5 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Happy On Holiday


I love travelling with my family and spending lots of lovely quality time with my nearest and dearest. I’ve learnt the hard way that a family holiday can quickly become stressful if the little ones aren’t entertained. But, with a little thought and planning, you can make sure your kids are happy, meaning you can relax. 

On the way
However you’re getting to your destination, long journeys can be traumatic for parents and children, as they get bored and fractious. But, the right preparations and packing can keep them occupied whether you’re travelling by plane, train or just in your own car. Rather than hand everything out at once, we tend to give ours a new activity at intervals, so long as they’re being good. The electronic gadgets and DVD players do inevitably get switched on, but we also play traditional games like I Spy and car bingo, where you have to spot certain things during the journey to get a full house. We’ve also taken to doing a lucky dip, where the children get to pick an activity from a box every hour. It all means we don’t usually get too many cries of “Are we nearly there yet?” 

Kids’ clubs
Well-organised kids’ clubs can be an absolute godsend on holiday. They keep your little ones occupied for a couple of hours, help them to make new friends during your break, and make sure they don’t get bored of just parental company. You can catch up with some holiday reading, pop to the spa or indulge in a hobby. Then, you can all get together later in the day to share your news. One of our favourites is the Star Landers club at Parkdean where our little ones have travelled back in time, made movies and become pop stars. 

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukberry/5083730339/

Packing your own entertainment
One of the reasons we love staycations is the fact we can just throw everything into the car and go. It means we can pack much more than if we were worrying about luggage restrictions on airlines. So, you can pack kites to take out on a windy day, or even attach your bikes to the back of the car. For rainy days, dig out some board games and jigsaws you can all do together. Some of our happiest family memories have been created just playing Monopoly or Scrabble while the rain pattered down on our caravan roof.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyrobson/3841483736/

Look for discounts
You can get your children involved before you reach your destination, creating a holiday itinerary which suits everyone. By setting out the rules before you get there and telling your little ones they can each choose one attraction that they want to visit, and they mustn’t grumble when they have to visit the places others want to go to, you should be able to avoid arguments. It also means you can book your attraction tickets in advance, usually securing online discounts. When you arrive, pick up attraction leaflets and local newspapers too as they often have coupons you can cut out to get money off. 

Try something new together
The joy of travel is to experience something completely different to your day-to-day routine, immersing yourself in the local culture and cuisine, visiting places you’ve never been to before. Trying a new activity or learning a new skill can bring you together as a family. We tried surf school during a trip to Cornwall, went for a horse ride together in the orange groves of the Algarve and captained a canal boat together on the Norfolk Broads. 

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudsoup/1800374406/

Your holiday should be a place you can forget your troubles, if only for a week, and really enjoy being together as a family, reconnecting with your children and giving them the time that can be impossible to devote to them during the busy working week.

Katie is the blogger behind delightso.me where she writes mostly about her travels and misadventures in the kitchen.

Leave a Comment