There are so many cool holiday getaways in this region to book with the family. And if you are a fan of skiing or snowboarding, you’re in luck! One of the best family skiing destinations in the world is within your reach and we can tell you all about it.
Snow, snow, snow in Niseko
Yes, France has miles of pistes, the US have Whistler and Austria has the best apres-ski, but if there is one place with all the powder snow in the world, it’s in Japan! Niseko is perfect for your next family ski holiday; there’s plenty to keep the whole family busy with so many slopes, lessons, and challenges to choose from. And it has a ridiculous average snowfall of over 15 meters. Bring a snorkel!
How to get to your family ski holiday in Niseko
Niseko is on the Northern Japanese Island of Hokkaido. From Saigon, you fly to Tokyo and from there, you need to fly another 90 minutes to Sapporo (New Chitose Airport). Arrange pick-up if you can or book one of the coach bus transfers. Check your arrival and departure times, because the bus has a limited schedule. Note that the drive to Niseko is about 2 hours. True, this family ski holiday is not next door, but boy oh boy, it is so worth it!
What to do in this Japanese ski region
Niseko has not one, not two, and not even three ski resorts: there are a whopping four snow resorts in Japan’s official number one skiing region! The area of Hokkaido includes the ski slopes of Annupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu, and Hanazono. No wonder it attracts families, ski buffs and beginners from all around the world.
Niseko has great facilities for a family ski holiday in Japan. The awesome ski instructors come from all over the world and speak decent English, and there’s enough choice for accommodation to stay with and without children. Also, the ski rental companies are efficient and more than equipped for all kinds of snow fans, whether it’s kids, adults, ski amateurs or board professionals.
A ski holiday for all levels
The most important facility here; there are runs for all levels of ski- and snowboard expertise. Head to the easier slopes of Annupuri with your younger kids or if you’re feeling less brave. And advance onto the off-piste and more challenging courses at Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, and Niseko Village once you’ve found your steady feet!
Top tip for lunch: make sure you visit Boyoso. It’s the only lunch lodge right on the piste that is not owned by the resorts but is run by the first Japanese man that climbed the Mount Everest. Go early so you can get yourself a nice noodle soup and a seat at the fireplace before the crowds come in.
Where to eat and drink in Niseko
After zooming down the pistes, life starts in the town center. In the center of Niseko, lower Hirafu, you’ll find cozy restaurants, little bars with sake on the menu and a few nice boutiques here. A great place to have a family lunch or dinner, or just a hot cocoa with the kids is the Green Farm Cafe, which is situated in the middle of town. We really liked Wild Bill’s, which looked like a cozy wooden chalet in the middle of a winter wonderland. It has a decently priced menu of western and Japanese food. Just don’t get in there too late, when it becomes more of an Aussie bar instead of a nice dinner cafe.
If you are a meat lover, you can have an excellent meal in the more pricey and upscale Steak Rosso Rosso, which is near the perfect place for a nightcap: The Buddha Bar. The kids will love this snow-hut where they can draw on the walls while you sip your sake.
Another great one for the family in Niseko Village is Kabuki 2, which serves delicious teppanyaki right under your nose. Or get some takeout from the various food trucks that are parked near the Seicomart. Able to arrange a babysitter? Go to The Barn, which is hip and happening, but less suitable for children. Don’t forget to make a reservation well in advance for all these dinner spots.
Apart from the steep costs of your perfect family ski holiday, a real downside of this area is that the supermarkets are pretty far out of town. Without a rental car, they are difficult to reach. There are some small supermarkets, but they don’t offer much. You can take a taxi to do some grocery shopping at the bigger supermarkets, but better do it at the beginning of the week and stock up, because, like the rest of Japan, taxis are expensive.
What to bring to your family ski trip in Hokkaido
On average, Niseko gets over 15 meters of top quality snowfall each season, which is spectacular. Besides the stellar ski and snowboard experience, it also means that it snows constantly. So bring the right kind of snow goggles and ski gear, because it’s cold out there; minus 15 degrees on the piste is normal. The good thing is, it’s dry snow, so with the right thermowear you will be A-okay. And otherwise, just warm up in one of the fabulous onsens (hot water springs)!
Where to stay in Niseko
For those traveling with kids or groups, check out the various apartments and chalets you can rent via the Niseko Tourism site or via Airbnb. They offer some perfect options for your family ski holiday. You can easily stay in one resort since you still have the option to catch a shuttle bus to the others slopes in Niseko.
If you rather stay in a hotel, the Aya Niseko has a variety of rooms as well as a kids’ club to keep the children entertained. We also like Ki Niseko, which has a fabulous location right on the slope and next to the ski school.
