Tag: Vacations

Unconventional Family Vacation Ideas

Family travels are some of the most amazing memories one can get in a lifetime. Besides the many other benefits traveling with family can carry, it can strengthen the bonds between the family members and help you introduce a whole new world to your children. The latter one is the main reason why you should look beyond the conventional vacation destinations and trips, such as Disneyland and classical beach holidays. If planned and chosen well, your trips can be one-of-a-kind adventure and you will get the most out of your family vacation. Here are some of the best family vacations you probably never thought about before.

1. Travel locally/regionally

Think about your city/region and how well you actually know it. We tend to set our eyes to the far horizons without taking a look what is around us. Exploring your own city, region and country can make your children appreciate their origins and history more. You would be surprised just how many chances for adventure you have in your own “backyard”, no matter where you live. Make a list of all the museums, National parks, galleries, theatres and other tourist sites you should see, and learn something about them, so that you can pass on that knowledge to your kids.

2. Outside-the-box family destinations

Unconventional Family Vacation Ideas snorkeling

There are some common vacation destinations that are on every must-visit list, but why would not you think outside of the box and ditch Mexico for Peru? Both you and your kids will enjoy the incredible sight of Machu Picchu, and even for less cash. When in Europe, forget the classical Mediterranean destinations, such as Italy and Spain and opt for the undiscovered pearls like Croatia or Montenegro for inspiring snorkeling adventures. Or if you are up for a great beach destination go to Mozambique and see that there is much more to Africa than safaris.

3. An adventurous family road trip

adventure family holidays

There is nothing quite like a road trip to bond the family and become an unforgettable adventure. To make it even more exciting, why not take a motorcycle road trip? Traveling with your kids on motorcycle might seem too risky, so make sure you are properly protected and equipped with full-coverage kids’ helmets, goggles, leather jacket, good gloves, heavy long pants, belts for the rider with handholds for the passenger and the remaining motorcycle gear for a travel journey. If you decide to opt for this endeavor, travel short distances, to be even safer.

4. Work for the weekend

And here we do not mean some kind of child labor exploitation, but the fun experience of getting back to the basics by spending some time on a ranch. Your kids will fall in love in discovering farm life, taking care of animals, collecting eggs and especially horseback riding. This is also a great way to save some money on your vacation, because you will work for your stay. Besides, the food on ranches is usually extraordinary, so it is well worth the work.

5. An active family vacation

With the extraordinary popularity of high-tech gadgets and video games, the kids are used to spend much time in the house in front of the screen. It seems to be very difficult to get them outside, but if you find something that will keep them interested and excited about the trip, you will be surprised with the results. Some of the most fun active vacation ideas are:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Camping
  • Geocaching
  • Zipline courses
  • Ropes courses
  • Boating
  • Wellness-focused family resort
  • Multisport adventures
  • Skiing, etc.

Conclusion

As you see, there is so much more to a family vacation than just sunbathing at some famous beach, and it is very important for the children to understand the same. By discovering a world of differences, they will grow to become better persons with an added itch for exploration.

About the Author

One of our regular contributors, Peter is a lifestyle writer for HighStyleLife magazine located in Brisbane, Australia. After graduating from Australian Institute of Creative Design, he worked as a freelance writer for many local newspapers. Besides fashion, he loves reading, cooking exotic meals and traveling around tropical destinations. His future plan is to create a personal blog about life-saving tips.

 

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6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Family Vacation

Does the thought of taking a family vacation give you the chills? I’m going to give you six tips for having a fun and stress-free vacation with your family!

1. Rent bulky items

The best way to reduce the bulk in your packing is to plan on renting the larger items your family needs. There are many online options for rentals in various destinations. No one enjoys feeling like a pack mule in the airport. This can be especially helpful for things like ski trips. Renting your ski’s after you get to your destination can really help save you from a lot of stress.

