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How to Pick the Perfect Family Holiday

The procedure of picking a holiday destination changes drastically when you have children - your priorities shift from finding endless white sand beaches to having a safe swimming pool.

The days are over when you could simply spin a globe and head wherever your finger lands. Now you are travelling with kids, your choice of holiday fundamentally relies on how long a journey your child (and you) can survive without a tantrum or a breakdown.

The joys of flying may well mean you could possibly stretch to a trip overseas but, before you start looking you should think about the following:

  • Budget. It can be tempting to just go out and looking for the idyllic family holiday and although two weeks in Florida sounds amazing, it’s not worth getting into debt for. It’s best to agree on a realistic budget before you start looking then you can set your expectations accordingly.
  • How long for and when. Your annual leave will probably dictate this, and school holidays if you have older children. If you're thinking somewhere exotic, you need to know when the rainy season is or if the country gets any extreme weather as this may not be suitable for little ones.
  • Hot or cold. Most people opt for hot holidays to escape the gloomy British weather. Remember that in Europe, August is peak holiday season, so not only is the weather likely to be boiling, but beach resorts will be heaving and you might pay a premium for a beach holiday during this time. If you choose a cold holiday check the weather charts and be sure to pack accordingly. Or just save the fuss and head to the great unpredictable British coast!
  • Travel time. Do you hate flying? Do you have really young children and can only manage 2-3 hours? Thinking about how far you are willing to travel will narrow down your search, many great overseas countries are only a couple of hours away on the plane.
  • Accommodation. Think about the type of accommodation you want. A villa with self-catering can be suitable for young children who need to go to bed early and for older children who won’t. It means you don’t have to be squished into one hotel room for a week. However you may prefer a hotel for all the facilities and lack of cleaning up it brings. Decide this before the search begins.
  • Safety. There are lots of countries which, although they attract tourists, have experienced periods of political instability, meaning there have been times when they've been considered 'no go'. If you have any concerns take a look at the Governments Foreign Office website.
  • Health. Check with your GP if any vaccinations are necessary if you're considering travelling to an exotic destination, it’s also vital to find out if you'll need anti-malaria tablets. Make sure you're clued up on water and food hygiene. In many countries you won't be able to drink the tap water

Now you know how much money you have to spend, how long you are going for, when you can go, the broad area you plan to go and the type of accommodation you want to stay in. It’s time to start looking!

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