When to go on this awesome family snow trip
What do you know, the TET holidays are the perfect time to visit the snowy hills of the Hokkaido area. But Christmas is also excellent for your next family ski trip here; the season starts in December till March. Nine gates of pow, pow and more pow are waiting for you!
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Travelling with the family in Asia: one of the great things about living in this corner of the world is the number of fantastic travel destinations surrounding you. There are some great escapes like Singapore and Hong Kong which are easy to reach and will give you that instant sunny feeling. And then there are some perfect bucket list destinations for anyone who has a week or more.
Have a great family holiday in blissful Bali
Ah Bali. The big plus of living of travelling in Asia is Bali. Despite the fact that it’s getting busier on the island, it will still give you that peaceful feeling straight after touchdown. And for families there is loads to do: chill at the beach, go snorkeling or finally take that surfing lesson! Stay in Seminyak, the hip and happening Bali hub, known for its great restaurants, boutique shops, and lively beach clubs. Or go to the laidback Uluwatu, on the Southern tip of Bali, a nice alternative to the crowdy areas. The green and lush Ubud is popular for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies. Read this, if you want to know exactly where to go in Bali this holiday.
Travelling with the family in Asia: visit the elephants in Sri Lanka
If you have travelled a bit more with your family in Asia, you are ready for the next level. Have you thought of Sri Lanka for your next family holiday? It’s getting more and more popular and for good reason! Sri Lanka is becoming a nice tourist destination. A country that has it all; beaches, wildlife, great food, and lovely people. Visit the ancient city of Galle, which has history, style and nice restaurants all packed into one. Take the kids on safari at Yala National Park to see crocodiles, elephants and more. And top it off with the beautiful beaches near Unawatuna. Not sure when to go or where to book? We’ll tell you all about it in this awesome Sri Lanka itinerary.
Camper Galore: driving through beautiful New Zealand with the family
If you have done some travelling in Asia and are ready for something completely different, this it it. Enter New Zealand. The South Island of New Zealand, land of the Lord of the Rings, is just as breathtaking as in the movies. The fresh air, the spectacular views and the variety in nature make this trip the ultimate zen holiday for the whole fam clan.
Fly to Christchurch or Auckland, rent a camper and visit all the New Zealand highlights. Lake Tekapo, Queenstown, the Marlborough Sounds and Akaroa are only a few of the must-visits in this beautiful country. We set up the perfect South Island itinerary for you.
West Australia: kids travel heaven
If you are exploring travelling in Asia with family, you should check out Australia -okay, Asia Pasific- as well! Because the Margaret River Area is a true treat for all members of the family: there is great food, wine and craft beer for the adults, while the kids can choose between hundreds of activities and end their fun day at the ice cream farm. Whether you book a camper or go by car, there are several highlights that will make the whole family very very happy. Think of the beautiful Smith Beach, the charming town of Freemantle and the wildlife park in Perth. Read our feature for the full list of must-do’s in the Margaret River area.
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Have a week or more? Head over to Margaret River! The west coast of Australia is one of the best kids travel destinations we've been. The laid-back country life with its delicious food, nice weather, great Aussie wine and green outdoors… can you imagine a better family holiday?
If you like nature, fresh air and spectacular views, New Zealand should be your next travel destination! Yes, Australia is wonderful and we love the beach of Bali and the temples of Angkor Wat, but the South Island of New Zealand is just a must-do if you have the opportunity. Read on for the ultimate itinerary for your family holiday in New Zealand!
If you’re looking for a fantastic family holiday, there’s plenty of choice in beautiful Asia! There are just so many great getaways in this corner of the world, whether it is exploring the various sights of Vietnam with the kids, hopping over to Hong Kong or visit the spectacular Angkor Wat in Cambodia. But if you have a bit more time to spare, go for the full unwinding and book that long holiday with the fam clan! We loved the farmstays and wine estates in Margareth River (Australia) and enjoyed driving with the kids in a camper through breathtaking New Zealand. And for all beach lovers, the best place for your family holiday is in blissful Bali.
There are several reasons why we recommend having your family holiday in Bali. This island has something to offer for everyone and each Bali area is very different. From the airport (Denpasar), Kuta and Sanur are only a short drive and this area in South Bali has been attracting tourists for a long time now. Most luxury resorts and hotels are in this mass tourism area and there all kinds of restaurants.
Don’t miss this on your family holiday in Bali
Do Ku De Ta, Potato Head or Finns Bar sound familiar? Yep, you are in Seminyak, the hip and happening Bali hub, known for its great restaurants, boutique shops, and lively beach clubs. You will have no trouble finding a nice restaurant here, but here are some insider tips.
