As dilemmas go, deciding which global destination to head to for your next family holiday is an enviable one, but that doesn’t make it any easier!

With over 40 Stubborn Mule destinations to choose from worldwide, from short-haul Europe and North Africa to further afield in Asia, Latin and North America (with more being added regularly), the question is: how to choose?!

To help, we’ve collated the ultimate travel guide to the best family holiday destinations abroad, providing at-a-glance information about what each destination has to offer the family traveller.

See what you and your family could be doing in 2024 and beyond!

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1. Bali & Indonesia – best family holiday destinations

Bali & Indonesia best family holiday destinations abroad - family on Indonesian island with beach in the background

Visit Komodo and Bali for an active holiday with time relaxing on an idyllic beach

Why go?
There’s good reason why ‘Bali’ and ‘tropical paradise’ are synonymous. Fringed with white, sandy, palm-flanked beaches and bath-warm water, the island’s interior is lush, verdant, and easy to get around. There are erupting volcanos, bubbling hot springs, cascading rice terraces, and one of the best cuisines in Asia. If you want an all-rounder, destination-wise, this is it. Don’t forget your snorkel!

Anything else I need to know?
The perfect blend of R&R, great for children of all ages. Add a cruise around the Komodo Islands to see the dragons. See our Bali with Kids Top 10.

Ideal during the European summer holidays when the weather is at its driest and sunniest. Our Indonesia & Bali weather guide has further details.

Bali and Indonesia family holiday prices
See our Indonesia & Bali price guide.

For a restorative holiday, try our 2-week Relaxing Bali itinerary. For maximum adventure, combine Bali with a 3-night Komodo Cruise, look at our Active Bali & Komodo.

2. Belize – best family holiday destinations

Boy on Belize beach giving 'right-on' hand sign

Belize has world-class ocean and jungle activities

Why go?
Perched on the edge of the Caribbean, Belize is a small country that packs a big punch. The beaches are superb and the off-shore reef offers some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. Inland you have Mayan ruins, lush jungles teeming with wildlife, mysterious caves that are home to ancient mummified remains, and masses of activities. See our Belize photo blog for further inspiration.

Anything else I need to know?
No direct flights. Many activities better for older children (8+).

Ideal at Christmas and Easter. Good in summer. Avoid in September/October. Our Belize – When to Go guide gives more details.

Belize family holiday prices
See our Belize pricing guide

Try our Belize Adventure Highlights. Or twin it with Guatemala on our Belize & Guatemala Highlights to add volcanos, colonial towns, and indigenous Central American culture.

3. Borneo – best family holiday destinations

Family holiday in Borneo - boy on river boat trip

Spot wildlife on an action-packed river trip

Why go?
One of the world’s ultimate wildlife destinations, most people who travel to Borneo come for two things: orangutans, it being the best place in the world to see them, and adventure. Trips here are action-packed, with canoe and boat rides, mountain and jungle treks, forest canopy walks, and cave exploration. Throw in some downtime at upmarket beach resorts and jungle lodges and you’ve got the perfect family adventure. Take a look at our Top 10 things to do with kids in Borneo blog for what else to see and do.

Anything else I need to know?
No direct flights. Consider adding an ascent of Mount Kinabalu (the highest mountain in South East Asia) for older children.

Fine to visit all year round, the best weather is in the European summer holidays. Our Borneo When to go guide has more details.

Borneo family holiday prices
See our Borneo price guidelines.

We have two Borneo sample itineraries, a 2-week Active Borneo adventure, and a 3-week Borneo Adventure trip.

4. Botswana – best family holiday destinations

Two teenagers on a Botswana family safari

Get close to elephants in Chobe National Park

Why go?
Botswana is the place for world-class safaris, including Big Five sightings, without the crowds. To this, it adds the unique experience of seeing its prodigious wildlife from a different angle by hopping into a traditional punt-like mokoro through the Okavango Delta. Most families also head to Chobe National Park where the Chobe River attracts thousands of elephants, then hop just over the border to Victoria Falls with its adrenaline activities. See African Safaris for an overview of the best destinations for a family safari.

Anything else I need to know?
You can’t fly direct from the UK to Botswana; you’ll have to change at least once. Consider starting or finishing your holiday in Victoria Falls, which adds an extra element to an already thrilling holiday.

The best time to go to Botswana is the May Half Term or the main summer school holidays, as May to October is the dry season here, with warm, sunny days. At this time of year, the Okavango Delta also has waterways and channels thanks to its water levels being at their highest, attracting lots of wildlife.

Get in touch to discuss plans and budget, and we’ll create a fully-costed itinerary that fits exactly with your family’s preferences.

5. Brazil – best family holiday destinations

Brazil family holiday at Easter

Explore Rio, one of the most exciting cities in the world

Why go?
It’s big, it’s biodiverse and it’s absolutely, glitteringly, full-of-sass FAB-U-LOUS (and, if we’re honest, Brazil probably knows it, too!) Where else in the world can you experience not just a handful but more-than-is-even fair brilliant beaches along its huge Atlantic coastline? There’s wildlife in bucketfuls not just in the Amazon jungle, but in the wetlands of the Pantanal, whilst in the eco-centre of Bonito, you can enjoy adrenaline-fuelled activities. And we haven’t even mentioned the Iguazu Falls! Visit the home of Carnival to discover yourselves why Brazil simply buzzes (it’s not just the samba) or have a look at our Top 10 things to do with kids in Brazil. 

Anything else I need to know?
The Amazon area is malarial. Brazil can be an expensive destination.

Easter and summer are the best times to visit but find out more in our When to go to Brazil guide.

Brazil family holiday prices
See our Brazil pricing guide.

Both our Highlights of Southern Brazil and Rio, Amazon, and Salvador, sample itineraries are two weeks long, whilst combining Brazil and Argentina for Families is a 19-day long trip.

6. Cambodia – best family holiday destinations

Child with giant prawns on a stick - family adventure holiday in Cambodia

Tuck into a prawn kebab in Kep

Why go?
Smaller and less visited than its South East Asian neighbours, Cambodia’s biggest claim to fame is Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Whilst this is undoubtedly a jaw-dropping sight, only 10% of visitors explore further. What a waste! Away from the crowds, there’s a huge number of other attractions here, from tropical beaches to crumbling colonial towns and floating villages (yes, really!) to jungle treks and ziplining, all of which can be tailored to your family’s preferences. Have a look at our Cambodia Photo Blog or our Top 10 Things to Do in Cambodia for inspiration.

