This is the time of year when everyone is planning their holidays. And if you have a big occasion this year, or just need to get away from it all, why not take the opportunity to take the family on a holiday of a lifetime?
We have had a look at the numerous companies that say they will take families on holidays off the beaten track. Only a few cater for families in a way that shows they understand what is important to a family. A long haul flight might be OK, but a 6 hour drive at the other end isn’t!
Take a look at our top 10 family holiday companies, make some plans and who knows, your dream holiday may be closer than you think…
10 Bamboo Travel 7/10
Classic holiday tours of Southern Asia to see all the things that a family would want to see with a local guide. Some trips are good for active families, others, such as the Vietnam visit can be done with younger children, The trips are not all inclusive so you have the opportunity to sample local cuisine at your leisure. Not for the feint hearted but the food in Asia is delicious and extremely good value for money. And the people are hospitable and love young families.
9 Bespoke Latin America 7/10
When they say that this is bespoke they mean it. As soon as you go on to the family holiday pages the language changes and this makes you feel safe that these people get what it is like to travel with your family, whether they are little, getting ready to be a grown up or anywhere in between! They get back to you quickly once you fill in the questionnaire on where you wan to go, when and what your budget is and make good recommendations, holding your hand all along the way.
8 Steppes Travel 7.5/10
The site tells you that most of the Steppes staff have kids themselves so know, from bitter experience, the pitfalls and what to avoid, as well as the great things that you can do to make the holiday extra special. As none of their holidays are off the shelf you can tailor your trip based on a personal consultation to make sure it is perfect for your family. The range of suggestions for families is also good and the itinerary shows that they have considered the needs and interests of little ones along the way.
7 Wildlife Worldwide 7.5/10
Want to go on a Jungle Book holiday? Then these are the people to take you. Their trips can be tailored to fit the ages of your kids, and adjusted to fit half term. The prices can include flights or you can do this bit yourself. For the holiday of a lifetime that will give you kids a love of wildlife these are the people to talk to.
The place to go for a soft safari with little ones. Prices include car hire if there is a self drive element to your tour, and they adjust the price depending on when you want to go. Or maybe you want to spend 6 days on Zanzibar? It looks idyillic to me – and it’s not a long haul flight to get 6 days in paradise!
5 Safari Consultants 8/10
These people really do know about safari’s and share great tips on how to get you and your kids out of the best safari’s. So did you know the best place for little kids to go on safari is malaria-free South Africa? And it’s a great idea just to do a soft safari with little ones, and mix it up wth a non-safari beach destination hotel for a few days to get the best out of your time together. So let’s see who gets the best pic of a 3 year seeing their first giraffe in the wild!
4 Lowis & Leakey 8/10
If you want to show your kids the big five then these are the people to go with. The founders of this company have brought their kids up on safari so they know how to tailor your trip to make it work for little ones, middle sized ones and big ones. And watching the faces of your kids when they see the animals that they have only ever seen on screens, in books or in a cage is priceless.
3 Reef & rainforest 8.5/10
The photography on this site is amazing! They must be using a National Geographic freelancer, they are so beautiful you can just scoot around the site looking at the pictures and accidentally miss the holidays! No wonder they are award winners, and for Eco-friendly family holidays. It just gets better. These holidays are pricey but beautiful, and this company has experts to give you great tips for the best time to go, and how to see the most amazing sights when you are there. A great way to travel off the beaten track.
2 Naturally Belize 9/10
I think the people that run this company get it when you are looking for a family holiday with a difference. The Belize Family Tour looks like it is not too demanding but keeps everyone busy with lots of options of how you spend your time. Prices include flights and based on a family of four seem very reasonable. This is one place you can go to any time of year, and July – August seem to be lower season. Peak season is Christmas and New Year. I’d rather spend the money here than on a 10 day holiday in Europe for a change!
1 Pioneer Expeditions 9.5/10
Ok, which holiday to choose! The prices are reasonable, the itineraries can work for a young family or for a more adventurous family. You can choose add ons if you want to spend extra days on the beach or island hopping. Some trips as listed have set minimum ages but the organisers can tailor the tour for younger kids, and know how to keep the little ones happy. Now, which one shall I choose…Madagascar? Indonesia? Borneo, hmmmm..