Organizing a family holiday can be a lot of work for most people. There are a lot of things that you need to consider to make sure that your trip is going to be suited to everyone involved and that everyone will have a good time while they are away. There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that you are prepared for anything that can happen, and getting organised on time can be a lot easier than you would think.
Planning the trip
- Decide where you want to go – Deciding where you want to go can be the hardest part of planning a family holiday. Ideally, you want to find somewhere that works for everyone, but sometimes, you may need to compromise and find a destination that works for the whole family. Another thing to consider before you start planning is your budget. You can still have a great holiday on a strict budget, even if you choose to go somewhere cheap. The key is to have a good time and relax, rather than spending tons of money to look good.
- Look for deals – If you book your holiday well in advance, then you may be able to get a good deal on your accommodation or some of the activities that you are looking to partake in. A lot of hotels will also offer family deals, so if you have a certain amount of children, then you might get a better deal. If you book with a travel agent, they may be able to get you a good deal by combining the costs for flights and accommodation, so you won’t have to worry about booking anything yourself. It is also good to check out different airlines from time to time, because they may have a deal going on for a cheap flight to your destination, which can save you a lot if you find a good flight at the right time.
- Research the local area – Making sure that you do some research on the local area before you go on holiday is very important, no matter where you are going. Going online and researching before you go somewhere will help to give you a sense of the place, and learn about what is on offer so that you can decide what you are going to do there. A quick search online of your destination is a great way to start your research because you can find reviews from people that have already been there. Researching the area before you get there will help you to feel more relaxed when you get there because you will know what is worth trying and what to stay away from while in your new location.
- Planning transportation – For a family holiday, it is not enough to just book a flight or hop in the car and hope for the best. You need to plan more than just a time and a date when you are travelling with your family. Kids tend to get bored and tired on long trips, so you may need to pack something with you to keep them entertained. Books and toys that they can read or play within a small space are always a good idea. Snacks are also important, and may not always be available when you are hungry, so make sure that you pack something in your bag like some crackers or a sandwich that is small and easy to transport. Planes can be particularly difficult for children, so if you are travelling by plane, make sure you prepare your children for flying.
- Plan your petcare – If you are going away for a while and you have a pet at home, then you may need to think about pet care before you leave. Although taking your dog or cat to a pet boarding centre or the local vet can be an easy fix, some people prefer to hire a pet sitter to look after their pet instead. Getting a pet sitter may also be a better idea than taking your pet to a boarding centre, because you may be able to get them to stay at your house and look after the property while you are away. Some sitters are happy to come to your house and look after your pet for a few hours a day, rather than keeping them in their homes, so you can make sure your home and your pet are looked after simultaneously.
Before you go
- Find somewhere that caters to your family’s needs – Making sure that you stay somewhere that works for you and your family is extremely important on a family vacation. If you or your family members have specific needs, then the place that you are staying in should be able to meet them. For example, if you are travelling with a baby, you will need to stay at a place that has a cot and a highchair available. Also, if you are staying in a multi-floored building, you may need to make sure that they have a lift that you can access for transporting large items like prams or sporting equipment.
- Different types of accommodation – These days, there are a number of different options when it comes to choosing your accommodation for your next trip. If you have a larger family, you should consider booking an apartment or townhouse for the whole family, rather than one or two rooms in a hotel. This will allow you to keep an eye on everyone in the same space, while not feeling too overcrowded. Hotels can also be good because they offer a range of different services to their guests. For example, your hotel may offer babysitting services or a kids club, which may be very important to you. The key is to make sure you find what is best for you and your family and explore all of the options before you make your choice.
- Pack only the essentials – Making sure that you only pack what you really need when you are travelling is very important. You don’t take too much away with you, especially if have limited space in your bags or on the plane or in the car, so packing light is key. A good idea is to roll your clothing up rather than just folding everything so that your safe space when packing. Packing cubes are also very helpful if you have a lot to pack and a limited space, so consider buying some before you start packing for your next trip. If you’re having some trouble packing for your next big trip, then you should try making a list of what you need to take with you, and tick everything off once you’ve packed it, so nothing gets forgotten.
- Prepare for emergencies – make sure that you have all your information backed up. Leave copies of all important paperwork at home, and/or scanned to a place online such as dropbox. On your trip, you should also make sure that you have plenty of charging cables and backup charging devices so that you have your devices prepared.
When you get there
- Rent equipment if you can – Taking big and bulky items on a family holiday is not always ideal. If you are travelling on a plane, for example, you may have a limited amount of space available for your items, which means that you may need to pay extra to take more with you. A good solution to this issue is to rent some of the equipment that you were going to take with you, rather than trying to take your own. Things like strollers, high-chairs, porta-cots and snorkelling gear are usually available at most hotels, so you will be able to rent your items when you arrive at your destination, and leave them again when you go home.
- Have a back-up plan – Having a back-up plan for when things go wrong is essential when travelling with children. Sometimes you may plan an activity or to go to a restaurant and for whatever reason, you can’t get there, so you need to have a back-up plan in place. For example, you may have planned to go to the beach but the weather is cold and rainy. If you can go somewhere else that will still be fun and entertaining for the kids, then you won’t have to worry when things don’t go according to plan, because you will always have something else to do.
- Have some down-time – When you go on a big holiday, it can be easy to get wrapped up in doing everything that you want to go while you are there. If you are staying somewhere in a big city it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things that tourists do. However, when you are travelling with the family, you may not get to do everything that you want to do in the amount of time you have. If you are travelling with a baby or a small child, they will not be able to run around doing a number of activities every day, so you will need to plan for them as well. Knowing when to have some downtime is very important when you are on holidays because the key is to not overdo it and have a good time.
Planning a family holiday can be a stressful job. If you have planned a family holiday before, then you will have some idea of what you need to do before you go on your next trip. However, if you have not planned a family holiday before, then the key is to try and plan for everything. Doing your research and finding the best deals you can take some time, but if you stick with it, then it will all be worth it in the end, and you will have a great time. As long as you remember to keep calm and carry on if something goes wrong, you will have a great time away with your family on holiday.