Anything else I need to know?
No direct flights, a great country to combine with Vietnam, Thailand or Laos.

Summer is the green season, and beaches are ideal for Christmas visits whilst Easter can be very humid. Check out When to Go to Cambodia for the full lowdown.

Cambodia family holiday prices
Our Cambodia pricing guide will tell you all you need to know.

We have two sample itineraries, our 2-week Cambodia Highlights and a 3-week Vietnam and Cambodia Highlights

7. Canada – best family holiday destinations

Family cycling in Canada

Explore Canada’s jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes by bike, canoe or on foot

Why go?
Watching bears on the beach, kayaking with dolphins, howling with wolves and whales galore – Canada is a wildlife paradise. The Rocky Mountains offer endless opportunities for outdoor activities and cities such as Vancouver and Toronto have that North American vibe kids love. Self-drive itineraries offer the ultimate in family flexibility. There are also some incredible wildlife and mountain lodges to experience. Check out our Canada Top 10 with Kids for further inspiration.

Anything else I need to know?
Distances can be huge so don’t try to pack too much in. Save it for a return visit!

Ideal May to September. Plenty of snowy fun in the winter. When to Go to Canada will tell you all you need to know!

Canada family holiday prices
Head to our Canada pricing guide.

Try our Western Canada for families for that perfect ocean-to-mountain adventure. Or head to Toronto and discover some little-known gems on our Lakes, Falls, and Cities of Ontario.

8. Colombia – best family holiday destinations

Family in Colombia, selection of the best holiday destinations for families

Arguably South America’s most colourful, vibrant, and fun-loving country

Why go?
Colombia is the big buzzword of the moment. Arguably Latin America’s most colourful and vibrant country, it has oodles to appeal to adventurous families looking to discover this up-and-coming nation. From the Andes to the Amazon, the Coffee Zone to Cartagena, Colombia offers a fantastic range of landscapes and activities – at good value too. Go now and get ahead of the crowd!

Anything else I need to know?
Direct flights to Bogota from the UK make life simple

Ideal at Christmas and Easter. Good in summer. Avoid in September/October. Our Colombia – When to Go guide gives more details.

Costa Rica family holiday prices
See our Colombia pricing guide

Our Best of Colombia itinerary offers all the main highlights including a graffiti tour in Medellin, coastal walks in Tayrona National Park and time on an idyllic Caribbean island at the end. Colombia Off the Beaten Track takes you on an exciting overland trip to the adrenalin centre of Barichara as well as the legendary Lost City Trek.

9. Costa Rica – best family holiday destinations

Costa Rica activities - kids about to go zip lining

Zip-line in Arenal or Monteverde

Why go?
Costa Rica is one of Stubborn Mule’s most popular destinations and with good reason. It’s packed with jungle wildlife (a hummingbird hotspot, ditto sloths, turtles and whales) and offers stunning beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. This provides the perfect backdrop to adrenaline-fuelled activities, from zip-lining to whitewater rafting. There’s a huge array of accommodation from wallet-friendly eco-lodges to phenomenal upmarket accommodation choices. For more inspiration check our Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in Costa Rica.

Anything else I need to know?
Meals are expensive when there – at least UK prices. Self-drive is a great option. Adrenaline-fuelled activities best for older children only.

A year-round destination, although the driest months are from the Christmas to Easter holidays. Our When to Go guide has more info.

Costa Rica family holiday prices
See our Costa Rica pricing guide

Depending on when you want to travel, take a look at our Costa Rica Summer tour or Costa Rica Easter or Christmas, both 15 days. Alternatively, why not combine a trip with another destination, Costa Rica and Panama

10. Croatia – best family holiday destinations

Croatia family holidays - girl jumping into the Adriatic - family adventure holidays

Snorkel, swim and sea-kayak in crystal clear waters

Why go?
Blissfully clear azure Adriatic waters are Croatia’s biggest drawcard and have to be seen to be believed. Think lazy days watching the sunset and more active days snorkelling and swimming. There are also gorgeous coastal towns (Dubrovnik being a clear favourite), stunning mountain scenery, and the best gelato in Europe (controversial, we know). Adventurous families will be particularly happy here with endless scope for activities, including white water rafting, hiking, cycling, kayaking and more. See our Top 10 Activities in Croatia with Kids and what Stubborn Mule Travellers there did in the Summer.

Anything else I need to know?
Many of the budget airlines fly here so it’s cheap to get to.

Ideal during the May half-term and the summer holidays. October half-term also works for a more active (less beach-focused) trip – see more weather details.

Croatia Rica family holiday prices
See our price details for Croatia.

Try our Highlights of Croatia or Croatia Short-Break. Or twin it with Slovenia on our Slovenia & Croatia itinerary to add time to explore the beautiful Alpine scenery.

11. Cuba – best family holiday destinations

Kids on holiday in Cuba

Soak up Cuba’s irresistible Latin vibe

Why go?
Cuba is poised on the cusp of change, the aging American Cadillacs slowly being overtaken (literally) by newer models from the Far East and Europe. The crumbling colonial splendour of Havana still entices but there’s a brand new no-expense-spared 5-star hotel in the heart of the city.

So the key message is Go Now! before it changes too much and its unique blend of old and new, communist and Caribbean disappears forever. What’s more, there are blissful beaches, endless tobacco fields backed by limestone mountains, beautiful colonial towns, and a heady samba vibe. Find out more in our Top 10 Things to Do in Cuba with Kids blog.

Anything else I need to know?
It’s inexpensive whilst in the country but flights aren’t necessarily cheap. Casas (B&Bs) are a great accommodation option.

The months between December and May are the best time to visit, with lots of dry, warm days – check out our Cuba weather guide for further information.

Cuba family holiday prices
See our Cuba pricing guide.

Take a look at our 10-day Highlights of Cuba sample itinerary or our more immersive Cuba in 2 weeks trip.

