With a bit of strategic thinking, you can effectively maximise your annual leave in 2024, by booking time off around the ten Irish public bank holidays. Doing so gives you longer stretches of time off and hence the chance to get away for longer – great news for all of us, but especially for parents trying to navigate school holidays.
Trending destinations for families in 2024
With many families asking us where to go in 2024 and planning for the new adventures that the coming year will bring, we’ve shared the destinations we’ve seen trending recently and what there is to do in each with children of different ages. It’s never too early to think ahead when it comes to bagging the most desirable resorts or tours – or the best deals!
Only just tipping over into the long-haul category, the best-known of the seven United Arab Emirates promises both beach fun in the sun and a whole array of spectacular activities in a combination you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
Classic activities in Dubai range from exploring the historic souks and modern malls to waterpark fun and desert adventures including dune-bashing by 4X4. But things change fast here, meaning there are always new things to do no matter how many times you’ve been, including the world’s longest urban zip-wire (over the marina) and a zombie theme park. That’s in addition to other amazing theme parks here (Dubai Parks & Resorts, including LEGOLAND Dubai, and IMG Worlds of Adventure). And some of the resorts, which will include the tallest hotel in the world from 2024, are tourist attractions in their own right!
Portugal has long been popular with families – especially the Algarve with its Blue Flag beaches. But this is a diverse country with plenty more to offer. Lisbon is one of Europe’s most laidback, family-friendly capitals, with one of the largest aquariums, colourful trams and funiculars to ride, and nearby surf beaches. East of it, the sparsely populated Alentejo is great for stargazing in its dark sky zone, boating on Lake Alqueva and sightseeing in Evora with its ghoulish Chapel of Bones and Roman ruins.
Portugal’s relatively small size makes it easy to travel around, meaning you can explore more than one of its regions in one trip. We also love Porto for its UNESCO World Heritage listed historic centre and proximity to untouristy beaches and national parks.
It’s hard to know where to start with this spellbinding continent, with its tropical rainforest, glorious beaches, otherworldly outback and fabulous cities. But some of our bucket list picks include Sydney (the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is glorious) and the vast state of Queensland, especially its tropical north - home to the world’s oldest rainforest and its largest coal reef system, the Great Barrier Reef.
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is also a must-do: as well as seeing the sandstone monolith in all its glory, families love the Field of Light art installation with its 50,000 ‘stems’ of light swaying in the desert darkness.
This classic family destination is now more popular than ever - partly for its superb array of family-friendly resorts and beaches, but also for its other attractions. These range from Spain's highest peak, Mount Teide, with its cable-car rides, hiking and stargazing observatory, to Siam Park, which has been named the world’s best waterpark in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for many consecutive years.
We also rate Tenerife as one of our favourite dolphin- and whale-spotting places, and it’s an increasingly popular cycling destination for those with older kids too.
This thrilling state is nearly 60% the size of the UK, so it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to its vast array of attractions. Families love Orlando as the theme-park capital of the world, but there are no fewer than 11 National Parks in the state too and masses of outdoors activities that go with them, from airboating among mangrove swamps to swimming in hot springs near manatees. Again, this is the perfect place to mix it up with a two-centre holiday combining theme-park thrills with adventure or with a beach stay somewhere like Clearwater or the Florida Keys.
To book your 2024 family holiday in one of these trending destinations, or for more inspiration, call your Travel Counsellor today.
The Seychelles is one the world’s loveliest tropical-island paradises, with incredible wildlife and natural ecosystems. Over its 115 islands (inner granite islands including Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, and outer islands including Aldabra), it houses, four turtle species, seven million migratory and resident birds tropical fish galore, hibiscus, frangipani and other colourful flowering trees, primary forest and stunning geological features. We’ve shared our favourite luxury hotels from which to best appreciate this breath taking Indian Ocean destination.
Celebrity's award-winning cruise ships blend cutting-edge technology with welcoming interiors and revolutionary venues. Its version of simple luxury means you can immerse yourself in new destinations and cultures without sacrificing style, comfort or fantastic drinking and dining for all moods, from casual to sophisticated, from sushi to Italian – served inside or outside under the starlit sky.