Family friendly hotels around the world
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Don’t panic, holidays with all the family can be as much fun as travelling as a couple, with friends or solo. You just need to plan ahead, expect the unexpected and hope for the best. Here are our 10 tips to surviving a family holiday.
1 – Work out what sort of trip you want
Every family is unique, and children at different ages and stages have specific needs and wants. However, we often talk about “now and then” trips – things to do before your kids get to a certain age and things that you should wait for, until they are old enough to appreciate it and for you to not feel as if you’ve wasted time and money going there. The other thing to remember is it’s your holiday too, so it pays to have something for everyone.
2 – Be positive
Think positively rather than negatively. Family holidays can and should be a joy. It’s a special time for you to spend with your kids – or nephews/nieces, godchildren, grandchildren, family friends. They grow up so quickly and will be off on their own adventures before you know it. Embrace it, and your inner child, and all will be well.
3 – How do I survive a long-haul flight with kids?
The thought of having to cope with a long-haul flight is the reason why many parents won’t travel with their kids at all. The best thing you can do to reduce the stress of air travel is to change your attitude. Think like your kids, for whom flying and all that’s associated with it – from soaring above the clouds to meals in trays – is a fascinating adventure. It might be a little uncomfortable, but it doesn’t last forever either. Check out the movies that will be on the flight in advance, pack any special games or toys that your kids like to have with them, and talk about the flight in advance, how long it will be, how it might be boring but there will be games, movies, food and they can sleep.
4 – Barter system
Trade off something for the kids with something you want to do. Kids will rarely voluntarily say “Yes I’d like to go to that museum/sight/landmark” if they think the alternative is swimming in the pool. But use the pool as a carrot and you might get to see that exhibition after all. Agree to an ice cream or other treat after you’ve visited the place you want to see. Do your research – is there a kids’ self-guide of the museum where they have to look for specific things in paintings etc.
5 – Find hands-on activities
Kids love to do rather than just see. Try to tap into the culture of the place you’re in through hands-on activities. That could be a boomerang-throwing lesson at Uluru or a pizza-making class in Rome. Whatever it is, they’ll learn and retain more once they’ve done it themselves.
6 – Find a good guide
I’m not talking books here. Trust me, your kids won’t want to listen to you reading out of a guidebook. They’ll just switch off. Find a really good, entertaining, knowledgeable and engaging guide who can bring the place you’re in – and its history, culture and stories – to life. It’s always worth the cost.
7 – Get the accommodation right
Make sure you book appropriate accommodation for your family’s needs. If you have a baby or toddler who needs to sleep during the day, for example, you need a hotel room or apartment that has enough space for that and for the rest of you to be comfortable too. If you’re travelling in a multi-generational group or with another family, don’t skimp. As much as you want to be together you need space to be apart, too.
8 – Go self-contained
Consider self-contained apartments, or hostels with family rooms, as well as hotels; often you’ll have much more space, and can prepare a few meals there, making your trip more affordable.
9 – Ask the doc
Staying healthy when you’re away starts with planning well before you go. The first thing to do is see your doctor about any vaccinations that are recommended for your destination. You should start thinking about this about eight weeks prior to departure in case you need a course of vaccinations. Then follow the doctor’s advice on everything from drinking water, eating foods and environmental hazards. Always travel with a basic first aid kit. If you’re travelling overseas don’t forget to check what medical costs are covered by your travel insurance.
10 – Today’s disaster is tomorrow’s laughter
Remember that most travel disasters become fodder for hilarious stories in years to come. As interesting as your lovely trip to Cinque Terra might be, hearing about how your luggage got left on your train to Rome and you had to spend another night there eating dried noodles is more fun.
We all know that the good times can take a slight detour when travelling. When the going gets tough, Travel Insurance Direct policies aim to do the heavy lifting and may assist with travel insurance cover such as travel insurance for families to help keep your trip moving in the right direction, so you can refocus on the fun.