12. Ecuador & Galapagos – best family holiday destinations

Family wildlife holidays in the Galapagos - girl on white sand beach with relaxed sea lion

Get up close to amazing wildlife

Why go?
Compare and contrast some of the world’s bests. First up, Ecuador is arguably South America’s best-kept secret yet one which boasts fabulous Amazonian wildlife, volcanic landscapes, Incan ruins, jungles, and Andean mountains. It’s affordable with small travel distances too.

Some 850 miles off-shore, and needing no introduction whatsoever, The Galapagos Islands offer the world’s most unique, untouched, and exquisite wildlife and family experiences, from swimming with marine iguanas and sea-lions to coming up close with giant tortoises and pelicans. See our Galapagos with Kids blog for an in-depth first-person account and The Ultimate Galapagos Guide for more information.

Anything else I need to know?
Children visiting the Galapagos need to be strong swimmers (8 +) to get the most out of the experience. Mainland Ecuador is perfect for the outdoorsy family.

The summer holidays are the best time to visit Ecuador, whilst the Galapagos can be a year-round destination. To find out what works for your family, check out our Ecuador & Galapagos weather guide.

Ecuador & Galapagos holiday prices
See our Ecuador & Galapagos pricing guide.

Our 14-day Volcanoes and Jungles sample itinerary takes in the best of mainland Ecuador whilst our active Ecuador & Galapagos Highlights adds in the Galapagos cruise. Alternatively, combine the Galapagos with Peru, in our Peru & Galapagos Highlights sample trip.

13. Egypt – best family holiday destinations

Family on Nile boat trip, holidays wit teenagers

Cruise down the Nile and visit incredible archaeological treasures

Why go?
Just over four and a half hours separate you and your family from centuries of history, culture, camels, and fabulous food. Whilst the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza are the biggest draw in Egypt there’s much to offer the adventurous family traveller, as our Egypt with Kids top 10 blog highlights. Cruise down the Nile as fishermen have for centuries, visit ancient temples and burial chambers which once housed pharaohs, and take a camel ride into the desert sunset. Truly amazing!

Anything else I need to know?
Short flight time, reasonable flight costs, cheap whilst there, fully escorted throughout.

October and Easter are perfect temperatures, Christmas warm but cooler in evenings, the summer months can be very hot. Our Egypt weather guide has more details.

Egypt family holiday prices
See our Egypt holiday pricing guide.

Take a look at our sample itineraries, 9-day Highlights of Egypt, or combine it with another country as in our Egypt & Jordan Highlights.

14. Greece – best family holiday destinations

Acropolis, Athens, Greece family holidays

Explore Greece’s legendary attractions before heading to the idyllic islands

Why go?
Greece’s attractions are legendary and justified. Numerous beautiful islands speckle the Mediterranean offering a wonderful mixture of stunning beaches, charming towns, and hills covered in lemon orchards and olive groves. The mainland has just as many attractions with superb mountain scenery, delightful fishing villages, and buzzing coastal cities. And right across the country are spread numerous fascinating ruins, a testament to Greece’s ancient past. Temples, amphitheatres, colonnaded streets… all straight out of the history books and into the children’s imaginations. For more ideas on what you can do here, check out our Greece Top 10 with Kids and Crete Top 10 with Kids.

Anything else I need to know?
Pick your itinerary carefully; some parts of Greece are very over-developed so it’s important to choose your destinations with care.

Ideal during May half-term and the summer holidays. October half-term also works well, particularly if you look at Crete which is quite far south. See more information on When to Go to Greece.

Greece family holiday prices
See our Greece pricing guide.

Greece is so huge and varied it can be difficult to know where to start. For a quintessential island trip look at our Athens and Cyclades example. Sticking to the mainland, our Peloponnese Adventure includes many highlights as well as some far less well-known destinations. Our Crete Adventure takes you to wild scenery and gorgeous beaches.

15. Guatemala – best family holiday destinations

Tikal, Mayan ruin, Guatemala family holidays

Tikal is one of Central America’s most impressive Mayan ruins

Why go?
The scenery in Guatemala is simply sensational, with howler monkeys calling to one another at dawn, jungles sprinkled with Mayan ruins, and volcanoes just about everywhere you look. In fact, from the city of Antigua with its Spanish colonial buildings and backpacker vibe, you can even hike up a smoking volcano. But Guatemala is not all about the scenery, epic as it is – the indigenous markets around Lake Atitlán and in Chichicastenango are full of colour and life, with fabulous local hats and other handicrafts to snap up. And many people still wear traditional costumes in what remains a traditional Mayan country in parts.

Anything else I need to know?
Guatemala is best visited with children aged eight and up, who can best appreciate all the adventurous activities and manage the travelling. And though it does have a coastline, Guatemala is best paired with neighbour Belize if you want some beach action.

Guatemala is great in all the school holidays bar October half term. In the summer school holidays, you can expect some rain, but not so much that it will spoil your fun. Easter and Christmas are pure perfection, with mild, dry weather. See our detailed weather guide.

Guatemala family holiday prices
See our Guatemala pricing guide

You can see all the highlights on our Best of Guatemala itinerary, or our Guatemala and Belize Highlights trip adds on beaches and snorkelling as well as jungle adventures.

16. Iceland – best family holiday destinations

Iceland teenager by traditional wooden church

Hike in spectacular scenery on an action-packed holiday

Why go?
Like a real-life geography lesson, journey to the land of fire and ice, and you’ll be wowed by the natural wonders that have, quite obviously, shaped Iceland. Volcanoes. Thermal pools. Geysers. Lava-fields… Itineraries here are action-packed but vary considerably depending on what time of year you visit. In summer, make the most of the midnight sun and go hiking (or snorkel) between continents, glacier climbing, geyser watching, and wildlife cruising. In winter, catch the Northern Lights, soak in hot springs, explore ice caves and follow the Golden Circle and its highlights. Here’s a round-up of places you can visit!

Anything else I need to know?
Iceland can get booked quite far in advance. It’s a cliché but book early to avoid disappointment. Iceland can also be quite expensive depending on the number of activities you want to pack in. Travel off-peak and/or self-drive to mitigate this.

Iceland is a year-round destination. Take a look at our When to visit guide for more information.

