Planning a Family Holiday by Laine Yates
I have to admit: I’m a research nerd. So, planning a family holiday is right up my alley. Often, friends ask me if I’ve researched a certain topic before they do anything because chances are, I’ve already explored it to the nth degree! I’ve have planned many trips with our boys and here are a few things we take into account when planning a family holiday:
What kind of holiday is your family after?
Keep in mind your children’s ages and what suits your family dynamics.
Adventure holidays would be more suited to families with older kids. Here are some example activities: bike riding, hiking, rafting and water skiing.
Beach holidays suit most families who are after a “chill out” holiday. However, remember to explore the types of beaches at your destination. Surf beaches are fun for older kids, whereas bay beaches are best for younger children. If you’d like to have a few days away from the beach, look for things to do around the surrounding area. Here are some examples of places to look for: zoos, aquariums, markets and wineries.
Theme park holidays are fun and bring out your inner child. I remember going to Disneyland Paris when our son was 18 months old; I was more excited than he was! If you have young children, some theme parks have areas specifically for young ones with lower height restrictions (like Wiggles World). To find out if the park has these dedicated areas, look at the map of the theme park, which can be found on the respective websites.
Farm stays are great for children. They will enjoy learning about the different animals and what they eat; doing farm chores; and the many hands on activities this sort of holiday provides.
Ask for ideas
* Friends and family with kids of similar ages is a great place to start. They will be able to give you ideas on destinations they’ve been to, places to stay, restaurants to eat at and places to visit.
* Travel agents are also a good point of reference. They travel regularly to keep up to date with accommodation and holiday destinations so can offer informative advice.
* Travel forums have also been a great help to us when planning our family holidays. We recently used Trip Advisor to research our holiday to Thailand. You can find honest reviews on accommodation, things to do, places to visit, and even restaurant reviews. Forums are a great tool to use to narrow down your search of places to visit and stay.
This will be a major factor in determining your family holiday.
* If you’re flexible in regards to travel dates and where you would like to holiday, last minute deals for flights and accommodation can be a good option. We’ve had a few bargain holidays due to being flexible.
* Travel outside of peak seasons.
* Flights on weekdays and evenings tend to be slightly cheaper.
* Package holidays may also be a good option as how much you will be spending on flights, accommodation and food is explained on the outset. Check that your family will be happy to dine at the restaurant(s) and accommodation you’re staying at. Sample menus may be available too, which would give you an indication of what is available. Trip Advisor is a good place to check too!
I hope these travel tips will help in planning your next family holiday.
Laine from Ickle Kids would like to give one Be A Fun Mum reader a Monkey Bingo travel game.
* Leave a comment below and tell me: What useful resources or tools do you use to plan your family holiday?
* The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
* Valid from Mnonday 29 November to Monday 6 December 2010.
* I will draw the winners by random number at 7pm on the closing date.
* The winners will be notified via email and a post update link on the Be A Fun Mum Facebook Page.
* Shop for Christmas presents. Receive 10% off store-wide from Ickle Kids. To claim the discount enter this code at the checkout: BFM10. Offer valid until Monday 6 December 2010. If you spend over $60 you will receive a FREE stocking filler.
Gifts under $20
Thank you for entering. The winner has been selected randomly and a email notification has been sent.
Other Family Holiday Posts
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Glynis LimbergNovember 29, 2010 at 6:59 am
Great ideas, thanks.
We are heading to the sunshine coast to stay at a resort for a weekend with my family (for the first family holiday). I have 4 boys ranging from 22 months upto 19 years ;-).
I too enjoy doing a little research before we go, so I found this great site.. http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/events/
There are a few free and cheap events on the same weekend we are there.
amanda jane woodNovember 29, 2010 at 7:11 am
i have 3 kids under 6 so family holidays r few n far between! We are goin away this christmas and heading to my families.. I find going to where other family members are is good as they can help with my kids but also the cousins can play together and the more the merrier.. Less fighting and kids playing together, we live near the beach so we go there reg, my family lives in the country so the kids get a nice change aswell, feeding the farm animals etc..
MilikaNovember 29, 2010 at 7:13 am
We have the blessing of being the youngest of my husband’s siblings, so we have five couples of older siblings – to draw upon their years of accumulated holidaying with children experience.
