If the idea of planning a family trip fills you with dread, never fear! Sun, sea and sand don’t have to mean snapping, shouting and sulking. There are plenty of ways to keep things simple while making sure everybody gets what they want. Here are a few tips for planning an enjoyable break…
Planning a family holiday can get really complicated really fast, and it can be tempting to make all of the decisions yourself to avoid any conflict. However, it’s a good idea to include your kids in the planning process if you want to avoid sulks or squabbles later – leaving you free to enjoy an afternoon or two to yourself!
Have each member of the family choose one thing they’d like to do during the holiday and make it clear that everyone else will join in. You may have a few clashes, but this way everybody gets to do what they like.
Pick the right spot
If just the two of you were going away together to celebrate your personal success story, you’d pick somewhere wonderfully romantic – but for the family holiday you need to pick somewhere everyone can enjoy themselves.
A luxurious hotel that isn’t big on kids’ facilities will never work for a family break. Neither will a remote camping holiday if you have a gadget-loving partner! Try to pick somewhere that incorporates everybody’s interests – a seaside resort with a nearby town, or a city with the countryside within easy reach.
Even though it’s a family break, there’s no reason why you can’t pick something you and your partner will enjoy together. Why not return to the place where you first met? Or perhaps you found each other through online dating after finding a shared passion for Spain. Pick somewhere that means something to you both.
Of course, there will need to be plenty to do for the whole family. You might not be up for constant activity, but your kids will! An active holiday will keep them interested and give them lots of great memories. Look into what’s on offer in each place before you book.
Keep it simple
While kids love to try new activities, they will be less thrilled about being moved around a lot on their break. Pick one destination and stick to it for the whole holiday if you can. Your kids may get worn out and irritable with lots of changing venues – they’ll like a place they can explore and get to know.
First things first: don’t share a room with your kids! Rain might keep you cooped up indoors or your son might decide to wake you up at five in the morning because he’s bored. If you share your room with more people than your partner and a baby or toddler, it’ll never be a proper break.
Most hotels offer rooms with interconnecting doors, which is the ideal way to keep an eye on your kids while getting some privacy for yourself. The key to enjoying a family break is not to over-organise once you’re there – make sure you have some relaxation time for yourself!