Iceland family holiday prices
See our Iceland pricing guide

See our two sample itineraries, our 14-day Iceland in Summer and 8-day Iceland in Winter

17. India – best family holiday destinations

Sunrise on a family adventure holiday in India

Enjoy India’s quiet moments as well as its colourful chaos

Why go?
A bucket-list destination for good reason, India offers a vast amount for the family traveller. At times frenetic and teeming with a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds (and smells), it’s also a place packed with spirituality, where you can discover a rich centuries-old heritage, fascinating history, and diverse culture, north and south. From mountains and deserts to jungles, beaches and waterways, a family adventure here will excite the senses and deliver a holiday you’ll never forget. Want to know more? Take a look at our Top 10 India with Kids blog and our customer photos of India.

Anything else I need to know?
Journeys can be long due to the distances travelled although internal flights can be arranged. There are cheap flights from the UK.

In the north, September to March is the best time to travel, Easter being hot, July and August being hot with showers. Christmas is warm and dry. In the South, Goa and Kerala, Christmas is the best time to travel, monsoons in summer. For the lowdown, head to our India weather guide.

India family adventure holiday prices
See our India holiday price guide.

We have two sample itineraries, Wonders of Rajasthan and Kerala Family Holiday, both 15 days.

18. Japan – best family holiday destinations

Family on Japan holiday with the Great Torii shrine in background

See the Great Torii of Miyajima

Why go?
It’s a cliche but, more than any other country in our portfolio, Japan is a land of contrasts. On the one hand, you have the ultra-modern, fast-paced, neon-lit cities of Tokyo and Osaka (and the bullet trains that serve them) whilst on the other you have the more historic and gentler-paced Kyoto, known for its Geisha culture, and the quiet samurai towns ranged along the Nakesendo trail. Not sure where to start with your planning? Our Japan with Kids blog might help as well as Tokyo with Kids.

Anything else I need to know?
Japan is expensive!

An all-year destination but best visited during Easter, Summer, and October half term. Have a look at Japan – When to Go for further information.

Japan family holiday prices
See our Japan pricing guide has more information.

We have two sample itineraries to Japan, a 14-day Highlights of Japan trip or a shorter Japan in 9-day trip.

19. Jordan – best family holiday destinations

Jordan itinerary for active teens - teenager in Jordan at Petra

Visit Jordan’s world-famous archaeological sites

Why go?
Small, friendly, safe and eternally welcoming, a family adventure to Jordan will have you seeing world-famous archaeological sites whilst enjoying incredible natural beauty. From Bedouin camps to crusader castles, from Roman ruins to floating in the Dead Sea, exploring Jordan is as fascinating as it is easy due to short travelling distances. Check out our Jordan with Kids Top 10 blog for more. What’s not to like?

Anything else I need to know?
Great infrastructure, safe, short travel times, cheap destination, mid-haul flights. Great for kids of all ages.

Best visited from October to Easter, summer too hot for most travellers with children. Our Jordan weather guide tells you all you need to know.

Jordan family holiday prices
See our Jordan pricing guide.

We have two sample itineraries; Highlights of Jordan, 9 days or, and Active Jordan, 10 days.

20. Kenya – best family holiday destinations

Safari Kenya elephants

Get up close to the Big Five on safari in Kenya

Why go?
This is where you come for the quintessential African safari. Scan the rolling plains for the Big Five, enjoy a bush breakfast in the shade of an acacia tree with giraffe strolling past, and share stories around the campfire under an African sky before retiring to your tent (luxury or otherwise) for the night. In addition to the superb wildlife, Kenya has a long and beautiful coastline. Time on its palm-fringed beaches provides the perfect complement to those early mornings and long days on safari.

For pure safari inspiration, check out our African Safari round-up and see 30 Unforgettable moments on safari. For ideas on what else you can do in Kenya to complement your safari, have a look at our Top 10 Kenya with Kids blog.

Anything else I need to know?
Although every family is different, in our opinion safari is best suited to children 8+.

Safari is expensive, period. In Kenya, if you can possibly afford it, it’s worth staying in the (much quieter) private conservancies, but these are pricey.

You will need to take malaria tablets.

Summer is best, Christmas is good (and for beaches, too), and Easter is not ideal. Our Kenya – When to Go has more details.

Kenya family holiday prices
See our Kenya pricing guide.

Take a look at our sample itineraries: Highlights of Kenya (15 days) or Kenya Safari & Beach (10 days).

21. Laos – best family holiday destinations

Setting off ahead of a night safari - Laos family holidays

Explore the pristine waterways by boat

Why go?
Nestled between China, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam, Laos is much less visited and developed than any of its neighbours. This is the South East Asia of two decades ago, a place which welcomes family travellers with open arms. Families will love taking a boat trip down the Mekong, watching saffron-robed Buddhist monks gather alms in the stunning UNESCO Heritage centre of Luang Prabang, cycling through village fields, cooling down in waterfalls, meeting hill tribes and eating bowlfuls of noodle soup. Want to know more? Take a look at our 10 reasons to take the family holiday to Laos blog.

Anything else I need to know?
Malaria tablets are advised for travel to the south (but not north) of Laos.

There are no direct flights. Combines really well with Vietnam / Thailand / Cambodia.

Best visited from October to April, when it’s warm and dry. You can visit during other times of the year during the green season, though. To find out more, check out When to Go – Laos.

Laos family holiday prices
See our Laos pricing guide.

See our Laos sample itinerary page or go straight to: Laos Highlights, or Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.

22. Madagascar – best family holiday destinations

Madagascar family holidays - cheeky ringtail lemur looking at camera lens. When to go to Madagascar

Adorable lemurs are just one of Madagascar’s many charms

Why go?
Madagascar has a truly extraordinary range of landscapes and wildlife – and contrary to a common misconception, it’s not all about the lemurs! Endearing as these tiny wet-nosed primates are, this fourth-largest island in the world is also packed with breathtaking bird and insect life, including butterflies galore. It’s also a fabulous place for outdoor activities, including hiking and night walks in search of nocturnal creatures, canoeing, whale-watching, meeting locals in their villages, and experiencing island hospitality on a homestay. And that’s not even to go into the spectacular beaches and their superb swimming and snorkelling.

Anything else I need to know?
The experiences you’ll have in Madagascar will be fantastically rewarding, but the terrible roads and limited infrastructure make this a destination for adventurous families who don’t mind it when the going gets a bit rough.

