Mum knows best | budget-friendly family breaks in Europe

Mums really do know best, and there's no-one we'd rather ask about the perfect spot for our next family holiday abroad.

So, if you’re looking for a European break that won’t break the bank this year, we’ve done the research for you! Our favourite mum bloggers have shared their top hotels and resorts for a tried and tested holiday with the kids. Family-friendly amenities? Of course. Budget-friendly? Suprisingly. Mum-approved? Absolutely.

All hotels at the time of publishing had deals available for under £100 per night.

A city, beach and mountain holiday all in one

As a family, we’re always on the lookout for a good bargain, but one that doesn’t compromise on quality. So when we found the Hotel Quinta da Marinha in Cascais we knew we were on to a winner! This five-star golf resort has something for all, and even better, it comes at three or four-star prices too!

It has an enviable location near Lisbon, close to the resort town of Cascais, Sintra and my favourite Lisbon beach, Guincho. That means you can have both a city, beach and mountain holiday in one – perfect. We loved the comfortable, modern rooms that overlook the beautiful pool, great restaurants and my son’s favourite: the kids club. As an only child, this is all he ever wants from a holiday, and though I was, of course, happy to be able to tuck into my book, he enjoyed it so much that I barely ever saw him!

When we did manage to convince him to leave the kids’ club, we headed to Lisbon where we visited the brilliant Oceanario (aquarium) and the Science Museum, ate enough pasteis denatas to feed an army and made friends with locals playing football in our favourite park, Jardim da Estrela. We hopped back on the train to Cascais where we all tucked into the famous Santini ice-creams before going mussel-hunting on its picturesque city beaches and enjoying sunset and dinner in Guincho. We have since been back to the Hotel Quinta da Marinha again, and loved it just as much – it’s now a firm family favourite.

Maria Belfort – One Tiny Leap

Onyria Quinta da Marinha Hotel

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (391 reviews)

Get more for your buck in Turkey


Turkey remains a firm favourite holiday destination for a family on a budget. The beach resort town of Kuşadası has some great hotels, but Atlantique Holiday Club is one of the best choices for families.

The dedicated fun pool, the upbeat mix of daytime and evening activities and fun kids clubs keep the little ones entertained. Everyone will love the neighbouring Tortuga Aquapark, which guests receive unlimited access to. The all-inclusive food buffet provides a mix of traditional Turkish dishes and favourites even the fussiest eaters will like. Adults can head to the on-site spa for a Turkish massage or sit by the pool with some brightly coloured cocktails in the evenings.

The hotel has its own private beachfront where you can hire jet skis or even go on a guided horseback ride. If you head out of the resort, a short bus ride away you’ll find even more to do. Kuşadası shopping centre has bowling and across the road is a cinema. In the town centre, you can wander around the bazaar and hunt for bargains before enjoying views of the crystal blue harbour. During your stay, make sure to round up the family and go to the evening games of bingo, it’s good fun and you can win some great prizes.

Rebecca Rayner – Rayner En Route

Atlantique Holiday Club - All Inclusive

7.8 Good (518 reviews)

A classic city break destination

Amsterdam is a city packed with so many opportunities to play, discover and learn as a family. Hotel Lloyd is conveniently located at the eastern end of Central Station. What makes this iconic riverside hotel so unique, is that it has 117 rooms in all shapes and sizes to suit any budget. And every room is completely different. For instance, there is one room with a bed that can sleep seven people, one with a hammock, and even one with a swing!

Penny Alexander – Parent Shaped

Lloyd Hotel

8.1 Very good (526 reviews)

Winter sun for your family holiday


My daughter had her first overseas holiday here, and we love the spot so much, we’ve been back twice since – it’s perfect if you’re looking for a chilled-out break in the sun, or if you’d like to explore the island a bit more. The accommodation is villa-style, so you have plenty of space indoor and out to play – also ideal if you’re putting a little one to bed, but don’t want to sit in a darkened room – and there are kitchen and washing facilities too (very useful with a baby!).

