I’VE got real wanderlust at the moment.
Now the sun is shining here in the UK, my thoughts over the past week or so have naturally turned to travel and holidays.
We’ve yet to decide where to jet off to this summer, but I’m personally daydreaming about culture, great weather, fabulous food and a relaxing place, where we can all take a break from modern life and enjoy some much needed quality time.
Here are my top tips (from a few years of experience!) on how to achieve a happy holiday as a family, with hopefully as little stress (and as few tantrums) as possible.
1) Think about your kids
Glaringly obvious I know but yet how many of us overlook it? It’s really important when planning a holiday to really think about your children and their needs.
So if you child could happily spend a day in a swimming pool, make sure that the place in which you will be staying, has one. If you child is challenging and doesn’t do well at all with change, don’t take them to the other side of the world, when they’re little.
And if your youngster has problems napping, never do an eight hour drive to Cornwall for a week’s break and hope that they will sleep most of the way (like we did when Elsie was a baby) because it just won’t happen. *shudders*
Think carefully about their likes, dislikes, characters and sleep patterns (!) and plan accordingly.
2) Think about you
Yes holidays change when you become a parent, but it’s still your holiday too, so don’t forget about you and your partner either. If you know you’re not a hotel person, think about hiring a villa. If you need some relaxation, make sure you find a way to plan some into your break.
It is possible for everyone to be happy with a little bit of compromise and imagination.
3) Think childcare
Take the grandparents or other members of your extended family with you, if you can or consider holidaying with close friends who have children of similar ages.
That way, you’ll have trusted babysitters on hand if and when you need them, plus the kids will love spending time with other people whom they are close to. Failing that, try and find a resort that has an excellent creche or brilliant kids clubs.
Childcare support doesn’t have to end, just because you’re away from home.
4) Make everything easy
Let a holiday company do the hard work for you when it comes to planning your jaunt. Tell them exactly what it is you require and let them do their job. Or, consider going all inclusive.
Going all inclusive takes the majority of hassle and stress, away.
Logistics wise, you know you’ll be all sorted. You won’t have to worry as much about your budget or spending money when you’re there plus you’ll never be left struggling to find a family friendly place where you can eat or drink. Extra bonus? Family entertainment and lots of things to keep the kids happy.
Wherever possible, make life easy for yourself.
5) Be sensible but don’t be afraid to be adventurous
There’s a tendency when you’re a parent to a little one, especially when you’re a new parent, to become almost too sensible at times when it comes to being away from home.
But although you do have to take many more things into consideration – like their safety and personal needs – make sure you hang on to that sense of adventure too, for them and for you.
So do and go visit new places. Do introduce them to culture. Do encourage them to try new foods or speak the local lingo.
They – and you – will love it.
6) Make the most of it
Wherever you go, home or abroad, no holiday will ever be perfect.
The weather might be awful, your flight might get delayed, your luggage might get lost or god forbid, you might come down with food poisoning.
And undoubtedly, there will be times when you child /children play up and you just want to down your sorrows with a jug or two of Sangria.
Through all of it and whatever comes your way, you have to make the most of it.
Nothing matters bar creating precious memories.
So just do you best to make sure they’re as happy as they can be and then leave the rest in the sun kissed hands of the (holiday) gods.
Where are you jetting of to this year? And how do YOU survive family holidays in one piece? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.
Disclaimer: Thanks to First Choice for helping to bring you this post.