When it comes to booking, preparing and packing for a holiday, it’s only human to get a little stressed. Thankfully, at the end of all the stressful planning there’s a holiday to enjoy – and by the time it comes around you’ll need a relaxing break even more than you did to begin with.
If your holiday party is plus one this year, however, the stress can sometimes follow you onto your travels. Holidays with children can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, the trick to avoid extra stress lies within the pre-holiday preparation.
After a new addition to the family, the savings account can often suffer. A holiday, therefore, needs to be low-cost as well as child-friendly. The sort of holiday that appeals to young and carefree adults isn’t necessarily the best place to holiday with a child. The requirements, needs and expectations of a holiday change – you no longer want to sunbathe and survive on cocktails, but a family experience packed full of adventure and memories to forever treasure.
You will need to spend more time than before thinking carefully about accommodation – the hostels, tents and hotels of the past may need to upgrade to a more family-friendly cottage, apartment or villa in order to meet your new parenting needs.
Wherever you decide to go, you need to ensure that it is suitable to your child’s needs and that there is plenty to do. For a lot of holidays, the premise of the holiday’s activities will be what you would do at home, only bigger, better and more enjoyable. If your child likes animals, going somewhere near to a zoo or animal centre will offer a twist of normality with a guaranteed happy face.
A holiday abroad comes with more preparation and possible stress than a break nearer to home, you need to consider travel insurance and foreign currency as well as all the usual parenting tools required to get you through the day tantrum-free. The extra stress will be worth it, however, as soon as you step off the plane. Ensure that you choose the option that will allow for the fastest travel – a short flight as opposed to three trains and the Eurostar. Holidays abroad, however are often suited to children that are slightly older, as they will get more out of the holiday.
For a holiday closer to home, there’s a wealth of child-friendly activities dotted around the UK, including over 50 zoos and wildlife parks. There are also many play centres dotted around the UK – with small children you have the luxury of keeping it simple.
If you’re stuck for ideas, your nearest Centre Parc could be an option – as they are child friendly and very flexible. Similarly, a beach is an ideal location for a low-key holiday that will keep any child amused.
Even if the holiday incurs more stress than you first realised, you’ll have brilliant memories and photos of your first family holiday to look back on.