Family holidays are the perfect opportunity to bond with loved ones, share new experiences together and discover new people and places.
So what do you need to remember before you jump in and book your dream holiday with your family?
It may seem like a no-brainer, but it pays to do your research. Nobody wants to end up lying on the beach in Fiji during the wet season, right? Do your homework, and be sure that your destination is likely to have the weather/season you are hoping for at the time you plan to visit.
Passports and Visas
Before booking your holiday, ensure that everybody’s passports are valid. It can take a considerable time to apply and receive passports, so make this a priority before you book. Some destinations may require certain visas, and others call for travellers to have passports valid for at least 6 months beyond travel dates.
If you are wondering whether it is a good idea to get travel insurance for your family, wonder no more. The simple answer to this question is that if you can’t afford insurance you can’t afford to travel.
Overseas medical costs are not covered my medicare, so taking out a comprehensive insurance that covers medical expenses for injury or illness, as well as theft of valuables, loss or damage to baggage and cancelled or interrupted travel plans is a MUST!
Whether your family’s idea of a holiday is lying on a beach relaxing, swimming in the hotel pool, or trekking up a mountain, the aim is to enjoy quality time together without worrying about the purse strings. Book a holiday within your budget and don’t forget to factor in other expenses, i.e. meals, travel, tours, experiences, car hire, petrol, plus 10% to cover any unexpected costs.
The best family holidays are those that have something for everyone in the family to enjoy, regardless of age. Before booking, consider your family’s interests, and the features you’d like your accommodation to have e.g. pool, spa, kids club, etc, and then choose your destination accordingly.
For expert guidance on booking a family holiday, that suits your itinerary and budget we recommend visiting the Holiday Specialists website to view their family friendly holiday packages to destinations including Fiji, Vanuatu, Thailand, Bali, Samoa, Cook Islands, Hawaii and mainland USA.
Some destinations require immunisation. Ask you local GP if you and your family need any shots before you leave, and importantly, how long before you leave.
Whilst visiting your Doctor, it is also a good idea to get your child’s ears and throat checked to ensure they are travel ready, and not likely to endure any pain during take off and landing.
On long haul flights, it is a good idea to try to book an evening flight, making it more likely that your child will sleep and stay in their normal routine. But as every parent knows even the best laid plans can go awry, so whether you book a day or night fly pack lots of snacks and other distractions. Activities such as books, and colouring in are a great quiet activity. But many airlines also play movies about the plane.
Packing only what you need can be a challenge at the best of times. When we travel with children there is the temptation to pack for every eventuality, meaning we take far more than we need or even use whilst away.
But, whilst trying to downsize the things your family will need there are one or two items that may seem excessive, but will be worth their weight in gold:
If you are the parent of a preschooler, taking along a lightweight stroller is a great idea. Little legs get tired, and a tired toddler, as we know, is not conducive to relaxation for mum and dad.
Similarly, taking along your child’s favourite teddy or blankie can give small children the sense of security they need in a strange place, particularly at bedtime.
Would you add anything else to this list?