If you’re planning a family holiday, you may find it overwhelming. There can be so many areas to think about, as family holidays aren’t as simple to plan as couples’ trips or solo travel. As the schools are close to breaking up for summer, here is a step-by-step guide to planning a perfect family holiday – without the stress!
1. Work out the best location
As much as the location matters, there are several factors which need considering which can lead you to the perfect destination for all the family. First, consider the following:
- Is the flight time less than four hours?
- Is it guaranteed nice weather?
- Close to family-friendly beaches?
- Lots of activities on hand?
Although every family is different, a sun/sea/sand holiday never fails. There are some popular destinations that families return to year after year which tick all the boxes. Some of these include Tenerife, which has affordable year-round sun, Menorca for its chilled-out beaches, France for its various camping trips and close location, and Portugal for its beautiful villas and choice of eclectic towns.
A quick way to check what the resort will look like is to look on Instagram. This shows you real-life images and video clips of people who have tagged into the location, showing you snippets of the destination without stock imagery or edited perfection.
2. Decide on an accommodation type
Obviously, you know your family the best, so look at the list of holiday accommodation available and think about what will work best with your family.
Hotels are great if you have a big family. If you can, look at all-inclusive options, as these allow all meals and drinks to be included, making it a purse-friendly option when you’re there – here are some more money-saving tips.
Villas are a good option if you want privacy and a pool of your own, although these can tend to be further out – ideal if you want the extra space, a private pool and are happy to self-cater.
Apartments give you the flexibility to do whatever you like on your holiday, without being tied to fixed dining times. If you’re happy to self-cater for the family with the choice to dine out, too, apartments are a great option.
3. Check out package holidays
You’ll find that family holidays are better value when they are booked as part of a package. Holiday companies combine flights and accommodation (and sometimes even transfers). This can work out cheaper than booking everything separately, so check online sites such as Holiday Hypermarket that specialises in family holidays.
4. It’s worth paying extra for easier flight times
The cheapest flights are usually cheaper for a reason: the times are either incredibly late or early. When flying with children, it’s not worth the upheaval and disruption of taking a night flight and messing with their sleep patterns.
The best time to fly for families is mid-morning, meaning you avoid the extra-early wake-up, but you’ll arrive at your destination before bedtime. These flights are often pricier, but really are worth it.
5. Book your airport transfers in advance
After a flight, the last thing you and your family want is the effort of finding and booking a taxi to take you to your resort. Pre-booking a transfer that takes you to your accommodation makes getting there much easier.
It’s also worth doing the same back at home, too. By booking your travel to the airport at least a month in advance will mean no last-minute panics about getting there on time.
6. Involve the kids with activity planning
Your children will get very excited the minute you ask them to help with planning activities! Look online for a list of top attractions and things to do in the area and plan an evening where you all look through them together. Your kids can browse YouTube videos of certain attractions, too.
Try to have a varied itinerary, where some days are spent on the beach and visiting markets, and others are all about fun things like water parks and boat trips.
7. Don’t forget family travel insurance
Travel insurance is quick and easy to book online, but make sure you do it in plenty of time! You can get annual family travel insurance which tends to be the best choice for families, as it can stretch across any other trips you have coming up. So that you don’t forget to do this, make sure you sort your family’s insurance out as soon as you have booked.
8. Check-in online
Checking in online makes the airport procedure so much easier than it used to be. Plus, the earlier you do this, the more chance you have of choosing the best seats on the flight. Double-check when online check-in begins and set a reminder, as some airlines don’t always send email reminders.
And finally, enjoy the planning process. If you work through the steps above and think clearly about what you can do to make the holiday easier for yourself, it’s always worth doing. Now go and make some memories!