The summer holidays are a time to reconnect with the kids away from daily pressures, chores and routines. With decades of experience in making sure all the family has the chance to try wonderful new activities as well as simply hang out together in a relaxed setting, we at Mark Warner have put our expert heads together to share our top tips for ensuring that you have a family beach holiday to remember for all the right reasons.
• Choose a resort that enables you to get plenty of quality time together, perhaps in a family pool or on a children’s beach, as well as some ‘me’ or ‘us’ time – everyone needs a break, whether it’s splurging on a spa treatment, fitting in an exercise class or simply lounging in the sunshine with that book you’ve been meaning to read for months…
• Similarly, make life easy for yourself by finding a resort with great childcare where the kids can make friends and challenge themselves with exciting sports such as sailing and windsurfing. This is often crucial for single parents or those travelling with an only child.
• Reserve childcare at the time of booking your holiday to avoid disappointment in busier months.
• Keep it short haul, especially with younger kids – there’s no point in exhausting your kids (and yourself) with long-haul travel when you have the Mediterranean virtually on your doorstep.
• Similarly, when choosing a resort, have an eye for transfer times to resort – it can be hard for a child to deal with a long bus journey after getting off the plane.
• Save a slog by finding a beach resort that provides all the baby and toddler equipment you need, including cots, baby baths, sterilising equipment and even buggies.
• Don’t overpack – find out what’s available in your resort (some have small shops of their own) or nearby. You can save plenty of packing space on bulky items such as nappies that are easy to come by in your destination. And don’t stress too much about remembering lots of sunscreen and the likes of sunglasses, beach toys and waterwings – most family-friendly resorts will sell such items, or have some on hand to loan guests.
• Save on space by checking whether your hotel has laundry facilities; if not, a simple bar of travel laundry soap can help you to keep clothes-packing at a sensible level.
• Invest in UV swimwear and perhaps a small fold-up UV tent that you can take to the beach in case your baby or child needs to nap but you don’t want to go back to your room.
• If you have pre-schoolers, take advantage of cooler weather and lower prices outside the main school holiday periods.
• Think about booking interconnecting rooms so you have some privacy in the evenings.
Read more about child-friendly summer holidays with Mark Warner.