Holidays often involve staying in a new and unfamiliar place, as well as the rigours of travelling, whether by plane or by car. While we often want our breaks to offer us an escape from pressure, holiday travel and experiences can often end up as a stressful experience. While holidays can be difficult to organise and traverse when you are on your own or with a partner, travelling with small children can make staying stress free even more difficult.
Children are unable to deal with the boredom that comes with extended travel and the lack of familiar comfort that holiday accommodation has. However, this article will endeavour to give you some tips and tricks for ensuring that your family holidays remain as stress free as possible.
While this seems obvious, it can be hard to remain organised when you are heading on a family holiday, especially when you are bringing young children with you. The key to organisation is to plan the holiday ahead of time. This often means keeping a folder handy with all the related paperwork that you will need, as well as booking flights and accommodation at least a few months ahead of time.
Other necessary details, such as arranging a visa for when you travel, often need to be sent off months in advance, so preparation is important. Here are a few tips to help you stay organised throughout your travels:
- Write a list of things you will need for the holiday and make sure you know where they are kept so they can be packed quickly and efficiently before setting out. There is nothing worse than having a last-minute scramble around the house before leaving on holiday to find something that you need to bring with you.
- Be packed and ready well ahead of time. If all your belongings are tucked away in the car the day before you leave it can greatly reduce the stress of getting ready to go. This is especially true if you are bringing young children along; making sure they are ready and in the car on time is stressful enough, even without last minute packing to get ready to go.
- Have a pre-arranged schedule for what you want to do while on holiday (with a few lazy days staying in the accommodation of course) so that you don’t need to consider what you want to do next while you are there. While it is important to remain flexible, having a family vote on what you are interested in exploring can help make sure everyone enjoys the holiday.
- Ensure the kids are involved in the holiday preparations and know where they are going and how much they will enjoy the experience. If they are actively looking forward to the destination, they may not be as upset by the travel as they could be.
- Make sure you have your accommodation provider’s number in your phone in case you need to contact them to let them know you will be late or with any questions you may have on the way. Most will be understanding about traffic and other issues and you will be able to arrange an alternate meeting time.
- Be relaxed – this is a holiday! It is quite likely that things won’t go as planned and you may leave things on the list at home, such as a phone charger. Don’t let it bother you, as you can always visit a local shop if it is something you need urgently.
Don’t clutter your schedule
When planning a holiday, one of the mistakes many people make is booking too many activities and trips within the holiday in order to experience everything they can. While this can be a fantastic way to enjoy the area you are staying in, it can make the holiday rather stressful.
Leaving rest days where you can leisurely explore the town or go for a short walk and relax can help you maintain a balance between new experiences and taking time for yourselves to relax. Having a few days where your only real plan is to explore the local villages or go for a hike from your accommodation can give you the excitement of a holiday in a new place without the stress of deadlines.
Bringing board games and playing cards for games such as Uno or chess can be a great way to enjoy your evenings in a calm way, to wind down from the excitement of the day. Cooking together as a family (including the kids with small roles such as making the salad or stirring) can also be relaxing a fun way to enjoy the day while teaching new skills.
When you are planning your holiday consider how much time you are willing to spend travelling and what you can conceivably fit into your holiday. An around country trip where you enjoy three separate cities can often sound like a fantastic time, but the flipside of this is that you end up having to travel for most of your holiday time. Going from one accommodation location to another can end up being quite stressful, as you have to take all your bags with you. If you add too much to your trip you may end up making it far more stressful than you want it to be.
Here are some great money saving tips for a fantastic holiday!
- Setting out a clearly defined budget before looking at holiday accommodation and locations can help you make sure your holiday won’t break the bank. Big cities such as London or York can be quite expensive, rural towns and villages can be a lot more cost efficient to visit.
- Arrange for self-catered accommodation and limit the amount of time you spend eating in restaurants. If you are eating in a restaurant each evening you are away, the costs can add up quite quickly. If you want to add something new to what you are eating, look up local specialities and take a wander around the local butcher and grocers; they might have some lovely local recipes to try.
- Think about where you want to visit; many places in Kent and Sussex, such as the South Downs, are free to explore and have free parking available. Asking for recommendations for cheaper parking and places to visit that don’t cost too much can make the trip far less expensive.
If you are considering a relaxing family holiday in Kent with Salomons Estate, please contact us here. Our hotel offers a wide range of services to provide you and your family with a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.