5 of the best Cheap European Destinations for Families
By Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter (@kellythekiwi)
Finding the perfect family holiday can be hard work. It can be difficult to please young and old, kids and teens, parents and grandparents all at the same time. The search for the perfect destination becomes even tougher when you have to stick to a budget. It’s important to find a country who has a weak currency compared to the pound, this will make your money go further. Luckily, there are some amazing destinations where you can have a cheaper holiday in 2016. Here are 5 of the best cheap European destinations for families in 2016.
#1 Enjoy a city break in Budapest, Hungary
A city break doesn’t need to be expensive and if you’re looking for one that is suitable for your whole family, head to Budapest. As long as you avoid the real touristy areas along the river you will find plenty of accommodation, food, drink and entertainment options that are perfect for the budget traveller. For families, a visit to the Children’s Railway (Gyermekvasut) is a must. Staffed almost completely by children between the ages of 10 – 14 (don’t worry, the driver is an adult!), this is a really fun way of exploring the Buda Hills. Budapest is famous for its luxurious baths and a visit to one of them is a great way to end a long day of sightseeing. At the Szechenyi Thermal Baths adults can relax and feel the benefits of bubble jets massaging their back and feet whilst children play in the whirlpool.
#2 Relax at the beach on one of the Greek Islands
With the country still in the midst of an economic crisis, now is a good time to go to Greece for a beach holiday. Not only will you get more for your pound but you will be doing your bit to help the economy. There are thousands of Greek islands (only 227 are inhabitable) so avoid the more touristy ones like Santorini and Mykonos to really make your budget go further. Monastiri beach in Paros stays shallowish for about 100 metres so is a great location for snorkelling and children who are just learning to swim. Another family-friendly beach is St George beach in Naxos – lovers of sand castles will enjoying building their creations here and the water is calm, warm and shallow. For those who want more than the beach life, there are plenty more reasons to visit Greece when you’re on a budget – cheap local specialities like souvlaki and pitas being one!
#3 Go all-inclusive on the Canary Islands
My idea of a dream holiday is one that requires minimal planning, and I don’t want to be worrying about money the whole time I’m away. All-inclusive holidays are a great option for the budget conscious and they generally offer something special for the whole family. At the very least you’re flights, accommodation, food and drink will all be included and most resorts of fun kids’ clubs to keep the little ones entertained. The Canary Islands are a popular destination for all-inclusive tourists as the weather is great pretty much the whole year. Fuerteventura offers kite-surfing, diving and other water sports which makes it a great choice for the more adventurous families – it’s also a bit less touristy than its neighbouring islands.
#4 Camp around the Isle of Wight
Camping is one way of reducing the cost of accommodation and making your holiday budget-friendly. If you fancy staying a bit closer to home, the Isle of Wight is a fantastic place to pitch a tent. My boyfriend and I relived his childhood holidays a couple of years ago and had an absolute blast on the piers of Sandown and Shanklin. Kids (and bigger kids) will love the amusement parks of Blackgang Chine and The Needles (don’t forget your coloured sand ornament) and the Garlic Farm is definitely worth a visit. We decided to cycle around on our trip but it doesn’t cost much to take your car over on the ferry and have the freedom to explore the whole isle.
#5 Stay on a farm in Austria
When I think of Austria I automatically think of Mozart, the Alps and Sound of Music but it is also a great place for an affordable family holiday. Tucked away in an alpine valley, Pitztal, is Albeinelerhof, a traditional farmhouse with 3 apartments available for holiday accommodation. Adults can relax in the wellness area (complete with 3 saunas and a quiet room) with the peace of mind that their children are being looked after at the Kid’s Club. There’s also tractor rides, farm animals to pet and eggs to collect so they’ll definitely be kept busy and entertained. If you’re booking an apartment for your family, don’t forget to ask for a children’s discount for a reduced rate.
Apart from choosing the right destination, there are other ways to make sure your family holiday doesn’t completely drain your bank account. If you do decide to fly, make sure you get a cheap flight and don’t forget to have a read our top 50 budget travel tips before you go.