As most people know, traveling as a family isn’t always the easiest. From navigating busy airports to dealing with crowds, a family holiday can easily turn into a nightmare. However, there are some rookie mistakes that many people have made along the way when it comes to family holidays. Here are a few examples of mistakes that will guarantee to ruin your next family holiday.
1. Ignoring Jet Lag
If you’re traveling to a different time zone, especially with more than just an hour or two’s difference, then you’re overlooking something that can make or break your trip. Crossing time zones is rough on kids who have trouble settling down even in the best conditions. If you’re planning to go full steam ahead the first day of the trip, then you’re setting your entire trip up for disaster. Instead, plan minimal activities and allow your kids to enjoy a nap or other unrushed activities. After a day or two, they’ll be over jet lag and ready to go again.
2. Leaving Parking Up to Chance
Parking is available at most airports, but you aren’t necessarily guaranteed a spot and airport lots fill up quickly during peak holiday times. Birmingham airport parking offers a variety of options from valet parking to self-park. You can even book your space today on a site like birminghamparking.com to avoid stress when you’re at the airport. If you’re flying and will need to park at the airport, have a plan for parking that guarantees you a spot. Avoiding this detail can cause you to miss your plane entirely.
3. Avoiding Max Room Capacity or Extra Person Charges
Travelling can be expensive and renting multiple hotel rooms may seem outside your budget. However, if your hotel requires you to book two rooms or has extra fees, you’ll want to pay for these extra costs. Some holiday goers think that the hotel will overlook their larger family or that they can “sneak” an extra person into the building. However, your hotel may add high extra charges or even refuse to let you stay if they find out you’ve broken their rules. It’s well worth being up-front to avoid having problems during your trip.
4. Forgetting to Budget for the Trip
No one wants to think about how much money they spend on holiday, but having a budget for the trip will make the experience much more enjoyable. Price out the cost of airfare, hotel, meals, activity costs, and miscellaneous expenses before you leave. You’ll avoid going over budget and having to worry about costs while you’re on holiday. Don’t rely on general estimates either. Use a spreadsheet or other type of budgeting tool to plan out the costs so you know what you’ll be spending.
5. Time Away from the Kids
Of course, a family holiday should be time spent with the family but your holiday is also a good opportunity to enjoy an activity or meal without the kids present. Some parents miss out on scheduling some alone time and then regret it later. There’s no quicker way to make your holiday more stressful than avoiding a time for self-care. Many hotels and resorts have babysitting or nannying available for a reasonable cost. You may be able to sign your kids up for an activity as well and then enjoy sightseeing or a romantic evening alone.
6. Ignoring Kid’s Interests and Attentions
Make sure that you plan kid-friendly activities on your holiday so that they’ll enjoy the time spent away from home. Some kids are very interactive and need to be kept busy in order to avoid being bored. Other kids are more analytical and may enjoy museums or quieter activities. Before going on the trip, review what activities are available at your location. If your kids are old enough, have them pick out some activities that sound enjoyable. Not only will they enjoy being a part of the planning process, they’re more likely to enjoy a holiday that they’ve helped to plan.
7. Not Packing the Small Stuff
If you’re going to an international location, then you’ll want to make sure that you pack the small essentials. Of course, you can probably find these items at your destination anywhere you go, but it may be inconvenient or difficult to find. Examples of the small essentials include nail clippers, sunblock, zip-lock bags, a basic first-aid kit, and other small items that you’re used to having on hand. Make a list of the items you think you’ll need and have a small bag of these items for your trip. Forgetting to include them can make your trip more challenging and frustrating.
What’s great about all these mistakes is that they can all be easily avoided with a little foresight. If you manage to keep these few mistakes in mind and plan early, you’ll get the most out of your next family holiday.