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Family Travel: Plan your best holiday ever with the kids

Welcome to Family Travel Expert, packed full of inspiration and ideas for family vacations worldwide. From bucket-and-spade to epic escapade, you'll find it right here! This website is all about showing your children just how amazing the world is, and seeing their faces light up at things you might otherwise have taken for granted.

If you simply want to learn about the best family vacation destinations, check out our family holiday ideas where you'll find useful tips and advice on everywhere from Spain to the Seychelles.

Feeling adventurous? There are plenty of family adventure travel opportunities to get your pulse racing. How about husky sledging in Lapland (take a look at the three-minute video below). Or perhaps you've set your sights on Africa's Big Five – there are lots of family safaris available, including malaria-free options.

If relaxation and great kids' activities are called for, delve into our reviews of family beach vacations; for a spot of culture, try family city breaks.

You'll also find loads of ideas for things to do with kids on holiday, from building the perfect sandcastle to learning how to snorkel or paddle a sea kayak. If it's practical advice you're after, family travel tips covers everything from flying to fussy feeders. Our Q&A section offers more tips and advice, and you can also ask your own question or leave a family travel recommendation for other visitors.

Happy travels!

Family Travel Expert... Meet the editor

Take your kids travelling! Take them now! You'll never find a better, more rewarding opportunity to enrich their lives, minds and souls – or yours – than during a family holiday. It doesn't matter whether you plan a daytrip to the beach or a fortnight's family cruise. From family safaris to Disney vacations, family holidays create the kind of memories that will live with you long after your children have grown up.

They provide quality time away from the rush and stress of everyday life; they're precious hard-earned and over all too quickly.

So, how do you get family holidays right?

As a travel writer, guidebook author and photographer, I've been lucky enough to travel all over the world with our twins, Joe and Ellie. In this website, we'll share our holiday experiences (good and bad!) and hopefully give you some ideas for your own great family vacations.

>> Voted one of the UK's top five travel writers, William Gray has been writing articles and books for over 20 years, including the award-winning Travel with Kids and Cornwall with Kids.

Family Travel Expert recommends... Husky Sledging in Lapland

Don't worry if the closest you've come to dog sledging is grappling with a trolley down the frozen foods section of your local supermarket. This three-day family adventure in Swedish Lapland will get you and your pack up and mushing in no time. We tried it earlier this year and it's not only great fun learning how to control the sledges, but your children will love looking after the friendly huskies, sleeping in a wilderness cabin and trying out other activities like snowmobiling and ice fishing. And, of course, the BIG added bonus is that you may well see the northern lights. Don't miss the opportunity to spend a night in the nearby ICEHOTEL and don't forget that Discover the World offer direct flights from London to Lapland as part of this new package.

>> Family Husky Adventure

Photo crop (ripped edge A)

This was fun! Husky sledging and watching the northern lights in Lapland. Click here to find out more.

Family Travel Expert on... The Joys of Flying with Children

If there's one thing guaranteed to fill new parents with dread, it's the prospect of flying with young children. Our twins are 11 now, but I look back on our first attempts to get them airborne with a mixture of fond nostalgia and intense relief that those days are past.

We had our fair share of toddler-induced turbulence - like the time when outraged, four-year-old Ellie doused an Air New Zealand jumbo in yoghurt (silly Daddy - you should have realised she wanted to peel the lid off herself) or the flight - I forget where - when Joe thought the businessman sitting next to us was playing peek-a-boo behind his Financial Times and proceeded to shred the newspaper with his Bob the Builder digger.

Fraught moments mopping up cauliflower cheese vomit from fold-down trays, retrieving detachable headrest covers that have been tossed three rows behind you, telling them to stop pressing the hostess call button for the umpteenth time, performing advanced yoga to find a crayon that has rolled under the seat, the squabbles over who's going to help push the airport trolley, changing a nappy in a toilet the size of a small wardrobe... I can laugh about it now - probably because Joe and Ellie have reached an age where they are actually a pleasure to fly with.

I've just landed in Toronto, an eight-hour flight from London. I'm travelling on my own and I have to confess that I missed the twins' innocent sense of wonder in all-things long haul. They've almost become an essential part of my in-flight entertainment.

There was no animated discussion on whether we'd get an Airbus or a 747. No clucking sounds of admiration as our luggage sent the weight counter at check-in whirring to excessively dizzy levels. Missing, too, was the pilgrimage to WHSmith to buy sweets and a comic, and there was no larking about on the moving walkways, impersonating Usain Bolt.

It always makes me smile when I watch our two nest on the plane - disgorging their daypacks of cuddly toys, sweets, books, DS etc. Next in this ritual comes the obligatory fiddling with earphone cables and seatback TV controls and the race through the inflight mag to find out what big movie is being shown. Without fail, Ellie will always remove the safety card and point, grimacing theatrically, to the picture of the plane floating in the sea.

When I fly on my own I rarely, if ever, smile during takeoff. But 10-year-olds, of course, relish the sense of speed (a bumpy landing is also cause for mirth). They also have an astonishing capacity to eagerly anticipate airline food. Those plastic trays with their neat little packages and hidden 'goodies' really are the Christmas stockings of long-haul flights.Perhaps the thing I miss most about flying without our kids, though, is sharing the views. I guess we're all kids, wide-eyed with wonder, when we're cloud gazing or staring down at Planet Earth from 38,000ft.

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JOE'S JOURNEYS

Click on the thumbnails above to discover some of our favourite family travel destinations.