The Philippines, from its tiny, tropical islands to busy, sprawling cities - is an exciting option for family-friendly holidays off the traditional tourist trail. English is widely spoken, so you’ll rarely have any translation issues, and the welcoming and upbeat attitude makes it an easy place to travel with kids.
Many visitors to the Philippines start in Manila and, although the noise and size of this megacity can be ‘sensory overload’ (especially for younger children), you’ll find some hidden gems beneath its rough exterior. There are plenty of attractions perfect for inquisitive young explorers, including a marine aquarium, animation theme park, interactive art gallery and hands-on ‘mind museum’. Intramuros, in the heart of Manila, is one of Asia’s oldest walled cities and offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past; kids love the ‘medieval knights’ atmosphere, and clambering up the ancient stone ramparts to peer over the top!
Further south, away from the bustle of the capital, the island of Bohol makes a practical and relaxed family-holiday base. Children will love the wide-open spaces, close encounters with tarsiers (one of the world’s smallest primates), and numerous world-class beaches. Unwinding in the sun while the kids paddle seems idyllic enough, but those feeling more adventurous can go snorkelling among turtles over the reef, and even swim with whale sharks.
However, for the ultimate tropical island family getaway, the tiny island of Boracay is picture-perfect and well equipped; described as having one of the best beaches in the world, its laid-back vibe and good choice of restaurants and activities make it especially family-friendly.
Wherever you stay, a family holiday in the Philippines gives you access to hiking, water-sports, beach-chilling and fascinating landmarks, always with a friendly welcome, in a diverse, up-and-coming destination on the international travel radar.
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