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Often the highlight of the year for a family, the long awaited summer holiday, carries a lot of pressure in terms of making sure the destination delivers on many factors including the weather, accommodation and food.

 It is always a tough decision to make, since different destinations can offer different experiences and you need to find a balance which suits everyone.

I will offer some thoughts and insights into a variety of alternatives which I have personally experienced and enjoyed.

Caravanning Southern Spain or France

It appears to me that caravan holidays might be becoming a thing of the past, which is a shame as they offer many benefits. American readers may be more familiar with the term “Winnebago” or “trailer” than “caravan” all pretty much the same thing. If you don’t own a mobile caravan then nearly all major caravan parks in Europe will have static caravans available to rent.

I would suggest this for families with children up to 10 years of age as for families with older children than this, space may become an issue. Admittedly, many families are put off by the long drives involved in getting to the hot European destinations however there are a number of benefits. The cost involved is generally less expensivethan staying in a hotel for two weeks, the kids will have more freedom on a caravan park and you get to decide what you eat which is often an important consideration when young children are involved. The south of France is a great option, the white beaches accompanied by the guaranteed sun throughout the summer months provide a major appeal.

Paris and Disney

Disneyland Paris is not on the same scale as Disneyland Florida, however it still offers a great alternative for a family wanting to experience a theme park outside of the UK.  I would suggest three or four days would be enough to experience the main attractions at Disney as well as a chance to see the main attractions Paris has to offer, the Eiffel Tower for example. This is sure to be a hit with younger children especially, but people of all ages tend to have a soft spot for Disney.

UK

Many families choose to travel to various parts of Europe and overlook what the UK has to offer.  Cornwall is a particular favourite of many primarily due to the beautiful scenery and the brilliant beaches.  Staying in a traditional B&B (bed and breakfast, for the uninitiated) for a few days will certainly add to the experience and will allow you to enjoy the best that Cornwall has to offer. These smaller establishments are often family run and the hosts will make you aware of the best local attractions to visit.

Action Holidays

Perhaps you want something a little more adventurous than the standard beach holiday, a holiday filled with activities? There are resorts set up across Europe which cater to families wishing to do just this. In most resorts there will be a range of activities for the family including, watersports, mountain biking and tennis.  A great option for active families as it offers the best of both worlds, spend a day relaxing by the pool or get involved with the various sports on offer.

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