Top Tips for the Perfect Family Holiday

Planning the perfect family holiday can be a daunting task, to say the least, with so many things to consider such as choosing the destination, ensuring all the family has valid travel documents, organising transportation and we can’t forget packing. Let’s be honest, travelling with children can sometimes be a challenge, whether it’s your first time flying with a newborn, the third or fourth trip with toddlers, or even if you’re trying to entertain an irritable teen for the duration of the flight. Whatever your circumstances, know that often all the stress feels worth it when you see the smiles on your loved ones faces on the other side. So, to help anyone planning a s family holiday in 2024, we’ve put together some top tips to help you achieve the perfect trip.

Happy family at the pool

1. Make it a Family Effort

Why wait until the trip to spend quality time together? Involving your kids in the planning stage will help spark the excitement of a holiday early on and give them a sense of ownership over the decisions made and lifelong memories they will soon be creating. Start by doing research based on your budget and preferences, then ask the kids their opinions on your short-listed accommodation or destination ideas. Why not ask them to list a few reasons why they think their picks will be fun, whether that be from facts they’ve learnt at school or famous landmarks they know about?

2. Do your Research

The trick to a truly perfect family holiday is happy kids AND happy parents. You need to ensure you do plenty of research into places that will offer something for everyone, not just one or two people on the trip. Find a happy medium between kid’s clubs and activities, relaxing days out and nice meals (or whatever you enjoy on a holiday). Make sure you choose between a short haul or long-haul destination carefully, considering the full travel time which includes flight time, plus the journey to the airport and the accommodation once you arrive abroad. You want to make sure the overall travel time is realistic for your children. Lastly, depending on the destination, you want to make sure you get any necessary jabs within the necessary time period.


3. Passports at the ready

Now that you’ve done your research, you need to ensure you and your family all have valid passports and other travel documents, such as EHIC/GHICs if necessary, as well as any visas, and can legally travel. In the past, children were simply added to their mother’s passports, however, now children are required to have their own passport – even babies. Make sure that if you need to apply for, or renew, a passport that you allow time for delays as they can sometimes take weeks to arrive in the post! As mentioned, some countries require you to have a visa to enter, therefore this is important to check as soon as you book. You can visit the GOV website to find out what documentation you need to visit your chosen policy destination – and if you need any injections too!

4. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

For some parents, the idea of taking their child to the airport or on a plane is enough to ground them in the UK until their child has turned 18. However, there really is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you prepare. Pre-pack snacks, toys and games to keep them interested until you touchdown. Depending on your child’s attention span, you could plan different games for every half an hour, including spotting ‘landmarks’. If you’re travelling with babies, you may also want to sterilise and make up a few bottles ahead of time to relieve any stress and prepare for feeds in case you end up being delayed!

In case of illness during your trip, it is always worth carrying some Calpol, or child-friendly sickness medicine with you, plus a small first aid kit for cuts and scrapes. In case of emergencies, ensure you know how to contact the emergency services in your chosen destination, where the closest hospital is, and have your travel insurance providers emergency medical assistance teams number saved in your phone (or at least to hand). Remember, if you need emergency medical treatment or assistance during your trip to give your travel insurance a provider a call as soon as it is possible, as they will be able to guide you on next steps.

Family at the airport

5. Out and About

Travelling abroad may present new dangers for children, for example, a hotter climate, strong tides, and swimming pools. Remember to keep your child hydrated, covered in a high-factor sunscreen, and under close watch when around water. Remember, children should be kept in the shade, when at all possible, especially young babies – remember not to cover their cot with a blanket to create shade, as this will just make them hot. The NHS ‘sunscreen and sun safety’ resource has the most up to date information on keeping safe in the sun. We have linked this here for you to take a look at before travelling.

Sun Protection

6. Introduce some culture

One of the important parts of travelling abroad is to experience the unique culture of the destination, and many parents can become upset if their kids don’t soak up the local atmosphere. The best thing to do is not try to force cultural experiences on them, but instead, try to make them fun. Try taking them to some great historical sites, or perhaps some local dancing, and even offer them some local cuisine.

7. Disconnect to reconnect

Offering the kid’s, a movie or game on the tablet can be very tempting, especially if you want a couple of hours to yourself, but technology can sometimes be a barrier to family unity. Try to disconnect from technology to allow you time to reconnect as a family, or use the technology to have fun together.


8. Have a schedule

Most parents will know that kids need structure or they can go wild. There is a fine line between being spontaneous and having 7 days stretching ahead of you with nothing planned. Try to give your kids structure with a rough idea of plans for every day. It could be as simple as two days around the pool and then one outing, then repeat – make sure you find a balance between relaxation and fun for both you and your kids.

9. Most importantly, don’t forget to protect your trip with suitable travel insurance

Travel insurance is one of the most important parts of booking a holiday and an aspect that cannot be forgotten about. Enjoy your holiday with peace of mind knowing that if the worst was to happen, you have protection in place. At Holidaysafe, we offer a range of travel insurance policies to choose from. So, whether you’re looking for a Multi or Single Trip travel insurance policy, we’re likely to have something to suit you and your family.

To get a free quote online today, click here.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.