Packages tend to suit the 'average' family, but the reality is quite different. Katie McGonagle finds holidays to fit all shapes and sizes
Mum, dad and 2.4 children – it’s supposed to be the average family, but what about those that don’t fit the mould? Most quotes are based on two adults and two children, but that’s not much help when you’re faced with a single parent or an extended family looking for a break.
Here, we offer ideas to fit all kinds of different families with tips on how to keep everyone happy on holiday.
Single mums and dads have a tough job on their hands so when it comes to holidays, they need time to relax. But with household budgets being squeezed, it’s also worth knowing which places make their money go further by waiving the single person supplement or offering a discount to children who share their room.
For example, Prestige gives a 50% discount on accommodation at Los Jameos Playa in Lanzarote for an adult and a child travelling together, while Mark Warner hotels in San Lucianu, Corsica, and San Agostino, Greece, offer 50% off the full child price for youngsters sharing a twin or double with mum or dad. Butlins and Haven Holiday Parks charge per accommodation unit rather than per person, meaning there are no single occupancy charges – and you don’t have to struggle through an airport with kids in tow.
Short haul: Keycamp offers £75 off holidays of seven nights or more and £25 off short breaks for single parents travelling with children under 18 between July 13 and August 26. Seven nights at La Croix du Vieux Pont in a two-bedroom mobile home sleeping up to two adults and four children (accommodation only) from July 28 costs from £848. It’s within easy reach of Disneyland Paris and has child-friendly activities plus a spa and beauty centre for adults.
Long haul: Beaches Resorts has reintroduced Single Parent Fun Months in May, September and October, in which the single supplement is waived and kids take part in a host of fun family activities including Sesame Street parades, dive-in movie nights and family beach bonfires.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive at Beaches Sandy Bay in Jamaica costs from £2,379 for one adult and one child, including flights and transfers.
Finding accommodation to suit a family with three, four or five children can be trickier than it sounds, especially if mum and dad want a room to themselves. Think outside the box – a hotel suite, self-catering apartment or villa might offer the space they need without forcing them to fork out for multiple rooms.
Anantara Dhigu Resort in the Maldives opened a number of sunset family villas late last year, offering luxury accommodation for families of five, and in the UK, Haven’s coastal parks include holiday homes sleeping up to eight people.
Interconnecting rooms are a good option, but make sure there’s enough room for everyone. Smugglers Cove Resort in Saint Lucia has interconnecting suites that take up to four people each, while the Holiday Village Rhodes, available through First Choice, has five-bedded family rooms divided by a partition so parents get some space to themselves without having to get a second room.
Alternatively, opt for a resort that charges an overall price regardless of the number of occupants. Al Fresco Holidays and Keycamp calculate the cost per mobile home meaning large families stay for the same price as a smaller group.
Short haul: Olympic Holidays offers seven nights’ self-catering at the three-bedroom Olive Trees Villa on Paxos for £395 per adult and £299 per child, based on two adults and four children sharing, including flights and transfers.
0844 499 4449
Long Haul: Funway Holidays offers a three-star, three-bed private vacation home in Orlando from £2,779 for a family of five staying seven nights in May, including Virgin Atlantic flights.
Whether it’s grandparents tagging along to look after the kids, or just a chance for the family to spend time with relatives they rarely see, holidays can be the perfect opportunity for an extended family to reconnect – and large groups give you the chance to earn great commission.
If clients want to keep costs down, suggest staying in the UK as they can share the driving and save on airfare. Explore options such as Cottages4you.co.uk and Hoseasons, which have properties to accommodate large groups.
There are similar choices on the Continent too, such as Corsican Places and Sardinian Places that feature four and five-bedroom villas perfect for large families travelling together.
Short haul: Canvas Holidays offers free places to grandparents travelling with two full-paying adults, valid on holidays before June 28 or after August 31. Seven nights at Camping Ty Nadan in Brittany costs from £244 per family in a three-bedroom mobile home in May, including an off-peak ferry crossing.
Long haul: Western & Oriental offers four-bedroom villas at Buccament Bay Resort on St Vincent, from £2,935 per adult, £1,589 per teenager and £999 per child all-inclusive for seven nights, including flights and transfers.
020 7666 1234
What do you do if a client has kids from a first and second marriage? Or if they’re bringing stepchildren?
There might be a big age gap between the kids, so it’s best to find accommodation that gives everyone their own space plus activities to suit all age groups.
Hoseasons’ new Evermore lodges have up to four bedrooms with plenty of space for bike rides or outdoor adventures, while Butlins has a range of activities for all ages.
Or opt for a destination such as Dubai, which has water parks and attractions such as Kidzania for the little ones, plus quad biking and shopping malls to keep teenagers amused.
Short haul: Kuoni offers seven nights’ B&B at the 4.5-star Hilton Dubai Jumeirah from £5,410 for two adults and three children, including British Airways flights and transfers.
Long haul: Caribtours offers a four-bedroom villa with pool at Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia from £8,930 for seven nights’ room only, for four adults, two teenagers and two children, including flights, transfers and a lounge at Gatwick.
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