Holiday planning for family adventures takes time. Between syncing everyone's calendar, finding the right destinations and then organising all the trips. I would like to share 6 tips to help you make this planning smoother and more efficient. I hope those can help you allocate less time to planning and more time to living!
Map out your year of holidays and breaks
Take 30 minutes to look at next year's calendar and highlight all the potential time off you will have with the family. most likely every day the kids aren't at school! This counts for national holidays, school holidays, study days, national festivals,... everything. Make sure you highlight all the long potential weekends, as cool places tend to be booked up pretty quickly on those dates. You will now have a clear overview.
This exercise can be done twice a year: once in September with back to school and once in January.
For each break, brainstorm what you would dream to do VS what you have to do
Now, gather everyone involved and make it a fun time brainstorming what you would like to get out of each break. This could be just you deciding for everyone, or if the kids are old enough, they can chip in and add their two cents to the conversation.
Take into account current passions with specific sports or phases of history. But also themes studied at school. Some trips can end up being fun, relaxing and educational at the same time.
Of course, limits need to be set and you may have a yearly budget for holidays and activities with the family. Your summer holiday will most likely take the biggest chunk of that. Be realistic. Is there a specific bucket list trip such as a road trip to California or a trekking adventure in Patagonia? Do not underestimate budgets.
Prioritise the planning of big adventures / once-in-a-lifetime trips
Start by looking at those big bucket list trips. These will take the longest to plan. They will involve a lot of reading, researching and time. Look straight away at flights and the best time to travel to your ideal destination. Be flexible on the dates and play around with google flights to find the optimal departure/return date. This game can take a bit of research, but you could end up saving a lot of money.
Don't over plan when it comes to accommodation
Unless you are planning to stay in a hotel, in which case, book as long in advance as you can. If there is a special time of year coming up (like black Friday, Cyber Monday, Back to school sales, January sales,...), wait for that moment to check offers for your preferred hotel.
If you prefer to stay in Airbnb and homes, do not plan a year in advance. Some places do not make their calendars available more than 6 months before. The best time to start looking at summer accommodations is between January and March. This is where you will have the most choice. If the place you are looking at is not available, chances are it was never an option.
Don't forget to plan getaways without the children
Often overlooked but important! All the breaks do not need to involve the whole family. Plan solo trips and fun city breaks together with your partner. It is also important to lock in the calendar in advance. Otherwise, they tend to be the first ones to be cancelled or forgotten about.
This is how I work with my clients who have an unlimited travel planning membership: we map out the year of holidays in one go.
For each holiday, you fill in a briefing questionnaire highlighting your desires for that trip, any ideas, destinations, thoughts and the budget you would like to spend per trip.
Invest a couple of hours mapping out your year of holidays, then leave it with me to plan out everything from the itinerary to the accommodation selection, activities and transfers.
Read out more about the unlimited travel planning membership and book a discovery call to discuss further.