Why Short Family Breaks may be Better than Long Holidays
We all know the feeling… You’re finding it more difficult to get up in the mornings, the kids have shorter fuses than normal, and even the simplest of things feel more stressful than they should. It’s time for a holiday. But the timing may not be quite right to pull a two week break out of the air, maybe the children can’t be off school, or money is tighter, or you just can’t face long flights and layovers. That’s why we love the idea of short family breaks.
Although long holidays can be exciting and allow you to travel further afield, research shows that taking more frequent, shorter holidays can be more beneficial than one or two longer holidays a year. According to the telegraph, psychologists have found that people who take multiple short breaks a year have a bigger library of happy memories and feel more refreshed than people who take longer holidays.
In addition to this research, we have a few more reasons short breaks might be a better fit for your family this year.
They’re less exhausting
Going away somewhere closer to home for a shorter amount of time is less tiring for both parents and children. Not only do you skip the jet lag, less time is spent waiting in airports or keeping little ones happy on long flights. The higher frequency of short-haul flights also lessens the likelihood of late nights or early starts, meaning everyone is still feeling fresh when the plane lands, making it easier to avoid any overtired toddler tantrums and make the most of your time away! Shorter breaks are also more manageable for grandparents if you wanted to spend quality time with all the family on a multi-generational getaway.
They’re less expensive
We all know how easily holidays can dent the savings account, but staying in Europe is cheaper than flying long-haul and the cost of accommodation drops significantly when the stay is only a few nights, making luxuries such as meals out more justifiable. An added bonus of minibreaks is ditching hold luggage which can save both money and time as packing time is reduced and airport departure is much swifter without the dreaded trip to baggage reclaim. It has also been said that when less money is spent on a family holiday, parents find it easier to relax as the pressure is off, making the entire experience so much more enjoyable for the whole family.
They’re less stressful
If you’re short on time or dislike planning, short breaks were made for you. Minibreaks leave less to consider compared to longer holidays and can be booked relatively last minute. Research has also found that long holidays can take up to 11 weeks to plan whereas short breaks can be finalised in less than a day! Moreover, there are no vaccinations to drag the kids to, visas to sort, significant time differences to adjust to, roaming costs to negotiate, or layovers to consider which makes the overall experience so much more straight forward.
Short-haul flights are more regular from major UK airports and also accessible from smaller airports if you’re thinking about flying straight after school.
Choosing a holiday destination
When you’re only away for a few days you don’t want to spend hours on end in the air, so we’ve selected a few locations that are reachable in three hours or less. If you don’t mind where you go, try using a tool like Skyskanner which finds you the cheapest flights to any destination. If you decide to have several short breaks, this can be a fun way to seek adventure!
Our favourite spots for short breaks with kids include:
Under three hours in the air to Faro from the UK, the Algarve is the perfect location for a family minibreak. A trip to Zoomarine also doubles as a fun science lesson with the guided tours and talks on conservation! It also doesn’t get much more historical than going to see the dinosaur footprints embedded into the limestone rocks on Salema beach or following in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus in Porto Santo. Families of four or less will love Jardins do Golfe Apartments, just 20 minutes from Faro airport with a pool and accommodation for four. Larger families will enjoy Amara, 20 minutes from Faro airport with a pool, BBQ, and accommodation for six.
Whether you’re going to Tuscany, Rome, or Venice, flight time stays under three hours from the UK. Experience Tuscany’s historic past by wandering through the medieval hill towns, soak up world renowned art in Florence such as Michelangelo’s David, and dive into ancient Roman history in Rome’s Colosseum.
If you’re looking for sandy beaches, look no further than Ibiza with its UNESCO-protected old town and pretty coves just two and a half hours away. Spend the afternoon on a Jeep safari to learn about local birds and wildlife.
Marseille is only two hours fly time and isn’t far from the fantastic Verdon Natural Park where you can stay at Villa Souchene (sleeps eight), with a fenced pool, BBQ and swings. An hour and twenty minutes on the plane from the UK gets you to the Vendee region of France which is still very sunny and offer plenty of beach activities including fossil hunting! Why not stay at Les Jardins de Sables Dolonne which sleeps up to eight and provides perfect accommodation for the whole family.
If you’re unsure whether a beach holiday or city break is best suited to your family, check out our blog post to help you decide and browse our fantastic selection of child-friendly accommodation across Europe.