When you’re deciding on a destination for your next family holiday, short-haul European stops are likely to be high on the agenda, particularly if your last getaway was a little more far flung.
There are numerous benefits to fly and flop destinations when you’re travelling with kids, namely that the flights are short and the fun is endless once your kids reach their destination, which will be full of dedicated facilities to keep them both safe and entertained.
I have narrowed down our list to find the best fly and flop locations with a great reputation when it comes to catering for kids.
Cyprus is an established family-friendly destination, with common ingredients of year-round sunshine and stripped back beach life providing the perfect recipe for a memorable family holiday. Committed water babies in the family will be spoilt for choice when it comes to water-based activities in Pafos and the West, with boat rides, fishing trips, snorkelling and a water park combining for an aquatic themed adventure.
The coastal city of Šibenik represents a child’s paradise when taking them during late June and early July. This is predominantly due to the city’s hosting of an International Children’s Festival, offering kids a variety of different activities ranging from craft workshops and music to puppets and parades. The traditional European school holiday weeks in July and August are also a good option for school-age children, with the city having a range of family-friendly festivities.
Any reputable list of short-haul destinations for kids must surely include the mecca of childhood entertainment in the form of Disneyland. The chance to meet all their favourite characters and stay in gloriously themed hotels allows kids to live out their favourite Disney movies is an opportunity every family should take up.
Tips: Book your flights as early as you can to get the best available fare especially as if you intend to fly during the school holidays. Flights are released 11 months in advance by the airlines. Download and familiarise yourself with the parks map before you arrive and start to plan your trip. I would also recommend to pre book any dinner reservations especially at the most popular restaurants – (I can do this on your behalf.) Pre book a character breakfast to ensure you get to see all your favourite characters. Learn the longest queue times and plan around the most popular attractions.
Despite the lengthier flight-time when faced with other European options, it’s difficult not to recommend Dubai as an option for a fly and flop holiday, simply because it’s a one-stop-shop for families seeking all manner of entertainment and children’s facilities. Waterparks, ice-cream parlours and plentiful picnic spots combine with camel-riding and sand-boarding for older children, with activities aimed at the whole family.
A host of family oriented resorts ensures Majorca continues to be a discerning choice for short-haul destination families. Observed by many travellers as the beacon of entertaining yet hassle-free travel on the continent due its provision of activities for both adults and kids, regions such as Northern Mallorca and Badia de Palma are ideal sports for enjoying beach days and rampant exploration in caves and castles.
Menorca is located just opposite its Balearic island partner of Majorca, and is equally as compelling a choice for a fly and flop trip. Aside from the undoubtedly spectacular golden sanded coastline, Menorca also has a varied assortment of family activities and thrilling kids’ adventures. Whether it’s a jeep safari based archaeological venture or a trip to Lloc de Menorca zoo, there is plenty to keep kids occupied on Menorca.
Azure waters and a decidedly laid-back way of life ensure that many Greek Island holidays can be simultaneously relaxing and stimulating for the entire family. The south-eastern tip of the island contains a cluster of secluded two and three bedroom villas, complete with a nearby creche and nursery during downtime from exploring the island or taking advantage of numerous boat-based excursions.
For more details of how to book: www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/