Unconventional Sizzling Beach Holiday Destinations

Beaches holiday Tunisia

It’s not too early to start planning for your holiday breaks for the summer. With a proper planning, you will be able to enjoy family vacation at the exotic locations that your family will come back with the lasting memory for the whole clan. And if you’re after a beach holiday with a difference this summer, don’t just settle for the same old Spain or your umpteenth visit to the Greek islands. Of course wherever you go there’s always the opportunity to see more and discover more – but if you fancy breaking the mould, there’s plenty of choice out there to tempt you away from the norm.

Beach Holidays in North Africa

 

Beaches holiday Egypt

North Africa is one such destination. When you think about North Africa, you might not associate it with beach vacation. Over the past few years prices on holidays to Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have come down as demand and competition has increased, and now you can grab Egyptian bargains or cheap holidays to Tunisia that won’t break the bank.

Egypt consists of the Mediterranean beaches on the north and the Red Sea on the east. Each of these beaches offer something for everyone with slightly different feel that is sure to please vacationers looking for wonderful holiday breaks.

In Tunisia, a comprehensive list of pristine beaches are ready to spoil you on your visit. Some of the beaches in Tunisia have soft and gentle shores and some have rugged rocky caverns and some Tunisian coastlines even are hemmed with long palm trees. The Tunisian beaches are the perfect place to enjoy sun-bathe or enjoy some exciting family water sports.

With Morocco’s several thousand kilometers of coast whose landscapes are diverse and offer the extensive stretches of golden sand, crystal clear waters and abundance of water sports, it’s no wonder that beach vacations in Morocco is considered some of the best family’s favorite holidays.

More Than just Beach Holidays

 

Beaches holiday Morocco

What’s more, many of these destinations offer more than just beach holidays. Take Morocco for instance. The bewitching city of Marrakech makes a fascinating city break that’s worlds away from the westernised favourites of Paris and Rome. In Marrakech you’ll find bustling souks and buzzing bazaars that fill the streets and squares with spice-scented stalls selling a heady array of Moroccon goods and fresh, tasty dishes. And once you’ve had your fill of North African cuisine and you’re ready to rest your weary legs, you can head to one of the city’s fabulous spas for a relaxing massage.

Then there’s Egypt. This vast destination has a holiday for every occasion – for beach-lovers, scuba divers, city slickers, cruisers, and just about everyone in-between. The jewel in the crown is of course Egypt’s ancient history and its magnificent monuments, ranging from the world famous Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx to the spectacular Temple of Karnak. Away from the sights, resorts like Sharm el Sheikh offer a fantastic beach environment, with gorgeous golden sands and pristine waters that sparkle under cloudless blue skies. It’s beach holiday heaven.

So which sizzling beach holiday destination will you choose?

Photo Credits: wentuq, dantaylor, geezaweezer

This post is sponsored by Thomas Cook 

Thailand with Kids: A Weekend Getaway from Bangkok to Ban Phe, Rayong

Thailand with Kids- Weekend Getaway from Bangkok to Rayong Ban Phe

Most tourist who comes to Thailand ends up in Bangkok. But if you are looking for a quick weekend getaway from Bangkok, Ban Phe in Rayong is a perfect location. Ban Phe is the stopping point for people who plan a trip to Ko Samet as a port for a ferry to Ko Samet. We enjoyed our trip to Ko Samet with kids last time we came. But this time, we had other agenda.

Our good friends own a lovely beachfront home in Ban Phe and we decided to make a quick trip to visit them.

Easy Public Transportation to Ban Phe

Thailand with Kids- Rayong Bus Ekamai

We took a public bus from Ekamai (Eastern) Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Ban Phe. The fare was very reasonable. For about $40 we got round trip tickets for a family of 4.

The Ekamai Bus Terminal is conveniently located on Sukhumvit Road and right by the BRT station.

The bus is air-conditioned but is shown the sign of use and ages. I would highly recommend you to take care of your business before boarding. You don’t want to test out their toilet EVER!

The ride was comfortable. It took about 3 hours to arrive at Ban Phe station. The bus station is right in front of Nuan Thip Ferry.

Enjoy the Amazing Home at Oriental Beach Villa

Our friends hosted us a night at their home away from home luxury beach villa at Oriental Beach Villa, a luxury beach front community with infinity pool.

