Family holidays are a great chance to spend quality time together. On holiday, you’ll often form life-long memories. When everyone is occupied with daily life, it can be hard to find the time for all-important family bonding. Here are 5 simple steps to planning your holiday.
Getting away gives everyone the opportunity to relax and have fun together. But planning these holidays can be difficult. To make it easy for you, we’ve broken it down into five easy steps.
Check them out below:
Get everyone’s ideas
Holiday planning works best when everyone has a say, but one person is in charge. It’s exciting for kids to get involved from the start. Do they want to go somewhere sunny? Would they enjoy a city break? Does your family prefer relaxing, or being active? Have a brainstorm and do your research to find a location which’ll suit your family.
Alannah has been tasked with choosing the location for our 2018 holiday, in consultation with me of course! This will provide her with some ownership of where we are going and what we will be seeing and hopefully she will spend some time researching different options. I have asked her to come to me with 3 different options and provide me with reasons why she would like to visit them and why she thinks they are a suitable option for the family.
Book flights and accommodation
Once you’ve got a location in mind, it’s advisable to book sooner rather than later. Although you can get last-minute deals, if you’re set on somewhere in particular, you should book it. You can’t guarantee that if you wait you’ll be able to save money.
Once you know what time you’re flying, it’s a good idea to plan your journey to the airport and decide whether you’d need to book rooms nearby to save time. As the Telegraph says, early mornings are bad enough for adults. With young children, travelling more than an hour before your flight can be grim.
I tend to book my flights well in advance, reason being that I know round about what things cost as I am always looking. The sales that are 12 months in advance I find are usually the best value for your hard earned dollars!
Allocate activity planning
For older children and adults, allocate a day for them to organise. Similar to before, this responsibility gets everyone excited. You’ll also end up with a mix of activities and entertainment to get involved with. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune either.
If you’re travelling to Europe, for instance, there’s a number of free attractions. Climbing Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, visiting Nice’s modern art museum, watching a traditional figurine show in Munich and wandering around the East Side Gallery in Berlin are just a few suggestions.
There are plenty of things to do in Australia that aren’t overly expensive also. We have world class beaches and some lovely walks that take in the views particularly up around Sydney beaches. Kids of all ages love our native Australian animals and our zoo’s are the perfect place to see them up close and for a reasonable price.
Organise your money
When you’re exchanging currency, it can be difficult to know when you’re getting a good deal. Pre-paid travel cards are an increasingly popular way of securing the exchange rate you get, whilst having a convenient and safe way of accessing money abroad. We have one of these and have been very happy with it although you need to research the different charges that can be associated with each card as they vary quite dramatically.
I watch the exchange rate when travelling to places where our dollar is not strong. If the dollar goes up and I am happy with the rate, I approach the hotels we will be staying at and offer to pay up front rather than waiting until we get there when the exchange rate could be much lower.
Packing is arguably one of the less enjoyable things about travelling, especially if you’re flying with children. There’s already a lot to remember, and then you’ve got to worry about keeping them entertained. In the 101 of how to fly with children, they’ve got some great tips – including letting them have their own hand luggage.
You can fill it with some much-needed time-killers such as colouring or activity books, a favourite toy, snacks, a comforter and some light books. It’ll make the last step to your holiday a little bit easier.
I’ve got packing down to a fine art now, at the beginning I would prepare a list of what I wanted to take and this would ensure I didn’t over pack. Now that I’m a lot more experienced, I tend to pack a lot lighter. My theory is that if I leave it home I can likely buy it there. We try to travel carry-on only now, especially when heading to tropical locations.
How do you plan your holidays? Share your suggestions and recommendations with us.
Sal & Co