What's your ideal vacation? We use to have every day organised, accommodation booked and then enjoyed it. With so much travel now we leave a lot of bookings very last minute. But there's still something about package holidays that brings something special.
There are so many options for choosing holidays these days, that people often find it difficult to decide on the best approach. For single people and couples, there is something magical about booking a flight and a few nights in a hotel, and then just heading off to see what happens. Booking accommodation day by day has become fast and easy with mobile gadgets, and this flexibility has transformed the holiday industry. But what about those who want to go on holiday in a family group? Considering the exceptional scope and variety of amenities included, could it be that the traditional package holidays still have something to offer?
Great value for money
One of the good things about package holidays is that there is usually some kind of discount for children. The price is based on the number of rooms, and not people, and very often younger children can go free. Another advantage for families lies in the relative safety of the family resort or hotel environment. There is entertainment laid on for kids, and the restaurants are geared up for family requirements. This means that parents can have a well-earned rest while the younger members of the family take part in supervised activities. At their best, these holidays really do offer something for everyone, and it can be very liberating to have all meals provided, with nothing to worry about all day long.
It is important to read the small print
It is essential to check just what exactly is included, and review any conditions on the availability of services throughout the day and night. There is nothing worse than arriving back at the hotel with several tired and hungry children, only to find that the restaurant is closed. Similarly, there may be some excursions and activities included which are not suitable for every family's preferences or abilities.
Another thing that needs to be checked in advance, is the likely clientèle in the hotel or apartment complex surrounding the family accommodation. Is the venue popular with bachelor parties? Is there a culture of heavy drinking and night-life in the area? These factors might make some hotels unsuitable for younger children, and they certainly can affect chances of getting a good night's sleep.
Missing out on the local culture?
Sometimes a package deal means that guests will rarely leave the grounds of the hotel. On a short stay, and for families with very young children, this is probably not an issue. One or two weeks in the same hotel can isolate the holidaymakers from the local culture, and older children will easily become bored if they only have a small range of activities on hand. Make sure if you book that you take advantage of the place by seeing the local attractions. Package holidays usually come with representatives that can help you find your feet on holiday, or acquaint you with suitable and fun tours the family can go on.
In the end, it is all a matter of working out what exactly the family is looking for, and finding a deal that fits the bill. Packages are a great option for parents wanting to take advantage of their holiday time to relax as well as spend some quality time with the kids.
James Horvel is a father of two and still loves to travel. When he's not writing travel articles, he's convincing his kids to try the local cuisine when they are on holiday, even vegetables!
Images by William Warby, Steve Johnson and Kenny Louie used under creative commons license.
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