With so many public holiday days off next year, it makes sense to combine them with a family trip! Here, we reveal the best places to head to coincide with each one, with a little help from the experts at Lightfoot Travel.
To really see the new year in with a bang, do it in Sydney where the annual firework show is arguably one of the best in the world. Apart from the night’s entertainment, this city offers endless kid-friendly trips out of the main hub to the likes of the Hunter Valley, The Blue Mountains and the Royal National Park. And when kids (and adults!) are worn out from all the fresh air, there’s miles of glorious coastline to relax by.
Stay: Four Seasons Sydney boasts the perfect party-viewing spot right at the foot of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For a celebration to rival that of Chinese New Year (if that’s possible), Rio De Janeiro is a brilliant go-to for families who like serious fun! Depart a week early and arrive in time for the famous Rio Carnival which starts on February 24, 2018 to the backdrop of kaleidoscopic culture, sweeping landscapes and pulse-pumping nightlife. If it gets too hectic for your little ones, world-class beaches, lush rainforest and stunning wildlife also await in this tropical wonderland.
Stay: Keep up the celebrations at Belmond Copacabana Palace a stunning art-deco stay that’s among the best in Rio and overlooks Copacabana Beach.
Children will find it hard to feel bored in Antigua, Guatemala, which is host to the Semana Santa religious celebrations between March 22 and April 23, 2018. During this time huge processions wind through the town’s streets; think big floats, intricate carpets, sawdust, fruit and flowers paving the streets. Local restaurants also open their doors to tourists at this special time that is a spectacle to see and fascinating to encounter.
Stay: Palacio De Dona Leonor is an exceptionally restored Spanish-style 16th century mansion, combining olde charm with modern comforts.
You may not have considered it, but Ethiopia everybody’s bucket list! Couples and families alike are starting to flock to this amazing country that boasts phenomenal churches, monasteries, tribe cultures and national parks. Kids will especially love the fascinating wildlife, pony trekking, boat trips and fun food options. For an extra layer of cultural insight, April is a key time to visit as the Easter celebrations are taking place.
For a different look at India, Ladakh – nestled high up in the Indian Himalayas – is a less obvious destination, child-friendly, and perfect in May when the winter has ended. This land of varying landscapes, featuring white deserts, blue lakes, snow-capped mountains and lush valleys, is so super-unique that it feels like you’ve entered an undiscovered world.
Stay: For splendid isolation in the lap of luxury you cannot beat Chamba Camp at Thiksey in Ladakh. Little ones will love these luxurious Maharaja-style tents that provide the ultimate in adventure and glamping.
Ahhh, belle Provence! Its rustic countryside is envied the world over and no more so than during Lavender season when it reaches peak prettiness. June is the start of the season, so less crowds await alongside forests of pine and cork and crumbling villages. And let’s not forget all that delicious wine and cheese…
Stay: Set in enchanting gardens at the foot of the village of Les Baux-de-Provence, Baumaniere Les Baux De Provence is a luxury boutique hotel offering gorgeous grounds, swimming pools and activities, making it a firm family favourite.
Cold weather in July? Yes please! New Zealand is the place to find it! Situated in the heart of the Southern Alps, Queenstown comes into its own in July when skiers and snowboarders of all ages flock to the magnificent mountains. Not just great for skiing, the surrounding restaurants, bars, spas and kids’ activities are also a massive reason to get your winter woollies out.
Stay: Commonage Villas make for an ultra-stylish and private stay on Queenstown Hill with spectacular views of the lake and snow-capped mountains.
The Golden State of California overview offers more than bronzed good looks, a laid-back lifestyle, glamour and wealth. Mix up 840 miles of golden Pacific coastline with the Sierra Nevada mountains, Napa Valley vineyards and national parks like Yosemite, which offer something for everyone. Visit now when the weather is fabulous and the crowds are few.
Stay: Located on the beach, and blending laid back beach-house with luxury, Shutters on the Beach takes the craft of living well – and stylishly – seriously.
With its rolling green hills, pristine beaches, fresh food and ‘Hang 10’ attitude, Hawaii is perfect for families. Watch dolphins playing on an ocean cruise, swim with the sea turtles, or take a walk around a magnificent volcano. Alternatively, send the kids surfing and dive into the nearest hammock, cocktail in hand…
Stay: When you’re dreaming of a paradise island, it’s likely that you’ve got The Four Seasons Hualalai in your mind. Paradise for children and parents’ alike.
Round off your year getting cosy with the wildlife in Antarctica. This southernmost continent is home to penguins, humpback whales and seals, as well as creeping glaciers and soaring ice caps. The best way to witness the stunning scenery is on a cruise, where you and your brood can kick back and enjoy the views while planning where to travel throughout the public holidays in 2019!