If you've always wanted to take the kids to a far-flung corner of the globe and back, now's the time to do it. One good thing in these recessionary times is the fact that the cost of long-haul travel and holidays has fallen to an all-time low: many prices have been cut by more than 30 per cent, so there's some exceptional value to be found at the moment.
Even if you're the kind of stay-at-home parent who baulks at the thought of lugging your little darlings further than the back garden, current deals may well have you thinking again. I'm talking a fortnight in Orlando, Florida, for £299 per person, week-long packages in Barbados for less than £600, and, quite amazingly, flights for £399 to Perth, Australia, with Singapore Airlines. All available through Trailfinders (0845 058 5858; trailfinders.com).
And many of these cut-price family adventures are being offered by companies that take responsible travel seriously. For example, a safari in Zambia – for that holiday experience of a lifetime – has just had £4,000 shaved off its price, amounting to a saving of around 40 per cent, by Imagine Africa (020-7622 5114; imagineafrica.co.uk).
This seven-night all-inclusive safari at the newly refurbished Royal Zambezi Lodge, a five-star luxury pad on the Zambezi River, costs just over £6,000 for a family of four between July and September.
Stay in luxury thatched tents, banquet under the stars and take the kids on fishing trips, when you're not out spotting the big five. Prices include return flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals and safari activities.
Families Worldwide (0845 051 4567; familiesworldwide. co. uk), which prides itself on its commitment to responsible tourism as well as coming up with fantastic child-friendly itineraries, is offering a discounted 10-day guided adventure in Thailand, taking in the River Kwai and staying with hill tribes. Travel on 15 August to benefit from fares that have been reduced by more than 25 per cent, bringing them down to about £1,000 per person, including return flights with Gulf Air, accommodation and meals.
Highlights of the trip include a child-friendly city tour of Bangkok, trekking and white-water rafting in the jungles of Chiang Mai, and plenty of beach time, too.
And if you've always wanted to take your little wonders to see the Grand Canyon, you may be tempted by a family adventure in the Arizona desert offered by BA Holidays (0844 493 0758; ba.com). It's making the most of reduced flight prices by offering a family holiday in Arizona for £432 per person, staying in the Hospitality Suite Resort in Scottsdale during the last week of August, including return flights, six nights' B&B and car hire.
For long-haul family holidays, we've never had it so good. Bag a bargain before it's too late.