Best places in Seminyak to have a brekkie or lunch
For breakfast or lunch, go to the lovely Sisterfields for some Australian inspired brunch, Grocer & Grind, which has the best salads, or to Revolver on Petitenget. All three serve nice and strong coffees to get you starting. Motel Mexicola and Sea Circus are great places to have lunch as well and have good choices for the kiddies. If you are on vacay without the kids or have bigger ones, head over to one of the beach clubs mentioned earlier and go from lunch hour to happy hour to sundowners while the kids hang out in the pool.
Take your pick: so many lovely Bali restaurants
When we say family holiday, we mean that there’s joy for the parents too! We love having a dinner for two at superb fish restaurant Sardine, where you can enjoy your food overlooking the rice paddies, getting that true Bali feeling. Merah Putih is another favorite, a beautiful Indonesian restaurant with an epic interior and ditto food. Metis is the place to do some upscale wining and dining, great for groups as well. For no-nonsense but delish Indonesian cooking in a relaxed and kid-friendly atmosphere, go to Made’s Warung. Funky Lacalaca is specialized in Mexican food and is also a good hangout with the smallies. Make sure you book ahead for all these favorites!
The best sight-seeing this family holiday in Bali
Yes, this Southern part of Bali can be very busy, depending on the season. So if you prefer your island life a bit more quiet, go to Canggu, which is still pretty close to Seminyak. From Canggu, you can easily do some sightseeing. Visit the well-known temple of Tanah Lot, which is situated on a rock in the sea and floods with the tides. Go early to avoid the crowds and make sure your legs and shoulders are covered. Old Man’s is the place to be in Canggu for lunch or a beer. You can easily take the kids to hang out with you and the rest of the hip crowd there. Or finally take that surfing lesson!
Uluwatu, Ubud and Lovina: what’s not to love?
The laid back Uluwatu, on the Southern tip of Bali, is also a nice alternative. There is no mass tourism here and the beaches are usually nice and clean. This is something that can not be said for all Bali beaches. If you can arrange a babysitter, dress up and have a drink at The Rockbar!
Not a beach fanatic or just craving some green and lush surroundings? Ubud is situated a little more inward. It’s popular for its beautiful scenes of rice paddies and great biking trails. Especially after the Eat Pray Love book, tourists started flocking in, but there are still enough places to chill and relax if you stay outside the city center. If you have hungry kids in tow, try the child-friendly Clear Cafe, Paula’s Rice Terrace Cafe. Here you can eat in the middle of the rice paddies. Or try Pizza Bagus, where they serve you freshly made pizzas. All have great kids meal options.
Lovina is on the northwestern side of Bali and is popular for its snorkeling and diving. It has black volcanic beaches and again, not all are clean. There are great waterfalls and hot springs though. Most restaurants are in the village of Kalibukbuk. Note that it is approximately a 4-hour drive from Denpasar.
What to do with kids in Bali
There is loads to do for kids in Bali! Aside from the beaches and pools, you can take them snorkeling or try that surfing lesson. Tired of the sea and the sand? Bali is home to several awesome water parks, such as the Waterbom Park in Kuta, with its endless slides, or the fantastic Splash Waterpark in Canggu. Still some energy? Go for the view from above and take your 4 years old and above zip-lining at Bali Treetop Adventure Park. Or have that full adrenaline kick and go rafting!
How to get there & around in Bali
To get to that family holiday in Bali, you don’t have to fly via a hub like Singapore anymore. Vietnam has a direct connection these days and you can be on the island in 4 hours.
From the airport, you can take a taxi to your final destination or arrange to be picked up by your accommodation. Note that Denpasar airport operates a 25 USD, 30-day visa on arrival system, which nowadays is often included in the air travel ticket.
Most tourists hire a car and driver, which in Bali doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, or use a taxi for transportation. Rental motorbikes are popular as well. Note that the rental helmets are not always that safe and that most rental places lack helmets for kids. So best to bring those if you plan to let them ride with you.
Where to stay: villa’s, airbnb or that fancy hotel
There are many great hotels and hostels in Bali and there is something for every budget. But to be honest, when traveling with kids we prefer to rent a house or villa and these days you only need the great Airbnb. Terima Kasih for that!
Best time to go to Bali
This is a tricky one. Many people prefer to go during the Christmas period but it’s actually in the middle of the rainy season, which is from November till March. It’s a bit living on the edge, but you can be lucky of course. A definite good period to go weather-wise is July till the half of October, but this is also partly peak peak peak!
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