Top ten family holiday destinations

Ah, lists. No matter what I write in a list, half of you will agree, the rest will disagree. So without any further ado, here are my top 10 family destinations, and five that need some work.


This small word makes a world of difference. And it's not just the swaying palm trees, colourful cocktails, and friendly smiles. It's two words: Kids' Club. I defy anyone to find better carers for children than the Fijians.


This multicultural melting pot has dozens of family-friendly five-star resorts. Dine on Creole, French, Chinese and Indian cuisine, while the kids do water-skiing or language classes at Le Club Enfant.


The spacious Embassy Suites in Waikiki are walking distance to the gentle waves, crazy street performers and funky food outlets.


Sleep in fales on the beach, or stay at the famed Aggie Grey's. Take the ferry to Savai'i to swim with the turtles, walk the ancient lava fields, or watch the sun set over the water at Le Lagoto. Ahhh.



Believe it or not, the City of Love is also pretty good for progeny. All the museums and art galleries are child-friendly. The kids were leading us through the Louvre using their Nintendo 3DS audio guides.


Most of the museums are free. At the British Museum, kids get a backpack containing games and a treasure map. You can catch the Route 11 bus, which passes all the tourist attractions.


How good are dumplings? Just avoid the deep fried chicken's feet. I was chomping away on a knuckle when I was told "Er, you're just supposed to suck them". Ocean Park, Disneyland, giant pandas, the Octopus card - Hong Kong's got it all.


Sure, you could lose your life crossing the road. But accommodation is cheap; the food fresh and delicious; and you can get clothes tailor-made for the whole family in Hoi An.


Watching the cobras dance in the Jemaa el-Fna doesn't sound child-friendly. But we had the family trip of a lifetime here. Marrakesh is Africa's Disneyland, with circus performers, soothsayers, souks and more.


Disneyland, Legoland, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Hollywood, Universal Studios, the outlet malls, need I say more? Oh, plus cheap accommodation, food and flights.

Now (gulp). Here are the destinations that need work:


The Vatican and Colosseum are not easy for children to navigate. We were fortunate, with a guide from bringing history to life.


While it's clean, safe and full of family attractions (Sentosa is sensational), Singapore suffers from sanitisation. Authentic cultural experiences are hard to find.


El Nido is paradise in this archipelago. But the childcare is questionable. We returned to our hotel in Bohol one night to find our toddler playing with a razor.


There are lovely areas to take kids, such as Ubud, Seminyak and Sanur. However it needs work on safety, food hygiene and violence.


Generally, the service, cost and quality of tourist destinations here is not as good as overseas. There are notable exceptions.



Blobbing out just got a whole lot more active with the arrival of the Water Blob, a new rocket-shaped floater on Fiji's Sigatoka River. Slip on a life jacket and blast into the river, bouncing off the giant Blob. It's the brainchild of Australian Jay Whyte, owner of the Sigatoka River jet boat and village safari, who says the Blob is a way to fly and play in the Fijian way. A three-hour Blob session costs $34 a person (over 10 years).