A family holiday is one of the great joys of being a parent. It is uninterrupted time that you get to spend with the kids; making memories and exploring new places. We have had 2 fantastic family holidays with the our 2 youngest kids. Clacton and Cornwall. This year we are off on a family holiday to Whitley Bay, Newcastle. Our first family as a holiday of 5, and with grandparents in tow. We even get to catch up with some much missed family and friends. We can’t wait!
We only holiday in the UK, it reduces stress and there is plenty of places that our beautiful country has to offer without whipping out the Passport or attempting any long haul flights.
But before you sign on that dotted line for your very own holiday, or click that ‘book’ button you need to consider some the issue around going away with kids carefully.
First of all, when planning a holiday, you need to consider the type of accommodation that you will go for. Of course, there are so many choices to pick from. You have hotels that are room only, half board, or all inclusive. Then you have camping sites and caravan parks as well as the option to rent a chalet or a villa. So many choice, but what will suit your family’s needs most?
What you really need to consider is the amount of space and types of meal that will suit your family the best. For example, if you have toddlers that are in a picky stage of eating, then you may want to go for a self-catering option. You can make sure that they will always have something you know they will eat, and just go to a restaurant a few times. This can also save a lot of money as well. We tend to prefer self-catering when holidaying with the kids because we can grab lots of tins and packets of food for cheap that are easy to cook in the caravan or on a BBQ (think pasta, soups etc) saving money for activities and souvenirs. The only downside to taking your own food is that you have to pack and take it all with you, fine if you have a car but this can be tricky if you have to take the train or coach to your destination.
If you have a larger family like us, or you are going away with friends, you will want to look at hiring a more extensive type of accommodation like a whole apartment, or villa. So everyone will have enough room to spread out but still get some privacy. If you are going with your parents or siblings it can be cheaper to book one large accommodation rather than multiple.
Another key issue that you need to consider before booking is what they’re will be to do there. A relaxing holiday by the pool might sound like your idea of heaven, but how much R&R are you really going to get if there is nothing to keep the kids amused?
That is why you need to ensure that the holiday that you book has plenty of activities to keep the kids busy and having fun. A great way of doing this is to choose one that includes activities like checking out local museums, visiting farms, or checking out the local pier (who doesn’t love the penny machines?!). Check out these family summer holiday ideas for some more options.
Then not only will the kids be kept happy the whole time, but you get to make amazing memories with them that will last a lifetime too. Don’t forget to pack your camera, or a handy emergency battery charger for your phone so you can always capture the fun!
We aren’t a sun worshipping family so spending hours sat on the beach in one spot doesn’t really do it for us. But, the kids love the beach! Take buckets and spades and some fab beach games to play while you’re down there. We love beach combing for interesting artefacts and beautiful shells to bring home.
Distance to travel
Travelling long distances with kids in tow can be something of a trial. Even if they are fairly grown up kids like teenagers. No one really wants to be stuck in a car, plane, or ferry for long stretches of time with nothing to do and no way to get up and stretch their legs.
That is why it’s essential that you consider the distance you will need to travel to your chosen destination before you book your holiday. Remember somewhere far flung and exotic can sound like a lot of fun. But isn’t quite so good if you have to spend two days straight getting there, with the kids screaming ‘are we nearly there yet?’ in your ear the whole time. It’s bad enough taking a 40 minute journey into London let alone several hours, stuck in a tin can high up in the air.
Our journey up to Newcastle will take us just over 4 hours, but add in the kids needing a wee every hour and myself being heavily pregnant it’s likely to take much longer. We plan on letting the kids have a late night the day before we travel, getting them up early for leaving at 6 or 7am and with any luck they will still be so tired that they fall back to sleep for a decent chuck of the journey.
So with some careful planning, a holiday doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. We are really looking forwards to our holiday away. Have you booked a holiday yet and have some fab tips for tripping with the kids? Where are you planning to go this year? Let me know in the comments!