It’s hard to please everyone when planning a family vacation. And when it comes to luxury, it’s easy to feel like the more fun stuff is wasted on kids who prefer water slides over plush sunbeds. If they’re anything like mine, ice cream is at the top of the list, followed by swimming in the pool and at least one messy funfair.
After the pandemic has kept us all at home for so long, it’s no wonder that Google searches for child-friendly holidays are now on the rise. And who doesn’t want to plan a trip abroad – even if it’s still a year or two away! In fact, more of us plan to spend the holidays saving time. Travel editor Ellie Gore says people’s holiday habits have changed.
“Before the pandemic, people planned vacations based on comfort and distance was important. After so many of us were at home, dreaming of bucket-list trips, this now translates to families taking a bigger leap take when it comes to “bigger” vacations. We are seeing an increase in bookings for places like Disneyland, safaris and luxury resorts but further in the future rather than planning a few months in advance for a more local vacation. Less but more considered is the trend that seems to be coming up.
Adventure is out there
Bettany Hanley agrees. A freelance writer for publications such as Express and One World Destinations, she finds a jump in all-inclusive vacations that bring the whole family together.
“Ski trips, for example, are really popular this winter because so many people want to be together as a family, but also have adventures.”
But compromising your annual getaway for your kids doesn’t have to mean destinations that only cater to little ones. As a travel writer myself, I’ve seen my fair share of luxury resorts that manage to get that balance right – between paradise for adults (spa, top quality food, specialty cocktails) and paradise for kids (ice cream ON a waterslide! )
“Trends show us that families seem to be looking for activities that combine fun and luxury”
Now Club Med has compiled an index of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world for children, ranked on a total score of 100 and based on a number of different factors – so that parents can find the perfect destination for their children and the whole family choose
La dolce vita
The research found that Italy is the most luxurious destination in the world for families, with an overall score of 85 out of 100, Italy came out on top because of the incredible 633 ice cream shops it has to offer in its capital city alone, which is not only great for children, but also for all adults with a sweet tooth.
Italy also tops the charts for the number of family-friendly hotels, with an incredible 2,912 to choose from, as well as 5,401 family-friendly restaurants for everyone to try.
Indonesia came in second place, scoring 80 out of 100 in the index thanks to its 426 ‘kids go free’ hotels – allowing parents to feel more comfortable, and with a few extra bucks in their pockets when in paradise check. Indonesia also has 236 adventure/water parks on offer, so you know your little ones definitely won’t be bored.
France is in third place thanks to its 1,545 hotels with pools, along with 516 water parks. The house of the crepe scored 76 out of 100 in the index and has the second highest number of family-friendly hotels in the top 20, with 2,339 to choose from.
To find out which holiday destination in the world is the most luxurious for children, data was collected on the top 30 most visited tourist destinations worldwide. Tripadvisor was crunched to the bottom 7 data points to find an overall index score per population.
Number of ice cream shops
Number of family-friendly restaurants
Number of hotels with entertainment
Number of adventure/water parks
Number of family-friendly hotels
Number of places where children are free
Number of hotels with swimming pools
This is then wrapped up with a final average score of each metric to determine the luxury vacation destination for kids. The study also found that the United States is a must for water park lovers, with a total of 1,436, while Japan rounded out the top three. 499.
As we face darker evenings and colder temperatures, travel agents are reporting this is the busiest month for bookings, especially for those seeking relaxation and booking fun.
Hanley says she’s surprised how adventure is higher than ever when it comes to trends. “We all need er and r but I’m not sure if it’s because of the pandemic or because there are more options than ever, but families seem to be looking for activities that combine fun and luxury.
Sign me up!