Youngsters get a big say on family holidays

Nine out of ten teenagers help choose the family holiday

Tuesday, 29 January

A new survey has found that almost three out of four parents (73%) with children aged 11-16 admitted to always consulting their children on important household choices. This rose to almost nine out of ten (88%) when choosing a holiday!

Today’s teenagers are as likely to make big decisions affecting family life as mum and dad, a new study for Black Prince Narrowboat Holidays reveals.

These tech-savvy youngsters don’t just spend their time browsing their mates’ activities on social media on the likes of Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube but also like to check on their parent’s choices in running the home.

Those of secondary school age do their own investigations, using review sites and peer recommendations when it comes to deciding where to go on holiday, what sort of car their parents owns, the choice of TV and internet provider and even what food they should be eating, the report shows.

Dubbed ‘Post-Centenials’, this group born after 2000 have never experienced a world without smartphone technology and they are not fearful of countering their parents with facts gleaned from their constant use of the internet and social media. A survey carried out by Black Prince on youngster’s role in decisions that affect the family home found an increasing trend by grown-ups to involve them.

Black Prince found that almost three in four parents (73%) with children aged 11-16 admitted to always consulting their children on important household choices. This rose to almost nine out of ten (88%) when choosing a holiday.

Eight out of ten (81%) of parents asked in the study carried out for the family-friendly holiday company said that children in the 11-16 age group turned to the internet and social media when asked for an opinion.

Interestingly, some 30% said they had changed their minds as a result of an objection from their offspring and nine out of ten of those with teenagers said it was important that all the family were in favour of the type of holiday and the destination. Surprisingly, youngsters were in favour of getaways that everyone could enjoy together rather than spending time separately.

While the study found youngsters aged 11-16 spend on average three and a half hours a day glued to their phone, rather than moan about the amount of time spent looking at a screen, two thirds of parents accepted this was part of their lives.

Two in three parents said they asked their youngsters about the best internet and energy provider, three in five about which TV and sound system to purchase. One in eight youngsters commented on the grocery list and one in five even checked on the parent’s choice of route on when travelling anywhere.

Almost 100 per cent of kids surveyed take their phone on holiday, however when they are away the amount of time spent staring at a screen drops to just under an hour per day.

Leighton Jones, Operations Manager at Black Prince, said: “A narrowboat holiday is very unique, bringing families together in a special way. Our fleet is comfortably kitted out with all mod cons including Wi-Fi, so parents can rest assured that the on board experience will suit everyone on the trip.

All members of the family can play a part in chartering the scenic waterways, stopping off to explore the many different days out on route, before settling down for the evening in a warm and welcoming pub or restaurant nearby.”

The report follows a study from doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health which recommended that children’s access to technology should be controlled rather than limited. Leighton adds: “Our timely survey showed how technology can be used in a positive way to bring the family together and make special memories, as well as, encouraging outdoor activity.”

The narrowboat holiday company operates from nine destinations around the UK and allow holidaymakers to set their own itinerary, with 97% of guests rating the experience as good or excellent. Families looking for a holiday that appeals to mum, dad and teens can make the most of Black Prince’s 10% off School Holiday Promotion. For more information, visit

Inghams are offering a 'Taste Of Switzerland' on an Escorted Rail Tour

New Tantalising Tours for Summer 2019 from specialist operator Inghams

Guests looking to discover the best of Europe's most spectacularly beautiful and awe-inspiring destinations on their next summer holiday need look no further than expert tour operator Inghams for an unforgettable Alpine adventure!

From Escorted Tours with a knowledgeable guide to Self-Guided Multi-Centre Tours, or even Private Tours for friends or families celebrating a special occasion, Inghams' diverse programme for Summer 2019 truly offers something for everyone.

What's more, for new tour bookings made from now until 31st March 2019, Inghams guests will receive one free half case of wine per booking*.

For foodie fanatics, culture vultures and outdoor enthusiasts, here are Inghams' top tours to get your teeth into this summer.

Brand New Tours include… Inghams' seven- or 11-night “Iconic Mountains” Tour offers the chance to independently explore two or three classic mountain towns, linked by one of the most spectacular rail journeys across the Alps: the Mont Blanc Express.

Start in Chamonix, France, followed by Zermatt in Switzerland. Those looking for an extended stay can continue to Grindelwald in the  Bernese Oberland. Highlights include: see the glaciers at Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, and enjoy rambles and gondola rides amidst staggering scenery.

