Over the past few years prices have been falling across much of Europe, making it a more attractive place than ever for family holidays. High-end destinations have become affordable for ordinary families and favourite beach resorts have started offering fantastic package deals. All this makes it easier to treat your family to an amazing holiday with something for everyone.
Dream destinations for kids
If you talk to children who have been on European holidays, you’ll find that these are some of the destinations they like best – and they all have something for grown-ups, too!
Salema, Portugal. This Algarve beauty spot may not be a big name but young children just love its long, golden beach, whilst clear, shallow waters make splashing around safer. It’s also great for finding shells. Stay in a local cottage and enjoy the unspoiled countryside.
Alghero, Sardinia. A mixture of sandy and pebbly beaches keeps things interesting and you can have a go at kayaking together. Stay at Monte Sixeri Farm where your kids can go wild in the playground or help feed the animals while you relax in the pool.
Arrieta, Lanzarote. Rugged countryside, a charming old town and secluded sandy beaches mean there’s a lot to explore. Stay in a yurt at Lanzarote Retreats where children will love the adventure playground, pool full of inflatable toys and friendly resident donkey.
Avoriaz, France. For something a bit different, check out this child-friendly ski resort that has some slopes safe enough for toddlers and horse-drawn sleighs to ride in. Stay in a spacious family chalet and take your kids to explore the Village des Enfants.
Devon, England. It may seem modest, but kids don’t care – they love fossil hunting on the beaches and exploring the souvenir shops in the villages, where there are many child-friendly eateries. Stay in a caravan at one of the many family-focused sites along the coast.
The dog comes too!
Recognising that your furry family members matter too, many of these locations are dog friendly. It’s increasingly easy to find pet-friendly hotels, some of which provide extras to make dogs feel welcome, and a high proportion of camping and caravan sites and rental cottages will let your pets stay too.
Make sure you take the time to prepare your pet for travelling. You’ll need to plan so you can find suitable food. Most basic medications like dog flea tablets, available from specialists such as Bob Martin Vetcare, are legal right across Europe but if your pet needs something more unusual then you should ask your vet for advice before you set off. Remember to pack familiar bedding and a few favourite toys to help your dog feel secure.
Planning your travel
Travelling with your children and the dog is always complicated. To cut down on the chaos it’s important to plan well around everything from rest stops (including ones where you can walk the dog) to packing snacks and water. You’ll need to check that your transport options can cater for everyone and you’ll need to find ways to make sure everyone has fun. Get it right, though, and nothing compares to the fun of being on holiday, all together.