Which family holiday is right for you?

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Did you know that families make up a whopping 63% of leisure travel and 30% of global tourism?

As Antoinette Turner, GM of Flight Centre South Africa, says: “Planning a multi-generational trip requires striking a balance. Kids and teens crave adventure and excitement, while parents and grandparents might seek relaxation and cultural experiences. The key is to carefully consider the type of holiday you embark on, ensuring there’s something for everyone, with ample opportunities for family bonding and making memories.”

With so many incredible options available, from luxurious cruises to thrilling theme parks, it can feel overwhelming to choose the perfect match for your family. Here’s everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Cruising

Best for: Families seeking all-inclusive fun and the chance to visit more than one destination in one trip.

Ideal age of children: All ages welcome (although some cruise lines only allow babies six months and older).

Why we love it: Travel logistics are a breeze (as long as you have a travel agent in your corner), there’s an endless array of onboard entertainment to keep everyone happy, and the luxury of unpacking just once is a major perk for families.

Top consideration: Consider the size and style of cruise ship that appeals to you – a bustling mega-ship with non-stop activities, or a smaller vessel offering a more intimate experience.

Top travel tips: For the most spacious accommodations, look into booking connecting cabins. If travelling with older children, a balcony cabin provides a welcome retreat. Keep an eye out for fantastic ‘kids sail free’ promotions.

Island getaways

Best for: Beach-loving families seeking relaxation or water sport adventures.

Ideal age of children: Best for younger kids and those who love swimming (don’t they all?).

Why we love it: Who doesn’t thrive when lapping up luxury in tropical island paradise? Plus, with all-inclusive options widely available, it’s easy to unwind knowing everything is taken care of.

Top consideration: Look for family-friendly resorts with excellent kids’ clubs, supervised activities, and plenty of included water sports options to keep active kids busy.

Top travel tips: Take advantage of ‘kids stay free’ promotions or special packages available. If bound by school holidays, consider larger islands, as they often have more availability compared to smaller, more exclusive ones.

City breaks

Best for: Families with energetic kids interested in museums, history, and bustling environments.

Ideal age of children: Better for older kids and teens with stamina for walking distances.

Why we love it: City breaks are a fantastic way to immerse yourselves in a different culture, experience a vibrant food scene, and tap into the educational and exciting opportunities iconic cities offer.

Top consideration: Centrally located accommodations make exploring more affordable and hassle-free. Remember to strike a healthy balance between sightseeing and downtime to avoid overtired kids (and parents!).

Top travel tips: City passes are your best friend – they often bundle popular attractions at a discount. Book tours or museum tickets in advance to avoid wasting precious time waiting in lines with impatient kids.

Safari

Best for: Nature-loving families seeking unique wildlife encounters and plenty of downtime.

Ideal age of children: Some lodges have age restrictions, usually 6+ for game drives.

Why we love it: Safaris offer an awe-inspiring and educational experience, fostering a lifelong love for wildlife and conservation in young little hearts. They’re also the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.

Top consideration: Finding a child-friendly lodge is obviously a must, and not all lodges are created equal when it comes to kid-friendly offerings. Look for lodges known for their dedicated kids’ programmes and age-appropriate activities.

Top travel tips:

Book your safari well in advance, especially during peak seasons. Consider less-visited parks or reserves for potentially lower prices and a more intimate wildlife viewing experience. Choose malaria-free zones, especially if travelling with younger kids.

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