Family Favourites

Family holidays are a great way of creating magical memories together - many of which will last a lifetime - so why not give your brood the gift of time and experience?

Building sandcastles on the beach in Bali, riding an elephant in Thailand or exploring San Francisco on the tram are just some of the options for overseas family bonding. Whatever you choose, the stories, photographs, videos and memories you collect along the way will be worth their weight in gold.

Choose from a holiday focused on relaxing at the beach, discovering history and culture, or adventuring through the jungle - or perhaps even a combination of it all!

With some of the best holiday destinations for families like Hawaii, Vanuatu, Fiji and the USA, you will never run out of things to do or see, whether it's snorkelling, sailing, four-wheel driving, watching a local dance performance or visiting a museum.

We know it's important that your holiday destination is welcoming and comfortable, too, so we can help to recommend locations where locals are known to be friendly and warm. Strolling the shores of Vanuatu, you can be sure the residents will flash you a great big smile and chirp an 'Alo' as you pass by!

Many family-favourite destinations also have kids' clubs and on-site entertainment options that can keep your young ones occupied if you do feel like a break, making your holiday even more of a breeze.

Check out our hand-picked list of destination and resorts that offer amazing all-ages experiences to suit many different kinds of families - there's bound to be something that fits your needs and desires. Introduce your young ones to the wonders of the world - they'll be sure to thank you for it one day!

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Family Favourites in Fiji

When it comes to family fun, you can't look past Fiji. With plentiful entertainment for both adults and kids, this island destination is a veritable paradise for families - and then there's the view!

A sample of the activities on offer include snorkelling, swimming with turtles, kayaking, building sandcastles or exploring the local islands and markets, so there's always more than enough to keep those curious kids interested.

Slip on your swimmers, slop on some sunscreen and a hat and head out on a boat trip to beautiful reefs, corals and islands. The kids will love snorkelling and discovering the abundance of colourful sea life, paddling around with fish and playing in the sand - as will you!

No matter where you're staying there are always plenty of beaches, surrounding islands and lush jungle to explore, so a family walk or hike never goes astray. There will always be something - whether it is a type of different tree, insect or animal - to keep the most inquisitive of young ones intrigued.

Village markets are also a great place for you and the kids to find special trinkets at a low cost, and interact with smiling locals.

Your brood will also be enthralled by the local traditions and displays, whether watching a firewalking show or a cultural song and dance extravaganza.

Another advantage of this fun-filled destination is its child-minding services. Resorts and hotels in Fiji are famous for their hospitality and many will offer kids' clubs, where children can partake in fun, supervised activities in case you feel like some time out sipping on cocktails by the pool.

Or, you and your other half could relax with an indulgent spa treatment or decadent meal knowing the kids are in the safe hands of resort staff, splashing around in the pool, playing in the games room or learning to dance Fijian style!

There are endless options for families in this idyllic island nation - so why not discover it together?

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Family Favourites in Hawaii

During those long nights being awakened by sleepless kids, there's no doubt you've dreamed of a more relaxing lifestyle. Well, if you're looking for a change of pace, there's no place like Hawaii.

This island paradise is geared up to thrill, entertain and exceed the expectations of both your little ones and those big kids too - you and your partner! 'Ohana' - the Hawaiian word for family - sums up the focus of life here. It's all about being in it together, giving you a break from those morning arguments over getting ready for school or refusing to eat breakfast.

Getting outdoors is a great way to wear the kids out so they'll fall straight to sleep at night leaving you to relax and enjoy a cocktail, and Hawaii is full of land- and water-based activities to do just the trick.

Heading underwater in a submarine? Check. Gazing upon the volcanic landscape from a helicopter? Check. Getting up close and personal with dolphins, sharks and other aquarium creatures? Check!

