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Our Favourite Ways to Make the Most of Your Family Holiday

What's your idea of the perfect summer getaway? Holidays can be tricky when you have the kids in tow, but with careful planning and preparation, you can make this year's holiday your best yet

 

According to Tomorrow's Tourist, by 2030 China will be the world's largest tourism destination, holidays in Outer Space will be the ultimate luxury experience, extreme Swedish ironing will be an Olympic Sport, embedded technologies will be the norm in future tourists, and skiing in the Alps will be no more...

This paints a bleak and exciting picture of future holidays - but what about today?

How does the average Brit spend their summer?

Currently, the average Brit takes a 10 day holiday to Spain and spends £617, based on figures from Travel Supermarket.

The ideal family holiday variesEveryone has a different idea of what constitutes a holiday. Regardless of whether your destination involves culture, history, sport or sun; a trip with the family poses a few more questions than a couple's weekend getaway or a week with friends.

We asked Roxanne Hobbs - who works with Mums to help them realise their career goals alongside a fulfilling family life - to provide a few tips on how she'll make the most of her family holiday this year.

How to enjoy your family holiday

Get clear on your intention

Work out what you want out of the holiday before you go, and make sure everyone in the family is on the same page.

Is it about spending time with the family, or is it about catching up on sleep and getting some time to yourself? Once you know what you want, do some research into holidays that will fulfil that goal.

Get the extended family involved

We know that everyone is living longer and many are having families later, meaning that there are often many generations around come holiday time!

If you're looking for a combination of family fun and R'n'R, why not invite everyone on a family holiday? Knowing there are more hands on deck to help take care of the children means you might get an hour to read a book in the sunshine or swim a few lengths without interruption.

Pack lightly for yourself and your partner on the flight

Think about what you absolutely need to have with you on the plane and save as much of your hand luggage as possible for what the kids need.

Remember how many hands you'll have and pack accordingly - rucksacks can be a saving grace as you chase small children around the airport, hands-free. They also double as a day pack if you decide to go exploring when you reach your destination.

Adults should travel light

If it's your first time travelling with children, don't underestimate how much time and attention you'll need to spend on them during your  trip - it's unlikely you'll have the time to catch up on your novel reading whilst on the plane.

While children don't need that much 'stuff', it's good to know that you have enough to keep them entertained. Don't forget to pack a few extra plastic bags and wet wipes - you never know when sticky hands or stinky nappies will throw a spanner in the works! For younger children, make sure you have a change of clothes for mega emergencies.

Preparation is key

It sounds boring, but knowing you have all the right equipment with you will make the holiday a lot less stressful. There's nothing like trying to find hypoallergenic formula milk in a remote Portuguese village store - trust me!

Spend some time thinking through all the different scenarios that might arise, make some lists and get prepared. I know it seems geeky, but I'd rather be over prepared.

Get your paperwork sorted

Sort out your holiday insurance, check you have the right names on passports and tickets, and check your passports are in date. It sounds obvious, but I know so many families who have ruined their holidays by not getting on top of the paperwork.

Be well prepared

Having had a son who spent 2 days in hospital with croup on a recent holiday - and a bill of £1000 - It would have been a nasty shock if the insurance company hadn't picked up the cost because our insurance wasn't in order.

Double check the times of your flights, trains or ferries, and give yourself plenty of time to get to wherever they are.

Arriving late means booking new tickets and, as friends of ours learned on a recent trip, getting to the airport late isn't covered by insurance! Getting new tickets at the last minute is costly and stressful.

Relax and enjoy!

Just sit back and relax!

We spend so much time planning - and then looking after the kids - that we forget to kick back and enjoy our own holiday.

Once you've done your preparation, focus on being in the moment and enjoy your time with your family. This is what it's all about! If your children are old enough, work together to take photos, collect souvenirs and write a holiday book that will create memories which you can reflect on for years to come.

If your children still take naps, make sure you and your partner take this time to read a book or take turns going exploring. Or, you could organise one day on the holiday where you take the kids and your partner has a child-free day, and vice versa...

Remember, it's your holiday. You're in charge - enjoy it!

 
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