Recently we have also been using petholidays – to investigate the grandparents going on holiday with their dogs. The plus side being, houses set up for pets are usually well set up for small children too.
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Sharron PeacockNovember 29, 2010 at 7:40 am
We just LOVE holidays!!!! We are doing lots of day trips over christmas!!!! We use the internet alot to plan our holidays!!
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AshNovember 29, 2010 at 8:28 am
There are so many great tips there! I like to use the camp site and hotel guide books, trip advisor and of course websites like wotif, lastminute, readyrooms and quickbeds. We like our road trips too, and always make sure we have a nice big map! Can’t be without the packing checklists too!
NicoleNovember 29, 2010 at 8:34 am
I use the RACQ website, and the internet in general. Racq website has camping games on it. I love google search for games to play while camping.
I also love travel with kids its a great site. But sometimes learning from experience is good. You only need to forget something once to make sure you remember the next time.
we would love a game to add to our camping toy box, its slowly getting things in it.
AlissaNovember 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm
We just took our 18 month old son to Canada and USA for a month. Trip Advisor was great, as was using google maps and searching out where things were and how far away from accommodation, transportation etc. Really helps to know where things are located before you go.
ErinNovember 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm
We are about to embark on our first family holiday later this week with our 1 & 3 yo girls to Fiji – cannot wait! So I don’t have any tips yet…but am reading all the comments to pick up on some!
World SpinnerNovember 29, 2010 at 8:16 pm
Planning a Family Holiday plus Giveaway | Be A Fun Mum…
Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……
ZoeDecember 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm
Definately the NRMA website.
Janet WestDecember 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm
We do a lot of outback travel and I always research the areas thoroughly and make my own activity packs that tie in with the destination…ie…..for Longreach QLD I printed off the kids pages from QANTAS as the QANTAS museum is in Longreach. As the many miles passed beneath our wheels the kids were busy in the backseat learning and having fun, all courtesy of the internet. I do the same thing for everywhere we go..the Daintree, the Barrier Reef. A couple of months ago we drove from Adelaide to Melbourne for the Titanic exhibition. I printed off the schools activity pages that the Melbourne museum provide. By the end of the 9 hour drive our kids ages 10 and 14 were already to soak the Titanic up. You can find anythingon the internet. I have even made my own crosswords and word searches using words from our destinations.
Melissa GreenDecember 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm
I have 3 boys (7yrs, 4yrs and 1yr) and we are travelling to Kalbarri, Monkey Mia and stopping off at Geraldton to break up the drive on the way home, we live about 50 minutes south of Perth. We leave in 17 days and counting!!! I am taking some colouring in books, a portable DVD player, planning on singing Christmas carols, playing eye spy, lots of snacks and will be stopping as much as needed to let the boys run :). Would really appreciate these holiday packs for extra survival help lol!
Christina MDecember 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm
We live in a small beach community and so have to travel several hrs to the city when we need to go to any shops apart from the local supermarket. Both my boys get car sick and there’s very few places to stop on the way.
I have to budget for each trip making sure we have enough money before we go so that we don’t have to make another trip.
I make sure that the trip is jam packed with games and activities for the boys to keep them occupied. We have several great kids CDs that the boys love to sing along to – ones with action are the best.
We play lots of eye spy along the way, and I make a drawing pack for each boy with blank paper, colouring in book and pencils and crayons.
If that all fails to distract them, then I have a portable dvd player and some playschool dvds for them to watch.
I make sure I have several pairs of clothing for the boys (for those accidents) Plenty of towels, wipes and vomit bags for if they vomit.
And enough food and drinks to keep them happy when we are in the city (it saves a lot of money if you take your own food)
I have the day all planned, I know where I have to go, the best places to park and where all the toilets are. And we can’t leave before we have a play at the city park, this usually wears the boys out so that hopefully they will sleep all the way home.
We have to leave pretty early in the morning if it’s a big shopping trip as there are no lights on the road and lots of wild animals around and my littlest gets scared in the car when it’s dark – I carry several torches just incase (the boys have their own torches — you can change the end and when you shine it onto a wall or surface you can see an animal shape)
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