Family-friendly destinations that wont break the bank

It doesn’t matter if you prefer to blame Brexit, currency, Trump, South Korea or something else… regardless of your political standpoint, one thing does remain a constant, and that is the cost of taking the family on that well-earned annual mecca to the blistering sun, and sandy beaches.

It’s easier for us couples – we only have our selfish-selves to think of. A 20% increase (the current average cost of a holiday in 2018 vs 2016) in the annual travel budget can be overcome by sacrificing takeaways, Mamma Mia 2 at the cinema or switching your daily Costa for a fortnightly jar of azeera!

For the family unit however it’s not so simple.  20% of the average £5k for a fortnights getaway is £1000!  Yes £1000! Add to that the increased cost of clothing, groceries, petrol for the school run, et al, and suddenly the once-a-year treat descends into jeopardy.

In recognition of this, I have pulled together 5 amazing holiday destinations that may not yet have appeared on the bucket list.  However if value for money is something you crave, you better start rethinking that list, and prepare for a round-up of destinations that are not only value for money but incredibly family-friendly, and at times… even exceptionally cultural!

 

Croatia

Croatia is currently the major underdog in terms of destination choice, but year on year, the visitor numbers continue to rise.  Kids into “game of thrones”?  It was filmed here for goodness sakes!  That’s a good 2-3 days of wandering sets, scenery and more all at the grand cost of £0!  You can view this magnificent city for the price of the soles of your shoes! That’s not all. Venture out of the medieval city, and discover everything from wine tours (when the wee-ones are in the kids club of course) to gourmet restaurants. Museums, marinas, shopping and so much more.

Croatia really is the perfect blend of old Europe, modern niceties, and tourist -friendly cities that will really make this trip one to remember!

The stunning Croatian coast in Dubrovnik

 

Fuerteventura

Famous for its golden beaches, you could be forgiven for thinking that Fuertavenura is the “brits abroad” destination of choice. Forming part of the Canary Islands there is a little truth in this, but steer away from the major resorts of Corralejo and head south to the likes of Jandia, and experience both quality hotels, great value shopping and restaurants, and some of the most amazing golden beaches you will find.

If you’re feeling adventurous, this windy island is perfect for those who want to partake in a bit of Kite Surfing, Windsurfing, SCUBA, or even Big Game Fishing!

Being only 150km off the coast of the Sahara, the arid climate is incredibly dry, and hot – perfect for the wee-ones where the humidity of the middle east or Mediterranean may prove tricky.

Families will love Playa Gaviotas Park in Fuerteventura

 

Menorca

Menorca is undoubtedly the Cinderella of the Balearic islands. Mot that Mallorca or Ibiza could possibly be considered “ugly sisters”, but Menorca has an incredible charm that Is rarely considered when planning the family escape.

It’s an incredibly destination for families seeking both sea & sand, but also a little adventure too.  From archaeological jeep safaris, to cave & cove kayaking & nature reserves, there is no end to the possibilities that will keep all ages of kids and adults entertained.

Being Balearic, the hotels are perfectly geared up for the whole family, with pools, kids clubs, amazing bard & restaurants and of course, nightly entertainment.

If all of that isn’t quite enough to keep the little blighters entertained, thamn head along to Los Delfines Aquacenter water park on the west-coast. Not as big at the likes of Siam Park in Tenerife, it still has enough to keep even the most discerning water-park enthusiast entertained for the day!

 

Algarve

Whenever I think of the Algarve, I always get reminded of that infamous “only fools and horses” episode.  Despite its bad rap, the Algarve should be a real consideration.

With it’s deserted coves and lagoons, it’s the perfect place to combine some tamer activities such as visiting Sagres, and discovering trhe 15thcentury city, complete with ancient forst atop the red cliffs over the bay. Stay for a sundowner, and enjoy the incredible sunsets!

Looking for something slightly more adrenaline-fueled, head to Albufeira, where you can play golf (I did say slightly) in world famous Vilamoura.

There is no doubt, that the Algarve is defiantly more suited to those looking to take it easy, but with plenty to-do on tap, the kids will love it as much at the adults

Stunning scenery & sunsets can be found all over the Algarve

 

Malta

Saving my personal favourite until last, I cannot fault Malta!

From the cultural centres of Sliema, Mdina and Valetta, to the buzzing St Julians, Paceville, Buggiba or the relaxing resort of Mellieha.

Get it wrong? Don’t worry – at 17 miles across, the island is as diverse as any you will have encountered.

I personally chose to do my advanced PADI (diving) qualification here, and the sealife and subsea, post-WW2 wrecks were a sight to behold.

Take a day-trip to Gozo and visit the citadella, explore Comino, or the blue lagoon, visit the Popeye village, where the Robin Williams hot movie was made, or take in an incredible shore-side restaurantt an enjoy the freshest of Tuna, Octopus or whatever else they have caught that day.

If you want a combination of culture versus fun, (and value for money) then you cant go far wrong with Malta, where the temperature in summer can easily hit a balmy 30 degrees!

Captivating sunset on a harbour in Malta. Perfect for taking in an early dinner with the family.

 

So as the pound starts to fall in value, and our trips abroad start to push the purse strings, give these places a look.  Email us with your experiences at editorial@womenuk.co.uk

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