With one of the Caribbean’s most unforgettable white-sand beaches, an average yearly temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and waters teeming sea turtles, dolphins and fish, Turks & Caicos need to be at the top of families’ lists for spring break destinations. It’s also a quick three-hour flight from most spots on the East Coast — and two properties on the island have it all.
The Shore Club opened in January 2017 and is the only resort on Long Beach Bay; last year, they debuted four six-bedroom villas perfect for one large family or two smaller ones to spread out. Each villa has a full kitchen, private plunge pool, butler service and access to amenities including complimentary water sports, four pools, complimentary bikes and water sports equipment, two bars and three restaurants featuring Peruvian/Japanese fusion, Caribbean dishes and elevated local cuisine.
Its kids’ club, The Jungle Jam, located on a narrow, tree-lined trail, has a quirky treehouse-inspired vibe and a bevy of activities for curious kids. The Youth Nature Awareness Program lets kids go on a bird watching expedition and take part in science experiments. During the Beach Adventure or Eco Trail of the Critter Safari, they identify various indigenous reptiles, birds, butterflies, hermit crabs and snakes. Sand sculpting lessons on the beach lets them perfect their perfect sand castle or animal sculpture, while Oven to Tummy is a chance to create theme-based snacks and meals to share with family and friends.
What’s more, the resort has a complimentary shuttle to and from sister property The Palms on Grace Bay Beach, one of the Caribbean’s longest and most beautiful beaches. With a 25,000-square-foot spa, serpentine infinity pool with swim-up bar, dining options ranging from casual, family-friendly 72o West to elevated land and sea favorites at Parallel23 and access to nearby shops and nightlife, The Palms offers the best of Turks & Caicos. Seventy-two suites are outfitted with one, two or three bedrooms with full living areas, kitchens, laundry facilities and terraces. Amenities include free lessons in paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkeling as well as instructions on sailing with the Hobie Cats Waves. The Conch Kritters Club has half- and full-day activities with a clubhouse, beach toys and floats.
All of this translates to double the fun and double the sun on one of the prettiest islands!
Zermatt’s colorful ski boutique-lined Bahnhofstrasse, stylish apartment-style lodgings of every description and views of the Matterhorn from every angle make up one of Europe’s most family-friendly destinations — and it certainly does not hurt that it is proclaimed the “world’s best ski resort” by organizations like SnowOnline.com year after year. During the warmer months, meanwhile, you will see many family groups with kids strolling the shopping streets (sometimes alongside a herd of about 50 free-range Valais Blackneck goats around 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.), enjoying fondue and pizza at nearby cafés, and taking advantage of the many hiking and bike trails.
In a recent survey by Orbitz, 63 percent of millennial travelers said the hotel amenity they'd like to see more of is plants in hotel rooms. The same number said they seek plant-filled spaces and activities on vacation, including parks and botanical gardens.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.
Downton Abbey swept into family rooms and show-binging homes back in 2010 and is now resurfacing with a new story — this time on film! For Downton Abbey enthusiasts, this is a highly-anticipated event; for newcomers, this is a great chance to binge the show ahead of the film’s release; and for families looking for any excuse to get away, this is the time to take advantage of CIE Tours lineup of Downton Abbey-themed stops.