2018 is set to be a great year of travel, and according to some of the world’s biggest travel publications, there will be exciting new destinations worth thinking about. From city breaks and beautiful islands to countryside retreats and exploring Europe’s best winter wonderlands, there are some seriously inspiring places to add to your list for next year.
For families travelling with children or babies, there are just as many options, and 2018 will open many travel possibilities in or out of the UK. With more and more destinations becoming pushchair and baby friendly, and even more hotels and private holiday homes providing services and amenities to people big and small (including the very small), travelling around with cheeky monkeys in tow will be easier than ever.
It’s our job to find the best places to take your little ones, so here is a list of some of the best family holiday destinations in the coming year.
1. Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve is one of those incredible destinations that is becoming more and more affordable, making it a great place to jet off to for a short week in the sun. If you’re looking for a family friendly stopover or just somewhere to spend a few days with your loved ones, Portugal’s Algarve coastline is just perfect. From Sagres to Lagos to Faro, there are so many wonderful beach spots for you and the little ones and plenty of kids friendly restaurants to choose from. Together with the mild and temperate climes, the Algarve makes for a superb out of season destination.
2. Chang Mai, Thailand
There’s no denying that island life is great in Thailand. But beaches can get boring if you’re away for a few weeks at a time. Kids need stimulation, sights, attractions and fun things to do. If you’re after a Thai city break without the daunting busy streets of Bangkok, Chang Mai makes for a great alternative. Chang Mai is a comfortable, child-friendly city in the North and a great location for visiting temples. If you want to discover the true culture of Thailand without overwhelming the kids, we highly recommend coming here. We have a featured property, Lanna Hill House, which sleeps up to 10 so it’s ideal for a big family holiday where you need plenty of space. The house is surrounded by lush greenery and has been designed by one of Thailand’s top architects. The owners (who are parents themselves) can also offer affordable services such as your own private chef, a nanny or housekeeper. This is definitely one to add to your list for 2018!
3. Edinburgh, Scotland
It’s been named one of the best European cities by Conde Nast and we have to agree. This unique capital is one of those places which has a little bit of everything, making it an ideal family holiday destination. For foodies, you’ll be spoilt for choice with everything from pub grub and rustic cafes to fine dining. For young kids, there’s an endless world of museums and attractions. For history buffs, the castle is simply spectacular and for shopaholics, Edinburgh is the place to shop ‘til you drop. Don’t forget to check out our latest holiday properties in Scotland.
4. Lisbon, Portugal
Another Portuguese destination that we just can’t get enough of right now is Lisbon. It’s cited as a popular destination for 2018 and our fabulous 19th Century renovated Martinhal Chiado apartments are located close to the city, but with amazing coastal views. Lisbon is great for families as there are plenty of fun attractions for kids, the streets are extremely safe, and little ones are welcome in all the local cafes and restaurants. All cafes offer free tap water too (which is safe to drink) so you can keep the kids hydrated when you grab a mid-afternoon coffee – just as for “copo de agua” when you order.
5. Crete, Greece
Crete has got to be one of the most charismatic of the Greek Islands, and anyone who has been there will agree. If you’re looking for an accessible island holiday with the whole family – one which embraces traditional Greek food and Greek culture – this is the place to be. Crete is Greece’s largest island too so when it comes to entertaining kids of all ages, you will plenty of things to see and do. It’s also known for its variation in terrain so one day you could be walking along the harbour of the pretty Crete coastline, sunbathing on one of the pink sand beaches, and the next you could be starting your own little family adventure in the mountain villages where greenery rules. We have a number of fantastic Crete holiday properties, all of which are designed to be baby, toddler and child friendly. Some of our favourites include The Ammos Hotel in charming Chania (a great base for exploring the island’s main attractions), Daios Cove at Vathi Beach (the perfect secluded coastal spot) and the famous Domes of Elounda (a luxurious choice for discerning travellers).
6. Cotswolds, England
Easily accessible from London and famous for its countless chocolate box villages and incredible picturesque views, the Cotswolds is one of the best holiday destinations in the UK – and you don’t have to go far! From gorgeous lake houses where the sunsets blow your mind to quaint little cottages in the heart of pretty communities where you can rub shoulders with locals, there are so many amazing places to stay. For kids, walking and hiking is ideal because much of the Cotswold region is set on flat land so there are no tough inclines to deal with, and for families travelling with babies and toddlers, the Cotswolds is simply a great place to relax and do nothing. The region is also home to some great towns / cities such as Cheltenham, Cirencester, Gloucester and Bath so you will never be too far away from main amenities and children’s attractions. For days out with the little ones, we recommend places such as Sudeley Castle, Cogges Manor Farm, Falconry Week at Cotswold Farm Park, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s Teddy Bear Tuesdays, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Westonbirt Arboretum and Corinium Museum, just to name a few!
