Monday, 27 February 2017

Take the Stress Out of Planning a Family Holiday

* Contributed Post

Most of us have a great time once we get to our chosen family holiday destination, it’s the planning that leaves us tearing our hair out, what with school holiday price hikes and online reviews to contend with. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make the process less stressful.


Paying for the holiday
Ideally, you should start saving for your next family holiday immediately after the last one. This will give you plenty of time to amass a decent sum of money and get a good idea of how much you can afford to spend on your trip. Of course, things do not always go to plan, so if you’re strapped for cash and if you’re desperate for some fun-filled family time away, homeowner loans could be the solution you’re looking for, just make sure you can afford the repayments to avoid any stress.
Choosing a destination
When you have kids, it isn’t as easy to choose a holiday location as it would be if you were travelling solo or as part of a couple, but it doesn’t have to be a huge headache either. Start by Googling child-friendly resorts in the areas you are thinking about travelling to, and read as many reviews as possible. This should give you a good idea as to which places will give the whole family a good time and which are best avoided.
Book an airport hotel room
If you are only able to get flights which leave early in the morning, instead of trying to get the children up, ready and out of the house at a stupid hour in the morning, consider booking a airport hotel room for the night before. That way, you will not have to get up so early or spend as much time rushing about on the day of your flights, and your kids will be less cranky on the plane as a result.
Plan your journey in advance
At least a couple of weeks before your holiday, you should think about how you are going to get to the airport. Its worth booking a parking space and taking the car to avoid trailing around on public transport with luggage and kids but if that isn’t possible, make sure you know bus/train times and take into account the time it takes you to get between them to avoid missing your plane!
Organise arrival transfers
If you aren’t planning to hire a car, you should consider at least booking arrival transfers because the last thing you or your children will want following a long flight is to have to wait around for a taxi, walk or lose your way when trying to get to your hotel.
Pack in Advance
Packing can be very stressful if you wait until the last minute  to do it. There’s never enough room and you find out that you’ve lost your swimsuit and you have to run out at the last minute to sort it out. To avoid packing stress, simply start your packing a couple of days before the holiday and that will give you time to buy any extras you might need.
Prepare for the Wait
Waiting around at the airport isn’t fun for anyone but children in particular find it hard. They are typically over excited and just want to get on with their holiday. So, you need to find ways of keeping them busy. Many airports have play facilities for kids but they can be expensive, so consider finding a good family restaurant to kill a couple of hours.
Bring Entertainment
The biggest fear of most parents is that their children will misbehave and annoy other passengers on the plane, and although you can’t necessarily stop a young baby from crying, there are plenty of things you can do to keep older children entertained. Bring a favourite toy, download audiobooks, bring magazines and colouring books – so anything you can to keep your kids entertained throughout the flight.
Returning
Returning from holiday can be just as stressful as getting there, so it is important that you do all of the above on the return journey too. It can be easy to slack off on your preparations when you’re enjoying the last precious hours of your holiday, put taking the time to get things right will cut out a lot of stress and ensure your holiday glow lasts longer than usual.
Try some, or all, of the above and you should find that barring acts of god and extreme disasters, you have one of the best, stress-free holidays of your family life.

* Contributed Post

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