When it comes to family travel, it can sound like a nightmare to many. It can be hard enough to ‘mum’ when you’re in the comfort of your own home, let alone half-way across the world when you don’t have the local knowledge of where to grab an emergency pair of baby wipes. I remember when we were planning to take our then three year old and 15 month old off to Thailand for two weeks, it was greeted with many confused looks and lots of comments of “really”?!
And while that was pretty long-haul, the benefits and memories of travelling with my children, and hopefully the benefits and memories to our children too, far outweigh any of the stress that can come from planning a family holiday. We had an amazing time and Max still talks about seeing elephants ‘in real life’ three years on.
That being said, there are plenty of ways to plan a holiday for your family that can make the trip much less stressful.
For me, staying in villas booked through destination experts like Simpson Travel is one of the best ways to go. Being able to have a personalised service and access to people with a stellar knowledge of the local area is key for me when travelling as a family. There are families out there with children who have complex needs or certain requirements, so being able to have that peace of mind that an expert on hand is brilliant and pretty exciting; it opens up travel to so many more people.
I love this quote:
“The road less travelled is about going the extra mile; making the effort where others might take shortcuts.” – Graham Simpson, Chairman of Simpson Travel
Another thing for me when it comes to family travel is the concern of losing your money or turning up to find a resort that doesn’t exist! I know that this can be quite rare, but it is still something that weighs on the back of my mind. Especially, because of late, you can’t even trust things like Tripadvisor, thanks to someone making a non-existent restaurant in London the top-rated one! So being reassured that you are booking a trip with a brand that wants to go the extra mile and not cut any corners is fantastic to hear.
But without further ado, where are some of the family travel destinations that we’d love to travel to? Here are our top choices:
With the back-in-time hilltops and coastal towns, not to mention long sandy beaches, space to run around, and a stunning coastline, it makes sense that it is one of the top choices for Italians to go to for the summer holiday. And after my brother-in-law went to Puglia last summer, I have been really interested to visit it too. With snorkelling, swimming, a zoo safari, and the curious pointed houses of Trulli, I know it is a place that my children would love to explore too. And gelato? Say no more.
When I was younger, my family and I went to Mallorca for quite a few family holidays. But since I was a tween, I have not been back. But I have so many happy memories of my own family holidays in the area. So it would be amazing to take my own children to the area to explore too. Plus, the picture-postcard looks of Pollença add a bit of bohemian air to it, so it sounds like the perfect place to chill and relax.
After hearing about Corsica in a Disney film (yes, thank you Cars 2), I have been intrigued about it. Not ashamed to admit that I had to look up where it is! But I am glad I did, as the French island looks absolutely amazing and really quite luxurious. I like that the island represents a mini-continent, because of the landscape’s diversity. On one side you’ve got clear sea and white sand beaches, and then within a half an hour drive you’re in hilltop villages or dense forests. So as a family that loves exploring the outdoors, it sounds like a must for us to visit. We’re not ones to just sit on the beach for a week, so the options on the island sound very appealing.
Greece is certainly on the old bucket list of mine, but where to start with Greece? There are so many islands to choose from and they all look so idyllic. Santorini was on the list for a while, but I have had more and more people tell me that it is a bit busy and not great for children. So I think that Paxos is on the list now. It is reported to be one of the least commercialised islands, so it makes it perfect for an escape. But turquoise waters, all the seafood you could ever eat, and boats and water sports, the slower pace of life on Paxos sounds like just what the doctor ordered.
Côte d’Azur, France
I have only ever been to northern France, but as a country that I love to visit, then the south, specifically the Côte d’Azur region, is a place I would love to explore. The glamour of St. Tropez, with the world-famous Provencal markets and the fact that Monaco is right on your doorstep really appeals. It seems like it would be a place like no other in the world, with the weather to match.
*this is my entry to the Simpson Travel Ambassador programme. All opinions are my own.