After almost a year of lockdowns and restrictions – and far too much time cooped up inside our homes – our longing to travel has never been stronger. With vaccines now giving us genuine light at the end of this long tunnel, we can start thinking ahead and plan those precious family holidays we missed out on last year.
We at Original Travel have been organising family holidays since our inception in 2003 – we have even won a Family Traveller Excellence Award, and our Founder Tom Barber has been named a Condé Nast Family Travel Specialist – so here are our top picks for where we’d most like to go on our family holidays in 2021 and beyond.
This year, Costa Rica’s Playa Hermosa has become the first beach in Central America to be awarded the title of ‘World Surfing Reserve’, making it the perfect spot for teens (and parents!) to learn to surf. Our family holidays to Costa Rica also include white-water rafting, exploring dense jungle and dramatic volcanic scenery, and discovering more wildlife than you could shake a stick at (although we don’t recommend shaking a stick at anything, particularly a jaguar…). The country boasts great eco-credentials, which we at Original Travel boost further by off-setting 100% of the carbon from all our clients’ and staff flights and ground travel.
We recently asked our Original Travel clients what type of trip they are wanting to book for that all-important first holiday post-lockdown, and nearly half of them said they planned to visit somewhere outdoorsy to enjoy some wide-open spaces, and Eastern Canada is full to the brim with outdoor family activities and might as well have invented the term ‘wide open space’. An Original Travel family holiday to this region could include canoeing, fishing and swimming in the lakes around Saint-Alexis-des-Monts; a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls and a private whale watching cruise in Bergeronnes.
Malta is on track to be Europe’s first completely vaccinated country, which may mean that its borders will open up to tourists sooner than other Mediterranean regions, making a family summer holiday to Malta and neighbouring island Gozo a distinct possibility. There’s much more to Malta than just its appealingly warm climate and lovely beaches; its capital city Valetta is brimming with history and culture and some of the best diving and snorkelling in the Mediterranean can be found off the coast of Gozo.
Scandinavia’s reputation for clean living is more appealing than ever, particularly with the new buzzword that’s giving hygge a run for its money: friluftsliv, meaning taking joy from the great outdoors, something we all appreciate more than ever now. Christmas in Swedish or Finnish Lapland is the perfect family holiday with children who are still ‘believers’, but there’s more to Lapland than Father Christmas. Discover the Arctic wilderness and its abundant wildlife (including huskies, moose and reindeer) and meet the indigenous Sami people to learn about their thriving traditions.