Departure dates: Saturdays in June, July, August and September 2019. From £1,059 per person (for seven nights) including half board accommodation in four-star hotels, free daily packed lunches, return flights and airport transfers, and a scenic rail journey on the Mont Blanc Express. For more information and to book, visit or call 01483 791 116.

Inghams' exclusive, seven-night “Gastronomic Tour of Central Italy” discovers the culinary delights and colourful histories of Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria, in an intimate environment with a passionate guide. Highlights include:

• Visit Parma's cheese and ham factories and enjoy tastings

• Get to know Florence and Bologna on guided tours

• Visit the small city of Orvieto in Umbria and head to a local winery for a tour and tasting

• Discover Perugia and visit its famous chocolate factory

• Enjoy an authentic cooking lesson to make regional specialities for lunch

Departure date: 4th October 2019  
Max group size: 12 guests From £1,799 per person including half board accommodation in four-star hotels, return flights, all tastings and entrance fees, a cooking lesson, and the services of a tour guide with guided visits of Bologna, Florence, Orvieto, Perugia, Ubrino and San Marino. For more information and to book, or call 01483 791 116.

Inghams' seven-night “A Taste of Switzerland” Escorted Group Rail Tour takes guests on a fascinating journey around the country, visiting Bern, Neuchatel, Gstaad and the dreamy lakeside resort of Montreux. Led by a friendly Swiss tour guide, there's plenty opportunity to soak up the local history and scenery, and to taste some delicious wines, cheeses and chocolates along the way!

Departure dates: 15th June 2019, 10th August 2019 and 7th September 2019. 
Max group size: 30 guests From £2,089 per person including accommodation in four-star hotels, return flights, the services of a tour guide throughout, first class rail transfers including on the GoldenPass Line and private coach transfers. Also included is a luggage transportation service between resorts, lunch at the Jazz Café, daily breakfasts and five evening meals, a walking city tour of Bern with a visit to the Einstein Museum, a cruise on Lake Neuchatel with a visit to Creux du Van and the clock-making museum, and visits to Chillon Castle and Gruyere Castle with tastings. For more information and to book, visit or call 01483 791 116.

Inghams' three-, four- or seven-night “Best of the Amalfi Coast” Private Escorted Tour is perfect for small groups of friends or a family wishing to uncover the highlights of this very special part of Italy. Under the guidance of a private local expert:

• Take in some of Amalfi's most iconic sites such as St Andrew's Dome & Paradise Cloister

• Enjoy a hiking tour along part of the Lemon Path, followed by a visit and tasting at a local Limoncello factory

• And a walking tour of Sorrento, then head along the Amalfi Drive, one of the most beautiful routes in the world!

• Take a boat trip to the pretty island of Capri • Spend a full day at the unmissable, world-famous site of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius

Departure dates: Flexible
. Minimum group size: two guests

Other private escorted tour options are available From £2,135 per person (based on two adults sharing) for seven nights including four-star accommodation on a half board basis, return flights, private airport transfers, and the services of a private tour guide. For more information and to book, visit or call 01483 791 116.

Other recommended tours include…

Highlights of the Fjords (Norway) – a 12-day, four-centre escorted group tour with a ride on the Flåm Railway included. From £1,739 per person. 

Fjord Explorer (Norway) – an 11-day, self-guided option for guests who seek a more independent way of immersing themselves in the spectacular Fjord Norway region. From £1,299 per person. 

Wonders of Eastern Sicily (Italy) – a seven-night escorted group tour to discover the best of the magnificent island of Sicily, with a relaxing stay in Taormina and visits to the baroque cities of the South East. From £1,495 per person. 

Castles & Gardens of Lake Constance – a seven-night escorted group tour to the gardens, castles and palaces that line the shores of this beautiful lake. From £1,259 per person. 

Flexible, self-guided multi-centre combinations in Slovenia. From £1,171 per person.

For more information and to book, visit or call 01483 791 116.

Enjoy the Moroccan experience of Ait Ben-Haddou kasbah in Rabat

Why not discover the world's holiday hotspots on foot in 2019?

Leading walking and activity holiday provider, HF Holidays, has named its worldwide hotspots for 2019, with a brand new collection of stunning getaways.

