Do you find arranging a family holiday stressful? Or is it once you are on it, that the cracks begin to show? It’s a bit like trying to get a flock of sheep all travelling in the same direction isn’t it?
As I type this we are doing just that, not the herding bit, but the holiday planning. And even though I’m a seasoned traveller, there are always hiccups and stresses along the way. Having flown to both short and long haul destinations on holiday with my family I have lots of advice to give you. Most importantly, you do need to spend time giving it careful thought and planning, to avoid any issues arising.
For many of us, it will be the most expensive purchase we will make that year, and the one and only time we get to spend an extended period of time together as a family. It puts a lot of pressure on the trip to be perfect!
My top tip, and one that I always do at the initial planning stage, is to get the children involved in the decision-making process. I have a more nervous traveler and home bird, so it helps to ease any of that tension, if she is given some decisions to make. Even if your children are more adventurous (as my eldest is) it really can help to give them some responsibility, how about asking them to find things that they would like to do in the local area.
It’s then I would take those plans, and make your bookings. It’s good to know exactly what to expect when you are travelling with children, even though it take the spontaneity out of it, you’ll be thanking me afterwards!
Remember to take out comprehensive insurance, bring with you insect repellents and medicine. Sometimes it’s the small preparation of things like this that really help the holiday go smoothly. Bring with you hand sanitizer and something for a icky tummy too.
I have written about this several times on the blog, here a few of my top tips.
Take plenty of food – The last thing you want is a hungry toddler mid-flight, so make sure you take a wide range of snacks with you on board.
Think about take-off and landing – During take-off and landing, the change in cabin pressure might cause your ears to tingle, hurt or even pop. This can be quite distressing for children, so always give them something to drink or suck as this will help equalise the pressure in their ears. Older children can enjoy a boiled sweet.
Take their favourite toys – If you’re a parent you’ll know that young kids need a lot of stimulation, so it’s a good idea to pop a few of their favourite toys, some coloring books and a magazine in your hand luggage. Remember you’ll be limited to what you can take, but a few small items will do the trick.
For older children, take something that they will enjoy. I definitely take the easier route when it comes to older children, allowing them to watch the TV on the plane, or on a tablet. Taking an ereader is also a good idea, as it will be useful when you are on holiday too.
Once you get to your holiday I do give the children a task to do whilst they are away. One of my favourites is for them to produce a holiday diary whilst they are away, which we then make into a scrapbook when we get home. A cheap small camera, and a homemade holiday diary to jot down what they got up to this day, I also give them a small bag, so that they can collect things like unusual sweet wrappers, a pebble or ticket from something they’ve enjoyed doing.
Give your children a small amount of pocket-money too for the trip. Sometimes you will be surprised as to what they plan to spend it on. One year my eldest spent every penny carefully buying small things for her friends at school like friendship bracelets and postcards. It’s great to get them used to other currency too, and trying out another language.
If you, or the whole family are still feeling nervous, go for something like a package holiday, that organises everything for you. Don’t worry package holidays don’t have to be expensive, voucher sites such as MyVoucherCodes.co.uk are always offering some amazing special offers so keep an eye out for those. They currently have incredible deals for Thomson offering a great range of family holidays with kids clubs and entertainment programmes for the whole family. With availability of family sized rooms, parent and baby facilities, and hangout areas for older children and children’s buffets. Day and evening entertainment and activities for the whole family. ‘
Some other posts I have written you might enjoy :