Holidays with kids are the most enriching and fun experience you can have. With our 4 loving kids, we travel and go on holidays as often as we can. We never use babysitters or kids club, or nannies. We have the kids with us at all times. And we love it! Holidays with the kids enable us to spend quality time and bond as a family.
There’s really nothing better. Keep reading to find out the best way to have the best holidays with your kids.
There are a few things you need to consider before embarking on a family holiday.
- Distance and time. Consider how well the kids are going to cope on a long drive, or a long-haul flight. Read more about flying with kids here. How long can you stay away for? Can the kids have much time off school? Timing can mean a lot when it comes to choosing destinations and peak costs. For example, going to a tropical island in the monsoon season might mean cheap flights and accomodation, but it will rain the whole time. Or spending a couple of weeks in Paris in the middle of school holidays will mean you are landing at the peak period so things are busier and prices are high, but you won’t have to worry about time off school.
- Destination. Choosing a fabulous destination for your family holiday is the funnest part! Maybe you have just seen an ad for a particular destination, or your friend has just come back from a great trip. Watch some You tube clips or follow some favourite Travel bloggers for inspiration too. Make a list of your priorities, and try to keep them straight as you go. I would make a shortlist and compare all their pros and cons. My priorities would have to be cost, ease, fun, culture. So, because I live in Australia, I have 4 kids varying ages between 1 and 8, and say I’ve got 3 weeks in October, my top 5 would include Vietnam, Fiji, Hawaii, Bali, New Zealand. October will be too late for the snow, which is why I love going to New Zealand, so that will rule NZ out straight away. Read about our latest NZ trip here. Fiji is the shortest flight but more resort-y style accommodation, and you can get some pretty good packages which makes it cost effective. Vietnam will be the cheapest once we are there, but the cheapest flights I can find are to Bali at the moment. An epic Airbnb in Bali is the best place to stay with a family and a villa will usually include airport transfers, a chef, housekeeper, gardener and driver. So although I have been dreaming about going to Hawaii again with the kids, Bali will be the best this time. There’s still so much for us to see and experience there, and the food and culture is pretty amazing.
- Accommodation. Undoubtably, the best way to stay in Bali with kids is at an Airbnb. The villa set ups available over there enable you to live like a king for cheap. 5 star villas come completely staffed with a chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, gardener, and will often include airport transfers and cooked breakfast too! With kids, I find an apartment style where ever we land is a great choice. I value having a washing machine and a kitchen to make my life easier when on holidays with kids. You can stay in a resort and have your laundry done for you, and take all your meals at the resort restaurant, but this will send your costs through the roof.
- Activities. What are you into? What is going to keep the kids entertained too? This will depend on the ages of the kids too of course. An all inclusive resort style family holiday will allow the parents to relax as long as there is a pool/waterslide and a kids club. Bali has some great waterparks as well which are no good for smaller kids but my older boys love it! We tend to avoid large popular theme parks while are kids are still little, we find you just spend so much time queuing that a most of the fun gets sucked right out of it. Some friends of mine recently took their teenagers to Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan and they actually hated it! Ask your kids what they want to see. You know what they are into. Tokyo is great for technology minded kids, Broome in Western Australia has dinosaur footprints at low tide, Slovakia has excellent mountain biking tracks. Think about what your kids will be into, and if you can keep them entertained, you will have a better holiday yourself.
- Health and Safety. As parents we want to keep our kids safe. Understandably, some don’t want to risk un-potable water in places with malaria and typhoid. Vaccinations are required for a lot of countries throughout the world. But they help us to travel to these places who also have such incredibly rich cultures. There are plenty of safety measures you can take to protect your little ones when abroad. Vaccinations and vigilance are key. Watch your food, eat at busy restaurants, avoid salads and undercooked meats, say no to ice in your drink, have bottled water only, wash your hands and carry hand gel for the kids everywhere you go, and avoid mosquito bites. Try to avoid ‘at risk’ activities. Get travel insurance as back up. Despite all of this, accidents do happen. Our 5 year old Dash broke his arm in Bali last year. Despite our vigilance. But the medical care was exceptional and we had travel insurance.
- All-inclusive Family Holidays. Packages which include airfares, accommodation, food and activities are tailor made for some families and make things easy by taking a lot of the planning and thought out of it for you. Cruises are another sort of family friendly holiday which could be amazing for the right family too.