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Family holding hands and crossing a river

Family holiday tips

Get your family holiday off to a flying start

Here are seven travel tips to get the most out of your family holiday. 

1. Start saving

Keep your holiday stress-free by planning your finances well in advance.

Start by listing all of your pre-holiday expenses, like travel money and insurance, as well as what you’ll need to buy when you’re there, like entry to attractions or food and drink.

You’ll also need to figure how much you can comfortably put aside each month, without over-stretching yourself. If you can, start a regular savings habit – you can do this by setting up a standing order in the Barclays app1.

2. Plan for a family road trip

Before you head off, take time to check your car’s in good shape, that your breakdown cover is up to date and that it covers the area you’re driving to. For a useful checklist for driving in summer, help thinking about planning a trip on the continent, or things to consider when you’ve got kids in the car, the RAC has some handy advice.

3. Be prepared for bored kids

Driving to your destination? Keep car stress to a minimum by making sure the kids are comfy, and entertained with travel games. Firstly, plan your route to include scenic put-stops like scenic pit-stops or attractions that’ll help break up the journey.

Make sure you’ve put your luggage safely in the boot to keep seats and footwells free. It’s a good idea to load up on snacks and pack a decent first-aid kit, too.

Tablets are a great way for kids to pass the time – be sure to pack their headphones, too. If you all fancy a change of pace, try putting on an audiobook for the family to enjoy together.

If you’re flying instead, e-books and tablets will help save space – just make sure you’ve packed your chargers.

4. Set your budget – and keep an eye on it

To help keep control of your spending, think about setting a daily limit. If you have the Barclays app2 you can log in any time, wherever you are, and check your balance. You can also use the in-app ‘Spending’ tool for a categorised overview of your outgoings.

The app can also come in handy if you need to send money in different currencies before your trip – you can send money to 35 countries in euros, USD, South African rand and pounds.

And of course, when it comes to travelling as a family you have to expect the unexpected – so it’s a good idea to put a little extra cash away just in case. You can order your travel money in advance, and have it delivered to you at home for free (16+, T&Cs and eligibility criteria apply). If it looks like you’re going overbudget, think about adding to your savings in advance, cutting back on luxuries, or waiting until you’re in a better financial position before you book your trip.

5. Involve children in the planning

Help turn your children into excited tourists by researching the destination as a family, giving them room to find things that interest them. Working those activities into your itinerary will help them feel more engaged and involved – just be sure to check which local attractions will be open to families, how you’ll get there and that their opening hours fit your schedule.

6. Rethink your accommodation

Hotels are convenient but you might need a little more space – you could also find a deal on a trusted site.

With so many holiday rental websites available, booking a whole apartment or house might give you more space and freedom for the same price as a hotel.

Plus, you’ll have a kitchen, laundry room and other handy facilities as a bonus.

Other budget-friendly accommodation options include chalets, campervans and tents. Camping sites often have kids’ clubs too, so you might get some alone time.

 

7. Pack the essentials

Avoid airport panic and make sure your important documents are safely packed, like your driving license, insurance information, cash, passport and visas – and any coronavirus test results if you’ve been cleared.

If any of the children in your group aren’t yours, you might need to carry extra documents that establish your relationship, to speed up the process of entering a foreign country.

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