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Planning a family holiday


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Holidays with kids in tow can be vastly different than the ones you took as a couple. What was once an opportunity to chill out, relax and explore new places may now seem like a military operation that needs precision planning. But going on a family holiday doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s how to make everything run smoothly and let everyone enjoy the break.

Choose your destination

This is perhaps the most important step in reducing the amount of stress involved in family holidays. As well as considering the journey time, ensure there is something to do in all weathers and that there is plenty to keep the whole family happy. You might be happy to spend two weeks lying reading on the beach but it’s likely your kids will get bored and cranky (not to mention sun-burnt) after a few hours. Choose somewhere that you’ll all be happy with and your holiday will be much less stressful.

Be organised

Take some of the stress out of preparing for a holiday by organising as much as possible in advance. Order passports early to save you worrying if they’ll get here on time and make a list of everything you’ll need to buy. Giving yourself a few weeks to purchase everything means you’re less likely to forget something and avoids a mad dash around the shops the weekend before you leave. Hunt out things like travel insurance documents, flight tickets and hotel reservations a few days before you are due to set off. That way you have time to replace anything you can’t lay your hands on.

Travel light

family holidayThis is particularly important if you’re flying but is also a good tip for driving. Plan your family’s outfits around activities you’ve earmarked and pack items that can mix and match to create a new look. Hopefully the weather will be warm and sunny enough that you can hand wash clothes and hang them out to dry. Remember that everything you take has to come back with you and you don’t want to have to spend the last two days of your holiday packing suitcases!

Make the journey part of the holiday

Whether you’re travelling by plane, train or car, you’ll have to find some way to keep the kids entertained. Books, travel games, portable DVD players and tablets can be invaluable for holding children’s interest and maintaining your sanity. However, it’s also important that kids are given the chance to stretch their legs and burn off energy so add an extra half hour to your planned rest stops and use it to run around with a football.

Plan activities

There are few things more irritating than taking kids on holiday just to hear them go on and on about being bored. Make sure you have plenty of activities up your sleeve to keep them occupied and get the most out of the break. That goes for you as well – take some time out for a massage or to chill by the pool while the kids are off learning a new skill. Try to include activities suited to each member of the family and make sure there is a good mix of individual and family-based pursuits.


You’ve done all the hard work planning travel and accommodation, packing and organising activities. Now that’s over, it’s time to relax and enjoy spending some quality time with your family.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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