There’s no denying it, once you have children it changes the way you vacation for a good few years. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation any longer, it just means that a holiday with family takes a little extra planning (and budgeting).
No matter how much you consider yourself a ”planner”, organizing a holiday with children requires a whole new level of preparation. If you want to fine-tune your plans so that everyone has a memorable, relaxing experience, check out the rest of this blog for holiday planning tips.
Tip 1: How Old Are Your Children?
The age of your kids plays a huge role in the type of vacation you plan for. The first thing you’ll need to consider is the stage of life your kids are in and what will suit your family dynamic best. Here’s a basic breakdown of what to consider based on your kids’ age:
- 0-6 months: this is actually one of the best times to travel with family. This age is easiest in terms of deciding where and when to go because small babies are sleepy and easily portable
- 6-12 months: known as the snoozing and snacking stage, this is still a relatively ”easy” stage to travel with kids. Look for accommodation with separate rooms and a kitchen if you’re making your baby’s food from scratch
- 12-24 months: at this age, your kids become a little more restless and demanding of your time. This will impact where and when you choose to vacation. Opt for a destination with plenty of kid-friendly activities and space to roam
- 24 months +: while the ”terrible twos” can be a challenging stage, this age opens a bit more opportunity for you as a family thanks to kid’s clubs. Look for accommodation that offers this service or nursery-level babysitting clubs
Once your kids pass the toddler stage, traveling with kids becomes a whole lot easier. But bear in mind that younger kids (ages 5 and up) still have needs and require plenty of stimulation. Besides, there’s nothing worse than traveling with a grouchy pre-teen!
At this stage, you could sit down as a family and have a discussion about where everyone would like to go and what they’d enjoy doing the most. This will help you narrow down your destination choices.
Tip 2: Choose a Destination That Suits Everyone
Sure, the age of your children does determine where you’ll travel to, as well as the amenities that the destination offers. But remember that this is your holiday too, so don’t forget to consider your needs and wants.
Make sure to do your research on each destination you’re considering and look into the activities on offer. Is there a little bit of something to suit everyone? For example, a spa for some pampering for Mom? A golf course or a gym so that Dad can have some alone time?
This is where timeshare investments are a great idea because each property usually includes an array of amenities to suit every family member. And if the destination doesn’t suit you, there’s always timeshare cancellation.
Tip 3: Determine Your Budget
This is one of the first things to consider because it will help you narrow down your destination and hotel choices. Determining your budget and sticking to it is the best way to ensure you enjoy a stress-free holiday.
When planning out your budget, you’ll need to include essential costs such as flights, accommodation, meals, transport, activities, and a little extra spending money. The best way to stick to a budget is to do research on the best deals and family packages you can find — there are plenty on offer!
If you want to ensure your budgeting is super comprehensive, include costs such as childcare, travel insurance, and equipment rental. Remember that a hotel is not always the best choice for a family with small kids if they don’t offer the amenities you need. It’s worth considering a short-term rental such as Airbnb (and sometimes they’re cheaper!).
Tip 4: Plan Your Travel Logistics in Detail
Everyone knows that traveling with kids is no walk in the park — except for the 0-6 month stage, some might say. Before you begin to search and book flights, think about the best time to fly that would suit your kids, and ultimately, this pre-planning will help you!
For example, plan your flight so that it falls in line with your kid’s naptimes, allowing you a couple of free hours to relax (if they actually sleep, that is). If you’re taking a long-haul flight, book one that travels overnight so that it does not disrupt your child’s sleep patterns too much.
Make sure to do some research on airline policies for traveling with kids and all the additional paraphernalia you might need to bring. This includes traveling with a stroller, a car seat, a travel cot, etc. Make sure to pack enough food/snacks for your children and plenty of in-flight entertainment.
Tip 5: Be Strategic About Your Packing
Packing for a family is on a different level than merely packing for yourself. It might seem overwhelming at first based on the sheer amount of stuff you have to remember to pack. So this is where writing out a detailed packing list could really help you and put your mind at ease.
It’s important to pack efficiently if you have more than one child. Start by packing their luggage first, ticking off items on your list as you’ve packed them. Then, move on to packing for yourself.
If you’re traveling with a small baby, you might want to consider sharing a suitcase as their clothing won’t take up too much space. This leaves you with a spare bag to pack all of their sleeping and feeding paraphernalia that you might need to bring.
A Relaxing Holiday with Family is Possible
Yes, you’ll need to step up your holiday planning, but having children doesn’t mean that fun and relaxing experiences can’t be in your near future. A holiday with family hits differently — there are so many beautiful memories to make and cherish for a lifetime, but a memorable holiday requires good planning.
If you’re looking for more travel or packing tips, be sure to explore the rest of this blog for all the information you need.