Abu Soma, Egypt
Sarah, 43, and David Bryden, 42, from London, parents to Jessica, 3, and Gabriella, 2, went to the Mark Warner resort at the Intercontinental Hotel.
“This five-star resort hotel on the Red Sea is popular with young families thanks to the fantastic childcare (available for children from 4 months to 17 years). There’s a spa, a sandy beach and a great range of sports and watersports (some included, some not) for either enthusiasts or first-timers. The palm trees, grass, and landscaped gardens, make the resort lovely to wander around.”
“Gabriella and Jessica loved the children’s club and became quite attached to the nannies, which gave David and I time to ourselves.”
“With the pound weakened against the dollar, Egypt is a much better option for out-of-season sun than the Caribbean.”
Seven days half-board accommodation for a family of two adults and two under 5s, including flights and transfers, costs £3,096. Activities and daily childcare (for half a day) also included. Upgrade to full days’ childcare is an extra £160. Under 2s travel for £100 and children 5 and above get six full days childcare included. To book, call 0871 703 3887 or see www.markwarner.co.uk.
New England, United States
Paul, 42, and Jane Boothroyd, 45, from London, parents to Nancy, 5, and Henry, 3, went on a fly-drive, two-stop trip around Boston.
“We spent three nights in Boston’s Back Bay area, before hiring a car to travel two hours to the lovely Mystic vacation town where we spent four nights.
Boston is a compact city, clean and very safe. Much of it can be done on foot but the tube system is very easy to use. There are some great child-friendly attractions. My kids loved the New England Aquarium with its four-storey tank and 12,000 aquatic creatures. It’s the perfect size for young legs with lots of touch pools and displays. Also recommended is the Children’s Museum with interactive hands-on activities and exhibits for all ages.
Mystic has great beaches and dozens of shopping areas. There’s also the 17-acre Seaport with tall ships and a 19th Century village to explore.”
“The Duck Tour in Boston is a must. An amphibious car takes in the sights and then drives into the Charles river, allowing kids a chance to drive it on the river part.”
“US hotels tend not to include breakfast in your room rate, and eating out is often cheaper. We found plenty of child-friendly, reasonably priced, places to eat nearby.”
Seven nights fly-drive from £439 per person, includes return flights with Virgin Atlantic and car hire for the duration. Taxes and fuel surcharges are included but are subject to change. Rooms at Jury’s Hotel, Boston, start at $235 per night and $150 per night at The Inn at Mystic. To book, see www.virginholidays.co.uk or call 0844 5573 860.
Abigail Silver, 32, from Twickenham, mum to Eloise, 15 months, stayed at the Cape Panwa hotel.
“This luxurious hotel with its own private beach is perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.There are two swimming pools, a spa offering baby massage, watersports, outdoor kids play area, babysitting facilities and wild friendly monkeys!”
“We loved the hotel’s own tram taking us to the beach. There are also various free classes such as Batik painting, learning the Thai lingo and so on.”
To book, call Travelmood on 0800 8408 305 or go to www.travelmood.com.
9 ways to make your money go further
1. Avoid losing money on the fluctuating Euro exchange rate by heading to European countries that haven’t yet joined the single currency.
2. Choosing countries where the cost of living is lower makes spending money go further. Tunisia is always a good bet.
3. Try eBay before you book. It’s the perfect place to pick up unwanted trips for excellent value.
4. Visit www.voucher-codes.co.uk for details of companies offering extra discounts and the all-important codes you need when you’re booking.
5. Make sure you’re getting absolutely the best low-cost flight by visiting www.kayak.co.uk, which compares most of the budget and main carriers.
6. Under 16s (including babies) need their own passport. But don’t leave it till the last minute to apply as you’ll be charged £80 for the fast-track service rather than the standard £45.
7. Get your tot swimming lessons on holiday. Eurocamp (08444 060402; www.eurocamp.co.uk ) and Keycamp (0844 406 0200; www.keycamp.co.uk ) run sessions at a selection of campsites across France where qualified instructors from the Swimming Teachers’ Association will offer free lessons.
9. Visit www.flyertalk.com for ingenious ways of collecting airmiles and points.