Family vacation types

Family vacation types


If you want something different but don’t know where to start, your first port of call should be our vacation helpdesk. Unlike ‘Anna’ at IKEA, Rosy and Saul are real. Although when you start to delve into their extensive knowledge of all the family vacation types on offer, you will wonder if they are actually for real. But they are. They just know their stuff, they are jolly and they are patient. When you have chatted with them (and do pick up the phone and actually chat with them), you will feel in safe hands with this big decision on where to take your family this year. But before you do, check out the different family vacation types available on Responsible Travel, as listed below.
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Family adventure vacations

Family adventure vacations are the antithesis of the vacation kids’ clubs vibe, where assumptions about what young people consider to be fun often go awry. You will never come across face paint on a family adventure vacation. And you will never have to dress up for a theme night. And you will be together. They are run by expert, local instructors who understand the dangers of the mountains or the waves, but whose passion for such landscapes and pushing our boundaries within them is totally infectious. See our Family Adventures Vacation guide for more details.

Small group vacations

By joining a group of like-minded families, with itineraries created by tour operators who really know what families want and how family dynamics work, you are taking so much pressure off the organization front. They are also perfect if you want a short cut to a certain country’s cultural and natural highlights. This might be, for example, a teenage vacation in Peru, wild camping in the USA’s national parks, coasteering in Wales, horse riding in Catalonia or island to island sea kayaking in Croatia. They groups might be small, but the choice is vast.

Independent vacations

While a lot of our family vacations are in small groups of like-minded families, you can also choose to do something independent. A lot of our tour operators will create tailor made itineraries for you, which permit you to pick and choose from the finest of the crop, based on the superb expert knowledge of people who know it like the back of their hand. And tailor made doesn’t always mean super expensive either. Another option is to go on a vacation that has an excellent itinerary that has been created by experts, but which is self-guided, such as walking in the Mercantour National Park with a donkey to carry your bags, or cycling from one accommodation to the next in Catalonia.

Accommodation only

Many of our accommodation only vacations are slightly unusual, but they are also, not unusually, firm favourites with families. Whether it is an ecolodge in Devon, a yurt in Lanzarote, a treehouse on the Isle of Wight or a cave in Andalucia, quirky is fun. They are also usually created by people who have ambitious visions when it comes to responsible tourism and they love to share their ideas and ideals with families. When booking these, travel and itineraries are not included, so the rest of the vacation is up to you.

Family walking vacations

It can sometimes be a hard sell persuading children to go on a walking vacation. However, throw in a safari camp, a donkey to carry your bags, a mountain yurt or a swim at the end of each day and they start to warm to the idea. And if you get a guide who knows exactly how to get young people interested in landscape, wildlife and all the natural adventures that await, your family walking vacation is made.

Family cycling vacations

A family cycling vacation is a double whammy of wondrousness. First of all, everything is organized for you, so you don’t need to spend hours taking bikes on and off bike carriers, or finding the safest route from A to B without heading into a load of trucks. Second, the joy that you get watching your children gain that sense of freedom is second to none. From Catalonia to China, the Loire to the Alps, the hills are alive with the sound of chirpy cyclists.

Family vacation types


Melanie McAnaw, walking vacation expert from our supplier, Headwater: “We would recommend our single centre vacations for families. These are great because you’re based in one hotel and can enjoy lots of other activities as well as the great walking routes. Or go for a combination activity vacation, such as our Dordogne or Austrian vacations, that combine walking with cycling and canoeing.”
Vedat Vural, owner of Alternatif Outdoor, one of our suppliers in Turkey illustrates the way to relax from the stress of parenting on vacation: "I call our trips mind relaxing. Because the conditions are so ideal, you are able to discharge all your negative energy in our beautiful turquoise waters. Even when we are in the middle of the sea, I encourage them to jump out of their kayaks and into the sea. To refresh and reawaken. Not many guides do this, but families love this and it gives them a good chance to practice their personal skills."
Andy Ross is Cycling Manager at our supplier of cycling vacations, Exodus: "Cycling is a great family activity as long as the route is suitable. Avoid biting off more than you can chew, it is far more relaxing to keep distances manageable. It may also be sensible to choose a vacation that includes lots of other activities and places of interest, so it isn’t purely about the cycling itself."
Photo credits: [Top box: Lisa Joanes] [Family adventure vacations - single: Beth Roberts] [Small group vacations: LassenNPS] [Independent vacations: Catherine Mack] [Family walking vacations: Martin Thomas] [Family cycling vacations: Colville-Andersen] [Vedat Vural quote: Sebastian Peleato]
Written by Catherine Mack
Family sea kayaking vacation in Croatia

Family sea kayaking vacation in Croatia

Relaxing & fun family kayaking vacation on Croatian islands

From 650 8 Days ex flights
Japan family vacation

Japan family vacation

Be transported into a world of cultural mystery and intrigue

From US $4872 11 days ex flights
Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

Hands-on family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa

From £547 7 Days ex flights
Croatia activity vacation for families with teenagers

Croatia activity vacation for families with teenagers

Teenager Departures. Family multi activity week in Croatia

From £895 8 Days ex flights
Catalonia family self guided biking holiday, Spain

Catalonia family self guided biking vacation, Spain

Customised road cycling tour in Girona, Catalonia

From €288.5 8 Days ex flights
Algarve vacation accommodation

Algarve vacation accommodation

Enchanting manor in a 6 hectare rural estate close to beach

From 45 per accommodation per night
Winter cottage holiday in Finnish Lapland

Winter cottage vacation in Finnish Lapland

Log fires, lakeside trails & a range of winter activities

From £1595 8 Days inc UK flights
Catalonia family mountain biking & activity vacation, Spain

Catalonia family mountain biking & activity vacation, Spain

Family MTB & activities in the Catalan countryside

From 720 8 Days ex flights
Oman family vacation, private departure

Oman family vacation, private departure

An amazing Oman off road adventure your family wont forget

From £5920 14 Days ex flights
Exciting family vacation in China

Exciting family vacation in China

An exciting family vacation taking in the highlights of China

From US $2135 12 Days ex flights
Borneo family tour

Borneo family tour

A fabulous family vacation including the best of Borneo

From US $2345 14 Days ex flights
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