Family Holiday – Here’s Four Alternative Ideas

Family Holiday – Here’s Four Alternative Ideas

We live in an era where we like to go against the grain by trying new things and experiences. Going on holiday with kids is no different.


Depending on your age as a parent, you will have experienced varying holidays with your own parents. Maybe you ventured to the west country packed to the rafters with suitcases on the roof of your dad’s hatchback. Or maybe your family holiday took you further afield to far-flung places to experience different cultures. And everything in-between. But what about today as a parent? What alternatives are there to driving to Cornwall or spending two weeks at Disney World before the kids return to school?  Here’s four alternative ideas for your family to consider:

A Family Holiday Glamping In A Yurt? What’s A Yurt I Hear You Say

Glamping has increased tremendously over the past decade or so. Search the web and you will find countless farms and companies offering a chance to spend your holiday half-way between camping and a boutique hotel. A Yurt provides a fantastic alternative to a traditional tent. It will give you the sense of being out in the open countryside but with an ability to enjoy all your every-day modern essentials to ease the potential stress. Most will offer heating and facilities matching basic hotel standard, so you will be in good hands.

Camping at a Family festival

Glamping is great, but there is nothing quite like traditional camping where your hard work is paid off with unparalleled views of the stars whilst all snug in your sleeping bag. Festivals are popping-up around the country more than ever, and some of the big ones are offering camping options for you and your little ones. Imagine setting up camp and then strolling together hand-in-hand to watch some of your favourite music in the safety of being in a family-friendly setting? Family festivals will have music, activities and food to suit everyone on your family holiday – including the fussy eaters of our children. For an upgrade some festivals will provide you with ‘posh’ toilets to add to the glam!  Here is one to look out for in 2020 by Just So Festival.

Hiring a campervan

Here’s where the fun really starts. As an alternative idea, forget your car this year. Why not search one of the leading vehicle hire companies like Just Go UK, and treat you and your family to a campervan for a week or so. Imagine, just rocking along to all your favourite tunes (including the annoying nursey rhymes), and just pulling up where you wished on your family holiday. You don’t even need a full strict itinerary to follow. Just pitch up at a suitable camp and ask whether there is space for one more rock ‘n’ roll family. The sense of freedom being together on one fun-filled family adventure will provide you all with truly priceless memories – even if the British rain strikes!

Test flight to the Channel Islands

You may have small children or nervous older ones who have never flown before. You as a parent may be feeling apprehensive about flying with your kids to Europe and beyond. It may be a great idea to test them out on a shorter flight to the Channel Islands as an alternative idea and use it as a stepping-stone for future adventures. After all, you can get to Jersey in under an hour from anywhere in the UK. Maybe book a hotel for a few nights and tour around the islands– or, for an unorthodox approach – how about flying to the island and then hopping on the next flight back? Either way, experiencing your first flight to a beautiful domestic destination is a great option to consider. Happy searching!

Travelling with Kids – How To Make the Most of Airports

Travelling with Kids – How To Make the Most of Airports

You are excited about travelling, but a tad nervous because you have never flown with kids before. Take a deep breath and go with the flow.

Summer holidays have arrived. The sun is shining, the kids have 6 weeks off school. Life-long memories are to be had as you are about to embark for your first family holiday abroad.

Excitement from parents and the kids inevitably builds – but so can a sense of anxiety at the thought of going through an often-overwhelming environment such as an airport when you are travelling with kids.

For a stress-free airport experience (not 100% stress-free because kids are kids), good organisation is key.

Bag Planning Is Vital When Travelling With Kids

If you are staying overnight in a hotel airport, it is worth researching whether you can check your bags in the night before. This will free up some valuable hands and conserve energy. For hand luggage, it is wise to distribute every-day items in to separate bags incase one is lost. Due to security restrictions in place, you are only permitted to pack enough baby-milk for the journey, the remainder needs to go in the hold luggage.

If you are arriving at the airport on the day, save time by taking advantage of valet parking. This will take away the stresses of navigating through an often very confusing airport-car park.

Using Family Areas When Travelling With Kids

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s first accredited family-friendly airport. The aim is to make the experience for family’s travelling with kids as easy and fun as possible. Dedicated family lanes are in place here where there is more room for pushchairs and less queuing (hopefully).

Most UK airports have Kids zones to allow your little ones to do what they do best – play. These are free of charge and can provide you with a little respite on your airport journey.

Most UK airports are packed to the rim with restaurants and food outlets. Navigating around these with kids and pushchairs during busy times can be a pain, but once you find a suitable place to eat, it can be a great moment to discuss the holiday with the kids and to get their feelings on how excited they are.

