Need long-haul holiday inspo?
Have we got gorgeous beaches, chic shacks and twinkly turquoise waters for you. Travel porn incoming!
Where do you fancy then? Here are my future dream family holiday destinations, where I will one day soon be Instagramming my artfully-arranged sun-lounger (quick, hide the empty beer bottles)…
I’m too old and tired for full moon parties these days but I do fancy taking the kids on an elephant safari at Khao Sok National Park, There’s also plenty of lolling around insanely gorgeous beaches in Krabi and Phuket (while daydreaming of Leonardo di Caprio in The Beach).
I did this classic road trip a couple of times in my foot-loose and fancy-free days and have long promised the kids to show them the West Coast. This 12-night tour winds its way down the coast from buzzy San Fran through the gorgeous Santa Monica, with its Spanish villas and pretty seafront, to San Diego. And if the children moan too much in the backseat, you can always Thelma and Louise them off a handy nearby cliff (JOKE!)
The nearest I’ve got to going on safari is wearing a khaki shirtdress so I’m determined to remedy that soon. The Madikwe Lelapa Safari Lodge is one of South Africa’s major game viewing regions, promising the Big 5 (elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions and Cape buffalo) and the accommodation doesn’t involve roughing it – instead there’s private plunge pools, air con and wood burning stoves. It’s also malaria-free so ideal for families. I’d be lion if I said I didn’t fancy it (*gets coat*).
I love the sound of this 11 day tour that combines culture and history with lazing around on white sands – best of both worlds, non? You start off exploring the mystical temples of Angkor, with local guides providing scavenger hunts for the children so they can scamper across the ruins to their hearts content. Then for part 2, you head to Soneva Kiri in Koh Kood, Thailand, a paradise resort with its private infinity pools, buggies and butlers. I mean, just look at that view. I’m never coming home.
Must admit, I’d never considered this Middle Eastern country before now – I thought it was more of a layover spot en route to somewhere more interesting. But turns out there’s loads to do, the weather is uniformly brilliant and it’s only seven hours from the UK. This 12 day trip is a great taster for Oman newbies, taking in deserts, mountains dolphins and lots of lovely sandy beaches. They’re really big on kids’ activities too, which means you get maximum relaxation time.
I want to sleep in this incredible tree bed if it’s the last thing I do – just look at it! This camp in the Yala National Park, Sri Lanka is where you stay during wildlife expert Noel Rodrigo’s leopard safari. It’s not just the speedy spotty ones here though – there’s also elephants, monkeys, water buffalo, deer, crocodiles, sloth bears. And then there’s an eco-pool to mess around in afterwards.
Another place that wouldn’t have been my first port of call with the nippers but turns out it’s very much family-friendly because there’s such a range of things to do and see. This two-week jaunt takes in the elegant French colonial architecture of capital Hanoi, cruises along Halong Bay (where you can swim, snorkel, fish, cycle, trek and kayak) and the Mekong Delta, lively Ho Chi Minh City and various luxury hotels along the way. Basically “Mum, I’m bored” will not be a phrase uttered on this holiday – praise be.