Easter and summer are the best school holidays in which to discover Madagascar – long enough to make the most of the travel and the country, and sunny and warm enough for beach days. If you come in April, you will catch the end of the rainy season, but downpours are mainly limited to evening/nighttime. Check our Madagascar weather guide for further details.

Madagascar family holiday prices
See our Madagascar pricing guide.

Our Natural Madagascar itinerary is ideal for families interested mainly in combining those epic wildlife sightings with tropical beaches. To add on a greater array of fantastic scenery, plump for Landscapes of Southern Madagascar, which broadens your scope with emerald-green rice paddies and rugged Isalo National Park.

23. Mexico – best family holiday destinations

Families on jetty at Mexico's Lake Bacalar on adventure family holiday

You are never far from an opportunity to swim in Mexico’s Yucatan

Why go?
Mexico is a huge country and you can’t tick off everything in one go. For first-time visitors, we recommend concentrating on the Yucatan Peninsula with its wonderfully family-friendly offering of Mayan ruins, gorgeous beaches, picturesque cenotes, enticing hacienda stays, exciting activities, and jungle. It’s easy to explore on a self-drive basis but we can arrange a driver if you prefer.

For more inspiration check out our Top 10 Things to Do in Mexico with the Kids blog.

Anything else I need to know?
Don’t be put off by the bad press for Cancun….it’s very easy to escape the package holiday resorts.

Visit all year round but for the best of the dry season visit at Christmas or Easter. During the summer months, there will be an odd downpour. Check our Mexico weather guide for further details.

Mexico family holiday prices
See our Mexico pricing guide.

Take a look at our sample itineraries, Best of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, or combine it with another country, Best of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Belize, both 15 days.

24. Mongolia – best family holiday destinations

Fun places to stay on kids holidays abroad - teo girls peeping around the door of a yurt in Mongolia

Stay overnight in a Mongolian ger (yurt)

Why go?
Wild, windswept, and a place where you can easily go a day without seeing another person, Mongolia is about as ‘other-worldly’ a place as we offer. Perfect for the family who loves the outdoors, you’ll enjoy a nomadic escape far from the trappings of modern life. Live with nomads in their gers (yurts) for an insight into their way of life, go horse riding or camel riding in the desert and steppes but most of all, enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Anything else I need to know?
Accommodation and infrastructure is much more basic than most other Stubborn Mule trips.

Best time to visit is during the summer months, June, July, or August. The winter months are too cold. For more details, see Mongolia – When to Go.

Mongolia family holiday prices
See our Mongolia price guide.

We offer two sample itineraries: Highlights of Mongolia – 3 weeks or our 2-week Mongolia Family Adventure

25. Montenegro – best family holiday destinations

Montenegro family rafting

Head to the Tara Gorge for some of the very best white-water rafting in the region

Why go?
This little marvel combines a coastline to rival that of its neighbour Croatia with
mountain-scapes as lovely as those of Slovenia to the north – but is much cheaper
than either. And like both, it’s incredible for activities in the great outdoors, with
some of the very best white-water rafting in the region in the Tara Gorge, plus
brilliant canyoning, ziplining, wild swimming, kayaking and hiking. As one of the
smallest countries in Europe, it’s easy to cover all Montenegro’s delights in one trip.

Anything else I need to know?
Away from the more developed coastal resorts, Montenegro’s visitor infrastructure
is fairly minimal, including its choice of places to stay. However, you won’t worry
about the lack of variety once you’ve clocked your cosy log cabin.

Montenegro is an excellent destination in summer, as well as for the May and
October half terms. For both of the latter, the weather is ideal for hiking and other
activities, but you probably won’t want much pure beach time.

Montenegro family holiday prices
Ask us about prices

For inspiration see our article on the Top 10 things to do in Montenegro, then chat to
us about creating the perfect itinerary for your family.

27. Morocco – best family holiday destinations

Family group with thumbs up in Morocco - Family travel

A perennial favourite, Morocco gets the thumbs up!

Why go?
As the most exotic destination you can get to in just over three hours from the UK, Morocco is a perennial favourite for family travellers. Cheap, too, but that’s by no means its biggest draw. Here you can be transported into a world of colourful, incense-infused souqs (markets), untouched desert and snow-capped mountains that are perfect for hiking. Spend your nights in the splendour of a city riad or cocooned in a boutique kasbah relaxing by the pool. We can’t recommend it enough for family-friendly adventures, see why in our Morocco Top 10 things to do with Kids blog.

Anything else I need to know?
Entirely doable for a short trip. Cheap flights.

Best to visit during spring or autumn, so it’s perfect for Easter or October half term. Summer is very hot, winter is a little unpredictable and you can’t guarantee heat. Our Morocco weather guide can help you choose!

Morocco family holiday prices
See our Morocco price guide.

We have two sample itineraries – see our Morocco Family Short Break (7 days) or Highlights of Morocco (15 days), for more.

28. Namibia – best family holiday destinations

Namibia family holidays - family adventure holidays - kids on safari

Okonjima is a family favourite were you can track rescued big cats

Why go?
This is where you come to get away from it all. To get out into the vast African wilderness with huge skies, endless vistas, and dramatically impressive landscapes. There’s phenomenal wildlife in Etosha National Park (world-class safaris on offer here), but Namibia is also about giant sand dunes, remote rocky deserts and a wild coastline. Ideal for those who like the great outdoors and like the idea of a family road trip in some of the world’s most exciting wilderness.

Our Namibia with Kids Top 10 tells you more.

Anything else I need to know?
Journeys can be long. Superb for return Africa visitors or for older children and teens.

Accommodation is in short supply so book early – ideally a year or more in advance.

A year-round destination. In the European summer, it can get hats-and-gloves cold at night. Easter and October are perfect. For further details, check out Namibia – When to Go.

Namibia family holiday prices (self-drive)
See our Namibia pricing guide.

Depending on how much time you have, choose from our Highlights of Namibia (2 weeks) or Highlights of Namibia (3 weeks)

29. Nepal – best family holiday destinations

Family hiking in Nepal watching dawn over the Annapurna Mountains

A three-day hike in the Annapurnas is the ideal first trek

Why go?
Think Nepal and most people will equate it with the world’s finest (and highest) mountain scenery, the majestic Himalayas. Those who have visited, though, will tell you there’s much more than trekking for families to enjoy – there’s world-class wildlife viewing and tiger spotting, white-water rafting and other adrenaline-fuelled sports, a medieval capital city and a calm spirituality that pervades throughout. Nepal is also, we think, home to the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world. Take a look at our Top 10 Things to Do with Kids for more information.

