Travel and leisure expert lastminute.com and award-winning family holiday specialists Real Holidays are supporting a new online travel service that aims to simplify the process of choosing and booking family holidays and days out.takethefamily.com
is the first service to offer advice, destinations and booking all in one place. The Website offers a full range of planning and booking services for family holidays, weekend breaks and things to do in the UK and around the world.
The site currently covers more than 40 hand-picked destinations worldwide, with more coming on stream, and features special offers from family-focused providers including Center Parcs and Hilton Hotels. There’s also a feedback section to allow users to pass on their own experiences of family destinations and travel services.
“We’re hoping to make it easier for parents to become more adventurous in planning trips,” Take the Family founder Andy Cook said. “Family holidays don?t have to be just bucket and spade, although the best ones still often are. Nowadays families can do pyramids and sphinxes, lions and tigers, whales and dolphins and even bungee-jumping and white-water rafting. Whatever their needs, we aim to become the first place every parent should visit.
“We developed this service because we found as parents that there was a real gap in the market for a comprehensive, online, family-friendly holiday Website,” said Mr Cook. “The growth in Internet use, and particularly the rapid expansion in broadband households, makes online holiday booking the natural choice for the future. Online travel sales grew by 61% in 2002 and 35% in 2003, so this is definitely a growing trend. And Britain is leading the field, with families increasingly turning to the Internet to research and book their holidays.”
In addition to the usual booking services for flights, accommodation, holidays and car hire, Take the Family is also offering advice on a wide range of family-friendly destinations, what to bring, what to buy and even what games to play en route.
Holidaymakers wanting a tailored package or the advice of a live travel agent can contact the specialist family agency Real Holidays directly. Philip Davies of Real Holidays says that his agents “know what it?s like to choose between a dream holiday and keeping the children happy and can suggest something that will meet both needs”.
Mr Cook added: “Family travel can be complex, confusing and sometimes painful. But there’s no reason why holidays with children shouldn’t be as satisfying and successful as any other kind of break. There are all kinds of exciting options out there, and we aim to make them as convenient, fun and accessible as possible. If we can inspire people to branch out and try new things with the whole family, then that would be a great measure of our success.”