We have all had the frustration of dreaming up where the family will go next? What will you fill all those school holidays throughout the year with? If you are thinking those holidays abroad… what activities will you research and book for the kids? It can be mind boggling when you don’t have a school holiday planner sorted.
At the beginning of every year, I like to sit down to work out the best places to take our family during the school holidays. I want action packed places full of activities. Whether that’s local, in the next town or the next country! We love to travel as a family and see as much as of the world as possible. This means we generally don’t go back to the same place twice. It also means we never are familiar with where we are staying and the activities and events that are happening always needs to be researched.
Websites like Activities Abroad are amazing for taking that stress out of dreaming up the next “activity bursting” family holiday. They even have a whole section for school holiday planning already created for you. Can’t think what to do in May school holidays they have you covered! Want to go away for Christmas, they have a plethora of ideas for you to book. Sometimes we just haven’t seen a place before and need a bit of help researching where is best to go at what time of year and what is best to do, when we get there. They definitely have done the research for you.
This leaves you to do the easy part pick one that fits what you are looking for and pay for it. But I thought today, I would also give you a few tips for planning your school holidays for the family too. This is what we do when planning our kids breaks.
Most school holidays are FEBRUARY, EASTER, MAY, SUMMER, OCTOBER, CHRISTMAS (Your school may have more or less or I may have skipped one out but these are the big school holiday breaks. We tend to stay home, go abroad, stay home, go abroad on every other one.
TIP ONE: PLAN A VARIETY OF SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
A lot of family travellers like to do skiing in February and beaches at Christmas to get that winter sun. Why not pick a few different types of holidays so you don’t do the same thing every holiday. It keeps the holidays adventurous and interesting for the whole family.
Maybe one break do glamping either local or abroad, the next holiday do a relaxing mini beach holiday, in the summer go for the action packed mountain & lake holiday in a cabin, there is always Lapland bursting with magic at Christmas time too! My main tip for planning your school holidays is to make sure it’s a place if you have kids that is family friendly and full of a variety of activities for them to do. It should be a given but you will be surprised how often it says family friend and there is one thing to do for the kids.
Two weeks on a beach sounds amazing to us parents but to my three children after four days of beach and swimming pools they want to go out and actually do something like biking, horseback riding, sailing, theme parks, water parks, the zoo, aquariums etc. I have to say I much prefer an action holiday myself.
**Obviously we can’t go abroad for every school holiday when I say the “next holiday” I am referring to the next time you go abroad during school holidays.
TIP TWO: LOOK FOR ACTIVITIES FOR AGE GROUPS
The worse thing you can do is book a family holiday and go to sign your kids up for sports, activities, and events and they either have age or height restrictions and being left with only one thing your children can do because they are too young or little. We have done it where we stayed at a “family friendly hotel” and it was geared more for teenagers and not babies and toddlers. Or vice versa you might have teenagers and realize all the activities are geared for babies and toddlers. So check what activities and events are happening where you are visiting before you book.
TIP THREE: HAVE A FAMILY TRAVEL FUND
We usually know tentatively where we are going for about a year and half in advance. We always go to my parents in the summer in America, and there seems to always be a family christening or wedding for my family or my hubby’s family who live in Ireland.
Being expats we are always the ones on a plane to see family from one side or the other. But we like to have time as our own little family to make memories and see the world together too. So we try to book one holiday a year where it’s just the five of us. Last year, it was Disney World Florida. The previous year it was Lanzarote. Travelling all the time can get costly so we always have money going into our family travel funds each month. It’s important to spread it out so it doesn’t become a stress to pay for your holidays.
TIP FOUR: LOOK FOR EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES WHERE YOU CAN
We like to have a relaxing and playful school holidays but it’s always nice when you can do that and teach the kids a little something along the way. We scout out places that might teach them a bit of history or culture too. The kids don’t always know they are learning something new.
Pick a holiday where they don’t speak english and try some true local cuisines outside the tourist areas. It’s great to book a hotel, with a pool, all inclusive and not have to think about researching, booking and sorting out things you want a break and that’s why there are so many travel guides, packages, and helpful tips available for you so you don’t have to do the hard parts.