2. Don’t plan something for every second

On vacations, there is a great temptation to see and do everything. Pick a few things as a priority and focus on those. It is hard to enjoy a museum, a zoo or other local landmark if you feel like you are being rushed. Vacations are supposed to be a time for you to be able to relax and have a break from being stressed. Planning out every second of your trip can make it a lot more stressful than it really needs to be.

3. Don’t blow your budget on airline tickets

Weekends are a great time to fly. Business customers fly during the week, so prices for airline tickets and rental cars can be higher during the week. Also, sign up for an airline website. Different airlines will often run special ticket prices, but only have a limited amount of seats at that low price. Email notifications can give you the edge on getting lower prices. You want to make sure that you turn to all the resources you can to make sure that you are getting the best and most affordable flights. Resources such as WayToFly can be really helpful when it comes to things like this.

4. No need to dress to impress

When traveling with your family, comfort beats fashion every time. Most sweat pants also have the added bonus of no pockets. Combine that with slip on shoes for everyone and you’ll get through security like a breeze. If you can manage, because of the liquid restrictions, don’t bring toiletries with you, stop by a store when you reach your destination.

Being comfortable is also important on those long car drives. Better for strangers in a gas station to see your family in big bulky clothes, then to be uncomfortable for such a long time.

5. Use technology wisely

Do you trust everyone on your social media accounts? If not, you shouldn’t post that you are leaving your house empty. Also, know when to disconnect. Taking pictures means you aren’t in the scene and sometimes your family wants those memories with you. Doing this can really help relieve a lot of stress and worry. You definitely want to make sure that you are helping keep your home as safe as possible while you are gone.

6. Don’t forget the date nights

Don’t forget, it is your vacation too. Many hotels offer childcare services, or if you have family around, take advantage of it. It gives your children the chance to have their own adventure. They’ll enjoy telling you their stories too.

The most important thing is to enjoy the time with your family. Use these tips to remove some of the stress, because no one should need a vacation from their vacation!

About the author

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

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SONY DSC For those of you looking for cheap family holidays in Europe, with added sunshine and lots of things for the kids to do, then I would seriously consider Eurocamp Holidays. We went to the Vendee in France with Eurocamp two years ago and had a fabulous time on two different sites.

best european family holidays 2014 kids go freeThe mobile homes were far better than I imagined them to be. As you can clearly see from this photograph, they were very modern and tastefully decorated, fully kitted out and had plenty of space for the whole family. They were also clean, tidy and well maintained. Outside we had our own fenced off area with a raised patio to eat on and a place to park the car.

If a mobile home is not your thing then there are lots of other options to choose from including amazing tents, wooden chalets and even tree houses!

Both campsites had lots of excellent amenities and there were constant activities going on for the kids and adults too.These included a golf course, horse riding, several swimming pools, adventure play grounds just to mention a few. There were also restaurants, clothes washing facilities, bars and a disco.

During the day there were plenty of kids activities organized by the camp. You could take your kids, drop them off and rest assured that they were being supervised by staff in a safe area. This was good if you needed time to do the washing, tidy up the accommodation or just needed a bit of ‘me time’. This was also a good opportunity for the children to make friends with other kids on the site.

You won’t want to spend all your time at the campsite, of course. I mean, what’s the point of travelling abroad for your family holiday if you are not going to explore the surrounding area? One of the good things about these sites is that they are always within a short distance of places you would want to visit, whether it be the beach, local towns and villages or tourist attractions in the local area.

Low cost family holidays 2014 kids go free

Our children love to explore, but being young, are usually better at doing half day visits to places and then moving on. We would generally find that we would go out exploring in the morning, perhaps visiting a local château and then after lunch out we would return mid afternoon and spend time at the pool. Later the kids would take part in a camp activity whilst we cooked dinner. On other days, the kids would join a morning activity whilst we prepared a picnic and then we’d head off mid morning for the beach, returning home after stopping off somewhere for dinner.

