First 'school holiday's' holiday - where?!

Guys, 

We are trying to plan our first school holidays summer holiday for our family and having some trouble... So, looking to pick the brains of the collective on here!!!

Pre school time we would usually go to St Ives in Cornwall, this is *perfect* for us, however, anyone who has been to St Ives knows August isn't a good time to come - it's just ridiculously busy.

So, we considered elsewhere, Mauritius is currently our top bet but we're not sure.. 

'we' is Mum and Dad (40), son, age 5 nearly 6 by then, daughter, who will be 13 months by then.

What - somewhere beach based

Weather - not too hot! - which seems to be our sticking point, once it gets over sbout 20 degrees we're all about just right.

Hotel - rather than a cottage, we are after a hotel to provide probably half board. Whilst we have two children we aren't looking for a child specific place - basically somewhere that tolerates children. Our son won't be interested in the kids clubs etc just yet he wants to be with us all the time!

Budget, we'll, we know it's going to be stupidly expensive compared to what we're used to, I think 10 days in Mauritius with flights would be something silly like 7k-8k+, we can go go this if needs be.

What we didn't like on the resorts we found is the isolation - it looked like you'd basically be marooned in some resort and dependant on a 5 star hotel for everything - with no possibility to wander to a local town, supermarket, etc! - something quite alien to us.

Also all these luxury resorts seem really cagey on what's included, like some reviews suggested half board still means you need to buy all drinks at breakfast and dinner - that includes water! (and tea, coffee etc). 

Suggestions, advice and comments most welcome! 

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Comments

  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Posts: 2,460 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Stoptober Survivor
    Our first holiday with our six and four year old children was here.  They had an absolute ball. Flights weren't too long, weather wasn't too hot, every day was an adventure.  Hotel was lovely.  Hope you can avoid the Dragon if you go!  

    PortAventura World - Theme and leisure park


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  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,088 Forumite
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    Looks cool if that's your thing, our family don't really do those kind of rides for various reasons!

    This was my wife's original idea, but the isolation concerned us both:

    https://www.constancehotels.com/en/hotels-resorts/mauritius/prince-maurice/
  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Posts: 2,460 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Stoptober Survivor
    Ha ha definitely not 'our thing' as we were older parents.   I have many photos of my late husband making faces as he queued for yet another ghastly ride,  but we knew the kids would have a ball and they did.

    Good luck finding something you will all enjoy. 



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  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,521 Forumite
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    While i'm sure Mauritius is very nice I'm not sure its necessary to go so far or spend so much as there are plenty of places in Europe.

    West coast of Portugal around Lisbon, Cascais in particular.  Decent town, not touristy, half an hour by cheap train to Lisbon.

    Madeira if you want quieter.  It is always thought of as for slightly older visitors, but there are now plenty of family hotels and Portuguese families head there in summer.  Funchal for a city stroll.

    Porto Santo close by is very small, but a place our daughter loved.  Both these places don't get much above 28 degrees even in high summer.

    Marmite option. A cruise.  Really easy if leaving from UK, full board, plenty for children if you want it, regular stops for city experiences.
  • I'm not sure a 12/13 hour flight would be anywhere near top of my list with two small children especially if a first flight. 

    Europe beach resorts you are likely to exceed your ideal temp of 20°, how about Austria or even Italian lakes? 
    We went to Norway last year and that was very good, family friendly, plenty to do and by no means hot.
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  • I've just remembered our 'cultural' attempt with our kids. 

    When they were 10 and 8 we took them touring the east coast of Australia, and we liked it so much, thought we'd save up and retire there when they'd 'flown the nest'. 

    With this in mind we thought we should take them to as many countries as possible .  We'd been to France and Spain, and decided to take them to Rome.  Absolutely hilarious, they were bored to tears, Dad wanted to watch the England/Ireland game and had his wallet pinched.  My funniest memory is my son lagging behind and aggressively shouting 'so when are we going to see Terry's fountain'. 

    The next year we went to Cyprus and Egypt which was a similar flop - and roasting - and then, luckily,  the school trips starting kicking in and my son went to China with his school friends, while my daughter went ski-ing.
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  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,088 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Ha ha definitely not 'our thing' as we were older parents.   I have many photos of my late husband making faces as he queued for yet another ghastly ride,  but we knew the kids would have a ball and they did.

    Good luck finding something you will all enjoy. 



    Sounds like soke great memories. Perhaps ours will like them on a few years (here's hoping not lo!) 
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,088 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    I'm not sure a 12/13 hour flight would be anywhere near top of my list with two small children especially if a first flight. 

    Europe beach resorts you are likely to exceed your ideal temp of 20°, how about Austria or even Italian lakes? 
    We went to Norway last year and that was very good, family friendly, plenty to do and by no means hot.
    A beach really is a must, I did suggest Norway but my wife didn't seem keen! We went to Austria last year in the winter/spring and loved it :)

    Yeah that's the problem with most of Europe, also the prices are also pretty mad. Some place we went to in Portugal would be 3.5k a week for just breakfast. Outside school hols it was about a third of tha.
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,088 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    daveyjp said:
    While i'm sure Mauritius is very nice I'm not sure its necessary to go so far or spend so much as there are plenty of places in Europe.

    West coast of Portugal around Lisbon, Cascais in particular.  Decent town, not touristy, half an hour by cheap train to Lisbon.

    Madeira if you want quieter.  It is always thought of as for slightly older visitors, but there are now plenty of family hotels and Portuguese families head there in summer.  Funchal for a city stroll.

    Porto Santo close by is very small, but a place our daughter loved.  Both these places don't get much above 28 degrees even in high summer.

    Marmite option. A cruise.  Really easy if leaving from UK, full board, plenty for children if you want it, regular stops for city experiences.
    Thanks, we've actually been to all the places you mention except Porto Santo - and really enjoyed them all. I do feel they (less so Madeira) would be really warm in the height of summer thou.

    Yeah I can gusss my wife's expression already I'd I menos cruise ha ha, but yeah, I can see where you're coming from for sure. 
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,088 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    On and I think some reply was deleted, but the start was sbout Mauritius being honeymoon etc. 

    To be honest I felt the same till I did some research, it's actually really family friendly, with quite a lot of the hotels doing shed loads for the children, https://www.standard.co.uk/escapist/heritage-awali-lux-grand-gaube-belle-mare-b989107.html?amp

    I don't relish a 12 hour flight. My brother, two grown up kids, seems to think one can be amused and the other will sleep through it all. I'm not so convinced our experience will be as easy going as his were! 
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