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Top Holidays

18 of the best school holiday ideas for 2023

  • Inspiration
  • By Francesca Brooking
  • Published 05 December 2022
  • Revised 04 January 2023
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Want to get ahead and plan your family holidays for 2023? We’ve rounded up the best destinations for every half term and school holiday throughout the year.

From sunshine to snow, beach holidays to city breaks, these trips are perfect if you’ve got little ones in tow. 

We’ve also included a selection of short-haul European trips and far-flung adventures, so you can easily mix it up to suit you. 

So, read and get the lowdown on the hottest destinations for the 2023 half term breaks. And remember, if you see anything you like, call our personal travel managers and get expert advice on any destination featured below. 

February half term

Dubai

Dubai

Dubai

February is one of the best months to visit Dubai. The tail end of the winter season, temperatures sit around 24°C with lows of 15°C, so it’s an excellent destination for soaking up the sunshine without it being too much of a scorcher. 

February’s warm weather gives active families the opportunity to make the most of the outdoor activities in and around Dubai. Head out in the desert for camel rides, sandboarding and 4x4 rides or enjoy plenty of theme parks around the city. There’s plenty of family fun to be had here! 

One of our top recommendations for family-friendly hotels in Dubai is Atlantis, The Palm with its award-winning Aquaventure Waterpark. 

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Spain

If you’re looking for a quieter holiday closer to home, Spain is a good choice. February is the off-season, but there’s still plenty of events and festivals to experience such as Carnival. The country also has some of the warmest winter weather in Europe.

Madrid and Barcelona are generally chilly with highs of around 12°C to 14°C. Northern Spain can also get cold, and San Sebastian has been known to get snow on the beach! 

For much milder winter weather in Spain, head to Southern region of Andalusia with highs of around 18°C. If you’re craving some beach sunbathing time with the family, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands is the place for you. 

Barbados

For guaranteed sun and uninterrupted beach time, visit the Caribbean Island of Barbados in February. The average temperatures sit around 27°C and the sea is lovely and warm so the family can enjoy some water sports. 

February is winter in Barbados so there are nine hours of daylight. However, it’s also within the dry season so rainfall and humidity are low. 

While rest and relaxation are essential, it doesn’t just have to be beach time in Barbados with little ones in tow. Do the award-winning Atlantis Submarines, explore the island on a safari, see Animal Flower Cave and so much more!

Easter holidays

Bali

Bali

Italy

Easter is one of Italy’s biggest and most important holidays so it’s the perfect choice if you and your family want to make the most of this celebration. 

That being said, many small shops and restaurants will be closed over the Easter weekend. Make sure you book restaurants that are open well in advance to avoid disappointment.  

You can expect to see lots of religious processions and festivals throughout Italy during Easter. It’s also a good time to sample traditional Easter dishes and sweets. 

As for the weather, Northern Italy tends to be cool and a little wet whereas Southern Italy gets much milder temperature highs of 18°C. 

Bali

The Indonesian Island of Bali offers a tropical Easter break with warm sunny days averaging around 32°C. 

April is also the start of the dry season although there’s still a chance you might experience some rain. There’s less wind along the coast so water visibility is good for families who enjoy snorkelling and diving. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali ensures five-star luxury for the whole family. Little ones can take part in immersive cultural and wildlife experiences including sea turtle preservation and Night Safaris. Adults can pamper themselves at the spa, try traditional cooking classes or yoga on the beach.  

Orlando

Easter is a magical time to visit Orlando, Florida. Its plethora of family-friendly theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios pull out all the stops with their Easter themed celebrations. 

Kids can delight in scavenger hunts, meet the Easter Bunny, see parades and admire the larger-than-life Easter egg displays. 

The Easter holidays can be a little busy in Orlando, so it’s a good idea to plan well in advance. As for the weather, March and April are some of the best times to visit. The temperature is a pleasant 22°C during the day so you can get active without overheating. 

Most days are clear and sunny too – perfect for booking villas with a pool!

May half term

Canada

Canada

Cape Town

For sun, sea and scenery, look no further than Cape Town in South Africa. May is considered one of the best months to visit if you’re looking for mild weather and a relaxed holiday. 

Part of the autumn season, May has a pleasant average high of 22°C. The weather tends to be warm and dry, so the beaches are glorious, plus fewer crowds during this time ensures a quieter visit. 

Keep kids entertained with family-friendly activities such as seeing the penguins at Boulder Beach, seal watching, taking the cable car up Table Mountain and plenty of water sports. 

For a seamless holiday, we recommend One&Only Cape Town. Little ones will be well cared for at the kids’ club, giving you an opportunity to enjoy the spa or perhaps sample some of the best wines in the world. 

France

Quiet family holidays closer to home can be found in France in May. Temperatures are warm enough to enjoy time outdoors and the crowds haven’t landed for the summer yet. Generally, you can find a Mediterranean climate in the South while Northern France is cooler and wetter. 

For glorious weather and unrivalled luxury, head to the French Riviera for May half term. And yes, in case you’re wondering, Cote d’Azur is a wonderful destination to visit with kids. Child-friendly beaches, castles and fascinating harbour towns are just some of the things to do here. 

May is also the month when the Hollywood elite descend on Cannes for the annual film festival of the same name – how’s that for people watching!

Canada

If you’re craving some time in nature as a family, Canada should be on your list this half term. Spring flowers are in bloom and the weather is mild – although expect some chill in the air. The coast is generally a lot milder than the interior provinces which is worth bearing in mind!

In May, National Parks start to open and they’re relatively free of tourists so it’s a great time to explore them without the crowds. 

