Get a head start on planning and booking your 2021 school holidays trip now. After being confined at home for most of 2020, there's simply no time to waste!
The Flight Centre team rounded up the best places to travel to make the most of those 2021 school holidays.
Autumn holiday: 29 March to 12 April 2021
Come end March, you can look forward to an incredible two week holiday. Be sure to book early to make sure you get the best choice of accommodation.
Make the most of the gloriously warm but not windy autumn weather and head to Cape Town and the nearby Winelands.
Families can check into Spier hotel in Stellenbosch, a firm family favourite with its range of imaginative activities to entertain kids from 3 to 12 years old. While mom and dad enjoy a wine tasting, younger guests get their very own grape juice tasting.
Or head to the Garden Route for a classic road trip. Check into Fancourt and perfect your swing, while the rest of the family enjoys the vast array of fun activities and experiences on the property.
Plan enough time – at least five days – to allow ample time for wandering off the N2 and discovering the hidden treasures that await along the Garden Route.
If an international holiday is on the cards, consider heading to Vietnam. This destination is just as affordable as Thailand, if not more so, and this is one of the best times to visit. Temperatures reach a sunny 28°C with little chance of rain.
Winter holiday: 28 June to 19 July 2021
Locally, the winter months are the perfect time to enjoy a bush break. Game viewing is best in winter as the animals are much easier to spot. The days in the Kruger National Park are warm and sunny while nights are clear for incredible star-gazing.
Or escape the winter chill and head to Mauritius. The four-hour flight from Johannesburg is a breeze, there is no visa requirement, and the island records daily temperatures of around 25°C. Mauritius is the South African traveller's favourite island for a good reason. A bonus: direct flights from Cape Town and Durban are also available.
The east coast could be windy this time of year, which is still great for water sports at resorts on this side of the island. Families could also opt for a resort near Grand Baie or on the island's sheltered west coast. Many resorts offer good kids' specials too.
Spring holiday: 4 October to 11 October 2021
With just over a week's holiday, a spring break is a perfect time to go local.
Watch Southern-right whales in Walker Bay near Hermanus and check out dates for the seaside town's annual Whale Festival. It is one of the only eco-marine festivals in South Africa, aiming to educate, inspire and entertain.
Or head up the West Coast to the West Coast National Park for paddling in the calm waters of the Langebaan Lagoon and wildflower spotting.
Summer holiday: from 10 December 2021
While we don't have 2021's December school holidays confirmed just yet, you can still start planning your family holiday from 10 December onwards.
Hop on over to nearby Mozambique, join a local cruise or head down to the coast for a homegrown holiday in South Africa.
Further abroad, Thailand is still considered one of the best value-for-money destinations, with a well-established tourist industry, stunning beaches and delicious food. And it's visa-free!
If you have already done the tourist rounds in Phuket, Krabi or Chiang Mai, head slightly off the beaten track and visit a traditional hill tribe in Chiang Rai or stay on a lake in the Khao Sok National Park. There are also 'less discovered' islands, such as Koh Yao Yai.
For a completely different experience, embrace the European winter with a ski or Christmas markets holiday.
*Approximate holiday dates are subject to change and are based on the public school holiday calendar.
Five essential family travel tips from the Flight Centre Travel Experts
1. Check the required documentation.
2. Ensure your family's passports are valid for a minimum of six months after your return.
3. Ask your Travel Expert to request a child's meal on any flight. Many airlines offer activity packs that are distributed with the meals booked.
4. Always get to the airport early.
5. Don't try to do or see too much in one day and plan rest days during your trip.