Planning the ideal family getaway can be tricky, challenging and time-consuming…
Travel broadens the mind, for all involved; it exposes us to new cultures, new languages, new ways of life, new people and new corners of the globe we’ve never seen before. What’s more, it’s fun, especially if you take the whole family along! However, planning the ideal family getaway can be tricky, challenging and time-consuming. You have to take into account details you may not have done before when it was just you and your partner. How will your children handle a 14-hour flight to some exotic destination? Will you need extra immunizations? Is the destination you want to visit suitable for very young children? For inspiration and help on fine tuning these vital details, our handy how-to guide is below:
There is no denying the fact that holidays, be they near or far, are expensive. Even travelling within the UK can reach over £100, and that can be on transport alone! So, before you begin to plan the perfect break, you need to work out your budget, and you need to be realistic. There’s no point believing you can budget for a 5-star luxury getaway when, in reality, a local seaside break is more likely. By setting a budget which you are unable to stick to, it will not only demoralize you, but it will cause unnecessary stress. However, if you can afford the repayments, looking into a personal loan to cover the extra costs may be possible. A logbook loan allows you to withdraw money from your car, freeing up finance for you to use, with a manageable repayment scheme. For the additional features you want your holiday to have, such as a higher standard of accommodation or a destination just outside of your price range, but are struggling to fund, it is one option to consider.
Deciding Upon A Location
Where you choose to go on your family break can be a headache-inducing challenge. What works for you and your partner may not work for your toddlers. Likewise, if your children are older, they may not be too pleased with a hotel that is mostly kid-friendly. Taking every need and want into account can leave you with a list of possible destinations as long as your arm; perhaps a Greek island calls to you, while your youngsters are desperate to visit Disneyland, Florida. To help you find the perfect place, first decide whether you want to stay close to home or travel further afield.
- Staying Local
Staying in your home country means you know the language, you don’t have to jump on a long-haul flight, you don’t have to deal with airports, and you know everyone will find food they love. However, a few further benefits include not having to work out the exchange rate for the spending money, being quite familiar with a location, not dealing with time differences and knowing what to expect from the weather. There are numerous locations close to home which are perfect for the whole family, without the hassle of sitting in airports for hours on end and finding out the weather you wanted isn’t there. However, the UK weather can leave you wanting more, especially where sunshine and clear, rain-free days are involved, and transport within the UK can be as expensive as a budget flight to a nearby European destination.
- Travelling Abroad
On the other hand, jetting off to a different country or different continent entirely will be an awe-inspiring and memorable experience for all involved. By visiting somewhere with a different language, for example, your children can build on vital linguistic skills. The whole family will be able to experience a different culture and way of life, widening their horizons and world-view. However, it will require flying somewhere new, which involves airports and the potential for flight delays. You will also need insurance to protect you and your family, which is an extra cost, as well as dealing with luggage requirements and pack ready for a new climate. Yet, the world is an incredibly huge place, with locations across the globe to suit everyone, so it seems a pity to restrict your children from exploring at a young age.
Dealing with Packing
Packing, whether you are a light packer or you are guilty of overfilling suitcases, takes on a whole new meaning when you add your children into the affray! What you once packed for a break with your partner will now be completely different when you have young children to include, and perhaps with their own cases. Knowing the location will, of course, dictate your packing list. After all, you may not need to pack swimsuits for a winter break, while including your heavy, winter coat isn’t appropriate for a getaway in a hot climate. Creating a checklist for each family member will reduce any anxiety and stress associated with packing. Not only will it help with what to pack, but it will also make sure you don’t forget anything important.
- Start with the essentials first; don’t forget passports, travel documents, any ID such as driving licences, and your debit and credit cards. While you can source a new swimsuit in your destination, turning up the airport without someone’s passport will potentially ruin the whole holiday. If anyone in the family takes regular medication, you need to ensure you provide a copy of the prescription and ensure you have enough medication packed in case there are delays and you need to stay an extra day.
- Next, create a list of every item of clothing each family member will need, from underwear to specific outfits for meals out or exploring the location. For items such as shampoo, conditioner and shower lotion, it may be easier to buy them once you arrive, rather than risk them spilling in your luggage.
- Finally, include entertainment, not only for the flight but for the holiday itself. If you are going to be lounging by the pool, consider taking books or an e-reader. If your children are younger, taking a tablet device, loaded with their favourite TV shows and music is sure to keep them calm and occupied wherever you are.
Planning a family getaway may be something you dread to do. After all, there are a lot of factors to consider and to consider carefully. However, the above guide may help to alleviate some of the stress and ensure every family member has a holiday to remember – and for the right reasons!