Travelling with your family can be exciting or anxiety fuelling, amazing or anger inciting and every other emotion that falls in between. Making it work can seem like an impossible feat. However, if you consider the following aspects of a family trip, this should make it a lot more manageable.
Stretching yourselves financially too far is never a good thing when it comes to travels. Ultimately, only you can work out exactly how much you must spend on this trip, so be sure to do your sums before considering any of the following areas. It is also important to factor in the extras, such as activities, food, fuel and parking costs. These can mount up pretty quickly.
If you are hoping to head somewhere to undertake a particular sport, such as skiing, you will also have to consider the clothing you might need to invest in or hire to ensure you can fully partake.
Before committing to a family trip, it is essential that you spend a long time researching a possible location. Think about everything that each individual member of the family is looking for in a trip away and then consider somewhere that meets expectations. If you are against the idea of a long-haul flight, this could discount a lot of places. Furthermore, if only one of you is a driver, yet you wish to travel by road, this might influence your decision.
For any road trip, it is imperative to ensure the vehicle you are using is fit for purpose. Check into a garage around a week beforehand to have them look it over and make any necessary repairs or replacements. This will give you peace of mind that you are less likely to break down on your travels. If you are travelling by camper van, as many families choose to these days, be sure to check that the vehicle meets your family’s needs. Emblazoning it, if it’s your own of course, with decals to show others your interests. For example, marine stickers on your bumper will ensure that you meet likeminded people when you reach your destination.
Of course, if you are going on a cruise or flying to your location, you will need to consider how you get to the docks or airport. Family or friends might offer to drive you if it’s not too far. However, there are trains and taxis who will suffice, too.
There seems to be a much greater selection of places from which to choose to stay in these days. Rather than simply hotel, bed and breakfast and caravan or camper van, there are a whole host of quirky accommodation options, such as shepherd huts and train carriages. Once you have decided where you’d like to visit, it will be easier to narrow down your choices.
For beach vacations, the ideal choice would be a hotel or a villa. However, if you are heading somewhere in the countryside, you may wish to consider somewhere else. Looking at the number of people going away with you will narrow down your options. With a larger family, hiring a cottage or finding a property via Airbnb might be a more reasonably priced option.
Wherever you want to go and whatever accommodation you would like to choose there, always check out the online reviews to get a real flavour for the place. Staying somewhere without Wi-Fi or where the beach is not in walking distance could be the nail in the coffin for your vacation.
How many arguments does a family have when deciding what to eat? Countless is the answer. For most people, food is something that can trigger strong emotions. Most of us have profound likes and dislikes. While some younger family members might be happy to indulge in McDonald’s Happy Meals on a regular basis, others will be seeking something much more upmarket or even something containing vegetables. Compromise is key when it comes to food when on your travels.
Many families choose an all-inclusive trip, allowing people a wide variety of food from which to choose whenever they are hungry. For others, that restricts them somewhat and prevents them from being able to fully sample authentic food from the location, indulging in the local culture. Self-catering allows you to cook when you want to or dine out of the complex. However, this can be an expensive option.
Also consider that if you are on a road trip, people are likely to want to snack. Having things ready and waiting can prevent the inevitable cries of “I’m hungry!” every few minutes. Avoiding chocolate and sweets is advisable. Cereal bars and drier snacks are much better, along with a good supply of water. A cool box can ensure that the drinks are kept at a nice temperature. No one wants to drink lukewarm water, especially if the weather is hot, too.
Getting out and about, away from your accommodation, is an important part of any time spent away from home. Whether you wish to undertake adrenalin-pumping sports or you’d like to have a go at some local craft activities, there really is something for everyone wherever you head to. Staying in your accommodation will not allow you to fully immerse yourself in the history or culture of a place, so be sure to factor in some time out. It might prove a little more difficult to encourage teenagers to do the same, but it is important, nevertheless.
Being cooped up with family for a significant period can lead to arguments and fall outs pretty quickly. Having the opportunity to spend some time alone can alleviate that, allowing people to calm down or simply get away from things that are annoying them. It doesn’t matter how much we try not to, constant exposure to someone will frustrate at least one other person, even if they are too polite to say anything.
Bottling things up can cause the inevitable explosion to be worse, so let out some of that fizz and plan some opportunities to undertake activities with others or just read quietly, for example.