Travel. Family. Two intertwined concepts, supporting and complementing each other. Think back to your childhood. What were your happiest memories? Playing backyard cricket with your siblings, maybe, or going for early-morning beach swims with Mum and Dad. Maybe you went somewhere – camping out bush or near the beach, those school holiday road trips that seemed to go on forever, or even an overseas holiday to somewhere like Bali or New Zealand. Wherever you went, however you travelled, those memories were built around time with your family.
Now you're older, and you've got a family of your own. You want to give your kids the same special memories you have. You want them to look back and say, "Wow, I can't believe all the amazing experiences I had with Mum and Dad." But sometimes getting family holidays right can be hard. You know that, so you've come here for inspiration.
Our advice? You don’t need to stay in a five-star mansion or take six weeks off work to create those amazing holiday experiences. You don’t need to fly to another continent, or eat at Michelin Star restaurants every night. You’ll remember that morning when you cooked funny-shaped pancakes for the kids, or that time you all played a game of Monopoly that stretched across two days. Those are the good moments. Those are the times that define you. We get that, so we’ve written this article to help you achieve time with your family, to help you pull together those incredible family experiences that stay with you forever.
Tips for Choosing Family-Friendly Hotels & Resorts
1. Patrolled Beaches
If you’re staying at a coastal destination, chances are that you’ll want to visit the beach at some point. Nothing says ‘family time’ like building sandcastles, splashing in the waves or playing a game of beach footy. It’s important to remember, though, that, as awesome as ocean swims are, they come with an element of risk. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a five-year-old kid or an adult who’s spent their whole life in the water – rips and strong currents are dangerous for everyone, so it’s important that you only choose to swim at places with patrolled beaches.
2. Accessible activities
Road trips are a fun way to holiday, but you probably don’t want to be doing hours of driving every day when you’re supposed to be staying in one place. Pick a holiday destination with activities and attractions that are within easy reach of your accommodation, or you’ll end wasting your vacation sitting behind the wheel. Walk-to activities are particularly great – there’s no better way for you and your family to experience an area than by traversing it on foot.
3. Family-friendly activities
Another important consideration is choosing somewhere that offers family-friendly activities. Going to the opera or browsing art galleries might fulfil your inner aesthete, but you’ll probably end up with a gaggle of bored, complaining kids. Make sure the activities you’re doing cater to everybody, or take turns visiting adult- and kid-oriented attractions. Alternatively, if you’re travelling in a larger group, it’s sometimes a fun idea to split up for a day – some of the kids go with your partner, and some go with you.
Eating out on holiday is great, but cooking in can also be a wonderful way to bring the family together. You and your partner might cook as you play a game of trivia with the kids, teach them how to become card sharks, or counsel them in a game of chess. The intimacy of cooking at home (and enjoying the fruits of your labours) is a relaxing alternative to dressing up and going out every night.
5. On-site Amenities
There’s nothing worse than having to drive around your holiday city hunting for a laundromat, or chewing up your mobile data because your accommodation doesn’t have WiFi. Make sure your chosen hotel or resort has proper, on-site amenities, particularly if you’re staying for more than a few days. Basics aside, though, good on-site facilities can add a lot of fun to your family getaway. Outdoor pools, spas, games rooms and sports areas are all awesome places for the kids to have a bit of lowkey fun while you and your partner relax.
6. On-site restaurants
If you’re staying in a city, you probably be surrounded by lots of dining options. But what if you’re staying somewhere quieter? A small beachside town, or a remote rainforest retreat? You don’t want to drive hours just to find somewhere nice to have a meal. If you stay somewhere with multiple on-site dining options, lunch and dinner don’t have to be a big deal, and you don’t have to put up with eating at the same place every night. Checking out restaurant accessibility before you go is always a good idea.
Our Favourite Family-Friendly Holiday Destinations
1. Wyndham Surfers Paradise
Our top pick for family-friendly accommodation? Wyndham Surfers Paradise. Located in the heart of the Gold Coast’s Glitter Strip, this four-star hotel is the perfect base for exploring the region’s incredible array of attractions. There’s plenty of family-friendly attractions like Sea World and Timezone just minutes from your accommodation, as well as a suite of on-site amenities like a massive heated pool, an outdoor spa, and the kid-friendly Lounge. You won’t go hungry, either – Surfers Paradise has a broad variety of casual and upscale eateries, while Wyndham Surfers Paradise features an on-site café, bar and Italian restaurant, as well as in-room dining.
2. Ramada Resort by Wyndham Phillip Island
Surrounded by the spectacular natural beauty of Phillip Island, Ramada Phillip Island offers the kind of family-friendly accommodation the kids will fall in love with. Relax in your self-contained cottage, or explore the resort’s acres of bushland and native gardens. With facilities like a heated indoor pool, tennis courts, outdoor pools, kids’ wading pools and seven kilometres of biking/walking trails, it’s perfect for a quick family getaway or something a bit longer. Dine on-site at the Numbers Bar and Café, or show off your cooking skills at the outdoor barbecue areas.
3. Club Wyndham Port Douglas
Club Wyndham Port Douglas is a unique, family-friendly accommodation experience designed to leave you and your family captivated. Surrounded by the Daintree Rainforest, with the sprawl of the Great Barrier Reef bare minutes away, it’s a resort that embodies the natural world. Wander through the tranquil gardens, gaze at barramundi swimming in the streams and lily ponds, and watch your children giggle as they spot the giant Ulysses butterflies. Its facilities include a day spa, a lagoon pool with a waterfall, bike hire and fish feeding, so there’s no chance of the little ones getting bored. On-site 3Sixteen Bar & Bistro is perfect for young and old alike; load up on cocktails as your kids tuck into flavoursome international meals.
4. Wyndham Sydney Suites
Last but not least, Wyndham Sydney Suites are the best way for you and your family to explore Australia’s biggest city. Located in Sydney’s CBD, with amenities like undercover parking, laundry facilities and a gym, staying here means you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the incredible experiences that the city has to offer. Although there’s plenty of delicious restaurants nearby, the Suites also include an onsite café and a 24-hour convenience store, just in case you need a box of tissues or a pack of nappies at 3:30 in the morning.
What are you waiting for? Don’t waste another second. Book your family-friendly holiday accommodation with Wyndham, and start making those memories.