I know that you all will think… Kassi, isn’t it a little too early to start thinking of Family holidays?
Well, with our little arrival coming in 5 weeks and with the fact that we haven’t stepped outside of Ireland for the last 8 months, holiday planning is the next thing I can think of after our baby arrives.
I know that our next holiday will be very different to the ones we have been used to so far so having a few things in mind is always good and I’m sure you will also find it useful.
Whether you’re planning a getaway in the summer holidays or thinking about a cheap winter break, a family holiday can be an amazing experience. It brings families together, breaks the routine and gives kids memories that will last them a lifetime. But family holidays can also be stressful experiences that may spiral out of control if that stress is not managed. Here are our five top ways to keep the stress at bay so that you can enjoy your amazing family holiday.
Before you go
Check that you are ok to travel to your dream destination. Do you have health conditions? Are you pregnant? Information on travelling while pregnant or with certain health conditions may determine where you go or how you get there. Some travel insurers will only cover pregnancies without complications whereas others are more comprehensive. Do you need shots? Insurance? Travel forums can be full of useful advice, as can the tourist information site for the destination of choice.
Research the hotel entertainment
Many hotels promise “entertainment” which turns out to be bingo or a second-rate disco twice a week. Check on the hotel website what they offer, and if it’s suitable for the ages of your kids. Tribute acts of popular artists or bands, sports, games, and wild animal experiences all tend to be big winners with the younger members of most families. It’s also worth checking if the resort has a kids’ club so that you as parents/carers can get some time to yourselves too. Remember, it’s your holiday as well.
Parents – pack the bags
In theory, getting kids to pack their own suitcases sounds like a great idea. They’re learning a life skill and helping out! In reality, you get to Spain and discover your child has packed two left sandals, fifteen comics, and a tutu. Packing their cases yourself is quicker and less stress-inducing. If you want to get the kids involved, give them a small carry-on bag they can pack a few favorite items into.
Device or no device?
The big question. Many are of the opinion that holidays should be device free and break the screen-time habits. But anything that keeps the kids quiet on a four-hour flight should never be discounted entirely. This is very much up to personal preference, but do what works for you and your family and try not to feel guilty about using a device as a digital soother.
Sleep while you can
Long flight? Take a nap. Transfer stopping at every hotel along the coast? Take a nap. Kids at kids’ club and nothing to do? Take a nap. You never know when the over-excited kids are going to suddenly want to stay up until midnight, or when you might find something exciting to do after hours – but the kids get you up at 6 am the next day. Parents with younger kids may find their sleep routines are noticeably thrown out by holidaying. Relax, unwind, and take forty winks whenever you can to stay refreshed and ready to face anything.