The thought of a holiday might be exciting for a small child, but often the reality can be different. If your little one likes his home comforts, even the idea of a strange bed might be too much to bear. But done right, with a little common sense and some advance planning, a family holiday that will produce memories that last a lifetime.
If you have babies or toddlers:
With small children you will need virtually all the kit you have at home, and to stick to your baby’s routine (albeit a little more loosely). In other words, you will need space and a calm environment so baby can nap if needed. Preferably you also want a destination that can provide some of the more bulky items, such as a cot and a high chair. Plus, somewhere with some amenities for mum and dad, such as a family-friendly restaurant, a pool or a spa, maybe even a child-minding service. Look for a family-friendly hotel with self-catering houses/apartments in the grounds – all the amenities of a hotel with the convenience of your own house.
If you have a mix of ages:
If you have both babies and older children, you may find yourself caught between the action holiday demanded by lively older kids and the need for peace and routine for babies. Result = frazzled parents. Look for a self-catering destination with a relatively short plane ride that allows you to cater to your baby’s need for routine and has the amenities to keep older kids happy. A pool, kids’ club or nearby water park are good features to look for.
If you have older kids:
No matter how tempted you are, keeping the big statement holidays like EuroDisney or Legoland are generally better for kids aged 5+. While young children may enjoy parts of it, parents who have been there usually agree that older kids get more of a kick out of holidays like these. Action holidays like skiing, cycling or camping are also great for older kids, and if you’re into the activity too, these are fabulous holidays for the family to really bond together and create lasting memories.
Remember you count too!:
With all the concentration on the kids, it’s easy to forget that it’s your holiday too. Making sure the kids are happy and occupied means that you have more chance to relax, but remember to look for things that make you happy too, whether it’s a country that you’d like to visit or a day city trip you could make, or a spa onsite where you could chill out.