With the new year just around the corner, many of us will be starting to think about our travel plans for next year. The darker and colder days in January have us all yearning for sunnier days and daydreaming about our next holiday. A family holiday is also something fun to look forward to after all of the excitement of Christmas. That is why today we want to share with you 7 tips for booking a family holiday.
Ask for recommendations
The best place to start when you are looking to book a holiday for your family is to ask for recommendations.
Ask around your friends and family and find out where they have holidayed recently or ask about their upcoming holiday plans. If people have had a good experience, they tend to be more than happy to talk about it and answer all of your questions.
Take into account the ages and interests of their children when you are trying to work out whether a similar hotel, resort or area would work for your family.
Along with asking friends, search blogs and reviews online to get an idea of places that might be suitable and then you can begin to narrow down your possibilities.
Check in with your family
Now this step really depends on your family. We would suggest that you check in with your family and go through some of the options that you have come up with to find out whether they have any preferences or places that they would really rather not visit at this stage. They might be keen to have a villa break, they might want to have an adventure holiday or perhaps they really want to camp. They might then have views on the destination itself. However, we know that in some cases too many opinions and views can make making a decision virtually impossible, or your kids might be very young, so you might choose to entirely ignore this step!
Share any initial suggestions that you have and detail what that holiday might be like, the sights that it will involve, the possible temperature and any activities that you are likely to include.
Run through your ideas with everyone, and get some feedback on what appeals and what really does not, and you can then continue with your research and plans safe in the knowledge that everyone has been heard.
Think about the dream destination
You will have been able to take on board people’s recommendations and what your family wants to do, so you can now brainstorm all of those dream holiday destinations.
Your budget, recent trips and time available will probably determine some of these possibilities. This might be the big long haul holiday that you have all been dreaming of, perhaps the Maldives, Disney World or a tour around China, or perhaps it is your kids’ first time abroad, a trip within your own country or a short break just to make sure that you all get some quality family time together. Understanding the type of holiday that you all need will help you to pick out a few possibilities.
You might know that you want to travel for no more than a couple of hours, and you are keen to fly out of your local airport for practical reasons, If so, take a look at where your airport flies from and pull out a few ideas from that list. You should then be able to draw up a short list.
Research the resort amenities
If you have managed to now get a short list, you can start to research resort and hotel amenities.
You might have an idea now of the country that you wish to visit, or even the city or town, and there are probably several possibilities in each area. Think about what you and your family would really need from a resort and you can then cross a few things off your list and narrow down your options further.
For example, your children might love to take part in a kids’ club each day, or they might love the nighttime entertainment. Most kids enjoy some pool time whilst they are on holiday, so take a look at the pools and the largest or most child-friendly might help you to choose.
Food is another key consideration as you will want to decide whether you are going to be better off self catering, or maybe you will go for an all-inclusive option. If you have fussy eaters, you will need to be clear on the restaurants available to ensure that there will be something suitable for everyone.
Take a look at the day trips available
Along with the amenities that are available to you all onsite, it is worth investigating and finding more out about the local area. Some hotels and resorts will run day trips, so search for details of those to see whether any appeal.
You might choose to hire a car or plan to make use of taxis and buses, so you can look into the towns, beaches and tourist attractions that are nearest to you and work out whether any of those would be of interest to you and your children.
Search out the best deals
You should now be fairly clear on where you would like to go, or at least have two to three options you are considering. You can now start searching out the best deals for those holidays, and it could be the price that finally helps you to decide where to go.
You can look into a few options here. You might choose to put the holiday together yourself, so you need to look into ferry, car, train or flight travel and find the best possible price for you all that way. You will then need to add on your accommodation costs and take into account food costs if you are self catering, versus half or full board or all inclusive. Alternatively, you can try several holiday package deals and find out which tour operator is offering the best deals and discounts. You might also want to research that particular operator to ensure that they provide good service.
Being flexible with the dates that you can travel can sometimes help you to get a better deal, or travelling from a different port or airport.
Prioritise organizing the travel plans
Once you have made your decision and booking, it is worth prioritizing the travel plans.
When you are travelling with children you really need this stage to go as smoothly as possible.
You should take a look at 7 Ways to Travel Stress-Free as these tips will stand you in good stead whether you are a lone traveller or are travelling with a dozen kids in tow, and then start making those plans.
If you are travelling by aeroplane, you will want the transfers to and from the airport to be as seamless as possible. It it worth booking a transfer from the airport to your chosen destination, rather than relying on public transport or trying to get a taxi or hire a car on your arrival. This should ensure that the process is faster for you all, as you do not want to be traipsing tired, possibly travel sick, kids around an airport with you.
If you are flying, it can be worth booking your seats early to ensure that you are all sat together and so that you can choose any in-flight meal and entertainment options.