Many people think that the words ‘travelling’ and ‘kids’ do not belong in the same sentence. Images of screaming children, travel sickness, and frustrated parents come to mind, with holidays ruined and money wasted. But this is completely avoidable, as long as you do the correct planning and preparation.
Children can actually be brilliant travelling companions, allowing you to see things from a different point of view and opening your eyes to new wonders. It is a great opportunity to make new memories that you will cherish, and to educate them about different countries and cultures.
Follow these tips next time you’re planning a family vacation, and enjoying spending quality time with the whole family!
Speak To Your Children
When planning your holiday, everyone’s opinions should be taken into consideration. While some children may make ridiculous requests, ask them sensible questions about what they enjoy and what they would like to do on their holiday. They may come up with some good ideas that you might not ever have thought of yourself.
Choose Destinations That Will Interest Everyone
Deciding on a destination for your family vacation is the first step. Think about what kind of trip you want; whether you’re looking for a week of relaxation, or an action-packed sports trip. Try not to feel too restricted by the children, as any location can be adapted into what you want. Here are a few favourite suggestions to get you started:
An obvious choice, but ideal for family members of all ages. If you’re looking for theme parks, entertainment, and amusements, then Orlando is the ideal choice.
A trip to London offers a variety of sight-seeing and educational visits. There is so much history and culture in this city, with plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. The Natural History Museum is always a popular spot, and you’ll learn plenty of new things as well as the kids. It can be quite expensive to stay in the city, so have a look online for the best hotel deals and make use of the underground to get around.
The combination of culture, beaches and weather makes Barcelona a stunning location for your holiday. The city is a manageable size, making travelling around accessible for all families. There are plenty of fascination galleries and cathedrals to visit, and finish the days off with an authentic meal on Las Ramblas.
The Caribbean isn’t only for newly-weds! Jamaica is an ideal destination for adventurous families looking for a more exotic and unusual holiday. Waterfall hiking, bamboo rafting, experiencing the varied wildlife and enjoying the glistening beaches is all available here.
Travel On A Budget
Travelling with the whole family can be a lot more expensive than just as a couple of with friends. Children need a lot more provisions and entertaining, and this can often start to add up quickly. Keeping to a budget is important when planning, and make sure you set aside enough spending money for when you actually arrive. There are a few ways to ensure costs are kept manageable, though:
Travel out of season
You probably aren’t going to be as bothered about getting the best weather when you’re travelling with children. They often don’t deal with the heat as well, and you won’t have to worry as much about them burning in the sun. Booking your holiday during off-peak times can be an easy way of saving a lot of money. Go for the Spring or Autumn local time, as the costs here tend to be dramatically reduced while still being able to enjoy some sun. You’ll be able to get out and do more when the temperature is more manageable as well.
Family friendly discounts
Many travel companies and hotels offer discounts for families booking together. Give them a call and explain who you will be booking for, and push for the best rates. You are more likely to get the price down over the phone, so don’t be afraid to play hard ball.
Packing for a family vacation is a form of artwork, to be honest. Avoid only taking hand luggage if you can, as you will need to make the most of as much space as possible. Check out the suitcases at LoftyLuggage for the most reliable and practical ones.
For yourself; pack as usual, but only the clothing you really think you’ll wear. It’s a family vacation, so you probably aren’t going to need your new going out dress, but pack one or two fancier items just in case you visit a restaurant.
For the kids; pack for all weathers and to cover as many possibilities as possible. Rolls clothes up to fit in more, and stick with thinner layers rather heavy and bulky items. Pack plenty of sun cream, even if it isn’t forecast too hot. And if you have fussy eaters, take some basic food that will keep them happy.
Hand luggage; you’re going to need to prepare yourself for travelling with kids, especially if you are flying long haul. Bring books and electronics to keep them entertained, and snacks for when they get hungry. A change of clothes is vital in case of emergencies, and basic toiletries such as toothbrush and hairbrush.
Pre-plan Your Schedule
Pre-planning what you are going to do is great for avoiding any slow or boring days. You want to make the most out of your trip, so do plenty of research before hand. List all the places you want to visit as a family, and mark where they all are on a map. Check how to get to them and how long you should spend at each. You don’t need everything to be set in stone, being flexible to allow for emergencies is important, but some tickets may need to be purchased in advance. Check online as you can often make big savings by not paying on the door, and have a look for discounts and offers on.