With once in a lifetime holidays to Cuba, Morocco, Basque Country and the Douro Valley, these new breaks take in some of the world’s most picturesque, magical countryside on foot, offering unparalleled views and the chance to sample exotic cultures along the way.

Highlights are below, with more information available at

Cuba Guided Walking Holiday

With winding cobbled streets, stunning countryside and a fascinating history to explore, Cuba is best discovered on foot with this stunning guided walking holiday. Spend your days journeying through the world-famous tobacco fields, before taking in the rich biodiversity, rainforests and waterfalls of Viñales. Finally, no trip to Cuba would be complete without the opportunity to stroll through the peaceful plazas of Havana, admiring the colourful architecture and timeless retro cars along the way.

Price: 14 nights departing 4th March 2019 from £3,999pp. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick, full board accommodation and a full programme of daily guided walks and sightseeing with expert leaders.

Morocco Guided Walking Holiday

Morocco is undoubtedly one of the hottest global destinations for holidaymakers in 2019. Highlights of this stunning getaway include the chance to walk in the Talassemtane National Park, a visit to the UNESCO kasbah of Ait Ben-Haddou and a day taking in the seemingly endless open plains of the Sahara Desert. Stay at a range of comfortable and characterful locations along the way, including the Sofitel Les Jardins des Roses in Rabat, a spectacular 5* property complete with vast rose garden and eucalyptus trees.

Price: 13 nights departing 23rd September 2019 from £2,499pp. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, half board accommodation and a full programme of daily guided walks and sightseeing with expert leaders.

Basque Country Guided Walking Holiday

The rich and unspoilt coastal paths and vineyards of the Basque Country make it an ideal destination for a walking holiday, with rich countryside in every direction. Hike across the foothills of the Pyrenees before ascending to the lofty summit of Mount Esnaur, with breath-taking views guaranteed. This multi-centre break offers the chance to experience the diverse culture and customs of both the Spanish and French areas of Basque Country, with a local leader on hand every step of the way to help you make the most of the trip. Spend three nights at the delightful family-run Hotel de la Rhune in the French town of Ascain before four nights at the gothic themed Hotel Saiaz in Spain, which offers spectacular panoramic views of the Bay of Biscay.

Price: 7 nights departing 11th May 2019 from £1,599pp. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, half board accommodation and a full programme of daily guided walks with expert leaders.

Douro Valley, Portugal, Guided Walking Holiday

The Douro Valley in Portugal is famous for its sleepy villages, rolling vineyards and spectacular river views, making it an excellent base for a walking holiday with HF Holidays. A choice of daily guided walks will show off the very best of the rural region. Relax and enjoy a cruise along the Douro River on your free day as well as a visit to hand-picked local vineyards famed for its port wine, before settling into the relaxing surroundings of the four-star Hotel Vila Galé, Douro. This riverside hotel provides a high standard of comfort, fantastic views over the region as well as excellent cuisine and a chance to relax in their indoor pool or outdoor Jacuzzi.

Price: 7 nights departing 28th April 2019 from £1,279pp. Price return flights from London Gatwick, half board accommodation and a full programme of daily guided walks with expert leaders. For more information on HF Holidays, please visit or call 020 8732 1250.

Visiting the majestic wilderness of Patagonia makes for a true adventure

Why not make 2019 the year of adventure with HF Holidays

With the New Year fast-approaching, award-winning international tour provider, HF Holidays, has an exclusive selection of inspiring walking holidays that are perfect for anyone looking to kick-start their 2019 with an adventure of a lifetime.

The walking and activity holiday specialist, who recently won a Which? Award for Best Escorted Tour Providers, has late availability on three selected breaks to some of the world’s most remarkable destinations, including: Ecuador & Galapagos Islands, Patagonia and Laos & Cambodia.

Highlights of these spectacular trips are below, with more information available at

Ecuador & Galapagos Wildlife Adventure

With lush tropical forests, spectacular wildlife and mesmerising snow-capped mountains, Ecuador is the perfect destination for a walking adventure that will create lifelong memories. Discover the World Heritage Site of Quito, the largest nature reserve of Cotopaxi National Park, and the volcanic island archipelago of the Galapagos. What’s more, HF Holidays offers a unique and unforgettable experience to stay on the Galapagos Islands.

Once the crowds of the cruise boats leave, you’ll have the island to yourself giving you the opportunity to experience the culture, as well as the wildlife, long after the day-visitors have left.

