For those of you who are still looking for family holidays this summer, check out my top picks below, along with some top travel tips to help you on your way.
Algarve, 4* Estrela do Vau, 13th August, 2ad & 2ch , 1 week €1870
This is fantastic value for a four star property in the Algarve during school holidays. The complex is located close to one of the best beaches on the Algarve and it is family orientated with two swimming pools. You are close to the quiet village of Alvor and the larger resorts of Praia da Rocha and Portimao so it offers the best of both worlds. The Algarve also offers theme parks and water parks and plenty of options for family fun days out.
Rhodes, Pefki Islands Resort, 10th August, 2ad & 2ch, 1 week €1969
This is an excellent family property that is highly rated on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence. It is situated beside the beach, has two swimming pools with swim up bars, as well as some organised evening entertainment. It is very close to the resort centre and within easy access of Lindos and Rhodes town. I also love that the price includes a large 2 bedroomed apartment, transfers and checked baggage!
Harry Potter Experience, London. 11th August, 2ad & 2ch , Two nights, €956
If you are looking for a short break away then why not consider London? Visit Warner Bros studios and enjoy the Harry Potter Experience. You will visit the sets where the movies were made and see the famous Hogwarts Express. This trip also includes entrance to the West Midlands Safari Park which has over 165 exotic animals and an adventure theme park. Price of €956 includes a two night stay at the Holiday Inn Express on a bed & breakfast basis, entrance to Warner Bros studio and the West Midlands Safari park, return ferry and coach transfer, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.
4* Oranmore Lodge, Galway. Two night stay BB, 2ad & 2ch €170.
For any of you who thought you might not get away this Summer, this is a great deal that won’t break the bank!. Spend two nights in the Oranmore Lodge Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis from only €170 based on 2 adults & 2 children, throughout the summer months. This family run hotel has a leisure centre, gym and free wifi and is only 7km from Galway city.
Travel Tips for travelling with kids.
1. Make sure the holiday you are booking offers facilities that suit you.
Different age groups have different priorities. You will find with younger kids a pool or mini disco might be the most important thing, with teenagers it could be free wifi. Remember also to check the season and weather for the destination you are going to, there is a reason why prices to the Algarve are very reasonable in November, you may not get any sun!
2. Choose your flights wisely
Short flights are handy when kids are crawling or too young to watch tv or play with tablets. Otherwise, I would say don’t let a longer flying time put you off. Kids can watch movies and easily amuse themselves for longer journeys now. Also bear in mind airport transfer times. Northern Majorca or Western Algarve can have two hour airport transfer, Lanzarote for instance might be a longer flight, but the airport transfer time to the main resort, Puerto del Carmen, is only 15 minutes.
If travelling long haul, especially to the USA – pay the extra cost and go direct. Clearing immigration in Ireland will mean when you arrive (tired ) you don’t have to queue to go through customs. You also wont have the stress of missing connections and your bags not arriving, which happened to me twice recently via London. I should have remembered that #smartfliesaerlingus! If there are no direct flights available, give yourself loads of connecting time.
3. Buy a mediashare – Approx €30.
This was a life saver on our recent family holiday. The Verbatim MEDIA SHARE creates an ad-hoc wifi network of its own so the kids can watch movies at any time on their tablets or phones. Simply put movies on a USB stick or and SD card and plug them in. Install the MediaShare app from the Google Play or Apple App store. Open it, find the Media share device and click on the movie you wish to watch. The device can support up to five devices watching different movies at the one time. You no longer need to bring a portable DVD player and lots of discs. I have used the device in lots of hotel rooms and restaurants when the kids get bored. I will have a full review on this device in my new ‘News & Reviews’ section which will focus on great devices for the twenty first century traveller. Here is a video from the company showing how it all works
4. Bring supplies
Check before you go and if the beach is stoney, bring surf shoes. If you are likely to have mosquitoes, bring bug bands or deet sprays. If the weather is particularly hot, surf tops are ideal to save you worrying about kids getting burnt. If driving, going on a boat or a theme park with rollercoasters, bring seabands. My kids used them for our recent road trip and I found them great.
Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.
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