Onsite, there’s also a pool and kids’ pool, plus a little restaurant-bar – and you’re very easy walking distance from all the restaurants and shops of Playa Blanca. The paved promenade along the sea is dotted with little beaches, ice cream stands and smooth enough to lull even a toddler to sleep at nap time.

Just a bit further away there’s a small waterpark and marina with a regular market, plus car hire to discover Lanzarote’s black sand beaches, volcanic centre and other attractions.

Cathy Winston – MummyTravels

Jardines del Sol

Top rated
Playa Blanca
9.0 Excellent (181 reviews)

A budget-friendly haven in Tenerife


We love this hotel and can’t believe it isn’t more expensive to be honest.  It’s in a quieter area of Puerto de la Cruz with views of Mount Teide. The location suited us perfectly, still very easy to get from the hotel to Loro Parque (we hired a car).  

My boys loved the swimming pool, wide range of food at the buffet restaurant and being so close to the beach whereas my hubby and I were very happy at the pool bar and in the solarium! The entertainment was great at night too, lots of other children there for my boys to make friends with. The rooms are air conditioned so my boys slept really well which is always a bonus!

Lisa- Travel Loving Family

O7 Tenerife

Puerto de la Cruz
7.7 Good (389 reviews)

The perfect spot for a family holiday in the Algarve


Carvoeiro is a little seaside town in the Algarve, just a short two-hour flight from the UK.  We visited in July and found the local square to be bustling but not overcrowded in the balmy evenings. Live performances on the centre stage serenade you as eat or enjoy watching the sunset, and bouncy castles and balloon makers entertain the children.

The Monte Santo Resort has a colourful and well-equipped kids playground, indoor swimming pool as well as the main pool, baby pool and smaller individual townhouse pools.

Our fully air-conditioned townhouse at was very clean and spacious with stair gates on both floors, a cot and an IKEA high-chair. You can order a whole host of items online prior to your stay, including extra bottles and teats, bottle warmers, crayons, colouring books, baby bath tubs and more. The complimentary kids club, Planet Junior has a range of activities in the morning and afternoon for children aged four and over. A nice touch were the goodie bags at the end of each participant stay. Additionally, they even have a team of  Baby Concierges, qualified English babysitters, a baby listening services and children’s menus.

To top it all of, the hotel is linked up with a great app called ‘B-Guest’ which enables you to plan your stay, which certainly makes things that little bit easier when organising activities.

Carrie Bradley – Flying With A Baby

Monte Santo Resort

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (1911 reviews)

A hidden gem for your next family getaway


The Hotel Metropole in the centre of Boulogne-sur-Mer could well be a bit of a hidden gem, so don’t tell everyone about it! From the outside, or looking at older pictures, you’d be forgiven for thinking it looks a little on the drab side, but the hotel has recently undergone a complete renovation inside and all of the rooms are now bright, modern and colourful. The dining area has also had a makeover and is perfectly charming.

I stayed with my daughter in May this year and was taken massively by surprise at the quality of the furnishings and decor. Our bedroom had a very ‘boutique hotel’ feel to it and was very spacious with a large bathroom and balcony. Top tip: check out the garden at the back of the restaurant area. It’s a small space but beautiful – brimming with trailing plants and secluded shady spots.

Jo Middleton – Slummy Mummy

Hotel Metropole centre ville

8.3 Very good (157 reviews)

Everything to entertain the family

We love the all-inclusive Kinderhotel in Zell Am See for the sheer amount of options it offers families with children of all ages. The kids’ clubs cater from babies to teens and run seven days a week. The play areas are immense, with so many games and activities to enjoy. And if you want to spend time as a family, you must check out the family spa. It’s amazing, with opportunities for babies and toddlers to take swimming lessons and even have gentle massages.

Rachel – The Ordinary Lovely