Seven Tips For A Fun-filled Family Holiday
TIP 1: Choose a family friendly destination
This should be common sense, but many parents don't think carefully enough about where they are going and what route they are taking with the kids in mind. Travelling Australia in under a month is a great ideal, but little children may not appreciate the hours upon hours of sunburnt country as much as you. Do some internet research and find some family friendly parks that offer children facilities, or base yourselves near some great family attractions that will become an exciting part of the holiday. Talk about where you are going as a family and get the children involved in the research and planning. This will double the anticipation as well as provide some extra information along the way.
TIP 2: Preparation
Lists are sanity savers. Write them weeks in advance of your packing frenzy. Stick them on the fridge or on the toilet door if that works. Food lists, what to bring and what to buy lists, what to do with the pets lists. The list goes on. Once you are on the road and away from your day to day routine you will be glad you put a lot of effort into your luggage. But don't get too hung up on your lists. Two hours down the road, it is inevitable that someone remembers an item that 'Mum forgot' to add to the list. So long as it isn't something vitally important (which is unlikely, since you've been so organised), don't sweat it.
TIP 3: Make it fun
What is the point of a holiday if there's no fun involved? The general plan is to have as much fun as possible even when circumstances don't go as planned. Rain can be one primary dampener of fun, but children are adaptable, and having a back-up plan means unexpected circumstances, won't wreck the holiday. Travel games, a packs of cards and some books for a possible few days inside the campervan are always a great idea. Turning up to an attraction on the one day it's closed for maintenance doesn't have to spoil the fun either. If you don't already have a Plan B, head to the nearest information centre and make the most of your day. Being flexible and creative is the key to a fun family holiday. it is these unexpected events that often make the best memories.
TIP 4: Shorter trips and longer stops
Writing up a day to day schedule allowing enough time for day to day tasks helps to minimize the stress of travelling, and the children will remember a more relaxed holiday. Allow enough time for everything, from getting all the kids up in the morning to preparing dinner. Instead of leaving at 6 am to make the most of the day, leave refreshed a few hours later with a happy family in tow. A more leisurely itinerary with longer stops will give you a chance to enjoy the moments, the scenery and your time together, instead of rushing around and getting stressed. There are always days when you need to get up early, but if you incorporate a few relaxing days the stress burden is greatly reduced.
TIP 5: Lots of good, nutritious food
The family holiday is not the time or place to start a weird diet or health kick. Before you shop, ask everyone in the family what favourite meal they would like, and try to slot it in somewhere. If you are eating in, allow for lots of extra treats and a change from meals at home. There is something about holidays that increases the appetite. Maybe it's the salt air, or change in routine? Whatever it is, embrace the moment and enjoy your dinners! If you are eating out, choose a family friendly restaurant or take away so that everyone is enjoying themselves. Stock up on delicious good food, and of course buy plenty of snack food for any lengthy road trips. Steer away from high-sugar treats that will send the children into a sky-high buzz, unless you've allowed for a few hours of activity rather than sitting in the vehicle. Delicious doesn't automatically mean unhealthy. As well, always budget to try out any local delicacies.
TIP 6: Exercise
Children (and adults) need to exercise every day. A family holiday is a great opportunity to get out in the sunshine and play together. Pack a soccer ball, tennis racquets or fishing rods and enjoy the outdoors with the people you love most. Choose a destination with plenty of walking tracks, or close to the beach. Visit attractions where there is exercise involved, or just make sure you visit a park daily and play. There are many tourist parks offering kids programmes that will get them out and about and also give you the break you much deserve. Interacting with each other as a family is what your holiday should be about anyway, and it's so easy to do.
TIP 7: Record your holiday
It doesn't matter how you do it; there are so many ways to preserve your holiday for years to come. Video footage from your children can be the funniest to watch when you get home and captures the moment from their perspective. Take plenty of photos and use them as a slide show on your laptop later on. Buy a visual arts book for your child/children and suggest they write a travel journal. Every night before bed they can draw or write about their day. This is a great way to get them asking questions and writing, even at an early age. Collecting mementos from every place visited is another fun idea and will end up as holiday treasures when they get home. For the older, craft-savvy teenagers, encourage them to make a holiday scrapbook.
A campervan is the perfect choice of travel for the family getaway. Travel costs are almost halved when staying in a campervan, as your accommodation is also your transport. Multiple beds, a kitchen and a toilet on wheels, what more could you ask for? Wherever you decide to travel, plan carefully, have lots of fun each day and eat lots of good food. This will ensure you are on the road to a great family holiday.