Family holidays are supposed to be fun – but sometimes, they just… aren’t. Whether you’re struggling to keep various family members from arguing, finding it difficult to find a moment of peace and quiet so you can get a little work done, or just really need a some to yourself, there’s something about the family holiday that is just inherently stressful. And that’s okay. You’re not alone.
This summer, we want you to be able to book your family holiday without the usual feeling of dread creeping in. This summer, we’re your backup, and here’s what we suggest:
If you spend your family holiday in a foul mood, everyone else will, too. Make the executive decision to be optimistic during your vacation.
Show your family that you appreciate them being on this holiday with you, and that you enjoy their company. At the end of the day, this holiday may turn out to be absolutely horrific, but a grouchy family holiday will always be better than none at all. Be considerate, be understanding, and above all, be forgiving.
Never underestimate the power of the playlist.
Picture the scene. You’re trapped in a metal shell hurtling across the earth in unbearable heat. You’re sweaty, you’re disorientated. You haven’t eaten, slept or showered in what feels like days. And what’s worse, a CD of children’s nursery rhymes has been on repeat for the entire time. Don’t bother pinching yourself. This is not a nightmare. This is your family holiday.
This is where the ultimate playlist comes in. You need a list (note: a LONG list, because once those songs start repeating themselves you’ll be in nursery rhyme hell all over again) of songs to keep morale high, and to keep your journey as fun as a 5 hour drive can be. Also, if it all comes to blows, you’ll need to have the option to turn up the volume so you can drown out the ceaseless bickering. Also, if you’ve managed to get out of the collective car journey and are travelling to your holiday destination alone, it’ll make the journey a little less lonely.
Choose your accommodation wisely.
Nobody wants to be the schmuck who ends up on the sofa bed when everyone else gets kingsize beds. If you’re travelling with a large group, chances are that you’ll struggle to find a hotel that works for you. Either they don’t have enough beds, or they cost an arm and a leg.
Consider checking out sites like Group Accommodation for a better chance at finding something that works for you. From party houses to large holiday cottages, farms to chateaus, there’s bound to be something perfectly suited to your family holiday.
Keep the kids safe.
Nothing puts a damper on a holiday quite like a family visit to A&E. The types of accidents your kids can have are so easy to avoid, but so difficult to predict. Even if you’ve booked the most child-friendly accommodation available in your country of choice, it’s always worth having a quick look around as soon as you arrive. What’s safe for one child could be irresistibly fatal to another.
Always keep an eye out if there’s a mini-bar in your room. Some of these devilish machines can be computerised, so your account is charged as soon as a bottle is taken out. This is fine for a room full of adults, but when you’re sharing with a child you may find yourselves racking up a bill for bottles you haven’t even touched, just because little Billy wanted to play with them like toy soldiers. And don’t get us started on what could happen if your child actually manages to get a bottle open!
Make the most of it.
Above all else, have fun. So you lost your flip flop, and your neck is a little sunburnt, and you haven’t eaten a fresh vegetable in three days. So what?
Your holiday is what you make of it. If you make the decision to enjoy the trip no matter what, even if there are some tricky moments, what you’ll take away from the holiday will be an assortment of happy memories which exist because you decided they would. That’s worth a whole lot more than the flip flop you’re now watching as it floats off to sea.
Guest Post by Lucy Kirkness