*written in collaboration with Mary
Family holidays create amazing memories that last a lifetime. That’s true. But they can also be a bit of a nightmare to plan and result in the kids having a fantastic time, whilst mum and/or dad are left feeling more frazzled than when they left! Here are some solid tips on how to ensure everybody has the time of their lives on your next family holiday, whether you are seeking adventure or pure relaxation:
It’s all in the Planning
- Pack only the necessities. Plan ahead and plan outfits before leaving for the holiday so you can make sure you have everything you need (but no more than that!) It’s better to have an extra hand to assist with kids, rather than struggling with heavy luggage whilst trying to find a taxi from the airport with the extra stress of over-excited children running out of sight.
- Finding out what kids’ activities are actually available before you arrive. This way, once you are officially on holiday, you can really shift into holiday mode. There might even be kids clubs where they can play with other children and you can spend some time enjoying the holiday for yourself. It is so much fun to come up with ideas on what to do as a family, then you can book a couple excursions or plan outings ahead of time. Having a couple backup ideas is always helpful, too!
- Check the temperature levels to avoid travelling somewhere during a month where it’s just too hot to do anything. P.S. Remember to pack sun hats and sun cream! They are often way more expensive to buy at holiday destinations, though of course- don’t fill your suitcases with items that can easily be bought when you arrive.
- It’s often a good idea to rent a holiday villa as you can have a lot more space for everyone, your own kitchen and often a private pool. In countries where the living costs are low, such as Italy or Spain, you can also save a few pennies buying fresh ingredients from local markets and cooking in your villa. There are some rather luxury villas in Sicily available throughout the year (at surprisingly reasonable prices). It just takes some research and thinking ahead.
For when you get there
- Keep sleep routines fairly normal. The better sleep everyone gets, the less you will have naps breaking up your adventure days, or dealing with tired grumpy children/parents.
- Remember any activity is going to take a while when you have little ones to cater to. Pencil in time for any meltdowns, nap times and a slower pace for any exploring you want to do.
- Book any tickets you will need in advance. This way, you can avoid spending too much time in long hot queues. You could do this before you even step on the plane to get there.
- Go with the flow! Allow plans to change if they do not work out or they need to be adjusted. Even if it means spending the day by the pool doing very little else- don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage to see everything you’d hoped.
- Remember to take the time to relax and not just focus on what you and your family are doing next. Holiday time is for everyone to unwind so enjoy the moments and take lots of photos!