Anything else I need to know?
A landlocked country means no beaches, but add some R and R time at a luxury hotel (with a pool) in Pokhara.

The winter months, October to April, are when Nepal is at its best (and the mountains can be clearly viewed). From May onwards, the weather is humid and muggy and visibility is not at its best. Our Nepal weather guide will tell you what to expect.

Nepal family holiday prices
See our guide to Nepal holiday prices.

Take a look at our sample itineraries to see which suits your family best, Nepal Highlights (no-trek), 14 days, or Active Nepal (with 3-day trek) 12 days.

30. New Zealand – best family holiday destinations

Cycling above Fletcher Bay, Coromandel, on New Zealand family holidays

Dive into New Zealand’s great outdoors, with its huge range of exciting activities

Why go?

Campervan heaven – the peaceful roads of New Zealand will take you past snow-capped mountains, dazzling glaciers, aquamarine lakes and lush coastal rainforests. Swim with dolphins, cruise through fiords, take scenic floatplane and helicopter flights and hike the great trails through jaw-dropping scenery. Kids will love watching the Maori haka and digging their own thermal pool at the beach. Parents will enjoy the freedom of the open road – with a superb glass of local sauvignon blanc waiting at the end of each day.

See our New Zealand in Pictures blog for further inspiration.

Anything else I need to know?

It’s a long flight – allow time for jet lag by spending a few days in a boutique retreat. See Where to Stay for some ideas.


Ideal at Christmas and Easter. Avoid the winter months of June-September unless you don’t mind it cold! For further details, head to our New Zealand weather guide.

New Zealand family adventure holidays prices

See our New Zealand price guide.

Try our Highlights of New Zealand if you are limited to two weeks and want to combine North and South Islands. For a slightly slower pace check out our three-week New Zealand Grand Tour.

31. Norway – best family holiday destinations

Norway family adventure holidays - fjord scene

Delight in some of the most pristine scenery in Europe

Why go?
Fjords, sublime mountain scenery, the Northern Lights, Bergen, Vikings. Need we say more? It’s the Norweigan scenery that’s the clincher here, though. It really is just incredibly beautiful. Properly drop-dead gorgeous and almost entirely without crowds (assuming that you avoid a couple of hot spots). This is nature at its most pristine, with more than 100,000km of coastline (not a typo) and dramatic craggy peaks.

Anything else I need to know?
It’s pretty expensive, particularly if you like a beer or glass of wine at the end of the day.

Active holidays are ideal during May half term and the summer. Possibly also October half term. For snowy winter fun, come at Christmas or during February half term. See our Norway weather guide.

Norway family holiday prices
See our Norway price guide

Our Norway in Summer itinerary includes a wonderful range of activities and showcases some of the most spectacular scenery in the south and centre of the country. For winter fun, our Norway in Winter itinerary is based in the Arctic Circle, for snow-shoeing, husky-sledding and the Northern Lights.

32. Oman – best family holiday destinations

Oman with kids holiday - teenager on the Balcony Walk

Hike along the Balcony Walk, overlooking the second deepest canyon in the world

Why go?
It’s safe, it’s stunning and it’s rapidly emerging as a favourite Arabian destination for adventurous families. Boasting fabulous beaches (turtle spotting, anyone?), forts, picturesque fishing villages, and incredible mountains, you can also enjoy desert camps, wild camping by the beach as well as the too-many-to-choose-from upmarket hotels in Muscat and beyond. Journey times are also relatively short. Is there no end to Oman’s appeal? (Answer = No). See our Top 10 things to do in Oman with Kids or read about Telegraph travel writer Mike Unwin’s Stubborn Mule trip to Oman with his family).

Anything else I need to know?
Great half-term destination as flight times are short; self-drive trips are easy and can keep costs down.

A winter-sun destination, best visited from October to April. Travel is possible during other months but can be very hot. See our Oman – When to Go.

Oman family holiday prices
See our Oman holiday pricing guide.

How? Highlights of Oman (12 days) and Oman Short Break (7 days) are our sample itineraries.

33. Patagonia / Argentina – best family holiday destinations

Family adventure holidays in Argentina - young traveller in front of Perito Moreno Glacier

Take in Patagonia’s spectacular Perito Morino Glacier

Why go?
Argentina is one of the most varied countries in South America, stretching from the lush jungle in the north to the barren magnificence of Patagonia in the south. The Lakes District is postcard-perfect and beautifully manicured; the deserts of the north are wild, remote and striking; the coast is the preserve of whales and vast colonies of seals. Buenos Aires thrums to the beat of toe-tapping tango whilst Iguazu Falls is alive with the shrieks of colourful birds and the thunder of the waterfall. Whether you are looking for trekking, jungle, adventure, fine wines or a giant steak, there is something for everyone in Argentina.

Anything else I need to know?
Argentina is HUGE so don’t be fooled into thinking you can do it all. There are plenty of domestic flights but prices add up. This is not a cheap destination.

The length of the country means that the weather varies wildly. Broadly speaking, the centre and the south (Patagonia) are ideal during Christmas and at Easter. If travelling in the European summer (the Argentinian winter), stick to the north. See our Argentina weather guide.

Patagonia family holiday prices
See our Argentina pricing guide

Our Buenos Aires, Patagonia & Lakes itinerary is perhaps the quintessential Argentina trip, ticking off all of the main scenic highlights. Add in more of Patagonia by extending into Chile on our Best of Argentina and Chile.

34. Peru – best family holiday destinations

Family holiday tribe - culture

See Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most significant archaeological sites

Why go?
If you’re wanting to experience the very best of South America in a nutshell, Peru should be your first port of call. Machu Picchu may be Peru’s most famous and iconic sight, but it’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. There’s stunning high-altitude mountain scenery, remote hilltop Incan ruins, lively traditional markets, roaming alpacas and llamas, adrenalin activities (zip-wires and white water rafting), friendly homestays on the banks of Lake Titicaca and the Amazon jungle teeming with wildlife. Have a look at our Peru Top 10 for more information.

