Luxury family holidays are set to be one of the biggest travel trends of 2018 – and they’re not what you think they are. Everyone from tots to great-grandparents are invited, kid-friendly day trips have got interesting, and all-inclusive has gone exclusive.
Here’s what to expect from family holidays in 2018…
Multi-generational holidays (or cross-gen, or our favourite: 3G) are the travel buzzwords of 2017-18. In our busy worlds, time is becoming more precious than ever – so why not use your holiday to catch up with the whole family?
We’re not talking back-seat squabbling and putting up tents in the rain, either. Multi-generational holidays will come in all shapes and sizes in 2018, from crewed yacht charters and island-hopping to flop-and-drop holidays in an all-inclusive hotel with a truck-load of inspired day trips.
Rooms (literally) made for families
Hotels like the Paradisus Playa del Carmen la Esmeralda have rooms designed for families from the bottom up.
Take the Junior Suite Family Concierge: you get two double beds and a living area, as well as little extras like child-sized bathrobes and slippers, plus a PlayStation®, Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360. And because they’re part of the Concierge range of rooms, you also get access to the exclusive Family Concierge lounge and pool.
Waterparks and aquariums
Teenagers are a hard-to-please bunch, but these days in-house hotel activities go above and beyond. Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm is the crème de la crème of family hotels, thanks to its in-house aquarium and waterpark. Meanwhile, the Hotel Bouganville in Sardinia offers a Chelsea Football Club academy and Leisureland (think go-kart tracks, bowling alleys and climbing walls).
Hotels like the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort are introducing crèches that go above and beyond just babysitting. Soft play areas, branded games and TV time-outs are all on the cards.
Cruise and stay
We think cruises are actually one of the easiest family holidays of all. There’s no trekking between the rooms and restaurants or piling the whole family into a rental car as you travel between cities. In fact, cruise ships are basically travelling hotels complete with sea-view rooms and kids’ clubs.
Holland America Line is one of the best cruise lines for families. Watch out for child-friendly shore excursions and live concerts in the evening. It’s not all-go, either: our cruise and stay holidays mean you get to spend a night or two getting to know your starter city.
More and more couples are starting to realise that it’s often cheaper and easier (and sunnier!) to get married abroad.
It doesn’t mean you have to leave your family to watch the ceremony on Skype, either – there’s room for even the biggest of broods at hotels like the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in the Dominican Republic. Go for a big Greek wedding at the Domes of Elounda, meanwhile, and your guests can stay in one of the VIP villas.
Luxury all-inclusive hotels
All-inclusive board is getting a serious upgrade in 2018, thanks to the arrival of hotels like the Ikos Dassia. This Corfu hotel calls it Infinite Lifestyle™, which means you get loads of luxury extras like beach drinks service and access to à la carte menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs. Meanwhile, Zoetry Agua Punta Cana offers Endless Privileges®, where everything from top-shelf cocktails to horse-riding on the beach is included.
Family-friendly activities are getting a make-over. Classics like banana boating and horse-riding are all well and good, but how about learning how to cook Thai food at the renowned Spice Spoons school in Phuket? Or taking the whole family stand-up paddle boarding in Mauritius‘ glassy lagoons? Or there’s always Xcaret – the immersive eco-park on the Riviera Maya.