based: Magnesia, Greece
Kalikalos summer school offers a full programme of holistic community-based workshops, retreats and workcamps from May through September. Offerings include, Advaita satsang, August family weeks, creative arts, healing, self development, Vipassana meditation, walking weeks and yoga. The centre is unique in that it's run as a community and with vegetarian meals.
| holistic/wellness/wellbeing | tai chi | yoga | self development | meditation | painting/drawing | ethical/ecotourism | vegetarian/vegan | family/child friendly | summer schools | working/volunteer holidays | Greece |
based: Cusco, Peru
Personalized South American travel and luxury tours in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Kuoda Travel offers responsible and customized luxury travel, visiting South America's most extraordinary destinations. From world-class Amazon cruises to Galapagos island hopping tours – from the wonders of Machu Picchu, to the heavenly landscapes of the Uyuni Salt Flats.
| sightseeing | escorted tours | tailor made | river cruises | animals/safari | archaeological tours | gastronomic | walking/trekking/hiking | family/child friendly | Peru | Ecuador | Bolivia |
based: London, UK
Boutique travel designer offering luxury bespoke holidays and tailored travel in Central and South America. Destinations include: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.
| tailor made | sightseeing | animals/safari | ocean cruises | gastronomic | family | wedding/honeymoon | walk/trek/hike | Central America | South America |
Peter Sommer Travels
based: Monmouthshire, Wales, UK
Award-winning specialist in expert-led small-group cultural and archaeological tours in Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and the UK. Also escorted and themed gulet cruises, food tours, family tours, walking holidays and land tours like: Exploring Crete, Exploring the Peloponnese, Exploring Rome and Exploring Sicily. They also organise bespoke land tours and private gulet charters.
| archaeological tours | historical tours | gastronomic | theme cruises | groups | walk/trek/hike | family | Turkey | Greece | Italy | UK | Europe |
South America Odyssey
based: London, UK
Tailor-made holidays and honeymoons to the South and Central America. South America Odyssey specialises in itineraries to Latin America including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
| tailor-made | animals/safari | walk/trek/hike | trekking peaks | diving/snorkelling | horse/pony trekking | sailing (large boat/sail ship) | wedding/honeymoon | family | South America |
based: London, UK
Tailor-made Tanzanian safaris and honeymoons. Tanzania Odyssey specialises in remote safaris to Selous, Ruaha, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire, and beach breaks to the Indian Ocean islands including Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.
| animals/safari | walking/trekking safaris | aerial safaris | horseback safaris | diving/snorkelling | wedding/honeymoon | family | Tanzania |
Tell Tale Travel
based: London, UK & California, USA
Authentic holidays and soft adventure travel away from the tourist trail in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Brazil. Offering holidays with a difference, an insider experience courtesy of their unique network of local people. Offering mainly private tours for couples or families, plus a few small group departures specially designed for solo travellers.
| tailor made | family | native peoples | animals/safari | gastronomic | cookery | ethical/ecotourism | singles | Thailand | Sri Lanka | Brazil |
based: Plelauff, France
Some of the best bicycle tours in France, for beginners, families, expert bikers and experienced cycle tourists alike.
| cycle touring | family | women | France |
based: Shropshire, UK
Multi-activity residential centre offering activity holidays for schools and families.
| multi-activity | archery | abseiling | canoe/kayak | family | UK |
based: Denbighshire, Wales, UK
Outdoor Education Centre in North Wales offering family adventure holidays in Wales.
| family | Wales |
Be it a DIY trip or one with a family activity holiday provider these tips could help make your trip easier and more enjoyable, some will apply, some will not – please take your pick.
• If they've helped choose the adventure they'll look forward to it all the more, so get the whole family, including even the youngest, involved in the planning stages. Let them have a say in what activities are included and what countries/areas are visited.
• If you're on a observation type holiday (e.g. bird watching, safaris or even city sightseeing) give each child their own binoculars (needn't be expensive ones) or a monocular (which some kids find easier). It's amazing how a pair of binoculars can keep a youngster occupied on other parts of the trip too (waiting at the airport, on the train, in the museum ...).
• A cheap digital camera for each child is a good idea too. Combine that with a travel journal/scrapbook and encourage them to record the whole holiday.
• If the trip involves camping, and it's their first time, do a test run in the garden or backyard before you go, they'll get an idea of what it's all about and you'll be able to see if there's anything else you need to pack to keep them happy.
• Waterproof dry bags are a great way to pack, even if you're not doing water based activity. You can use them to organise the family gear (they usually come ready 'colour coded' in bright colours) and they'll keep things dry in wet weather. And if you are doing stuff on the water you can use them to store your spare gear or sandwiches.
• A baseball cap makes a great (and 'cool') sunhat, and it can be worn under a helmet (kayaking, climbing, cycling, ...) for extra sun protection, or for kids who refuse to wear sunglasses.
• And speaking of glasses, if they wear them then a back-up pair is a good idea on an activity trip.
• Hydration is important whatever the activity, particularly for kids and particularly if you're in a warmer climate, at a higher altitude, doing more activity than at home, or if you're eight years old and are getting both excited and a little anxious at doing your first abseil.
A responsible family activity holiday company will provide water, but take your own bottles just in case. Use proper rigid water bottles rather than the ones you get in the supermarket (which are prone to splitting on an active trip). Check with your tour provider about safety, if the local tap water isn't safe, water may have to be purchased or the tour company may provide boiled or filtered water for guests.
• Don't forget the sunscreen, and if it's a water based activity holiday remember to keep applying it, or use a water-repellent version. Water reflects sunlight and makes its effects more intense; the same goes for snow, and even rock faces, so a good rule is to just keep slapping it on.
• For kids with sensitive skin sun-protective clothing (UPF rated) is worth considering too.
• And then there are song sheets and sock puppets, neither take up much space and both can provide hours of entertainment round the camp fire, or break the ice with the locals when visiting strange lands.
Have you read our tips on how to select a family activity holiday provider/package here»
A cycling holiday makes a great family adventure and is something you can easily do with the kids in tow, perhaps literally! With the right gear and a sensible approach a family bike holiday can be enjoyed by children of any age, even the baby. Cycling with children requires some extra gear and equipment and this article is intended to help you decide what you need and what's most suitable for your family. Read the full article here»
[NOTE: This is an archived article, it was written a few years ago but most of the information is still relevant to anyone wanting to tackle a family cycling trip.]