Successful family holidays
Taking a large or extended family on a holiday in the UK or the Republic of Ireland can present a number of logistical problems, especially if you are planning a self catering holiday. With a bit of forward planning, you can make sure that the family break is as successful as you would wish and that everybody’s needs and interest are catered for. The following list may provide some guidance as to what to consider:
a) Make sure you book a self catering property that can adequately accommodate your whole party and make sure that the sleeping arrangements allow sufficient privacy. This is especially important if you are booking self catering accommodation that you haven’t seen before. Make sure the beds and bedrooms allow all members to be paired up or separated as they wish and that there are good beds. If in doubt phone the owner and tell them what you need. Poor sleeping facilities are guaranteed to ruin your family’s self catering holiday!
b) Make sure there are adequate bathroom and toilet facilities, especially if anyone has physical impairment or has any disabled requirements.
c) Are there suitable facilities for young children, toddlers and babies? If you need a high chair, a baby bath or a stair guard, let the owner of the self catering property know. If they know what you need they can usually get them before you arrive. After you arrive may be too late for them as others may have booked the facility.
d) Is there a garden for the children to run around and play in? If there is, are there barbeque facilities? Is there garden furniture? Are dogs allowed?
e) Is all bed linen provided? Make sure that you know if linen and towels are provided. Beach towels usual are not included in a self catering property. Same for other items you feel you need. If they are not listed on the client website, phone and ask. They may be present but were just not mentioned.
f) Cater for the needs of all families members according to their ages. As well as physical and essential equipment needs for some members, take a note of any special interests they may have and check to see if there are activities and places of interest that would be enjoyed by them in the locality. Try to plan your holiday to meet the interests of as many family members as possible.
g) Don’t expect that everyone will want to do the same thing at the same time. Allow the family to split into smaller groups to visit local attractions if necessary. Better they all have a good time than some of them get bored being dragged around something that has no interest for them.
h) Think of the food requirements of each family member. Are any allergic to certain foods? Are any vegetarian or vegan. Plan your meals and supplies to make sure that their needs are adequately catered for.
i) How far away are the local shops, pubs, restaurants? You are self catering so you will need to lay in all food and drink and other requirements for you stay. If facilities are close by, then you can shop as required but if they are further away you need to plan one or more shopping trips.
There will be other factors that are important for every individual family but if you follow the suggestions above, you will ensure that some of the common pitfalls are avoided and have a good chance of ensuring that your large family holiday is as successful as it can be. Above all else, always contact the owner of the self catering property if there is anything that will be important to your holiday that is not specifically mentioned. Don’t assume anything will be there if it isn’t listed or mentioned. When you get there it is too late to sort out any problems. If you’re a small party you can live with it but for a large family party it can become the difference between success and failure.