Revealed: The best bonding holidays for families, from deep sea diving in Croatia to eating locusts in Thailand
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: the best bonding holidays for families.
A new travel trend is gaining momentum – so-called bonding holidays designed to bring two family members closer together.
Just before the pandemic hit, Tom Barber, co-founder of Original Travel, was among the first to spot it. He says: ‘After helping customers book their main family holiday, we were increasingly asked about separate breaks a parent could take with one of their children. They wanted quality, one-on-one time together to really bond.
‘Now we’re also seeing grandparent and grandchild breaks, adults treating a parent to a break, and all manner of other combinations.’
Original has set up a collection of bonding holidays, which includes a range of destinations suitable for different age groups and interests.
Getting closer: Holiday Hero Neil Simpson reveals his guide to the best bonding holidays for families, which are designed to bring family members closer together (file photo)
An unforgettable choice for lucky youngsters is an Adventure, Jungle And Beaches break in Thailand that includes crab-fishing, cave-exploring, treasure hunts, tuk-tuk rides, kayak trips, swimming with sea turtles, and nights sleeping on boats and in treehouses.
There’s even a meal date where parent and child get to dare each other to eat grilled locusts. Bespoke 11-night itineraries, including flights, cost from £3,700pp, with shorter options available (originaltravel.co.uk).
A holiday that’s popular for the summer before teenagers go to university is Croatia Short Break with travel specialist Stubborn Mule. Holidays begin amid locations in Dubrovnik, where Game Of Thrones was filmed, before a ferry ride to the Elaphiti Islands. It’s a prime spot to jump from cliffs into the sea while kayaks are on hand for races. There are also dive trips to a hard-to-spot cave.
Seven-night breaks cost from £1,380pp including flights (stubbornmuletravel.com).
A mum and daughter might prefer a mini-break in Florence with a stay at the Hotel Continentale, where guests are given access to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. It showcases shoes that the iconic Italian designer made for superstars including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. Double rooms cost from £255 per night (lungarnocollection.com).
New York theatre and shopping breaks are popular bonding holidays for all ages, and a top choice is in the historic Knickerbocker Hotel. It’s in a prime position on the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street, just steps from the discount Tkts booth on Times Square.
A mum and daughter might enjoy a mini-break in Florence (above) with a stay at the Hotel Continentale
Three-night breaks, including flights, cost from £929pp (britishairways.com/new-york).
Sporting breaks are equally good for bonding, and a new round of golf mini-breaks to Portugal’s Algarve has just gone on sale with Jet2Holidays.
Green fees are included, along with free transfers to courses, as well as low baggage rates for guests taking their own clubs.
Deals include a three-night stay at the four-star Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Spa Resort in Vilamoura from £499pp, including flights from Birmingham.
Flight options are available from nine other UK airports (jet2holidays.com/golf-holidays).