5 Tips for Planning Your First Family Holiday Abroad

Planning a family holiday for the first time is very exciting, particularly for first-time parents, but it also throws up a lot of new questions which many new parents have simply never been faced with before. In addition to choosing a location for your family holiday, you need to take several factors into account. You want to find somewhere with fun attractions for children, such as beaches or theme parks and opportunities for the adults to relax, but you also need to think practically. Here are 4 important tips to help you plan your first family vacation abroad with as little stress as possible.

1. Choose the right location

You might have your heart set on an Australian adventure, for example, but flying with young children for more than 3-4 hours is less than ideal. When you arrive at the airport, will you then have a long drive to the hotel or resort? What will the weather be like? Young children do not cope well in extreme heat or extreme cold, so aim for somewhere with a warm but comfortable forecast.

2. Find family-friendly facilities

When choosing a hotel or resort, you need to consider the facilities they offer which will make your family holiday run as smoothly as possible. For example, a family-friendly restaurant with children’s menus can save a lot of stress at mealtimes and a daytime kids activity club or babysitting service can give you a much-needed break. If you are traveling with a baby, you should also consider whether or not the hotel has a lift for access to upper floors.

3. Make sure you have all of your documentation

· Passports

It’s essential that you get everyone’s passports, visas and insurance in place before you travel. Your children will need a passport even if they are only a small baby and if your passport is due to expire in the next 6 months, you may find that some countries will not accept it.

· Driver’s License Many families choose to hire a car with Advantage Car Rental when traveling with children as it can make getting about much simpler than using taxis or public transport, but you will need to remember your driving license if you are going to rent a car.

· Insurance

Health insurance is also vital to ensure you can access any medical care you may need while there without incurring hefty bills. Travel insurance should also be obtained for the holiday itself, i.e. a policy that covers cancelation, delays, lost baggage and more.

4. Get any vaccinations needed

Precautionary vaccinations are recommended for a surprising number of countries and while as adults we can choose to take the risk, you should always ensure your children are fully protected. Contact your doctor to find out if there are any vaccinations required for your destination as soon as you have booked as some need to be administered up to 8 weeks before travel.

5. Pack for all stages of the journey

Packing for a trip with children is a far more complicated task than packing for just yourself and maybe your partner. You need to consider all the stages of the journey and what you are likely to need. This includes traveling from your home to the airport, time waiting at the airport, getting through arrivals at your destination and getting from the airport to your hotel or villa. You want to be able to access the important items without having to search through multiple bags so think about how best to pack nappies and changing equipment, food and drink, tissues and wet wipes and games or toys to keep them entertained during long waits.

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