A round up of family holiday ideas 2019. Whether you are looking for summer holidays, activity holidays or even recommended theme parks you will find some great inspiration here.
We are quickly heading towards January, the most popular time of year to book family holidays. As soon as Christmas is over, the holiday sales start and new calendars are quickly filled up with exciting plans for the New Year. The following 35 recommendations include 10 tried and tested UK family holidays from the islands of Scotland down to the Isles of Scilly. Scroll down further to be inspired by family holidays for all ages in Europe and the rest of the world including family hotels in the Canary Islands, a family road trip around Iceland, trekking with gorillas in Rwanda, a Sahara desert adventure and a magical visit to Disneyland California!
2019 family holiday ideas UK
My family and I have enjoyed some truly memorable family holidays close to home over the last couple of years. Here are a few of our favourite UK staycations followed by tried and tested UK family breaks by other travel loving families…
We throughly enjoyed spending time with friends at Bluestone in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The national park resort has lots of family friendly facilities onsite – swimming pool, wave pool, water slides, playgrounds, soft play etc. It’s also perfectly located for days out exploring the nearby stunning Pembrokeshire coastline and beaches.
Isles of Scilly
We fell head over heels in love with the Isles of Scilly which is truly a UK hidden gem. White glittery sand, turquoise blue water and spectacular sunsets it honestly felt like we were in the Caribbean and not 28 miles off the coastline from Cornwall. We explored the islands by speed boat, watched the friendly resident seals and spent hours playing on the deserted beaches.
You can read my gushing reviews here – Scilly Isles holidays: Island hopping, seal spotting & white sandy beaches! and Isles of Scilly family travel guide.
Tattershall Lakes, Lincolnshire
This Away Resorts holiday park is perfect for active families with every land and water based sport you can think of available from mountain biking and laser tag to water zorbing and archery. We visited in the Easter and also enjoyed all the themed Easter activities.
Read all about it here and check out our video tour around a luxury Tribeca mobile home with hot tub – Review and video of Tattershall Lakes.
Jenny from Monkey and Mouse – “We’ve visited lots of amazing places in the UK as a family, one of my favourites was close to home, on the Scottish Islands of Coll and Tiree. We chose to camp a few days on each island, despite being summer the islands were fairly quiet, but we had some beautifully sunny weather. We were sat on beaches in shorts and t-shirt having a picnic, splashing in turquoise seas and flying kites. May as well have been the Mediterranean, except it was a lot quieter!” Camping with kids on the Scottish Islands of Coll & Tiree.
Holly from Sleeps 5 – “My family and I enjoyed an idyllic holiday in Cornwall. With our teens we explored quaint villages, walked meadow trails and gardens, drove narrow country lanes, and admired the boats seaside. This rugged and beautiful area is also where the BBC series Poldark is set.” A family holiday near Coverack, Cornwall.
Our review of a gorgeous family friendly self catering cottage in St Mawes Cornwall can be found here – Luxury holiday home in Cornwall.
Claire from Tin Box Traveller – “We’ve had some great mini-breaks around the UK but the one we needed the most was a lodge weekend in the Peak District. We had just moved house and Darwin Forest was the perfect destination to unwind as a family. We relaxed in the hot tub, explored the incredible National Park and forgot about unpacking boxes, at least for a few days!” Relaxing at Darwin Forest Country Park – spa lodge weekend review.
Our review and video tour of Darwin Forest can be found here – A fun family break in the Peak District.
Laura from Side Street Style – “My boys, mother and I really loved our time at Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans, a quirky small glamping site near Ross on Wye in the Wye Valley. It was the perfect opportunity to disconnect from technology and the busy daily routine and reconnect as a family away from distractions.” Glamping at Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans.
Erin from Yorkshire Tots – “We really loved our first ever family festival, The Deer Shed Festival in North Yorkshire. There was so much to do, lots of art & hands on things for the kids, great music & the kids had a fantastic time. The entire weekend felt a bit surreal – like we were on our own little Deer Shed planet.” High & lows of Deer Shed Festival 8.
Samantha from North East Family Fun – “We adored our first attempt at wild camping in Gateshead. We learned how to make our own fire and have successfully used that technique ever since and it was such a different camping experience. The best thing about wild camping is that its super inexpensive and such a fantastic way to see the world.” Exploring Gateshead’s Great Outdoors.
