As a mum, you have to be organised and planning a family holiday is no different, but where do you get the time? There are ways to help save time and make holiday planning easier so you can actually look forward to your break rather than needing another one once you’ve finished! Here are five tips that will help you plan and prepare for that much needed family holiday.
Think about your destination
You want your family holiday to be a time to relax and spend quality time together, so you don’t want to spend the duration of your stay worrying about where you are. Taking time to research your chosen destination, the local travel advice and things such as vaccinations required, local healthcare, available amenities and the foods on offer will save you the stress once you arrive.
You also need to make sure there is plenty to do to entertain your family members. Family activity holiday destinations can be a great idea as there are so many things to do to wear out young travellers, giving the adults a break at the end of the day.
What facilities do you need? When travelling with young children or extended family, booking an apartment rather than a hotel can be beneficial as you have access to the amenities you need. For example, a microwave for sterilising bottles or a washing machine to refresh those baby clothes. Decide what you need before booking to ensure your stay is as convenient and comfortable as possible.
By having knowledge of the area, your location and following the safety advice prior to travelling you are less likely to worry and more likely to relax when you finally arrive.
Make a travel packing checklist
When you are rushing around getting ready to go it is really easy to forget essentials for your break. If you sit down and make a checklist before you pack, it will make life a lot easier for this and future trips.
Some things that are often forgotten include, travel plug adapters, medications, first aid kits and children’s sun creams. If you have written a list you can tick off your items as you pack them and you’ll never forget the things you need again!
Of course, it will depend on where you are going and the ages of family members but the core essentials won’t change much when planning your family holiday.
One thing to remember when packing is to pack light. Try not to lug too many unnecessary items around with you such as toys and games that you won’t need. Take travel versions of your toiletries or decant them into smaller bottles to prevent excessive weight in your bags too.
When it comes to travelling with small children and babies you may have to think about how much formula milk and nappies you need to bring with you, slightly easier if you are breastfeeding of course, just in terms of the amount of ‘stuff’ to pack. Find out if you can purchase or order these items at your destination so you don’t have to fill a suitcase for your trip. Make sure you bring enough for your journey plus a few extra in case of delays.
Use a travel agent
If you are a seasoned traveller you may not like the idea of leaving the finer details of your holiday to someone else, but to save time and make your life easier, using a travel agent might be the way to go. Let’s face it, that is their job, they are paid to know what’s out there and find you what you want.
All you need to do is decide where and when about you want to travel, what kind of holiday you want, plus any other parameters of your choice and they will do the hard work for you.
You don’t need to plough through holiday websites or brochures, just choose from the options your agent provides. The best part is, if you decide you don’t want any of the options available you haven’t wasted that time researching for yourself.
Another great thing about booking with an agent is the support you’ll get whilst you are away. There is usually a rep that will help you whilst on your holiday meaning you’ll never feel isolated or alone. It’s also someone to turn to for help and advice if things go wrong, giving you piece of mind during your break.
Make sure there’s plenty of activities for the kids
You want to keep the family entertained whilst on holiday and prevent boredom from kicking in around day three. Research what activities you can take part in during your stay and have a rough plan about what you are going to do each day.
Children today have a very different travel experience compared to when you were younger. What you may have enjoyed as a child might not be as appealing to your own kids. Everything is expected instantly; screen life is a normality and children are much more easily distracted.
Try to book excursions, entertainment for the kids and trips prior to departing so you don’t have to think about it once you get there. It will give the children plenty of things to look forward to too.
The activities during your holiday don’t have to cost a fortune either. In many destinations, there are lots of free things to do such as hiking, swimming, mountain biking and even building sandcastles on the beach. If you are staying in an all-inclusive resort then you might find kids clubs and children’s entertainment are included in your package. The little ones will love it and the adults will get a break too!
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Your ultimate goal may be to plan the perfect family holiday, however sometimes its difficult to make that a reality. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you do a great job every day and will do an awesome job planning your holiday.
Remember, even if everything doesn’t go right, some of the best holiday memories are those that involve a funny story when something doesn’t go quite to plan. Understand that things won’t always go your way, you might miss your transport, take the wrong turn and you might forget something, but at the end of the day, you will all enjoy yourselves anyway.
Although this article is all about planning, try not to over plan. Leave a little room for some spontaneity during your break as you may find there’s something to do you hadn’t heard of before you arrived.
Most of all, whatever happens enjoy your holiday. This is your chance to relax and appreciate your time off. You’ll love seeing your whole family having fun and appreciate the quality time you get to spend together, however it turns out.
A few more things to remember
Take plenty of photos, stick to your budget and being flexible are a few more words of wisdom to remember when planning your trip.
With these five tips you should be well on your way to making your trip planning easier. What do you do to make your family holiday easier and quicker?