words Alexa Wang
Planning a family holiday can be difficult if you have a stroppy toddler or a cranky pre-teen. You must strike the appropriate balance between family entertainment and relaxation, which can be difficult when you have multiple children. We have put together some helpful hints to ensure that you have the most perfect summer holiday possible if you are planning a family holiday.
1. Get the whole family involved in the planning
Engage your children in the planning and decision-making stages of the adventure, and they will feel more eager and connected to the trip from the very first moment they arrive. Begin by conducting research based on your budget, and then consult with your children about the accommodations or travel destinations that you have shortlisted.
2. Carry out in-depth research
The key to a genuinely wonderful family holiday is to have both happy children and happy parents. You must make absolutely sure you conduct extensive research on destinations that will appeal to everyone on the trip, rather than just one or two individuals. Look at everyone’s interests. Find a happy medium between kids’ clubs and activities and restful days out, and great meals for the whole family to enjoy – there are plenty of holidays to Lanzarote that will tick all of the necessary boxes. Make sure you carefully consider if you want to go short distances or large distances and that you receive any essential vaccinations. With everything going on at the moment with the coronavirus pandemic, you also need to look into the restrictions around COVID-19 vaccinations and PCR testing.
3. Keep on top of all the holiday admin
Now that you have done your homework, you will want to be sure that you and your family will be able to travel. The children of parents who travelled abroad in the past were simply added to their parent’s passports; however, nowadays, all children, including infants, need to have their own passports. Make sure you submit your application for a passport with plenty of time to spare in case of delays. While you are at it, make sure you get high-quality family travel insurance to protect your money.
4. Preparation is key
Some parents are so concerned about the prospect of taking their child to the airport or on a flight that they have decided to stay in the United Kingdom until their child is a teenager or even older. We can understand why; it can seem overwhelming trying to get them onto a plane and keep them occupied and safe for the duration of a flight. However, as long as you are well-prepared, there is nothing to be afraid of in this situation. Prepare snacks, toys, and activities before to keep them occupied until you get to your destination. In order to keep your child’s attention, play short games such as ‘I spy’ or get them to spot particular things around the airport.
5. Always have a backup plan.
Probably one of the biggest fears for parents is the possibility that their child would become separated from them while on holiday. It is an unfamiliar place, and many people around will not speak the same language as them. Prepare your children for this situation by developing a strategy with them as soon as they can. If they have a mobile phone, give them your phone number as well as the hotel’s phone number. You can also purchase some wristbands or notes to place inside their bag with your contact information and the hotel’s contact information in case they come across someone who can assist them. Establish a meeting spot at the start of each day, just in case you become separated from one another.
6. Getting Out and About
It is possible that traveling abroad will expose your child to new threats, such as a hotter climate or strong tides, or swimming pools. It is important to remember to keep your child hydrated, coated in high-factor sunscreen, and under careful supervision whenever they are near water. Remember that children, especially young babies, should be kept in the shade whenever possible. Do not cover their pram with a blanket to provide shade since this will just make them hotter in the long run.
7. Stay healthy
Parents understand how critical it is to be prepared at all times. In the event of an illness, it is always a good idea to have some infant paracetamol or other child-friendly fever medication on hand, as well as a small first aid kit for cuts and abrasions on hand. In the event of an emergency, make sure you know how to call emergency services in your selected destination, as well as the location of the nearest A&E department or minor injuries clinic. If your child has a minor virus or slight ailment, keep in mind that pharmacists may typically provide excellent advice for free.
8. Don’t be afraid to expose them to some new cultural experiences
One of the most important facets of traveling overseas is experiencing the distinct culture of the place, and many parents are disappointed if their children do not become immersed in the local culture. Making cultural encounters enjoyable for them is the best course of action rather than forcing cultural experiences on them. Consider taking them to some excellent historical sites, or even to some local performances, and trying out restaurants that offer authentic local cuisine. They will come home with lots of new experiences to tell their friends and teachers, and they will learn a considerable amount while having plenty of fun.
9. Leave the technology in the hotel room
The temptation to offer the kids a movie or game on the tablet or your mobile phone is strong, especially if you need to check your emails or you just want a few minutes of peace and quiet. However, while it certainly has its place and can be useful, especially when on holiday, technology can sometimes serve as a deterrent to family unity. Try to disengage from technology unless absolutely vital to give you more time to reconnect as a family, or use technology to have fun as a family while you are together.
10. Make a schedule
The majority of parents are aware that most children require structure, or they will act out of control. However, you have to walk a narrow line between being impulsive and having seven days or even longer ahead of you with nothing scheduled. Make an effort to provide your children with structure by providing them with a rough notion of what they will be doing each day. It may be as easy as two days by the pool followed by one outing, then repeat – the important thing is to strike a balance between relaxation and enjoyment for both you and your children.
11. Try not to stress
This one is easier said than done but is one of the most important. Something will go wrong at some point; it is inevitable, especially if kids are involved – someone will forget something, someone will be ill, someone will have a tantrum because they don’t like something – but as much as possible, let these issues glide over you. You might not feel like it at the time, but they will become a part of your holiday memories and will be something you remember and laugh about in the years to come.
What are your top tips for planning the perfect summer holiday?