At that's not all if the kids are still playing up! Interactive museums about the stars, volcanoes and Hawaiian culture will keep the young ones occupied for hours if not days. You'll likely find yourself completely enthralled by these activities too - don't worry, we won't tell anyone back home that you spent longer than your child playing at the kid's exhibits! Think of it as reliving your own youth - after all, everyone wants to be a youngster again sometimes.

Of course, you'll never run out of things to do on the beautiful white-sand shores on any of Hawaii's several islands. From Maui to Oahu, you can spend endless hours playing on the beach, splashing about in the gentle waves and or looking out for exotic seashells or critters - perhaps with a mojito in hand?

Not to mention, your accommodation will be top-notch, too. When you want a date night free of tears or tantrums, your youngsters can have great time at the keiki (children) learning and activity programs run by most resorts and hotels. The only potential downside is that you're bound to want to return every year!

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Family Favourites in Vanuatu

Touch down in Vanuatu and the first thing you'll notice is how warmly you and your family are welcomed to this island paradise.

Smiles, laughter and the family spirit are what this nation is all about, making it the perfect destination for holidaymakers with kids.

Vanuatu is made up of several different islands, but many families head to Efate, which is home to the capital of Port Vila. Here, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy both natural beauty and a bustling metropolitan buzz!

Stroll through local markets discovering fresh produce and traditional crafts, dine out and try some of the local fare or wander the waterfront to your heart's content.

Head out on an adventure into the pleasant countryside, where tranquil walks will lead you to beautiful waterfalls and lagoons that the kids will love splashing around in.

You may even want to pack a picnic and hire a 4WD vehicle so you can hit the road yourselves and explore some of the island's off-the-beaten-track gems. You never know what you might find!

Cruising on the high seas is also fun for the whole family. Sit back and enjoy the view while the young ones are on the lookout for marine life like dolphins and turtles.

For even more excitement, make use of outrigger canoes, snorkelling gear and other equipment on hire from your resort to keep you occupied through the balmy days.

Day trips or overnight charters to other nearby islands also offer plenty of adventure and each destination is abundant with charm.

You also have your pick of the bunch when it comes to resorts, with on-site child-friendly facilities and minding services widely available.

Kids aged from 3 to 12 can enjoy cultural-themed kids' clubs, with activities like dancing, painting, basket weaving and swimming to keep them enriched and occupied while you indulge in some quality time for yourself. Talk about the perfect holiday!

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Family Favourites in Cook Islands

To most of us, family and friends are our top priority. However, it’s also a well known fact that these days we spend longer hours than ever before at work.

Solution? Learn from the Polynesians who know how to get life in balance. Take a trip to the place where family is the most important factor in daily life. The extended family is an everyday part of life – grandchildren often living with grandparents, nieces and nephews with aunts and uncles – and family lineage features strongly in any Cook Island dynasty.

The Cook Islands is perfect for families. Kids Club group leaders are very involved and interactive. A Cook Islands family holiday will see you sharing experiences that bring the family closer together and have you returning home with great memories.

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Family Favourites in Bali

Aussies and Kiwi adults have been heading to Bali for years for their own holidays - but have you ever thought about taking the kids along too?

There's nothing like the way Balinese people welcome families, especially children, so expect to feel at home as soon as you arrive.

With a host of beautiful beaches and villages such as Nusa Dua and Kuta, you can find many comfortable and family-resorts close to all the action.

You might want to spend your time building intricate sandcastles, splashing in the shallows, or even introducing the young ones to the local Hindu culture.

Visit some of the stunning temples and witness a ceremony celebrating a marriage or birth, or even the lunar cycle.

You can also experience traditional performances, dance and music, sure to enrapture both you and your curious kids from start to finish. Fire spinning and dancing is often a highlight of these excursions!

Check out the Bali Zoo, Elephant Park and Bird Park, too! The kids will love getting up close to the exotic creatures and will entertain them for hours.

Of course, there's also endless fun up for grabs on the water, with snorkelling, jet-skiing, cruising, water-skiing, fishing and yachting just some of the activities to keep you and your young ones busy.

