Choosing the perfect destination for a family holiday is often easier said than done. Pick the wrong destination, and you may end up somewhere that isn’t right for you. Make a decision based on the wrong criteria, and it may be hard for you and your family to have a good time….
For example, a destination that you enjoyed as a child may not be child-friendly today, while cities you may have thought were unsafe or unaffordable may have completely turned around. Worry not – I have some top tips for choosing a family holiday destination…
What You Really Want to Do
What does your family want to do on holiday? If you enjoy a particular set of activities like skiing or
water sports, you should pick a holiday destination that offers these things. On top of that, they have
to have opportunities for your children to participate. If, on the other hand, you’d rather participate
in cultural activities and go sightseeing, you should not only pick a place that will offer that but make
sure that the attractions you were thinking about will actually be accessible once you get there.
Some popular tourist attractions might be overpriced for the experience or may be so crowded that
you have to spend half your day waiting for a few minutes of enjoyment. So, make sure that you
have a few alternative ideas as well, in case some activities are either inaccessible or simply not
Let’s be honest – the younger your kids are, the less time you want them cooped up in a plane, train
or car. In fact, older kids can be hard to keep entertained on an eight-hour drive or ten-hour flight.
The younger your children are, the closer your destination should be, though you can extend the
range by choosing to fly rather than drive or take a train. However, that will affect the cost.
Don’t make the mistake of booking a trip based on cheap flights. That is a factor, but far from the
only one. You’ll need to pay for accommodations, local travel, and food. Remember to factor in all of
the costs you’d have to pay and check if you could save on both airfare and other costs by booking
during the slow season. You may want to choose an all-inclusive resort or package to know the total
cost, whereas a family that is careful in how it spends its money may save money with an a la carte
If you’re sensitive to cost, maybe you want to travel before the kids are school-age, so you don’t
have to compete with everyone else during school holidays. You’ll always save money by travelling
off-peak. Or you may want to book a hotel room with a self-contained kitchen, so you can make your
Access to Essentials
A lovely remote destination may be great to take a hike in, but can you get nappies for your toddler?
And how easy will it be to get essentials as soon as you hit the hotel, whether it is formula or first aid
supplies? If you can’t get essentials right after you arrive, you’ll have to pack several days’ supply.
You’ll also want to plan your itinerary, so you can find familiar snack foods, baby supplies and other
consumables while you’re travelling.
One of the main factors you’ll want to determine is how child-friendly the facilities are. Those
cobbled stone streets may be beautiful, but they’re hard to navigate with a stroller. You don’t want
to book a hotel with steps but no elevator, especially if you have rolling luggage on top of the
stroller. Find out which locations have baby changing rooms, so you can plan nappy changing where
it is most convenient.
Don’t forget to research how child-friendly various restaurants are. A fast food restaurant with an
enclosed playground could be just what your child needs to burn off energy after touring a museum.
A fancy restaurant that lacks a high chair could force you to hold a child in your lap, and that could
affect everyone’s mood. You should also check how child-friendly the country you’re thinking of
visiting is a whole if you don’t want to be seen as a nuisance everywhere you go.
Consider giving extra weight to resorts that offer everything parents want and need, including child-
Travel When You Get There
Too many people forget to consider how they’re going to reach their first stop, much less how they’ll
get around once they arrive at their destination. You can’t assume that the hotel will provide a
shuttle service, and you probably don’t want to try to book a taxi at the last minute. Nor should you
assume you can walk or take local transit to shops and local attractions. Don’t assume that your
favourite ride-sharing app is an option, either. Do your research.
Another factor to consider is how you’re going to get to and from the airport. If you drive your own
car and utilise Luton airport parking, you don’t have to ask a friend for a ride on your way out or try
to find a taxi after you get back. If you’re leaving from Luton airport, you may appreciate the parking
at Luton airport when you realise your child left their favourite stuffed animal in the car or the iPad
is still sitting on the console. If you want to save time and money and book parking at the airport
early, sites like lutonparking.com will allow you to check various deals for your exact departure date,
so you can find the best one for you.
The Type of Accommodations That Suit Your Family
You need to think about the type of accommodations that suit your family, both in terms of budget
and environment. You could save money by camping one or two nights, but that might not be your
cup of tea. A self-contained pool-side villa may be a great way to relax at the end of the day. Paying a
little more for a hotel room with a kitchen could save you money on eating out. Or you may want to
pay for a set of linked hotel rooms so that the children can spend the night in a separate bedroom
from the parents. This is especially useful if you want Mummy and Daddy time.
If you want to minimise travel and hassle, a resort-style destination with onsite cafes, activities and
transport to the few local attractions you want to see is your best choice.
The Necessary Paperwork
Before you select a destination, determine if you need a passport or visa to travel. If your passport is
due for renewal, take care of that now because your passport needs an expiry date of more than six
months to apply for many visas. Remember that even a newborn baby is going to need a passport.
Know that it may take weeks or months to secure a visa to enter and there may be an associated
Have you any Top Tips for Choosing a Family Holiday Destination?