Blogger Charly Dove considers the appeal of package holidays for those travelling with kids.
Introduced in the 1950s, package holidays quickly became an aspirational option that led to the boom in the travel industry in the 1960s. By the 1970s, airline travel had opened up destinations such as Corsica, Mallorca, the Costa Brava and Greece.
While some people view package holidays as the cheap and cheerful alternative to ‘real’ travel, they’re like everything – no one size fits all. For instance, you wouldn’t put a holiday that included a jungle trek to Angel Falls, canoeing down the Churún River with native Indian guides and walking behind the waterfall from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ into the package holiday category, but that’s exactly what our trip to Venezuela was a couple of years ago.
The definition of a package holiday is simply that your flight, transfers, accommodation and food are all organised for you. The pros are that they are convenient, make budgeting easier and let you focus on what’s most important – enjoying yourself.
Mark Warner has cornered the market in package holidays in Greece, Corsica and Sardinia for families and/or those who want to incorporate sport into their precious time away. We’ve enjoyed three holidays with them – twice as keen tennis players before our daughter was born, and this year as a family, with a focus on keeping a four-year-old entertained. Everything Mark Warner offers is designed to make it easier for you, from booking online and stepping onto a chartered British Airways flight to being met and escorted to an air-conditioned coach at the other end.
On our arrival at the Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes in May, we enjoyed cold drinks and delicious canapés before settling into our spacious accommodation. Mark Warner staff are British, with the restaurants run by locals. You can see the pride in delivering food cooked from scratch every day.
The beauty of a Mark Warner package holiday is that you can do as little or as much as you like. There’s no pressure to get involved, but if you do want to, it’s made very easy. All the resorts are also in locations that offer you the chance to see the local area – we spent a morning exploring Rhodes Old Town.
If sport’s your thing, you’ll be ably catered for. The watersports team and tennis coaches – all qualified instructors – are enthusiastic and in our case were very patient with a four-year-old tennis debutante with the concentration span of a gnat.
Most family package holidays offer childcare. This was the one thing we were dubious about. Why go on holiday as a family and palm your child off to someone else? However, as we’d booked a tennis course, Poppy’s mornings at the Mini Club (included in the price) were a must. And as it turned out, she loved it so much, she wanted to go back in the evenings too…
If you’re unsure a package holiday is for you, you’ll only really find out by experiencing one. Take the plunge and in all likelihood you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Read more about family holidays with Mark Warner.
Charly, Jonathan and Poppy Dove holidayed at the Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes. Charly is a business owner, blogger and photographer. Her leading parenting blog PODcast focuses on family fun, travel and photography.