Kids Will Still Be Kids, Even When You Are Travelling

Kids are unpredictable, particularly when you are travelling with them. Understatement of the year, there. With this in mind, think about packing a ‘bag of surprises’ for when you are presented with potentially challenging situations. The contents can offer a chance to diffuse the situation and for everyone to calm down. Stressed parents can often mean stressed out kids.

Time To Depart

If you are taking a pushchair while travelling with the kids, you can keep hold of this right up to your departing gate, where a member of staff will place it in the hold of the aircraft. You can request this directly after leaving the plane upon arrival, or it can be collected along with all the other hold luggage at the arrival belts.

Families with young children are often boarded on to the plane first. But this is not always a good idea in practice. Being cooped up in a plane longer than necessary may fill you with dread, so if it suits you to hold back until last, go for it. There’s no law here.

Emergency bag. Pack a few extra sets of clothes and nappies for the kids in case the worst happens, and your hold luggage is lost or stolen.

And off you go, enjoy your holiday travelling with the kids!

If you enjoyed this article, please read our kids travel article from a mum’s perspective: Essential Tips for Travelling with Kids.

Tips For Travelling With Kids – The Essential Guide

Tips For Travelling With Kids – The Essential Guide

Travelling with kids can be a total nightmare or a walk in the park.  Preparation is definitely the key to drama-free travelling.


Under 10 Minutes, When Travelling With Kids? Not A Chance

So you’re hitting the road for an impromptu trip or a holiday that has been planned for months?  Preparing well for car, rail or aeroplane travel when you have small people in-tow, is vital if you want a stress-free trip. Gone are the days when you can simply pack up your backpack or handbag, in under 10 minutes, with only life’s essentials such as your passport, money, toiletries, phone, earphones and book. Of course, you’ll still need all that stuff, but you’ll need a lot more if you’re going to have happy kids and a nightmare-free journey.

Tips For Travelling With Kids Looked Very Different Before The Pre-Mobile Phone Era

Back in the day when wi-fi didn’t exist, and mobile phones could only call and text, preparing for a journey with toddlers meant that entertainment was not readily available on a screen. You had to pack colouring books and pencils, travel games, reading books and more. You needed enough to rotate over the hours so that your little one did not turn into a monster because of mind-numbing boredom.

Nowadays, most people prepare ‘phones or iPads as sources of entertainment, making sure that there are enough videos/games downloaded to see the kids through the journey. This is great, and I am the first to make use of modern technology, but too much screen time can cause little ones to become totally overstimulated creating the kind of meltdown you don’t want to happen at 35,000 feet above the Alps. Best to add in a variety of non-screen activities your child likes and to eke them out over the travel time.

The Practical Tips When Travelling With Kids

The bag you pack for your child should, therefore, have enough activities to keep them out of mischief. But what about the practical items you might need? Here’s a good list of things to consider:

  • Change of clothes (including layers and warm socks)
  • Water bottle
  • Comforter (favourite teddy bear/soft toy/dummy/blanket)
  • Nappies/underwear/travel changing mat if appropriate
  • Ready-made baby formula/bottles if appropriate
  • Baby wipes/muslin cloths/tissues
  • Calpol/ Ibuprofen sachets and spoon/plastic syringe and any other medicines
  • Little first aid kit for any bumps or scrapes

I’d also recommend packing one bag for all your kid’s travel needs. It’s a cute idea to give them their own little bag or case to carry.  But I guarantee you’ll end up lugging it around for them.  So leave it at home, it’s easier to have one bag to take, than two or three or more. Also, the more bags you have to keep track of, the easier it is to lose one; and it’s every parent’s nightmare to lose ‘Bunny the Rabbit’ or ‘blankie.’

If you are travelling by ‘plane, and your kids are old enough, a top tip is to take lollipops for taking off and landing. They’re handy for keeping the children calm and helping to banish any earaches they might get. I would not, otherwise, overdo the use of sweeties for keeping them occupied. You’ll end up regretting the miss-use of chocolate when the sugar rush hits and you’re doing 130 km/h in the outside lane of the A10 in France or sat next to the grumpy guy on the coach. If you can, aim to eat regular meals and pack fruit, sandwiches and healthy snacks.  Although that doesn’t mean you can’t have your airport breakfast beer if you want to!

If There Is Only One Thing You Remember 

Finally, it’s good to remember that everything takes so much longer with small people.

Ushering the kids through airport terminals, up and down escalators and moving walkways takes double or triple the time. Then there are the bathroom stops to consider, wrangling of pushchairs and dealing with tired little legs. While us adults can move quickly and grab food on the go, the same cannot be said for our 3-year-olds.  So factoring in a lot of extra time is sensible. There’s nothing worse than trying to leg it with your brood to get to the last gate call or to the bus stop on time, with everyone crying. Definitely a scenario to avoid.

By thoughtfully preparing everything in advance not only will your children have a stress-free trip but so will you; ready to start the weekend or holiday relaxed, happy and raring to go.