Family activity travel guide

How often do you get the chance to feel, act and laugh like a child? Family activity holidays let you do all that as well as allowing kids and teens the chance to do the same.
Family activity holidays are like heading off on summer camp. You’ll be wide-eyed with expectation and looking forward to making new friends and trying new things in an unfamiliar, yet safe, environment. You get to cheer each other on as you abseil down waterfalls or bump up a mountain on the back of a horse. You could join a small group of other families and a tour leader – great for socialising and daring to go that extra step when overcoming challenges. You could create your own week of activities and stay in accommodation where there will be other guests and a pool. Local guides provide confidence, smiles and safety instructions as you let off steam in landscapes that they’ve known their whole lives. Activities might start around 10am to give everyone, even teenagers, a chance to wake up. Dare to do something different every day or just remember what it's like to be a kid again. Find out more in our family activity holidays travel guide.



Small group or tailor made?

There can be real benefits for taking an activity holiday with other families, as part of a small group. A minimum age and maximum group size (usually around 16) ensure you'll get to meet youngsters who are roughly a similar age. This can be ideal for parents – including single parents – who are keen for their children to make new friends without being solely reliant on each other’s company. Evenings can be sociable with barbecues, communal meals and organised games and ice breakers. Of course, you don't have to commit to socialising with the group all day every day. There will also be plenty of free time factored in to allow families to do their own thing and go off and explore independently, if you wish.
It's great fun to try out new activities with new found friends. It can also be very motivating to have a mini cheerleading squad readily available when preparing for a first time zip wire or abseiling attempt. That goes for parents, too. Peer pressure, but in a good way. You'll also have a group leader who will be on hand to ensure everything’s running smoothly. Tour leaders are fantastic with kids and young adults, and will often speak the local language. Local guides and activity leaders will be highly skilled in the activity that they're running, as well as knowing the local area and conditions like the back of their hand.
If you're opting for a tailor made family activity holiday you won't have a group leader but you will have an English speaking local guide. There’s no age restriction and you'll be able to choose, in advance, what you fancy doing, and build in as much free time as you like. Maybe hire a car and go off and explore. You’ll get to set start times for activities, too. This can be great if you’re a family with teenagers. Mum and dad might enjoy a lie-in too, of course.
“Families with little kids should look out for tailor made itineraries, because many outdoor activities included in group holidays, like kayaking and rafting, or hiking up mountains, aren't suitable for under sevens.” – Emma Heywood, from our supplier Undiscovered Montenegro
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Family activity or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Centre based or different locations?

Most of our small group family activity holidays stay in a single base. This allows you to settle in and really get to know an area rather than packing up midway through your holiday. Families will have their own private apartment, chalet or family room in a locally owned hotel. Meals will usually be taken in a communal kitchen or dining area. You might also be able to take advantage of communal social areas; one for children, another for adults. Some of the activities that you’ll undertake might start from your front door; others might require a transfer in a minibus or on the back of a Jeep. Your hosts and guides will know the surrounding area really well and can point you in the right direction if you’re looking for a picnic spot, perhaps, or fancy a stroll into the nearest village to check out the nightlife.
Tailor made holidays can last for as long as you wish and can also feature different accommodation as part of the same trip; it’s up to you. Croatia and Montenegro, for example, have really contrasting landscapes, from forests and lakes to coastline and mountains, and spending a few days in each provides a new perspective as well as creating a real variety of activities. Accommodation is chosen for its proximity to outdoor activities.

Multiple activities or just one?

Although we have an excellent range of single activity holidays we think it's also great fun to try lots of different things as part of a family activity holiday. Getting onto a horse one day and learning how to kayak the next really ramps up excitement levels and lets you try something new in a unique and special environment. Step out of your comfort as you overcome initial fears and try activities that you'd never have dreamed of doing back home.
Multi activity holidays let you dip your toe into rock climbing or abseiling without having to commit to an entire week. The same goes for cycling, hiking and kayaking. A different activity every day is ideal for learning a new skill or technique and then deciding whether you like it enough to perhaps take it up when you get home, or on another trip. Believe you me, after a day of horse riding you might fancy a change the following morning.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Miguel Navaza] [Small group or tailor made 1: Undiscovered Montenegro] [Small group or tailor made 2: El Geco Verde] [Small group or tailor made 3: Julian Lim] [Small group or tailor made 4: Undiscovered Montenegro] [Centre based or different locations 1: El Geco Verde] [Centre based or different locations 2: Mario Micklisch] [Multiple activities or just one 1: El Geco Verde] [Multiple activities or just one 2: Arcas Travel]