Time-poor families get an ever-rougher deal. With long working hours, homework and endless household chores to complete, the family holiday is perhaps the only chance they get to spend some quality time together. In this situation it’s vital to make sure you plan your holiday effectively to ensure you get the most out of such precious moments. These are some important pointers to bear in mind when planning a trip away with your family.
1 – Plan for all ages
Different ages have different tastes: toddlers and teens won’t always enjoy the same activities. The best family resorts will offer a range of options to suit everyone. Don’t push this too far though: a holiday where each individual goes off on their own will do little to bind together a family that already sees too little of each other.
2 -Make sure you can share
Shared experiences are the best. There are many activities that can easily be enjoyed together, allowing each family member to learn from each other and progress together. Learning how to sail is a good example: you’ll have plenty of shared experiences after a day on the water. Skiing as a family is also brilliant. There’s little to match the sheer terror of watching your five-year-old set off down a mountain before they’ve mastered the art of turning or stopping – but once they’ve acquired a few essential skills you can be off exploring magical mountain environments at your own pace, together.
3 – Think beyond the beach
Don’t make every holiday a beach holiday. Sand and sun cream form an uneasy mix and few children have the patience to spend hours sunbathing. Look for destinations which have a variety of activities to offer and a range of things to do. Mountains help: the long lazy days of summer are perfect for exploring the Alps, with ski gondolas taking the effort out of climbing mountains and a range of good ways to get down. Mountain bikes, hikes and even tandem paraglides are all memorable options. Places where you can try windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and water-skiing can bring calm waters to life.
4 – Choose a children’s club
Kids clubs can have their place on holiday, providing a bit of respite care for harried parents. With younger children, it’s important to be sure the staff is qualified, trained and committed, as you want to be sure they maintain a safe play environment. Older children and teenagers come with their own priorities and still need looking after: you want them to have fun but not too much, so delegate with care.
5 – Don’t force the food
It’s easy to think your children should try and also enjoy foreign food, but this certainly isn’t always the case. Some will be adventurous but others will prefer to stick to the food they know. Make sure the resort you’ve chosen can cater for all tastes as a hungry child is a difficult child and a family without food is one that can be heard from some distance.
Remember that this is your family holiday and your chance to do things together with your family. Shared experiences are the best experiences, and memories made on holiday last longer than even the most expensive electronic gadget. Invest in your holidays and you’re building a happy and healthy future for the whole family.
Author: Laura Wilkins is a keen traveler who has been lucky enough to travel on a multitude of trips. She writes about her experiences, from solo worldwide expeditions to family vacations