The summer heatwave is still on and few of us are thinking about winter, but now could be the perfect time to start planning a getaway with the kids during these colder months. Here are 5 holiday inspiration ideas that could be worth considering.
Go on a ski holiday
If your kids love to be active on holiday, it could be worth planning a ski holiday. Whether you choose to ski or snowboard, it’s certain to be an active adventure and you’ll be surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes. The Alps is the most popular destination for skiing in Europe, but some of the resorts here can be a little more expensive – if you’re looking for a budget ski holiday consider the likes of Andorra, Bulgaria or Romania.
Some ski schools will take on kids from as early as 3 years. You can also book family lessons if you’d prefer to all stay together for the duration of the day. There are lots of family friendly ski hotels with buffet restaurants, free bars and spa facilities. Shared catered chalets are another popular option that could allow you to meet other families with kids and enjoy wholesome winter food cooked for you.
Visit a real-life winter wonderland
You could also plan a holiday with the kids in a real life winter wonderland. There are many parts of Scandinavia that are perfect for this type of holiday in which you can take part in activities such as dog-sledding and see the northern lights.
Winter in Sweden can be incredibly picturesque – there are many charming villages in the north to peruse, plus the opportunity to stay in an Ice Hotel! Iceland meanwhile is another popular retreat for those wanting wintry landscapes – here you’ll find all kinds of awesome sights including waterfalls, volcanoes and the world famous hot spring lake The Blue Lagoon of which you can take a dip in. Then of course there’s Lapland in Finland, which is famed as being the home of Father Christmas.
There are many sights in these places such as frozen lakes and snow-capped valleys that can only be seen during this part of the year. That said, you will have to wrap up warm when venturing to these arctic places, some of which can regularly stay below 0 degrees. Scandinavian living prices such as food and drink can also be expensive, although flights are generally cheap.
Take the kids to Disneyland
Winter could be the ideal time to visit Disneyland Paris. Whilst the weather is less predictable, the prices are much cheaper and you won’t have the huge queues to contend with. December is an exception of course as this is when the park often hosts special Christmas events and so prices and crowds can be greater.
You can stay in a hotel on the park or right nearby – these hotels can allow you easy access in the morning so that you get the most out of your trip and they’re often Disney-themed to keep you in the spirit. Alternatively, you can save money by finding a hotel or a campsite further out – you will have to spend more time travelling to the park each day so bear this in mind. Some of these hotels and campsites further away have shuttle buses, which are perfect if you don’t want to bring your car.
Go on a city break
A family city break in Winter could be a great opportunity to go sightseeing whilst taking advantage of the unique winter attractions such as Christmas markets and Christmas illuminations. Whilst cities can be expensive, kids can often get discounted tickets to museums and attractions.
Europe is full of great winter cities. With its snowcapped spires and cobbled streets, Prague can feel like a fairy-tale city that’s perfect for taking the kids to – you can take a visit to Prague castle and try out many different types of hot chocolate at the Choco Café. Vienna in Austria meanwhile has a number of sprawling Christmas markets to explore selling authentic Christmas cookies, mulled wine and chestnuts – here you’ll also find impressive sights such as the gothic St Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Imperial Palace (one of the biggest in the world).
Meanwhile, if your budget allows you to venture a little further afield, there are plenty of great winter city breaks to be found out of Europe. New York has tons of attractions to choose from in winter – time your visit right and you’ll be able to explore Central Park in the snow and go ice skating the Rockefeller Center rink. Quebec City in Canada meanwhile has its own winter carnival, an ice hotel and beautiful natural sights on its doorstep including Montmorency Falls Park.
Enjoy a winter beach holiday
There are many places around the world where you can still catch a tan in winter. This could excellent for giving you an escape from the cold winter climate.
Many resorts in Europe aren’t open in winter, but those that are can often be very cheap with few crowds. To truly guarantee warm winter weather in Europe, you’re best of heading to the Canary Islands where temperatures are most likely to stay above 20 degrees. Other relatively safe options include Cyprus, Madeira and Crete.
Those willing to travel further afield can be certain to get some winter sun. Many South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam have tropical temperatures all year round that are perfect for a beach escape – flights out to these countries can be pricey, but everything is relatively cheap once you get to these destinations. Central America and the Caribbean are two other great destinations for guaranteeing warm weather – a winter cruise could be perfect for this time of year. As for places in the Southern hemisphere, almost all of these countries are enjoying their summer during winter so you can take your pick of warm destinations from Sydney to Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.