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Top 10 Family Holidays for Keeping Teacher Happy

The 10 family holidays that are so steeped in educational value that even the meanest headteacher wouldn’t think twice about letting your holiday over-run into term time by a day or two.

Galápagos on Land and Sea 

Where? The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Why? This is the ideal way to introduce children to the evolutionary treasure chest of the Galápagos Islands. Your mini-Darwins will be captivated by close encounters with seals, seabirds and iguanas during a four-day voyage on the MV Santa Cruz (with its family cabins, glass-bottomed boat and children’s meals), while three days at Finch Bay Hotel on Santa Cruz island provides beach time and activities like kayaking and mountain biking.
Contact Journey Latin America

The Icelandic Way
Where? Iceland
Why? A fascinating realm of brooding volcanoes, smouldering lava flows, bubbling mud pits, crashing waterfalls, vast ice caps (and even the odd troll if you look hard), Iceland provides the ultimate lesson in geology. Kids will be blown away by the amazing landscapes (not to mention the occasional whiff of sulphur) as they explore by horseback, superjeep, snowmobile and whitewater raft.
Contact Discover the World

Nile Explorer
Where? Egypt
Why? This is one history lesson they’ll never forget: pyramids, mummies, tombs, the Sphinx, Tutankhamen and the thrill of discovering Ancient Egypt’s treasures on a three-day cruise down the Nile.
Contact Cox and Kings

China Family Trekking Tour
Where? China
Why? From Great Wall hiking to Kung Fu fighting, this comprehensive 15-day family odyssey provides an unforgettable insight into one of the world’s most fascinating countries. Kids will stand in awe of the stony-faced Terracotta Army at Xian and the towering rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone near Longji.
Contact Explore

Beyond Paddington
Where? Peru
Why? Visit the lost city of Machu Picchu, cycle through the Sacred Valley, discover the legacy of the conquistadores in Cusco and explore the Amazon by canoe or canopy walkway to learn about rainforest conservation and local communities. A superb 12-day introduction to Latin America.
Contact Journey Latin America

Bush Bonanza
Where? Namibia
Why? This 15-day self-drive safari takes in a varied slice of Africa, including the rugged mountains and deserts of Damaraland, the wildlife hotspot of Etosha and the fascinating culture and traditions of Bushmanland.
Contact Expert Africa

Kenai Peninsula Family Adventure
Where? Alaska
Why? Cruise the magnificent Kenai Fjords learning about humpback whale migration; hike to the top of Exit Glacier to witness the impact of global warming and cycle the Seward Scenic Byway for a vivid insight into the gold rush days.
Contact Austin Lehman

Kenyan Family Adventure 
Where? Kenya
Why? Staying in family-friendly lodges and using a private vehicle so you can take things at your own pace, a tailormade family safari to Kenya can include visits to the giraffe and elephant sanctuaries in Nairobi, as well as excellent children’s activity programmes in the Masai Mara and Samburu National Park.
Contact Aardvark Safaris

Taj & Tigers
Where? India
Why? Children will feel like they’re stepping into the pages of The Jungle Book as they explore Ranthambhore National Park on this 11-day Indian journey which includes a visit to Agra and the Taj Mahal.
Contact Families Worldwide

Good Morning Vietnam!
Where? Vietnam
Why? This easy-going 15-day family adventure (minimum age five) provides an eye-opener to one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating countries. As well as venturing by boat into Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta, there are markets to explore and (for those with more time) an optional excursion to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
Contact The Adventure Company

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When they’re bored of biology, take them to… the Galápagos Islands

The wildlife on these islands has not only evolved along peculiar lines, but it is also largely unfazed by humans, making this a unique and exciting (but pricey) opportunity for children to learn about ecology, evolution and conservation.

Gold-star sights Can you imagine how thrilled your children would be to get up-close and personal with prehistoric-looking iguanas that snort salt water from their nostrils? Or to watch the wacky courtship dance of blue-footed boobies? Or to swim with playful sea lions? Several boats in the Galápagos offer family departures featuring children’s activities. Seymour island offers the perfect introduction to Galápagos wildlife, with everything from marine iguanas and sea lions to lava gulls and pelicans. Española, meanwhile, is famed for its waved albatrosses (March-December) and Santiago has tidal pools squirming with fur seals.

Do your homework
• If your children are under five, stay on Santa Cruz and take daytrips to islands.
• The water is warmer for snorkelling January-April.
• Boat landings can involve wading to a sandy beach or stepping on to rocks.

Book a trip
Journey Latin America offers a four-day voyage on the MV Santa Cruz (with family cabins, glass-bottomed boat and children’s meals), plus three days at Finch Bay Hotel on Santa Cruz, from £4808 for two adults and a child (aged under six), sharing a family cabin/room, including accommodation, all meals, excursions, and land transport.