Showing posts with label #planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #planning. Show all posts

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

3 Steps Towards That Once In A Lifetime Family Holiday

As a parent, you may find that you don't spend as much quality time with your kids as you would like. This is not for want of trying - but all too often, life just gets in the way, and family life becomes driven by routine. 
Shaking up that routine, however, can be a huge benefit for both parent and child alike. Modern families operate very differently to the way they did thirty or forty years ago - the notion of eating dinner together has vanished from a huge proportion of households, and the rise of technology has meant that young children are spending less time outside and more time in front of a screen. 

Parents also spend more time working, commuting and ferrying their kids around - and even Mum deserves a break too! That's why a big family holiday can be the best way to reconnect with your kids among the madness of everyday life. 
It is also something on many people's bucket lists: to take their kids away on a once in a lifetime trip that they'll remember forever. 
But pulling off such an excursion is easier said than done. There's a lot of money involved, and you want to make sure you pick somewhere that appeals to everyone (something that's quite hard if you have kids of different ages). 
However, if have faith in your planning abilities and you're dead set on giving your children the holiday they always dreamed of, here are a few ways to bring that dream to life.

Get your finances in order

There's no shying away from the fact that ANY family holiday costs a lot of money. But if you want to do something special next year, you'll need to start rethinking the way in which you handle your finances. 
The first thing to consider is where the bulk of the money is going to come from. You may already have a tasty savings pot, or perhaps you were fortunate enough to come into some inheritance a few years ago. If this isn't the case, however, you may need to get a little more inventive. 
One such way you can access the money required to fund such a trip is by looking into home owner loans.
Unlike other loans (questionable payday lenders, we're looking at you!), a home owner loan is secured against your property, making it altogether more reliable.
A lot of people use their home owner loan to see their kids through university or to reinvest back into the house, but there's nothing to stop you putting some of the funds towards a vacation either.

Pick something suitable

Trying to find a holiday that means everybody's requirements can be a pretty complex process. Your youngest might want nothing more than to go to Disneyworld, but you know full well that your eldest would sulk the whole time if your holiday revolved around talking animals and princesses. In this instance, you may want to try and meet in the middle; for example, booking a vacation to America and traveling through South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. 
That way, you can visit Disneyworld for those who are interested, but your whole vacation doesn't revolve around it. Don't be afraid to think outside the box, either. 
Africa may not be the go-to option for family vacations, but it boasts some surprisingly beautiful beach resorts, and taking your kids on safari is something they'll never forget.

Set some rules in place before you leave

Holidays are all about having fun and relaxing. 
So, the last thing you want is for your children to be fighting the whole time you are there, or for there to be a sour atmosphere in the air. 
This type of behavior can have a knock-on effect on the whole holiday, which in turn can leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths. When you start planning the excursion, sit your children down and explain that you will only be going on the trip if they promise to show good behaviour.

Making efforts to change any bad behavior before jetting off will help you feel calmer about the whole thing. Also, make sure you are prepared to deal with all the eventualities that traveling with kids can bring. A screaming child on an airplane is no fun for anyone, least of all the parent of said child! So bring plenty of onboard entertainment to keep them occupied throughout the journey. 
Laying down the ground rules and being prepared simply means you will have more chance to sit back and enjoy your well-deserved break.

*Collaborative Post.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

One Holiday + Two Itineraries = Happy Family

When you plan anything for a large group of people, you half-expect that you won’t be able to please everyone. It’s more or less inevitable. If you’re smart, you’ll be upfront about it - make compromises here and there, take account of any red lines, and find a way to move forward.

( Photo by: jill111 )

Booking a holiday for your family is a perfect example of this scenario. First, you have to pick a destination. This is where the first cracks tend to begin to appear. Say you’ve decided to go to France. Although everyone may accept it, there may be one resigned voice muttering: “well, I said Spain, but I guess my opinion doesn’t matter…”

The more specific that your choices get, the more likely it is to happen.

