My mother’s family holiday tips

Some of my fondest child hood memories are from my family holidays, they were a time when my parents were totally relaxed and I got to see them for a whole week with out their work getting in the way. I think that nearly all of us have enjoyed our family holidays, they offer a great time for a family to bond and have an amazing time together. I was fortunate enough to go to several different countries; Spain, USA, Greece, France, Turkey and many others, but it wasn’t the destination that made the difference it was the fact that I got to spend time with my family. Playing on the beach for countless hours and making new friends was always something I looked forward to year after year, the reason that the holidays were such a resounding success was because my parents planned them so well.

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I thought it all just happened naturally, I only found out the other day after talking to my mother how much careful panning she put in to each holiday. So here are my mother’s top three tips for a family holiday, she certainly know her stuff because she was able to keep a family of 6 happy each and every time we went away. Have you planned a family holiday before? If you have then share what worked and what didn’t work for you, just type your thought in the comment section at the bottom of this page. If we all contribute then there is more chance for all of us to have some great family holidays!

Choose a holiday that the kids will love

It is a fact, you will have a great time if your kids are always happy. So don’t drag them along on a trip that they will hate, they don’t really want to be hiking up mountains for the whole time, they want to be having fun. You need to find the perfect compromise; a holiday that you like but they love! Find a holiday that will keep them happy at all times and that you will enjoy.

Always be realistic

You really do need to condor what is achievable if you are travelling with your children, I know that it is your holiday as well but there is only so much you can do when you are bringing the family along with you Remember that they won’t be small forever and the older they get the more adventurous you can be on your holiday break, so keep everything simple to start with and build up slowly. Also, never promise the kids anything that you may not be able to follow through with, this is the easiest way to spoil their holiday.

Plan, plan and then plan some more!

If you plan carefully then you will make sure that the holiday is as smooth as can be. Check up on visa requirements, vaccinations and the latest information about the destination you are going to. So give the tour operator a call or if you are travelling by yourself call the doctor and the relevant embassy. Planning early and carefully gives you more time to have fun on your holiday, it also makes sure that there will not be any unexpected surprises!

A guide to planning an alternative family holiday

There’s no reason why you have to stick to the same tried and tested family holiday model every time you go away – especially if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous. We’re going to give you some tips about how to plan an action-packed family break, as well as suggest a few options that are open to you.

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Start planning…

Firstly, it’s best to plan your holiday as a family, because this will help get the kids really excited about where you’re going and what you’re doing – a real blessing if you’ve got disinterested teenagers.

Secondly, to give you peace of mind when you’re arranging your break – and to make it easier for you – it’s best to go on an organised tour. This doesn’t mean you’ll be restricted in terms of what you do; in fact, it could open doors that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

The companies that offer adventurous family trips have extensive knowledge of the destinations they serve, which means they can introduce you to parts that you may not find on your own, as well as having connections with a host of activity providers who can make sure your holiday is full of thrills and spills.

Where to go

When you’ve taken the decision to be adventurous with your family break, the world really is your oyster. There’s such a wide variety of places to explore when you open up to the possibility of going off the beaten track. The following are just a few of our picks that we think are particularly good for families.

Borneo

Borneo in Malaysia is a wonderful choice if your children love wildlife, as there are some amazing reserves and sanctuaries on the island. Of course, Borneo is most famous for its orang utans, which you can get unbelievably close to at a rescue centre in Sepilok.

You can also go on jungle walks to see some more of the local wildlife, such as the proboscis monkeys that live in this part of the world, or even take a trip down the river to explore a little further afield. Mum and dad will certainly appreciate the chance to unwind in the natural hot springs in Poring, while you can all round off your trip with a bit of rest and relaxation on one of Borneo’s beautiful beaches.

Costa Rica

For plenty of action and adventure, Costa Rica is a fantastic choice. It boasts a wide variety of landscapes, including volcanoes, rainforests and beaches, while it’s become something of a mecca for travellers looking for an action-packed break.

On a family getaway here you can go white water rafting, fly through the rainforest canopy on a zip line, canoe along the coast, cycle around a volcano and go horse riding with the local cowboys. There’s certainly a lot to keep people of all ages occupied, making it a fantastic choice for families with older children who’ve got an adventurous streak.

Gozo

You don’t have to fly halfway around the world to find action and adventure, though, as there are lots of places in Europe that have plenty to offer on that front. One such example is the island of Gozo, which is part of Malta.

The emphasis here is on coastal activities, with kayaking in sea caves, mountain biking along coastal trails, abseiling and climbing on cliffs, and snorkelling in the warm Mediterranean waters that surround the isle among the things you can look forward to.