The home has 3 bedroom/2 bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room and a loft. It’s fully furnished and has all the amenity we need.

But most importantly, an easy access to the pool and the beach.

For less than 2 minutes walk we were able to enjoy the infinity pool by the beach.

Kids couldn’t get enough of the water at this pool. We were there during the low season as it is currently a raining season in Thailand. So we pretty much had the pool to ourselves. If you ever planned to visit Rayong, you can contact them to rent their home. You will not be disappointed.

More Adventure in Rayong at Khao Ma Kam Waterfall 

We would be content to just stay at the villa and do nothing. But our friends wanted to show us another side of Rayong as well. It’s not all beach and pool. There are also many fun things to do with kids. Since we had limited time there we could only pick one. So we decided on the waterfall.

The Khao Chamao waterfall is located about 30 minutes drive from Ban Phe. It is part of Khao Chamao-Khao Wang national park in Rayong. The waterfall has multiple tiers that we can hike to but with a toddler and adults who wore flip-flop we agreed on the first tier.

After about what feel like a really long hike when it is supposed to be only 250 meters from the base, we were awarded with a pool that is filled with fish. Come to think about it, I think the distance they posted is probably vertical distance from the base!

We purchased fish food available at the base for 30 cents per bag for each kid. One of the best purchase at this waterfall. Mr. Z was too busy feeding the school of fish that he almost became the fish food himself.

Family Fun in the Oahu Sun

Picking a place to travel with a young family can be difficult for a number of reasons. Between finding kid-friendly activities, suitable places to eat, and a relaxing place to stay, there are a lot of criteria to satisfy in order to keep everyone happy. Hawaii has long been an attractive option for families due to the practically universal enjoyment derived from beach activities, as well as a unique combination of sights, sounds, and eats that is guaranteed to make even the youngest traveler smile. Plenty of family-friendly Honolulu hotels promise close proximity to the beach and to a number of inland activities that are enjoyable for everyone! Here are a few excursions that your family is sure to love.

Honolulu Zoo

The amount of things to do on one of Oahu’s beaches is no secret. Between snorkeling, surfing, or just lounging around and building sandcastles, every member of the family is sure to find something to their liking. But for a change of pace that won’t result in groans or frowns from the younger members of your gang, consider spending an afternoon at the Honolulu Zoo!  Close to the beach, the zoo champions a large array of animals that are sure to keep your kids’ jaws dropped. After a long day at the beach, it will be nice to get a walk in while surrounded by colorful, exciting creatures.

Sea Life Park

You’ve seen the photos before of friends and celebrities getting to interact with dolphins, and when visiting Oahu, you can do the same! Sea Life Park, besides having plenty of exhibits and shows to take in, allows visitors to hop into the water with a life vest on and play with the wildlife. You’ll be able to snap your family getting smooched by the infinitely entertaining dolphins at the park–giving your kids a story that they won’t stop telling for a long time!

The Bishop Museum

Another educational activity for adults and children alike is a trip out to one of Hawaii’s most famous museums–The Bishop. With plenty of cultural artifacts and specimens dating back to the earliest days of the Island, as well as a large series of exhibits (such as the Living Islands zone or Dinosaurs Unearthed), your family will learn a ton about this unique area that they’re visiting in a fun and exciting way.

After a long day of adventures, having a nice hotel to call home will certainly make your treat all the more memorable. The Lotus Honolulu caters to families with their comfortable rooms and unbeatable location, providing you with a large selection of restaurants and activities just out the front door. Make your Oahu vacation the trip of a lifetime!

Photo Credit: dexxus, frikitiki, meredith, nostri

A Hawaiian Family Adventure


Even though you spend every day with your family, there’s something about taking a trip together that just brings everyone closer. Being away from hectic daily life allows you to have more enjoyable quality time, and it’s a great opportunity to try out new activities or foods you don’t have access to at home.

