Stress. We cannot stress enough how much we like to avoid stress. After all, we spend all day every day making your holidays as straight forward and stress-free as possible. The NHS (an organisation that knows a lot about being stressed) suggests doing the following things to help: mindfulness, exercise, calming breathing exercises, and (most importantly) taking a holiday. Never one to disobey doctor's orders, we've compiled a list of the best places where the whole family can go to de-stress after exams (because Lord knows how these things take a toll on the parents too, right?)…
The Verdura Resort, Sicily
There is something about being on an island (other than our own) that mentally makes it much easier to de-stress. Perhaps it's just simply knowing there's a whole ocean between you and your boss/teacher/mother-in-law, but we think being surrounded by the warm turquoise waters of the Mediterranean is oh-so soothing. A mere three hour plane ride away from the UK, Sicily provides the ultimate easy summer getaway, but is an island which boasts so much more than just balmy temperatures and gorgeous golden beaches. Engross the kids in some history outside of the confines of a classroom, and visit the fascinating Greek and Roman ruins, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Valley of the Temples. Stay at the Verdura Resort, which not only has a zen-worthy wellness spa, but provides plenty of activities such as golf, football and even hip hop dancing.
Exercise is proven to be a great stress-buster, and spending time in green spaces is meant to do wonders for one's mental health. With that in mind, there are few better places to head to than Ladakh in the north-east of India. Approximately 4,800 miles away from the UK, there's nothing quite like an entire change of scenery and culture to remove you wholly from the stresses of everyday life. Experience rural life first hand, as you stay in remote villages, meet local craftsmen and learn how to make delicious traditional recipes. Get your fresh air fix (we hear you, city dwellers) and blow those cobwebs away with some fantastic hiking routes and phenomenal views to boot. You heard us, doctor's orders!
The Peloponnese, Greece
Sporty sprogs? Show them the home of the Olympics with a trip to the ruins of ancient Olympia, where the Olympic torch is still lit for the modern games. Beyond Olympia, the Peloponnese is densely saturated with a vast array of other captivating cultural monuments. Get off the beaten track and go on a family hike to Kapsia Cave, a subterranean world made up of dramatic stalactites and stalagmites, with relics (and human bones, spookily) dating back as far as the fourth century, having been found in its many crevices. The Greek weather being what it is, you'll definitely want to mix up your exploring with some down time by the pool of your boutique hotel (of which we know the very best).
Southern California, USA
There's a reason Californians are so laid back and seemingly devoid of stress; maybe they're born with it, or maybe it's all the vitamin D. A road trip is a fantastic way to explore gorgeous Southern California at your own (leisurely, if you want to fit in with the locals) pace. California has something for everyone. For wildlife, head to Newport Beach for a spot of wonderful whale watching; venture out on a dinghy and see blue, fin, humpback, grey and minke whales. If relaxing in the lap of luxury is more your vibe, head over to Palm Springs - known for its mid-century modern architecture, hot springs and achingly luxurious hotels. Feeling adventurous? Go for a hike in the Torrey Pines State Reserve, which is easy enough for children to do, and will treat you to 2,000 acres of splendid coastal views.
Carlisle Bay, Antigua
Another word that is synonymous with 'relax', has to be 'Caribbean'. To truly spoil your little darlings (and yourself in the process) after months of exam prep, take them to Antigua for the ultimate family chill-out trip. The super chic Carlisle Bay resort sits perfectly on an unspoilt strip of splendid sandy coastline. The resort offers a wide range of watersports, such as windsurfing and sailing, which are popular in Antigua due to the reliable breeze. There is also kayaking, trips to nearby reefs and snorkelling (a must, as the waters are bath-warm and you can see a rainbow of colourful fish). If thinking about all that has worked up your appetite, fear not, because two of Antigua's best restaurants belong to the resort. Play, relax, explore, eat, repeat…
If you want help booking an unforgettable family holiday, get in touch with us via the enquiries page.