There are so many tips and pieces of advice to wade through when it comes to family holidays!
Take a look at some of our favourite tips, for both before you book and during the holiday…
Family Holiday Tips: 1. Manage your expectations
Although you can still enjoy a lovely relaxing holiday, travel post-kids is very different to travel pre-kids. You can’t leave your full time job of parenting behind- you’ll still have to deal with nappies and feeding and tantrums and getting up at night etc.
Picking a child friendly destination can certainly help to make coping with these as easy as possible whilst you’re away, but the reality is you do need to manage your expectations and understand that this holiday will be different to others you had before. You might not be able to have such action packed days, or peaceful nights where you sleep in till 11 the next day, but you can still have a wonderful holiday!
Family Holiday Tips: 2. Don’t over plan
Trying to cram loads of activities into a few days of holiday with little ones is just not going to happen. To avoid over-tired tots and stressful family days out, stick to one main activity per day at most, so you can really enjoy it without having to rush or exhausting your kids.
Family Holiday Tips: 3. Factor in relaxation days
Days to just sit and chill are often as valuable as visiting attractions; there will be days when your little ones would much rather just sit and play at the resort/villa. If you’re holidaying for a reasonable amount of time, do factor in some down days to balance out the day trips.
Family Holiday Tips: 4. Remember that playgrounds are not necessarily a waste of time
Spending time at a playground when you’re holiday might feel like a waste, as it’s something you can do at home. However, your little ones will still have an absolute ball and it can be an excellent opportunity to mingle with the locals, enjoy a calming glass of wine or read up on your destination.
Family Holiday Tips: 5. Book child friendly accommodation
Book a destination that’s specifically geared for those travelling with young children; for private accommodation choose a destination that has been properly inspected for child safety, has a physical safety barrier around the pool and has good self-catering facilities. For a resort, choose a destination that has family food options, safe and clean rooms that suit the needs of families with young kids, child friendly hotel facilities and childcare options. All of the destinations on Tots to Travel meet this criteria.
Family Holiday Tips: 6. Make time to take photos
Family holidays provide the perfect opportunity for making priceless happy memories. Preserve these special moments in the form of photographs, which you can enjoy looking back over in years to come.
Family Holiday Tips: 7. Encourage holiday journals
Even if your little one is too young to write, encourage them to draw or make collages based on your holiday. This will also be something you can keep to look back on, plus it encourages your child to be creative and can buy you a precious few moments of peace!
Family Holiday Tips: 8. Bring your tablet
Speaking of a few moments’ peace, if you have a tablet, bring it. When your child starts getting restless on the plane, kicking up a fuss on the beach, or becomes a little lethargic and emotional after a day out in the sun, produce your tablet and let them play a few games or watch their favourite show to keep them occupied and calm.
Family Holiday Tips: 9. Use YouTube
A great way to get your kids excited about the holiday, but also to familiarise them with your destination, is to show them some of the attractions on YouTube. This can even help to alleviate tantrums during the holiday, as your child will have a realistic expectation about what you will be seeing together and where you will be staying, stopping them from feeling too overwhelmed.
Family Holiday Tips: 10. When thinking about car hire/transfers, ask yourself what you want from your holiday
Often we get asked whether or not it’s necessary to hire a car for a family holiday. However, it really does depend on your destination and what you want to get out of your holiday!
Important things to think about are which attractions you’d like to visit, how far it is to the beach, how far is it to the supermarket, is everything you need on-site or will travel be required… if you simply don’t think you’ll really need to leave your resort, then you can definitely make do without car hire, but do keep in mind that this may restrict where you can visit.
Family Holiday Tips: 11. If you know you’ll need flexibility, choose a destination with self-catering
Before you book, have a think about what type of catering would best suite your family’s needs. Would you prefer not to have to cook at all? Would you like to eat at a resort some nights and eat elsewhere or do the cooking yourself for the others? Would you prefer to have complete flexibility to cook what you like, when you like? Take all of these options into consideration before you choose your destination, so you can be sure that is has the right options for your family’s needs.
Family Holiday Tips: 12. Let go and enjoy yourself
It can be very easy to get wrapped up in the stress of trying to organise a holiday or worrying about whether your little one will have everything they need- but as long as you book a child friendly destination, you’ll have a wonderful time and can get some rest and relaxation which you’ve certainly earned!
For more family travel tips and tricks take a look at this brilliant travel hacks infographic!