5 family holidays to take this Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. This year, why not escape the cold and dark and treat the family to an unforgettable trip away? Here, we take a look at five of the best family-friendly holidays to take this Christmas.
Mother and daughter looking at ancient temple in Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock
Mother and daughter looking at ancient temple in Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock

Mother and daughter looking at ancient temple in Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock


What? Bangkok, elephant interaction and beach time

Which trip? Family Time in Thailand

With the monsoon over, Christmas is an excellent time to be in Thailand. This wonderful trip offers four nights in Bangkok, four nights in verdant Chiang Mai and six nights of relaxation at the beach resort of Khao Lak. In Bangkok you’ll visit some of the most unusual Buddhist temples in the capital before visiting Mahachai on an enchanting train journey. Mahachai is a traditional fishing village with a colourful market. Lunch is served at an atmospheric spot where you can watch the world go by and see fish being sold at the market.

Day 5 takes you to Chiang Mai. There are plenty of captivating temples here too, plus a magical Hilltribe Tour. But for many – including the little ones – the standout experience is spending time with elephants. The Tong Bai Foundation in Mae Win allows you to interact with the elephants, so get ready to get up close and personal! You’ll even be able to bathe the elephants in the river.

Next stop is Khao Lak. Here, you’ll visit some stunning limestone caves and mangrove and rainforest landscapes. But there is time for relaxation too, with three leisure days to lounge at the beach or do as you please.


What? Magical memories at Disneyland

Which trip? The Magic of Disneyland Paris

This trip pretty much does what it says on the tin: a holiday of Christmassy character-filled wonder. You’ll stay at Disney’s 4-star Newport Bay Club. The hotel was completely renovated in 2016 and is scenically located on the shores of Lake Disney. You’ll have 3 full days to explore the amusement parks. At this time of year there are plenty of seasonal attractions to enthral the kids. Santa will be there – of course – as well as several Frozen characters, a giant tree and some spectacular parades.

Mickey Mouse at Disneyland Paris. Photo: David Jafra/Flickr

Costa Rica

What? Stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife and beach time

Which trip? Costa Rica: Coast to Coast

Costa Rica can be an excellent December destination. Make sure you go in the second half of the month when the rainy season has passed. The landscape will be lush and verdant. This trip will suit families with older children: it is action packed and adventure filled, with a lot of travelling.

After arriving and relaxing in San José, you’ll embark on a tour that takes in the Doka Coffee Plantation, Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. The coffee-filled landscape at Doka Coffee Estate is stunning. Here you’ll get to learn all about the coffee-making process. At Poás Volcano National Park you can take in the main crater and its sulphur fumaroles. La Paz Waterfall Gardens lead deep into the rainforest, where you’ll have lunch amid impressive waterfalls.

On Day 3 you’ll leave for Tortuguero National Park. This coastal park includes a turtle museum, and a network of rivers and canals. The latter will allow you to see some of Costa Rica’s rich wildlife by boat. You’ll take an enchanting boat trip at dawn and enjoy a true Caribbean sunrise. Next it’s on to Arenal, where you’ll visit the Tabacon Hotsprings and Arenal Volcano National Park.

Monteverde is your next stop, which will appeal to animal lovers. A jungle night tour will introduce you to the world of bats. Afterwards, cloud forest reserve tour explores one of Costa Rica’s ‘7 Wonders’. Finally, the Trapiche tour will introduce you to Costa Rican farming and a number of arable crops. Next it’s to the coast. Here you’ll enjoy a sailing trip to a beautiful isolated beach, where you can spot turtles, dolphins, flying fish and even whales. You can fish from the boat and snorkel to get up close to some of the ocean’s most colourful inhabitants.

Water park in Dubai. Photo: Shutterstock


What? Parks and water parks

Which trip? Family Parks of Dubai

Enjoy some warm temperatures, winter sunshine and watery fun on this family-oriented 4-night trip to Dubai. Your first full day will be spent at Aquaventure Water Park, which is the largest water park in the Middle East. Highlights include a speed slide, rapids, tropical landscapes and even access to a private beach – kids and adults will be entertained for hours!

The next three days are equally fun filled, with a total of four parks to visit. Take in Motiongate, Bollywood, Legoland and Legoland Waterpark. You can even tailor your trip and choose when to visit each. So forget spending Christmas shivering inside, get out and make a splash.


What? Culture, ancient temples and Cambodian cuisine

Which trip? Siem Reap Family Adventure

With an ox-cart tour, evocative ancient temples and bike rides, this trip is sure to excite all the family. You’ll start with a traditional ox-cart ride, with some splendid views across the rice paddies. You will gain a unique insight into local life. You’ll then head to Tonle Sap Lake, witness a real-life floating village and enjoy a ride aboard a traditional wooden boat. The next day will be spent at Angkor’s famous temple complex, which is sure to spark little imaginations. The Angkor Wat complex covers 81 hectares and has even made it onto the Cambodian flag.

Day 3 takes you out into the charming countryside south of Siem Reap. You'll visit a pretty mosque, pagoda and numerous peaceful villages. Riding on two wheels is a magical way to explore the local landscape and way of life. The next day you’ll cook up a real Cambodian feast with a cooking class at Angkor Village. The experience will begin with a visit to the local market and an introduction to the produce. Later, you’ll create three delicious dishes. Afterwards, you’ll visit Wat Inkosei, the site of an ancient temple. Learn all about traditional shadow puppets, as well as visiting a Silk Farm to learn about the production of handmade silk. There’s a lot on offer on this exciting trip.

Taking a holiday this Christmas: how to get started

Insight Guides can help you with planning, organising and booking your dream holiday this Christmas. If these trips don't quite take your fancy, simply get in touch and share your budget, interests and travel style. Our local experts will then create an itinerary exclusive to you and your requirements, which you can amend until it's just right. All that will be left for you to do is pack and enjoy yourself!