Top 10 family holidays on a budget
If you are on a budget and you have children, it sometimes feels like a holiday abroad is out of the question. Well i have good news for you, so put down the tent poles and listen up! Trusted Travel have found 10, cheap, child friendly destinations for you. We will advise you on some our best money saving cheats and tricks as well.
First staying In europe immediately takes down your flight costs. A four flight is going to be a lot cheaper than a 12 hour flight. After all the ice cream and sangrita aren't going to pay for themselves.
So let’s get this going and hopefully help you on the way to creating lifetime memories with your family.
1. Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is known for its Mediterranean beaches and golf resorts. Whitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves were transformed in the 1960s, and now it’s central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants. The region's western Atlantic coast and rugged interior are less developed.
You could easily spend your whole holiday in the Algarve soaking up the sun on beach or by the pool, but its a family holiday and the kids need some excitement in their lives, they’ll be more than satisfied with a day at Aqualand, near Alcantarilha, one of the largest water parks in Europe. One of its star attractions is 'Banzai', which involves a 23-metre slide and what looks like a tray with handles on top. Excited youngsters can enjoy the thrill of precariously skimming across the water on said tray before plunging merrily into the depths. But if all of that sounds far too exhausting, you could always head to the relatively uncrowded beach of Praia da Rocha near Portimao instead, and whilst the kids build sandcastles you can doze in the sun. Sounds pretty perfect right? Well the cherry on top is the flight time Approx 2hr 50min flight.
2. Menorca, Spain
Menorca (Minorca) is one of Spain’s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Traditionally more low-key than its neighbors, Mallorca (Majorca) and Ibiza, it’s known for its endless beaches, from miles-long sandy crescents to rocky, turquoise-watered bays called “calas.” Pine trees fringe the coast. The capital, Mahon, is on a bluff overlooking a large harbor, with Georgian mansions and a church with 13th-century roots.
Menorca has a well-deserved reputation for family-friendly sun, sea and sand holidays. It's far quieter than neighbouring Ibiza and Majorca, meaning you're less likely to be disturbed by all-night discos. Make sure you have a paddle at Binibeca Nou, one of the loveliest beaches on the island. Or alternatively, visit the small but beautiful Cala Macarelleta, with its clean sands and beginners bodyboarding size waves. If your children are a bit older then a great way to visit the more secluded beaches is by paddling a kayak along the coast. Still not 100% sold on Menorca? Well flight time is 2hr 35m and with children the less time spent on a plane the better.
3. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture. The fantastical Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. City history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological sites.
Now this is a little different from your typical family beach holiday however, Barcelona is brilliant for a first family city break. The children will be fascinated with the weird and wonderful buildings designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudí. The wonderfully colourful Parc Guell, situated on a hill overlooking the city, is sure to capture the imaginations of young children with its curving mosaics and giant lizards. Then there's Gaudí joyously odd apartment building, La Pedrera, complete with jumbled, curving chimneys that look like they come straight from the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Aside from the Gaudí marvels, there's the huge Parc de Ciutadella, which is perfect for a family picnic and even has a zoo in the middle. And if weird creatures fascinate the kids, the aquarium at Port Vell offers a chance to gape at seahorses and sharks - and it even features a children's area with 50 activities to explore. The market on Las Ramblas – La Boqueria – is fantastic for people watching and is a great place for the kids to sample some authentic tapas. If all else fails, hit the beach at Barceloneta. And if all of that wasn't convincing enough the flight is only 2hrs 15m.
4. Brittany, France
Brittany, lying in the northwest corner of France, is one of the great historic provinces of France. The most Atlantic of France's regions, Brittany is proud of its Celtic heritage, that sets it apart from the rest of France. It enjoys a mild climate somewhat warmer though not necessarily drier than the climate of the southwest of England. The name "Brittany" derives from the Britons who, back in the Dark Ages, came south across the English Channel to seek refuge from the Anglo Saxon invaders who were pushing them out of a large part of the island of Great Britain.
Brittany is ideal if you want to take the kids abroad but not somewhere too hot - peak summer months are July-August and temperatures are usually about 18°C. There are many child-friendly resorts around France's western coast, from Saint Malo to La Baule, with sandy beaches big enough for a city of sandcastles. Fly to Dinard from the UK: the traditional seaside resort of Dinard is especially convenient as it’s got its own airport. Make sure you visit the awe-inspiring Mont Saint Michel (Saint Michael's Mount), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features a beautiful abbey which is linked to the mainland by a spindly causeway. Which was featured in the video game Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – make sure to casually drop that into the conversation when informing potentially difficult teenagers about the trip and they'll be clamouring to go... And last but not least flight is time an amazing 36mins! However you can drive if you are more the road tripping kind jump on the ferry and enjoy the sights, if you are up for the challenge it will take about a total time of 12hrs.
5. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is Scotland's compact, hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Arthur’s Seat is an imposing peak in Holyrood Park with sweeping views, and Calton Hill is topped with monuments and memorials.
