With more and more packages and discounts being offered by travel agents and online retailers, a holiday can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your nearest and dearest. However, it can be a different experience with younger children, and a family holiday is not always a relaxing affair.
Pro – The Whole Family Can Come
Not only is it difficult to find your children a babysitter for a long vacation, but it also won’t feel like a family holiday if they don’t come along. A holiday with your children, whatever their age, is an opportunity for some bonding time that you may not get at home. It is also sure to be something that the whole family will fondly remember for years to come.
Con – It Can Be Difficult Finding Some Quiet Time
In a new environment, kids are eager to explore and get out and do things. This can be very tiring, and it’s not as easy to keep them occupied for an hour or two in a villa or a hotel room like it is at home. Unless you’re travelling with friends or relatives you can leave your children with for a few hours, be prepared that your holiday may not completely be stress-free.
Pro – Gadgets Can Take Their Minds Off Things
Thankfully, we live in age where there are plenty of ways to keep children preoccupied. DVD players can fit to the back of the seats in cars, portable games consoles can keep them distracted and MP3 players will help make them quiet. Just remember to pack the chargers.
Con – Long Distances Can Still Be Tough
The prospect of going on a plane may be enough to get most children excited for a long distance flight, but even well-behaved kids will find it difficult to last 8 hours without incident. The cramped conditions will test their patience, and many children will become very irritable. Jet-lag can be difficult on the younger ones, too, so expect them to struggle with their new sleeping patterns for a few days.
Pro – Enjoy Discounted Offers
Travel agents and leisure companies like to incentivise families to gain their business. Child tickets are typically much cheaper than full-fare adult prices, and some attractions and events will even allow younger children, usually under 4 years of age, free entry. Bringing the kids along on holiday doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be twice as expensive.
Con – Child-Friendly Activities Can Be Hard To Find
Finding activities and events suitable for young children can be difficult. They need to be appropriate for a range of different ages and, ideally, located near where the family is staying. It can be particularly hard to find hotels that cater to small children, too, and some may not have the likes of a creche or adjoining rooms that are suitable for families.
The Baglioni Hotel
Perhaps the most child-friendly hotel in London, The Baglioni caters for families small and large. Cots are provided free of charge, and extra beds for older children can be added to the large rooms and suites for an additional £50 charge. Babysitting can even be arranged for £15 per hour, and the hotel is happy to provide children with pre-packed lunches and free bicycle hire (with helmets) for a day out in the capital city.
With locations throughout the UK, Center Parcs prides itself on being the definitive vacation choice for families. Center Parcs offer a range of children’s activities and clubs at each of its locations. Older children can enjoy the likes of aerial adventures and fencing lessons while their younger siblings attend crafting workshops and junior sports activities. They also have a Bumble Bees club, for children aged between 3 and 36 months.
Woolley Grange Hotel
Located just outside of Bath, Wiltshire, the Woolley Grange Hotel provides all the amenities a family could need. Baby monitors, changing mats, bottle warmers and sterilisers are all available, and the hotel’s suites give families plenty of room. The hotel has an outdoor play area on its sprawling 14 acres of land, and it features the likes of football nets, croquet, table tennis and even a heated outdoor pool.