The first thing you need to think about is where you’re going. Not all resorts offer the same things and you need to consider what each member of your brood wants out of a holiday. Is everyone okay with a long-haul flight? Do you want to be by a beach, in a town or up in the mountains? Do you really all want to sit by the pool for two weeks, or will you want to try out some watersports or other activities?
Sunny family holiday guide
It’s hard enough keeping everyone happy at home, let alone abroad. But follow our ultimate guide to the perfect family holiday and you can all have the trip of a lifetime (even if you do still have a few arguments).
There’s nothing better than taking the whole family away for a big summer holiday. It’s the best way to make memories and give everyone the break they deserve – whether it’s from work, school or the daily grind of washing up and doing the shopping. But how do you make sure you’re all making the most of it?
Packing for the whole family can be a nightmare – but most of us end up taking far more than we need. If you’ve booked an all-inclusive holiday, everything is taken care of in the resort, which means all you really need to pack is your clothes and essentials – like chargers and travel adapters, any favourite pool inflatables and important documents like your kid’s red book (and passport!). Swimwear, shorts, bikinis and summer layers for the evening don't take up too much space, and you can rent the equipment you need for any sports and activities when you get there – even beach towels are included at premium all-inclusives. Things like sun cream, shades and hats are all important, especially for the kids, but packing light will save you a lot of hassle at the airport.
The holiday starts when you walk out the front door and the best way to take the stress out of plane travel is to try and enjoy it. Don’t leave it to the last minute to get everyone checked-in at the airport, and try and make the most jetting off together – pick seats in a row, watch the same movie and get ready to enjoy the view when you start coming down from the clouds. Most airlines offer free buggy carriage if you bring your own, and it’s also worth bringing plenty of things to keep the kids occupied on the flight too – comfort blankets, toys, books and a few chewy sweets to help with the ear popping effect.
Going on holiday with very young kids means there’s a few more things to think about. Babies and toddlers will need nappies, wipes, pushchairs, plenty of formula and a lot more changes of clothes than they probably get through at home (although selected resorts do have a laundry service available for baby clothes!). At Club Med, a lot of the stress is taken away with services like the Baby Welcome (with baby beds, baths, bottle warmers and trolleys set-up before you arrive if you pre-book early), plenty of options for mealtimes and night time childcare in the Pyjama Club. If you’re going somewhere hot, you need to take extra care to keep them cool with enough water and shade as possible – and don’t forget to protect their skin with sun cream and extra loose layers. Most Club Med resorts offer clubs and day care services for all ages, but it’s worth checking with your resort before you travel.
Most resorts offer a huge range of sports and activities for all ages, so there’s always going to be something exciting to do when you’re on holiday. But sometimes, the simple things are the best – with beach games for adults and kids sometimes proving more memorable than a trip on a water-ski. Digging, Frisbee, catch, limbo, pool toys, sandcastles and tug of war are all great fun for the whole family, and you won't need a load of fancy equipment or training.
It’s important to think about the kids when you’re away, but don’t forget about yourself either. A family holiday doesn't mean the adults can’t enjoy themselves too, and resorts like Club Med are a great place to do it – with clubs and activities for the kids running from 9am to 5.30pm, and plenty of ‘adults only’ areas to relax by the pool, take in a spa treatment, play a round of golf, or simply enjoy a bit of you-time without all the screaming and shouting.
That said, a great family holiday is all about spending time with each other. Make some memories that you can all remember by booking an activity for the whole family, sharing a big meal in the evening, or by taking a day trip outside your resort to somewhere new and exciting. You might all bicker around the TV at home, but it’s a different story when you’re all enjoying the trip of a lifetime.