A family holiday should always be an event that you look forward to, yet they can often be filled with stressful moments.
Is there a solution that can ever be found to ensure you and your children have a family holiday that is plain-sailing from start to finish and only ever filled with happy memories? Chill Factore, which provides fun-filled kids parties in Manchester once the holiday season is over, has come up with this go-to guide for parents that will help them prepare and enjoy the ideal family holiday in 2018…
Tips for packing the family suitcase
It can be a stressful time just trying to pack a suitcase for one. Do the same for one or more children then and the task becomes even more difficult. Did you know that Brits fork out around £96 million a year replacing stuff they forgot to pack in their holiday suitcase, according to a survey of 2,000 holidaymakers?
Have a checklist to hand though and you’ll always pack everything you need for whichever holiday you have planned with your loved ones. But, this will change depending on your getaway destination. Here’s what you need to pack for kids on different kinds of family holidays:
What to pack when heading on a beach holiday overseas
- Sun cream: according to KidsHealth, you should buy sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30.
- Sun shade or UV tent: the beach is an exposed place, so you must make your own shade or risk having to leave the sand when the sun is at its strongest.
- Talc: helps to get sand off!
- Goggles and swimming costumes.
- Sun hats.
- Insect repellent.
- Beach and water toys: unless you want to purchase these abroad and save on packing space.
What to pack when heading on a camping or caravanning holiday
- Board games and indoor activities (i.e. colouring books): for evenings in the tent or caravan.
- Garden games: to enjoy time together outdoors.
- Hot water bottle: if the nights are chilly.
- Sun cream, sunglasses and sun hats: for those sunny trips out.
- Anorak and wellies: for rainy days.
- Insect repellent.
- Favourite snacks: in case kids get hungry late at night or early in the morning.
- Favourite bedtime books.
- Bottled water.
- Travel cots and baby food (if necessary).
- Cool box.
- Torches and lamps (for nervous sleepers).
- Cooking appliances, sleeping bags and tent equipment (if camping).
What to pack when heading to the ski slopes
- Ski jacket/suits.
- Plenty of fleece, thermal and waterproof tops and bottoms.
- Snow boots.
- Hiking shoes.
- Ski goggles.
- Woolly hat, socks and glove set.
- Comfy loungewear.
- Indoor family games.
- Sun cream and lip salve — snow is the most reflective surface on the planet, so sunburn is possible.
Whichever type of holiday you have coming up, there’ll also be a selection of items you need regardless of the destination. This general checklist includes a camera, toys and books/E-readers, DVDs and DVD player, and iPods or CDs. If you have a baby or very young child, make sure to save a section of your case for ‘sippy’ cups, bottles, formula, baby food, nappies, cream, wipes, dummies, comfort blankets/toys, and a changing mat.
Pack a first-aid kit and some medication as well, so that you’re always able to react if your child falls ill or injures themselves. This is particularly important if you’re in a new environment. Ideally, a family holiday first-aid kit should include: plasters, antiseptic wipes, pain relief tablets, and insect-bite cream.
Take the stress out of the commute
Never mind the holiday itself — for some parents, it will be the travel to get to and from a destination that will prove the most exhausting experience. In fact, according to a survey in the Daily Mail, 40% of Brits surveyed think that the airport is a stressful place and 33% found it ‘worse than work’. So, what can you do to make your family commute easier?
Keep your children entertained and happy and you’ll usually avoid a lot of tantrums. But how do you achieve this? Whether it’s a long flight or a long car ride, make sure your kids have all their favourite toys with them. iPads, Kindles and hand-held game consoles are easy to pack in our hand luggage and are godsends for parents — according to a uSwitch report, 26% of parents would be put off taking a flight if gadgets were banned. Then again, play doh, card games, draughts, and colouring and sticker books can keep youngsters entertained for a long time, too. You could even ask your child to choose a few of their favourite films, TV shows, sports, or books and think of mini quizzes for during the commute.
If you really want to make the trip as stress-free as possible, book an airport transfer in advance from companies such as https://www.taxi-airports-transfer.com. Your driver will know how to navigate the many airport drop-off areas and get you to your destination with the hassle.
What to do when organising a stay-at-home holiday
In a survey that was referenced in The Telegraph, 65% of parents only ‘occasionally’ play with their children. So, make the most of your time together this holiday season by organising a selection of entertaining family days out.
Many hotels abroad have dedicated entertainment teams who are there to organise activities all day long for children staying at the complex. What if you’re going on a staycation though? The UK is home to lots of fun venues and excursions that are great for family holidays, including:
- Zoos: most are open all year round, offering a fun and educational day.
- Indoor snowboarding: makes for a memorable day out and there are snow venues available in the UK that host skiing sessions and fun snow activities for families over the summer!
- Horse riding: easy to organise if you’re camping out in the country.
- Rock climbing: great exercise for the whole family.
- Cycling: strap the bikes to the car and see more of your surroundings.
A few final tips to make your next family holiday the best one yet!
That’s all of the family holiday essentials covered. To conclude, here’s a few points that you should bear in mind to ensure your getaway is a fun, happy and safe affair…
- Scout the hotel room and grounds for child-unfriendly hazards when you arrive to lower the risk of injuries.
- If you’re bringing older kids, allow them to have some time alone to defuse any building tension!
- Kids typically adapt better to new time zones than adults, but still try and encourage them to sleep and wake up to match the new time zone you’re in as quickly as possible to keep spirits high.
- Plan your outings — a few free days are fine but having a good idea what you plan on getting up to as a family can save time and make sure that everyone gets to do activities they’re looking forward to.
- Check Google Maps for local eateries before you jet-off so you aren’t caught miles from a snack or drink with hungry and thirsty kids.
- Learn local emergency numbers on the flight over to your holiday destination, just in case. Also, double-check that your family is covered for health insurance and know where the local medical centre is.
- Teach your children the ‘shadow game’ before you go — if their shadow’s littler than they are, they need to put on a hat and sun cream.
- Speak with a medical professional about vaccinations and tablets — some destinations will require taking a course of medication prior to, during and after a holiday. The British National Schedule will be able to tell you which vaccines your child is able to receive.