Summer is festival time in Edinburgh: the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (which takes place throughout August) has hundreds of shows especially for kids, including stand-up comedy for younger audiences, so no swearing, and only jokes about Ben 10. Comedy Club 4 Kids offers children a chance to have a go at stand-up for themselves. Then there are the many street theatre shows, which are guaranteed to include fire juggling and audience participation, two things that are sure to put a smile on kids' faces. Away from the Fringe, older family members will love the creepy Edinburgh Dungeon, and Deep Sea World where you can see cute seals and sharks up close. And if that wasn't exciting enough its just an hours flight time!
6. Disneyland Paris, France
Disneyland Paris, originally Euro Disney Resort, is an entertainment resort in Marne-la-Vallée, a new town located 32 km east of the centre of Paris, and is the most visited theme park in all of Europe.
Paris, city of culture, romance, fine food...and Disneyland! If Disney World in Orlando is too far to travel with offspring, Paris is only a short flight away, which makes it easier, and of course the kids will love it. Pluck up the courage to go on Space Mountain, take a swashbuckling ride with the Pirates of the Caribbean, and meet your (sorry, your kids’) fave Disney characters. And since 2002, Disneyland Paris has been joined by Walt Disney Studios Park, which houses rides based on animated films like Toy Story and Ratatouille, plus there's even an entertainment district called Disney Village, featuring Disney-fied shops restaurants and bars. You'll never have to leave! But if you DO get tired of the endless happiness, the surly waiters of Paris are merely an hour's drive away from the resort. And none of that was reason enough to go it is 1hr 30m flight time to paris, then jump on the train and its 41 minutes straight to Disney.
7. Europa Park, Germany
Europa-Park is a the largest theme park in Germany, and the second most popular theme park resort in Europe, following Disneyland Paris. Europa-Park is located in Rust, in south-western Germany, between Freiburg and Strasbourg, France.
If you've already been to see Mickey and the gang, take the kids to meet Euromaus (yes, that's actually a thing and Disney's lawyers have been informed) at Europa Park near Baden-Baden in southern Germany. One of Europe’s biggest theme parks, Europa boasts exhilarating roller coasters and loads of other attractions spread over European country-themed areas. So take a crazy taxi ride around London, a gondola ride through Venice and an Elf Ride(!) in Germany. For more of an adrenaline thrill - if your blood isn't already pumping from the Elf Ride - try the Blue Fire Megacoaster, which rockets to 100km/h in 2.5 seconds, or attempt to keep your lunch down on the Silver Star, a roller coaster that pulls 4g and reaches heights of 73 metres. Yikes. Plus flight time is around 2hrs so what faults could you possibly find here!
8. Corfu, Greece
Corfu, an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea, is defined by rugged mountains and a resort-studded shoreline. Its cultural heritage reflects years spent under Venetian, French and British rule before it was united with Greece in 1864. Corfu Town, flanked by 2 imposing Venetian fortresses, features winding medieval lanes, a French-style arcade and the grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George.
Corfu attracts over a million visitors every year, most of them in the summer holidays, and mostly to a few resorts on the island's north and west coasts. If you would prefer a little peace and quiet, rent a villa in a village on Corfu's east coast. The peaceful village of Kalami is a great place to unwind with the family, with its secluded bay and scenic walks. However, if the kids are hankering for something to do, try Avlaki beach in the north, where they can learn to windsurf or even ride horses courtesy of Dimitri's Horse Riding. Flights are cheap, as is the wine (good news for parents), It’s a mere 3hr 25m flight to the holiday of a lifetime.
9. Lopud, Croatia
Lopud is a small island 4.63 square kilometres off the coast of Dalmatia, southern Croatia. Lopud is economically the most developed of the Elaphiti Islands, and can be reached by boat from Dubrovnik, Trsteno, Orasac and Zaton.
Croatia's islands aren't the preserve of millennials hanging out in cool bars and posing with Prosecco bellinis. The car-free island of Lopud is popular with families and boasts some cracking beaches, like Sunj bay, one of Croatia's best, complete with small child-friendly shallow water. Lopud is a short ferry trip from Dubrovnik which is also the nearest airport, itself a cheap flight away from the UK. Don't forget to mention to the kids that Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik - the walls are those of King's Landing in the series. Flight time is about 3hr 5m which will bring you to pure paradise!
10. Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakesh, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. The medina is a densely packed, walled medieval city dating to the Berber Empire, with maze like alleys where thriving souks (marketplaces) sell traditional textiles, pottery and jewellery. A symbol of the city, and visible for miles, is the Moorish minaret of 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque.
If you think that the kids should have more cultural excitement from their summer holiday then look no further. It may seem like a faraway land, but you can get a return flight to Marrakech for just over £100*. Bustling bazaars, snake charmers, camel rides; they’ll certainly have lots of tales to tell their classmates, as long as you don't lose them in the souk, that is. If you fancy a less fraught trip, try heading into the Atlas Mountains. The village of Imlil is only around an hour and a quarter away by road and is an ideal base for trekking. It takes about 4hr 50m so a little longer than our other suggested locations, but it’s definitely worth it!
I know you are spoilt for choice! Have fun choosing which holiday suits your family best….