Family-friendly zipline canopy tour in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Family-friendly zipline canopy tour in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Zipping through the trees east of Chiang Mai may not be the most authentically Thai experience, but it was fantastic fun. Flight of the Gibbon lived up to the excellent reviews and Lonely Planet recommendations online and proved a superb family attraction. We and others in our eight-strong group agreed that at 4198 TBH each (around £100), it was one of the most expensive activities we were likely to do in Thailand, but the standards of transport, safety and food…

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Family cycle ride around Chiang Mai, Thailand

Family cycle ride around Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Breaking a chunk of sticky rice from the centre of a peeled back cylinder of bamboo, I acknowledged the value of guided tours.   Whilst moving at your own pace haphazardly discovering what is around the next corner is my usual preference, it is nice to hand over the responsibility of choosing where to stop and where to go next once in a while. And more than that, the benefit of a local guide can mean going to…

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Three days in Los Angeles was more than enough

Three days in Los Angeles was more than enough

It’s fair to say that like many before us we were dazzled by the bright lights of LA, but not in the Hollywood flashbulbs sense – in the seven lanes of car brake lights everywhere we looked sense. On every road, on every journey, wherever we went, those red twinkles haunted and stalled us. The traffic, the huge massive weight of it and the tediously slow progress it meant for every trip, at all times of day, will always be…

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Las Vegas proved a worthy destination for a family on a budget

Las Vegas proved a worthy destination for a family on a budget

It’s difficult to think of two more different places than Yosemite National Park and Las Vegas. The first being all about conservation and protection of natural wonder and the latter devoted to hedonistic, man-made indulgence. Yet for many, as for us, they become obvious partners as part of a well-worn road trip route. We leapt from sleeping in a tent at Crane Flat campground in Yosemite, with nothing by way of facilities except for some dodgy toilets and a standpipe…

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The Grand Canyon gave us goosebumps in more than one way!

The Grand Canyon gave us goosebumps in more than one way!

One thing I didn’t really believe I would get from the Grand Canyon was goosebumps – well not due to the temperature anyway. We visited in September after researching the best time to go and, with what I would assume were relatively few other visitors and daytime temperatures in the mid 20s, we were pleased with our choice. It did mean early mornings and overnights were anything but what you might immediately think of as desert like. We experienced an…

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Thank you, Yosemite National Park – a vast thing of beauty at every turn

Thank you, Yosemite National Park – a vast thing of beauty at every turn

“Warning: Mountain Lion area,” read the black and white poster in the dingy, smelly toilets that were the only nod to civilisation at our campground in Yosemite National Park. Already, on entering Crane Flat, we’d been warned by a ranger that bears had been spotted within the campsite that day and extreme vigilence was necessary to prevent attracting one to our tent. All food and fragranced items had to be stored in the bear locker provided. The metal trunk was…

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Our Golden highlights from three days in San Francisco

Our Golden highlights from three days in San Francisco

Cycling from Fisherman’s Wharf to Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge and a visit to Alcatraz were my highlights of San Francisco. For my seven-year-old son the massage chair and Etch-A-Sketch in the reception area of our characterful accommodation, the couple of hours spent playing with local kids zooming down a concrete slide on a piece of cardboard, and getting a pesky wobbly tooth knocked out during a game of rugby with an American family were also up there. Three days in…

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Kids CAN enjoy long walks and other lessons in Snowdonia

Kids CAN enjoy long walks and other lessons in Snowdonia

If there’s one afternoon that sums up our Real Family Holiday (RFH) at Rhyd-y-Creuau, in Snowdonia, North Wales, it’s the led three-hour hill walk we enjoyed with half a dozen initially reluctant children. Barring one seven-year-old, who had two days earlier impressively fulfilled an ambition by climbing (very nearly) to the top of Snowdon, I don’t think any of the other children were unusual in not being very keen to take on a long walk. Yet at the end, having…

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Stunning location, great activities at Real Family Holidays’ Yorkshire Dales centre

Stunning location, great activities at Real Family Holidays’ Yorkshire Dales centre

Of the five Real Family Holidays locations we’d visited so far, the approach to Malham Tarn Field Studies Cente was certainly the most dramatic and, arguably, most beautiful. The 30 miles or so from the M6 to the centre, which overlooks Malham Tarn (a lake formed in the last ice age 12,000 years ago), is occasionally undulating, mostly green and dotted with rock formations. But it’s the six miles between Settle and the centre which really grabs your attention –…

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Five reasons to avoid Real Family Holidays…by an advocate of them

Five reasons to avoid Real Family Holidays…by an advocate of them

We’ve spent the summer with Real Family Holidays and we’re now passionate advocates of these family breaks with a difference. The truth is, though, that as much as we know we’ll be booking again, these trips aren’t for everyone. Here’s a few reasons you’d be best to avoid them. 1. If you can’t bear the thought of sleeping in a bunk bed. Your room at Real Family Holidays (RFH) really is just a place to lay your head. The rooms…

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