Price: 11 nights departing 21st January 2019 from £4,829pp. Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, full board accommodation, a full programme of daily guided walks as well as entrance fees to Galapagos Islands National Park. To book, visit or call 020 8732 1250.

Patagonia Guided Walking Holiday

One of the most remote places on earth, Patagonia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural reserves. With towering peaks, glistening lakes, breath-taking glaciers and vast wildernesses, explore the best of Torres del Paine (Chile) and Los Glaciares (Argentina), enjoying outstanding HF Holidays walks that are completely off the beaten track. Make your way to the ‘End of the World’ at Ushuaia and journey through Tierra del Fuego National Park, with excellent opportunities to spot Patagonian wildlife such as guanacos and condors along the way.

Price: 15 nights departing 22nd February 2019 from £5,899pp. Price includes full board accommodation, all sightseeing and entrance fees as well as a full programme of daily guided walks. To book, visit or call 020 8732 1250.

Laos & Cambodia Guided Walking Holiday

Explore the hidden wonders of Laos & Cambodia, taking in everything from the architectural wonder of Angkor Wat to the peaceful waterfalls of the Kulen Mountains on this spectacular HF Holiday. Discover Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos and track alongside the winding Mekong River, spotting dolphins along the way. Experience the picturesque Kuang Si waterfall, where water tumbles over staggered limestone formations creating crystal clear pools.

Price: 16 nights departing 17th February 2019 form £2,999pp. Price includes full board accommodation, all sightseeing and entrance fees as well as a full programme of daily guided walks. To book, visit or call 020 8732 1250.  

* Places are limited on these holidays so book now to avoid disappointment. For more information on HF Holidays, please visit or call 020 8732 1250.

HF Holidays offer discounted walking adventures in Poland and Greece

Tatra Mountains Guided Walking Holiday

Was £1,149pp, Now £1,099pp

This is a truly amazing trip to one of Europe’s hottest walking destinations, exploring the beautiful Tatras National Park, the lofty peaks of Giewont and the picture postcard views across the traditional towns and villages of the Zakopane region. There’s also plenty of time to relax in the luxury of the four star Hotel Belvedere, complete with wellness centre, sauna, spa bath and steam room.  

Price: Seven nights departing 8th July 2019 from £1,099pp on a half board basis. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick and a full programme of daily guided walks. To book, visit or call 020 8732 1250. 

Guided Walking at Pelion

Was £1,149pp, Now £1,099pp

Follow in the footsteps of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan as you enjoy unspoilt Greece at its absolute best. The ancient Greek peninsular that features heavily in the Mamma Mia films is perfect for a sunny walking break, with the stone paths of Pelion providing fantastic routes between its untouched traditional villages.  

Price: Seven nights departing 6th May 2019 from £1,099pp on a half board basis. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick and a full programme of daily guided walks. To book, visit or call 020 8732 1250.

Places are limited on these holidays so book now to avoid disappointment. For more information on HF Holidays, please visit or call 020 8732 1250.

  • The newly-renovated Casa Lascorz farmhouse in the Spanish Pyrenees.

  • The bedroom at the Casa Lascorz is both traditional and comfortable.

Walking and activity holidays in Northern Spain…

The area around Aragón in northern Spain is perfect for walkers.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

For anyone who fancies a different type of holiday in the picturesque area around Aragón in northern Spain, British couple Ben and Corinna Frost have opened a new B&B known as Casa Lascorz.

Back in 2016 they took the plunge by starting work on renovating an old farmhouse with the hope that guests would be able to take advantage of some great walking country in the breathtaking Spanish Pyrenees. 

After almost two years of hard graft, Casa Lascorz has been lovingly restored to create a welcoming rural guesthouse and family home. Work was finally completed back in January this year and the pair are now particularly targeting walking and outdoor enthusiasts. 

Traditional Aragónese architecture is combined with modern facilities to provide a luxurious retreat where guests can relax, enjoy and explore this magical area.

There are numerous festivals in this part of Spain

The area of Sobrarbe – and in particular the nearest town Aínsa – offers a wealth of things to do and see for there are several medieval towns within east reach to explore, the promise of some stunning scenery along with excellent walking trails which vary from easy strolls through to some really grand days out. 

There is also an annual music festival in this beautiful region which also has more than 15 local vineyards to visit. And then there's the promise of great artisan food along with viewing some fabulous wildlife, keen ornithologists being particular well catered for.

