Jetting off as a family is one of the most treasured times of the year. It's your chance to get away from the daily grind and enjoy new and exciting experiences together, far from piles of paperwork and laundry. Take your pick between Florida's fantasy-filled theme parks, the golden beaches of the Balearics or Greece's sun-kissed shores – where a whole world of wonder is just waiting to be discovered on your 2020 family holiday.
Whether you're a first timer or a villa veteran, once you've had a taste of unrivalled holiday freedom there's no going back! Long gone are the days of dinner slot deadlines, early wake up calls and mad dashes to the breakfast buffet. On a villa holiday time bows to you and your brood. Lie-ins can last all morning, the kitchen is always open and siblings will be the only ones sprinting for the sunloungers – although with so much space, there's plenty of room for the whole family to spread out comfortably.
Splash-tastic fun awaits in the form of your own private pool, so blow up those inflatables and get making those priceless holiday memories! If you're travelling with little water babies make playtime extra safe with a gated pool, or leave your teens speechless with an infinity style swimming spot. Swap pool time for a pool table and challenge your children to a family championship! From games consoles to air hockey, there's countless ways to keep the kids entertained on a villa holiday.
With 3000 handpicked properties in 60 showstopping destinations, you're sure to find a bolthole that ticks all your bucket list boxes. Treat yourself to a slice of the villa life in 2020, and you'll soon see the privacy and freedom is the perfect recipe for rest and relaxation. Whether it's your first family holiday with an inquisitive toddler, or a big group getaway with everyone from your Nan to your new born – there's a villa with your name on it…
Feel the stresses fade away as you begin your holiday countdown to balmy climes and good times! From Portuguese charms and Spanish sensations to following the American dream to Florida, here's some of our top destination picks for an unforgettable 2020 family holiday…
Sun-drenched and seductive, Greece's good looks are no myth. Ancient landscapes, wild beauty, glittering seas and toasty temperatures are just a few of the headline acts on this dreamy destinations dossier. Beach breaks are a sure-fire bet thanks to an untold number of islands and over 13,000km of coastline, but you'd be remiss if you didn't swing by the centuries-old sights and time-honoured towns. Big-name beauties and well-kept mainland secrets are ready and waiting for your arrival, offering countless options for a 2020 family holiday in Greece.
Bring history to life for your little ones by visiting old-worldly ruins, towering temples and ancient cities. The stuff of legend, families will have a field day getting to grips with Greece's enchanting past. Feel like you've stepped back in time as you re-trace the steps of bygone civilisations like the Spartans and Olympians. Peloponnese's impressive collection of famous cities makes the mainland marvel a key contender for history hunting. Well, it makes sense for it to have a competitive streak seeing as its home to the original Olympic Games! The Greek Islands aren't without their own charms, from Crete's Minoan Palace of Knossos to Rhodes' Acropolis of Lindos, you'll find remnants of humanities handiwork all over…
Greece has no shortage of idyllic islands and heavenly hideaways. Speckled across the sparkling Aegean and Ionian seas, never have the words 'no filter necessary' rung so true. If your tastes lean towards humming tourist hotspots and energetic escapades, traveller favourites Kefalonia and Crete are well-established crowd pleasers. A breathtaking beach spot more your cup of tea? Lovely Lefkas is sure to make more than a few jaws drop. Watch your family's faces light up in amazement as they feast their eyes on soaring white cliffs and sapphire seas…
Hidden gems and lesser-known isles are perfect for families who prefer uninterrupted peace and seclusion. Bring new meaning to the term 'getting away from it all' as you do your best impression of Houdini. Disappear for a week or two on magical Meganissi or serene Skopelos and embrace an authentic Greek Island experience. From traditional tavernas to beaches reserved just for you, time will lose all meaning on this trip!
For those who want to have their holiday cake and eat it, set sail on a stint of island hopping. A must for your wanderlust, it's a full-proof way to cover as much ground (or in this case, ocean) as possible. The fantastic ferry system will take you from A to B in style, with extra routes added in the summer months. Day trip diamonds like Ithaka and Paxos are jam-packed with potential, making for a great 'on holiday' getaway if you've chosen a busier base for the bulk of your break.
Dull moments simply don't exist in this prized European paradise. Teeming with a never-ending list of possibilities, Portugal boasts far more than beautiful beaches. Although a trip without a day on its 24 carat coast would be a crime! Family favourite and beloved tourist treasure, the Algarve has more than earnt its sandy stripes. Not your standard seaside spot, Mother Nature has been extra kind to this Mediterranean mogul. Taking special care to carve out jaw-dropping sea caves and wonderfully wild rock faces. You could visit a different cove every day and still not scratch the surface. From waterpark thrills and spills to historic castle towns, the Algarve is awash with all kinds of action-packed antics and outdoor exploits.
Speaking of nature, you'll find it hard to top the towering peaks of sub-tropical Madeira. A floating garden of beautiful blooms and enchanting forests, the island of eternal spring is a match made in heaven for families who like life on the wild side. Idolised as one of Europe's top island destinations – it's only the best for you and your brood. You'll soon see adventures come in all shapes and sizes, from canyoning to mountain biking and everything in between. Hikers can head out almost anywhere courtesy of the levada system. Once used for water irrigation, the amazing aqueducts double up as next-level nature trails leading through some of the island's most legendary landscapes. The capital of Funchal packs in plenty of must-sees too, including the head-turning architecture of the Old Town and hair-rising ride in a wicker toboggan!
