10.07.2016

11 Tips on planning a holiday with kids




School final exams are coming. That can only mean one thing ...

No, we are not talking about the need to start mugging to get good grades. On the contrary we look forward to the end of the exams with the big holiday trip around the corner. 


For most parents, the year-end break provides a timely respite from the daily grind of balancing schoolwork and occupation. Planning for the family trip overseas is of utmost importance as this will be the time we would enjoy a stress free break from school and work.

 So how do you plan for a holiday with kids? 

Having been to numerous destinations with The Wacky Duo in tow, pre trip planning is essential for a good trip ahead. Here are 11 tips that you might find useful when planning the year end trip.

Decide on your travel companions

1) Decide on your travelling companions

Some may travel with just the family nucleus while others may include extended family. Traveling in a family nucleus is relatively easy as it would mean planning for one family. Traveling with extended family requires more organisation as you need to coordinate the details with different families. 


If you are the one planning the holidays, do not leave it to the last minute , especially for a bigger group. Travelling as an extended family of 5 or more members require earlier planning due to limited  airline tickets and hotel rooms during the peak season.

2) Plan with everyone in mind but do not aim to please all at the same time

It does not matter if you are traveling with kids or with parents, always plan time and activities for everyone, so all can look forward to the trip. The activities may not need to cater to a specify group but there should be activities within the itinerary that each family members have a stake in. 


For example, for our trip to HK, we mix shopping with theme parks and historical sites such as Lantu island. This way everyone gets their 'me' time in the trip and the trip was a success!

Plan for activities for everyone


Remember, it is not easy to please everyone, so a simple advise... do not do it!

If you are going with a very large group, logistics can be a nightmare. You might want to opt for customised tour groups that cater to your family needs to save yourself the stress. Some travel agencies do provide such services. Trust us,  it might save your sanity if you let the pros do it.

3) Choose your destination

Once you decide many is going, you can plan your destination. An extended family of 10 to Maldives might be a tad more difficult than finding a large resort to house everyone in Bali. So make your choice wisely.


 For those traveling with kids, destinations with theme parks are a good bet to keep everyone satisfied. If you are traveling as a single family unit, things would be more flexible and your options will be wider. Local transport such as self-drive might work for smaller groups compared to larger households.


The Haven - Ipoh


4) Go DIY: Book through hotel portals for lodging
In our years of travel, DIY trips are much more memorable than tours. This was because planning is more flexible as we choose the attractions we really want to visit. Without the constraints of a group, we can linger longer in places we like. That way we could explore and discover more within the same period of time. 


If you are heading to a single city with an occasional tour out of the city, a  self plan trip would be a better deal. For holiday rooms, instead of going directly to hotels, we used travel portal such as booking.com to secure our rooms. We like this as we do have the option at times to cancel the rooms without charges. There are lots more travel portals available, so look around for the best deal on the net.


5) Go for apartments instead of hotel
With bigger children, sharing a room with just twin beds is not going to work for a family of 4. Getting 2 separate rooms is also not ideal, as it would mean the family spending time away from each other. Our choice of rooms will often be apartments rather than hotels. 


Hotels might be more glamorous, but the rooms are usually small. Apartments on the other hand are a godsend with the spaces and configuration suited for a small or extended family. Alternatively, we will look for hotels with triple beds or double rooms as a replacement if apartments are not available.


6) Plan a lot but do little
Be wary of many destinations in one trip. For families with young kids, don't be a hero and plan 10 activities or destination in a day. We think 3 destinations / attractions per day would be the ideal number for young kids to enjoy. Most of the time, we stick to one or two major attractions per outing.


No point visiting every attraction on the map when you get complains from the restless little ones throughout the trip.

7) Don't leave it to chance

You decide to take a 2 weeks break in a country and you decide to take it easy. Just do what comes to mind.
Whale Watch - Margaret River

If you are bohemian and raise your children up as such, by all means, do what you feel would make you happy. If your children are creatures of habits and live in Singapore, where every detail is well executed and plan, a literally free and easy agenda might be challenging (unless you want them to play iPad throughout the trip) 

So don't leave it chances, plan ahead, plan for the whole trip and thereafter enjoy it on the trip

8) Buy tickets before you go

While you are planning, get some of the attractions tickets online. Most of the time you can save 5%-20 % or more if you book online. Search for discounted tickets and you would most likely find the right source. If unsure, head to tripadviser to read the reviews of the supplier of tickets.

Tokyo Odaiba


9) Research food options around the hotel
For families with picky young eaters , food research is very important. Look for accommodation that has the 'right' food options nearby. If not, make sure you have access to a Supermarket to get your necessary items for a meal. It makes no point to travel 20 miles just to get a bite with kids.

10) get a portable travel wifi - if you are traveling with 4 or more devices.

What do kids do when they are bored on a road trip... they watch videos on the mobile devices!

If you want to stay online and travel in a group, a portable travel wifi plan might be cheaper than compared to getting individual overseas SIM cards. One can consider investing in the device itself and get the SIM cards overseas. Do note that some SIM cards might not work with the devices, so research first before you buy.

11) Read blogs for tips
We save the best for last ... 

It may sound like a shameless plug, but reading the real life experiences of real life people on blogs are VERY helpful, especially when it comes to planning a trip. There are numerous occasions when we refer to other blogs for tips on where to go. We used the good tried and tested guides to incorporate activities into our trips to maximize the experience.


Compared to local guides, we do find blogs more comprehensive and useful to like minded travellers.
The Wacky Duo ' Travel for kids' series

If you need more travel ideas when you travel with kids, don't forget to check out our travel series below for things to do in various destinations! 


The above trips are all DIY . If we can do it, so can you :)


Have a good trip ahead!


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