Anything else I need to know?
You’ll need to acclimatise, so we factor this into the itinerary. Like many Latin American destinations, internal flights can make this a more expensive holiday option.

The altitude and activities mean that we think Peru is ideal for families with slightly older children (8+).

The ideal time to visit is during the European summer when it should be sunny, if cold in the mountains; weather is more varied at Christmas and Easter. Head over to our Peru weather guide for more details.

Peru family holiday prices
See our Peru pricing guide.

Take a look at our 3-week Highlights of Peru or 2-week Highlights of Peru trips depending on the time you have. Alternatively, combine it with the Galapagos on the ultimate wildlife adventure in our Peru and Galapagos Explorer (18 days)

35. Portugal’s Madeira & Azores – best family holiday destinations

Azores family holidays, swimming with dolphins

Kayak, snorkel, swim, and hike in the Azores

Why go?
While Lisbon and the Algarve hog the limelight, we encourage adventurous families to check out Portugal’s gorgeous islands perched out in the Atlantic, with their dramatic volcanic landscapes and fabulous outdoor activities. As close to Africa as it is to Portugal, Madeira has reinvented itself as a destination for sporty, fresh-air loving families with its brilliant hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, snorkelling, and canyoning, plus whale- and dolphin-spotting trips. The Azores provide similar adventures in a wild and windswept ocean setting that never gets too hot, including unique offerings such as cooking on hot lava stones and soaking in thermal mineral
springs inside a volcanic crater.

Anything else I need to know?
Many of the budget airlines fly to both Maderia and the Azores, so it’s cheap to get to. The Azores are expensive once there, however.

Madeira can be visited all year round. The Azores are best visited from April – September.

Madeira & Azores family holiday prices
Ask us about prices.

Try our adventure-laden trip to the Azores or our Madeira short-break.

36. Slovenia – family holiday destinations

Family summer hike in Slovenia's Alps - Places to visit in Slovenia

Explore spectacular Alpine landscapes on foot

Why go?
Slovenia’s scenery is straight off the front of a postcard, almost too perfect to be true. Turquoise lakes fringed by snow-capped mountains; lush valleys cut through by thundering rivers; dramatic hills with incredible views. Slovenia is all about the scenery; yes the capital Ljubljana is beautiful and worth a wander, but you come here for the mountains. Explore on foot, by bike, in a kayak, atop a raft. There are plenty of options for children of all ages and all activity levels.

Anything else I need to know?
Slovenia has a coastline but to be honest it’s not stunning. If you want to finish up on the beach, add on a few days in Croatia at the end. It’s easy and inexpensive to do so.

Ideal during May half term and the summer holidays. October half term also works for a more active (less beach-focused) trip.

Slovenia family holiday prices
See our Slovenia price guide

For a great mixture of mountains (Slovenia) and beach (Croatia), try our Slovenia and Croatia itinerary. Or if you want to limit your time to Slovenia alone, let us know and we’ll tailor the itinerary accordingly.

37. South Africa – family holiday destinations

Safari in South Africa - family holiday

Tuck into drinks and snacks on a sunset safari – unforgettable

Why go?
Year-round sunshine (somewhere in the country), a fantastic coastline, spectacular scenery, thrilling safari opportunities and a fascinating cultural history means that South Africa never goes out of fashion for the family traveller.There are direct flights and no jet-lag which makes this an ‘easy’ destination for families and the world-class wine and food only add to the appeal (for parents, at least!) Take a look at our South Africa Photo Blog and be inspired.

Anything else I need to know?
Direct flights and no jet lag. Malaria tablets recommended for Kruger but not elsewhere.

South Africa is such a huge country that the climate varies widely. Broadly speaking, Cape Town and the Garden Route are beautiful at Christmas and Easter but too cold in the summer. The north can be visited year round but is very hot over Christmas. For more details see South Africa – When to Go.

South Africa family holiday prices
See our South Africa pricing guide has more detail.

There’s a huge amount to see and do in South Africa. Take a look at our three sample itineraries to see which suits your family best: Classic Cape and Garden Route, Kruger & Beach family safari and our luxury KwaZulu Natal and Swaziland trip.

38. Sri Lanka – family holiday destinations

Young tourist learning how to pick tea in Sri Lanka

Learn how to pick tea in the lush highland plantations of Sri Lanka

Why go?
Sri Lanka is a perennial Stubborn Mule favourite, a small country that manages to incorporate a winning combination of idyllic beaches, magnificent cultural sites, superb wildlife (leopards and wild elephants in particular), and gorgeous lush scenery. The food is delicious and the people are delightful. There is a huge variety of family-friendly accommodation available for a range of budgets, from luxury beach resorts to eco-lodges, family guesthouses, and tented camps. Take a look at our Sri Lanka with Kids Top 10 or our Top 5 wildlife experiences for more inspiration.

Anything else I need to know?
Ideal for families of all ages.

A year-round destination, except for the October half term. For further info head to our Sri Lanka weather guide.

Sri Lanka family holiday prices
See our Sri Lanka pricing guide.

The time of year that you visit will dictate which part of the country is best to travel to. See our Sri Lanka Summer Tour or Sri Lanka Christmas and Easter sample itineraries for details.

39. Tanzania – best family holiday destinations

Kids learning to use a traditional bow and arrow on a Tanzania with kids holiday

Meet the Hazda people and practice survival skills

Why go?
With its combination of world-class wildlife experiences and spectacular natural scenery (Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the sprawling plains of the Serengeti), Tanzania is undoubtedly one of, if not the most popular safari destinations for family travellers. Home to the Big Five and with the landscapes made famous by umpteen wildlife documentaries (think endless horizon, single acacia tree with lolling leopard), the spice island of Zanzibar (actually an archipelago of 50 islands) is also the perfect place for some family R & R. Have a look at our Tanzania with Kids Top 10.

Anything else I need to know?
Safari is expensive. Although it varies from one family to the next, we think a safari is ideal for slightly older children (8+).

You will need to take malaria tablets.

The summer holidays, Christmas and October or February half terms are the best time to visit. Easter can be quite wet. You may also find our Tanzania weather page useful.

Tanzania family holiday prices
See our Tanzania price guide.

Tanzania Safari & Beach or for more active families, Kilimanjaro Family Climb.

