Following on from Luxury Family Hotel’s research that one in 25 families cut their holidays short due to lack of facilities for children or making kids feel unwelcome, here real parents share their top tips for when you’re travelling with the kids.
Planning a break
Research properly. Ask friends for recommendations. Check out Trip Advisor and think worst-case scenario: if it rained for three days, is there enough to keep all the family happy?
Other children are a universal solution to keeping kids happy (toddlers through to teens). Find a playmate and you’re laughing!
Look at age specific activities and facilities when making your choice.
When going on holiday with young children choose somewhere that provides cots, high chairs etc so you don’t have to take them with you.
Put the kids’ enjoyment first. If they are happy you are happy.
On the road
Let them choose a diary/scrap book to take and fill in during the holiday - they can add drawings, photos, postcards, souvenirs etc too.
If you're going on long car/train journeys make up a checklist of things that the children might see along the way. I usually look up images of road signs, trees, lorries etc and then stick them onto paper or in a scrapbook.
The kids then tick off the things as they see them along the way. It keeps the children focused and occupied for a while. I sometimes do it as a competition to see who can find the most things before we reach our destination.
In the hotel
Gives them something quiet to do before supper and lovely to look at/show grandma when you get back.
Pack of cards always good.
An activity a day keeps the squabbling at bay.
Bring activities for rainy days - and ones they haven't seen before so seem like a special holiday treat. Doesn't have to be expensive - a small bag with new, sharpened coloured pencils, a new pad of paper, stickers, sticker books, a comic.
Make mini "make and do" kits. It's quite fun to ask them to make a "newspaper" about their holiday. I have one I did at the age of nine, which included stories about our car getting stuck in mud and finding a lost child on the beach. (True stories. Action packed holiday!)
Banish boredom by ensuring you take activities with you for meal times to keep them occupied.
On the beach
Pick somewhere that’s walking distance to a beach. Arm them with a spade and the world’s their imagination.
p20 sun cream - only have to apply once a day (if you're not too fair).
Talcum powder... Just shake some on wet sandy legs when packing up after a day on the beach. No more tears... Sand comes off easily.
Share your family travel tips with us in the comments below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK