A boy and girl lay in the opening of a tent

Family holiday tips

Help your family trip go flawlessly

Follow these quick tips to help make sure you get the most out of your family holiday. 

Safeguard the house

When you’re packing for the whole family, making last-minute dashes to the shops for forgotten items, and confirming all the booking and preparation, it might be easy to forget that your home is vulnerable when you’re on holiday.

To keep your home safe while you’re away, avoid posting the dates of your holiday on social media (and if you have teenagers, advise them to do the same). And while making sure your home is properly locked up, remember little things like locking windows that are easily accessible, as well as securing side and garage doors.

You could also think about making a list of what you need to remember for the day you leave, too. It might include switching off the heating and the lights, taking out the rubbish, and throwing away food that’ll go off.

Safeguard the trip

In a perfect world every trip would be flawless from start to end, but sometimes certain things don’t quite go to plan. Rather than finding yourself out of pocket – or even worse, stranded in a tricky spot – protect your trip with the right cover.

There are plenty of travel insurance options to suit your trip. Make sure you choose one that covers your whole family, your planned activities, and of course, your destination.

Barclays’ Travel Pack could be something to consider as it includes RAC comprehensive breakdown cover in the UK and Europe, as well as worldwide family travel insurance.

Be prepared for bored kids

Bored children in a traffic jam often mean a well-kicked front seat or an endless squabble. It’s a good idea to prepare for this by packing car games, e-books, CDs or tablets to occupy them.

For plane journeys, it’s always a better option to go for tablets over toys if possible – you’ll free up plenty of hand-luggage space.

There are also lots of apps that you can download beforehand to keep your little bundles of joy from getting bored or running riot. You could try a brain-training app with lots of puzzles to keep them occupied.

Count the pennies

The cost of family trips can add up – even if it’s a budget holiday or a staycation. There’s so much to think about – from meals out while you’re away to buying new luggage beforehand. The good news is there’re lots of things you can do to make your trip more affordable.

Consider staying in self-catering accommodation and cooking for yourselves, or foregoing expensive activities in favour of cheap and cheerful trips like going to the beach.

Check our cashback partners using the Barclays app or Online Banking before you travel to see if you could save on clothes, hotels and more.

Involve children in the planning

You could turn your children into excited tourists too by researching the destination as a family, giving them room to find things that interest them. Working those things into your itinerary will help them feel more engaged and involved.

The familiarity of visiting places they’ve already looked up will also be a comforting touch, especially if it’s a new or different destination.

Rethink accommodation

Hotels can of course be very convenient for families, but you don’t always get a lot of space, which may cause some tension if there’re lots of you.

With so many holiday rental websites now, booking a whole apartment or house for your trip might give you a lot more space and freedom for the same price as a hotel. Plus you’ll have a kitchen, laundry room and other handy facilities that may be harder to come by elsewhere.

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

Set your budget – and keep an eye on it

It’s easy to overspend on holiday, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – you’re there to have fun after all. But if you do want to make sure you stick to a budget, there are some things you can do to keep control of your spending.

Think about setting a daily budget. If you overspend one day, you could make sure the next day is cheaper by relaxing by the pool or exploring a nature reserve. If you have the Barclays app1 you can log in any time, wherever you are, and check your balance. 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.

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