Well, we’ve done it -we’ve booked our first ever holiday that involves a plane! We took them abroad together last year for the first time to France via ferry and car which went very well. This year I wanted to take them on an all inclusive beach and swimming pool holiday and we finally have the funds to do it- it helped that we booked through Jet2holidays who have £75 per person off at the time of booking which made it possible. So, of course they are on the list. We’re heading to Albufeira, Portugal in August, on an all inclusive basis. It has a waterpark, it’s near the beach and town with a free bus service and we have tickets for 3 days to a theme and waterpark! We’re going to need all new swim gear, the shopping is all part of the fun, isn’t it? I’m on the lookout for a decent women’s swimming costume that is flattering yet doesn’t slip when going down water slides!
I can’t wait to go, and to take you with me. Make sure you follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see updates on our family life. I began searching for a family holiday last October, so I thought I’d write some of the ones that almost made it and some that I still look at and wonder about for next year….
As well as the all inclusive holidays, Jet2holidays also cover self catering, half board, and bed and breakfast. They take care of everything, even the insurance if you need it. One of the highlights is that in our resort on the last day we can check in to our flight from the hotel so we can drop our baggage off, enjoy the last day of our holiday and see our bags for the next time in London. I’d definitely recommend them as an online travel agent. I know plenty of people who have used them too, and they are ABTA registered.
2. First Choice holidays
Sticking with the all inclusive theme, what can be more relaxing than not having to cook, shop, prepare or wash up? Add in ice creams, snacks, drinks and that’s a holiday in itself in my books. First choice holidays are the number one agent for all inclusive holidays.
If you’re after a city break, or want to build your own holiday, Expedia can handle the flights, hotel, activities and more. I like the idea of booking everything separately on a budget, yet still having the protection of a travel agent. They also help you to widen your horizons and book places and activities you wouldn’t normally.
4. Air BnB
We did this last year, although not on the Air Bnb site, it was a similar one. It’s basically where you can browse private homes for holiday rental. It’s very home from home and you can get great accommodation in the heart of your chosen destination.
5. Holiday Cottages
In the past, we’ve rented holiday cottages, there are several available, my favourite is Holidaycottages.co.uk which we’ve used for a stay in Dorset and the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight is such a great holiday destination for young families.
I grew up going on Eurocamp holidays. It’s basically the original glamping site. Your tent is already set up for you, it has separate rooms with campbeds so you’re not on the floor, there are kitchen areas stocked with cutlery and crockery and cookers already set up. Stock up your car with bedding and you’re good to go. We went as a family before the kids started school so it was cheaper. They also have chalets if you don’t fancy camping. All the sites are family friendly, have swimming pools and kids clubs and top notch service. They have locations across Europe.
7. Centre parcs
We went to centre parcs when William was a baby and I was pregnant with Phoebe, out of season. We took our own bikes. I loved the no car rule, the fabulous swimming pool, living in the forest and the general atmosphere. I’d like to go back when all the kids are bigger for an adventure holiday. There are a lot of hidden extras for the activities, but factor that in and it’s a relaxing holiday. You can even put the kids in the creche and go for a spa. Also if you go to the Netherlands equivalent it can be cheaper.
8. James Villa Holidays
I know a few people who’ve been to a James Villa holiday and say it’s such a good family holiday. The owners are local to me in Kent, so I feel confident with them, plus they are market leaders in their field. Your own villa with a pool, barbecue and wi-fi, what bliss. With several great locations you can find somewhere to suit. It’s just out of our budget right now and I didn’t want to have to think about food but I will be thinking about it for next year.
9. Pontins, Butlins (Park Holidays)
This is the real budget option and even so it still sets you back around £400. Go in the UK to a Pontins, Butlins, Park homes, Haven etc. and you get kids entertainment galore plus all the open space and playgrounds they can run around in. If you can get the £9.50 sun holidays vouchers they are basically park home holidays. (Tip, you don’t need to get the paper, just search sun codes and people publish online.) We’ve been a few times camping, staying in a chalet and staying in a sort of mini room in Pontins where you stay half board and have a room with a sink and microwave, a bathroom and a kids bunk bed room. It was basic but hey the kids still talk about it and want to go back to it!
10. Hire a motorhome or caravan
This is something I’d like to do in the future, get a camper van with all mod cons and just drive where we fancy. There are gorgeous European beaches and they have really good motor home parking where you can stay, often right on the beach. It would be a big adventure road trip for everyone.
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Well that’s my top ten holiday ideas, have you booked yours yet? What’s your ideal family holiday?
Disclosure: collaborative post