All the latest inspiration and guidance for help you plan your next family hoilday

A family holiday should be a highlight of your year, creating precious memories. So, you’ll want to prevent anything going wrong that makes the experience stressful rather than fun-filled.

To help you make your next family trip a success, here are seven common mistakes that parents make when planning holidays and travelling, with tips on how to avoid them.

1. Choosing the wrong destination

A common piece of feedback from tripAbrood customers is that choosing a family holiday destination can be tricky. You don’t want to end up in a resort with the kids that’s too lively, as an example, and risk being disturbed in the evening. But, equally, if you choose a village that’s too quiet, you may struggle to find things to do and family-friendly places to eat.

Then there’s the weather. Too hot and you’ll be constantly hiding in the shade, but too cold and wet and days out become harder.

But where do you start? And how do you avoid getting your destination wrong?

To help parents with this dilemma, we’ve launched fun picture prompts on tripAbrood that you can say yes or no to depending on your family’s taste. We’ll suggest destinations that we know families love at certain times of the year and you can collate all of your holiday inspiration onto your own personal Brood Board, ready to browse and book when you have a quiet moment.

If you're looking for a family holiday in the sun, take a look at our latest trending beach destinations.

2. Booking the wrong accommodation

Once you’ve chosen your destination, finding a place to stay is your next step. And your accommodation can make or break a family trip.

A bad night’s sleep can result in grumpy children and parents – not what you want on holiday. And unless you tend to go to sleep at the same time as your children, you’ll need to think carefully about the type of room your select, or you’ll end up whispering in the dark once the kids are asleep.

tripAbrood was set up to make finding and booking family-friendly accommodation easier. To save you hours scrolling though unsuitable options, chat to our digital travel assistant, Skye, and we’ll match you to places to stay just for your family.

Chat with Skye

Our blog post How to choose the best family hotel for you also has lots of tips on how to find your family’s ideal place to stay.

3. Not having the right documents

tripAbrood’s founder, Alexa, once learnt the hard way not to check the expiry dates of your family's passports a week before a holiday or you risk missing your trip. Instead, check all passports as soon as you've booked to allow plenty of time to apply for new ones if required.

And, even if you know that everyone’s passports are in date, don’t forget to check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to as some will require that you have a certain number of months left on each passport. For entry to the United Arab Emirates, as an example, your passport must be valid for a minimum period of six months from your date of entry, while for Spain your passport should be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (and be less than 10 years old on the day you enter).

At the moment, destinations also have different entry requirements as a result of Covid-19. So, if your destination is allowing travel from the UK, make sure you know its testing requirements and whether it needs proof of vaccination or any additional documentation. And check these for both your destination and your return to the UK so you’re not caught out anywhere.

Find out more on returning to the UK here.

4. Not involving children in the planning

"I'm bored!" is not a phrase any parent wants to hear on holiday. But, if you tell your kids what you're going to do each day on a break, rather than involving them, you risk having little ones who drag their feet and rebel.

Instead, embrace your children's natural curiosity about new places and cultures and involve the younger members of your brood in the planning of your trip.

Inspiring a love of travel in children and making every family holiday an opportunity for discovery is at the heart of what we do. So, every time you book accommodation with tripAbrood, we’ll send you a free Arrive Like a Local activity pack for your kids. These packs are specific to your destination and will help your children to learn all about it before you set off through recipes, craft, activity sheets and more.

Find out more here.

5. Trying to pack too much into a trip

All parents who do the school run know that children don’t like to rush. So, trying to pack too much into one day on a holiday is a recipe for disaster. You’re likely to all end up tired and grumpy – the perfect combination for tantrums.

Instead, prioritise the activities you do on a holiday, allowing longer at each attraction and building in time for snack breaks and distractions. You’ll all have a better time.

6. Leaving it too late to book during school holidays

When you travel as a couple or on your own, you’re likely to be reasonably flexible. But, add kids and school holidays into the mix and you suddenly have a longer list of requirements. This means that booking a holiday at the last minute can be tricky as you’re less likely to find the exact room type you’re after or a hotel in the perfect location for your brood.

To avoid scrabbling around at the last minute for a holiday or compromising on an element that’s important to you, try to book in advance for trips during school holidays, making sure that the company you book with has a flexible booking policy should Covid-19 or another unexpected event change your plans. You can read more about the best time to book a family holiday here.

7. Forgetting to prep for a long journey

If you set off on a long car journey or flight without a plan, you risk tantrums and “are we nearly there yet” on repeat. But, with a little preparation – and a lot of snacks – a journey needn’t be stressful.

Pack a bag of tricks, including changes of clothes, wet wipes and a surprise treat to pull out in case of a delay. This doesn’t need to cost anything - forgotten party bag fillers or small toys from the front of magazines can provide entertainment as can home-made I-spy sheets or puzzles.

tripAbrood’s founder, Alexa shares her tips for keeping children entertained on a long car journey here.