Planning a family vacation can be hard, especially if you’re taking a trip with a fussy baby or a fussy pre-teen. You have to find the right balance between family fun and relaxation. This summer, a lot of families will be going on vacation, so we’ve put together some tips to help you have the best trip possible.
Ask Everyone’s Opinion
If you let your kids help you plan and make decisions about the trip, they will be more excited and feel more connected to it from the start. Start by doing research based on your budget, and then ask the kids what they think about the places or places to stay that you have narrowed down. Your family is much more likely to get excited and enjoy a holiday if they have been involved with the planning stages of it. It might be that your kids have been learning about destinations at school and want to visit or you might have somewhere that you have always wanted to go but haven’t got round to it. Orlando villa holidays have become really popular recently, so this might be an option, especially if you are thinking about heading to the Disney parks.
Do Plenty Of Research
The key to a great family vacation is to make sure that both the kids and the adults are happy. You should do a lot of research to find places that everyone, not just one or two people on the trip, will enjoy. Find a good balance between kids’ clubs and activities, days out to relax, and good meals. Make sure you carefully choose a short-haul or long-haul destination and get any shots you need. Research is power when planning a holiday. It gives you the chance to choose your budget and learn about all the fun activities you can do while there.
Don’t Get Lost In The Paperwork
After doing your research, you need to make sure you and your family can go. In the past, children were just added to their mothers’ passports. Even babies have to have their passports now. (If your child is under 16 and is on your passport, you should be fine.) Make sure you apply with enough time to spare in case there are delays. While you’re at it, make sure you have good travel insurance for your family. Recently, there has been a lot in the news about passport delays, so, make sure you apply with that in mind.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Some parents don’t leave the United Kingdom until their child is 18 because they don’t want to go through the stress of taking him/her to the airport or on a plane. Well, there’s nothing to worry about, as long as you’re ready. Pack snacks, toys, and games ahead of time to keep them busy until you land. Depending on how long your child can pay attention, you could plan a different game for every 30 minutes, like looking for “landmarks” like the right ticket desk or the first plane. A great tip is to download videos and movies onto a tablet so they can watch and enjoy their favourite shows while on the plane or waiting at the airport. This can be a real lifesaver if you get delayed! Just don’t forget to take the chargers!
Always Have A Backup Plan
One of the worst things that can happen on vacation is for a child to get lost. Stop this fear in its tracks by making a plan with your kids right away. If they have a cell phone, include both your phone number and the hotel’s number. You can also buy wristbands or notes with your information and the information of the hotel to put in their bags in case they find someone who can help them. Set up a place to meet at the beginning of each day in case you get separated. Make sure everyone in the family knows where they should meet if anyone gets split up, and make sure your kids know how to find your hotel or room.
When You Are There
Children may face new dangers when they go abroad, such as hotter weather, strong tides, and swimming pools. Make sure your child stays hydrated, wears a high-factor sunscreen, and is closely supervised when they are near water. Remember that kids, especially babies, should stay in the shade as much as possible. Don’t cover their cot with a blanket to make shade, as this will just make them hot.
Parents know that it’s important to always be ready for anything. In case you or your child gets sick, it’s always a good idea to bring some Calpol or other medicine for kids, as well as a small first aid kit for cuts and bruises. Make sure you know how to reach emergency services at your destination and where the nearest A&E department is in case of an emergency. Remember that chemists can usually give really good advice if your child has a small bug or a minor complaint. Don’t forget to pack something for sunburn too.
Switch Off The Electronics
It can be tempting to let the kids watch a movie or play a game on the tablet while you check your email, but technology can sometimes get in the way of family time. Try to stay away from technology so you and your family can spend time together or use technology to have fun. Take some card games and other travel games with you. You should also think about planning some topics of conversation to bring up, this way you won’t be stuck with what to talk about.
Introduce Some Culture
One of the most important parts of travelling abroad is getting to know the local culture, and many parents get upset if their kids don’t take in the local vibe. The best thing to do is not to try to force them to learn about other cultures, but to make those experiences fun. Try taking them to the most impressive historical sites, like the Colosseum in Rome or the Tour Eiffel in Paris; to local dance show, a funfair or Christmas Market. You could also serve them some local food. Planning these kinds of trips means you can do your research beforehand too. Rather than going on a trip and not knowing anything about the place, do some reading and prepare yourself to answer questions that your kids might have.
Create And Stick To A Plan
Most parents know that kids need rules and routines or they can get out of control. There is a thin line between being impulsive and having nothing planned for the next 7 days. Make sure to give your kids structure by giving them a general idea of what they will be doing each day. It could be as simple as spending two days by the pool and one day going somewhere and then doing it all over again. The important thing is to find a balance between relaxing and having fun for both you and your kids.
These tips should make sure your family holiday goes off without a hitch. Do you have any other tips that could help? Why not share them in the comments? We’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.