In need of a survival guide to get you through the upcoming school holidays? You are not alone. Family holidays are meant to be about making time and creating memories that your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives (ok that might be aiming too high…at least into next term!). But often, school holidays can be fraught with stress and problem solving that can easily sap the energy and magic right out of your vacation.
Here, we share a few ideas to help smooth the way to a fun – not frightful – trip away with your children.
- Book early!
We can’t stress this enough. Let’s face it, everyone with school aged children will be planning to travel and book accommodation at the same time as you, so thinking ahead and making that travel booking needs to be done as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. As they say, the early bird gets the worm (or the room as the case may be.)
- Select a destination to suit the ages and interests of your family.
It pays to have a good think about your kids’ ages, and how well the destination you have in mind might meet their age requirements and keep them best occupied. If younger members of the family are entertained and happy, it gives you a chance to relax and enjoy yourself too.
Overseas favourites like Bali and Fiji have great reputations as family destinations for those with younger children and babies, with good reason. The staff generally go above and beyond to entertain young guests while Mum and Dad kick back and have a chance to finish off breakfast at the restaurant buffet in peace! If your kids are older, perhaps a road trip and more adventure style options will seem less daunting. For example, the Gold Coast is famous for theme park fun if you think your kids are old enough to appreciate an action packed trip full of rollercoaster action. Melbourne offers everything you need to inject a little culture into your children’s lives. And the alpine regions of NSW and Victoria have adrenalin and snow adventures in easy reach, ideal for both summer and winter breaks that get you back in touch with nature and the great outdoors. It all depends on your family, so it pays to spend some time to consider your options in order to get this right.
- Apartments versus hotel rooms.
Let’s face it. Sometimes more is just, well, more! To make sure your holiday vibe remains chilled, an apartment can be a great option, offering a true home away from home experience with the added benefit of more space. Often, apartments also include several separate guest rooms, kitchen and laundry facilities. Especially great for those with larger families, who might not fit a traditional hotel room style configuration.
- Consider inviting friends and family.
There are definite benefits to travelling with family (including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles), or close friends. By agreeing to travel to a destination with your wolf pack, you can ensure there will always be trusted friends to join your kids in the pool for a game of Marco Polo, a mate to bring you a drink while you are slaving over the barbecue, and an extra set of eyes to watch your brood while you duck away for that much need afternoon holiday nap. Plus, you get to share your holiday experiences with people you care about, with stories to reminisce over for years to come.
- Pack a carry bag with essentials, treats and surprises.
We all know that life happens, even to the best of us. To take the stress and drama out of excursions, day trip, flights and road trips always pack a carry back with you so that all the essentials you require are in reach. That includes first aid and toiletry essentials, and an extra set of clothes for each person (just in case!). Prepare your travel entertainment in advance too (charge those devices and pack those books and pencils!), and don’t forget some new gadgets or surprises to build moral and keep little minds engaged should you encounter delays on already long trips.
- Plan ahead… and then plan B (and in some cases, C)
The most organised trip can easily get derailed, so it’s important to stay flexible, adapt to changes, have a plan B ready to go to if unforeseen problems crop up. A sense of humour is also essential to face issues with a smile and set the tone for your little ones! In terms of itineraries, it’s always a good idea to plan some structured time into your day to give focus and have something to look forward to, even if it’s as simple as a daily beach walk or board game. For more packed itineraries that have you out and about in your destination, don’t forget to factor in some down time to simply relax and veg out with your crew. Sometimes it’s the unplanned moments where true holiday magic and memories happen!
To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au
The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.