With our family trip to Camp Bestival followed by a few days in Cornwall finally upon us I have been thinking about how holidays have changed since having children.  My needs and wants are no longer central to my holiday planning, and sometimes I do find that hard to swallow. With this in mind I asked Jane Blackmore for her top tips on how to make our time away run as smoothly as possible.

Image Credit - www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image Credit – www.freedigitalphotos.net

Do you look forward to a holiday with your loved ones or does the idea of a family break fill you with dread? They say (whoever they are – someone without small children we can only assume), that a change is as good as a rest, but when you have kids it really just isn’t. A change can mean disrupted sleep patterns and unfamiliar surroundings. It certainly isn’t always restful.

Taking family breaks doesn’t have to be stressful though, it’s just a question of choosing your destination thoughtfully and planning carefully. Here are some top tips to help you actually enjoy your time away:

Think quality not quantity

The temptation when planning a family holiday is to go for the cheapest resort or hotel you can and to stay for as long as possible, but this could be a false economy. If you are staying somewhere with basic facilities and aren’t getting the support and rest you need then why on earth would you want to spend two weeks there instead of one? Instead, invest in a family friendly hotel or holiday park that has added extras like babysitting, kids clubs and family restaurants as well as adult spa and relaxation facilities. It may cost a little more but a few days away in the lap of luxury goes a long way to recharging your batteries.

The journey

The travelling itself is a big part of a family holiday, and is often what puts parents off going too far. Planning is absolutely key here, so think carefully about your means of transport, timings and entertainment along the way. Again it may be worth spending a little bit more here on something like flights if it means travelling at a sensible time of day. If you are driving, plan regular stops along the way and stock up on small toys or games to reveal at regular intervals to keep boredom at bay.

Your views count too!

As a mum it’s hard not to automatically prioritise everyone else first, but don’t forget that it’s your holiday too! As much as the kids might want to spend every day being busy or hanging around the pool, if this isn’t your thing then it’s OK to do something different now and again. Don’t feel guilty about checking the kids into a supervised club for a morning or leaving them with your partner while you indulge in some me-time. A happy mum equals happy children after all!

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