Fathers are in for a treat on Sunday, 16 June, which is the day set aside in many countries for children to show their fathers how much they mean to them. Father's Day gifts and tributes can range from a favourite bottle of wine to away days spent with their children, enjoying some time out together and maybe a little holiday adventure too...
Even if you have got your Father's Day gift wrapped up, read on, because you might want to consider a gift for next year that takes some planning, such as a holiday! And for those of us who leave everything to the last minute, there are some ideas here for presents that you still have time to buy in readiness for the big day.
Father's Day quick fixes
So, you haven't got a lot of present buying time left, and not a lot of cash to splash. Here is my round up of fun gifts to please your father that can be purchased at short notice.
A Ted Baker water bottle - I'd recommend the gun metal grey. Whether your dad is going to sit this on his desk in the office to remind him to hydrate regularly, or sport it while out at the gym, it is a smart and useful bit of kit that can be purchased for under £20 if bought online - under £30 RRP on the high street.
Games - How about a Trunk of Drunk Drinking Games? This is something that you can enjoy with your dad on a Friday night to get the weekend off to a great start, and something which can get the party started for when dad is hosting a gathering of friends and family. Eight ways to 'relax' come packed in a box, complete with 20 reusable cups, four ping pong balls, a set of cards and, thank goodness, full instructions! Or you could go for the best - or worst - cheesy jokes packs, and other such amusing trivia to bring a smile to your father's face.
Get the monopoly on GOT - Still looking at games, if your father is a Games Of Thrones fan - which is very likely - did you know that you can get a Game Of Thrones Monopoly edition? Well, you can which means you and your father can battle for blood-soaked lands and iron thrones as featured in the incredibly popular TV series!
Go retro - There are any number of retro-style vinyl turntables out there to be snapped up at under £50. If cool retro is your dad's style, then don't forget there are some beautiful retro radios as well. Something quite unusual that caught my eye in a recent internet shopping sweep was a Volkswagon Toaster... I know a number of dads who dream of owning an old Volkswagon and while you can't motor off down the road in this VW, it's certainly a 'hot' gift in more than one way.
A present for the planners
If you want to do something really special for your dad on Father's Day, you could start planning a holiday now, for next year. It could be a break just for you to share with your father - or maybe you will bring your siblings into your plan to share the cost and double the fun. However you plan it, the gift of a holiday takes some beating as a way to show your father how much you appreciate all he has done for you, including the many holidays he has taken you and your family on over the years. What a treat for him to be able to go on a holiday he hasn't had to organise and pay for!
If you are a timeshare owner you have the advantage of knowing that you can use your timeshare, with holiday exchange, to get quality accommodation with the space for you and dad to spread out in comfort. Having all that space, you could make it a family holiday, using a two- or three-bedroom timeshare apartment, as well as being able to swap your home week for a stay somewhere completely different to surprise your father.
Tee time in Portugal
The tees that many of our fathers dream about are to be found, of course, on the golf course. And where better to play golf than Portugal's stunning and sunny Algarve?
The combination of great year-round weather and some of the best golf courses in Europe makes the Algarve one of the best places to head for if you want a golfing break in a holiday location that will give you so much more to enjoy when you get off the greens. There are 32 golf courses on the Algarve, many being designed by the best golf architects in the world and built along a coastline renowned for its spectacular cliffs and beach beauties.
The golfing experts will know that there are some famous golf holes on some of the Portuguese courses. The 16th hole at the Royal Golf course at Vale do Lobo is a par-3 which requires the tee shot to clear a ravine from a clifftop tee overlooking the coastline below. Does golf come any better?
There are 30 resorts in Portugal signed up to the RCI Holiday Exchange programme which have their own golf courses, agreements with neighbouring courses, or are close to some great public courses - 26 of those are on Portugal's stunning Algarve.
Elliott at Vale do Lobo (0332) is one such. The resort is in an upmarket area on the Algarve and is, in itself, a beautiful resort. Better yet, if it is a week of golf you want for you and your dad, the resort is built on a private estate with two fabulous golf courses of its own - The Ocean and The Royal. Check it out on TripAdvisor - there are many great reviews from golfing guests who say things such as: "The place is absolutely outstanding and the golf is excellent", and "Great service, great food, great golf... I would highly recommend this place for making you feel like a wealthy person - two golf courses to choose from". And if you want to explore the area, it is an easy drive to many places of interest if you rent a car, while taxis are reasonably priced and the reception staff at the resort will be happy to advise you on distances and costs, and book a taxi for you when you want to venture out.
Mountain safari in Tenerife
You don't need to go to the far-flung corners of the Earth on an epic long-haul holiday to go off the beaten track on a 4X4 jeep safari. Just a reasonable short-haul flight away from the UK is the Spanish island of Tenerife where, if you were to book a jeep safari now, in June, you'd pay £46 per person (adult) and £22 (children up to 11 years old).
