*Collaborative post. There is no denying that holidays with kids are not without multiple challenges. Yes, they are rewarding and memorable and if you love to travel as much as my family and I do, let’s be honest, having children will not stop you from flying off for a much deserved break in the sun.
From packing dilemmas to fears of travelling/eating out/sleeping in a new environment with kids, there are many issues that parents worry about when booking a family holiday. The main question I get asked from readers and friends, particularly those booking the first family holiday, is where are the best family holiday destinations for a stress-free holiday?
And I always reply with the same answer… Firstly, no matter where you go, family holidays are a little stressful. You’re taking your kids away from their normal environment, their home comforts and so have this in mind when booking your holiday. Keep things simple, for at least the first few family holidays until your kids become more used to travelling.
Remember you don’t need to travel to the other side of the world to enjoy a memorable family holiday. If you wish to go abroad select a destination with short direct flights from the UK. Visit in the school term to avoid the crowds and summer heat and consider an all-inclusive holiday so that you can relax knowing that all food and drink is included.
Our first family holiday was to Mexico. It was a nightmare to be honest. We had to change flights, endure a long transfer from the airport with a screaming baby and I was constantly worried about my four-month old son overheating and becoming dehydrated in the unbearable heat. We hadn’t chosen a fortnight in Mexico in August for our first family holiday, my sister got married there. It was an incredible experience… just not one I would want to repeat with a four-month old baby!
So where are the best family holiday destinations (for a relatively stress-free family holiday!)
Spain, and in particular, the popular Costa resorts on the Spanish coastline would be one of the first areas I would look for all inclusive holidays abroad with kids. They are popular for good reason. Short reasonably priced flights from the UK, a Mediterranean climate, picturesque beaches and a diverse range of nearby family friendly attractions. The ten Costas (or coasts) are all very different. I’ve highlighted a few below which are most suited to families.
Costa Brava (which means Wild Coast) is in the north eastern end of Spain in Catalonia. It starts from Blanes, 60 kilometres north west of Barcelona, up to the French border, taking in the Girona province, Barcelona, Lloret de Mar and Gerona. Here you can expect rocky shores, hidden coves and quaint villages to explore.
For the best beaches look for hotels in Calella and/or Blanes. The Calella lighthouse is also worth checking out for incredible views…
The Calella Watersports Centre offers a fun range of water sports for the whole family. We attempted to ride on a banana boat during a recent trip, although we didn’t stay on for very long! For more tips on a family holiday in Calella check out my guide to – 15 family attractions near Barcelona.
Costa Dorada (also spelt Costa Dourada)
Known as the Golden Coast. It has 140 miles of golden sandy beaches. It runs from a little south of Barcelona in the region of Catalunya. Lively Sitges is a popular spot for families, (my hubby went there every year as a kid and still raves about it!), Tarragona and Salou are also popular spots. Salou is known for its safe beaches and nearby water park, Port Aventura, Tarragona is known for its old town and Roman amphitheatre.
This has been a popular resort with the British for over 40 years for good reason. This Costa includes Benidorm with its water parks, zoos and theme parks and Alicante with its medieval museums and Roman ruins. There are also two huge national parks for nature lovers in this region and over ten golf courses.
Costa de Almeria
The least developed and quietest of the Costas and definitely one to head to if you are a golfer or a movie fan. There are several good golf courses in the area and desert-like landscape has been used as the setting for many famous Western movies including the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It’s also a popular spot for windsurfers.
Costa del Sol
The most southern Costa with some of Spain’s most glamorous resorts, including Marbella and Puerto Banus. If you enjoy sipping a cocktail in a marina whilst gazing at luxury yachts this is the region you should head to! For cultural attractions, museums, galleries and castles, you want to stay in the resorts of Fuengirola, Malaga or Nerjaas.
So there you have it, our tips for the best family holiday destinations (for a relatively stress-free family holiday!) Have you visited any of the Spanish Costa resorts with your family?
Pin for later –
Disclosure – This is a collaborative post with Sunmaster.co.uk. All opinions are, as always, my own.