Summer holiday debate – beach or culture?

If you’ve ever thought about planning a family summer holiday, you’ve probably faced the age-old dilemma – “shall we go for something a bit different this year; something adventurous and exotic?”, or “shall we just do a nice-and-simple fly-and-flop holiday in Europe?”. 

Here at ETG, we like to call this the great ‘beach versus culture’ debate and, trust us, it pops up a lot. When you work hard all year and you have children to keep happy, it’s never easy to know which option is going to be the best for you. Allow this author to help guide your thought process in one of history’s greatest ever debates (“with-or-without-pulp orange juice” and “communism versus capitalism” will have to wait for now!).

First of all, don’t feel bad. Like we said, we have many clients (and colleagues!) who tackle this debate. We often speak to families who feel guilty somehow for being exhausted and needing some quality R&R time; that somehow, they are uncouth for not wanting to see every temple or historic site that somewhere has to offer. Far be it for us to judge, and in fact, we think being totally honest with oneself upfront is the best way to avoid being on a holiday that you don’t actually want. Keen, niche interests are awesome but not for everyone, and not wanting too much fuss doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t find your dream holiday in Asia.

Which leads on to my second point – don’t automatically write off Asia in favour of Europe. Yes, it’s a longer flight than to Greece or Turkey. Yes, you’re less likely to remember high-school conversational Vietnamese than French. And yes, paella is delicious. However, it’s never been easier and faster to fly to Asia, and you’d be surprised at how easy it can be to execute the perfect family-holiday-of-a-lifetime in Asia. It’s safe, the weather is awesome, there’s adventure by the bucket-load, but also some of the most jaw-dropping beaches on earth (not to mention lush jungle, mountains, plantations, river deltas and the like) that are all ideal spots to relax and get away from it all in peace and quiet.

Crucially, a family holiday in Asia means you don’t have to sacrifice either beach or culture. There are some unbelievable destinations across this varied continent that are perfect for combining quality family time, relaxation, and some cultural fun. Hoi An in Vietnam, for example, has beautiful beaches with safe sea-swimming conditions, with the charming UNESCO World Heritage Town of Hoi An just a ten-minute drive away. Bali in Indonesia will see you striding out through the jungle one minute and dipping your toes in the calm, warm ocean the next. Or cycle through coconut groves and learn cooking tips from the locals before kicking back under a palm tree on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

So, what now then? Do call ETG. We’re family holiday experts: we understand the balance needs to be right and will be different for each individual family. We know the hotels, we know the flight routes, we know the activities your children will love, and most importantly, we know the answer to the beach versus culture question…it’s both!

Could this be the year that you go with the adventurous and exotic option? We really hope so, and we’re looking forward to talking to you about it.


If you’d like to talk to a travel specialist about your potential family holiday, do give us a call on 020 3627 3081  or email us here. You can see some examples of the kinds of trips we organise by looking at our website. All our trips are tailor-made though, so can be changed to suit your exact needs.


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LucyReeve

Lucy has lived in Beijing for two years working for a luxury adventure travel company, combining off-the-beaten-path itineraries with the high levels of comfort. She started as a Vietnam and Cambodia specialist at Experience Travel Group, and has since expanded her expertise to include Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

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