Monday, 25 January 2016

5 helpful hints for your dream family holiday

I saw a remarkable statistic that 2015 was the hottest year on record in the world, breaking the record set by the previous year for the third time in a row. It seemingly lends a lot of credence to the widely-accepted theory of global warming. Perhaps it’s all true, but, for me, this January has felt absolutely freezing. Whatever your stance on climate change, I think we can all agree that the cold weather at the moment has us dreaming of warmer places with beaches, pools and a forecast of nothing but sunshine!

I’m already excitedly planning our trip for this summer, and, based on my experiences, I thought I’d share some advice on making sure your family holiday is every bit as perfect as you imagined…

1) Give the kids a ‘prep’ talk
Especially if you have some real young’uns in your family, it’s well worth making sure they have a good idea of what to expect. Maybe sit them around the computer to give them a glimpse of the sights they can expect to see, the food they can expect to eat and the culture they can expect to experience at the destination. Not only will it get them prepared and excited about what is to come, but it will likely also get them more invested in learning new things as soon as they arrive.

2) Be clever with financing
Package holidays often offer decent payment plans to cover the cost of holidays, but if yours is an extra special treat that needs you to spread the cost in terms of financing, it may well be worth looking into a holiday loan. Check out some price comparison sites, and you’ll quickly see that there are plenty of good-value loans available, which will take the financial pressure off you so that your family can genuinely relax and enjoy the experience.

3) Keep something in reserve
Obviously you’ll want to get the kids excited by telling them all the fun stuff that’s in store. But why not keep a surprise or two up your sleeve? Imagine the look on their faces when, on the day, you take them to a water park you ‘thought you’d already told them about’. It will thrill them no end, and add to your already swelling credit in the bank.

4) Plan, but don’t over-plan
You certainly want to make sure you extend the activities beyond just the comfort zone of the resort you are staying on. It’s important to get the kids trying new things and getting a taste for local culture. But it’s also worth leaving a bit of room for them to take the lead. What do they fancy doing on a particular day? What restaurant do they want to eat at? Are there some new friends they’ve made who they want to play with instead? It’s not about ceding control – merely empowering them so they feel a bit more grown up.

5) No pool, no deal
It’s not a holiday without a pool, is it? It probably goes without saying, but pick your accommodation very carefully. What do the reviews say about suitability for kids? And for what age? Even if it requires shelling out an extra quid or two, comfortable surroundings are so important, and can really set the tone for the holiday from the word go. Maybe a villa is a better choice than a hotel, with shared spaces and a kitchen to knock together some food on demand? Have a think about it before clicking ‘Confirm’.

Hopefully these five little hints will help you out. If I had to offer a sixth bit of advice for those with young kids, it would be to remember that this is also a holiday for you and your special someone too, and an important time to get some much-needed R&R in for the year ahead. Be sure to take care of number one too, and not let the kids rule the roost entirely.

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