7 ways to have a successful summer holiday
After two uncertain years for travel, many families are counting down the days to a big family getaway this summer.
So, whether you’re already booked to go away or are still looking at your options, you’re probably keen for your trip to be successful and stress-free. Our seven tried-and-tested tips will help.
1. Think about where you’re staying
Once you’ve decided on your holiday destination, one of the most important decisions for a family holiday is where to stay. Good sleep and enjoyable downtime is essential to keep everyone in your brood happy.
So, when booking accommodation, our family travel expert, Victoria, recommends thinking about room layouts and what you’ll do once the children are asleep. Also look at your accommodation’s location, researching how busy or quiet the area is, and keep food in mind, planning how you’ll find snacks and meals quickly when hunger strikes.
If you need help finding accommodation that meets your needs, use tripAbrood to find recommendations tailored for your family and speak to our concierge team to sort out any finer details such as interconnecting rooms or special menus.
2. Plan – but not too much
To have a successful holiday with children, it’s wise to do some research on attractions, beaches and green spaces that you think you’ll all enjoy while you’re away. That way, you can arrive with a rough idea of your holiday itinerary and won’t miss any must-sees.
But, allow plenty of wiggle room in this plan too in case you make an extra discovery or end up spending a lot of time at one attraction as you’re all enjoying it so much.
3. Involve all of the brood in your plan – and trip
Ask older children to help you with this pre-trip research and make a list of one or two attractions that everyone in your group wants to visit. This will guarantee that everyone has at least one thing they are excited about on the trip. For younger children, you could make a short-list and ask them to pick what sounds the most interesting to them.
When you book with tripAbrood, we’ll send a digital Arrive Like a Local pack to you for your children all about your destination. These award-winning packs are crammed with activities, words to learn, fun facts and more, and are an excellent way to start learning about where you’re travelling to.
And don’t forget to involve children while you’re away too by encouraging them to take photographs, write a travel journal or start a scrapbook.
4. Check your documents well in advance
Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) anticipate that 9.5 million British passport applications will be made this year, and are advising people to allow up to 10 weeks when applying for a British passport. So, don’t leave it to the last minute to check all of your family’s passports.
Remember too that different countries have different entry requirements so check these well in advance of your trip, looking out for any testing requirements, how long your passport needs to be valid for, any visas you need to apply for and any forms you’ll need to fill in before travel. The FCDO site is a good place to start your research. And, make sure you check the requirements both when you book and before you travel.
If you’re travelling to Europe, check whether your existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is in date. If not, apply for a new card well in advance of your trip as the NHS says: “It’s currently taking longer than usual to process new UK EHIC and GHIC applications due to high demand.” You can apply for these cards that give you access to medically-necessary state healthcare in an EU country or Switzerland for free on the official NHS site.
5. Think ahead to save stress later
While, as every parent knows, you can’t plan for every eventuality, it’s wise to think about some key elements of your holiday to make everyone’s life easier.
First of all, research what the weather is likely to be like in your destination and pack accordingly, remembering essential items such as sun hats, sun cream and sun protective swimwear if you’re jetting off to somewhere warm. It’s also wise to pack at least one “plan B” outfit, though, in case of a rainy or colder day.
It’s also worth planning entertainment for journeys and meals in advance, perhaps packing a holiday backpack with inexpensive items such as sticker books, small toys and pens and paper.
6. Consider what’s important to your brood
In a world where social media posts show idyllic family trips, you can sometimes feel pressured to holiday in a certain way. But don’t. This is your precious family time, so think about what makes your family happy and relaxed and embrace that.
At tripAbrood, we know that every family is different, so we can recommend places to stay based on your family’s holiday style, whether you’re an active bunch who wants to cram in as many water sports as possible or would prefer to base your trip around culture or food.
7. Have fun!
After doing all of the planning and packing for a family holiday, and clearing your work to-do list ahead of your trip, you may feel slightly stressed as you board your flight or train. A perfect antidote to this is to get involved with the fun your children are having rather than sitting back and supervising.
Jump in the waves with your little ones, challenge them to a swimming race or game of football, or just play board games with them while you’re not pressured by your daily routine. Kids are the perfect excuse to embrace your inner child and you may be surprised how much you enjoy taking part – and how much your children enjoy seeing you relaxing.