Top 10 Family Beach Getaways

Myrtle Beach, USA

At times we at Travel Indicator like to work our way through our own database to see what kind of suggestions we are actually serving up to our users. Today we looked at the best family-oriented beach destinations by searching for any and all destinations that score at least 60% on both the "family-friendly" and "beach and seaside" attribute.

So what exactly are family-friendly beach getaways? Well, perhaps that is best answered by explaining what we have classified as non-family friendly beach destinations. Party hotspots for the teenage crowds, honeymoon resorts, big cities in underdeveloped countries that happen to have beaches, etcetera. These are definitely not what we want to look at today. What does show up are 92 locations, of which we reckon the following are the best:

10. Noumea, New Caledonia

It is no secret that the French know how to do beach holidays with the family well in Metropolitan France. That is just one of the many things this French overseas territory has taken from it. What we wrote before: "Nouméa has a chic and cosmopolitan feel to it. That is probably partly to do with its French background as well as how it is situated: it lies in between beautiful bays and is overseen by mountain ranges. Another thing that should come as no surprise is that the restaurants and food here is generally of a high quality."

9. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland in New Zealand may be one of the most versatile cities in the world. As we wrote before: "The city offers a combination of scenic natural playgrounds in all shapes and forms (turquoise waters, beach islands, volcanoes, rainforests..) outside of the city, and multicultural big city sophistication inside of its boundaries. Add a sunny climate added into the mix and this is basically the perfect holiday destination."

8. Aruba

Aruba is not your typical Caribbean island as its landscape has some desert like characteristics. That creates some very interesting sights including goats, iguanas and donkeys. At the coast you will find limestone cliffs and white sand beaches. The children can play in the water will mum and dad sip on a cocktail, what's not to like?

7. Bintan Island, Indonesia

Bintan is where Singaporean families head for a quick weekend break away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Most will head to the north side of the island where you have resorts like Club Med catering to your every need. The rest of the island is more back to basics. If you head to one of the resorts, we guarantee your kids will be entertained by the vast amount of activities organised for them.

6. Mar del Plata, Argentina

Mar del Plata is where the residents of Buenos Aires head in summer to spend time with their families at the beach. The Playa Grande is the most family friendly of them all, though be warned that it gets extremely full in summer!

5. Skopelos, Greece

Sometimes, when picking a summer beach destination in Europe, you need to look at where the package deal crowds are going, and then head in exactly the opposite direction. Greek island tend to be quite similar in terms of natural beauty and cultural backdrop, but a beach holiday between mostly Greeks and mostly northern European crowds leads to two different experiences entirely! Skopelos is popular with Greek families, and that says enough. Besides beaches, the island offers pine forests, high cliffs and many churches and monasteries to explore. This is an excellent place to take your family.

4. Viareggio, Italy

If you want to party the night away after hitting the beach, you would be better off heading to a place like Rimini. Viareggio is a more upscale and family-friendly kind of place. The beaches are long and of good quality, and behind them runs the promenade where you and the family can grab a bite to eat or have a drink after a long day of baking in the sun. Next to town lies a forest where you can go biking or hiking.

3. Domburg, the Netherlands

This is one of our personal favorites and a bit of a hidden treasure (unless you ask coast-bound Dutch and German people in the know!). Domburg lies in the southern Zeeland province of the Netherlands, and at about 2 hours from Schiphol airport. It is a charming old resort town that attracts families, with beaches that must be some of the best in this part of Europe. On a warm summer day, trust us, you wouldn't want to be any other place. As we wrote before: "Expect fine sand, good swimming conditions and clean beaches. The town itself - though very small with about 1500 inhabitants - has good bakeries, café's and restaurants aplenty. (...) Smaller towns around like Oost- and Westkapelle or Veere also offer some interesting sights and places to eat or drink. If you are feeling particularly Dutch, make your way to some of the other towns by bike."

2. Myrtle Beach, USA

Myrtle Beach offers a beach holiday in the American way. The beaches are the obvious place to spend time at, but there is also a place called Broadway at the Beach, an enormous entertainment venue where you will find everything ranging from bars, shops, restaurants to water parks. You and your entire family will be entertained here.

1. Crete, Greece

For Greek holiday islands, Crete is pretty much what they all aspire to be. Sun, sea and great beaches are a given, but the amount of fantastic nature (steep and rugged mountain areas, gorges and a very diverse flora and fauna plus scenery that includes olive groves and vineyards) and culture on show make this an unforgettable place to take your family. Some days, mum and dad may want to head out to explore an archaeological site, while the kids play in the water at the beach. In the evening you can all meet up for a great meal.

New Feature - Destination Price Rankings

Hi all,

Just checking in to let you know that we have added a small new feature to the site that we thought might be of use to some of you: price rankings for all destinations per continent. This feature allows you to quickly get a rough idea of a visit to which locations comes at a premium, and which are relatively cheaper than others to visit.

