There's a buzz in the W&O office about the launch of our brand new family travel brochures, Kids in the Med and Kids Beyond the Med. And it's got us thinking about the ‘perfect family holiday’; where do you find it? How do you plan it? Does it even exist?
We think the answer to that last one is yes, thought perfection may not always look like what we planned it to! One of the trickiest issues on a family holiday is ‘balance’, although we are parents, we are also individuals; individuals who need to relax and rejuvenate alongside our children. So, how do we balance our needs with those of our kids?
Can you please everybody?
Firstly it is important to recognise that each family is different. This may seem like an obvious point, however it is pivotal when answering the question of balance. There is no one definitive answer, you may be lucky enough to share the same adventurous spirit as your kids and thus a Ranch holiday spent galloping around on horseback will satisfy all and nothing further need be said. However, there are equally as many, if not more, families where keeping everyone happy isn’t as easy. What if you are in desperate need of a lie-in while your children rise at 6am and want to be experts in kayaking by noon? Or maybe your teenager just wants to laze on the beach, whilst you littler ones are desperate to race around a water park?
Kid's love clubs!
An obvious answer is choosing a resort with a kids club. In the past doing so has incurred feelings of guilt from many parents, as well as the worry of being ‘that mother’ who sends their child off into the hands of an anonymous resort rep just so she can work on her tan! This is not the case anymore, in fact we have many repeat clients who return to a resort specifically because their children cannot stop talking about how much fun they had at the kids club, or how many friends they made! This is not to say it is a solution for everyone, but the kids’ club has evolved into an all-singing, all-dancing way for children to learn, play and meet new people.
The Worldwide Kids Club for example, operates in many of the European resorts featured in Kids in the Med. This UK based, Ofsted approved kids club provider designs activities to help children make friends as well as develop their own independence. No longer is it a cordoned off room with building blocks scenario, but football academies run by semi-professionals coupled with art classes and swimming lessons. You might even end up being a tad jealous when you sit down to your evening meal and hear all about your children's amazing adventures! Then again, you might quite enjoy an extended spa treatment or a round of golf...
Plan your trip together
Involving your children in your holiday planning is a great way to engage them both before and during the holiday. Many of us take the reigns as the adults and all our children have to do is wake up in time to catch the plane. However, sitting down as a family and discussing where to go and what to do helps raise the excitement and ensures that they will be catered for once you arrive, and they'll have realistic expectations. Why not flip through a family holiday brochure and pick your 'top 10' and then get the kids involved in choosing which you go to?
Picking the right destination
Choosing the right destination can also help you find the right balance. For example, the Caribbean
or Indian Ocean
are great places to take children as they are relaxing for you in their very nature, with endless beaches for sandcastle competitions. Many resorts here also have private beaches so you can unwind on your sun lounger while your children play, safe in the knowledge that they are restricted in where they can go and under the watchful eye of the local lifeguard. Older children will love having the freedom to explore private islands like Jumby Bay
and Anantara Dhigu
Of course, there is no set way to plan the perfect holiday, it differs per family and we understand that at Western & Oriental, which is why all our holidays can be tailored to your needs. If you'd like to order your own copies of our new brochures you can do so here
. We'd love to help you plan a family holiday that finds the perfect balance!
How do you manage to find a balance on a family holiday? Do you have any family travel tips to share? We want to hear from you! Let us know via Twitter @wandotravel or Facebook www.facebook.com/westernandoriental.