Soon it’ll be time to stop packing the school lunches and start packing the suitcase! With the Christmas school holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your much needed adventure. Take a moment to envisage your ideal family getaway. Do you see warm sunny days on the shores of an island paradise or are you touring the sights of your favourite city? Escape to the beautiful beaches in Fiji or Phuket or enjoy the excitement of London.
Here are our top destinations for your next school holiday break.
Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific, the exotic Cook Islands remain a firm family favourite. The unspoilt beaches are the number one attraction, boasting swaying palms, azure waters and silky white sand. Sun seekers can enjoy the excellent snorkelling and diving conditions surrounding Rarotonga Island, particularly at Muri Lagoon. Watch a magical overwater night show at the Te Vara Nui Village, while sampling an Island and Western fusion buffet. Kids will love a game of mini golf at Cocoputt or wander the pretty Maire Nui Botanical Gardens.
From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, the iconic city of London is hard to beat. Fly high on the London Eye and experience picturesque views of the city’s spectacular skyline. Kids will love a day at Warner Bros. Studio where they can see the actual sets and props from the famous Harry Potter films or explore the pretty gardens at one of the famous Royal Parks. Take the kids to the world class Science Museum or visit one of the vibrant markets dotted around town.
An archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific, Fiji is a sought after destination for sun seekers. Many families flock to the idyllic beaches, where the kids can swim, surf, snorkel or kayak. Visit a traditional Fijian village, take part in a Kava welcome ceremony and enjoy meeting the friendly locals. Island hopping is also a popular activity. A short ferry ride can have you exploring the palm fringed beaches of the Mamanuca Islands. The Nadi Markets are a great place to pick up local handicrafts and souvenirs, while the Kula Eco Park on the island of Viti Levu is a favourite for kids.
The picture-perfect countryside of New Zealand makes it the ideal destination for a self-drive holiday, whether you choose to explore the lush fields of the North Island or the snow-capped peaks of the South. Winter adventures abound in Queenstown, with many surrounding snow fields for adventure seekers. Lord of the Rings devotees can take a journey from Auckland through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set. Little ones will love exploring the magnificent glow worm caves in Waitomo, while parents can sample the country’s famed food and wine.
Thailand is always a popular destination for families, with many amazing cities and countless islands to explore. Arrive in the bustling capital Bangkok and admire the ornate temples or visit the culturally rich city of Chiang Mai. Families will love the beautiful beaches of Phuket where you can take the little ones to see a colourful show at Phuket FantaSea. Adventure seekers can enjoy a day trip to see the stunning limestone cliffs at Phang Nga Bay or go for a snorkelling or diving tour around the islands. Koh Samui is also fantastic for families who are looking for a relaxing beach break.