Tips about how to plan a family holiday


It doesn’t matter whether you are travelling with a new-born baby, excitable young children, or hard-to-please teenagers, planning a family holiday can be a daunting task. There is so much to think about as you have to consider getting the right balance between relaxation and enough activities the family will enjoy.


To help you plan a family holiday, we’ve put together some top tips so that you can organise a trip that goes smoothly and will be one that you will remember for a long time.


Tips on how to plan a family holiday


  • Budget
  • Involve the children in your research and planning
  • Create an itinerary
  • Pack well
  • Have a Plan B for activities
  • Disconnect to reconnect




Piggy bank on a beach


One of the first steps when it comes to planning a family holiday should be to work out your budget for the holiday and figure out what potential destinations you can afford to visit.


If there is a particular destination you and your family want to visit, then you can look at how much a holiday to your dream destination would cost and can start saving and budgeting for it. If you are planning to go on a Maldives holiday, for example, you may want to go on certain excursions and you will therefore need to work out the costs for your whole family to do it.


Sam, the family travel blogger behind Travels With My Boys, told us a bit about budgeting for a holiday. She said: “The first thing that I would suggest families should look at is their budget for their holiday. Work out how much you can likely afford to spend on a holiday, including spending money while there (and travel insurance!) and then start to research destinations that fit within your budget.”


Involve the children in your research and planning


Family planning their holiday together


The trick to a perfect family holiday is happy kids and happy parents and the best way to achieve this is to do your research into places that will offer activities for everyone, not just attractions for the kids or attractions for the parents. You will need to find a happy medium that offers great food, the opportunity to relax and activities that the children will enjoy.


Alyson Long, the editor at the World Travel Family blog, spoke to us about the best way to involve the children: “The first thing to consider when planning a family holiday has to be the needs of every family member. Everyone needs to be having a good time and this isn’t always easy to do. Not all kids like beaches, not all kids like pools and hot weather, and not all kids are comfortable in ‘foreign’ cultures or even in planes or at airports. This is so important. Really think about your destination and activities from the point of view of every family member. I’ve made mistakes with my children, many mistakes.


“We were on the road for almost 7 full years so if we made a mistake, it wasn’t critical in missing out on the fun or ruining a short family holiday. You have to work with the kids you have. That’s not always easy when families don’t get to travel often. It came as a complete shock to me that my son disliked being on the beach when I’d just signed him up for Surf Lifesavers. All kids are supposed to enjoy that aren’t they? They don’t. I don’t, I tolerated beaches as a kid, but still, I was shocked by his complete lack of interest. He loves snorkelling though (not from the beach), trekking, cultures, and food. The other likes comfortable hotels, skiing, and food. It can be difficult to please everyone, but I know both my kids are enthusiastic about food, so there, we have their currency. We can build on that. And sometimes, if 3 of us want to go to Everest Base Camp and 1 isn’t so keen, we have to find ways to make that trip as pleasant as possible for him so that the rest of us can go.


“There has to be a compromise and give and take, and doing the things that each person enjoys, sometimes on different days. Build in a theme park or a cooking class, don’t take that boat trip, avoid the motion sickness on that bus, add lots of ice cream. Family holidays are sometimes an exercise in keeping people sweet.”


Helen Wills, the writer for the Actually Mummy site, also said that it is vital to consider all the different age groups that will be going on your family holiday:


“Definitely think about the different ages you have in your family, and what everyone likes to do. My daughter loves nothing more than a book by the pool in the sun for an entire week, but my son gets bored easily and needs to know that there are plenty of activities planned for him during the week. We have to find somewhere with both close by, and a car so one of us can do an activity with him.”


Create an itinerary


Lady planning her holiday itinerary


Although being spontaneous on a holiday might seem appealing, when you are on a family holiday it is important to plan ahead so that you have an idea of what you will do during your trip away.


If you are looking to go on some excursions during your holiday, they may take a bit longer if your children are coming with you and you should therefore allow yourself a bit more time so you can fully enjoy whatever it is you are doing.


Sam from the Travels With My Boys blog, says researching the activities in the area can help you to create your itinerary. She says: “Once you have chosen your destination, you should have an idea of what your family like to do so you can research what is in the local area and plan some fun family days out. Don’t overdo your schedule though as you all need to have some downtime too.”


Helen Wills, the blogger behind the Actually Mummy site, told us that she likes to include plenty of stops for any excursions she goes on: “Consider the weather! And keep cultural trips short if you can, with plenty of stops for ice cream, and some air conditioning breaks (either in the car or a cool café). Kids tire in the heat very quickly.”


Pack well


Family packing their car ahead of a holiday


Before you travel you will need to check your airline’s restrictions when it comes to your luggage, liquids, and what electrical items you can take on board the plane, such as tablets and laptops.


One handy tip is to create a list of things you need to pack before you actually start packing. By doing this it will give you time to think about what items you need and should avoid you forgetting items.


Double-check everything when you are packing and ensure that electrical items and liquids which are not allowed in your hand luggage are in your hold suitcase. This will mean you avoid any unnecessary hold-ups at the airport.


Something to consider is to keep a few bits of clothing in your hand luggage. In the unlikely event that your suitcase goes missing, it will mean that you will still have clothes that you and your children can wear at the start of your holiday whilst you wait for your main suitcase to arrive.


Have a Plan B for activities


Ensure you have a plan B for your family holiday


Plans can change because of the weather or if certain tours aren’t running or attractions are closed. It is wise to have a plan B for activities so that if anything gets cancelled you have a back-up plan to ensure you are still making the most of your holiday.


By doing a bit of extra research and highlighting activities that you can do as a back-up no matter what the weather is will keep you and your family entertained.


If you’ve booked an all-inclusive Maldives holiday there are some activities you can go on and organise at the resort, so if the weather has meant one of the water activities you have booked has been cancelled you can easily organise an indoor activity.


Disconnect to reconnect


Lady on her phone


It is very tempting to give a tablet to kids so they can watch a movie or play a game, but technology can sometimes be a barrier to the whole family uniting and having fun together.


You should try to disconnect from technology as much as possible so you can reconnect as a family. If you are using technology on holiday, you should either limit it as much as possible or use it to have fun together as a family.


We hope this guide proves helpful when planning your own family holiday. For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.

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