The idea of planning a family holiday, especially with children, can be more than a little daunting. Whether you're going overseas or to a local getaway, the planning can overwhelm even the savviest of parents. Working through the following checklists and tips will make the vacation process easy, fun, and relaxing - the way it should be.
Location, Location, Location
Choose a destination that offers something for everyone. Catering to only a few members of the family will lead to tension. While one location might not sound appeasing to everybody, finding the right activities will help keep everyone entertained, you can try looking for holiday packages for the whole family, maybe there is something in offer already that all of your family will like. Depending on the size of your family, take into account mixing things up - have a responsible older sibling take the younger ones to a kid-friendly zone while the parents relax elsewhere.
- Choose a place that offers something for everyone.
- Don't be afraid to choose a location that offers activities requiring family members to split up now and then.
Know Your Budget Inside and Out
Money won't magically appear during the course of your family holiday (what are these article writers on ?), so planning out the financial details is crucial. Firstly, be sure to compare your method of travel - car, air, public transportation. If you stake out your destination early, you can find deals on cheap travel or budget accordingly for gas if you're driving or if you are going abroad, you can always find cheap international flights.
Plan out money for food, and familiarize yourself with the restaurants and grocery options around your destination. Can you cook a meal in that cabin, or is it easier to order pizza? Do you want to splurge for a night out at a five star restaurant? Be reasonable and decide what suits your family best, and set aside money accordingly for meals and snacks.
Apply the same budgeting skills to your finances for activities. Is it worth it going to a beachside resort if you can't afford to go shopping at that award-winning mall? Prioritize what you definitely want to do - the things that will shape your vacation - and leave yourself open financially for opportunities.
- Be practical about your funds.
- Pay attention to money allocated to meals and snacks.
- Budget for activities, prioritizing what you really want to do.
Prepare for Changes
Last minute issues happen all the time. A severely delayed flight could mean a meal in an airport or an unplanned night in a hotel. Contingency circumstances are important just in case these things happen.
Tips for Surviving Travel with Kids
Children can make even the simplest task incredibly complicated, and a family holiday is no exception. Patience and planning can help alleviate potential meltdowns and cries of 'I'm bored'.
Think about the children every step of the way. Make sure they bring activities like books or even a portable DVD player for long airplane or car rides. Schedule routine naps and mealtimes in order to give them a sense of home, even on vacation.
Make sure the rules are clear. If you're going to a new place and have children who enjoy exploring a little too much, go over the expected behavior and instill a buddy system for peace of mind.
Most importantly, focus on the family holiday as a priority. Things may not always go as planned, especially with kids, but making memories is the most lasting part of your family holiday.
Surviving Travel with Kids Recap:
- Be patient and plan ahead.
- Keep children engaged, especially during travel.
- Help kids feel at home with routine meals and bedtimes.
- Remember that making memories truly defines a holiday.
Editors tips: It is worth taking an estimated budget and doubling that ! Or take control by going on an all inclusive package with food and drink included and all costs - stand firm and don't tip - you already paid the staff ! Don't feel guilty.