Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Imagine a world where holidays didn’t exist, and I’m not referring to lockdown, that doesn't count! We would all be chipping away at our daily grind, tending to our children's needs round the clock with nothing to reward ourselves for all the hard work we’ve put in, all year long. Luckily, we have holidays to look forward to, so we can all rejuvenate and revitalise ourselves for a new lease of life to help us on our way.
Going away on a trip to a beautiful resort in an idyllic setting or holiday at the beach in a sun kissed destination is truly one of life’s great pleasures that we look forward to with immense anticipation.
Before we can start getting excited though, we need to think about planning for our ideal holiday. With that said, I would like to share some top tips we’ve learnt from our family trips.
It may feel like an unnecessary expense to some people, but it’s probably best to be safe and have the protection, especially if you have kids, in the event you may need it. The last thing you want is to be stranded without cover in a foreign country if anything does go wrong. You may want to check with your bank to see if you already have Travel Insurance included in your annual membership and you’ll want to find out what you’re covered for. If you are going to get cover from a 3rd party insurance provider, it may be best to look for family cover options rather than cover for individual family members. Some insurance providers also offer free cover for children. Check Out Moneysupermarket to compare and buy travel insurance across a multitude of providers.
Sign-up for Discounts
Airlines, travel agents and popular holiday experiences like Disneyland, Legoland, Universal Orlando, even family parks like Centreparks & Pontins will often have discounts or reward programs that they promote to people who sign up to their newsletters and email notifications. This may come in the form of an extra night for free, upgrades to priority seating on flights, discounts on accomodation tickets or excursions to name a few. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign-up and who knows, you may save some much needed ££s on an otherwise expensive holiday trip.
Book in Advance
Try and book your trip far in advance, you’re more likely to find the best savings deals if you can book months before your trip. When you are travelling with kids, especially younger ones, securing your holiday early will allow you to arrange your seats together on flights, buses, etc.
Kids Entertainment at the Resort
This gets a big tick on our list. Booking accommodation that offers some level of entertainment for the kids, means you don’t have to do much on the days that you’re not out exploring or doing an excursion. Some hotels and resorts may even have a kids club that you can join and they offer a vast array of fun activities and things to do to keep your little ones entertained for hours.
Charge Your Tablets & Handheld Devices
While many flights have entertainment onboard, you never know what the quality is going to be like and whether service may be up or down. It’s always good to come prepared with your own inflight entertainment as a backup or as an alternative if you prefer. Taking our devices along is firmly on our must-have things to take with when going on holiday. My eldest son loves to use his Nintendo Switch on the flight and my youngest is usually playing his favourite games on his tablet. It keeps them occupied and really comes in handy on long flights.
Airport Transfers & Shuttle Services
We were once stranded at Antalya Airport in Turkey for 5 hours because we failed to arrange transport to the hotel prior to arriving and it certainly didn't help that we arrived at an unholy hour on a Sunday with everything shut. It was certainly a harsh lesson to learn, but it just means we are now much better prepared for these things. So when you book your trip, make sure to arrange transfers from the airport in advance, either with your hotel or travel agent.
Carry some local currency in your pocket for when you land, you never know when you may need it. Local shops and market stalls may only accept cash and sometimes you may be able to get discounts if you have dosh on you. For the best exchange rates, check online, way before you leave rather than wait to get to the airport bureau de change as they tend to have poor exchange rates.
Prepaid Cards or currency cards are also a great option to avoid paying fees overseas. Most will allow you to lock in a rate before you leave. It's fairly easy to get a prepaid card as no credit checks are usually carried out when you apply. They are ideal if you want to budget when abroad and you can use it to draw cash when you need it. You can even use them to make purchases in the UK if you must.
There are a few options to choose from, like FairFX Currency Card, WeSwap and my personal favourite is Revolut, a fairly new online bank that offers multiple currencies, even digital currencies are available and you essentially don’t pay any exchange fees when you draw cash in the local currency.
Share some of your tips with us. Let us know what you’re planning for your next family getaway, whether home or abroad.