I used www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk to find the adventure I had in mind. Importantly, for me at least, it kicks off with an English-speaking driver/guide. A 4X4 Land Rover Defender is your transport and the pick ups are from all the main resorts in South Tenerife, where there are 45 resorts signed up to the RCI Holiday Exchange programme for RCI members to choose from. Your open-top vehicle is perfect for you to take in the spectacular scenery as you race up mountain roads or wind across open country terrain.
You will scale the mighty Mount Teide which rises up 3,718 metres in the air, and along the way you will catch so many fascinating cameos of traditional Canarian life going off the beaten track. Scented pine forests will eventually give way to places such as Vilaflor, the highest village in Spanish territory, you'll thrill at the spine-tingling views from the lost village of Masca which is enveloped in a deep ravine and was only rediscovered relatively recently. As you climb Teide, one of the world's largest volcanoes, the landscape becomes lunar-like and your guide will talk you through the creation and evolution of the island of Tenerife while you marvel at some of the unique rock formations that surround you. The safari is about eight hours in duration and takes in a typical Canarian lunch at a traditional village eatery along the way.
Puerto Colon Club (2424) is well-situated in the south of the island, just a short drive away from the historic town of Adeje, and yet right on the beach enjoying views of the nearby marina. With its wonderful holiday location come boutique shops, bars, restaurants, tennis, and casinos. However, if you and your father are of a sporting inclination, then you are well catered for with tennis, windsurfing, golf, boating and fishing all close at hand. Once your safari adventure has finished, your holiday can get started at this vibrant destination on the liveliest of the Canary Islands.
Whisky galore tour
There are 12 resorts available to RCI members in the Edinburgh area alone, and 117 resorts affiliated to RCI across the whole of Scotland, so finding a whisky tour within easy reach of your resort in this bonny country shouldn't be too difficult. There can be few fathers who don't appreciate a glass of this amber magic - my own father is virtually a teetotaller, but he will always welcome a whisky when offered a tipple!
Looking at the cultural and iconic city of Edinburgh, with its castle commanding views of the city's spires and its stately Royal Mile, not to mention the miles and miles of wonderful shopping, dining and drinking experiences, I thought it has to have its share of whisky tours, and it does. Check out www.getyourguide.com to choose yours. I found the Edinburgh: The History Of Whisky With Tasting And Storytelling tour. For £29 per person, you will be greeted with a warm welcome at one of the city's leading whisky venues just off the Royal Mile. It is an evening event during which, for two hours, you will be immersed in some traditional Scottish storytelling; you will learn the significance of whisky to the Scottish identity - and did I mention the whisky tasting?
You get to drink four noted single malt Scotch whiskies from four of the country's famed whisky-producing regions, from the delicate flavours of the Lowlands tipple, to the richer and more robust Islay whisky. If you are up for it, there are many other tours you can book onto, including food and ghost tours. You might well decide to clear your heads after the whisky evening and take to the hills. A visit to www.scotlinetours.co.uk tells me that it is possible to get out of Edinburgh and up to Glen Coe and Loch Ness on a day trip from the city. Departing from the Royal Mile, it is a 12-hour day to visit Loch Ness, and that coach tour will take you through spectacular Rob Roy country, and on to Fort William and Urquhart Castle. You can even take a cruise on Loch Ness itself, should you choose to.
The Edinburgh Residence (4264) is the most central to the city of the RCI resorts in the Holiday Exchange programme, being a 10-minute walk from the main shopping area of Princes Street. Its proximity to the city centre, with its theatres, galleries, museums and, of course, the historic Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, makes this resort a popular choice, so RCI members are advised to deposit early and put a search on for this property as soon as you can in your planning journey. There are many other resorts, however, in the outlying areas which benefit from being in the wild and rugged Scottish countryside, on the doorsteps of the national parks and from where it is still possible to get into Edinburgh by train - a great service, or by car if you decide to hire one to make the most of a country with roads that are just made for touring.
Use RCI search to help find your dream holiday
As an RCI member, you will be able to take advantage of our holiday planning tools to help you get away on the holiday you really want. Once you have opened the destination page you are interested in visiting on the RCI.com website, then you can narrow your search by using the search filters to the left of your screen. You can refine the locations within your chosen country, or you can search using the Holiday Types, Activities, Cities, Check-In Days and even by Member Reviews! You can also place on ongoing search for your preferred resort and dates, and let RCI do the searching for you, notifying you as soon as a match comes up.
If you are an RCI member, and you want to treat your parents to a family holiday using your timeshare, remember to start planning in good time with an early deposit if you are going for an exchange. And, if you are looking to surprise them by visiting a place you've never visited before, there's no better place to start than a visit to the RCI Resort Directory. Click the button below to start your search...
If you do own timeshare, but have never experienced the benefits of holiday swapping using an exchange company, you can join RCI, the world's leading provider of holiday exchange services. All you have to do is to click on the Join RCI button below and your travels can begin now.