Are you going on holiday as a family soon and worried about how you’re going to pull it all off? Fear not, for I have been speaking to some of my fellow bloggers and have collated 10 top tips! Many of these will be useful even if you’re travelling without children.
10 top tips for travelling as a family
Ten things you need to know before you go on your holiday
1. Do your research!
It’s important to do your research in order to have the best possible holiday experience. Mandi of Big Family Little Adventures suggests checking that where you’re going is suitable for all members of the family and that the needs of any younger children are catered for. That way you know roughly what you need to take with you, if anything.
Meanwhile, it could also be worthwhile researching whether you can get any discounts that could help you. Naomi of Trips With a Tot recommends looking at YHA and using a 10% off family railcard if you’re travelling within the UK.
2. Prioritise convenience
Whilst it’s obviously a good idea to watch your pennies, sometimes it’s just not worth the stress. Jodie at Maidenhead Mum suggests “[prioritising] convenience over saving a few pounds, especially at the airport. It might mean spending a bit more, but being able to drop the kids, luggage and buggy off right outside departures and having someone go and park your car is a whole lot better than a long stay car park where you need to get everyone on and off a shuttle bus. Allow budget for this when you’re booking”.
3. No case? No problem!
Hayley at Devon Mama has a fantastic tip, which is so simple, yet genius! She says “Pop a few of each persons clothes in each case, rather than one case each. That way if a case goes missing or gets delayed you all still have at least one change of clothing”.
4. Whatever you do, remember snacks!
“SNACKS!” suggested the owner of Raising Badgers. I don’t blame her for the capitalisation…this has surely got to be the ultimate travel tip! The last thing you want is anyone to get hangry!
Suzanne Easton recommends “[getting] the kids to help choose what goes in their journey bag but also [keeping] a few new things back for when you need a treat”. Another top tip of hers is to include a snack ration. That way they can eat when they feel like it without needing to constantly ask you for food. She adds that if you include a good mix of dried fruit, bread sticks, popcorn and a few sweets they won’t be overindulging.
5. Break up the journey
Suzanne’s recommendation of snacks can help to break up the journey, but games and activities will also help to keep everyone entertained. Fariba at Mixed Up Mama says “If it’s long haul, to help break it up, bring a new toy/activity for every hour of the journey. I just bought a few things from the pound stretcher and then had each child choose something from the bag as a surprise. That way you can toss it or not worry if anything gets lost. Small studies, crafts, stickers, cheap dolls, colouring books etc.”
I think this sounds like a great idea. Even as an adult I get bored on a long journey and tend to break it up with doing some relaxation exercises, music, using social media and a colouring app on my phone.
6. Get organised
Holidays take a lot of organisation anyway, but even more so if children are involved. As Bethanie at Northumberland Family Diaries says “Going on holiday/travel with kids requires forward thinking and list making to make sure you don’t forget anything, you know how long it takes to get anywhere etc.”
One way to do this is to “Get coloured packing cubes so that each member of the family has their own and your bags are organised. It makes it so much easier when you need to find something specific in your suitcase”. Thank you for this great suggestion, Nadia at Scandi Mummy! I’ve actually organised out separate outfits for my daughter for each day of the week before. This makes things easier for me and also means my husband can dress her without asking me what she needs to wear and what goes together.
7. Have the right equipment
Sometimes on holiday there aren’t always paths suitable for prams and pushchairs, or perhaps you don’t want to take one. Naomi at Trips with a Tot recommends using a sling and a good quality backpack (she recommends Decathlon). From personal experience, I definitely agree. Having your child in a sling or carrier means you can do all sorts of things you wouldn’t be able to do with a pushchair. Coastal walks become possible, you can carry things or push a trolley and there’s not the problem of the wheels getting stuck in the sand on the beach!
8. Remember to get some down time
Holidays can be tiring, as they’re often action packed and you may stay out later than usual. Emma at Happy Family Hub says that it’s important to make sure you schedule in down time. She adds “Travelling and sightseeing can be quite full on so some quiet activities are also a good idea so as not to wear the children out too much”.
9. Leave plenty of time
Anna at Popitha says “Leave plenty of time to get through the airport so it’s not stressful and have a meal there so no one is hungry”. Once you arrive, it’s equally important to leave plenty of time for each activity. Make sure you take time to enjoy yourself. On our honeymoon, we were so keen to see so many places we wore ourselves out and didn’t really relax.
10. Accept that things may not go to plan and do it!
Louise at Pink Pear Bear says “Accept that things might not go to plan. Make sure you are prepared for any delays or car trouble with plenty of snacks, entertainment and water. Also make sure you have some warm clothes for everyone. Finally, do it! It’s brilliant and you’ll have a great time, even if the worst does happen!”
This is so true. Our recent trip to Cornwall didn’t go exactly as planned. However, we had prepared for all sorts of eventualities, made the most of things and had a fantastic time!
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Holiday Gems. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.