Planning a trip as an individual can be stressful and time-consuming enough. Planning a trip as a parent and having to take into account the needs and wants of numerous individuals can be a nightmare. Below are some of our top tips for organising a family holiday to help take the stress out of the situation, so you’re free to enjoy time away with your family to the max.
Plan in advance
Travel costs, restaurant availability and quick or cheap entry to attractions can all rely upon booking in advance. Doing this at the earliest possible moment can lead to savings in cost and possible disappointment if you can’t end up doing something you really wanted. Planning in advance is also important in researching your destination; if there’s a festival or celebration taking place in the city you visit, could this hinder, or enrich, your holiday? It’s also important to look into the seasonal weather of your chosen destination. Although it’s good to plan ahead, travelling with children also requires a certain amount of flexibility, so it’s best not to have your itinerary carved in stone.
Get the best deal
Travel booking sites are becoming increasingly aware of the incredible market for price-conscious consumers, which is a real plus for those of us looking to save a few pennies. The London Midland’s site is one of many that has implemented a ‘cheapest fare finder’ feature allowing you to compare total journey prices over a selected period. And that’s not the only improvement on the web these days – price comparison sites are a lifesaver when it comes to travel planning. GoEuro is one example that compares plane, bus and train tickets all in one place. And Lastminute.com also helps you find last-minute deals on hotels, theatre tickets, restaurants and entertainment in the UK and New York. For other countries check Groupon’s deals.
Organise your documents
Make a little folder or pouch for documents so that they can be kept together for easy reference. This can also include itineraries and check-lists. A large amount of organisation will only make your journey more streamlined.
Make it interesting
Don’t get us wrong, you know your children better than we do, however, taking a wild guess we’d imagine that they aren’t really into architecture, museums, classic art or history. Many cities provide information on their family-friendly attractions, along with alternative guides that appeal to youngsters in more adult museums. If you really want to enjoy that high-culture attraction that you think your kids just might not appreciate, check to see if your hotel or resort has a creche where you may be able to leave them supervised for a couple of hours.
You don’t have to go far for the exotic
Although much of Europe may not seem too tropical, there are numerous places – such as Marrakech in Turkey, Skiathos in Greece, or Dubrovnik in Croatia – which offer real exotic allure without long, not very child-friendly flights. These locations can be real entertaining eye-openers for kids, giving them opportunities to ride camels, take trips on boats and visit fascinating markets.
Plan ahead for your return
Book travel tickets or arrange for someone to collect you on your return to the UK. Coming back from a holiday can be depressing enough without having to stress about getting home again once you land back in Blighty. A lot of parents also find benefit in cleaning the house before they leave, knowing that once they get home they can focus on sorting out the suitcases.
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