FAMILY TRAVEL: 10 things to consider before booking a family holiday

27 May 2016
Reading time6 mins

Family holidays create memories that last a lifetime but to ensure they do and that the kids and adults are happy, we’ve put together a few pre-booking tips.

1. What type of holiday do you want?

Every family tends to enjoy different extra-curricular activities and it’s these things that will help you determine the type of holiday you’d prefer and narrow down your options. If your family enjoys the beach, swimming, surfing, fishing and kayaking, then perhaps somewhere like BIG4 North Star Holiday Resort is the perfect destination. Or perhaps the snow is a family favourite, then a ski trip might be in order. If you have tweens and teens who would love nothing more than a break away from mum and dad to the gaming lounge or swimming pool, well then this will give you your answer.

2. How far do you want to travel?

If you’re travelling with kids, especially younger ones, it is important to consider if you want to arrive at your holiday destination nice and relaxed after a drive or flight. Let’s face it, there’s only so many games you can play until everyone gets sick of it and when the ‘are we there yet?’ question starts at one hour in (although you could try nailing a long road with these suggestions, or introduce these easy snacks for keeping the kids happy or these audiobooks for keeping the kids entertained), you know that a relatively close destination is likely the best option. Think about how far you’re willing to travel and your family’s limits. This will also determine whether you have a flying or driving holiday.

3. How will you get to your holiday destination?

Whether you drive, fly or do both will depend on a few things. If you’re lucky and your family enjoys long trips, perhaps you could make a road trip out of it instead of flying to your destination. Flying can generally be a lot more expensive, especially when travelling with children over the age of two. Lastly, you could opt to fly to a destination and hire a car to get the rest of the way. Driving will always give you the option of flexible transport when you’re at your accommodation.

4. When you’re at your holiday destination, how are you going to get around?

If you’re flying to your family holiday destination, take time to consider how you will get around with your family.

  • Does the accommodation have a shuttle service?
  • Will you need to hire a car?
  • Is a taxi or maxi-taxi viable?
  • Are all the activities you wish to participate in located in the holiday accommodation or within walking distance?
  • Will you need to bring a booster/baby seat with you?

5. What would you like to do at your holiday destination?

You know what types of activities interest you and which ones you’d like to undertake at your destination, but remember, when you’ve got kids it tends to take longer, and kids, especially younger ones, can get tired and ‘over it’ pretty quickly. It’s likely you may have a long list of things you’d like to do on your holiday, so to be more realistic, either cut it down by a third (or half) or think of extending your holiday.

6. What is your budget?

A holiday is a chance to relax and have fun, not somewhere you want to be worrying about how you are going to pay for the next tour. And remember, the cheapest holiday accommodation is not necessarily the best if you are looking to keep costs down. You really need to look at the inclusions. When it comes to your budget, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the holiday package include meals?
  • Does the resort have something like a kids’ club so you can enjoy a romantic dinner without having to fork out loads of money for a babysitter?
  • Is the accommodation central to reduce costs on transport?
  • Is there a self-contained kitchen so you can prepare your own meals?
  • Is it cheaper to book in the low-season when it’s not school holidays?

Before you book a family holiday, sit down and work out what money you have in your savings and how much you need to save before the holiday. Factor in costs associated with the holiday including petrol, taxis, car parking, eating out, trips, incidentals and add a bit extra just in case. Check out more holiday budget tips here.

7. When is the best time to go on a holiday?

For many people, it’s often not that easy to travel at any time other than school holidays, and sometimes travel times are determined by work commitments. But, sometimes you will have the flexibility which may enable you to holiday during off-peak seasons where you can get a better deal and avoid the school holiday crowds. Seasons definitely have a huge impact on when you travel - in terms of cost, temperature and the level of busyness.

8. What sort of holiday accommodation suits your family?

If camping simply isn’t your style yet you’re looking for a fun and relaxing holiday, now is probably not the best time to trial camping. Perhaps a self-contained pool side villa is more your style, where you can laze on the veranda while you watch your kids frolic in the pool. Or perhaps you’re sick of cooking, cleaning and washing up and want to give yourself a break? Then you might opt for a resort style holiday destination with onsite cafes and restaurants. As much as a family holiday can be all about the kids having fun, don't forget about you!

9. Do you need a passport or a visa?

Don’t leave your passport to the last minute, passports need an expiry date beyond six months and the application and renewal process takes some time. Even newborns need a passport. There are various countries that also need a visa to enter, some may or may not involve a cost and some are granted on entry to the country where others need to be applied before entry. It’s best to ask a travel agent or visit the Smart Traveller website.

10. Do you want ‘Mummy' and 'Daddy’ time?

This is a serious question. Do you want time for a romantic dinner, to relax around the pool or to take a leisurely stroll without interruption? Of course you do! Add it to the top of your list! Look at holiday destinations that have plenty of activities to keep kids occupied and maybe even a supervised kids club!

What is your favourite family holiday?

You might also like : 5 travel items that will make your life easier, 10 vital MUST DOs for travelling with kids and 9 simple ways to have a holiday on a budget.

 

 

 

We’re delighted to be able to partner with BIG4 North Star Holiday Resort & Caravan Park to bring you this ‘Top 10’ list for your next family holiday.

Written by

Eva Lewis

Eva is a digital content expert who runs a successful women's lifestyle blog - The Multitasking Woman. Eva is an experienced social media manager, digital consultant, article writer and copywriter and has written for various publications and business websites over the years.  When Eva doesn't have her head in the digital space, she enjoys spending time with her husband, six year old son and one year old daughter, ploughing through her current favourite books in the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, gardening and chatting with her chooks. 

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