According to the Daily Mail, one in four parents choose to forgo the annual family vacation because they don’t want to deal with the associated stress. This is a sorrowing figure as family holidays are some of my fondest memories, plus travel is an important part of a child’s upbringing! Travel teaches kids about culture, geography and provides unique memories, so by shunning a trip for fear of stress, you’re robbing your child of important life experiences. Here, travel experts Compare & Choose have listed their top tips for surviving your next family holiday.
- Pack Smart
Organisation is key to ensuring a smooth and stress-free holiday and this starts with packing. Getting your suitcases filled a week in advance, equipped with clothing, toys and all the other essentials will limit any last-minute breakdowns. Don’t forget to have your hand luggage prepped too, with passports, travel money and insurance at the top of the list. Create a checklist for each bag so you know exactly what’s in it and you won’t get that ‘I feel like I’ve forgotten something’ feeling just as you’re leaving for the airport. Plus, it makes packing for the trip home so much easier!
- In-flight entertainment
Keeping your little ones entertained is half the battle when flying, so be sure to pack a variety of old and new toys to occupy their imagination. Tablets are the travelling parents best friend as they provide quiet entertainment that can keep kids busy for hours, just be sure to download a variety of TV shows, movies and games before you get to the airport.
- Remember, it’s your holiday too
Often, parents feel as if they need to make every moment of their holiday magical and unfortunately, it’s just not realistic. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, sometimes a day chilling by the pool is all you need – you can’t do everything!
- Stick to your routine
Kids are creatures of habits and changes to their normal schedule can be unsettling. Before your trip, try preparing your children by telling them about all the fun activities they’ll be doing and set behavioural expectations to minimise wobbles. Where possible, try and stick to your usual routines for bed time and breakfast times, this will ensure the holiday-mode transition isn’t stressful or confusing for little ones.
- But, be flexible
Squeezing in every activity under the sun might seem like a good idea, but in reality, you’ll end up feeling flustered when you’re dashing from place to place. Holidays are supposed to be relaxing and there’s no need to feel guilty for having some down time. In fact, your kids will probably enjoy going with the flow, maybe one day they’re feeling restless so a chilled day at the beach is on the cards and the next, you’ll want to tire them out with an action-packed day at a water park, or theme park. Kids are unpredictable and a little flexibility goes a long way!