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Active family holidays are a great way to spend quality time with the kids, enjoying a favourite pastime or discovering a new hobby together. Family activity holidays come in various guises. One of the most popular for summer are 'beach clubs' – holidays based on one resort, focused on watersports such as sailing, windsurfing and diving (with tuition if needed) and including other sports such as tennis and cycling, all optional. Alternatively, there are organised activity trips whereby you follow a set itinerary of different activities – perhaps surfing, white-water rafting, climbing or ziplining – with other families. Then there are winter activity holidays, including skiing. Accommodation and all or most meals are generally included on all these types of holiday.
Check out our hand-picked active family holidays in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia, or see our great deals and latest offers with activity holiday partners including:
• Mark Warner: A popular choice with UK-based families for watersports, tennis and biking in the Med, plus family ski holidays.
• Neilson: Another well-known name among Brits for its Mediterranean beach clubs, as well as its child-friendly ski holidays.
• Club Med: A French-founded firm with all-inclusive beach club resorts globally, as well as family-friendly ski properties.
• Ocean Elements: A smaller favourite, with three beach clubs in Greece.
• Activities Abroad: Highly regarded organised family activity holidays ranging from Lapland snow adventures to surfing in Portugal.
• PGL Family Adventures: Itinerary-led holidays based at budget-friendly activity centres in the UK and France.
We can also tailor-make an exciting active holiday based on your family's specific needs, whether it's to a bustling resort with a whole array of activities or something off the beaten track. Enquire now.
See also our family adventure holidays and family ski holidays guides.
Competition of the weekEnter now for your chance to win a 7-night family holiday for up to 6 people with Eurocamp.
Aeolian Village Beach Resort
Mark Warner family holidays
• Read our advice on surfing, boating, diving and white-water rafting holidays.
• Study age limits for the holiday you’re considering and make sure you’re confident the activities are within both yours and your child’s abilities, fitness levels and comfort zones. Active holidays can be very tiring – not always a bad thing but it does mean that they're generally best suited to children aged 6 or 7 and up. Depending on the activity and safety requirements, some operators cater to younger kids, but discuss a holiday’s suitability with the operator in detail before committing. In particular, will there be other things to do if your child turns out not to enjoy or be up to certain activities? Is there any flexibility is or the holiday itinerary written in stone?
• On the other hand, don't rule out certain types of holiday. Some cycling operators provide child-seats/trailers, while walking holidays with tots are possible using combined rucksacks/child-carriers. Some offer discounts/free places for very young siblings, but check there’s enough to entertain them on-site or nearby (perhaps a pool or playroom).
• Ask if instruction is given by fluent English-speakers, and if children can do activities without parental accompaniment if necessary.
• Check whether insurance is included or you need to take out your own.
• Ask if you need to take specialist clothing or equipment. Most operators provide everything you need, though sturdy footwear is a must. Old trainers and clothes are generally advisable. Avoid jeans, which become heavy when dirty or wet, and take a set of lightweight waterproofs.
• In the unlikely event there are no laundry facilities on-site or nearby, pack accordingly. Take plenty of plastic bags for carrying spare clothes/dirty or wet items.
• Make a list of essentials needed on your type of holiday, remembering that even for summer activity holidays you need to be prepared for nearly all kinds of weather. These may include: a water-bottle, sunblock, lip salve, sunglasses with cord, fleece tops for evenings, insect repellent/sting relief and a waterproof camera.
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