Holidays are a great time to bond as a family and create lifelong memories, but finding a destination that’s both affordable and will also keep everyone happy can be tricky.
This is especially true if your kids are different ages and have their own ideas about what a good holiday should entail.
Fortunately, planning a getaway that everyone will love doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and these five family-friendly destinations pack in a wide range of activities that will appeal to kids of all ages:
The South Pacific island of Samoa has warm tropical weather and sunshine all year round, and it’s just a six and a half hour flight from Sydney or Melbourne. Many resorts are family-oriented, but there are also plenty of off-site adventures you can enjoy together as a family, from swimming and snorkelling in the clear waters of Palolo Deep Marine Park to rainforest canopy walks in the Falealup Rainforest Reserve.
Kids will also love the naturally smooth Papaseea Sliding Rocks where they can glide through waterfalls into the freshwater pool below.
Bulgaria was recently ranked as Europe’s cheapest holiday destination, so it’s a great alternative to pricier coastal countries like Italy or France. Aside from being affordable, it’s also a great place to travel, and the Black Sea coastline is stunning. The beaches are of course Bulgaria’s main attraction, but younger kids will enjoy the aqua parks, dolphinariums and aquariums along the coast, while older children can tackle adventures like caving, kayaking, horse riding or exploring the ancient town of Plovdiv with its mysterious Roman ruins.
Although Thailand is a popular backpacking destination, it’s also very family-friendly and Thai people love children and will go out of their way to make you feel welcome wherever you go.
Transport in Thailand is cheap and convenient and on islands like Ko Samui and Ko Lanta, kids can enjoy elephant rides, snorkelling, kayaking and rock climbing, while inland adventures can include boat trips, visits to botanical gardens and ancient ruins or even a cooking class.
4. New Zealand
Although most Australians don’t consider New Zealand to be truly overseas, don’t be too quick to discount it.
For one thing, getting there is quick and affordable, but aside from the cost factor, New Zealand is different enough from Australia to make it a novel and memorable experience for kids, and there are plenty of great activities to tackle as a family, from penguin and seal spotting to panning for gold at Shantytown.
Fiji is known for its white sandy beaches and clear blue waters and almost any resort you stay at will provide low-cost nannies and child-friendly activities. Beyond the beaches, you can visit hot springs and tropical spas, take in some Fijian history at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes where a number of prehistoric sites have been excavated, or go for a family hike on Kadavu or Taveuni Island where you can see waterfalls, volcano craters and traditional Fijian villages.
Do you have any ideal family holiday spots to add to this list? Please share in the comments below.