When you want to get away with the kids it can be hard to know where to go. The pull of resorts and all-inclusive holidays can be strong, but they don’t always give you a lot of variety. City breaks used to be your holidays of choice before the little ones came along, but those days seem like they are long done. Or are they? To give you plenty of food for thought we’ve put together the key rules you need to know to enjoy a stress-free city break unlike any other. All you need to do is have a read, give it some thought, and then jump on the plane.
Choose a destination that has something for everyone
Whether you choose Berlin, Paris, or somewhere like Prague that has so much to offer is up to you. The one thing you need to remember when picking your destination is it needs to be able to cater for everyone. Teenagers, toddlers, parents, everyone needs to be able to have a day where they get to do exactly what they want. You’re always going to have to compromise a bit, but provided there’s plenty of options that won’t be such a big issue. Draw up a list of the things you want to do, and then find a city that offers the lot. Ready to book? Have a look on TUI’s website, they currently have an offer for free kids’ places!
Make some solo time for the parents
This is high up on our list of rules for a very good reason! Just because you’re getting away from it all as a family doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time together. As your kids get older and become more independent, you’ll get a great chance to get out there and spend a little bit of quality time just the two of you. No doubt you’ll be missing them in a couple of hours, but at least you can say you’ve done it!
Don’t let the kids argue about where they want to go
Letting the kids dictate the itinerary for the day is a red flag. If you want to ensure they argue amongst themselves from the minute you touch down on the runway then go for it, but if not, you set the agenda. It’s pretty easy with a little bit of planning, and you don’t have to have every minute of your holiday already scheduled in. Just have a couple of options in mind at the start of the day so you can go with the flow.
Find a hotel that has a great view
If you want to wake every morning with a smile on your face, there’s no better way to do it than by taking in an amazing view. It’s a chance to watch the sun rise over the city, and it’s a great way to start your day. Find a hotel that allows you to see for miles and miles across the skyline and you’ll love that you made the extra effort as soon as you arrive. Just what you need to ensure this holiday is one to remember.
Save souvenir shopping for the last couple of days
Souvenir shopping can be a nightmare with the kids in tow because they’ll try and buy anything and everything that catches their eye. If you want to be able to travel back to the airport safe in the knowledge that everything is within your luggage allowance, save shopping until the last couple of days. It’ll be a great way to wind down and enjoy the final days of the holiday together, plus it will make sure the kids actually want the stuff you’re paying to fly back home.
Don’t split up until the kids are old enough
When you have toddlers, it limits what you can do, but when they’re teenagers there’s no reason you can’t split up every now and then. Make sure you know where they are by checking out the parts of the city they’re headed to before they go, and don’t let them leave without charging their phones. It’ll be such invaluable peace of mind and it’ll allow you to have a little bit of downtime before dinner.
A lie in is super easy when you’re in the city
Having a lie in can be hard at a resort, or when you’re staying in the country, but you’ll find it easy in a city hotel. There’s hustle and bustle going on down below, but in your room, it’s peaceful and quiet. Let the kids know they need to entertain themselves for a couple of hours in their room so you can wake up excited and ready for the big afternoon of shopping and sightseeing.
Stay somewhere with a varied selection of eateries on its doorstep
There’s no better way to keep the kids smiling than to give them a whole host of treats to try. Finding a hotel that’s within walking distance of a dozen or so different eateries is a great way to plan your trip. It’ll mean you never have to venture far for food and refreshment, and it’ll also give you a chance to eat in a busy part of the city where you’ll get the chance to interact with plenty of the locals. Ideal if you really want to immerse yourself in city life and get to know what makes the city tick.
Pack plenty of entertainment for the little ones
Whether it’s cuddly toys, storybooks, or iPads will very much depend on how old the kids are. You know what a nightmare they can be when they’re complaining in a long car journey, so make sure you pack whatever it takes to keep them entertained. Just make sure there’s plenty of time for family fun in the evenings so everyone’s not always doing their own thing. A pack of cards is a great way to get the whole family enjoying one another’s company in seconds, and it’s ideal for a little friendly competition too.
Rebecca is a freelance translator passionate about her work, and grateful for the travels it has taken her on. She has recently started writing about some of her experiences at RoughDraft.