Over the past year I have been on multiple family holidays, whether that is as a holiday nanny for a family or on holiday with my own family. I have found these holidays quite different to those that I take with my boyfriend where we try and cram as much in as possible on the smallest budget. Family holidays tend to be less about the money and more about enjoying time together in a hot and sunny place. When researching and booking a family holiday for my own family this year I had to take a step back from what I would do and think about what would suit everyone. It had me thinking that depending on what type of holiday you want and who the people are, then the approach to booking varies.
Here are my 5 rules for booking a family holiday abroad
Book airport parking
When travelling as a family getting to the airport can be tricky. It’s not like your friend can just drop you off unless they own a minibus. This leaves you with two options, drive yourself or take public transport. Public transport for a whole family can become very expensive and limits you to certain times so I would suggest driving yourself and booking airport parking ahead of time. I always use APH who do a great job getting you to and from the airport as well as providing a safe and secure compound for your car. If you book super early then you are likely to find some great discounts!
Book more luggage than you think you need
I would suggest this especially if you don’t normally travel abroad and are used to large luggage allowances. There will be a lot of stuff that you are used to taking ‘just in case’ that will not fit in your case if you don’t have that extra room. This is also important if travelling with children who want to take toys and activities to entertain them – these probably won’t be provided if staying in a villa and will make a huge dent in your budget if have to buy lots while on holiday. Also if you do go over weight at the airport it will cost you double than if it is pre-paid.
Stay in a villa
Although I have just mentioned that a villa probably won’t provide those actives that hotels might for kids, I would still recommend it as a must do for a family holiday. By booking a villa you give yourself so much more freedom, you are not stuck to certain meal times, noise levels or guests who do not want noisy children around. You also get to all be together in the same building rather than being spilt up in rooms all around the hotel. Finally the space is yours and there will be more freedom for the kids to walk and run around wherever they want.
Book flights early
Family holidays can become expensive when you need to pay for flights for the whole family. The best way to save a little bit of money doing this is to book as early as you can. Chances are most families will be able to book their holiday from work as soon as the 1st of January. Once you have this confirmed you should book your flights. Not only will they be cheaper for booking months before but most airlines tend to have a sale in January which will further save you money.
Plan/book a variety of different activities
Family holidays can be hard when it comes to pleasing everyone, especially if it is an extended family holiday or your first family holiday with the in laws. Be sure to have lots of different activities planned so that there is something to suit everyone. If you are all older then make sure everyone has the chance to chip in with ideas but if you have young children then make sure you have enough planned to entertain them. This will allow the holiday to run smoothly without wasting days agreeing on what to do or being bugged by children who are bored of playing the same games.
Please note, APH provided me with a discount this summer to use their service however, this was my third time booking with them and they remain my top pick for airport parking.
Have you got any more rules to add to this list?