Holiday time as a family when done correctly can be a magical time where memories are made which will always fill your heart with joy. Get the destination wrong and it can be a totally different kettle of fish so it’s important that you plan your holiday destination carefully when travelling with children.
Things to consider
How will you entertain your children?
The saying generally goes that if the children are happy, the parents are happy so think about what will entertain your children whilst on holiday?
Private pool – If you are looking to book a holiday that packs some heat then you might want to think about booking a villa with a private pool like these luxury homes in Barbados. Just imagine relaxing on a sun lounger whilst the children splash around in the swimming pool. Booking a hotel is an option but with a private pool you will only need to watch your children, rather than having to spot your children in a sea of holidaymakers.
Beach – There aren’t many children who don’t love spending a day digging in the sand, chasing the ebb and flow of the tide or burying Dad up to his chin in hot sand. Even if you don’t spend the day at the beach, it’s nice to retire to the beach at the end of a busy day of sightseeing so the kids can let off some steam before bedtime. The UK also has some beautiful beaches if you don’t want to venture too far.
Kids Clubs – Holiday destinations that offer kids club are great if you want some time out to relax or take part in a sporting activity or similar without having to supervise your children, even if you want to enjoy a child-free meal then a kids club can be a win-win situation.
Travel with Friends
One of the best things about going away on holiday is having fun with friends so why not go on holiday with your friends? Children will have their very own entertainment in each other and you’ll have your own friends to have fun with too. Travelling with friends also means you could give each other a night off and take it in turns to babysit each other’s family so that you can have a couples night out. I found this useful guide on planning a family holiday with friends to ensure that you’re still friends when you return!
It goes without saying that when travelling with children your top priority needs to be the safety of your family. The MI5 have some useful Travel Advice guides which could be worth a read if you are looking to travel with your family. Most of it is common sense but it doesn’t hurt to read up. I was pick-pocketed by a lady who presented me with a flower whilst in Majorca. She took all of the cash out of my purse whilst it was in my hands and I didn’t notice. Later that evening I read the information pack in my hotel room which warned of the flower ladies – it pays to read up, it’s there to protect you!
If you are planning on booking a hire car, make sure you book through a reputable hire company rather than the cheapest you spot on arrival, you wouldn’t hire from ‘Joe’s Jalopies’ in the UK so don’t do it in holiday mode either.
Friendly Flight Times
In our youth we would happily book flights at any time of the day or night if it meant saving money but travelling with children is different. Some children are very adaptable, mine, not so much. If they stay up late they will still get up early but will be grumpy. My advice would be to consider the needs of your children and book flights accordingly to fit around naps, meal times and bedtimes especially if your children aren’t great at sleeping whilst travelling. You’ll thank me for it in the long run.
Great Family Friendly Destinations
To give you a few ideas to get you started I have popped a few of my favourite destinations below;
The Balearic Islands offer all that you would want from a family destination; short flights and transfers, family friendly hotels and entertainment, beautiful sandy beaches and old towns full of culture. The locals are friendly and speak good English and the weather is pretty much guaranteed. We stayed in Son Bou and would happily return there time and time again.
The Canary Islands
Just like the Balearics, the Canary Islands are the perfect family holiday destination. We took Will to Fuerteventura when he he was 6 years old and had a lovely week in the sunshine. The Greek culture is very warm and friendly, they love children and there are lots of beautiful attractions, National Parks and stunning coastlines. The Canaries are well known for their sub-tropical climate which promises year-round sunshine. Lanzarote is also a personal favourite of mine.
I have visited Corfu three times, although none of these have been with family I wouldn’t hesitate to take my children there as it is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. Depending upon the age of your children, Corfu offers lots of different water sports which is perfect for the adventurous families among us. It has a luscious landscape with breathtaking views. The food is delicious and I think I could even find food for Lillie to eat which would be amazing! Corfu is also steeped in history, my favourite places to visit being Achillieon Palace and Palaiokastritsa. Honestly I could go on and on about Corfu all day long. Visit, it’s a must!