Cheap, family-friendly travel deals for the school holidays

The school holidays are just around the corner, so it’s a great time to start thinking about where you can take a break with your loved ones.

If you’re already dreaming of the next lot of school holidays and taking a break with the family — you’re probably not alone. The April school holidays are now mere weeks away, so it’s the perfect time to start thinking about where you want to go, as well as where the best deals are to be found.

TODAY chatted to Quentin Long from Australian Traveller and International Traveller get his tips on affordable places to stay — wherever you want to go in Australia, or overseas!

TODAY: Kicking off with those planning a getaway in QLD, what would you suggest?

LONG: The great Sunshine State has so much to offer, but in reality at this stage it is best to stick with their most well-known parts — the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast where you are more likely to get availability.

For the Sunshine Coast, a great option is the Novotel Twin Waters resort; a cracker of a family resort with so much to do. The resort’s toddler friendly lagoon and waterpark are just the beginning. You can pick up a family room for four from just $132.

The guys at Wotif are specialists for the Aussie family hot spot the Gold Coast and have two great finds.  The slightly more upmarket area of Broadbeach is a great place for a more relaxed beach holiday where you’ll still have loads to do. The Voyager Resort is close to the beach, shops and restaurants plus every room has a kitchen. It’s great value for the school holidays from $189.  In the heart of the Gold Coast — Surfers Paradise Island Resort is perfectly situated on the Nerang River. Rooms are from $145.  

TODAY:  And what about for NSW?

LONG: Coffs Harbour is known for being the city with the best climate in Australia. The coastal getaway has not been over-built and is a great mixture of laid-back Aussie beaches, while also having enough to keep the kids entertained. The Best Western Zebra is just off the main highway — it’s a clean, unfussy motel-style hotel that is great value at $165 a night for a family of four during the school holidays. 

TODAY:  Where should those in Victoria and South Australia head to on holiday?

LONG: The ‘home of Aussie surfing’ Torquay, on the Great Ocean Road, has availability at the Wyndham Resort. This very modern resort opened at the beginning of 2012 — which makes it incredible value for just $279 a night.

In South Australia, I love a couple of campgrounds. The Barossa Valley Discovery Park is a gem for the school holidays as they put on special programs for kids with movies most nights and loads of kids activities. There is also a terrific waterpark. Campsite spots during the school holidays start from $61, and their cabins start from $144. For those who think camping is not for them I reckon Lake Bonney Discovery Park is the go. It has camp sites with ensuite toilets for campers and caravans. The park has a fantastic glow in the dark waterpark and is pet friendly. Campsite spots start from $61, while cabins start from $142 a night during the school holidays. 

TODAY:  How about those who wish to travel overseas — what would be your recommendations?

LONG: Bali is hard to beat — but why not do it a little differently? The guys at Wotif have a great deal for the Visesa. In the tranquil mountain rainforest town of Ubud,  the Visesa is a five star property and just $225 a night. Venture across the water from Bali to the less frenetic Lombok — try the comfortable Holiday Resort Lombok. The resort has free activities for kids, a kids pool, a swim up bar pool – and it’s great value at just $140 a night.

For something a little different why not look at the Cook Islands — one of the most pristine tropical islands in the world. It is what you imagine a tropical island paradise to be. The Edgewater is a slice of affordable family paradise on the edge of Raratonga. There is a great 5-night-package for a family of four from Spacifica Travel for just $1699 which includes transfers, breakfast and the free kids club.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.