A relaxing family holiday may sound like an oxymoron but it’s actually possible. Forget about your past experiences of children arguing in the back seat of the car, and general unhappiness about the destination – the next family holiday can be both fun and enjoyable.
All you need is some careful planning beforehand to ensure that everyone is happy and up to date about your holiday plans. The main reasons to why we get so fed up with these types of holidays are, after all, because we either feel left out of the whole planning process or simply because we get a bit tired of each other after a week or two.
That’s why you’ll need to bring enough entertainment to distract you from the rest of the family members as well as giving the holiday a good foundation by planning it together. Start by going through this guide; it will give you enough ideas to keep you covered throughout the holiday, so that you can all return recharged and on friendly terms.
#1 Plan it well in advance
There are two sides to planning a holiday in advance, and you know better than anyone if this is the best solution for your family. One point to planning it a month or two in advance is that you will get a better offer on flights as well as accommodation.
This can have a lot to say for your stress levels the days before you leave; when you know that everything is booked and taken care of, it will be a bit easier to put up with each other. One problem to this is that some family members may build expectations that are a bit too high. You know who this is if you have someone in your family who tends to throw a tantrum (or a mantrum) if something suddenly doesn’t go their way. The best remedy to high expectations is, of course, not to let them build up. Simply plan the holiday a short week or two in advance, and set up before the person even has a chance to process it. Just make sure that they still have a slight say about where you are going and what you are doing, though, otherwise you may have a whole other problem on your hands.
If you’re not too interested in planning an entire holiday, you can always let the kids take care of most of the planning for you – at least if they’re old enough. You can hire a company such as Finelly & Shaw as well and let them do the planning for you; just tell the kids that the holiday is a surprise, and they’ll be excited nonetheless.
#2 Involve the kids
Before you get started on the planning process, it’s an excellent idea to let the kids have a say about where you are going. Even if they can’t decide on the exact destination, they should be allowed to plan what you’re going to be doing in the area. Show them a map of the place, point to everything that’s around that will be fun to do and let them get excited about the family trip.
Kids love to have something to look forward to, and the more they’re allowed to dream about your big family outing, the more fun you’re also giving them. You won’t just avoid that they get sulky about what you doing, but you might also be able to get a few bright ideas from them about what you should be doing in the area.
Keep in mind that a holiday with the kids always becomes a bit better if you have a base to stay in. Even though it seems like they’re always on the move and ready to explore somewhere new, they won’t enjoy a holiday where you jet off to the next city – at least not as much as they’d enjoy going somewhere they have a holiday home. Let them get to know the destination, first of all, and make the hotel, Airbnb, camping area or grandma and grandpa’s place be your base.
Another point to this is that you should communicate clearly to your kids what you expect to get out of the holiday as well. Point out that even though they might like to be out and about on their bicycles every day of the holiday, you’d like to relax and read a book once in a while.
Remind them about this too during the holiday, and make sure that the kids have something to do that doesn’t require constant supervision.
#3 Bring entertainment
When you have everything planned and you’re ready to go, it’s time to get packing. While you obviously need to pack all of the essentials, first of all, it’s important to remember to bring entertainment – a lot of entertainment. That way, you’ll safeguard yourself from those complaints about being bored on the day you’d like to get some proper relaxation done.
Think about things you can bring that will keep the children entertained on their own and as a family. Make sure that you have some games you can play on the lawn, such as ball games in general, as well as board games for those rainy days.
The days or weeks you’ll have with bad weather will undeniably be the hardest in terms of keeping yourself entertained, so it’s important that you’re able to have fun even when it’s pouring down. Movies, games, and books should take care of this for you so that you don’t have to listen to those endless complaints about bored when all you really want to do is just relax.
Planning a family holiday is certainly not easy – especially not if you’re a large family. By allowing everyone to have a say, however, and taking a bit of time to do the necessary preparations, it can actually be a great holiday for all of you.
Now you might be able to look forward to the next road trips, flights abroad or weekends at the cottage for a change.