Kids on holiday in Crete - best child-friendly holidays in the UK and Europe
Europe, Family travel, Holidays, UK

6 of the best child-friendly holidays

When it comes to holidays with kids I’ve decided we don’t have a particular style. We’ve enjoyed everything from glamping to luxury, all-inclusive family holidays, and have returned home with brilliant shared memories regardless of whether we rounded off each day barbecuing sausages by a yurt or sipping cocktails by a pool. The thing that matters most is that we’ve chosen child-friendly holidays, where kids and be kids and the adults get a bit of a break too.

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So, what are the best child-friendly holidays and where can you find them? Below I’ve shared six holiday styles that we have tried and love. If you’re looking for even more inspiration take a look at 101 Holidays for family-friendly holidays of all shapes and sizes.

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Self-catering holidays

If there’s one type of family break that we do the most it would be self-catering holidays. We love the freedom this gives us to feed hungry little mouths and be masters of our own daily routine. And if you’re staying somewhere for a week, it can soon start to feel like home – and look like it. But you only have to tidy up at the end of your stay with no fear of housekeeping judging your mess!

Cottage breaks make for great self-catering child-friendly holidays. We opt for dog-friendly cottages and accommodation like those offered by Rural Retreats and Classic Cottages.

Have a read of our stay in a dog-friendly glamping tent in Cornwall with Classic Glamping – part of Classic Cottages.

If you’re looking for self catering holidays in Europe then how about a villa? We’ve just got back from a family holiday in Crete and would love to rent somewhere with its own private pool like the luxury villas offered by CachetTravel on this Greek Island. Some even have car hire included so you can go off an explore Crete independently.

Here’s some ideas for things to do with kids in Crete.

If you’re looking for something a little quirky then Olivers Travels even have chateaux and castles for rent. What little prince or princess wouldn’t love that as a holiday destination?!

Planning a self-catering holiday? Take a look at my self-catering packing list.

Campsites and holiday parks

Our very first holidays with the kids were in our touring caravan, which we towed to campsites and holiday parks around the UK. This is another kind of self-catering holiday that we love. Plus family campsites and holiday park breaks quite often come with bonus facilities like adventure playgrounds, swimming pools and entertainment complexes.

We have had lots of lodge and holiday home breaks in Cornwall, including a weekend at Trevella Park, which is near the stunning, dog-friendly beach of Crantock. You can stay here in your own touring caravan or motorhome, or book glamping or a mobile home accommodation. In the summer there’s a heated outdoor pool and a programme of family activities.

Take a look at our review of Trevella Park.

We can also recommend venturing into Europe for a camping holiday with kids. There are some brilliant holiday parks where you can bring your own tent, or free up some space in the car and stay in a mobile home or glamping tent. Siblu have holiday parks with huge pool complexes, waterslides, evening entertainment, and kids clubs. They are also in some pretty awesome locations in France.

We can recommend the Vendee region after a mobile home holiday in France a few years ago.

Tin Box Tot on seesaw at Pin Parasol - caravan holiday in France, Al Fresco Holidays

All-inclusive luxury holidays

We’re fairly new to all-inclusive family holidays but Mr Tin Box and I did a few before the kids came along. If you pick a family-friendly resort you can’t go wrong. My girls love kids clubs, swimming pools and being able to pick from an incredible variety of dishes at meals times (and not just what mummy can be bothered to whip up at the end of a busy day).

Our recent all-inclusive family holiday in Crete was a hit and definitely something we’d try again. 

Club Med have family resorts all over Europe where you can reap the benefits of all-inclusive dining, kids clubs and activities, as well as baby-sitting if you fancy a date night.

And if you’re not convinced that it’s possible to combine child-friendly holidays with a spot of luxury, then take a look at what’s on offer through TravelBeam.

Baby on rubber ring in pool at Kiani Beach Resort in Crete - an all inclusive family resort

Family cruises

If I told my girls we were off on a cruise tomorrow they’d be packed in moments – they adore cruising. We’ve notched up two family cruises to date, one in the Mediterranean on Carnival Vista and another to Spain and Portugal onboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. What the kids loved most was the kids clubs, the pools and the entertainment – can you see a theme emerging yet? 

When you’re searching around for the best family cruise deals I can highly recommend looking at Iglu.com. They are super competitive and can put together a personalised itinerary for you that includes a pre-cruise stay, which is really handy if you’re joining your ship outside the UK. 

City breaks with kids

We’re big fans of city breaks with kids. They are such a brilliant opportunity to expose kids to culture and historical sights. But they can also be exhausting. This is when having child-friendly holiday accommodation options can make or break a trip.

Kirker Holidays have hand-picked hotels in all of the major European cities as well as around the world. Whether you want to explore Florence with kids, see the sights of Barcelona or experience a family break in Venice, there are options that include walking tours and fast track attraction tickets to take the hassle out of planning your trip.

Check out our city break in Barcelona with a baby, day trip to Venice with kids and what to do in Florence with toddlers.

Child-friendly hotels

There are some fantastic child-friendly hotels in the UK that not only cater for the kids but have the parents in mind too. We stayed at Sands Resort Hotel & Spa in Newquay, Cornwall, where there are kids clubs, family-friendly dining times, an indoor pool, plenty of outdoor activities, and a spa. Plus it’s just a few minutes from some of North Cornwall’s best beaches and family attractions. If you have pre-school kids there are some excellent school term offers.

Take a look at our review of a weekend stay at Sands Resort Hotel & Spa.

Which type of break do you think offers the best child-friendly holidays? Or are you like us and don’t mind a mix of them all?

Disclosure: this post has been written in collaboration with 101 Holidays.

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