What makes up the perfect family holiday for you? I’ve been chatting about it over on Instagram today. It’s been such a miserable, grey day up North and the forecast is showing much the same for the next week or so.
Once the Christmas lights come down and the adrenaline of a new year has passed, January is left feeling a bit drab really isn’t it? Aside from my birthday and a fancy pants weekend in London, there isn’t a lot on my calendar for the coming year. Which means I’ve started my annual holiday shopping. And Shaun has hidden his credit cards.
I have this weird hankering to be one of those families that finds the perfect holiday spot to return to year after year. It would make life so much easier wouldn’t it? Easy or not, I just can’t get on board with this kind of thinking – there are just way too many amazing places to explore and drink cocktails in.
So how do you narrow it down? Well I have a secret (not really, I just think it sounds better saying it that way) formula for choosing the perfect family holiday that I thought I’d share with you.
- Start with a budget. You work hard for your money all year and it is tempting to just go out and have a nosey around looking for the perfect family holiday. I agree, two weeks in Florida is lovely if you have the money but it is not worth getting into debt for. If you agree a realistic budget before you start looking then you know where you stand and can set your expectations accordingly.
- How long can you go for and at what time of year? This will be dictated by your annual leave I imagine.
- Hot or cold? Hot is probably more my thing but I wouldn’t be adverse to going skiing etc. If I am only going on one holiday this year though, for us it is all about the sun.
- Flight time / travel time. Do you hate flying? Do you have really young children and can only manage 2-3 hours? Perhaps you don’t mind a really long flight and the world is your oyster? Thinking about how far you are willing to travel will really narrow down your search.
- What sort of accommodation do you want to stay in? For me it’s a villa or self catering every time. I have a very young child who needs to go to bed early and I have an much older child who won’t. That’s age gaps for you. Anyway, none of us want to be cramped into one hotel room for a week or stuck in the bathroom drinking wine because the baby is asleep in the room. I can do that at home thank you very much. You may prefer a hotel for all the amenities and lack of cleaning up it brings. Narrow it down before the search begins.
So now you know how much money you have to play with, how long you are going for, when you can go, and the general area you can holiday in. You also know the sort of holiday accommodation you want to stay in. It’s time to shop.
I will only say this once. If you are searching online then clear your browsing history first because otherwise the Google Gods will know what you are interested in before you do and they will NOT give you the cheapest price. Stalkers.
Every family is different from this point on so I will leave it in your very capable hands. We have criteria that ranges from a need for a swimming pool right through to unlimited WIFI. These are all things that can be compromised on though once I’ve followed the check list above.
If you are particularly time poor, there are lots of family friendly companies who will allow you to check the boxes that are relevant to your search and book through their website in mere minutes. That’s my kind of shopping.
All that’s left to do then is count down the days to the perfect family holiday and pack your bags.
So tell me, using the list above to help you, where are you off to this year? I’m off to look now – that’s if I can find where Shaun has hidden the credit cards!