in the middle
There's no destination that isn't suitable for families. You could take the kids to Everest base camp if you really wanted. But in most cases parents are looking for a few essential requirements from their holiday:
Unless you want your holiday punctuated by whines of boredom, you better make sure you're heading somewhere your kids are going to enjoy as much as you will. Luckily many package holiday resorts are built to cater to guests of all ages. Playgrounds, children's pools and games rooms are all common, but check exactly what your hotel has before you book.
The next step up is kid focused entertainment - and one reason why all inclusive resorts are so popular with families is because they are more likely to have kids' clubs. As well as offering a huge range of activities, from crafts to games and sports tournaments, many kids love spending their holiday with new friends their own age, well away from their sooooo embarrassing parents.
Another option is to choose your city or resort because there is so much for the family to do in the vicinity. In Orlando your family could happily spend two weeks in Walt Disney World alone, but there are plenty of other distractions; Universal Studios, Seaworld, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium and the Kennedy Space Centre, to name just a few.
You don't need to go stateside for this standard of family attractions. PortAventura World theme park makes Salou in Spain a great destination for thrill-seeking families. And check out our blog of other theme park holiday ideas. Waterparks, zoos and adventure parks also make for great day trips - and there are plenty of them in the vicinity of family-friendly resorts.
Most families choose to holiday in the long school summer holiday, which ties in with some of the best weather in Europe. Destinations across Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey are all practically guaranteed to be dry and sunny.
We've picked out some of the best destinations for school holiday times including February half term, Easter and the summer holiday. Check them out for more long-haul and short-haul family holiday ideas. And if you want to take your family away on a winter holiday over the Christmas period, we've got suggestions for that too.
One effect of families having to take holidays at the same time, is that prices do rise for school holiday periods. And not by an inconsiderable amount. Which can feel unfair for families, who are already paying a lot to take the kids away.
We do have a couple of tricks to save you money on family holidays. Going at the beginning or end of the school holidays tends to be cheaper. And try going for an odd number of days rather than the standard week - it can result in you being able to take advantage of cheaper flight prices. Also consider going for a big family holiday over the June or October half term instead. The weather across much or Europe is still good, and although prices still increase over these dates, they are rarely as much as the for the long school summer holiday.
Ultimately though the best way to make your family holiday affordable is to plan and book in advance. And to look out for great travel deals. If we spot amazing prices during school holidays you can be sure they'll make it into our Real Deals. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don't miss them. We can also give you a hand booking a tailor made holiday if none of our deals are up your alley!
When you have little ones in tow, that remote beach which is two planes, a train and a taxi ride away begins to feel a lot less appealing. Luckily there are so many European destinations within a manageable flying distance. And to really optimise the experience, go for resorts like Can Pastilla in Majorca, Amoudara in Crete or Vilamoura in the Algarve. All of which are within a half an hour of their airports.
If you're on a package holiday check if transfers are included, (they usually are with travel agents like TUI for example. They'll take all the stress of getting everyone to the hotel off your hands. If they're not consider hiring a car instead. As well as giving your family freedom to explore you destination with ease, you can now transport yourself and all the family paraphernalia which you somehow need for a week away.