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Top 5 Sunny Winter Destinations for a Family Holiday

As the holidays draw to a close and schools reopen, reality sets in. The best way to handle this transition is to plan your next holiday! If you’re like me and love the sun, especially during the gloomy Dutch winters, you’re probably thinking of booking a sunny holiday with your kids for the upcoming winter. But where should you go? Here are my top 5 sunny destinations for a winter holiday with kids:

1. Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are always a great choice! With temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius all year round, these seven islands offer a warm escape from the winter chill. Formed from a volcanic eruption 18 million years ago, La Palma, El Hierro, Lanzarote, and Tenerife are still volcanically active. The Canary Islands are conveniently close to the Netherlands, just a 4.5-hour flight away, making the journey manageable even for kids (or adults) who dislike flying. The small time difference means no jet lag, and there’s no need for travel vaccinations. If you haven’t booked yet, you might want to ask yourself why. For us, the Canary Islands are a perfect destination for a family holiday.

2. Cape Verde

Cape Verde is a rapidly growing destination for sun and sea holidays. Comprising nine islands off the coast of West Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde boasts temperatures never lower than 25 degrees Celsius, making it an excellent destination for sun lovers. The flight to Cape Verde is slightly longer than to the Canary Islands, about 7 hours, with a time difference of 2-3 hours. However, the slightly longer journey rewards you with beautiful beaches and a stunning blue sea!

3. United Arab Emirates: A Sunny Holiday Destination

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), nestled in Asia near Oman and Saudi Arabia, is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaywayn, Ras al-Khaimah, and Fujairah. Dubai, in particular, is a popular tourist destination, with numerous affordable holiday packages available online.

The UAE’s climate is predominantly warm, ranging from mild in winter to extremely hot in summer, with little rainfall and abundant sunshine. The sea temperature can exceed 30 degrees Celsius in summer. While the summer heat may be intense, the UAE is an excellent winter destination for a sunny holiday with kids. The flight duration from the Netherlands is approximately 6:30 hours.

Dubai is renowned for its luxurious hotels and resorts, equipped with all the amenities for a perfect family holiday. Food enthusiasts will also find a plethora of dining options. Check out where to dine in Dubai. There are also numerous family-friendly hotels in Dubai. Remember to consult health services for recommended vaccinations for the UAE.

4. Florida: The Perfect Family Getaway

Florida, a must-visit destination in the USA, is perfect for a sunny family holiday in winter. Particularly appealing to older kids, Florida is home to numerous theme parks, including Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. But there’s more to Florida than just theme parks. It also boasts white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, vibrant cities, and stunning natural beauty.

The flight duration from Europe is approximately 9-10 hours, with a time difference of 4-6 hours. If you’re interested in exploring Florida with kids, check out this blog, which lists the top 5 highlights for a family holiday in Florida.

5. Curacao: A Dutch Caribbean Paradise

Imagine flying for 11.5 hours, disembarking the plane, speaking Dutch, and realizing everyone understands you. That’s only possible in Curacao! This island, along with its smaller sibling Little Curacao, is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You can even do your groceries at the famous Dutch grocery store, “Albert Heijn”. The biggest difference is the temperature: while it’s an average of 5 degrees Celsius in the Netherlands in January, it’s about 30 degrees on Curacao. With stunning beaches, a great diversity of accommodations, and a relaxed atmosphere, Curacao makes for a perfect sunny winter holiday destination for families.

Choosing the Next Family Holiday Destination

As I dream about our next holiday destination, I consider the fact that we only want to go for a week. We don’t want the kids (or us) to suffer from jetlag. So, it seems we might be heading to Cape Verde or the Canary Islands. If you have any great tips for a sunny winter holiday with kids, do let me know. I’m still looking for inspiration.


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