Your questions answered by our panel of travel experts

Holidays with young kids

Any ideas for holidays with children aged two and four, with plenty for the latter to do?

Sara Smith


Pioneer of the children's clubs, Thomson Holidays in its Superfamily programme (tel: 0990 143503) offers several hours of activities every day along with Disney type "characters", supervised meals, some evening entertaining and babysitting in its free "Little T" clubs for the three to seven year olds (Big T clubs for eight to twelves). These are run by qualified nurses, nannies and teachers in Spain, the Balearic Islands, the Canaries, Algarve, Cyprus and Greece.

This year there is no club for under-threes, but on each holiday a "Tiny T" play area is provided for them with toys and Wendy Houses - but parents are required to supervise themselves.

If you want a Superfamily holiday for this year, you may not get your first choice destination, but there are pockets of availability particularly in the Algarve and Tenerife. More or less a suburb of Albufeira, Sao Jao isn't the most picturesque resort on the Algarve. But it does have an excellent sandy beach, low prices, and safe, relaxed, friendly and courteous Portuguese lifestyle. A week's self-catering holiday in a one-bedroom apartment at the Vilanova Villas, with two adults and two children under 17 costs a total of pounds 1100 including flights.

A self-catering week at the Atlanta apartments in Tenerife's Los Cristianos, the slightly quieter neighbour of raucous Playa de las Americas, costs pounds 1073 for a family of four one the same dates. And if you're determined to squeeze into Mallorca, you could spend a week's half-board at the Continental Park Hotel in lively Alcudia where there's a nine-mile beach, waterpark and a nature reserve nearby. The cost of pounds 1277 for a family of two adults and two children up to 12.

For next year, under a new scheme, creches are to be provided in Superfamily hotels for the under threes in May, June, September and October. NNEB and NVQ qualified staff will look after children aged between six months and a year for morning and afternoon sessions costing pounds 10 each. Good news for parents too in Skytours programme; next year, there will be a free child place guaranteed for every family booking a holiday, providing the child is under 16 and sharing with two full-fare paying adults.

On rather more expensive holidays in Sardinia, Corsica, Greece and Turkey, Club Mark Warner (0171 761 7200) runs free children's clubs for kids from two upwards. The Toddlers Club operates with a ratio of one nanny to three children and the Mini Club for three to six-year-olds. For adults the emphasis is on watersports. A two-week family holiday for four costs about pounds 2500.

Family holiday specialist Sun Esprit (01252 616789) arranges supervision and activities for children of all ages on its Alpine holidays in Morzine and Chamonix in the Haute Savoie. The nursery staffed by British nannies for children aged between four months and three years costs pounds 63 for three full days a week, operating between 9.30 am until 5 pm. The Alpine Club for four to six- year-olds with picnics, treasure hunts and nature trails also operates three days - both clubs costing pounds 63 a week.

In Morzine where the holidays are based at the Pension Les Gourmets, adults pay between pounds 460 and pounds 550 for two weeks, children under two pay approx pounds 120, and children under 18 get a 50 per cent reduction. These prices are for a self-drive holiday and include the Channel crossing for car, four meals each week and barbecues with wine and three nights' babysitting.

Jill Crawshaw is a travel expert, writer and broadcaster.

Trouble over visas

I am a schoolteacher in charge of arranging tours for pupils overseas. We decided recently to arrange a tour of Egypt for pupils from my school and from schools in France and Germany. For price reasons, all holidays were booked through a UK travel agent. It now seems that some of the students need visas. We are two weeks away from departure and there may not be time to arrange visas. Do I have a claim against the travel agents?

Robert Flint


Ian Skuse replies: Regulation 7 of the Package Travel Regulations 1992 made it compulsory for the travel company to pass on information about passport and visa requirements to those buying package holidays, including information about the length of time it is likely to take to obtain visas. The organiser of the holiday is under an obligation to give this information but only in respect of United Kingdom nationals and it is a criminal offence if the information is not given, or given incorrectly. The information will however be confined to UK passport holders.

From 1 October 1998, laws will make travel agents liable for providing visa advice to all European Nationals and accordingly visa requirements for those from any of the 15 member states are entitled to have this advice where holidays are booked in the United Kingdom.

Leaving aside the Package Travel Regulations you have a good claim against the travel agent for negligently dealing with this matter. After all, you prepared a carefully written schedule setting out each pupils' nationality and passport details. You relied upon the travel agent's expertise. If they got it wrong, then they have been negligent and any pupil unable to travel is entitled to bring a claim for compensation.

Ian Skuse is the senior litigation partner with Piper Smith & Basham, which has specialised in advising the travel industry for over 20 years (tel: 0171 828 8685).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before