And if you feel like relaxing at the spa for a few hours or maybe even partaking in a local meditation class, your hotel's kids' club will be able to amuse your offspring with plenty of exciting activities.

In Bali, dining is also always going to be a fun, family affair. You will be able to find a host of both local and internationally-inspired food, so there will be something to please even the fussiest kids' palates!

The local food places heavy emphasis on rice dishes and delectable spices. Expect lots of coconut, garlic and chilli along with an abundance of fish freshly plucked from the surrounding waters.

The kids are bound to love the novelty of food that comes wrapped in bright banana leaves and you might just find their tastes develop as the trip goes on. However, if a roasted suckling pig just isn't going to fly, you can always find somewhere offering a hot dog and chips!

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Family Favourites in Thailand

Thailand offers everything you could ever need and more for a family holiday. Providing the ultimate balance of relaxation, activity and adventure, and stunning natural beauty - not to mention warm welcomes from the locals - you and the kids have plenty of options.

In Thailand, family is of the utmost of importance, so you can look forward to plenty of friendly smiles and lots of warmth from the Thai people you meet along the way.

When it comes to beaches, Phuket and Koh Samui are crowd pleasers. Not only are the shores stunning, there are plenty of resorts to cater to your needs.

Paddle in the on-site pools with your young ones, head to the beach or get a luxurious massage while the children are safe in the hands of the hotel kids' club! Much of the accommodation in Thailand also includes family rooms designed for the needs of holiday-makers like you, with inter-connecting rooms and kids' areas to make your getaway even more laid-back and stress-free.

Trips to Thailand are also often more kind to the budget than you'd expect. A lot of resorts include 'kids eat free' deals or offer specials for families so your dollar can stretch a lot further, which can be incredibly important when travelling with the whole family in tow.

There are also a whole host of unforgettable experiences on offer, such as riding elephants through the jungle or gliding over crystalline waters in a kayak.

If you're interested in teaching the kids a bit of history, you can head to Kanchanaburi where there are many historical remnants of war, such as military structures and museums. Here, you'll also find an enchanting floating hotel, the River Kawi, which is made from bamboo and floats on rafts - something sure to enthral the kiddies!

With all the entertainment options under the bright Thai sun at your disposal, why not take the brood on a journey of a lifetime?

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Family Favourites in America

America is one big playground for the whole family - not just the kids! You'll likely find yourself rediscovering your youth, too, quite possibly while on a rollercoaster or princess themed ride in Disneyland!

This land of fun and fantasy is naturally the perfect location for a family holiday. You could fill days - or even weeks - in this magical theme park. Kids will love meeting and getting a photo with their Disney favourites like Pocahontas, Ariel and Cinderella or Snow White, or dining at a themed restaurant.

There are rides to cater for all ages, so even if your eight year old doesn't quite make the height restrictions for a rollercoaster, there will be many other enchanting rides for him or her to enjoy.

Universal Studios is another must-see for both film fans and theme park fanatics, with a host of rides and even back-lot studio tours, which take you to famous film sets. You might even stumble upon a new film being shot right in front of you!

How about exploring the rest of Los Angeles? Stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where the whole family can find the star of their favourite actors and musicians.

Check out the Chinese Theatre, take pictures with the Hollywood sign, look out for celebrities and maybe even take a trip to the ever-vibrant Venice Beach.

Then of course, there's New York. This is perfect for keeping the kids entertained with a variety of cultural pursuits. Museums are aplenty and both you and your young ones will enjoy looking at anything from jaw-dropping dinosaur skeletons to ancient Egyptian artefacts.

A night out on the town watching Broadway shows, eating hotdogs from street stalls and taking in the twinkling lights of Times Square also provides fun for all ages.

Don't forget San Fran, either. This colourful city provides great dining, shopping and learning - check out the California Academy of Sciences for some interactive enrichment! Or, take a boat to explore eerie island of Alkatraz - this will have the whole family captivated.

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