Holidays that span multiple generations of your family can provide some precious memories. However, keeping everyone happy when they all want to do different things can be difficult. Sometimes the kids don’t seem to tire out, while all their grandparents want is a good rest!
We know a lot of you spend time catering to everyone else’s needs – but don’t forget it’s your holiday too. Plan some ‘me time’ with your partner to get your share of relaxation. Whether you’d prefer to do some cultural exploring, have a spa treatment or get involved in some water sports, get around to doing it. Bringing the whole family doesn’t have to limit what you’d like to do, it’s possible to make it fun for everyone if you let them have their say.
Family holidays are the perfect opportunity to experience new things together – and we want you have the best trips possible! To make your holiday easier to plan, here’s our quick survival guide on how to keep everyone happy on your next travels.
Keeping your kids happy on holiday doesn’t have to be stressful. To help them experience the new culture or place you’re visiting, try and keep it interesting for them to make sure they get as much enjoyment out of the trip as possible.
Avoid losing any days that you could use exploring your destination by making sure that every evening you have a rough plan of what you want to do the next day. Not only will this keep any stress at bay but it makes sure you always have an idea of how your kids will be entertained during the day. Get them involved in the planning and let them pick a few of the activities you end up doing to keeps them interested. An important tip with this method is to stay flexible on the day! Don’t be disappointed if your kids aren’t enjoying an activity as much as you thought they would. Talk to them about it and try to find a way you can both enjoy your day out.
Although you don’t want to be doing too little, also make sure you don’t do too much. Put aside a few days to use in a more relaxing way. Go to the park, beach or pool to play with them so you both have plenty of time to re-energise after those busy days.
Plan some surprises throughout your trip to treat your kids. Start a postcard project where from each new place you visit your kids write a postcard to their future selves to read when they get home. Give them a child friendly camera to snap any photos of things they find interesting on your travels to encourage them to properly look at their surroundings. Any long journeys? Help them pass the time with a colouring book or new journal to write their adventures down in.
It’s always worth having a safety plan in place with your kids – just in case. Although we hope you won’t need any of these, be sure to have a small first aid kit in your car and your bag. Check that your children know their phone number and where you are staying; and talk through with them how they should react in an emergency.
It may sound simple enough, but staying on top of your normal home routines such as the time you eat meals and go to sleep can help your kids feel comfortable and happy in their new environment. This is especially important on travelling days as your body clock can be thrown off by the time spent on the move. Keep the family hydrated and with full stomachs to start a happy and healthy holiday.
If you’re jetting off with your parents this year, don’t forget that there are some extra considerations you need to take on board to make sure they get the most out of your holiday.
Don’t plan too many hectic days and consider any mobility issues they have. Elderly travellers will want to see just as much as you but it’s important to take your time in doing so. With more time available to wander at a leisurely pace, you are both less likely to be stressed and they won’t be putting any strain on themselves by trying to keep up.
It’s worth planning time where your parents can take a break. If your kids want to spend all their time with their grandparents and don’t realise when they are tiring them out, give them the space they need to relax. Equally if your parents want some time alone to explore the area, let them have it. Just make sure you have a way to stay in touch in case you need to get in contact with each other.
If you require any extras to help with any physical limitations, double check that these are prepared in advance. If your accommodation does not have any elevators and your parents struggle with stairs, call the hotel and ask for a ground floor suite. In the same regard if you require to board the plane early or need special seating for your parents, contact the airline well in advance to make these arrangements early. Small requests can make a huge difference to their overall comfort, meaning that they are more likely to feel happy throughout the trip.
Although an obvious one – check with your parents if they need any prescription refills before heading off. Ask them to inform their doctor that they are going travelling to find out if they need to take any extra medical precautions.
When at your destination you may want to consider taking advantage of any optional tours with your parents. With no planning necessary on your behalf, the company can take care of your family so you can all sit back and enjoy the ride!
For the sake of all of your family, if possible try to book your trip when your destination isn’t likely to be too busy. Avoiding the crowds can have a huge impact on keeping your cool if any issues arise and you’re more likely to feel relaxed.
Holidaying with the whole family is precious and if you follow these simple tips then you will find the perfect balance and keep everyone happy. To find out more about some ideal holiday destinations for families and groups then find your local Travel Counsellor using the search bar.