It has to be that time of year when the cold evenings set in, and the need for planning a family friendly holiday takes over. We have spent the majority of this year travelling around the UK in our campervan. For us it is a real sense of adventure and we get to travel, frequently visit new and beautiful places, and spend quality family time together in the fresh air. As nights draw in and the camping season has come to end, I can’t help but crave that sense of adventure. I miss the weekends of packing everything into the van and heading off … sometimes with little plans and no destination in mind. I miss those balmy evenings watching the kids play without a care in the world. I miss the sand in between my toes and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Most of all I miss the break from routine, the late evenings and the later mornings without an alarm clock or school run dash in sight. So with this in mind, I have started looking to the new year and thinking about booking a family holiday. It will be our first holiday abroad with our youngest (who will be a fully fledged toddler by the time we set off). It will also be our first flight as a family of five. So when Tots to Travel asked what factors we consider to be important when planning a family friendly holiday…it got me thinking. Where do we go and why choose that destination? Do we choose sunshine or snow? A beach or city break ? Do we choose long haul or a short flight? Do we return to a destination that we know well, or do we travel somewhere new and fresh?
The saying goes ‘the world is your oyster’ and with so many destinations to choose from with diverse breaks, and a wide range of accommodation and resorts, it can be hard to know where to start. Tots to Travel are a family holiday specialist that safeguard your family holiday through handpicking the best family friendly villas, cottages around the world to craft the perfect family holiday. Tots to Travel take the stress out of planning a family friendly holiday by creating a time-saving holiday search, ensure a smooth booking process and, offering safe environments where families can enjoy their holiday.
So what do you consider an important factor when planning a family friendly holiday?
I have turned to my friends and trusty travel bloggers to find out what factors influence their decisions when choosing a family friendly break.
Location, location, location
Whenever we are thinking about a family holiday, we spend hours on the internet, researching family friendly destinations and looking into the location of particular resorts. Once we have a shortlist, we then spend a few more hours reading reviews, thoughts and opinions. One thing is certain – We always try to choose a destination that will be suitable for all of the family and suitable for the length of the holiday. We try to avoid long haul if we only have a full week away, as the week can be taken up battling jet lag.
Carrie who writes over at Flying with a Baby says “We like to try to go somewhere we haven’t been before – but as I’m ex cabin crew that is often hard! Price is always a factor – but if we can find somewhere that provides good value, a bit of luxury, separate room for us and the kids we are happy. Flight time is not an issue as we have flown ultra long haul as a family several times – but long flight connections are something we try to avoid. I also like to know what is happening politically in a country before we travel and always check the gov.uk travel advice – which may affect insurance. Lastly, a destination needs to have something that the whole family will enjoy”
Karen over at Monkey-feet adds “I don’t care so much about flight times or durations but hate a long transfer and prefer a private or dedicated transfer service. I like somewhere within walking distance to local eateries and shops so I can meet the locals, lots to do and see.”
Samantha who writes at North East Family Fun says that “Short transfers are an important factor when choosing a family holiday. – I like stepping off a plane and starting my holiday asap. A long transfer just wastes valuable hours of your holiday and isn’t always the best with kids.”
Accommodation is always a concern when on holiday and I believe safety is paramount. We always look for reputable travel companies where safety is guaranteed. Tots to Travel ensure all villas and cottages are inspected to ensure your child’s safety. They also ensure essential baby/toddler equipment is available including high chairs, cots, booster seats, a steriliser etc to provide peace of mind and to enable families to travel light. Having spent many of our holidays ‘pre kids’ in hotels, we now opt for our campervan, or self-catering holidays. it allows us to cook at our chosen mealtimes, they are often well equipped, and we also have space to relax when the little ones are in bed.
Lisa who writes at travel loving family adds that “nearby activities/attractions is the biggest draw for us to a destination. We love destinations that offer natural attractions as well as water sports and the odd theme park. When picking accommodation space is the priority. When my boys were younger we struggled in a hotel room as it’s no fun tip toeing around in the dark when they are asleep. As they’ve got older we’ve found they like to spread out and play so villas, self catering apartments, even mobile homes tend to work better for us than a hotel room.”
Whenever we plan for a holiday, we always look at the location, and the resort, and what there is to offer for the kids. If it is a beach holiday, are there beaches, playgrounds and amenities for the little ones, or activities on offer for all of the family to enjoy?
Jo who writes over at Kiddieholidays adds “I spend a lot of time finding somewhere to go where there is plenty to do in the local area for the kids. If my children are happy on holiday, then so am I! My boys love parks, playgrounds, farms, beaches, castles, museums so it is important, to have plenty of options to keep them entertained whilst we are on holiday.”
Gretta from mums do travel “We try to plan trips where there’s something which each member of the family will enjoy – and I’ve found that this gets harder as they get older! My kids are now 19 and 14 years old.”
Leona who writes at Wandermust family adds “We like to make sure there are a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, so we are not at the mercy of the weather”
Daisy over at Dais like these says “If it is our summer holiday then we definitely have to have easy access to either a pool, a beach or a lake/river. Swimming, splashing and playing makes the holiday for us”.
Nell from Pigeon Pair and Me says “We try to have a balance of ‘active’ and ‘passive’ holidays throughout the year. Some with tons of sightseeing or activities – and others where we just flop around, by the pool or on a beach. It’s a balance that keeps everyone happy”.
We also love to plan a variety of trips including city breaks, camping and glamping, road trips where we move to the next destination every couple of days, and sunny holidays where the beach and pool are pretty much the base for the entire holiday. It is important to think about the weather, whilst on holiday. If you have young children you may want to avoid destinations where it is too hot or too cold. When planning a holiday try to involve all of the family to ensure everyone’s requirements are taken in to consideration. It is hard to accommodate individual requirements, but it can be possible with careful planning and lots of preparation.
So what will be your destination of choice for 2018, and what do you consider important factors when planning a family friendly holiday?