Last-minute Easter escapes: Where families can spring off to this April

04 April 2019

The two-week school holidays over Easter, which falls on 21 April this year, provide the highly tempting opportunity for families to escape for an impulsive last-minute getaway.

With the world your oyster, it can be tough to whittle down the options, but here at Travel Counsellors, we have selected a range of enticing destinations that will tick all the right boxes.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest and arguably the most well-known of all the Canaries, and with 70 kilometres of beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, tropical forests and volcanic landscapes, Tenerife more than warrants its reputation as one of Europe’s leading family-friendly destinations.

That family appeal is undoubtedly helped by its accessibility (with short flight times from 20 British airports), its amiable year-round temperatures and the fact that Tenerife is home to some of the finest natural beaches on any of the Canary Islands.

Costa Adeje is, traditionally, a family favourite with its chic boutique hotels and immaculately-combed beaches. It also has Siam Park, where water slides and adrenaline-rush rides form part of Tenerife’s biggest and best theme park adventure. Brave the Tower of Power’s 90-foot plummet, or opt for a more serene experience in a rubber dinghy ride down the snaking Mai Thai river.

Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for astro-tourism too, and you can embark on a stargazing adventure at the Teide National Park, with relatively clear nights ensuring a full sky of dazzling stars to marvel at.

“Tenerife is the ideal place for some short-haul sun. My family could sit back and enjoy as there was no time difference, which meant no jetlag or shifting sleep patterns for children.”

Jade, Travel Counsellor

Where to stay: Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Koh Samui, Thailand

Long-haul destinations have become increasingly attractive to Brits because they can cost a similar amount as a short-haul break in Europe and offer a curious break from the norm.

As a result, we’ve seen a growing amount of interest in Thailand, and Koh Samui, the country’s second largest island, is a destination rich with natural beauty. Its beaches are globally renowned for their fine white sands, alluring, crystal clear waters, coconut-bearing trees and peace and relaxation.

Some of our favourite beaches include Chaweng, Lamai, Bophut and Lipa Noi, all of which offer perfect isolation throughout the day with the chance to get your hair braided, enjoy a massage, chow down on barbecued food or get to know the locals. You’ll feel like you’re a world away from the densely-packed streets of Bangkok, let alone the everyday 9 to 5.

There’s more to Koh Samui than just chilling on a beach, of course, with plenty to explore like the colourful Buddhist temples of Wat Plai Laem and Wat Phra Yai, also known as the Big Buddha Temple. Adventurous types can hike up to Na Mueang Waterfall, while Koh Taen is a haven for snorkellers with a coral reef packed with plenty of fish.

Where to stay: Banyan Tree Samui, Six Senses Samui, Conrad Koh Samui

7 reasons why children will love Thailand

Dubai, UAE

Another awesome long-haul destination this Easter is Dubai. Its mix of theme parks, beaches, desert adventures and incredible food means there’s more than enough to keep the whole family happy, and with so much on offer, there’s no end to what your Travel Counsellors can pack into your Easter itinerary.

Discover the world of Bollywood and dance to some of the Indian film industry’s most famous tunes at Bollywood Parks - the world’s first Bollywood-themed amusement park – with live music performances and exhilarating rides such as the topsy-turvy 3D ride, Krrish: Hero’s Flight and the Dabangg stunt show.

You’ll forget you’re in a Dubai shopping mall as you stroll through The Green Planet’s tropical rainforest – home to a natural ecosystem filled with over 3,000 plants and animals from brightly-coloured toucans and elusive geckos to butterflies and even a porcupine. Elsewhere, there’s the OliOli interactive children’s museum, the sprawling Dubai Miracle Garden and even the chance to hit the slopes at Mall of the Emirates’ Ski Dubai.

As for where to stay, the opulent and contemporary Atlantis The Palm, Dubai is sure to satisfy with its amazing accommodation (like the jaw-dropping, three-storey underwater suite), delectable dining at 23 restaurants and family fun, with Dubai’s Aquaventure Waterpark, situated within the visually stunning confines of the Palm Islands.

Where to stay: Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Grosvenor House 

Read more: Our picks for a fabulous family break in Dubai

Saint Lucia, Caribbean

Blessed with palm-fringed beaches, beautiful bays and stunning waterfalls, Saint Lucia is perhaps one of the most idyllic places to get away this Easter.

Saint Lucia - the only island in the world with a drive-in volcano – isn’t limited to just relaxing beach holidays though. It offers bustling nightlife and beachside parties while the Pitons – a pair of 2,500-foot high volcanic plugs - are perfect for hiking around, with exotic plants and animals to spot as you go.

Couples will love Saint Lucia’s most romantic resort – Jade Mountain – with its grand, sweeping spaces, three-walled suites and infinity pools overlooking the Pitons. Those looking for a family getaway may prefer the all-inclusive Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, which features the island’s largest water park and the superb Cocoland kids club with its very own water feature and mini zip wire.

“The BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia delivered. We learned to salsa and jive together, enjoyed luxurious daily treatments and also learned Tai Chi. Yet we also did activities separately – self-defence, golf and sailing for him and archery, qigong and cooking classes for me. Healthy eating is really important to me and with fresh fish, vegetables and superfood smoothies in abundance, I was like a kid in a sweet shop.”

Jane, a Travel Counsellors customer

Where to stay: Coconut Bay Resort & Spa, The Landings Resort & Spa, Jade Mountain (adults only), BodyHoliday (adults only)

What else can you get up to in Saint Lucia?


We’ve talked about some relatively far-off regions in this article but we’re winding things up a little closer to home, in Cornwall, a lush and beautiful English region that proves you don’t necessarily need your passport to enjoy a memorable last-minute Easter getaway.

It’s one of our favourite staycations, thanks to its world-class beaches and wealth of great attractions. It has castles to explore (Pendennis, Caerhays, Restormel), scenic walks (St Ives Bay, Tintagel King Arthur Walk) as well as attractions to tire out the little ones (Eden Project, Pirate’s Quest in Newquay, Flambards theme park near Helston). Of course, there’s also the chance to get a quick snap by the famous Land’s End signpost – a timeless photo opportunity.

Where to stay: The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate, Scarlet Hotel, Polurrian Bay Hotel

Find out what else appeared in our list of favourite UK staycations


If you'd like to book your Easter getaway, contact your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.

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