Once we have children, we often change the way we travel or where we go. All of us will fondly reflect on childhood holidays, whether they were in the UK or abroad. Now, we want to create new memories for our own children, which they will experience and remember in their own way. These holidays will become lifelong, cherished memories.
So, how do we create holidays that they will always remember?
Some children may think they've seen it all. From rollercoasters to adventure trails, there are plenty of exciting travel destinations and attractions out there. Some say that children find magic in the simple every day things, like walking barefoot in the sand, or looking up at the stars. Perhaps magic is just around us all time, we just need to look in the right places. So on that note, here are Guilty Mother's top five, magical travel destinations to visit before the children grow up.
1. Disney World, Orlando, Florida
No bucket list for kids would be complete without a visit to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Embrace the Magic of Walt Disney World, which is loved by families, for a good reason.
I went when I was twelve and this was a 'borderline' age of whether it was still cool or not to shake Winne the Pooh’s hand (I did, of course!). So, I recommend traveling to Disney World when the children are old enough to remember the experience but not too old for them to think it’s uncool. Little ones will love to meet their favourite characters and older children can enjoy some of the world's most adventurous rides and roller coasters. There's enough at Disney to keep the whole family grinning from ear to ear.
If you stay at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts, you're entitled to extra hours within the park. Stay on top of the queues and travel around the park in the most savvy way possible, using apps – Disney World Wait Times for the iPhone and Disney World Lines for iPhone and Android.
You’ll find some great advice on saving money on your Walt Disney trip on the Mini Travellers website.
2. Ready Camp
I love the idea of glamping in the UK and this is an award winning set up not to be missed! Ready Camp are proud owners of a shiny new Family Traveller award; winning the ‘Best holiday rental for families’ category beating off the likes of AirBnB, Forest Holidays and Villa Plus!
Their 2-bedroom, safari tents are pre-erected and have real beds, a relaxing sofa, and a kitchen and dining area. Ready Camp tents are perfect for relaxing nights in. Walk in to your comfortable haven complete with cosy furnishings and oodles of little luxuries. You won’t need loads of equipment - just bring the kids...and your sense of adventure!
Click here to find out more.
3. Take a Family Ski Vacation
We have taken our children to the mountains since they were babes in arms. Almost all ski resorts have something for little ones and there are few amazing areas out there. Some European resorts will happily put kids into ski lessons from three years old, or do what we did and if you are confident enough, let the little ones ski in between your legs on the gentle slopes. They will love it!
If you are travelling with young children, try skiing in France and Austria to avoid long flights and jet lag. Easter is a great time to ski with young children as the weather is not a cold for the little ones and the prices are more reasonable than at Christmas. There are tons of ski-in/ski-out resorts and I would highly recommend quieter ski resorts such as La Rosière in France or Obergurgl in Austria.
Go through a travel company who can help you organise your perfect family ski holiday, such as Esprit Ski, Mark Warner, Crystal Ski, Ski Famille or Family Ski. Try looking at the chalets in La Rosière from Esprit Ski as a good starting point (we have travelled with them many times).
In my opinion, if you can get primary school aged kids on skis, they will really benefit from learning the skill at a young age. It's much easier to learn to ski at the age of four than it is at the age of thirty! I will also highlight that skiing can do wonders for children's confidence, which is magical to watch.
4. Visit Father Christmas in Lapland
For a magical Christmas experience, head to Lapland for sleigh rides and of course, the big man himself...Santa.
Lapland is a true winter wonderland and I had my eye on the newly opened Arctic Treehouse Hotel. Located in Finnish Lapland’s Arctic Circle, in the town of Rovaniemi, it is in the midst of a magical forest which enjoys snow from December through to March.
Nearby to the hotel is SantaPark Arctic World, a Christmas themed family adventure park. Here, little ones and parents can meet Santa, enjoy elf workshops, ride on the magic train, visit the ice gallery to meet the Ice Princess,. Plus much more! The kids can go to elf school, indulge at the Gingerbread bakery or simply play in the snow! Families can also enjoy skiing and snow walking and Santa Claus Village’s Main Post Office is just 15 minutes away.
Other activities include a husky safari, reindeer farm tours and a snowmobile safari through the Lappish countryside, travelling through crisp white snow and over ice-covered lakes. Or why not catch the Santa Express bus into Rovaniemi to explore Lapland’s winter capital? As night falls, it’s possible to view the magical Northern Lights from the picture window in your cosy Arctic Treehouse.
The Arctic Treehouse Hotel and SantaPark offer families with children of all ages a magical experience in a unique location.
Click here to see the hotel in all it's winter glory.
5. An Adventure at Sea
Get ready for the sound of adventure at sea and you could be one of the first to experience the incredible new, Symphony of the Seas. An amazing, new cruise ship belonging to Royal Caribbean, which will be the largest passenger ship ever to be constructed by gross tonnage, at 230,000 GT, surpassing MS Harmony of the Sea. Their award-winning Adventure Ocean® Kids Club means the fun never stops. From bouncing babies to terrific teens, there really is something for everyone. They have thought of...everything!
Kids who are feeling brave can plunge into the Ultimate Abyss, the worlds’ tallest slide at sea. Whizz down the waterslides, or enjoy the Pool and Sports Zone, which includes rock climbing walls to the zip line nine decks up and surf simulators. This is an extraordinary adventure like no other. Pre-opening sailings are from March 2018 and the family rooms look out of this world! I'm really hoping to get on this adventure this year!
Click here to watch the promotional video!
So, where are you heading this year? Share your comments and thoughts on the Guilty Mother Facebook page.