Finding the perfect family holiday without having to the splash the cash can seem like an impossible task sometimes — but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve hunted down the best destinations for budget travel, so you can enjoy a family-friendly (and purse-friendly) break.
1. Dinard, France
This traditional seaside resort has plenty to keep everyone in the family happy, including bright, sunny weather. There are four main beaches to choose from, with Plage de l’Ecluse having the most facilities, including entertainment, watersports like sailing and kayaking, and lots of sand for that all-important sandcastle building.
Away from the coastline, kids will enjoy spending time at Parc de Port Breton, which has enough to keep you entertained all day, including a children’s play area, a zoo with animals and birds, an equestrian centre and water features, not to mention the park itself! You can also check out the Grand Aquarium, home to 600 species of marine animal, plus an underwater submarine ride that’s not to be missed.
It wouldn’t be a trip to France without a chance to sample the food, and fortunately Dinard is home to an abundance of restaurants at all price points. Specialities include fresh seafood and French cheeses. 1Cover’s Secret Traveller blog even listed French cheese as one of their 20 foods worth travelling for (find out what the rest are here).
Flights from London airports to Dinard can cost as little as £9 one way per adult if you travel in economy class in June.
Child-friendly apartments are easy to find in Dinard, with prices starting from about £300 for a week’s stay.
(Photo from Unsplash)
2. Pembrokeshire, UK
Don’t panic if you’d rather not go abroad — the UK is home to some stunning destinations, including the county of Pembrokeshire in Wales. The scenery here is so beautiful that it’s the UK’s only coastal national park, and you could spend hours walking along one of the many trails and taking in the views.
Wales has a lot of history to uncover and it’s worth paying a visit to sites like the well-preserved Pembroke Castle and the ancient cathedral settlement at St David’s. There’s also the Tudor Merchant’s House in the seaside town of Tenby (recently voted one of the best coastal resorts in the UK), where you can see what life might have looked in the 15th century and children can even dress up in medieval costume.
Little ones can off some steam in Ocean Commotion, a children’s indoor play area with five levels, and the whole family will love spotting seals on a boat trip out to Ramsey Island. Find out all you need to know about seal-spotting etiquette here.
By car: Pembrokeshire is easily accessible from the east via the M4 at junction 49. From the north, drivers should head towards Aberystwyth and then follow the A487 southwards.
By coach: National Express coaches run from London Victoria, Heathrow, and Birmingham daily.
At a holiday park: Caravans cost from £180 per week.
At a holiday cottage: Budget options cost between £250 and £300 per week.
3. Menorca, Spain
Menorca is only a short flight from the UK and is ideal if your family is in need of a beach holiday. Cala Macarella is pristine, and the perfect spot to take part in bodyboarding, swimming and snorkelling. If you’d prefer something a little more relaxed, the Camí de Cavalls coastal path is suitable for all ages and abilities, and can be explored by bike or on foot.
Visit the island’s capital, Mahón, to relax at the harbour. It’s here you can enjoy glass-bottomed boat rides and an assortment of local food from the cafés lining the pavements. And don’t miss the Lloc de Menorca zoo, where kids can learn about animals from all over the world, from the domestic to the exotic.
Flights to and from Menorca cost from £38 one way per adult if you travel in economy class in June.
At a hotel: Hotels start from £52 per night in June.
At a holiday home: Prices start from £53 per night in June.
(Photo from Unsplash)
4. Edinburgh, UK
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding family activities in Scotland’s capital. Camera Obscura and World of Illusions will keep kids amused for hours, with optical illusions and kaleidoscopes aplenty, and the Museum of Childhood is fascinating for visitors of all ages, as you find out how childhood has changed throughout the ages.
Edinburgh Castle is also a must-visit — you’ll see the royal apartments and the crown room, among others, and since the castle sits on the top of the Edinburgh rock you’re guaranteed a good view of the city below. The best way to get around is on the hop-on, hop-off tour bus, which takes you from attraction to attraction and allows you to see the city all in one go. (Want more budget travel tips? Read The Telegraph’s list of 50 ways to save money.)
By plane: Flights from London can cost as little as £10 each way for one adult travelling in economy class in June, if you leave and return midweek.
By train: You can catch the train from London Kings Cross or London Euston to Edinburgh Waverley for approximately £32.50 (single fare) if you book well in advance. The journey takes 4 hours and 17 minutes at its fastest.
The Ibis Budget hotel costs from £26 per night and is a short distance from the city centre.
5. Lopud, Croatia
This Croatian island is completely car-free and very popular with families, so you’ll be in good company. Sunj beach has a large stretch of sand and warm, shallow water, making it the perfect place for kids to paddle and play. You could even learn the local game, picigin — a cross between volleyball and tennis.
Lopud is best for families who want to spend their holiday relaxing. Make the most of strolling through the pine trees and olive groves, admire the old buildings, and enjoy a peaceful escape from the rest of the world.
By plane: Flights to Dubrovnik start from £95 return for one adult travelling in economy class in June. From there you will need to transfer to Lopud by ferry.
A four-person apartment starts from £59 per night.
*This is a collaborative post*