With the holiday season well and truly upon us, and the travel industry slowly moving towards 2019 booking levels, it’s a great time of year to arrange a break. If you are going on holiday with kids it can be a bit of a mammoth undertaking with all the associated admin and planning though. Today I’m sharing my top tips to try to make it that little bit easier.
Book in advance
The more time you have, the easier it is to really think through when suits to go away and where fits your budget and requirements. Booking in advance also helps to narrow down what you might need to take away. With time to spare you can buy things second hand or shop around for bargains if you need to top up your holiday wardrobe or luggage options.
With every holiday comes an amount of admin, but it doesn’t need to be onerous. Make a list of the key things that you need. This may include checking you have relevant insurance, a phrasebook for going abroad, and that all travel (including transfers) is arranged. Make sure you have breakdown cover for your car too, even if you aren’t taking it all the way to your final destination. Finally, add a note for when the balance of your holiday needs to be paid if you have only paid the deposit upfront. Set money aside for this as early as possible so it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch when the payment deadline arrives.
As a separate point to note, there have been huge delays on getting passports bought or renewed over the past few months in the UK. Current advice is to allow at least 10 weeks. If you need one for your holiday make sure you get it sorted with time to spare. Double check the expiry date and that you have enough time left on it for your return journey too.
Do your research
When you’ve chosen your destination and accommodation, start looking at what is on offer in the area. Think about what suits you as a family and consider booking a couple of activities in advance. Get the kids involved too! You don’t have to stick to your list, but I find that having a few options for clear or rainy weather can help to make the most of your time away.
Check occasional wear
I’m thinking here about kids’ wetsuits and beach shoes rather than smart attire. Basically anything that you are unlikely to be using every day at home. Children grow quickly and it’s better to sort these items before you pack, than last minute.
Let the kids pack a bag
Whilst you will want to oversee clothes and essentials, give the children a small bag each to pack a few favourite books and toys in. They can keep this with them on the journey which might help if they start to feel twitchy en route too. Just note that if you’re going on an aeroplane you might have to be really strict about what they pack due to luggage size and what is allowed through airport security!
Make a list – then duplicate it
This is my all time top tip for holidays! Make a list of everything you need, then make a copy. Tick the items off the first list one by one as you pack them, and store the copy somewhere safe. When you come to pack up for your return trip, use the copy of your list to check everything back into your bags. This is especially important with treasured toys, books or medical essentials. If you prefer an app, we love Microsoft To-Do which allows us to share the list electronically with each other, and makes it very easy to reuse for future trips away.
And finally, pets
If you have pets and they’re not travelling with you, check that your pet sitter, kennels or cattery has space in advance. Don’t forget to confirm the dates! This eases stress and can help your children to feel relaxed knowing that the VIPs in your family are being well looked after too.
If you are heading away this year, I hope you have a lovely break and that you find this post useful!