Planning a family holiday can be a bit of a headache.
There are an array of stresses that come with planning a family holiday - from picking holiday activities to packing.
Here are a few tips to help make your planning process that little bit easier.
1. Choosing a destination
Involve the kids and ask them to pick a/various destinations they want to go to. Include a price limit or you may end up disappointing them when you say no to a trip to Disneyland. Challenge them to do a presentation convincing you why the family holiday should be at their chosen destination/s. This helps teach the kids' organisation and planning techniques while getting them excited about the holiday.
2. Plan your activities
Try not to fit too many activities into the plan - things take longer with children and if you’ve packed too much in, you won’t have time to relax and enjoy. One way to plan the activities is to have each family member choose something to do, and then everyone has to join in with a smile. This ensures that there aren’t too many planned stops and everyone gets to do an activity of their choice.
3. Have some rainy day back-ups
Check the weather forecast, and then have rainy day back-ups planned to avoid boring lulls in the holiday. For sunny days, invest in some cheap outdoor kit - cricket bats, beach toys, badminton, to keep everyone entertained for the day.
4. Packing is for everybody
No one really likes to pack and it always falls to parents to pack up the entire family. However, you can actually use packing as the perfect opportunity to teach some life lessons. Ask your kids to pick outfits they want to take and put them on their beds. If there are too many items, work with them to cut down the amount of clothes and then when the contents content is ready, show them best packing techniques. If you do this for a few holidays, before long, they will be packing on their own and all you have to do is check they have everything.
5. Double check everything
If you’re going abroad, don’t forget to check passports and travel documents are up-to-date well in advance of your holiday. Make copies of everything, scan them, and email them to yourself so you’ve everything in check and in a secure place.
Holiday entertainment is key when travelling as a family - a bored child is an unhappy one.
Here are a few travel activity ideas:
- Audiobooks for the car/plane
- Travel goodie bag - you can make it an exciting treat and include books, puzzles, activities, sweets (or healthy snacks) and pens.
- Holiday music playlist created by the whole family
- Portable DVD player and DVDs
- Pack of Cards – simple but effective
- Travel versions of your favourite board games
7. Set a budget
Before chalking out a plan for the holiday, the most important thing is to set a budget. It helps you to plan and enjoy the trip within your limits. Always estimate a little more than what you might need.
8. Read up before you go
Prepare yourself before plunging into an unknown holiday destination. Buy a good guidebook and read up on the culture, history, local attractions of the destination. You can read the local publications online for more information. The more you know, the better you can enjoy or appreciate the place and their traditions.
9. Book when possible
Apart from a hotel, it's a good idea to reserve or book as much as possible in advance to avoid disappointment. If there's an activity the kids are really looking forward to, or a restaurant you're dying to try, book before you head off on your holidays.
10. Manage expectations
Unreasonable expectations can lead to unwanted stress, so enjoy the holiday by managing what you can with the time you have. Embrace each precious moment with the family, and let your worries melt away.
Image via Pinterest.