Planning a family holiday
Have a plan
Planning a family holiday can be a lot like planning dinner. You may think it is quicker and easier if you make all the decisions, but including the kids in the planning process helps avoid sulks, and will buy you an afternoon to indulge in window shopping or an afternoon nap.
Let each person choose one thing they want to do on the holiday and make it a rule that everyone joins in. Freddy may well decide he wants to go out for a breakfast of icecream, but then you can always suggest a walk along the beach in the afternoon
Where to go
Lying around a pool that forbids bombies is never going to work if you’ve got boys. Neither is remote camping if you’ve a girl who likes to dress up for breakfast. Pick a place that incorporates at least one aspect of your child’s interest. It could be a city with an awesome dinosaur exhibition, or a dolphin sanctuary.
You may not be up for a day that begins with a hike, moves on to snorkeling, horseriding, golf, tennis, archery and finishes with water aerobics, but you can bet your kids will be. An active holiday will sustain a child’s interest, and resorts such as Club Med have plenty of the above on offer. Check the age requirements for each activity before you book.
One holiday, one destination
Kids may seem like they are always on the move but when it comes to a holiday they are homebodies. Pick a place and make it your home for the whole holiday. Whether it’s camping or travelling to Paris, moving the kids around will take dim the sparkle of being on holiday. Get to know your destination and enjoy the discoveries that come with spending more than a couple of days in a new town.
Work out your budget
There’s no point booking a break that costs so much you’re broke and constantly watching your wallet while you’re away. It’s pretty miserable to be somewhere and not be able to book an excursion or have the odd nice meal out. Far better to work out what you can realistically spend that will give you the family holiday you need without leaving you in debt.
Get yourself a pen and paper and take the time to sit down and really work out what’s already in the holiday piggy bank (if anything), what you can spare to spend on your break, how much you’re likely to save before you go and how much cash you’ll need while you’re away. Factor in expenses like petrol if you’re driving, taxis or car parking at the airport if you’re flying, eating out, trips to explore while you’re there and then add 10 percent as a contingency budget. Being organised now about your holiday finances will save you heartache later.
If your getaway requires a hotel room, invest in two rooms with interconnecting doors. It’s your home away from home and you’ll find you spend more time in there than planned. Sharing one room with more than a partner and portable cot will never be a holiday. It also gives you and your partner time alone, where you can pretend you don’t know that the kids are watching pay-per-view movies till midnight, dropping biscuit crumbs through their bed and falling asleep with their shoes on. That’s called a holiday.
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