Of course there were ways to get this information out of Travel Indicator before we added this functionality, but we still thought it would be handy to have an overview - that is live updated on daily basis - in one place.

We are not done with adding new features yet. What about the ability to check out a travel destination and get suggestions for similar destinations (nearby) that are cheaper? We are working on that. Till later!

Improvements To Estimated Flight And Total Cost

Hi all, we were aware of the fact that until now the estimated cost of flight prices was not all that accurate. It is and remains an estimate, so some deviation from actual prices is to be expected, after all the pricing models of carriers are intransparant and it is hard to predict whether a budget airline will fly on a certain route. Just to name some issues.

Having said that, we do want the figures we show to be useful. If for instance we quote an expected ticket price of $500 and it ends up being $550, we would be content with that. What matters is that it wasn't $800, if you get our point. Fortunately we get plenty of data in that allows us to make a better estimate of these prices. We have run a regression analysis on these and added our findings into the website. When comparing it with actual quotes of airlines and the estimate of Rome2rio we have come nearer to what it should be.

Note that this does not just affect the ticket prices (which are now quoted at the bottom of each search result), it also affects the budget categories (such as this one) where we actually combine the live calculated average hotel prices of locations with an estimated return fare, giving you a complete picture of how much a weekend stay in that place would cost you right now.

Expanding Coverage And Why You Should Register An Account

Travel Indicator is rapidly expanding its coverage, and we are now nearing 450 travel destinations. One of the goals we target when building our database of destinations is to achieve good or near-perfect coverage of all major holiday destinations, while at the same time adding in many smaller or lesser known cities and regions as well to keep things surprising and interesting for you.

So while in France most attention will be given to cities like Paris or Marseille, we will add plenty of small towns like Gordes or Briançon in as well. You know how the internet is stuffed with lists like "the top x places to visit in y"? You can see Travel Indicator as your dynamic source of such lists. Destinations can be explored by themes, presets or tags* or simply by exploring them all at once and filtering them down from there.

Why you should consider registering

The main benefit of registering is to be able to store locations. In your location results and destination pages you are able to store locations as "should see", "might see" or "should see". In your "My TI" section, you are then able to refer to all locations you have previously stored. In addition to that, you are able to create itineraries ("Summer vacation 2015") and allocate locations to that.

An additional benefit of this is that we keep track of, and show you, how expensive or cheap hotel stays in locations are at the moment. This can look something like the following, where a user has stored a number of must-see locations, and the red and green bullets indicate whether that location is currently (exactly 2 weeks from today) cheap or expensive to book a hotel in.

overview of saved travel locations

*Difference between themes, presets and tags

Themes

The difference between themes, presets and tags may be slightly confusing. At Travel Indicator we let users vote on 23 attributes for each location, for instance on whether a location has beaches or whether it is adventurous. Based on this we deduce themes. The theme Beach and seaside gives you an overview of all locations where the score for beaches is fairly high, say 50%-60%. If you were to go to the regular search and only set the filter for beaches to 50% and higher, you would get pretty much the same results.

Presets

Presets are essentially combinations of themes. A preset like Romantic city trips shows you all locations that score high on "Urban" and "Romance".

Tags

Finally, tags are a different beast altogether. These can range from Diving and snorkeling to Awe inspiring nature and are more of a freestyle labeling of whatever 5 tags we think are most relevent to a location.

Trip Duration And City-to-city Travel Cost

Two new features and better presentation of some existing ones have been added to Travelindicator.

The first new feature is travel cost. We have established a link with Rome2Rio to give you an indicative city-to-city (or practically door to door, if you wish) price next to each location. On the left side you see an example of how this looks for one location (Amsterdam). The left indicator shows the average hotel rate for 2 weeks from now, while the left shows you the return fare to and from your base location (Glasgow, Scotland in this case). Clicking the link gives you a breakdown of the €220 fare, which in this case consists of €14 for trains in Scotland, €200 for a return flight Glasgow-Amsterdam, and €6 for trains in Amsterdam.

Under the return fare indicator we show you some extra info; the fare for a single trip as well a the indicative fare for a return trip and stay of 2 nights based on average hotel rates. Note that flight fare information is not necessarily live but is indicative based on Rome2Rio's algorithms as described here.

In a similar vein, we now show you the duration of travelling from A to B, again calculated by Rome2Rio. The 4.3 hours breaks down to 23 minutes by train in Scotland, 16 minutes in Amsterdam, 1:30 hours by plane and the remainder (roughly 2.5 hours) taken up on both airports.

Pretty useful stuff, we thought. To make the location dashboard complete, we have improved the presentation of whether a location's hotels are currently (i.e. for bookings 2 weeks from now) discounted or at a premium, and what the expected weather (maximum temperature ranges) is like.

Happy indicating!