Family Holidays – Schools Out For Summer (18.07.12)
This week sees the bulk of European schools break out for summer holidays. I, like all parents, am involved in juggling the excitement of no more school with how best to arrange childcare, summer action and obviously that all important family holiday.
Although the concept of finding a last minute family break is a fraught experience we, at Nomadic Thoughts, genuinely believe it’s never too late to find a decent summer holiday. The trick is knowing exactly what is available and then making a quick decision.
For example finding the right accommodation – whether a villa, hotel, cruise boat or ‘escape from it all’ hideout – can be a difficult task for us in the trade, let alone for someone without the appropriate contacts and accommodation allocations.
Last minute flights and hire car can also prove a challenge over the peak summer period, especially when balancing seat availability (out & back) with competitive prices.
That said, we are always upbeat in that however late we get a holiday enquiry we should be able to find something suitable. We regularly surprise ourselves on what we are able to offer and, as long as clients are flexible on their final holiday destination, we can pretty much guarantee we will find ‘a great escape’ to remember forever. The larger the family group(s) the more we rely on our local ground suppliers for sourcing what is available and how best to accommodate family members of all ages. Often our receiving a quick ‘heads up’ on a cancelled villa, lodge or boat booking can save the day.
In the last few weeks alone we have found summer availability in previously ‘unavailable’ national parks, festival towns and beach destinations.
So, in case you are wondering – current exciting family holiday options include Scandinavia, which has some remarkable destinations well away from the normal European crowds. Whale watching, long summer nights and an outdoors to compete with anywhere in the world make it perfect for all ages. Similarly whether looking for a cowboy ranch, Winnebago road trip or west coast sunset the National Parks in North America are very welcoming (just avoid the mosquitoes in the tundra areas of northern Canada and Alaska).
The Greek Islands, which are as beautiful as they have ever been, are experiencing late availability not least as the traditional German market has simply not shown up this year.
Keeping an eye on budgets – remember also that more often than not a two week beach holiday in the Indian Ocean will actually be better value than trying to take on the crowds and over inflated July/August holiday prices in Europe.
Further a field – Indonesia is the best place for settled sunny July/August weather in South East Asia; likewise East Africa’s beaches have some tremendous options to combine with the Migration season; the newly-opened Mozambique and Madagascar coastal regions are perfect too during this time of the year and even Eastern Europe is boasting a balmy hot 2012 summer.
Alternatively you may already be following British Airways advice with a UK focus for the Olympics. Certainly if you have no children to plan the summer holidays around the best bet is, as ever, to avoid the crowds by travelling after early September.