7. Devon, England
For a summer sun destination in the UK, it simply has to be Devon. East Devon in particular is one of the few places in England where you can experience ‘countryside by the sea’, and it’s a great mix of smugglers coves, idyllic beaches, beautiful fishing villages and endless greenery. Kids can enjoy a classic English seaside experience whilst parents can retreat away to one of our favourite cottages and enjoy the peacefulness and seclusion. Stay in the pretty town of Knightsbridge to be close to pubs, restaurants and amenities or in the lush green setting of Honiton near Exmouth and Sidmouth coastline.
8. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Croatia is very much still an up and coming destination and in 2018, it will become a popular place to travel for families. Whilst the Old Town isn’t the easiest to get around for buggies, many parents do choose to take a baby carrier / sling or three wheeler instead when heading to the cobbled areas of the city. The main thing to look out for is the steep steps and narrow walkways. But other than these small obstacles, the city itself is very family friendly. If you want to avoid the crowds, take off back to your hotel or villa in the afternoon and enjoy a family siesta and when dining out, don’t forget to ask the waiter / waitress for a high chair. Most restaurants do cater for baby / toddler – you just have to inquire before you book!
9. Bordeaux, France
The city of Bordeaux was named the number 1 top city to visit by The Lonely Planet. Because in this incredible Aquitaine region, getting around will be much easier with the new LGV Sud-Ouest line which is due for completion next year. This line will connect the city of Bordeaux to other main destinations such as Paris and due to the high-speed network, travel time will be cut in half. The recently opened Cité du Vin museum in the city is also worth visiting and the redevelopment of the riverside makes this city a serious up and coming contender for future travel in the next decade. Once known to the rest of the world as an idyllic, sleepy city reserved for wine lovers and foodies, this place is now much more accessible for everyone. Including families! The city itself is mostly pushchair friendly and restaurants / cafes tend to cater for young children.
We also have a large number of featured properties and holiday homes across all other regions of France. To search for your perfect family friendly villa, apartment or countryside retreat, make sure you keep checking our website for rental properties in France.
It’s an ongoing joke with the locals that if Christopher Columbus rose from his grave and returned to the Caribbean, Dominica is the only island he would recognise. The other islands have changed and developed so much that they would probably be unrecognisable to him but the beauty of Dominica remains. This volcanic island is blessed with untamed rainforest, secluded resorts, bubbling lakes and spectacular waterfall trails, all with misty mountains serving as backdrop. For our latest baby friendly listings in the Caribbean, don’t forget to keep checking our website.
11. Verbier, Swiss Alps
Book a stay at our featured Chalet Chambord and you’ll have access to the babysitting service, crèche and kids’ club – plus the chalet itself is stocked full of baby gear. The beautiful chalet is a great place to chill out for all ages or for kids over the age of 8, there are activities such as archery, ice skating, horse riding, cycling, and indoor climbing. Children’s skiing lessons are available for 3 years so if you’re here to ski, the whole family can get involved. Not only is Verbier one of the best resorts for winter fun and family skiing, but with an average of 300 days of sunshine every year, it’s a wonderful spring or summer destination too.
12. Andalucia, Spain
Spain is undergoing a revival in the travel industry and for 2018, there’s a big trend to go off the tourist trail and check out some of the lesser known areas of the country. Galicia and Asturias on the north coast or Extremadura and Castilla la Mancha in the south are proving to be hot destinations for every type of traveller. For child-friendly travel, we love the Andalucia region, where you will have easy access to one of our favourite lesser known Spanish cities – the beautiful Murcia. Stay at the gorgeous Casa de la Luz in Javea for close access to the beach and an amazing private pool or Cortijo del Sevillano in the rural countryside near the coast of Eastern Almeria for all year round sunshine, a pool, and plenty of outdoor space to explore.
13. Porto, Portugal
Another Portugal destination has made it onto our 2018 family friendly travel list. The Lonely Planet has highlighted this fantastic European city as a great budget travel destination – but not without its luxuries. The best thing about Porto is that it’s accessible yet still relatively under the radar. So you’ll never feel overwhelmed with crowds and too many tourists. If you want an authentic destination with a superb mix of culture, attractions and child-friendly amenities, this is the place to go next year. It’s filled with European charm as well as affordable museums and free things to do. And when it comes to food, kids and adults alike will not be disappointed. For this is the land of signature sandwiches, such as the famous Francesinha – a filling creation of ham, sausage, steak and melted cheese.
If you’d like to discuss your 2018 family holiday, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to helping you plan your perfect getaway.