Explore Travel

5 Essentials for smooth family holiday planning

Planning for a holiday. Picture Shutterstock
Planning for a holiday. Picture Shutterstock

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Family holidays can get chaotic. Missed flights, packing in haste, and fully booked hotels are all too familiar incidents that occur to many when going on holiday.

Such experiences are usually stress-inducing nightmares. However, with the right steps, you can overcome these challenges and organise the most enjoyable family getaway.

This guide offers practical tips to plan for a memorable holiday. Read on!

1. Choose the right destination

True enjoyment begins by choosing the right destination. First and foremost, consider the interests of all family members. If you have little kids in tow, you'll want to pick a destination with theme parks or sandy beaches where they can freely play age-appropriate games.

For teens, adventure-based destinations are perfect. If not that, think about places offering unmatched cultural experiences. Finally, adults would cherish historical sites and places where they can relax over some good food and drinks.

If you have a mix of kids, teens, and adults, opt for locations like Mansfield or Mt Buller with several offerings catering to all age groups. Selecting such diverse destinations ensures all family members have something to look forward to and enjoy the holiday.

2. Pack smartly

Packing is sometimes difficult to master. Overpacking makes your luggage heavy, making it challenging to manoeuvre. Contrarily, under-packing inconveniences you, given that you won't have all the items necessary to make your out-of-home stay comfortable. Thus, it's critical to strike the right balance.

Start with a checklist. Categorise your items appropriately in groups like clothing, toiletries, gadgets, and miscellaneous items. For clothes, factor in your destination's climate. Layers are perfect, as you can adapt well to sunny and rainy conditions. For gadgets, don't forget to pack chargers, power banks, and power adapters. Staying connected to your friends back at home while on holiday is essential.

You can also use efficient packing techniques. For instance, rolling clothes minimises creases and saves space. Meanwhile, packing cubes can also help maximise suitcase usage. You can find more helpful tips and tricks in this packing checklist for family trip with Alpine Valley Getaways.

3. Start planning early

Last-minute preparations are not just stressful but can be risky. For one, you can forget to pack critical essentials. Accommodation options become few, and you might miss booking your favourite hotel. Plane or train tickets will also be pricey, and finding your preferred seats might be tricky. In worst-case scenarios, you may even miss tickets to some must-see attractions.

That said, starting with your travel planning early is non-negotiable. Many hotels and airlines are known to offer discounts to those who book early, plus your options are plenty. If it's hotels, you have a lot of rooms to choose from. For flights, you can choose the best time and seat.

More planning time can also give you much-needed peace of mind. With everything set, you can focus on building excitement instead of battling anxiety. What's more, you get to save on your travel expenses!

4. Budget realistically

Finances are essential for holidays. With so many offerings - including tourist attractions, luxurious rooms, high-end recreational activities, and fine cuisines - overspending is quite natural during family holidays. But this can plunge you into debt, making the post-holiday life stressful.

Your winning strategy should be setting a clear, realistic budget. Include essentials like transportation, accommodation, meals, and planned activities. Allocate funds for all these and set daily limits.

Remember, holiday offerings come in a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly to exorbitant. So, it's not always a must for you to buy the most expensive food or stay in the priciest hotel. Stick to what you can afford and avoid trying to spend beyond what your financial situation allows you.

Finally, set aside an emergency fund. Family holidays can be unpredictable, with unexpected expenses. Having some extra non-dedicated cash can help in these situations.

5. Plan the itinerary collaboratively

Allow every family member to have a say regarding the places you'll visit. Involving them fosters shared enthusiasm and collective excitement. You may be surprised how creative your kids can be. They'll suggest places and activities you might not have thought about before.

Some mobile apps can also help you brainstorm a solid itinerary together. Your spouse and kids can add their favourite activities, from which you can spot overlaps. This way, no one will feel left out. Such a sense of belonging sets the stage for a fantastic outing.


It's possible to smoothly plan and execute a fantastic family holiday. Starting early is the key. It gives you time to put every aspect of the getaway into perspective. You get the best deals on transportation, accommodation, and activities.

Flexibility and keeping an open mind are also vital. Your plans may not always work out perfectly. So, accommodate unforeseen changes and proceed with your holiday.

Ultimately, it's all about enjoying your time away from home and the typically packed schedules. Share the laughter, discover new sites together, and capture the memories!

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