can conduct experiments, participate in interactive exhibits, and learn more about the different branches of science. Don’t forget to admire the beautiful Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most popular historic landmarks.
Family Getaway in September
1) Nusa Penida, Indonesia
Nusa Penida is rapidly becoming everyone’s new favourite beach destination in Indonesia. If you’re not too keen on bringing the kids to the wild beaches of Bali, Nusa Penida is a wonderful alternative. The island is abundant with relatively untouched beaches, lush green landscapes, and cheap Indonesian food.
Naturally, Nusa Penida caters to families looking for a more laid-back island vibe while enjoying school holidays. Take the kids to Kelingking Beach or Crystal Beach where you can go snorkelling and scuba diving. If you want to enjoy some scenic views, trudge up to Angel’s Billabong. Nearby, you’ll also find Pasih Uug (also known as Broken Beach) where you’ll see a natural pool roughly a hundred metres in diameter.
Looking for a decent place to stay with kids on the island? Semabu Hills Hotel Nusa Penida comes highly recommended!
2) Santa Marta, Colombia
Another up-and-coming beach destination is Santa Marta — the provincial capital of Colombia. The area is relatively undiscovered, but it has been gaining popularity in recent years for all the things you can do while there.
Thrill-seeking families can enjoy a variety of both adventurous and relaxing spots such as white sandy beaches, national parks, and museums. Take the kids to see the sharks and dolphins at Rodadero Sea Aquarium and Museum. Tayrona National Park is another popular destination where you can marvel at wonders of nature such as mountains, cliffs, and more beaches. Make sure the whole family also gets to hang out at Blanca Beach, Santa Marta’s most beautiful white sand beach.
The Historic Centre is one of the best places to stay in Santa Marta for families. With an abundance of quaint cafes, affordable hostels, and old churches, the Historic Centre is a charming town that’s ideal for both families and backpackers on a budget. Hotel Catedral Plaza has an outdoor pool which the kids will surely love.
End-of-Year Family Adventure – December School Holidays
1) Edmonton, Canada
For a magnificent white Christmas, look no further than the capital city of Alberta, Edmonton. Edmonton prides itself on being the Festival City of Canada. Additionally, it boasts a significantly vibrant arts and culture scene. December, in particular, is an exciting time at Edmonton.
Families will have no shortage of activities to take part in here. For starters, you can visit Fort Edmonton Park which is one of three open-air museums in the city. You’ll see recreated architecture from 1885, 1905, and 1920. Another must-see for kids is Jurassic Forest, which features 40 animatronic dinosaurs seemingly living in their natural habitat.
If you’re visiting in December, you’ll see the famed Ice Castles of Edmonton which is basically a winter wonderland made of icicles. At the end of the day, retire at the newly opened JW Marriott at 10344-102 street. Additionally, you can enjoy looking at bison and elk at the Elk Island National Park.
2) Krakow, Poland
Another place to add on your list of school holiday destinations is Krakow. It is an enchanting place to visit during the winter, with its spectacular Gothic churches and historical monuments. But despite its turbulent history, Krakow now enjoys a vibrant appeal with a thriving art scene, lively nightlife, and several weekend markets.
As one of Poland’s oldest cities, it is an ideal tourist spot for families interested in historical landmarks and architecture. Among the city’s most popular landmarks is Wawel Castle (pictured above) which looks like something out of a fairytale. Wait ’til you see its magnificence when covered in snow during the winter. While you’re there, you can also visit Wawel Cathedral and the Dragon’s Den which is a cave said to be home to a dragon.
Grab some Polish souvenirs, local produce, and other bargain items at one of Krakow’s many markets, including Nowy Kleparz, Plac Nowy, and Plac Imbramowski. We recommend that you stay at Betmanowska Main Square Residence, one of the top family-friendly hotels in Krakow, located at the Old Town neighbourhood .
There you have it! The best places to go on vacation with your kids next year. Plan your school holidays getaway ahead and get ready to set out to what will become your most unforgettable family adventure to date.