How to Plan the Perfect Family Holiday

Holidays are a fantastic opportunity to unplug from the monotony of daily life and get away together as a family. It is great to bond with each other and see new places as a family unit and create lots of memories you will look back on fondly. However, it can seem like a daunting task to plan the perfect getaway particularly when you have young children and several of them!

We have taken all of the hard work and stress out of the planning process by taking a look at some of the essential things you need to think about when travelling abroad to help make the journey smoother for everyone.

1. Plan well in advance
Be sure to start your planning process as early as even six months in advance as there are so many things to consider. Research into family-friendly destinations will ultimately determine where you will be travelling to and these days there is a whole host of top holiday picks that cater superbly for young children that also offer childcare facilities so that you and your partner can spend some quality time together as well.
If your children are very young then it may not be feasible to go on a long-haul journey so the following destinations may be of interest to those keen to keep journey times relatively short:
§  Corfu
§  Malta
§  Rhodes
§  Biarritz
One of the best things about these particular holiday destination is that all flights are direct from the hugely accessible Birmingham Airport. Another thing to consider is whether or not to take the car. Whilst the airport has excellent public transport links, it may be preferred to take your vehicle and there is simply no better place to leave it than in Valet Parking at Birmingham Airport. You can investigate further at and discover the pricing, duration of stay and all about the fantastic valet services provided – what better way to come back from a holiday than to know your car is safe and secure waiting for you.

2. Looking for the Best Deals
With so many price comparison sites new online, it can be incredibly overwhelming to know where to start your search. ‘Compare the Market’ and ‘Sky Scanner’ are excellent resources to help you. They will allow you to compare the best prices on everything from flights to hotels and even car hire. They will check dates up to eighteen months in advance and let you know the availability, aiming to provide you with the very best rates, comparing several airlines and multiple hotels instantly.

One of the biggest expenses of the journey will be your flights and accommodation so shopping around really will save you money that you can then use for the more important things such as activities with the kids and holiday presents.

3. Choose a Hotel that feels like Home
This can take a bit of time and can see you scrolling through hundreds, even thousands of reviews to find the one that feels right. This is where Trip Advisor comes in really handy. Not only can they also compare hotels and flights but they also hold reviews on the hotels, the local restaurants and information on excursions and day trips for the kids.

Written by people who have actually been there, you can expect an honest review of all of the facilities available and how they measure up. When booking accommodation it’s important to think about the sleeping arrangements and if the hotel with provide cots and fold out beds for younger children.

Filter your search according to your budget as this is ultimately what will determine where you end up staying and once you have a good selection, it’s time to look at the location. You might prefer to be near to the airport to keep connecting travel to a minimum or you might prefer to make proximity to amenities a priority.

Do you want free WiFi? Are you looking for all-inclusive? Either way, keep filtering your search down until you have found the perfect hotel for you and keep an eye on the price, as soon as you are in a position to secure it then do so, the earlier the better.

4. What do you want to see?
This is one of the best parts of the planning process and it’s something to get the whole family involved in. Seeing what that destination has to offer is both fun and educational, you can take tours of historic sites, swim in the sea and visit local landmarks.

Many holiday packages will offer the opportunity to travel to nearby attractions which is something you should definitely take advantage of but don’t feel you have to be restricted to these, exploring is all part of the fun.

Map out where you see yourself visiting and check the journey times between locations to ensure you will fit it all in. Look into local bus and metro links and think about investing in a family ticket so you don’t need to worry about costs.
Most cities will have an app for tourists that will break down the must-see attractions and give you a comprehensive look at fares, entry fees and opening times, so it is worth installing this on your phone prior to travel.

5. Make up an Itinerary
Organisation is key when travelling with small children and so take the stress out of it by printing an itinerary to keep you on track. If you plan both departure and arrival journeys, as well where you will be eating, what attractions are open each day and the commute times to these places you can map out your entire holiday before you have even bought your new wardrobe.

6. Last Minute Checks
In the run-up to leaving this is the time to start putting the final touches to your plans. Ensure your mobile provider will not be charging you extra for using your phone abroad and see if they have any data roaming packages meaning you can still chat with your friends back home and upload your beach snaps to Instagram without worrying about any additional fees.

Make sure your bank knows you will be using your cards overseas should you be taking them by calling in to speak with them or sending a secure message through your online banking.

Stocking up on holiday clothes for the kids is a great way to get in the holiday spirit but just make sure to check your baggage allowance and plan for any souvenirs you might be bringing back to avoid further costs.
Remember to pack some in-flight entertainment for the kids to help keep them occupied during what could be a three or four-hour journey. Colouring books are lightweight and fun or why not pack your tablet device and watch a movie together before you land.

Wherever it is you are jetting off to remember that forward planning is essential and once you nail that then you can spend the rest of your holiday doing the things that are the most important – having fun, bonding as a family and making memories that will last a lifetime.                
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