The annual getaway is supposed to be a time to relax and take a break from the daily grind. But anyone who has taken a family holiday will be well aware that it's not always quite the stress-free experience it should be. Never fear - check out these family-friendly holiday companies that'll take the strain out of travelling with the kids.
The Adventure Company
Beach holidays and holiday parcs aren't for everyone, and if you're an active family, you'll find just what you need with The Adventure Company. Catering for children of all ages, this activity travel firm covers everything from safaris and trekking to rafting and cycling, at a wide variety of exotic and unusual locations including the Himalayas, the Inca Trail in Peru, Finland and Sri Lanka.
The company will even match your family to the best type of holiday and activity, so whether you've got teenagers, little ones or are a single parent, there's an adventure break to suit your needs.
Quo Vadis Travel
For a luxury holiday with none of the organisational stress, you can't beat independent travel agency Quo Vadis. Priding themselves on expert one-to-one service and advice, the team at Quo Vadis call themselves the 'personal shoppers' of the family holiday world.
The staff are well aware of the difficulties of travelling with a family, and will tailor your break to include the necessary extras like babysitters, creches and kids' clubs. They'll even have your particular brand of formula or nappies delivered to your accommodation ahead of time if you so wish. And if you're really stuck for time, there's the option of having the Quo Vadis team research and book the entire holiday for you.
This well-established travel firm have been providing families with child-friendly holidays for some 35 years. Hotels and resorts are handpicked with kids in mind, and children are well catered for in terms of activities. But perhaps more importantly, Mark Warner has a comprehensive childcare programme in place, allowing parents so much needed time for rest and relaxation.
Childcare for two-year-olds and upwards is included in the price of your break, and there is free evening care for little ones from the age of four months, leaving mum and dad to enjoy a peaceful dinner. Fully qualified British nannies mean you can rest easy in the knowledge that the children will be well looked after.
Holiday parcs have come a long way since the days of Hi-de-Hi and with Keycamp, you know you're getting an affordable break that the kids will love. The firm handpicks outdoor-based family holidays across Europe and the US at parcs featuring facilities for the kids, water slides, restaurants bars and evening entertainment.
Choose from destinations in the rolling countryside, close to towns or cities, or with a sandy beach within walking distance. Accommodation comes in the form of mobile homes, lodges, chalets or even tree houses, and prices are always quoted per family not per person. Check out the website for special offers.
When it comes to package holidays, it pays to go with a travel giant like Thomson. The firm's family resorts all include Kids' Clubs, playgrounds, entertainment, interconnecting rooms, and it's often possible to get free child places, making Thomson a great choice for cash-strapped families. And of course, the range of destinations means you can almost certainly find a fantastic family-friendly holiday to suit your budget.
What are your top tips for a fabulous family holiday? Leave your comments below...