Planning a Holiday with the Kids
Planning a family holiday can be stressful. On the one hand, you have to keep an eye on the budget; on the other, you need to find a child-friendly location, plan activities, make sure everyone is provided for, and get there and back with a minimum of fuss.
Decision One: What?
What type of holiday do you want? Since it’s a family holiday, let the whole family decide. If your children are teenagers, discuss where they would like to go and what activities they would like to do. Agree with them an acceptable level of independence — they will certainly want to go off on their own, so you need to establish ground rules before the holiday begins.
Parents of younger children can turn the decision-making process into a game:
- Hands up who wants the seaside!
- Say “Moo!” if you want to see animals!
- Shout “Yay!” if you want the countryside!
- Stamp your feet if you want a fun park!
- Clap your hands if you want to go camping!
Of course, children will probably respond with enthusiasm to all the options, so you’ll have to get them voting until the favourite emerges. One easy way is to set out a jar for each option, give everyone a marble, and ask them to put it into the jar representing their favourite destination. If the seaside jar receives the most marbles, off to the coast you go!
Decision Two: Where?
Now that you’ve established what type of holiday the family wants, you need to choose a specific location. Do some research on the Internet or talk to travel agents; there are plenty of companies which specialise in family holidays and although you don’t have to use one, doing so would take the pressure off and give you the space to relax during your break.
Obviously, your choice will depend on your budget. If you want a good deal, the Internet really is the place for the best prices and you can find some good deals if you're flexible with your departure dates.
You can also save money by opting for self-catering deals or by partnering up with another family to share costs (and child-minding duties!).
“Mummy, I’m Bored!”
Keeping the children amused will probably be your top priority. In fact, you might worry about it so much that you’ll spend much of your holiday in a state of high stress… which totally defeats the point.
Kids have an incredible ability to amuse themselves when they’re left to get on with it!
Keep in mind the fact that anything new — including a new environment — has the power to completely fascinate and delight a child. Constant fussing from parents can actually spoil the experience for children, so loosen the reins and don’t try too hard to make them happy. Kids can usually amuse themselves when they’re left to get on with it! Just keep an eye on them, supervise, and unwind.
Finally, make sure you have as much fun as the kids. It’s your holiday too!