Take guesswork out of holidays

HOLIDAY needs and expectations change with age and station in life.

Where you spend a weekend away with your mates and girlfriends will be different from where you holiday with your new romantic interest.

Honeymoons will be far removed from short breaks for business people, and empty-nesters and retirees will use their freedom in longer vacations and probably more exotic locations.

Enjoyable family holidays have their own set of requirements.

Your choice of destination, how long it takes to get there, cost, and what’s on offer in kids’ activities, meals and facilities when you get there can make or break your vacation.

And let’s face it: if the kids are happy, mum and day are happy, too.

Many families rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from other families when it comes to taking the guesswork out of planning a trip away.

But now short-break website can also lend a hand to put big smiles on little faces after compiling its top 10 family stays in Australia.

Rest assured that there are no hidden costs. The website offers parents the option of entering how many children are in the family and their ages, plus the option to include a cot for the duration of your stay.

Only hotels that accommodate the entire family will be displayed and any extra costs associated with rollaway beds are factored into the total price.

The top 10 family picks are:

1. Paradise Resort Gold Coast – from just $99 per night, plus kids stay and play for free.

2. Opal Cove Resort Coffs Harbour – from $125 per night for two nights in a Resort Room.

3. Rydges Sabaya Resort Port Douglas – from $119 per night, including two for one offer on breakfast.

4. Hyatt Regency Coolum – from $199 per night for a King Room, including breakfast. A Camp Hyatt Kids Club is available for an extra cost.

5. All Seasons Phillip Island Eco Resort – from $209 for a two bedroom villa, fully self-contained.

6. Couran Cove Island Resort – from $221 per night. Stay four nights, but only pay for three, plus ferry transport and bicycle hire.

7. Clarion Suites Gateway Melbourne – from $249 per night, including free meals for kids

8. Sea World Resort & Water Park – from $283 per night for a Resort Room, plus a VIP theme park pass to Movie World, Sea World and Wet ’n’ Wild

9. Mantra Hindmarsh Square Adelaide – from $299 per night for a two-bedroom suite, with breakfast, late check-out and parking.

10. Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour – from $355 per night for a family package, including breakfast, monorail pass and $100 worth of discount vouchers.

Shop around, do your homework, talk to other families, and visit

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