Planning a trip abroad can be challenging enough when you’re on your own, but when you also have to include your whole family, things can get really messy. This is true with one kid as well as with five – although there’s definitely a trend for the level of difficulty to increase proportionally with the number of children. You have to plan around certain obstacles, and always prioritise the ultimate goal – to have a good time together as a family, and build some good memories for the future!
You Can’t Please Everyone at Every Step
One major thing you need to understand early on is that it’s sometimes – quite often, actually – impossible to please the entire group from start to finish. Different people have different interests, and that doesn’t even have to include the kids – you might be interested in seeing different types of things from your significant other too.
Having a good time as a family is all about making compromises, and letting everyone get their fair share of the overall fun. As long as everyone understands that they’ll eventually get their own way, there shouldn’t be any conflicts within the group.
A Car Can Simplify a Lot
Appropriate transportation is very important when travelling with a whole family, and at some point, you won’t be able to get around with public transport anymore. You’ll need something more reliable that doesn’t impede you so much, and the answer to that problem is a car. Whether it’s your own or a rental, a personal vehicle can make things much smoother, especially if you’re travelling with smaller children.
Remember that certain types of incidents can get quite expensive when you’re abroad though, so plan ahead accordingly. Compare car insurance rates before setting off, look up information about the region so that you can anticipate the kinds of problems you might face, and have some emergency contacts available at all times. For instance, if you were travelling to Northern Ireland then you can find specialist services like Compare NI to simplify this process so you can focus your attention on other details. Not only can you compare NI policies via CompareNI.com, but you will have access to deals exclusively available to their site. As long as you take the right precautions, a car is still a simpler option than travelling by any other means.
Have a Backup Plan – or Two
Things might not always work out as you intended. The attractions you wanted to see might be closed, the weather might play a nasty trick on you, and so much more. You can’t prevent these kinds of things from happening, but you can definitely do a lot to prevent them from being a major issue in your trip in the first place. Have a backup plan for the most important points of your trip, and make sure that everyone is on board with the substitute.
Sometimes you might get hints of these things while the trip is underway. Pay attention to your surroundings, and try to chat up some locals if you can. They can be an invaluable source of information about alternative options for some of the things that you might be interested in doing.
Pack Lighter the First Time
Many families tend to make the same mistake on their first trip – they overpack, and end up severely impairing their ability to travel around the area easily. You might want to take a lot of things with you, and that’s definitely an option, but it’s one that you should use a bit later on. If you’re just starting out with the whole experience, it’s best to focus on only bringing the essentials, and ensure that you remain as mobile as possible throughout the trip.
It’s All About the Memories
Last but certainly not least, remember why you’re doing this in the first place. Exploring the world becomes a different experience once you start doing it with your family. The focus shifts from having a good time by yourself, to building some great memories with the people that surround you, and ensuring that you can come back to them later on. To that end, try to put the little things aside and ignore the various minor problems that will inevitably come up. Always keep your spirits up, and try to bond as much as possible over your shared experience.
And of course, bring a good camera if you can. You’ll regret not having any pictures to come back to later. You don’t have to be a great photographer – it’s not about capturing the majesty of whatever place you’ve chosen to travel to. The point is to have lots of photos of you and the whole family having fun together. Your kids will be especially grateful that you’ve taken the time to do that later on.
And the best part is, exploring the world keeps getting easier and more accessible to pretty much everyone on a constant basis. Prices are going down, technology is making it simpler to find the best deals and stay safe, and it’s easier than ever to capture those memories, preserve them, and come back to them later on!