Amanda Cassidy speaks to travel editors about dream family-focused destinations
It’s hard to please everyone when you are planning a family holiday. And when it comes to luxury, it’s easy to feel as if the fancier things are wasted on kids who prefer waterslides over plush sun loungers. If they are anything like mine, ice-cream is top of the list, followed by floats for the pool and at least one tacky funfair.
After the pandemic kept us all at home for so long, it’s no wonder that Google data shoes that searches for child-friendly holidays are now on the rise. And who doesn’t want to plan a trip abroad – even if it is a year or two away! In fact, more of us are pre-planning holidays giving time to save. Travel editor Ellie Gore says people’s holiday habits have changed.
“Before the pandemic, people were planning a holiday based on convenience and the distance mattered. After so many of us were stuck home dreaming of bucket-list trips, that’s now translating on families taking a bigger leap when it comes to ‘bigger’ holidays. We are seeing a rise in bookings for places like Disneyland, safari and luxury resorts but further in the future rather than planning a few months in advance for a more local holidays. Fewer but more considered is the trend that seems to be emerging”
Adventure is out there
Bettany Hanley agrees. A freelance writer for publications such at the Express and One World destinations, she’s finding a jump in all-inclusive holidays that bring the whole family together.
“Ski trips, for example are really popular this winter because so many people want to be together as a family, but also having adventure.”
But compromising your yearly escape for your children doesn’t also have to mean destinations that only cater to smallies. As a travel writer myself, I’ve seen my fair share of luxury resorts that manage to get that balance right – between paradise for adults (spa, top quality food, bespoke cocktails) and paradise for kids (ice-cream ON a waterslide!)
“Trends are showing us that families seem to be looking for activities that combine fun and luxury”
Now Club Med has compiled an index of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world for kids, ranked on an overall score out of 100 and based on a number of different factors – so parents can choose the perfect destination for their kids and the whole family.
La dolce vita
The research found that Italy is the most luxurious destination in the world for families, with an overall score of 85 out of 100, Italy came out on top due to the incredible 633 ice cream shops it has to offer in its capital city alone, which is not only great for kids but any sweet-toothed adult too.
Italy also topped the charts for the number of family-friendly hotels, with an incredible 2,912 to choose from, as well as boasting 5,401 family-friendly restaurants for everyone to try out.
Indonesia came in second place, scoring 80 out of 100 in the index thanks to its 426 ‘kids go free’ hotels – allowing parents to feel more at ease, and with some extra cash in their pockets when checking into paradise. Indonesia also has 236 adventure/water parks on offer, so you know your little ones definitely won’t be bored.
France secures third spot due to its 1,545 hotels with pools, along with 516 water parks. The home of the crepe scored 76 out of 100 in the index and has the second highest number of family-friendly hotels in the top 20, with 2,339 to choose from.
To find out which holiday destination in the world is the most luxurious to kids, data was collected on the top 30 most visited tourist destinations globally. Tripadvisor was scraped on the below 7 data points to find a total index score per population.
Number of ice cream shops
Number of family-friendly restaurants
Number of hotels with entertainment
Number of adventure/water parks
Number of family-friendly hotels
Number of places where kids go free
Number of hotels with pools
This is then wrapped with a final average score of each metric to determine the most luxury holiday destination for kids.The also study found that USA is a must for water park lovers, with a grand total of 1,436 while Japan rounds off the top three with 499.
As we face into the dark evenings and colder temperatures, travel agents are reporting this the busiest month for bookings, especially for those seeking relaxation and fun to book.
Hanley says she’s surprised at how adventure is featuring higher than ever when it comes to trends. “We all need some r and r but I’m not sure if it’s because of the pandemic or because there are more options than ever but families seem to be looking for activities that combine fun and luxury.
Sign me up!