For many parents, the happy memories made on a family holiday, whatever the destination, will be treasured for a lifetime. However, despite the many successful trips you may have taken in the past, there is always a lot of stress and worry that surrounds a family holiday. As a parent, your topmost priority is always your children’s safety, and being in an unfamiliar place will always feel like a threat to that safety. Here are some simple tips to help keep your worry at bay, so you can have a fun and memorable time on your family holiday.
Always Do Your Research
With any destination there are going to be some no-go areas, and you should make sure you are aware of all of these before heading off on any adventures. Of course, if you are staying in a hotel with a travel company rep, and are going on excursions booked through them, then you may have very little to worry about. However, if you have booked a holiday solely by yourself to a destination you have never experienced before, it’s a good idea to wise up on the culture and protocols that may be in place. For example: is the tap water there drinkable, or will you need to budget for bottled water? Which restaurants are highly rated, and which are ones to avoid? Knowing the answers to questions such as these will help to keep your family happy and healthy whilst travelling, so can enjoy the duration of your stay to the fullest.
The location of your accommodation is one of the key aspects that helps you to feel safe on holiday. If you have to walk down a long dark alley to get to your hotel reception, it’s not necessarily going to fill you with feelings of comfort and reassurance. Have a look at area guides to see what the immediate vicinity is like for example Montpellier in Bristol was recently named one of the hippest areas of the UK with a great bohemian vibe. Especially when travelling with children, it is a good idea to look at reviews and see which hotels are described as “family-friendly”. An accommodation with more focus on nightclubs and drinking may not give you the best experience. As well as location, it is a good idea to consider the facilities. If you have children who are known fussy eaters or have allergies, you may want to look at accommodation with cooking facilities so you can cook and prepare your own meals. If you know your children are extremely active and want to be in the pool all day while you sun yourself and read a book – a big hotel with only one small pool may not be the best choice. Maybe write down a list of the safety and activity must-haves for your accommodation, and see which available in your destination ticks all the right boxes.
Though no parent wants to see themselves or their little one fall ill or holiday, depending on where you are travelling a dodgy tummy may be unavoidable. It is good to be well prepared with a high level of travel insurance, and knowledge of the pharmacies and health centres near your accommodation. You will also want to make sure you pack as many supplies as possible, to ensure you are not having to run out to an all hours pharmacy late at night in a country completely new to you. Having a supply of paracetamol or Calpol, Dioralyte rehydration sachets, Immodium, and antihistamines for any insect bites, and a travel first aid kit may really help in any unexpected circumstances. Whether a little one slips over running around the pool, or a bit too much sun has led to dehydration and sunstroke – it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Especially if you and your children are travelling on local transport in your destination, it is a good idea to have some antibacterial wipes or hand sanitiser with you at all times. Plenty of destinations will have different toilet standards and facilities to what you and your children are used to, and sometimes you may have no other choice as toilets may not be in plentiful supply. Everyone knows that children have a habit of saying they need to go to the bathroom at the last second, and we have all experienced that last minute dash. Carrying hand wipes will ensure you are not caught out if all the hand soap has run out in a public bathroom with no attendant. If you are planning on plenty of beach trips with a picnic, being able to clean sandy hands after many a failed sand castle is going to be a lifesaver. Even cleaning their hands after getting out of the hotel pool is a good idea – as outside pools are harder to maintain hygiene in than many indoor ones due to insects and animals.
Have A Separation Plan
If you are taking a trip to a local theme park or water park it is a good idea to set a plan in place if anyone finds themselves separated from the group. Tourist attractions usually host big crowds that can cause you to lose a child from sight in seconds. Having a meetup point will help you – and your child – to stay calm in a separation situation. Explaining before every outing that they must not run off, and where to go if they lose you, is extremely important in maintaining their safety. If your children are older, you may be able to teach them a phrase to help if they get separated in a place where someone may not speak your native language. If not, choosing the biggest attraction or the opening gates will be the next best thing. If you stress to your children that they must go straight to the meetup destination as soon as they realise they are alone, you should be able to resolve any separation mishaps with as few tears as possible.
Hopefully, this has given you a few helpful tips to allow you to feel less stressed about any upcoming family holidays. No one wants to pre-empt that anything bad will happen on their holiday – like illness and separation – however, having strategies in place for situations such as these will further help to avoid them, and quickly help to solve them if they do rear their ugly heads.
For great family travel tips have a look at one of the top family travel blogs UK.