Top 10 family holiday destinations

Travel is a great way for families to bond, so it's well worth making the effort. The best way to please everyone is to go for self catering holidays. These can be surprisingly cheap holidays, especially as arranged through Holiday lettings have several advantages. They can be pet friendly, so you can take ALL the family along. You'll have more space, perhaps a swimming pool, and the kids will have their own rooms. What's more, as you do your own cooking you have full control of the menu and can eat as and when you wish. The owners of your accommodation will generally have local knowledge so that you can find out the best family oriented places to go. So, with thousands of holiday rentals to choose from, why not browse through these suggestions of the top ten family holidays?

10. Turkey

Turkey is still relatively undiscovered as a family holiday destination, but has much to offer, including the domes and minarets of Istanbul, the former heart of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Why not take the family on a traditional gullet boat cruise along the Mediterranean coast where you can enjoy swimming and diving? Or just enjoy the wide and sunny beaches of Pamphylia from the air conditioned comfort of your holiday rental in Turkey?

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9. Mexico

From a home stay in Mexico your family can explore the wonders of the ancient Mayan civilisation such as Chichen Itza, which all will find spellbinding. The museums, palaces and parks of Mexico City also provide plenty of attractions for everyone. Cancun, known as the Mayan Caribbean, has superb beaches and a number of theme parks and eco parks.

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8. Thailand

Thailand provides some of the best family holidays anywhere. Southeast Asia's most popular tourist destination is hot and humid, but there's plenty of opportunities to cool off on the glorious sandy beaches of Phuket, or under one of the country's numerous waterfalls. There are also numerous national parks where you can hike into deep jungle or tropical rainforest for a real adventure.

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7. Brazil

The idea of family holidays in Brazil is still relatively new, but the country has much to offer. This largest South American country has 4,655 miles of coast, including hotspots such as Rio de Janeiro with its renowned Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. The mostly tropical climate has spawned the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon basin, where more than half the world's rainforest can be found. A great family fun destination is the marine natural park of Fernando de Noronha.

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6. USA

The USA, big, brash and exciting, is like several countries in one. The tropical state of Florida alone has plenty to keep families happy, with the incomparable Disneyworld as well as many other theme parks and attractions, making it perhaps the most popular family holidays destination. But remember there's also the laid back sunny ambience of California, the vibrant excitement of New York, the adventure possibilities of the Rocky Mountains, and the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns. Don't forget the recreated Old West to be seen in places like Tombstone and Dodge City.

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5. France

France is very much a family oriented country, and is so large it has a variety of climates. The Alps and Pyrenees provide adventurous activities such as climbing and skiing. The French Riviera is the perfect setting for relaxing holidays amidst sun, sand and sea, with plenty of water sports thrown in. Perhaps your family holidays in France could centre around Paris, a city so full of cultural, artistic and architectural attractions that you will be spoiled for choice. On the outskirts of the city is Disneyland Paris, the perfect family holiday location.

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4. Austria

The alpine nation of Austria is ¾ covered in mountains and so is a perfect winter sports destination where the family can brush up on their skiing and snowboarding. Snow covered peaks and verdant valleys abound. Visit Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, and Vienna, with its wonderful medieval and baroque architecture.

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3. Italy

For family holidays which combine taking it easy and enjoying the sunshine with real educational and cultural value, Italy is a prime destination. Just imagine introducing the kids to the splendours of the Coliseum and other fascinating Roman remains. Or showing them the wonderful museums and Renaissance splendour of Florence. Who could resist a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

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2. Spain

Villas with pool in Spain are plentiful, so if you just want to chill out while the kids splash around enjoying themselves, this might be your best option. If you rent a villa on the Mediterranean coast you also have the option of seaside fun as well, including sailing, banana boating, jet skiing and scuba diving.

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1. England

England offers some of the world's most delightful holiday cottages. You can even find cottages with pool, and as the English are a nation of animal lovers there is a good chance of finding pet friendly accommodation, too. The unpredictable and changeable English climate adds to its charm, and is not a problem because there's always something to do. From fun packed seaside resorts to moor lands, forests and mountains of astonishing beauty in which to roam, and from cities steeped in history and culture to charming picturesque villages, England will keep the family happy.

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