Family holidays are a time to be treasured, and a fantastic way to make memories with your loved ones. Whilst pre-family spontaneity may well have reigned supreme, more often than not a planning and prepping stage is a necessary step for holidaying with children. Whilst the lead up to that all-important breakaway has a tendency to be a stressful one full of organising and checklists, most parents would agree that it’s almost definitely better to take the stress pre-holiday, as opposed to on the break itself, which could well happen, were parents not prepared for all eventualities. With packing, travel, and accommodation all to consider, the planning stage is of the utmost importance and needs careful consideration to make sure all parties are happy. With that in mind, Cotswolds based Character Cottages outline their top tips for preparing for a family holiday.
Choose accommodation wisely
Accommodation is a huge part of any holiday, not only is this the place where you will rest your head after a day of activities, but it’s also the space that you will share together as a family. It’s important to look for a space that can act as a ‘home away from home’, especially if your children are on the younger side. Self-catering holiday homes and cottages are a fantastic choice for families, thanks to their ability to provide space for all with multiple rooms, and entertaining areas that are private enough that other guests can’t be disturbed, unlike in that of a hotel.
Make a packing list
It may seem obvious at first but creating a comprehensive list of absolutely everything you will require on your holiday is the only way to truly ensure nothing gets left behind. After each item is packed, simply tick it off your list and you’re sure to have your necessities. It’s often only when you sit down and write things out that you realise not only exactly how many day to day items you rely on but also how much space you are going to need for luggage. This is particularly useful when choosing whether you are going to pack in suitcases or a hold-all or take the car or hire a taxi.
Prepare a travel pack
The travelling involved with a holiday, no matter how close or far away, is often a draining experience for all. Small children especially can really struggle with sitting for long periods of time, and ensuring the process is as pain-free as possible is an important factor in making sure the holiday starts on a positive foot. Preparing a travel pack including food and drink, toys and activities is a great way to keep all members of the family happy.
With so many activities available across family holidays, it’s a great idea to get a rough itinerary down on paper, to really make sure you are making the most of your time away. It’s also important to consider scheduling in some down-time, as holidays can be as exhausting as day to day life. Planning which nights you intend on going out to eat, and which nights you are going to stay in your accommodation, will also dictate how much food and drink you may want to take away with you.
Pack a camera
Family holidays are all about creating memories, and you’re going to want to make sure you get plenty of evidence of your fun adventures. Making sure you have a camera or camera phone with you is a fantastic way to document your break and will create some fantastic images and videos to look at upon your return.