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The imagination of a tropical Indian Ocean island destination seems idyllic when you want to get away from it all. Thomas Cook has been making travel accessible to a lot more since he arranged his first package tour in the 1840s. The downside is that the “ideal” family holiday destinations have become so popular that they no longer offer solitude, personal attention, and rest for body and soul.
Okay, when most of us dream of getting away from it all, we don’t really mean it in the sense of forgoing all our comforts. This is where Islands like below, pulls off a remarkable feat, offering an isolated retreat complete with all the luxuries and the service you’d expect of a five-star resort – minus the commercial trappings that tend to go with such destinations. That’s probably why island getaways are so popular with families with children.

Best islands for families

Mauritius

Just an approximate five-hour flight away from South Africa is the wonderful island of Mauritius. Mauritius is a very family-friendly holiday destination with many resorts featuring amazing kids’ clubs that take your younger children off your hands when you need a break or when your children want to play with someone their own age! Mauritius is also a wonderful island for splashing around in warm water and snorkelling – a popular activity with children who are not ready to brave the depths that scuba diving entails.

Heron Island, Australia

If you’re living in Australia and want to experience all the amazing sea life that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer, then Heron Island is a wonderful choice. It’s situated on the Great Barrier Reef’s southern tip and is home to a 109-room eco-friendly resort. Here children can enrol in a Junior Rangers Programme where they can earn their Ranger’s badge as they wander through the forest paths and beaches. Children as young as eight can snorkel and certified divers as young as 10 years old can dive deeper with their parents.

Kauai, Hawaii

A popular island with USA residents and many families from further afield is Hawaii’s fourth-largest island, Kauai. This island attracts families due to its beautiful beaches, old Hawaiian feel and many natural wonders. Head down to Poipu Beach on the south shore and snorkel amongst the tropical fish with your children and see the lazy seals just sleeping on the sand. Families can also hike in Waimea Canyon or visit the amazing 4000-foot Napali Cliffs on a catamaran tour.

Nassau Paradise Island, Bahamas

If you are looking for a resort-type holiday where all your children’s needs are taken care of, then head to Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Here you’ll find ‘Atlantis’ a famous family-friendly resort with several kids’ clubs, a water park and the largest open-air aquarium in the world! If you can tear yourself away from your resort, then you’ll be able to share many other delights with your children, including pink flamingos at the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre.

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands may be the best kept secret for a truly natural (and not manufactured) paradise in the South Pacific. The region is northeast of New Zealand and includes 15 islands, each with its own individual character, formed by volcanic activity. The beaches and lagoons around Rarotonga are protected by the coral reef and offer plenty of tropical fish and safe swimming places.

There are many reasons for a holiday on the Cook Islands, but all include snorkelling, diving, exploring and learning more about the history of the islands.

Aruba

Aruba is a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela that is very popular with families. All the islands in the Caribbean have a lot to offer families, but Aruba is extra special with its beautiful white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and almost 300 sunny days a year. Aruba is nicknamed “One Happy Island” and it is definitely that for families with children.

Kids can interact with butterflies at the Aruba Butterfly Farm, experience ostriches at the Aruba Ostrich Farm and even donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary. There is also plenty of fun and rides to be had at the water park and even underwater submarine voyages. A family favourite destination is the Baby Beach, which is popular because of its shallow, warm and very gentle water.

Are a South African living abroad and planning your next Island Family Holiday? Wondering about how you can maximise your finances for this trip through financial emigration from South Africa, or accessing your South African retirement annuity, contact FinGlobal today.