Long haul December holidays for families

Considering an extended trip with the family over Christmas and New Year? There are plenty of places to find yourself some winter sun and plan a holiday that will wow the kids with new experiences. Indochina, South Africa and Borneo are all popular choices for this team of year.

When to book a winter family holiday

If you're planning a long haul holiday for December or January , we an book flights up to 11 months before your travel date. The Christmas period can be a busy travel season, so we recommend booking in advance to get ensure the best availability and choice of vehicles and tours - especially if you're interested in a campervan in Australia or New Zealand. If you have less time to plan, we will always be able to build a trip to suit you, so give our consultants a call on +44 1273320580 or request a quote by email.

With somewhere between 2 and 4 weeks to spare in the winter holidays, your holiday options are diverse. Year-round favourite South Africa offers safaris, Indochina is very tempting and Borneo promises great wildlife encounters too.

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What we offer families

  • A full and free consultation and planning service
  • Guidance on family-friendly arrangements
  • Full support from your own dedicated consultant
  • Advice from parents on our team who regularly travel with kids
  • Flight departures from any UK or European airport
  • Local support on the ground* (ask when planning)
  • Out of hours 24/7 emergency contact number
  • Comprehensive family travel insurance including cancellation cover
  • Pay your deposit with the balance due 6 weeks before departure
  • Full ATOL protection from an ABTA bonded travel agent
  • 5 star recommendations from families on Trust Pilot.

Long haul family holidays - what we offer

South Africa family holiday

Offering something for every season, South Africa is a year-round destination for families. Visit during winter in the UK and you’ll experience the country’s warmest months. You can look forward to a safe, malaria-free safari along the Eastern Cape or a scenic self-drive along the Garden Route, east of Cape Town.

It’s easy to fall in love with cosmopolitan Cape Town and kids will enjoy the dreamy beaches of Camps Bay. Take the cable car up Table Mountain for panoramic views or gain some insight into Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s history on nearby Robben Island. If you pick up a car, you can drive the Garden Route, perhaps with a stay in Franschhoek or Stellenbosch for a little adults-only wine tasting along the way. Nature is abundant here, from penguins to whales, to the Big 5 – so kids will be wide-eyed from start to finish – as Travel Nation’s Andrea discovered when she took her daughter on a 2 week family trip.

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Penguins and rainbows make a magical pairing (it was even worth the earlier rain)!

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A lion lying in the grass

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12 Apostles is situated right on the rocks in Camps Bay

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At the heart of Indochina, Cambodia offers some great benefits for families, with pleasingly hot weather over Christmas and New Year. From Sihanoukville’s sleepy beaches to Mekong river cruises, quad biking to treasure hunts around the temples of Angkor Wat – it’s easy for kids to have an authentic, local experience as Travel Nation’s Laura discovered with her family.

Older kids might be ready to learn a little about Cambodia’s historic struggles, with Phnom Penh being the jumping off point for this discovery, should you choose to include it. If you’re looking for comfort, Cambodia’s value means it’s easy to upgrade your holiday experience, so we can tailor-make your accommodation to suit your budget.

Cambodia is an excellent stand-alone destination, but it’s also very simple to combine with Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia or Myanmar to create a multi-centre trip – just ask.

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The kids enjoyed running around the temple complexes

Our Cambodia family holiday with Angkor Wat and the beaches

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Boats at Kep, Cambodia

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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As it matures from a backpacker’s paradise into a haven for eco-tourism and unique adventures, Thailand wins over more hearts every year. Wherever you visit during the UK’s winter, you’ll find warm temperatures throughout the country which makes packing the family bags much easier!

For families, Thailand is most well-known for its marvellous beaches, laid back lifestyle and the ability to island-hop from place to place – which is a great place to start. But why not add in a visit to an ethical elephant sanctuary where kids can help feed orphaned elephants and have a rare, but safe, up-close experience? Thailand’s cities offer plenty of history and culture, from the gritty contrasts of Bangkok, to the mountainous villages around Chiang Mai, still populated by tribes’ people who you can visit. We can combine as many destinations as you like in Thailand and arrange all your transfers so you have more time to take in the sights and sounds along the way.

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Two longtail boats in Thailand

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Jess took the opportunity to get close up to the elephants

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For an exciting Asian adventure where there’s something new around every corner, Vietnam ticks the right boxes. During the UK winter, you can expect t-shirt weather in Hanoi and the north, and hotter beach weather down towards Ho Chi Minh City.

We can tailor-make your trip to include history and museums, cooking classes, easy cycle rides or age-appropriate hikes. How about retreating to some of the region’s ‘undiscovered’ beaches down in Phu Quoc or wandering Hoi An’s lantern-lit streets finding a great value tailor to make you some clothes? Kids will be intrigued by the differences they witness in everyday life, from discovering Buddhist temples and pottering around town in a tuk-tuk to sleeping over in a junk boat as they sail through the limestone karsts of Ha long bay.

Holiday idea:
Vietnam with kids: ancient cities and hidden beaches

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Wander through the busy streets of Hanoi

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Tuck in to some delicious Vietnamese streetfood

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A lantern shop, Hoi An, Vietnam

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If your family loves wildlife, jungle and adventure, why not consider Malaysian Borneo for a winter time adventure? Kids will be wide-eyed and on the edge of their seats as you cruise through the leafy jungle along the Kinabatangan River listening for wild monkeys swinging through the branches and trying to look out for rare pygmy elephants on the banks. For an even more close-up experience, we recommend a visit to the orangutan rescue centre at Sepilok and a trip to see the sun bears as Travel Nation’s Grainne discovered with her family.

Borneo has plenty of idyllic beaches and accommodation here ranges from budget to luxury. It’s ideal if you’re on a tight budget but it’s also easy to treat yourselves to a luxurious upgrade for all or part of your stay.

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The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre was a highlight for the kids

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A pair of Bornean Orangutans

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Interested in more long haul December holidays for families?

If you’d like to plan a trip during the Christmas and New Year break, contact us for ideas on the best destinations, the most family-friendly ways to travel and for the best flight itineraries, all tailor-made to suit your family. Call us on +44 1273320580 or request a quote by email.

Other great destinations for the UK winter holidays

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