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Guest Blog 

This week ... Mary at Mary+Travel!

How much time do you spend researching your next holiday? I’m sure many of you would say, ‘A lot!’. The choices are simply endless: hundreds of countries and thousands of locations, not to mention all the different accommodation types and the myriad of activities and excursions on offer. And how do you know whether the tour operator or supplier can be trusted? Are they providing value for money? It’s no wonder it can all feel a bit daunting, especially if you lead a busy life already, which as parents, we all do. With my wealth of holiday knowledge and access to trusted suppliers and your ideas of what would make a perfect holiday for your family, together we can curate something really special in a fraction of the time. Message me at maryandtravel@gmail.com and let’s get started!

 

As an independent travel agent, I am often asked to recommend places that are good for families. Of course, ‘good’ can be interpreted in many ways, so it’s a tricky question to answer until I’ve had a good conversation with you and established what your holiday preferences are. In the meantime, if you are looking for inspiration, here are 6 truly amazing family-friendly destinations to whet your appetite:

 

Lapland

On many families’ buckets lists, nothing captures the spirit of Christmas quite like Lapland. Visit Santa’s village and spend time with the elves before meeting the big man himself, go husky or reindeer sledging through breath-taking forests and past lakes, stay in glass igloos and gaze at more stars than you’ve ever seen before and marvel at the Northern Lights; magic really is in abundance here. The mix of child-friendly activities and unbelievable natural surroundings make Lapland a truly unforgettable experience.

 

Japan

No matter the age or size of your family, Japan will deliver. It’s clean and safe with unique activities to do. From Kyoto boasting 17 UNESCO sites to Tokyo, where the past and the future mesh together seamlessly, to the stunning natural beauty outside the cities: pristine beaches, snowy mountains and verdant valleys for hiking and rafting, Japan is perfect. Child-friendly museums and public events are all over Tokyo and Super Nintendo World is an absolute must do. An unrivalled transport system (bullet trains!) makes it easy to move around and explore this incredible country.

 

Kenya

Kenya is king of the quintessential safari experience and a safari in Kenya is life-changing; so why not create this incredible memory together with your children? Encounter Africa’s big 5 on the vast plains of the Masai Mara and absorb the culture and colour from the Massai tribe as they showcase their unique and ancient way of life. Support conservation organisations by visiting elephant and giraffe orphanages and see them feeding and playing – it makes for fabulous photo opportunities! Staying in a tented camp is a must – the sounds of the African bush all around you as you drop off to sleep and fresh hot coffee and cake delivered to you as you wake up; heaven! And for those with deep pockets, a hot-air balloon ride over the savannah, floating just a few feet above majestic African creatures, watching the sun rise and enjoying a hot champagne breakfast is a unique and unforgettable experience.

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an amazing family-oriented destination. For those that wish to relax, there are lots of resorts where you can enjoy yourself without lifting a finger and for those looking for adventure, there are a ton of activities for you to enjoy: hikes to beautiful waterfalls, dips in wild hot springs, active volcanoes to climb, horse-back rides, surfing and zip-lines through forest canopy. Combine the thrills with the relaxation and you have a perfect holiday. From the gorgeous beaches, lush forests and mountains to wildlife and friendly locals, Costa Rica has it all.

 

Singapore

Don’t make the mistake of treating Singapore as a quick stopover destination; this small Asian country is absolutely jam-packed with brilliant family attractions. It’s an easy place to visit with an efficient metro system to get around and English featured on all signage. A melting pot of cultures from Malay to Chinese via Indian, so naturally, the food is to die for! Family-friendly Sentosa Island is a must-do day-trip (or two!), Gardens by the Bay, Spectra light and water show, night safari, aquariums, the Singapore Flyer and Universal Studios all make Singapore an unforgettable holiday for your family.

 

Spain

If all that adventuring to far-flung places is making you pine for somewhere closer to home, then look no further than Spain as it just might be the most child-friendly country in the world. Children are an intrinsic part of everyday life and are welcome everywhere; there is no such thing as ‘kid-friendly’ as virtually nothing is off-limits. With golden sands and resorts a-plenty, Spain is famous for providing wonderful beach family holidays, but let’s not forget the rich culture it also offers from the Moorish influence in Andalucia to Gaudi’s Barcelona, from the capital Madrid to other beautiful places like Seville, Toledo and the Pyrenees; Spain provides more and then some.

 

Mary is an independent travel agent based in Godalming.

You can follow her on her Facebook Page: Mary+Travel and Instagram page: @mary.and.travel or email her directly: maryandtravel@gmail.com.

She would love to hear from you.