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Guarantee the Sunshine! Ten Child-Friendly Long-Haul Destinations

Andrew Bartlett by Andrew Bartlett

Guarantee the Sunshine! Ten Child-Friendly Long-Haul Destinations

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Whether you are celebrating a special birthday or you want your child to experience an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime trip, these long-haul destinations are guaranteed to be great adventures for all members of the family!

Orlando, Florida

An obvious destination for children (and adults!) of all ages, there is plenty of fun to be had in this area of the world. With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Animal Kingdom all within close proximity to each other, a stay in Orlando is sure to be a fun-packed adventure.

Where To Stay? Stay at family-friendly Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort from £390 per night.

Flight Info: Non-stop flight time from London to Orlando is around 9-10 hours.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

With an average temperature of 36 degrees celsius in the Summer, sunshine is guaranteed with a visit to Dubai. Admire supercars, visit lavish malls and even venture into the heart of the desert on a camel!

Where To Stay? Swim with dolphins and visit the world-famous Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis The Palm. Family rooms are available from £400.

Flight Info: Non-stop flight time from London to Dubai is approximately 7 hours.

Mauritius, Indian Ocean

With 150km of white sandy beaches, Mauritius is a truly beautiful island with plenty to do for all the family. It has warm climate and a wide range of wildlife, the island is a natural adventure playground waiting to be explored. With kite-surfing, hiking, museum visits and dolphin-spotting just a few of the activities available, there is plenty of educational value to be had on this idyllic island.

Where To Stay? Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa (from £252 per night) has an excellent kids’ and teens’ club, as well as family-friendly suites and villas with private swimming pools.

Flight Info: Non-stop flight time from London to Mauritius is approximately 12 hours.

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The Maldives, Indian Ocean

Once considered a honeymoon destination, the abundance of activities available on these islands, along with their year-round tropical temperatures, make The Maldives a haven for families seeking a sun-soaked adventure. From spa treatments to sailing, diving and fishing, there is plenty of fun to had and wildlife to be discovered.

Where To Stay? Per Aquum Niyama, Hulawu, is perfect for families. In each room there are popcorn machines, complimentary ice cream and a supply of beach toys and there is a great kids club. A beach studio (two adults and two children under 12) costs from £7,970 half-board including seaplane transfers.

Flight Info: The fastest one-stop flight between London and Male takes approximately 13 hours.

Barbados, Caribbean

Barbados is a beautiful island, boasting stretches of sandy beaches and clear ocean. The average temperature is 27 degrees celsius; perfect for families seeking the sunshine! There are markets, submarine experiences, diving and boating activities for children and adults to enjoy.

Where To Stay? Hilton, Bridgetown (from £152 per night) offers a kids club with extensive amenities and it right on the most spacious beach on the island! Great for relaxing or building sandcastles.

Flight Info: Flights from London to Bridgetown all year round take just under 9 hours.

Mexico, South America

Mexico offers a range of culture and exceptional holiday resorts. South-West coastal resorts like Puerto Vallarta offer affordable, luxury hotels with plenty of activities and amenities to enjoy. Swim with dolphins, play beach games or explore the nearby Sierra Madres foothills on a guided horseback for a special adventure.

Where To Stay? Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit (from £483 per night) is an all-inclusive resort offering a range of daily activities to keep the kids busy; from cooking classes, arts and crafts, Spanish lessons.

Flight Info: Non-stop flight time from London to Cancun is approximately 10 hours.

South Africa

From safaris to picturesque beaches, historic cities to vast national parks, South Africa offers an unforgettable adventure. There is an incredible array of wildlife here that can be seen nowhere else on earth featuring the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino). Venture up Table Mountain in Cape Town, embark on a family safari around Kruger National Park, or perhaps even visit the prison on Robben Island for an educational experience.

Where To Stay? Grootbos Nature Reserve, situated less than two hours from Cape Town, offer luxury and lodges and an array of activities for families. From R2230pp sharing (approx £130), including meals, horse riding, tours guides and many other activities.

Flight Info: A long flight from London to Cape Town (between 11 and 15 hours) but crosses fewer than three time zones, so no jet lag.

Seychelles, Indian Ocean

The Seychelles is an incredibly well-kept secret. Miles of beaches and great weather make this a perfect family-friendly escape. Island-hopping is one of the most popular activities available as it is a great way for children to experience the different conservation areas. Visit Aride Island and witness astonishing rare birds in their natural glory or take a glass-bottomed boat trip and see the underwater haven.

Where To Stay? Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahe Island, is situated on a private beach. There is a spectrum of watersports available from paddleboarding to sailing. Guests stay in individual treetop-level villas, each with its own private plunge pool, whirlpool, and outdoor shower (from £1200 per night).

Flight Info: There are no direct flights from the UK but, Air Seychelles from Heathrow to Mahé only stops for 1 hour and 20 minutes in Abu Dhabi. The overall flight time is approx. 15 hours.

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Thailand, Asia

Thailand is an exotic and exciting place to visit. As well as wonderful beaches, temples and tourist hotspots, there are a whole host of undiscovered lagoons and areas of complete tranquility. Traditional markets are must-visit for families to experience the local Thai delicacies! Hire bikes and explore the jungle or hire a boat and explore the idyllic islands.

Where To Stay? JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is the ultimate resort for families. With four pools (including a fantastic kids’ pool), a kids’ club boasting numerous activities for young explorers and a number of excellent dining options, the resort caters to families on every level (approximately £93 per night).

Flight Info: Non-stop flight time from London to Phuket is 14 hours 50 minutes.

Costa Rica, Central America

A culture renowned for its friendliness and country renowned for its spectacular scenery and wildlife, Costa Rica is sure to be an exciting and educational adventure for children. Take the kids whitewater rafting in one of the many protected national parks or visit the Monkey Sanctuary in Manuel Antonio.

Where To Stay? Occidental Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is an all-inclusive resort surrounded by natural wildlife and tropical landscape. There is a kids club and evening entertainment for children each night. Family rooms are from £147 per night.

Flight Info: Direct flights from the UK to San José take just over 11 hours.

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