It’s easy to play it safe and go for the holiday destinations that are close to home, staying in the UK or enjoying the short flight times to France, Spain, Italy and Greece but in doing so you’re missing out on an amazing world full of exotic travel destinations that can still be family friendly. I’ve detailed five exotic family holiday destinations and why I think you should consider them over for your next family holiday instead of heading back to the Algarve for the umpteenth time.
Exotic destinations with babies or toddlers can be quite difficult, with many baby-friendly features we’re used to in the UK not being available, but once your children are old enough to spend the day walking and exploring, listen to your safety advice and marvel at the world around them, it’s time to consider a more exotic family holiday. Exotic destinations do require a little bit of extra planning, especially in regards to the time in which you go as many will have seasonal weather which can affect your holiday, but the bit of extra work will be well worth the reward!
Thailand is an absolutely amazing destination, full of culture and experiences that you’ll never get staying close to home, from architecture to entertainment to food and beautiful surroundings. For those wanting to venture to Thailand with a family, I’d highly recommend Phuket – an unforgettable rainforest island – which has a good balance of relaxation – long sandy beaches and picturesque palm trees and activities. You can enjoy a really action packed holiday here, with water parks, surfing opportunities, museums, mini golf, bird park, aquarium and more, all within easy distance of amazing hotels and villas on the beach.
Flights are around 15 – 17 hours from the UK and you will have to make a change. This gives an ideal opportunity to split the holiday into two destinations, perhaps a few days spent in Dubai, immersing yourself in the hustle and bustle of city culture, before heading out to the quiet and relaxing island of Phuket.
For the best family experience consider looking at private family villas in Phuket, where you can combine a luxury experience with privacy and safety, with children catered for. Villa Finder has over 1,500 villas in Bali, Phuket, Samui, Sri Lanka and Mauritius and they’ve made it easy to find the right villa to suit your needs. For families, you can get extras like pool fences, car seats and whatever you need, making sure you feel confident about taking your family to an exotic destination.
Morroco is one of the most exotic feeling locations that is under a five hour flight. This is ideal for those with young children who are worried about keeping them happy on a longer flight, yet still looking for somewhere with a very different culture to explore. Because Morroco is so different, children will be fascinated by everything, and have a lot to learn about how other people live. Morroco is a destination that offers camel rides through the desert, haggling in an authentic marketplace, exploring amazing architecture or even going on a sightseeing trip to see the famous Barbary apes in the cedar forests. Truly something for everyone!
Mauritius is a tiny speck in the ocean, some 1200 miles off the coast of Africa. The coastlines of Mauritius are dotted with white sandy beaches and sugar plantations. It’s a destination that offers amazing beach holidays, watersports and sprawling plantations filled with history and a new culture to explore. It is particularly famous for the coral filled oceans, a multitude of marine life – including lots of dolphins – and shipwrecks from the 18th and 19th century that can be explored. But if you’re looking for some shopping and nightlife, the busy capital of Port Louis offers lots of modern shopping and entertainment.
Mauritius is family friendly, with even luxury hotels catering to all your family needs. It’s a safe holiday destination, with friendly people and lots of family catered activities. Flights to Mauritius are around 12 hours, but you can fly direct from London Gatwick to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
You might not think that an African Safari is a place for kids and it’s not really somewhere you can relax with a baby or a toddler as easily as other destinations, but if you have older children who are interested in nature then it can be an unforgettable family experience. South Africa is varied, with lush foliage, wide stretching beaches, deserts and game reserves. This is a once in a lifetime type of holiday where your family can really connect with a different world. It doesn’t have to be a non stop adventure holiday though, there are many family friendly hotels, resorts and lodges, both near game reserves or along the coastline, where you can take some downtime to relax and enjoy the amazing surroundings.
Vietnam is an enchanting holiday destination that will captive both children and adults alike, with frenetic markets full of exotic sounds and smells, enchanting puppet theatres and relaxing beach resorts. It has a wonderful balance of culture, activities and nature which will leave everyone in the family tired, but happy at the end of the day. You can see endangered animals in the wild, experience new food in the many restaurants, learn about the culture in museums or spend the days biking, snorkeling or lounging on the beach as best suits you!
Once again direct flights are available from London and will take around 12 hours – enough time to settle down and have a good sleep before the excitement begins!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed looking at the exotic destinations of Thailand, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa and Vietnam and are considering them for your next family holiday. Which would would you like to visit most?
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