To see what Casa Lascorz has to offer, check out Ben and Corinna  Frost's website at 

This impressive gite in the Haute Valle de l'Aude will have three ensuite bedrooms from September.

… and walking in South West France

There are some adventurous activities in the area

On a similar theme, British couple Aideen and William Hills are to create a gourmet package for serious walkers, combining picnics and evening meals in a beautiful area of South West France close the city of Carcassonne. 

The couple have a rather impressive gite which currently has two en-suite bedrooms, a wood burner, jacuzzi and swimming pool while from this September, thanks to an extension, an additional en-suite bedroom will be available – so that's two doubles and a twin!

With direct flights available from most British airports into Carcassonne, the gite is located in the Haute Valle de l'Aude while Arques is surrounded by stunning scenery just waiting to be explored on foot.

There are over 15 well signposted walks in the local area, you can have a different experience every day. From leisurely riverside walks to steep mountain climbs, it's really up to you just how much you want to stretch yourself. Spring and Autumn can be particularly pleasurable without the intense heat of the summer.

And if you wish to cycle and take in the scenery or whether you are a rather more serious cyclist, Les Reves in Arques is a great base for your cycling holiday as routes for every ability are available in the area. 

There is more information at or call 00 334 6869 0422

Colmar is surely one of France's best kept secrets

Make a date with stunning Colmar and discover France's 'Little Venice' with DFDS

Friday 30 March 2018

Sitting quietly on the border of France and Germany is the beautiful commune of Colmar. Timbered buildings, brightly coloured with complimenting shutters give Colmar its unforgettable character. Explore them as you take a quiet wander down the cobbled lanes.

The River Lauch that meanders serenely through the town only adds to the overall enchantment of the town. Aptly named ‘Little Venice’, be sure to take a river cruise during your stay. 

The surrounding countryside is lined with local vineyards, producing fine wines to pair with the produce you’ll find in the Market Hall that has stood since 1865. Filled with the local gastronomical favourites, visiting the market is a must in order to immerse yourself in this wonderful area. 

Wander into the quiet, fairy tale town of Colmar and find yourself amongst vibrant, medieval architecture. Turreted houses, shuttered windows and timbered walls in candied colours create the very convincing idea that this is the enchanted town from a children’s fable. 

Founded in the 9th century, it is a community immersed in history, from the origins of the buildings, to the River Lauch that fed townspeople and salaried the fishermen for centuries upon centuries.


  • Follow the narrow cobblestone paths, rich with greenery planted by the locals in the depths of Colmar’s old town. The scenic domains of traditional Alsatian design are apparent in every size and colour.
  • The Unterlinden Museum is a former 13th century Dominican convent and 20th century public bath. Boasting around 200,000 visitors annually it is the most popular museum in Alsace. The museum contains everything from impressionist paintings to modernist artwork, religious pieces and even furniture.
  • South of the centre, where the River Lauch meanders its way into the city you’ll find La Petite Venise. Take a boat trip past the beautiful buildings, with many dating back to the 14th century. Pass the charming fish quay and keep an eye out for otters who will often pay a visit in the summer.
  • Saint Martin’s Church contrasts the traditional houses in the town. Begun in 1235, the church is unmistakably Gothic. Though a reminder of a darker medieval style than the surrounding buildings, the colourful tiled rooves are in keeping with this rainbow town.
  • Born and raised in Colmar, Auguste Bartholdi’s most famous work is New York’s Statue of Liberty. Museum Bartholdi, housed in the sculptor’s birthplace, includes a massive collection of his work. While in Colmar, why not also check out the replica of the Statue of Liberty? You’ll find it on a main roundabout just 10 minutes from the centre.
  • Straight out of a Grimm’s tale, Maison Pfister was built in 1537. The octagonal turret, a break from traditional medieval design, represents the beginning of the French renaissance. The external murals of both secular and biblical description demonstrate a Europe in the midst of a humanist movement, leaning more towards rationalism than the Christian doctrines of the medieval period.


There are four routes to Europe from the UK, all of which are seven hours or less from Colmar. From the ports in Dunkirk and Calais you’re just six and a half hours from Colmar. Dieppe and Amsterdam are both seven hours in the car to Colmar. Make sure to take in the breathtaking scenery from your car as you travel to this stunning town.

For more details, check out