Ever caught yourself daydreaming of holidays? You’re lying on a faraway beach, cold drink in hand, watching the sun set behind a blue sea. Then, all of a sudden, you’re alerted by the sound of an email notification – and you snap back to reality. If your last holiday didn’t go well as planned, here’s how you can ensure that everyone will have fun in the next one.
Whatever your ideal holiday involves, it should be enjoyable and hassle-free, right? But have you ever picked your dream trip and then lived to regret it? You “drag” your kids along, hoping they’ll change their minds – but you end up enduring two, very long weeks of endless groaning and multiple tantrums.
In hindsight, you tell yourself, you should have known that a self-catered villa in the middle of nowhere (with no water slides or bouncy castles) wouldn’t be fun for the little ones. So now it’s time to park (at least some of) your priorities aside and master the art of compromise.
So, how exactly do you ensure your family holidays are a resounding success? It relies on a clever little technique…
First, rally the family around the dinner table, hand out pens and paper, and present a list containing six holiday features – for example, being by the beach, being near a pool, making friends, relaxing, getting involved in activities, and exploring a new culture. Everyone (yourself included) lists each feature in order of priority, most important at the top. When the sheets are in, rank each option according to highest scores. What you’re left with is a pile of paper and a heap of digits.
So, summon the help of your trusted calculator, and add together the scores for each feature. Voila! Collectively, you’ll have uncovered what the most important feature of your family holiday is, as well as the second, third, fourth, etc.
By applying this strategy, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear the dreaded words: “I’m booorreeeed” while on holiday. A family holiday should be a family decision; it’s as simple as that. Get your kids’ input – and that of anyone else who’s joining you. Taking everyone’s priorities into consideration ensures it’s a democratic decision, increasing the chance of you having a happy holiday!
If you’re going to give this method a shot for your next getaway, here are a few pointers:
Be open. Much to your dismay, ‘getting involved in lots of activities’ will often score highest. Be open to trying something new! Who knows, you may uncover a penchant for scuba diving after a taster session or two.
Be practical. It’s all well and good agreeing to a two-week , but realistically, is it suitable for all attending? Could everyone be interested in going hack the hikes? Could you deal with jet-lagged kids after a long-haul flight? Depending on your circumstances, you may have to compromise on certain elements of your holiday. Otherwise, your dream trip might not be so dreamy after all. It’s also very important to consider the financial aspects of the trip, make sure you are covered for all expenses and opt for your card instead of travelling around with cash.
Book it up. It may seem about as premature as doing your Christmas shopping in June, but booking your 2017 holiday is something that’s best to embark on sooner rather than later. Most often, January and February are the traditional sales months for travel companies; it’s at this time of the year that they put on their best deals – meaning potential savings of your money. So not only will you have more choices and be able to snap-up the best deals, but you’ll have more time to get organised, pay the holiday off, and save for your spending money. Plus, it’ll give you all something to look forward to!
In conclusion, every family is different, and so every holiday should be designed to suit that family. Giving your kids more ownership, and inviting everyone to get involved in the planning process, will mean it’s not just a ‘mum and dad holiday,’ but a family holiday everyone will enjoy.