Travelling has always brought an exciting sense of anticipation. That is the feeling I always savour – you know that feeling, right? Stepping off the plane on to the tarmac, I can instantly feel I am in a different place. The air smells different, the landscape is unfamiliar, but it always makes me feel alive. And that hasn’t changed since I’ve had children. In fact, I am probably more exhilarated because I can’t wait to share the experience with them! Sure, when you have kids spontaneity isn’t top of the list – there is an awful lot of planning and organisation involved. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an adventure of a lifetime.
Some of the best tips I can give parents who are about to embark on their first trips with their little ones is to book a holiday that makes you feel comfortable. While my main advice is to let go of routines and be a little more flexible while travelling, the type of accommodation can really help you plan the perfect trip.
Some families would much prefer self-catering, so they can come and go as they please, while others may choose an all-inclusive hotel where everything is available and on hand without any extra cost or package holidays which means you don’t have to book separate flights and accommodation. While I have so many articles that can help parents plan a holiday and hacks on how to travel well with kids, it’s vital to consider a few basics before you decide on your next family adventure.
What accommodation will suit?
You might be in the most brilliant, culturally exciting, beautiful destination, but if your accommodation is a bit meh, it will ruin your holiday. So choosing accommodation that will suit your needs and your family is key.
All-inclusives are fantastic if you’re working on a budget, but if you’re heading away for a long period of time, you may want to choose accommodation which feels more like a home away from home. Self-catering apartments and villas offer up the freedom to come and go as you please and to stay in for meals, which can help when on a budget or with young kids. If you’re heading to the same place year after year, you might want to consider a house for sale. Investing in a holiday home will mean you have somewhere special to return to time and time again. Plus, you can rent it out when you’re not using it and generate an extra source of income.
Get out and about
If yours are like my two boys, then they’d happily spend their holidays by the pool or on a beach… But planning in some day trips and excursions helps break up the day, and gives the kids – and you – a change of scenery. Do a little research for some child-friendly activities and attractions including museums, parks, water parks and theme parks. Meanwhile, by getting out and exploring the local area, you’ll get to immerse yourselves in the culture and stimulate their senses as well as their imaginations.
Never underestimate the amount that you will need to pack for a family trip. From spare clothes to home comforts, toys and night lights – check out this packing checklist. And don’t forget – it’s all about the snacks! You can never have enough snacks, I promise!
It’s not just about beach holidays…
While I do love a beach holiday, there are so many other options when it comes to family holidays. Some of the best trips we’ve had have actually been closer to home here in the UK. For kids, too, the choice of activities is endless. What about considering:
When we stayed at Coombe Mill in Cornwall for a week, it really helped build Monkey’s confidence with animals. Not only that but he was able to mix with other children on the farm, and we were really well situated to explore the area. Farmstays are so much fun – and there is no chance of boredom…
After going onboard a Royal Caribbean ship for the first time, it opened my eyes to a whole new world of travel. From dedicated kids’ clubs, play areas and an assortment of wonderful onboard activities, family-friendly cruises offer up so much for your money – and you get to travel to several different destinations too!
City breaks are brilliant with kids. Shorter trips mean you can pack so much more in just a short space of time. While it’s not advisable to pound the pavements all day, you’ll be surprised just how kid-friendly most cities are – from playgrounds, parks and zoos, as well as family restaurants, we’ve never had an issue on a city break including our visits to Reykyavik and Lisbon.