Have you ever returned from a family holiday feeling more exhausted and frazzled than when you left? Did you stress out about how much the whole thing was costing, and feel completely overwhelmed by being confined to a tiny hotel room for 7 days with no privacy and nowhere to relax? I think most parents have felt this way on at least one holiday, and it unfortunately dissuades many from vacationing with the family again.
Thankfully, there are some ways to save your wallet and your sanity while on holiday – you just need to know how. Here are my top tips for having the best family holiday possible!
Stay in a Holiday Cottage
Spending a week with your whole family crammed into a small hotel room is enough to make even the most patient of parents crack. The best family friendly holiday accommodation option I’ve found is a self-catering holiday cottage. Here you’ll have the space for everyone to have their own room and privacy, which will only make for a happier holiday. The fully functioning kitchen also allows you to prepare your own meals, which saves both money and time. Going out for a few meals on holiday is great, but having to be all dressed and organized before even having a coffee is just inhumane! There are holiday homes located all over the world so no matter where you plan to vacation there is sure to be something for you. If you’re visiting the UK take a look at www.sykescottages.co.uk for cottages all over the UK and Ireland.
Plan in Advance
You don’t want to over plan your holiday – spontaneity is the spice of life and all that – but when travelling with kids having some things organized in advance in essential. Not only with this allow you to hit the ground running every morning, but it will often save you money. If you spend some time looking at local attractions online you can often find advanced ticket deals which will save some money and will allow you to jump the cue. Having a plan also gives the kids something to look forward to and allow the whole family to do some research beforehand. When visiting museums and art galleries this advanced research can really enhance the experience for everyone.
If this is the first time that you are going on holiday with children it is imperative that you recognize that family travel is going to be different from the vacations you’ve taken as a couple. There will be no long lunches and you are unlikely to be able to cram as much into a day. While in the past you might have visited a couple of museums, spent leisurely afternoons exploring local shops, and relaxed at a restaurant well into the night, while vacationing with the kids you might do little more than play on the beach for a full day – and that’s ok. If you try to take an adult vacation with the kids in tow it is a guarantee that no one will have a good time. Recognize this and plan accordingly!
A family holiday doesn’t have to be filled with tears and stress. A great family holiday is possible; you just need to know how to plan it. With the right accommodation, advanced planning, and realistic expectations, you can take a holiday that the whole family will remember for years, and for all the right reasons!
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