Adventure Ideas 2:
Go ski, slow, spy or go Granny
Welcome to my round up of this week’s hot (and cold!) activities, hotels and destinations for active adventure seeking families. This week I’ve picked out news of an amazing competition, I’m going to spill a few spy secrets and serve up some ideas for going cheap, going slowly or going somewhere with Granny or Grandad.
Win a £30,000 family ski holiday
Now that’s what I call a prize. Family skiing doesn’t come cheap, not after you’ve faffed around with salopettes, rented skis and bought the whole gang a lift pass. So why not let someone else take care of the expense? Les Trois Vallees, the world’s largest ski area, is offering one family of four from the UK the chance to go from beginner to expert skiers in one season. Imagine that. Win this incredible prize and by the end of the season your family will be happily skiing down blue or red runs together.
I know it won’t be us as each member of the family has to be a complete beginner to enter and my nervy snow plough instantly disqualifies me. It’s not all it does but that’s for another post. Anyway the winning family will be kitted out with gear, flown out to the world’s largest ski area no less than five times over the winter and spring, provided with accommodation, instruction and everything else needed to become the next Franz Klammer (am I showing my age?). Anyway, if you’re a family of ski novices and fancying becoming a family of ski-bums check out this novel Facebook competition.
I spy with my little eye
With the new Bond movie Skyfall opening later this month, everyone seems to be going a little Bond crazy. So if that’s got you or the kids fired you up for a little spy action then take a look at the novel spy package being offered by the St Ermin’s Hotel in London. With the Budding Bonds package you get a family room complete with kids secret agent pack that includes code breaking, a secret London spywalk challenge mission and a non alcoholic cocktail. Shaken not stirred of course. Sounds like fun. If you’re in the US then what about a visit to the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. We’ve been and learnt a thing or two on how to keep tabs on the kids. Alternatively if you find yourself on a mission in Paris, you and your mini secret agents could check out the fabulous 007 suite in the boutique Seven Hotel near the Latin Quarter.
Best YHA offer yet?
For those on a tighter budget, the British Youth Hostelling Association (YHA) is offering some great family deals. For example a family of four can stay in any British Youth Hostel for just £40 a night for the family, with an added discount if you have a YHA card. All part of their Best Offer Yet campaign. There are hundreds of hostels across the UK, in all kinds of different locations and some very special buildings too. Family travel doesn’t get much cheaper than this and their offer extends from now until March.
Slow the tempo with Adagio
If you’re not a musical mind, Adagio means slow. If you’ve older family members who like to walk, but perhaps aren’t up to a full-on hiking holiday, then Ramblers Worldwide Holidays are offering a new season of ‘Adagio’ breaks; leisurely walking and sightseeing trips in Europe. No spies, skis or sprinting. These trips are about taking things at a gentler pace and allow more time to explore than the average organised walking holiday. There’s lots of destinations in the portfolio too – Portugal, Madeira, Italy and Greece. And a few river trips too. They sound perfect for slowing down.
Accessibility is what it’s all about
If you have family members with limited mobility, sensory or learning disabilities, then you might be interested to hear what tourist businesses in Germany are doing to steal a lead in making travel accessible for all. I’ve just come back from Rhineland where I’ve been exploring some of their innovations to make journeying and holiday making easier for people of all ages and abilities. Germany’s barrier free travel initiatives are a real example of joined up thinking across whole regions and I’ll be writing more about this on the blog this week and next.
Wannabe a Disney star?
If you’re a Disney fan and like to travel with your extended family you might be interested to hear that Disney World is looking for a multi generational family based in the UK that regularly journeys together to become the face of Walt Disney World for a year. If that sounds like your bag, then check out their new competition. If you end up as the world’s first Walt Disney World Family you’ll will win a VIP family holiday to Walt Disney World in Florida.
And finally, take the pet or take the in laws?
Finally, research carried out for that Disney competition found that 42% of people prefer to holiday with their pet than an in-law. Surely not? A cat is rubbish at babysitting the kids while you nip off for that romantic dinner. I’d always opt for granny…especially if she was paying the drinks bill! And if you’re considering taking the in-laws along for the ride, you might want to check out this Lonely Planet survival guide. It could make all the difference in determining whether your trip feels like a short break or a life sentence.
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