Check out our tips for camping with kids.
2019 best family holiday destinations in Europe
My family and I have been fortunate to travel around Europe a lot over the last few years. Here are a few of our best family holidays in Europe followed by tried and tested European family breaks by other travel loving families…
We just cannot get enough of Brittany in France! Convenient to get to from the UK, (we’ve travelled by both ferry and cheap Easy Jet flights, although the tunnel is obviously another option too). Absolutely stunning beaches, quaint villages, bustling cities, friendly locals, amazing food AND a wide range of family friendly accommodation. (We’ve stayed in budget friendly Brittany campsites, a mobile home site in Southern Brittany and even spent a wonderful week boating in Brittany).
Lake Maggiore, Italian Lakes
Last summer we spent a week in Lake Maggiore, in the Italian Lakes. Although we had travelled extensively around Italy in the past it was our first time to the Italian Lakes. The region is absolutely stunning and we will definitely return to explore further. We spent the week hopping on and off boats, exploring lakeside villages and neighbouring Switzerland. The area is particularly great for active families who love water sports.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
With an average year round temperature of 22C, short flights from the UK, great beaches and fun attractions for kids of all ages it’s not surprising that Lanzarote is a popular family vacation spot. Here are 15 of my favourite things to do in Lanzarote with kids.
Clare from Suitcases and Sandcastles – “Our trip to the tiny Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta’s little sister, had all the ingredients for the perfect family holiday: a stunning coastline with pretty harbours and hidden coves, boat trips through tunnels and into lagoons and forts and quirky museums to explore. The delightfully laidback atmosphere made it an ideal place to take kids and what’s more, we had festivals and fireworks virtually every night.” The enchanting island of Gozo.
Copenhagen and Billund
Jo from Kiddie Holidays – “We loved our family holiday to Denmark. We managed to combine a city break in Copenhagen with a trip to Billund to go to Legoland. We loved Copenhagen, in particular the Tivoli Gardens which is fab for families. We stopped off at the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum on the way to Billund, and saw some amazing viking ships which they had found in the fjord – a great learning experience for the boys. Legoland Billund was great fun, and we stayed at a fantastic place next door to Legoland called Lalandia. It had a massive indoor water park, bowling alley, ice skating, climbing wall and even crystal mining all on site so it was the perfect place to return to after a day at Legoland.” Denmark With Toddlers: A Danish Adventure Visiting Copenhagen and Legoland.
Emily from Kids and Compass – “We loved our summer family road trip around Iceland’s ring road. We were blown away by Iceland’s beauty and the kids had an amazing time exploring the great outdoors. It’s hard to pick our favourite part of the trip – we managed whale watching, going into a glacier and learning about volcanoes. We’re going to have to go back in the winter!” Iceland road trip with kids: A 2 week itinerary.
Amalfi Coast & Rome, Italy
The perfect destination for a multi stop holiday recommends Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes – “We had an amazing holiday in Italy this year. My husband somehow managed to get 3 weeks off so we had a week with family on the Amalfi Coast, a week with more family on Lake Como and a week with friends in Sicily. It all started with an incredible 24 hours in Rome…” Top six things to do in Rome with kids.
Susanna from A Modern Mother – “One of favourite family trips was a summer getaway to Crete. We usually head to California for our summer hols, but this year we went European. It was my first trip to Crete and I fell in love with the blues – the blue sky and blue sea. The girls loved the food, sunshine and history. We’d go again in a flash!” Crete with Olympic Holidays: Filion Suites and Spa.
Nadine from Le Long Weekend – “We loved our family holiday in Sardinia. Unlike most of our jam-packed getaways, Sardinia offered us the chance to really unwind and relax. The easy-going nature of the locals, the family-friendly vibe, the perfect Spring weather, and our amazing beachfront accommodation all contributed to it coming out on top!” Sandcastles to Stalagmites – A Family Holiday Guide to Sardinia.
Zoe from Juggling on Roller Skates – “We loved our night in a Bubble in Belgium. It was a real ‘quality family time’ experience all snuggled up sleeping under the stars together. Plus the hosts really couldn’t have made us feel more welcome”. Family holiday in a bubble, Wanze, Belgium.