40. Thailand – best family holiday destinations

Adventure Holidays for families - Stall holders laying out their wares on the train track at the Songkran railway market, Thailand

See the Songkran railway market where stall holders lay out their wares on the train track

Why go?
If you’ve never been on a long-haul family adventure, Thailand is one of the best places to start. In the north, you’ll enjoy jungle treks, adrenaline-fuelled activities, elephant sanctuaries, and hill tribe treks as well as bustling markets (fried cricket, anyone?). In the south, the emphasis is very much on R & R with tropical, sandy beaches, idyllic islands, and balmy, warm waters (fabulous food, too), with accommodation ranging from barefoot-chic to the height of luxury. Take a look at our Thailand with Kids Top 10 for more inspiration.

Anything else I need to know?
Focus your holiday on one area, either north or south to avoid expensive internal flights.

It’s possible to visit Thailand year-round, but November to March is the best, making it a great Christmas or Easter escape. Thailand – When to Go gives you the full lowdown.

Thailand family holiday prices
See our Thailand pricing guide.

How? Highlights of Thailand encapsulates the best of the country, both north and south. Our Southern Thailand Adventure includes the dramatic and beautiful scenery and beaches of the south.

41. Turkey – best family holiday destinations

Cappadocia landscape -family adventure holidays

Don’t miss the fairy-tale landscapes of Cappodocia

Why go?
The food alone is enough to entice some to Turkey… but aside from this, it promises a beautiful coastline, other-worldly landscapes, magnificent ancient ruins, and the intoxicating buzz of Istanbul. There’s something for everyone here; those more inclined to relaxation will love the Turquoise coast with its beguiling blend of beach, boutique hotels and the odd activity. Those with a thirst for adventure will want to explore the backstreets of Istanbul, hike through the fairy-tale landscapes of Cappadocia and kayak, raft, bike, hike along the coast. With a bit of relaxation at the end of course!

Anything else I need to know?
Some people assume Turkey is always hot. It’s not! Winter can be cold and sometimes wet. Choose your season with care.

Ideal during May half term and the summer holidays. Easter and October half term also work for a more active (less beach-focused) trip – more Turkey weather details here.

Turkey family holidays prices
See our Turkey price guide.

For a definitive two-week trip that includes many of Turkey’s big attractions, try our Highlights of Turkey. For a more relaxing holiday, our Turquoise Coast Adventure will suit – it can be shortened or lengthened to suit.

42. USA – best family holiday destinations

Rafting - Green River - on USA family holidays

Go rafting on our 3-night Green River trip – a highlight for families who love the outdoors

Why go?
Live the American dream on a USA family self-drive trip through such iconic cities as San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans and New York. Get out of the car to hike the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park. Spot bears amidst the thermal mud pools of Yellowstone. Embrace your inner cowboy at a dude ranch in Montana then ‘let it go’ at Disney. Get the kids California dreaming and head for Hollywood. Take a look at the key Places to Visit in the USA.

Anything else I need to know?
Try to limit the driving and spend quality time in each place rather than rushing through.

Ideal from spring to autumn with summer being peak season – book early – more USA weather details here.

USA family holiday prices
See our USA pricing guide.

Treat the children to a journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles on the Classic California adventure. Or combine Las Vegas with the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone on Western National Parks USA.

43. Vietnam – best family holiday destinations

Places to visit in Vietnam - traditional round boat

Try boating in a basket, Hoi An

Why go?
It’s a cliche but Vietnam is a land of contrasts and whilst embracing the 21st century, Vietnam manages to hang on to past charms. You’ll see all the quintessential images, the red-sailed junks floating amongst Halong Bay’s majestic karst limestone scenery, steaming bowls of pho, families jostling on motorbikes in Saigon or Hanoi, and conical straw-hatted workers in the paddy fields from the windows of your train. There’s food, beaches, culture, history, scenery…. what more do you need for a perfect family holiday?! For more inspiration, take a look at our Vietnam with Kids Top 10 blog.

Anything else I need to know?
Flights are only direct on certain days of the week. Combines really well with Cambodia.

The weather varies significantly up and down the country. At Easter and in the summer concentrate on the north and centre. At Christmas, head south for reliable sunshine and winter warmth. Vietnam – When to Go might also be useful.

Vietnam family holiday prices
See our Vietnam pricing guide.

Check out our 15-day Highlights of Vietnam and our shorter 10-day Northern Vietnam. Alternatively, combine Vietnam with neighbouring Cambodia on our Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights.

44. Zimbabwe – best family holiday destinations

Tracking rhino on a Zimbabwe family holiday, best family holiday destinations abroad

Track rhino on foot in Hwange with the rangers

Why go?
This grande dame of safari destinations is now firmly back at the top of its game after its political troubles. What makes Zimbabwe so great are the best wildlife guides in Africa – a fact due to their very long and thorough training. And the wildlife viewing is quite simply unbelievable, especially in Hwange National Park. Lastly, you get to combine all this with time in Victoria Falls, the adventure capital of Africa, where a whole spectrum of adrenaline sports includes whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, gorge high-wiring and canoeing expeditions. Meanwhile, riverside lodges give you scope for some lovely R&R after all the excitement.

Anything else I need to know?
There are no direct flights from the UK to Zimbabwe; you’ll need to change at least once. In terms of walking safaris, children can take part from age seven – much younger than in some other parts of Africa.

The main summer school holidays are perfect for taking kids to Zimbabwe, with May to September the best time of year for wildlife viewing due to animals congregating around rivers and waterholes. This is also the time to see Victoria Falls at its most impressive.

See Charlotte’s Zimbabwe photo blog and contact us for more details.

Family holiday destinations abroad – next steps

Whilst we can’t go into great detail here about what all our destinations offer families (for that visit our destination pages), we do hope this helps with your holiday planning.

You can also check out our recommendations for:
Holidays with Teenagers
Best Multi-Generational Holidays with Grandparents
Holidays with Toddlers
Best Family Road Trips

Or see our school holiday recommendations:

Around the World in Six School Holidays
February Half Term
Easter Family Holidays
Summer Holidays
October Half Term
Christmas Family Holidays

If you would like more advice or information, we always love hearing from you. Simply call us on 01728 752751 or use our contact form to get in touch.

Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel