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Crafting Unforgettable Family Memories: Insider Tips from HV’s Experts

Category: Activities & Experiences | 03.18.2024

When it comes to planning a family vacation in 2024, why settle for the ordinary when you can have the extraordinary? At HV, we believe that family-friendly luxury should be an experience that captivates both the young and the young at heart. From lush rainforests and sun-kissed beaches to immersive cultural explorations, we’ve curated destinations that cater to families of all ages. Our mission is clear: to provide family-friendly accommodations that seamlessly blend luxury with comfort, ensuring every member of your family enjoys a truly unforgettable escape. 


Meet Our Experience Managers – Chris, Patty, and Chelsey. 

Allow us to introduce you to three passionate travellers who also happen to be our seasoned Experience Managers. They’re not just experts in luxury travel; they’re parents who understand the importance of crafting family memories. So, where would they go? What’s their personal touch on these family-friendly luxury destinations? Let’s embark on a journey through their eyes and gain insights into their most memorable family holiday.


We went to Colombia when my kids were 8, 10, and 12. The trip was in two distinct parts: a few nights in the highland ‘coffee country,’ and a few more on the Caribbean in Cartagena. Cartagena was great – a day of island snorkelling, impromptu salsa dancing in the evenings, and some surprisingly good food. But the highlight without a doubt was the time in the mountains and valleys of the coffee region, which for so long had been out of bounds to visitors during the long civil conflict in the country. One particularly memorable day saw us rambling out of town on horseback, down through the high-altitude forest to a coffee plantation to learn about that most addictive of beans, before wending to the valley floor for lunch by the Quindio River. 

The best family memory among the many? Playing the national game of tejo, best described as a sort of beanbag toss with gunpowder (!). Our kids’ shrieks, a combination of shock and delight, every time they caused an explosion (which is the goal of the game), were priceless. 

My best advice when planning for a family or intergenerational trip: don’t try to do too much. With limited time and the heavy investment in airfare, it is always tempting to see everything. But best not to try – you may well end up with more memories of lineups and taxi rides than lasting experiences. 


Two special family holidays I wish to share with you. 

One was a holiday in the south of France (near St. Remy) at a large villa property with the whole extended family. Grandparents, adult kids and their spouses, as well as my girls who were very young (4 and 3 at the time.) There were about 12 of us in total. It was a large space, both indoors and out, so plenty of room for everyone and spaces to tuck away if you wanted to read a book in the quiet. I remember vividly each morning, Grampa and my eldest daughter would walk into the village for the fresh baguette. The baguettes were almost as long as she was tall.

We typically all ate breakfast together out on the terrace and then got on with our days. Not much was planned as a group of 12 in terms of day trips, but each couple/family had their own car and could decide on the days’ activities that suited them best. We occasionally all met up for lunch which was great fun; all coming from different directions with stories of the morning’s adventures. Lunch out was more affordable than dinners out for a group this size. Each couple took a turn to shop for, plan, and prepare a dinner for the entire group. (And a way that we contributed to the cost of this extraordinary trip which was to celebrate Nana’s 60th birthday.) This was lots of fun too – visiting the local markets and my daughters loved that. End-of-day dinners were relaxing, mostly outdoors, with the beautiful hills in the background; much chatter about the day’s events and clinking of glasses. 

One thing I forgot to mention here was that about 7 or 8 of us one day packed up a lunch (with wine of course) and made our way to a lovely forested area and had ourselves an old-fashioned picnic. On the ground, blankets, lunch, a deck of cards, sun on our faces – and it was delightful! 

Second was a holiday in Tuscany with family friends and their kids. We were a large group again, 4 adults and 7 kids. The kids were older by this time and not much difference in age between the youngest and the eldest so they all “hung out” together. We stayed in a large property, again with lots of indoor and outdoor spaces. Being close to the town square, the kids were old enough that they could wander down to the square and have their gelato every afternoon. The town folk got to know them quite well. 

We did lots of activities together as families, visiting the small towns, enjoying pizza lunches outdoors, signing up for pottery-making classes, and we were lucky enough to secure an apartment in Siena, with a very large balcony, to take in the Palio. 

I agree with Chris – don’t plan too much. A few special outings are enough. Leave room for the magic to happen! 


In planning family trips, I prioritize understanding each family member’s unique needs. This approach ensures that accommodations are selected with everyone’s comfort and enjoyment in mind. During a trip to France and Italy with my nine-month-old daughter, we were pleasantly surprised by the supportive atmosphere in places like Nice and Cinque Terre. From helpful locals offering assistance with strollers to heartwarming moments like a kind Nonno holding my daughter at a quaint café, every interaction added to our journey’s richness. Exploring local bakeries and markets became a highlight of our trip, allowing us to savour authentic flavours and immerse ourselves in the culture. Opting for hotels and villas equipped with family-friendly amenities, such as a pack-and-play or highchair, greatly enhanced our stays, ensuring convenience and comfort for the whole family.  

My advice to families travelling is to embrace the journey, no matter the age of your children. While it may require extra planning, the memories created will be cherished for a lifetime. Balancing relaxation with adventure is key to a successful family vacation, offering a mix of downtime and excitement for all. Whether it’s exploring local attractions or simply enjoying quality time together, finding the right balance ensures everyone has a fulfilling experience. From charming restaurants to family-friendly activities, there’s no shortage of options to explore, creating lasting memories for the entire family.

In the realm of family vacations, one size certainly doesn’t fit all. That’s why our Experience Managers are here — to tailor your family holiday to your unique preferences and needs. With their wealth of experience and personal insights, they ensure that every moment of your journey is curated to perfection. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or a blend of everything, our experts craft an itinerary that reflects your family’s essence. So, why settle for the ordinary when you can embark on a tailor-made adventure with HV. Start planning your next family holiday with HV today! 

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