Mark and Becky from the Wyld Family Travel – “We spent an amazing 3 days in Kotor, Montenegro. It’s probably the most picturesque spot in all of Europe. We spent an amazing morning climbing the 1500 steps to Kotor Fortress. Anyone who knows the Wyld’s know we are built for comfort not speed, we are more walk down a hill than up a hill. We had an amazing family adventure in Kotor and thoroughly recommend it to other families.” Climbing Kotor Fortress, a three-hour odyesse.
Trish from Mum’s Gone To – “A walking holiday in Austria was a new type of holiday for my husband and I and one I can thoroughly recommend for active families with older kids. Walking from one beautiful hotel to another, with a taxi taking your luggage, is a brilliant way to enjoy a hike. Austria was so pretty in the autumn – lakes and mountains bathed in sunshine.” Lakes & Mountains walking holiday in Austria: Dachstein Mountains.
2019 family holiday ideas North America
Cristin from Smart Mouse Travel –“Montreal, Canada is a beautiful city with a rich history. There are so many museums, parks, and historic sites to explore. The city is amazingly easy to navigate with the Metro and several neighbourhoods are easily walkable. We had three generations on our trip and everyone enjoyed their time in the city.” Beginners guide to Montreal.
Holly from Four Around the World – “We got to visit the most magical place on earth this year with our first trip to the USA and Disneyland California. It was so much fun exploring the two parks and reliving our own childhoods alongside the kids. Plus we loved the city of Anaheim as a whole too!” Disneyland California: Tips for Your First Visit.
Chloe from Picture-Taker Memory-Maker – “We loved our family holiday in Orlando. It was the first time we’ve ever done a ‘big’ long haul family trip. Disney was, of course, absolutely magical and exceeded our expectations in every way – the attention to detail was phenomenal and we made some wonderful memories. We’re all now desperate to explore the rest of America to see the diversity and experience the differences between all the states.”
Check out this epic post for Disney World Florida tips – Tips for planning the ultimate family holiday to Orlando.
Jemma from Twinkles and More – “We stayed overnight on International Drive in Orlando, before heading to the cruise port in Cape Canaveral. The whole week onboard Disney Fantasy was magical. The kids loved meeting the characters that wander around the ship and we all enjoyed our days ashore in Cozumel, Gran Cayman, Jamaica and Castaway Cay, which is Disney’s very own private Island.” Caribbean Disney Cruise On Board The Disney Fantasy.
Daisy from Dais Like These – “Our favourite family holiday by far was our trip to New York and Greenport on Long Island. I was desperate to head back to New York but my husband didn’t want to trade in his beach holiday for a city break so this was the perfect compromise!” New York City With Kids: Top 10 Places to Visit
2019 family holiday ideas South America
Melissa from The Family Voyage – “The highlight of our year-long trip around the world was our four-day visit to El Chaltén in Argentine Patagonia. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and there’s no shortage of family-friendly trekking. The town itself is lovely, with a rustic mountain village feel.” El Chalten trekking with kids.
2019 family holiday ideas Asia
Is worth splashing out for recommends Tracey from Pack the Pj’s – “We took a lifelong dream holiday to the Maldives. It was such an amazing adventure. We got to ride in a seaplane, snorkel over a reef, watch spinner dolphins, go night fishing, kayaking … action-packed and amazing. Would LOVE to go back!” Kandima, Maldives: A resort overview.
Jenny from TraveLynn Family – “Our trip to Sri Lanka was definitely an experienvce we will treasure forever. Colombo is just a 1 hour flight from where we live in Bangalore, so we just had to do it! There is so much variety packed into a relatively small country and getting around in a tuk-tuk, train or car was so easy; with journeys between destinations only between 2 and 4 hours long.
There a miles and miles of pristine beaches to choose from (we loved Mirissa and Arugam Bay), but head inland for close encounters with wild elephants, mountain peaks with stunning views that even our 2 and 3-year-old could climb, and hidden temples to explore. With lots of family homestays (with toys!) dotted around, fun and friendly locals, and cheap travel, food and accommodation, we reckon Sri Lanka is a definite winner for young travelling families!” Sri Lanka Itinerary with young kids.
Marianne from Mum on the Move – “Our favourite places in the world is El Nido in the Philippines. We spent our days island hopping, kayaking through lagoons, snorkeling in the clearest water and hanging out on deserted white sand beaches. It is one of the most beautiful places I have had the pleasure of visiting, and I’m hoping to head back again soon!.” Things to do in El Nido Philippines.
