Exotic family holidays

When only paradise will do


Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

Exotic vista

As the summer months draw near, minds inevitably begin to wander - we just can’t wait to jet off to sunnier climes. Unfortunately, the “great” British weather is hardly that: we can’t even think about improving a tan without the aid of sun beds! And so it's time to round up the family and whisk them away on the holiday of a lifetime, to somewhere where the sunshine is consistent, the sea forever blue, and tranquillity the order of the day.

Sound good? Of course it does! All that remains is a choice: which far-flung corner of the globe will you set your cap at? Regardless of where you select, HomeAway is on hand to help you find the perfect base for your trip. We offer a variety of rental properties around the globe, so you can rest assured that we have the right place for you. There are hundreds of conventional tourist havens to choose from, but this year why not take the path less travelled with a more divergent break? To help you plan ahead, have a read at our guide to some of the more unknown tropical paradises.


Top five exotic family holidays


Egypt Egypt

In recent years, Sharm El Sheikh has become a major tourist hotspot, but if you want to avoid the crowds, there are plenty of lesser known resorts around the Sinai Peninsula. Hurghada, for example. Once a quiet fishing village, it now attracts a regular stream of snorkelers and sun seekers throughout the year. Dahab is another great place to relax amidst a stunning mountain backdrop, and you can cool off with a dip in the beautiful Red Sea. Of course, no trip to Egypt would be complete without witnessing the last remaining wonder of the ancient world, and thankfully there are countless tour operators who’ll whisk you off to the Pyramids of Giza by either bus or plane.

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Anguilla Anguilla

Situated just east of Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla is one of the best kept secrets in the Caribbean. Visitors to the island can enjoy the unspoiled and glowing white beaches at Shoal Bay, enjoy a dip in the tranquil waters at Rendezvous Bay, or embrace the musical heritage of the island by visiting one of the many reggae bars scattered around the shores. This is the ideal destination to let the kids discover the beach while mummy and daddy take the opportunity to bask in the tropical heat, topping up their tans without the hustle and bustle of more popular sites.

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Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen

Everyone knows all about the now ludicrously popular Mexican resort of Cancun - its magnetic attraction is known to lure American students hell-bent on Spring Break carnage. Just south of this madness, however, is the altogether more placid port of Playa del Carmen. Not unlike its noisy neighbour, Playa boasts an alluring coastal experience that is considerably more family orientated. Although you may find it difficult to drag yourself away from the sun lounger or poolside bar, a trip to the nearby mysterious Mayan pyramid at Chichen Itza is an opportunity not to be missed.

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St Lucia St Lucia

This Caribbean paradise is often touted as one of the world’s most romantic getaways, but there is plenty on the island for the whole family to enjoy. The west coast stakes a claim for the most awe-inspiring, with the volcanic Twin Pitons dominating the skyline for miles around. If you want to get close enough to smell the lava, nearby Soufriere proudly calls itself home to the world’s only drive-in volcano in the shape of Sulphur Springs. For those feeling reasonably energetic, meanwhile, a hike to the summit of Morne Fortune imparts a dizzying view of capital city Castries as a reward.

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Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Home to equal measures of sprawling jungle landscape and gloriously enticing crusts of coastline, Sri Lanka is untouchable for those who like to inject a dab of adventure into their relaxing break. Kids and adults alike will cherish the opportunity to take a trek through the jungle on the back of an elephant, and you can while away the hours spotting crocs and leopards in one of the island’s nature reserves. To make the most of your visit, it’s worthwhile renting bicycles for the whole family to explore the magnificent traditional Asian villages, relaxing in the evening with a cocktail or two at one of the child-friendly beach bars ranged along the irresistible beaches.

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