Fri, February 19th, 2010 - By

Choosing your family holiday


For a truly relaxing family holiday it’s important to consider the needs of all family members, whether travelling with babies, toddlers, teenagers, grandparents and not forgetting yourself (though we all know the happier the children the happier you’ll be)!

With this in mind we’ve made a list of things to consider when planning your family holiday and hopefully make the task a little easier.

Choosing the resort:

1.     Check out the length and timings of flights, particularly important if travelling with young children.

2.   If travelling with babies and toddlers choose a resort no more than an hour from the airport, this will help to reduce your time spent travelling.

3.   A resort that has a good sandy beach with shallow, calm waters is a staple for a family holiday and best of all its free!

A bucket and spade on a sunny beach.

4.   For those watersports enthusiasts in the family, most seafront resorts have a wide variety on offer and can range from pedalos to paragliding and jet-skis to scuba diving.

5.   Most resorts offer a host of entertainment options, with everything from theme parks and waterparks to mini-golf and go-karting available. Keep in mind the more amenities the busier the resort and the wider selection of family restaurants and bars.

6.   For those travelling with teenagers look for a resort offering a lively and varied nightlife scene.

7.   For getting around easily and cheaply a resort with good local transport is ideal, some even have mini-trains perfect for keeping the little ones happy while you enjoy the surroundings.

The next step is choosing the accommodation, but what’s best? Staying in a hotel provides a much needed break from the cooking and cleaning, though if travelling with young children or fussy eaters’ meal times can become a battle. While self-catering generally offers more living space, it also offers the flexibility to cook what you want, when you want, though in some cases the facilities provided aren’t as good.

When choosing your accommodation, look for the amenities that will help your family enjoy their holiday and check to see what’s included and what’s extra.

Amenities to consider

Childcare – Kid’s clubs allow mum and dad that all important down time and the chance to laze by the pool or even enjoy a round of golf. Make sure you choose a property with a kid’s club or crèche to suit your children’s ages.

Babysitting – Family holidays are great, but time spent alone as a couple is equally important, choosing a property with babysitting services offers the opportunity to escape for a quiet drink or two.

All inclusive – A great way to relax, leave your wallet in your room and enjoy all the food, drinks, entertainment and amenities provided. Check carefully to see what’s included, such as watersports equipment, ice-cream for kids etc.

Pool – Swimming pools with slides and fountains are great for keeping the youngsters entertained and if travelling with toddlers or non-swimmers, look out for properties with a separate kid’s area or pool.

Water Playground

Facilities – We all know children need to be constantly stimulated and that doesn’t change as they get older, the more facilities on offer the more relaxing the holiday. Look out for properties with children’s play area, a games room or internet café.

Entertainment – Love it or loathe it, a good animation programme with organised games and entertainment is a great way to enjoy some family together time.

Dining options – Meal times can for some be the low point of the holiday, with fussy eaters and over active children making an enjoyable meal a distant memory. To make life easier check what facilities are offered and look out for high chairs, kid’s menu, buffet service, separate children’s area and dining times.

Location

When choosing your hotel or apartment, check where it’s situated. If travelling with younger children you might want to avoid long walks to the beach and teenagers may like to be nearer to the action. If looking for a more remote location, find out if there’s access to local transport or will car hire be an essential addition.

Accommodation

Hopefully most of your holiday will be spent outside enjoying the glorious sunshine and good weather, though having a comfortable room with all the amenities you may need is just as important as choosing the right property. Here are a few worth noting…

Air-conditioning – Important for a good nights sleep, particularly during high season, it’s also worth checking if it’s included in the price or payable locally.

Mini-Fridge – Essential for keeping baby’s milk fresh, again it’s worth checking if it’s included in the price or payable locally.

walking along the beach

Cots – If needed check if cots are available for hire.

Family rooms – These can vary and may be rooms accommodating 4+ or interconnecting rooms. Avoid rooms with stairs if travelling with babies or toddlers.

Extras – Always useful and worth looking out for are some of the following extras; Satellite TV, Internet access, hire for baby facilities, games console and DVD players.

Posted : Friday, February 19th, 2010 at 09:32
Category : How To...
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