Your first holiday as a family is a pretty big deal. These are some of the first memories you’ll have as a family all together and, depending on the age of your children, this is hopefully something they will be talking about for years to come! Of course, after years of holidaying as a couple, your first real holiday as a family can seem quite overwhelming to plan, so here are five top tips.
Where will you go?
When the world is your oyster, it can feel a little bit like there is too much choice. A good way to get around this is to break it down into what sort of getaway you would like. Do you want to explore a new city, see sights and soak up culture, for example? A beach trip offers the opportunity to catch some sun, play in the sand and dip your toes in the water. For the more adventurous family, you could indulge in some water sports, scuba diving or get your surf on – children are never too young to give it a try!
Are you looking for something a bit colder, perhaps a skiing holiday? Are you going to be like one of the 10 millions Aussies who travelled abroad in 2016-17 or are you looking for something a little closer to home for your first holiday? Once you’ve really considered what type of holiday you’re looking for, it will be easier to narrow it down to a destination.
Lists are going to be your best friend when it comes to organising a big family trip! Make sure you write a list of everything that needs packing for each person and ask someone else to double check it. Don’t forget things such as medication, chargers and any favourite toys that are needed for sleeping.
Another important tip when it comes to packing is to spread each person’s things across all the suitcases, so that if one was to go missing everyone would still have a few items in the suitcase that did make it! Try not to overpack, and instead choose items that can have more than one use.
Write an itinerary
When you travel as a family you have to try and keep everyone happy. The best way to do this is for everyone to choose one or two things they’re desperate to do while on holiday and to organise these into an itinerary. This way everyone gets to tick off the things important to them and it’s fair for the whole family.
Try not to overfill the itinerary, however, as you never know what will happen day-to-day. You may need time to relax or just chill out by the pool, or you may come across something you didn’t know about that you want to spontaneously explore. It’s also hard to enjoy what you’re doing if you are having to rush between activities constantly.
Get the children excited
One of the best things about a family holiday is the excitement in the run-up! Get your children excited by showing them pictures of the destination and talking through what it is going to be like – this will help with any anxiety about the unknown, too.
Set up a creative countdown so that they can see visually how many days it is until you head off on your adventure. This will not only build up the excitement but will hopefully stop you being asked several times a day how long it is until you leave!
Try and be as organised and prepared as possible to decrease stress:
- Have copies of all your documents, just in case and make sure you triple check the details of flights and hotels.
- Take any medication that might be needed, as well as some emergency funds. Keep snacks on you, in case you end up waiting a long time to eat and you have some hungry, grouchy children, or for any fussy eaters who might struggle to find something they like easily.
- Bring spare clothes and anything else you might need ‘just in case’ – it’s better to have it and not need it than wish you had thought of it.
It might seem a little scary but if you follow these five tips you will have an incredible time and make your first family holiday one to really remember for all the right reasons. If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments.
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