Why would you book your family holiday with Explore rather than organising it independently? Our Family Programme Manager Antony Barton tells us his key ingredients for putting together memorable trips that the whole family will enjoy.
We pride ourselves on our travel expertise, and this includes the challenges of travelling with kids. We know what is possible, and how to plan an itinerary that solves the logistical difficulties and leaves you free to experience the joy and excitement of an adventurous holiday with your family.
So what are the key ingredients for a great all round Family Adventure?
Here are my five top tips.
1. Time to relax
We pace our trips to allow us to get the most of each destination and see as much as possible; we also recognize that it’s important to have some down time to relax as well. Our Sri Lanka and Maldives Adventure
combines 11 days in Sri Lanka with a four day cruise on a traditional dhoni boat in the Maldives. In Belize
we spend four nights on two tropical islands, known for their fine reefs and laid back atmosphere, whilst in Indonesia
we offer a three night extension to lap up the tropical white sand beaches of Gili Isles.
We are always conscious not to overload our trips by doing too much. We try and keep travelling times down to minimum, but there can be some busy days along the way. We use hotels with pools wherever possible so that kids can unwind after a jam-packed day.
2. Our Explore Leaders
Our Leaders are quite simply the glue that holds our trips together. They are chosen for their travel experience and for their rapport in looking after family groups; a review we received recently from our Finland Winter Adventure
trip sums this up perfectly:
‘The highlight of the trip was Seth sleeping out overnight in an igloo with one of the other 13yr old boys. Sabrina Logeais who was the guide, went above and beyond her duty when she slept outside in a sleeping bag under the sky 5m from the igloo to ensure that myself and the other mother would sleep well (in our warm beds). She did this without us asking and I feel that this was done to ensure the boys had a great time yet were safe. Sabrina was a superb guide, always ahead of the game and towards the end of the trip was better at keeping five 11-14 yr old boys in check than their mothers!’
3. New experiences
Whether it is designing an active trip in the French Alps
including glacier walks, white water rafting and a high ropes course, or a safari in Tanzania
, learning about camera traps and identifying animal prints in the salt pans, we try to include as many new experiences as possible on our family adventures. After all as the saying goes, the best education in the world, is the world.
4. Local living
We know that one of the best ways to experience a destination is to live and breathe it, the same way the locals do. Some of the more unusual and exciting accommodation we offer includes beehive huts in South Africa, a charmingly restored agriturismo in Tuscany, a Bedouin tent on the edge of the Sahara in Morocco and a houseboat in the backwaters of Southern India. Our accommodation is often part of the adventure, and we endeavour to give you the most authentic experience possible.
5. Shared experiences
We keep our groups small to allow you to get under the skin of the countries we visit; but more than that it’s the stories you hear and the friendships you forge along the way. A small group Family Adventure is a great opportunity for kids to make new friends and we regularly hear of families staying in touch long after they have returned home. Our travellers come from all walks of life; allowing shared experiences that stand the test of time.