Runner up to the Algarve's gold crown is the equally sensational Silver Coast. Often overlooked for Portugal's most southerly shores, you and yours will most likely have the beach to yourselves here. Sitting pretty between Porto and Lisbon, its location lends itself perfectly to city sightseeing and dreamy day trips. Watersport enthusiasts will lap up the wonderful waves and stiff sea breeze, while sand-seekers will appreciate the endless carpet of powder-white sands. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the towel a treasure chest of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historic towns await.
For children who are no longer children, you can start a new tradition of family getaways in 2020. The dreamy Douro Valley is the epitome of easy-going and an ideal spot for unhurried holidays. Now your kids have flown the nest, spending quality time together is extra important – why not take a wine tour and enjoy good conversation over a glass of red (or two). This 'all grown up' malarkey certainly has its perks!
If 2020 is shaping up as the year for a once-in-a-lifetime family holiday, then pull out all the stops with a stay in the Sunshine State! A real life children's playground, what could be better than seeing those beaming smiles as your little ones step foot in magic kingdoms and wizarding worlds? Renowned as America's entertainment capital, out-of-this-world Orlando needs little introduction. Bursting at the seams with iconic rollercoasters, famous castles, childhood heroes and non-stop sparkle – this is what holiday daydreams are made of!
A visit to see the world's most famous mouse is most people's first port of call. From the youthful members of your brood to the young at heart, Florida's theme parks are fun for all ages! Whether you're there for meet-and-greets, showstopping parades or fantastical fireworks, nostalgia and beloved childhood characters are only part of the parks appeal. Ride adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters, embark on immersive 4D experiences or get splash happy at wet and wild waterparks. Household names like Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios™, Busch Gardens® and LEGOLAND are the centrepiece of a fantasy-filled family holiday.
It'd be easy to fill your entire itinerary with theme parks galore, but then you'll miss out on everything else the Sunshine State has tucked up its sleeves. Like a masterful magician pulling infinite silk handkerchiefs from his pocket, Florida has a whole host of amazing activities outside of the big-name attraction list. Blast off for a fun-filled family day out at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex. One small step from Orlando, one giant step for your little ones' imaginations – witness the grandeur of NASA's real life space shuttles and amazing astronaut training simulators. Swap rockets for watery wetlands and witness the iconic wilderness of the Everglades National Park. Home to alligators, turtles and even manatees, take a tour of the swamps and see how many animal residents you can spot.
Far from Orlando's bright lights and late nights lies the Caribbean stylings of the Gulf Coast. Leave the crowds behind and find your own stretch of personal paradise among hundreds of miles of beaches. Sunset swooning, palm-trees, sparkling warm waters and sugar-white sands are a staple on the wonderful west coast. Soak up some rays and while away the days on serene shores surrounded by your nearest and dearest. After all, it wouldn't be a holiday without some much deserved downtime. Perfect as day-trip potential or a multi-centre Sunshine State escape, leisure and pleasure go hand in hand here…
If the beach is your be all and end all, you've come to the right place. Say 'hola' to a spellbinding selection of Spanish sensations, where you'll be swept off your feet by an easy-going archipelago and its jaw-dropping natural beauty. Blessed with deep blue seas and wide open spaces, the whole family will fall head over heels with one look at the much-loved landscapes. Throw in a glass of sangria, an afternoon siesta and a sandy stroll or two, and you've discovered a destination that has relaxation deep-rooted into its DNA.
The Balearics are a bona fide British holiday institution, and well – if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Crowd-pleasers to their very core, you're well catered for with effortless entertainment and a slice of the good life. Here's your chance to focus on family and embrace island life to its fullest.
The secret to Balearic bliss is simplicity. Three little ingredients are your ticket to carefree hearts and unforgettable family fun. Powder-white sands, startling-blue seas and sizzling sunshine are available in abundance, with plenty of wonderful watersports and first-class facilities to boot. If you're looking for an excuse to wear flip flops for a week or two – you've found it! Boasting a whopping 369 sandy sweet spots between them, unwind on Mallorca's mountain-backed beaches, Menorca's low-key coves or Ibiza's iconic bays. Wooing families for years, the Balearics are worth their weight in gold (shores). So say yes to sandcastles and splash-happy shenanigans.
No one trick pony, there's plenty of fun to be had inland too. City sightseeing in Palma and Mahon introduces kids to new and exciting cultural experiences. From otherworldly Old Towns and natural harbours to scrumptious street food and bustling markets – authentic Spanish vibes are in strong supply across the irresistible islands. Ibiza's Dalt Vila comes with the UNESCO seal of approval, and is a fortified fantasy land of cobble streets, panoramic views and amazing architecture. Saunter through the maze of pedestrianised lanes, making mantle-worthy memories as you explore the iconic landmark.
Swap cities for scenery and take a walk on the wild side. Nature reserves, majestic mountains and soaring cliffs are part and parcel of the Balearics' undeniable beauty. There's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to outdoor exploits, so you can see how the mood strikes when it comes to energetic escapades or laid-back leisure. Mallorca's Serra de Tramuntana are teeming with hiking trails for all abilities, while Menorca's rolling hills lend themselves to chilled-out bike rides. For anyone looking to try something new, saddle up for a family hack on horseback! Trotting your way from one place to the next, it's a unique way to see the sights and adventure together.
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