How to Plan a Holiday with Kids 10

Are you wanting to plan a family holiday with kids and not sure where to start?

plan a holiday with kids

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It can all seem a little daunting at first.

  • where to go?
  • what accommodation to choose?
  • how to get your destination?
  • who needs which items packed pack?
  • when should I book?

Let’s take it step by step to help you discover what you need to plan your holiday with kids.

5 Steps to Plan a Family Holiday with Kids

1.  Where to Go?

With thousands of family holiday destinations to choose from how do you find the right fit for your family?

Whilst you can certainly ask friends, family and read travel blogs like this ones destinations page.  It really is a matter of what inspires you to travel not what inspires others.

So what inspires you?

Is there a place that has been the backdrop in a movie or television show that has you aching to visit?  For example in the Da Vinchi Code the characters navigate their way through France, Italy and the UK.  Or perhaps you were inspired during school learning about some ancient civilisations like the Egyptian pyramids?  Maybe your travel dream isn’t that elaborate and all you want is some down time as a family to relax.  Or you just don’t want to travel that far for whatever the reason.

plan a holiday with kids

Once you have narrowed down your choice then start doing some research, this is the time to ask friends, family, Google and visit your local library for travel guides about your chosen family holiday destination.

2.  What Accommodation to Choose?

Now that you have your destination, where are you going to stay?  The answer will largely be reliant on:

  1. your budget
  2. your needs

Every destination will have accommodation to suit your budget, so it really comes down to what you need out of your accommodation.

When we took our family holiday to Sydney with a toddler I really wanted a self-contained apartment to prepare food for my toddler and having a separate sleeping area so that we could stay up later.  As my son grew into the pre-school years he was able to sleep through anything and so we chose resorts that offered kids clubs for his age group, like the one we chose at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinbalu.  Now that he is older whilst he still wakes early he is now self-sufficient to amuse himself before breakfast – I no longer need to wake at the crack of dawn, so I choose accommodation that has a separate area for the kids plus as he is an only child I choose places that are family focused, like the BIG4 Beachlands during our small family holiday to Busselton.

plan a holiday with kids

As you can see your needs maybe very different from my needs or your friends needs and your needs will be ever evolving.  So it is what you need from your accommodation at that particular time.

Once you have made a list of your needs you will then have to start researching all the accommodation available to narrow down your choices.  Then it will come down to budget and before you know it you will have your answer for your holiday with kids.

If you are still feeling a little overwhelmed check out my choosing the right accommodation for your family page.

3.  How to Get to Your Destination?

Now that you have your destination and accommodation how are you going to get there?

To start with timing is everything.  Whether you are going by road, rail or air you want to choose to travel during times that suit your kids.  Again every family is different as to what suits them.  I like to travel during the day and arrive at my destination before dark.  Others prefer to travel at night as the kids can sleep through the journey.  And then sometimes you just don’t get much of a choice.

plan a holiday with kids

Whenever and whichever type of travel you are embarking upon remember to have an easily accessible bag filled with drinks, snack and activities for the kids.  And if possible schedule in some breaks along the journey so that everyone can get the opportunity to stretch their legs.

For more tips on what to take, creating schedules plus more: check out my getting there travel tips pages on:

4.  Who Needs what Items Packed?

I just mentioned packing an easily accessible bag for the journey, but what else should you pack?

Start by thinking about where you are going, when you are going (the climate), and what activities you will be doing.  This will give you a good start with what types of clothing to pack.

plan a holiday with kids

However I find there are so many more extra bits and pieces to pack.  Lucky for you 😉 I love writing lists so check all my family travel packing lists HERE.

5.  When Should I Book

To be perfectly honest there is no right or wrong time to book except maybe with booking cruises as cruise lines generally offer discounts when they release the following years cruise itinerary and early bird specials, then cruise lines will offer discounts for any remaining cabins available about 6-4 weeks prior to sailing – of course you then run the risk of not getting the cruise you want.

As for booking accommodation and flights it is just a matter of catching the sales.  To do this sign up for e-newsletters from your preferred accommodations and airlines, also follow them on social media.  The other tip is to disable your computers cookies and check in regularly with each place for cost fluctuations.

Of course get started on your family holiday planning as early as possible.

This is going to give you the most flexibility to get what you want at the price you want to pay so that you can enjoy your holiday with kids.

plan a holiday with kids

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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10 thoughts on “How to Plan a Holiday with Kids

  • Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields

    We travelled so often with our children when they were young that they barely knew where home was. Sometimes it was difficult and trying but most of the time it was fun and rewarding and we have now got so many wonderful memories to look back on. My advice to young parents is – just do it. Children are a lot more adaptable than you think.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Good advice Lyn, like anything that you do the first time you do something it’s a little scary. But once you get your toes wet with travel with kids it is easy to see why so many are already travelling with their kids.

  • Ruth

    Great tips as always! As your son grows older, has he been interested in the planning part of the trip? I know parents who involve their kids in some of the planning hoping they get excited about the upcoming trip. Another of my friends tells his kid where they are going and encourages him to do some research about the place. Sometimes, the kid chooses one attraction he wants to visit in the area.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Yes he has Ruth! He loves sitting at the computer with me as we decide upon which accommodation to choose (we look at all the facilities and rooms that each place offers) then we check out all the things to do at the destination. I think it gets him more excited about the trip by allowing him to be involved in the planning and deciding of the family holiday.

  • Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute

    Great tips Sally-Ann! We started traveling with our girls when they were very young. I think it becomes harder if parents wait until they are older. One thing we always liked to do was let each of the kids choose one or two activities that they really wanted to do so they were part of the planning process. #wkendtravelinspiration

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Thanks Jim, that would be an interesting case study “is it better to travel with the kids when they are young or wait til older”. Obviously I totally agree with you about travelling with young kids, however I do know people who look at time in horror when I say I write about travel with young kids – they think it is a total waste and too hard to take kids travelling.

  • Anda

    Great post, Sally-Ann! I miss those times when our little boy was with us and I had to plan everything around him. It’s sometimes difficult, but it’s such a joy to travel with kids, isn’t it?