It’s also the start of bear watching season. Do a child-friendly bear watching tour and get the exhilarating chance to see grizzly bear cubs in the wild. Out in the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the season for humpback, minke and beluga whales. 

Summer holidays

Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes, Greece

Mauritius

This island in the Indian Ocean benefits from a tropical climate so you can enjoy warm weather all year round. Since its in the Southern Hemisphere, the winter season is June to September. Winter tends to be a lot drier than summer. 

July, the coldest month of the year, still has a balmy temperature within the low 20s. It’s an ideal time of year to visit as the temperature keeps little ones happy without overheating. 

Plus, sea temperatures are nice and warm so you can splash around in the water to your heart’s content. 

Constance Belle Mare Plage is a gorgeous five-star resort set along 2km of private beach in a sheltered cove on the West Coast. Enjoy a kids’ club, spa, golf course plus snorkelling and diving. 

Greece

Of course, we couldn’t mention the summer holidays without including Greece. It’s well-known for its reliably glorious summer days with blazing sunshine and clear blue skies from May to September. 

Greece offers so much for families whether it’s the rural and remote Peloponnese peninsula and ancient city of Athens on the mainland or the wealth of islands to explore in the Aegean Sea. 

While Mykonos and Santorini are crowded at this time of year, Corfu, Crete and Rhodes are known for being particularly family friendly. Spend the summer on beautiful beaches, exploring the maze of pretty villages and discovering ruins from ancient civilizations. 

Portugal

A short flight away and the same time difference as the UK, Portugal is a good choice for families craving beach time with young kids in tow. 

Average temperatures in Lisbon and the South peak at around 29°C. For a slightly cooler climate, head to towns in the foothills and mountains. Lisbon is a delightful city with excellent beaches nearby. Keep kids happy with castles, tram rides and dolphin watching. 

For quieter holidays, explore the picturesque fishing town, Cascais. The famous Algarve is another great option for sun, sea and breath-taking coastlines. 

October half term

Maldives

Maldives

Bangkok

Thailand’s capital, Bangkok is known for its beautiful ornate shrines, fascinating culture, vibrant streets and world-famous gastronomy. There’s plenty of things to do here for families from canal boat tours to palaces to theme parks and aquariums.

October half term is a wonderful time for families to visit Bangkok. Temperatures reach around 28°C but it can be a little humid and rainy. It’s just before the peak season which starts in November, so it’s a good time to go if you want to beat the crowds. 

Treat the family to the riverside retreat that is Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. Right in the heart of the city, it offers a fun range of activities that everyone can enjoy such as cooking classes, origami and crafts. 

Maldives

In need of a Vitamin D top up before winter? Visit the Maldives for the October half term. Dreamy overwater villas, island paradises and shimmering cerulean waters are guaranteed to help you forget all about the descent into autumn and winter in the UK. 

Maldives in October has long sunny days but there can be the odd rain shower and thunderstorms. Sea temperatures are deliciously warm though. 

This time of year is also excellent for snorkelling and seeing marine life such as whale sharks and manta rays. How’s that for a family bucket list? What’s more, you can make the most of good hotel rates and flights in October too. 

Cyprus

Steal some last-minute sunshine without even needing to leave Europe this October half term. 

Cyprus is a small island that’s tucked into the corner of the Mediterranean with Turkey and the Middle East as its neighbours. It therefore benefits from longer summers with temperatures in the mid to high 20s throughout October. In fact, you can swim in the sea until November!

Limassol and Paphos are popular cities in Cyprus, and you’ll find plenty of family-friendly resorts by the beach. 

Adventurous families can also head up into the island’s foothills and mountains where the climate becomes distinctly cooler. Explore pretty villages, chase waterfalls, go cycling and see UNESCO recognised churches. 

Christmas holidays

Finnish Lapland

Finnish Lapland

Finnish Lapland

Where better to celebrate Christmas than with Santa himself? 

High up in the Arctic Circle, Lapland is the very definition of a Winter Wonderland. Thick snow falls from November to March, northern lights dazzle the sky, and you can ride across the landscape on snowmobiles. 

Better still? Take the kids to meet Santa Claus and his elves. Get stuck into a range of fun activities such as cookie decorating, craft making, elf school and meeting the resident reindeer and huskies. It’s the perfect Christmas holiday for little ones.

No trip to Finnish Lapland is complete without learning about the indigenous Sámi culture. Look out for markets selling traditional handicrafts that are guaranteed to make treasured souvenirs. 

Mexico

In need of some Vitamin D this Christmas? Take the family to Mexico for a festive holiday in the sunshine. 

Temperatures hover around 28°C and tends to drop the further north you go. Apart from that, it’s mainly warm and dry across the country so it’s a great time for you and the brood to relax on the beach. 

Join in the Mexican Christmas festivities with processions, parties and games. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is particularly spectacular here with fireworks to ring in the 25th. Look out for Christmas markets and tasty nibbles too. 

One important factor to note, December and New Year’s Eve are popular times to visit Mexico so make sure you book your holiday well in advance. 

New York

Have the most wonderful Christmas city break in the Big Apple. Christmas is a magical time to visit New York. The city is often covered in a dusting of snow and the decorations get everyone in a festive mood. 

Take the kids ice skating on the iconic Rockefeller Rink, see the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the world’s largest Hanukkah Menorah. There are also plenty of Broadway shows and performances that go all out during the festive season. The Nutcracker always goes down a treat. 

Give your Christmas holiday a fun Home Alone theme by staying at the Plaza New York. The Hotel offers an exclusive ‘Home Alone 2: Fun in New York’ package where you can follow in the footsteps of Kevin McCallister and tour the city in a limousine!

Have these school holiday destinations inspired you? Call our personal travel managers on 0203 816 0985 and get the best price on your family holiday. 

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