Suggestions For 'Alternative' Family Holiday Destination

YankTank

Well-known Member
We are planning our holiday for 2013 and are after some alternative suggestions for destinations; two adults and two mobile kids under 10.

We are not really beach bums, as we get bored quickly, although a day or two relaxing is fine; none of us enjoy 'baking'.

Budget wise, we dont want to be paying for it for years to come...but are happy to pay for right thing......we are more keen on self catering rather than all inclusive deals and would defo prefer european destinations to save on flight/travel times.

Any ideas for fun filled activity based holiday with some culture thrown in??

The exception to all I have said above is a UK departure cruise, but this is not cheap!!
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Wherever you go how about some basic phrasebooks for the kids so they get to try out the language?
Rather than just observers it will help them get involved in the holiday.
 

simsini

Well-known Member
The Black Forest in Germany is fantastic for a family holiday. If you stay in an area called Hochschwarzwald with small towns such as Titisee and Schluchsee, you receive a free tourist card that gives you free travel on buses and trains in the whole of the Black Forest, as well as lots of free activities including e-bike rental, a zoo, a terrific mountain coaster, cable cars and an indoor waterpark called Bade Paradies in Titisee. http://en.hochschwarzwald-card.de/ Europa Park is also nearby, which is one of the most popular theme parks in Europe.

I went there and did all of this last year and it is such a stunningly beautiful place to go, I would recommend it to anyone.
 
Northern Italian lakes? Like lake Garda. Easy to drive to and a fun drive as well (except for the boring northern France part). Lots of self catering place, lots a activities both on water and land and lots of culture. Besides all children like Italian food right :)
 

zed4

Well-known Member
Neilson resort, The Retreat in Sivota, Greece.

It's lovely and you'll never get bored! Great food, lots to do....

Yacht sailing
Dinghy sailing
Windsurfing
Scuba diving
Kayaking
Swimming
Wakeboarding
Waterskiing
Running
Mountain biking
Tennis
Yoga
Spa

And there's nice villages nearby to have a walk down to or an evening meal if you don't want to eat at the resort.

I loved it there. Been twice now!
 

happyhomer

Active Member
We (2 adults & daughters aged 10 & 12) are going to Ruhpolding in the German Alps next week:

Ruhpolding Tourismus : Urlaub in Bayern

It looks fantastic (and according to some of my German colleagues is fantastic); great scenery, plenty to do whether lazing round a pool or hiking in the mountains, close proximity to Munich or Salzburg for a bit of culture etc. etc.

Some of the package companies go there, but by booking flights to Munich direct with Lufthansa, transfers by Deutsche Bahn and accommodation (self-catering) via the tourist information office we have saved a fortune compared to the cost of a package deal.
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
agree with Happyhomer on the Germany idea. This year we went to the Bavarian Forest self catering. It was a two hour drive from Munich (hired a car) to Bayerisch Eisenstein which is literally on the Czech border (its splits the train station in half!!). The scenery is lovely, the place is full of things to do and you also get a free guest card for free bus and rail travel within the region.

With a car you can drive to Passau or even as far as Salzburg. The place is very reasonably priced as are the attractions. If you like the outdoors, mountains, hiking, nice towns to visit, German beer and sausages you're laughing.

We also then drove to Austria to stay at KeyCamp near Zell am See. What a beautiful place with tons to do including cable car trips to a glacier where you can roll around in snow with you shorts and flip flops !! Austria was much more expensive but had tons to do and it was also about 1 and half hours to Salzburg by train.

Munich is a fantastic city so if you flew in there I would recommend a few nights there as well. Lufthansa were great as an airline, they were reasonably priced and the baggage allowance was excellent even for the 1 year old who didn't have to pay (they had full baggage allowance!!). It was a pleasure travelling with a proper airline as opposed to trying to get a cheap deal with one of the "cheaper" airlines. There was so little stress involved and not feeling ripped off about baggage or any other hidden extras !!
 

YankTank

Well-known Member
WOW - Im feeling quite sold on the Germany idea and the troops are keen on it too. Sounds great. Im wondering how those of you that went to Germany booked your holidays? So, you booked flight, hired a car, and accommodation all independently ? Sounds like you all did.... but can I have some links to where you stayed? etc What was the cost of accommodation like over there ? How did you find it ?? That would be really helpful - never booked it all myself before.......

Thanks ! Brilliant thread !
 

bluedroog

Well-known Member
One place I haven't been but would love to is Switzerland, looks beautiful with the mountains, lakes, great drives and so nice towns too. Similar would be Austria but Switzerland seems to be preferred of the two based on my research.

I had a great time in Croatia and Split in particular, I would go again and would also like to try Dubrovnik. Split is a lovely old town with narrow streets, picturesque squares but also on the coast too.

If you like walking and wildlife consider the Portuguese island of Madeira, very green and quite unique.

The Italian island of Sardinia.

Berlin is a good city break.

I was in Tallinn, Estonia for a weekend last month, pretty old town around a square, could be incorporated in to a tour of Eastern European towns.

Budapest is a popular city break with a good mix of things to do.

Or a little leftfield but have you ever considered Iceland? Some luxury and relaxation for the adults but also lots of exciting activities too.

How about you hire a cabin somewhere on the lakes of Norway or Sweden?
 

DIYlady

Distinguished Member
When my son was young we went touring round Holland. It was a great mix, everything from Anne Frank to cycling around windmills.
 

happyhomer

Active Member
WOW - Im feeling quite sold on the Germany idea and the troops are keen on it too. Sounds great. Im wondering how those of you that went to Germany booked your holidays? So, you booked flight, hired a car, and accommodation all independently ? Sounds like you all did.... but can I have some links to where you stayed? etc What was the cost of accommodation like over there ? How did you find it ?? That would be really helpful - never booked it all myself before.......

Thanks ! Brilliant thread !
Excuse the delay in replying, but I'm in the midst of a fantastic and busy holiday in Germany :) Ruhpolding really is all it's cracked up to be and I've barely had a moment to go online (a good sign).

This year was the first first time I'd booked a full holiday abroad independently and whilst I was a little daunted at first, I'd certainly do it again. Flights were booked to Munich with Lufthansa :
Lufthansa ® - Book your flight online | One way flights to Germany | Fly worldwide

Trains to/from Ruhpolding were booked with Deutsche Bahn (very straightforward):
bahn.com - your online travel booking tool for rail journeys, holidays, city trips and car rental

I then booked our accommodation through the local tourist office:
Ruhpolding Tourismus : Urlaub in Bayern

The whole process was very straightforward, and the cost-saving over a traditional package holiday was significant; as an example, 9 nights in an exceptionally high quality 2 bedroom apartment at the end of August cost the 4 of us less than £1100, including flights, return rail transfers and travel insurance, and was worth every penny.

Don't worry if you're not a German speaker; plenty of people speak some English, and it's easy to get by. Go for it - you won't regret it :smashin:
 

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