Keri from Our Globetrotters – “Road tripping around Jordan was simply amazing, I can’t believe we lived in the Middle East for so many years before taking this adventure. From Tala Bay and the Red Sea in the south, through to the Lost City of Petra, ancient Roman City Jerash in the North to floating in the Dead Sea. Fears that the kids would be ‘bored’ on a trip like this were quickly quelled when we hit the great outdoors and they started exploring. Ancient crusader castles were a real highlight for them as well as camping under the stars in the Wadi Rum Desert.” A Jordan highlights itinerary for families.
Unforgettable states Maggie from Adventures of a Traveling Girl – “We visited 7 countries in the year but our favourite by far was our trip to Taiwan! Best food, friendly people and super kid friendly. Highlights include a visit to Taipei Zoo, a gondola ride up to Maokong and indulging in the local food.” Taipei – Travel With Kids.
Unmissable says Helen from Actually Mummy – “Cambodia was a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t think I’ve ever really understood the meaning of travel as an education before, but this was truly it. For me as well as for the children. It was such a fascinating, and very humbling trip.” Cambodia family holiday highlights.
Cathy from Mummy Travels – “Our trip to Oman was something of a spontaneous decision – looking for October sunshine with a bit of exploring that we could squeeze into a week of half term school holidays. But our trip exceeded all our expectations, starting from our first morning spotting wild dolphins to exploring the desert dunes, watching turtles hatch on a beach, paddling in wadis, watching the sun set over the mountains and exploring historic forts. It felt like we packed a month of adventure into six days, with welcoming smiles at every point.” 9 reasons to visit Oman.
2019 family holiday ideas Africa
Karen from Mini Travellers – “Rwanda for us. Not only the most incredible two weeks full of experiences for all the family but a real turning point in travel for us, realising the girls love meeting people and understanding their lives too. Watching them in the local schools with the children warmed my heart.” Family holiday in Rwanda: 14 day adventure.
Lisa from Flip Flop Globetrotters – “We stayed in Dahab. Egypt for 5 weeks this fall. Such an amazing place. We’ve been coming there for at least 10 years now and still love it. Usually we don’t visit destinations more than once because there’s still so much to see in the world, but Dahab is different. Beautiful nature, lovely people, great scuba diving and plenty of other activities. Definitely a destination for your bucket list!” 10 reasons to visit Dahab, Egypt.
A must see recommends Nicky from Go Live Young – “A tough choice for us but our absolute favourite was a road trip around South Africa. From Cape Town where we hiked up Table Mountain to the fabulous Stellanbosch wine region to our drive along the Garden Route. South Africa is really family friendly and there is so much fun and adventure to be had. Highlights along the way included riding ostriches in Oudsthoorn, hiking the Robberg Peninsula near Plettenburg Bay, picnicking and sampling wine in several wineries, and exploring Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope.” 12 Reasons Why You Should Visit South Africa with Children.
Yashy from Baby and Life – “We visited 9 countries this year and of the 40+ cities we experienced, the Sahara desert road trip in Morocco blew us away. It’s not an easy trek but it’s fun to do with kids as long as you give yourselves plenty of time.” Check out Yashy’s inspirational video below and article featuring their drive through the Atlas Mountains here – Morocco Desert Drive With Kids.
2019 family holiday ideas Australia
Sally-Ann from Travel Tips 4 Trips – “The highlight was a relaxing break away from health issues with my family in Cervantes, Western Australia. We enjoyed a drive through the Pinnacles Desert, sunset over Ronsard Bay and a trip to see 3500-year-old living stromatolites and thrombolites at Lake Thetis.” Family holiday to Cervantes and the Pinnacles Desert.
Dawn from 5 Lost Together – “We loved our road trip around Tasmania where we explored National Parks, cute seaside towns and learned more about the history of Australia. Tassie, as it is affectionately known as is a sparsely populated and rugged island off the south coast of Australia. For a small island, the landscape is incredibly diverse and combines amazing outdoor opportunities with culturally rich cities. Our Tasmanian road trip.
Many thanks to all the travel bloggers who shared their family holiday reviews. I hope you find these family holiday recommendations useful in planning your holidays for 2019. Please do let us know in the comments below your family holiday plans. We wish you an adventure filled year!