How to Make Family Holidays Fun Not Stressful
Taking the family away on holiday is one of the greatest joys you can have. Often, holidays give you a decent chance to spend some quality time with your whole family, and there are many reasons that travelling is beneficial for the kids’ development as well. As long as you are all happy with what you are doing, and you have planned for it properly, then there is no reason that you can’t simply have a great time away together. But in reality, we all know that various stressors can arise which can negatively affect the experience, and this is just something that we need to take into consideration. Let’s have a look at what you should consider when you are planning a holiday for all the family.
What time of year to go is an important concern, and one which is likely to have some distinctive ongoing effects. For example, holidaying during the school holidays is often going to be your only option – but it goes without saying that this time is one of the most expensive in terms of both flights and accommodation. One way around this is to book early, or to travel during the slightly less popular parts of the holiday. Half-terms and smaller breaks are often not as expensive as high summer, so that might be a good option to consider. Similarly, as long as you are booking these early on, perhaps even two years in advance, you will find that it is much, much cheaper on the whole. And when it is cheaper, you are likely to be much less stressed about the whole experience. What’s more, getting the timing right will also ensure that the whole family are able to enjoy it as fully as possible – and that is what you are ultimately going for.
Planning & Itinerary
One of the chief ways in which you can keep the potential stress of the family holiday to a minimum is by planning everything out in as much detail as possible. The more you plan out your trip, the more likely it is that everything will go off without a hitch, and having an itinerary in particular is a great way of keeping things regimented enough to be less stressful, but free enough that everyone has fun. You should have a rough idea of what you are going to do each day, but allow for a little deviation. This is easily the best way to ensure that everyone is kept as happy as possible throughout the trip. Too little planning, and people will get bored. Too much, and it will be too strict for the kids. But with a plan in tow, you personally will feel a lot better about the whole experience.
Suitable For All
One of the most important decisions to make is, of course, where you are actually going to go, and what you will do there. When you are making these decisions, it is vital that you think about the entire family – including yourself, crucially. For a truly family friendly holiday, you might want to think about one of the classic options, such as a vacation at disneyland, for example. Alternatively, if you want your children to experience some culture, then you could take them somewhere slightly less usual – somewhere where they might learn some history and so on. It is entirely up to you, but make sure you remember the golden rule of compromise. Nobody should be made to feel that they are being dragged on a holiday which they wouldn’t really include themselves, so make sure that you consider everybody’s interests and needs.
Money is an important concern for all families, so to make the most of any holiday experience you should find a way to save on money. Budgeting yourself for your travels is hugely important, and the earlier that you start to think about it, the better. Of course, there are many things you can do to save money on the holidaying itself, and you should bear all of those possibilities in mind while you are planning your trip. Beyond that, make sure that you can actually afford your holiday. You should think carefully about whether or not you are able to afford the trip. It is best not to use credit for such purchases, unless you are absolutely certain that you can pay it back in good time. Above all, remember that there is no shame in going for the budget options when it comes to flights, accommodation and so on. In many respects, this affords you an even realer experience, so it might be worthwhile in more ways than one.
You will want the whole experience to be as stress-free as possible, and one key way to ensure that is to take as little as possible with you. Many families find it difficult to pack light, as it is often tempting to simply take as much as possible. But you should find that it is relatively easy as long as you simply play by the rule of only taking what is absolutely essential. The lighter you pack, the easier the holiday is, and the less stressed you and everyone else will be throughout the trip. If you are genuinely struggling to pack any lighter than you currently do, then you might want to restrict yourself by using smaller suitcases. This also has the advantage of meaning you will probably have cheaper flights on the whole.
Enjoy & Don’t Stress
Finally, remember that the whole point here is to enjoy yourself as much as possible. If you are stressed out the whole time, this will reflect in your children, and before long this can snowball into a greater and greater stress for all. Instead, relax, and enjoy the experience for what it is. Holidays are to be enjoyed, so enjoy it, and you will find yourself wanting to repeat the experience as soon as possible. With any luck, your children will too, and you can make such an event an annual thing for all the family.