This can make choosing an itinerary to suit all very difficult. If you’ve decided on a trip to Scotland, chances are you’ve pencilled in Edinburgh Mall to experience. And then the voice starts: “oh, we have a day to spare to wander some random street, but not a morning to go to Bannockburn? I suppose I’m just talking to myself!”

It’s exhausting.

It’s time to accept that on any holiday with a group of four or more people, a secondary itinerary is the best idea. This way, parts of the trip which are age-inappropriate (or others in the party may dismiss as boring) can be reserved for those who want to go on them. A second itinerary may take more planning, but it makes a better family break - as long as some rules are followed.

Rule 1: A Minimum Of One Adult Per Party

Our imaginary touring party is now in London. Mum is a true crime addict and wants to go to Whitechapel. While some of the kids also want to experience a Jack The Ripper tour, some of the parents feel it would be inappropriate for the entire group to experience. So Mum and the older kids can head to Whitechapel, while Dad (or an adult son or daughter) leads an expedition to Harrods and Hamleys. The whole family can then meet up again for a jaunt on the London Eye.

Rule 2: The Schedules Should Overlap

Humans are tribal in nature and this can even be the case within families. If Group 1 are going on their expedition and Group 2 are heading elsewhere, it can become a bone of contention. While split itineraries can save a holiday, there should be some common ground where the whole family is together.

So, on a trip to Berlin for example, Group 1 may want to see the Wall while Group 2 take a more kid-friendly trip to the zoo. This is fine as long as everyone reconvenes for an excursion to a both-group-friendly-spot like Grunewald Forest.

Rule 3: No One Gets “Stuck” Babysitting

A split itinerary should not mean that one parent is always the one doing the babysitting, relegated to nothing but kid-friendly activities. Imagine going to Florence with an art lover and them not being able to go and see the David because it was deemed “too boring” for kids. Rotate each party based on people’s interests and you’ll keep everyone happy.

**This is a collaborative post.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Emergency Christmas Gift Ideas To The Rescue!

Yup, we've all been there.
That sinking feeling when you realise that you meant to get a Christmas gift for someone but you have totally left it to the last minute. Then you have to rush around the shops looking for something that will suit them, and that is in your price range. Buy gift buying, even last minute gift shopping don't need to be so stressful. Just check out my categorised gift suggestions below.

If you are looking for a gift to give to a member of your close family, consider something personalised. Christmas ornaments with pictures of the grandkids work well for parents and in-laws. Also, personalised 'bake your own' cookies are a nice idea, and they don't cost the earth either.

There are also framed word pictures that list all the things your family member likes in a decorative way. They are perfect for nieces and nephews that live at home or even one's that have a place of their own.

Last minute gifts for friends can be tricky.
You want something nice, but that won't break the bank. Depending on how well you know them you could get them something specific like beauty products from a brand that they love. Or, how about something decorative for their home?

However, if you aren't quite at that stage yet, a classic posh tin of biscuits will work. Or, how about or a board game that all the family can play? This makes a fab gift whatever the time of year.

Ah men, can't live with them, can't live without them, certainly can't buy them a present easily! Why is  that men are so dang hard to buy for? Of course, there's the usual chocolates, socks, and aftershave, but as so many guys have beards now that one might be on its way out too!

If you want something that is a bit more quirky or unique, then check out sites like, which has lots of Christmas gift ideas for men.


Remember too that a good bet for the guy in your life is something practical that they will use. Unlike us, women guys don't seem to mind being bought gadgets for use around the house like a tablet or electric drill set. Although I bet, they wouldn't be too happy with an iron either!

Girls and Boys
Buying for the little ones can be a bit more fun that getting gifts for the adults. As you get to look at all the crazy toys on offer.

When buying toys, you need to make sure that they are suitable for the age range of the child they will be given to.

A lot of parents are concerned with the amount of gifts their child receives over the Christmas period these days. They feel it can all be a bit too much, and that it overwhelms the real meaning of the celebration.

To combat this, you can work with the rhyme: “Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.” Buying an item that fits one of those categories will make sure that your gift is both well received and useful.

*Collaborative Post