One of the best places to take a family vacation is Hawaii, hands down. The lush tropical setting and sparkling coastline feel like an exotic foreign country, and the welcoming spirit and laid-back atmosphere make it the perfect place for a trip that pleases everyone.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu

We usually start off at Waikiki Beach. It’s a surefire crowd pleaser. There’s a reason it’s one of the most famous beaches in the world, after all. It’s safe for swimming and wading, close to Oahu hotels and resorts, and offers up many opportunities for surfing lessons, snorkeling, canoeing and beach combing.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu

This safe, calm cove is a gorgeous place, and has been a protected marine environment since 1967. The efforts to return the bay to its natural ecosystem have spawned decades of environmental stewardship throughout Hawaii and have enlightened and educated visitors for years. Just 10 minutes away from Waikiki, the curved bay is home to hundreds of species of fish and is perfect for those who are new to snorkeling or scuba diving. Children love to wade with the colorful fish, and everyone will walk away with a deeper sense of respect for pristine nature.

Dole Cannery Maze, Dole Plantation, Central Oahu

Corn mazes are so mainland. Take a tropical twist on the labyrinthine adventure by treating yourself and your family to a puzzling path through pineapple gardens! Actually, the maze is made up of hibiscus, heliconia, croton, panax and pineapple, so it’s not only breathtakingly beautiful but also pleasantly fragrant. Race with your kids to search for the eight secret stations on the way to solving the mystery of the maze, and try to beat the record-holding time of seven minutes. Most people take about an hour to finish, so don’t feel bad if you find yourself sidelined during the floral journey.

Atlantis Submarine Tour, Waikiki, Oahu

You’ve spent plenty of time staring at the water’s surface. Now it’s time to really see the world beneath with a submarine tour. Skim below the water at a depth of 80 to 110 feet past coral formations, sunken tanker ships and plenty of multicolored sea life.

Waikiki Aquarium, Oahu

Situated beside a living coral reef, the Waikiki Aquarium is one of the oldest public aquariums in the United States. More than 500 species of marine plants and animals reside in the aquarium, which is conveniently located near Waikiki hotels and beaches. Come to get a true taste of all the biodiversity unique to Hawaii!

Have you been to Hawaii with your family? What do you recommend?

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Phuket With Kids: 5 Family Favorite Moments in Phuket

Phuket with Kids Prom ThepWith the gloomy sky and low temperature we are experiencing in Atlanta, I am yearning for the warm breeze and salty smell of the ocean we had many years ago in Phuket.

It had been over 5 years since we visited Phuket with Miss J when she was just a toddle. Mr. Z has yet to visit Phuket. So our next Summer trip we might try to plan a quick trip to Phuket with him. With many Phuket Flights from Bangkok, visiting Phuket from Bangkok is easy and convenient. No wonder, Phuket is one of top family destination in Thailand.

Even though with many things that had happened since we last visited, Phuket remains in our heart as one of our first family trip to Thailand. Here are our family favorite moments in Phuket.

Lunch at Floating Village

Phuket with Kids Floating VillageOn our way to visit Khao Ta Pu (or more famously known for James Bond Island), we stopped by the Floating Village for lunch. We had a great meal and had some little free time to walk around the village. It amazed me to see restaurants, shops and even school operated solely afloat the Andaman Sea.

Boat Ride to James Bond Island

Phuket with Kids James Bond Island Khao Ta PuWe bought a boat tour package to visit Khao Ta Pu or more famously known as James Bond Island. I won’t lie but we had more fun on the boat ride than on the island itself. The small boat didn’t seem save to be on the open ocean but in reality we were not worried.

Beach-side Thai Restaurant

Phuket with Kids Lunch by the BeachOne day during lunch after a tour to Phuket’s popular spot at Promthem cape, we stopped at a non descriptive restaurant on the beach. The decoration was simple but the view was priceless. It’s not surprising to see our family favorite moments will have a current theme of food-related. :) It’s part of the culture and upbringing here in Thailand. We love our food!

Fun Night at Phuket FantaSea

Phuket with Kids - Phuket FantaSeaA popular attraction in Phuket for family is Phuket FantaSea. Even though Miss J was still too young to remember anything. We could still remember her laugh and giggle as she watched the show at Phuket FantaSea.

Beach Time

Phuket with Kids Beach babyLast but not least family favorite moment was the beach time we could enjoy as a family. The long stretch of sand beach, the wind that blow fine hair and the peace we felt as we walk along the beach was some of the moment we couldn’t wait to go back there again.

And Happy Birthday Miss J!! It has been a blast having you in our life.