One thing that we particularly liked about the Eurocamp campsites were that they were very quiet in the evenings. If there was a disco going on, you certainly couldn’t hear the music blaring out. The main noise came at dinner, when various groups of neighbours would group their tables together, bring out loads of food and sit down to eat together.  It was good to see, dotted here and there, little communities of holiday-makers sitting down to eat together, kids included. After dinner, people would drift slowly back to their accommodation, the odd few, chatting quietly away over a drink and nibbles into the evening.

How to keep the price down

Although Eurocamp offer cheap family holidays and the kids go free, the final price depends on the destination you choose, the type of holiday home you decide to book, the additional extras you choose to opt for and the method of travel you use to get there. Here are some tips to keep the final price as low as possible.

When you first book, you are given a basic price which is excellent value – but the way the company makes money is to add optional extras which you can choose or not choose at your discretion. If you choose them all you can soon see the price creep up. So, for example, you don’t need to hire the raised patio to eat outside if you are happy to eat inside or just eat at the outside table without being raised up. We did hire it, but having a daughter who has a fear of wasps meant we ended up eating in more than out, so really we didn’t need it.

The company, like many others, doesn’t include bedding in the package -it’s another optional extra, but if you have space in the car you can save by bringing your own. There are other add-ons like this which you can keep the cost down by not using.

Accommodation prices vary depending on what type you choose and the size you want – but bearing in mind that this is a summer vacation and you are going to spend most of the time out, it’s really just going to be a base to sleep, wash and eat in.  You don’t need the highest spec accommodation. If you are lucky enough to have kids who don’t mind sharing a room, then you can go for a smaller holiday home with fewer bedrooms.

All accommodation comes with at least one bathroom, a kitchen, dining space and living space – so you’re well catered for no matter which option you choose. Save money here and you can spend more on days out. You can also save money by choosing wisely about how you get there. If you are going to one of the further destinations it makes sense to fly and hire a car. For nearer destinations like France or the Netherlands, it’s probably less expensive to take your own car on the cross channel ferry.

Rather than having the kids cramped up in the car for hours on end, we took a 9 hour ferry which saved us a great deal of driving time. As it was an overnight journey we also booked a cabin for the evening, something I would seriously recommend: sitting around on a ferry all night, trying to grab some sleep in an arm-chair with two young children would have been pretty miserable experience to start a holiday, especially when it was being followed by a the three-hour drive the following day. We could have taken a much shorter journey over the channel and saved a great deal on the ferry price but we would have had a much more travelling to do. What we saved in ferry fees would also have been partially used up in extra fuel costs.

One thing you can do is to book a single night at a camp site and use this as a sleep over destination before driving on to your main destination. In fact this flexibility is one of the really good things about Eurocamp. Our ferry home was at 6am and we didn’t want to have to drive through the night to get to the terminal at 5am in the morning to embark. Instead, we moved our last night to another camp site 15 minutes drive from the terminal and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.

On a similar note, I have a friend who always starts his Eurocamp holiday off with three days just outside Paris. This gives his family time to visit the Parisian attractions and Disneyland Paris before moving on to their main holiday. This kind of flexibility would also be good for those of you considering driving to Italy. You could stop on route at various destinations and explore France on the way, whilst breaking up your journey.

The final way you can save money is through booking your own travel insurance. Eurocamp will offer you the option of choosing travel insurance as part of the package, but you will generally find searching online will get you a better price. If you are taking your car abroad, remember to contact your car insurance company and your breakdown company to ensure you’re covered for travelling in Europe. It’s not expensive, but just imagine having your car stolen or breaking down abroad and not being covered – especially if you were not fluent in the local language.

Overall, we really enjoyed our holiday. There were lots of things nearby for us to visit; the camp had everything we needed and lots of facilities; the accommodation was much better than expected for the price we paid; the people on the campsite were all families ( not a single group of drunken blokes out on the pull to be seen); and the kids loved it. Would I take the family back again? Definitely – especially as the kids go free.

Find out more about Eurocamp Cheap Family Holidays

  All opinions in this review are our own, however, we may be compensated should you make a purchase through the links provided.

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