There are loads of things you can do to ensure a stress free family holiday, from keeping a toothbrush in your handbag for emergencies to opting for an all inclusive trip.
Going on holiday with your family can be one of life’s most joyous encounters. But in my experience, it can also be one of the most stressful, for children and parents. I’ve been on holidays with very relaxed adults sunbathing on the beach, but very bored children. On the flip side, I’ve also been on a holiday to Disneyland Paris, where the adults were driven mad by their children’s insistence on riding the spinning tea cups for the umpteenth time.
But there is such a thing as a stress free family holiday: you simply need to be prepared. Follow these tips and you could be enjoying a hassle-free family holiday in no time.
How to Pack for a Stress Free Family Holiday
If you’re travelling with two or more children, the likelihood is that you have a few bags of luggage with you. Rather than having one piece of luggage per person, mix up people’s belongings – so that you, your partner and your children all have a few items of clothing in each suitcase. That way, should one of your bags be lost on the plane or – in the worst case scenario – stolen, you’ll all still have clothes that you can wear.
I’d also recommend keeping your toothbrush and a change of underwear in your handbag. I do this if I’m travelling on my own as I find it reassuring, but it’s particularly helpful when cleaning up tired children on a flight or long train journey. It’s also advisable to give each of your children a bag of their own containing a few essentials, like a packet of tissues, a bottle of water, a small amount of cash and, if they have one, their mobile phone.
In certain destinations – for instance, Egypt or trips to Spain or Italy – I’d also recommend giving each of your children a mini bottle of sunblock, and encouraging them to re-apply every few hours.
Entertaining Children and Keeping Them Safe
A stress free family holiday means taking care of your children as well as yourself. You should include the address of your hotel on a label and your mobile phone number, so if they get lost any adults or officials will know where to return them.
When I was a young child, my mother would arm me with activities on a holiday. I’d always have a novel – maybe even two or three on particularly long journeys – and a colouring book with pencils. I’d also have a plain notebook so I could draw, write stories or play hangman with my sister. When I was a little older, we also had a Discman to play CDs on, and though my sister and I had to share it, it certainly kept us occupied. It played a large role in helping to stave off boredom while travelling. And when my parents stopped to drink their tenth cappuccino of the day while we were in Rome, I knew I could always open my bag and find something to do while they relaxed.
All inclusive family holidays are also worth considering for a stress free family holiday trip. That’s because some resorts count entertaining children as part and parcel of their all-inclusive package. So mum and dad can be relaxing by the swimming pool with a cocktail, while their children are playing football or painting with the resort’s children’s activity reps. Before booking an all-inclusive holiday, enquire about their children’s programme to see if it’s something that your kids would enjoy.
We hope these tips help you and your loved ones have a stress free family holiday.