No one knows more than I do about the challenges of juggling multiple family priorities and travel. I'm a fan of checklists to make life easier.
Remember the days when you could travel carelessly with your partner, discovering the off-beaten tracks and hidden gems at ease? Or backpacking around Europe, visiting countries which you had never even heard of? And then, life changes. You start a family, and before you know it, you are juggling your work life with that of a super mom or dad.
The day will arrive when you have covered all bases financially, made the best use of credit monitoring services. You may start spinning the small globe in your study before landing your finger at a potential destination. With some excitement in planning to embark on your first family holiday, you then realize that you don’t know where to start.
Check the following tips out and plan for the potential pitfalls which pretty much every family holiday can throw at the best of us.
Are you protected?
Come on, we have all had that conversation with our spouses regarding travel insurance. I mean, if we have never had to use it, why should we pay for it now? The irony of life is that, when we think we don’t need something, accidents happen. There is no price on peace of mind, especially when vacationing with your kids.
Travel insurance is an absolute prerequisite when traveling abroad, so do the right thing and protect you and your family from any nasty surprises.
Choose the right destination
Heading to Las Vegas with three kids under 10 is probably not what you have in mind. Ask your kids where they would like to go, and it will probably be somewhere overrun with gimmicks, cartoon characters, awful ‘food’ and two weeks of loud noises and no wine.
There is always a compromise. In fact, most resorts these days which are worth their salt provide a 360 degree family experience. Always do your research!
Is your accommodation suitable for all?
Miles away from the beach? Stuck out in the wilderness, with nothing to do with the kids? Or maybe that huge room you booked is a hell of a lot smaller than the photos suggested. A little research can protect you from nasty surprises further down the line. Choosing the right hotel can be integral to your experience while on vacation, so do your best to cover all bases in order to avoid being disappointed. Although you probably won’t experience anything as bad as this.
If you have a large family, make sure that the rooms are adequate for your troupe. If you are bringing grandpa and grandma along for the ride, ask for a ground-floor room or ensure that there are elevators and facilities available to accommodate for easy access.
Unless you are extremely lucky or exceptionally prepared, the chances are that you will need to figure out how to travel between points A and B when on vacation. Most tourist resorts have a sophisticated travel system in place, but if you are venturing off the beaten track, you may have to do your homework.
From hotels to beaches, or shopping areas to tourist attractions, find out the best way to get you and your loved ones around without any headaches.