On the face of it, it’s a great time to spend with the family. In reality, a combination of stress and spiralling costs can make these so-called simple weekends away far more complicated than they need to be.
However, they most definitely shouldn’t be written off. With the proper planning, they can still be the perfect way to spend some quality time with the people you love – as long as you follow the essential rules.
1. Location, location, location
Excuse the cliche, but this is paramount. No, we’re not talking about where your getaway is going to take place – there are whole city guides that can help you with that nigh-on impossible decision!
Instead, this is about where you are going to stay. Whether it’s a hotel, a cottage, an Airbnb or even camping, make sure it’s situated in a place that’s easy to get to and, more importantly, easy to enjoy. The former should not be underestimated – particularly if you plan plenty of attraction visits over the weekend. The very worst thing you can do is choose a hotel based on price, only to then realise that you’re going to be commuting for hours over the weekend.
The classic example is Legoland. Yes, you could stay in London and take advantage of the power of the capital. However, opt for a closer alternative such as Bracknell, and suddenly you’ll have freed up significant portions of your weekend.
2. Be realistic about what you can do
It’s all very well mapping out an ambitious schedule packed with family-friendly attractions but be realistic about what everyone can manage.
Tiredness and family getaways are a recipe for disaster. One of the easiest ways to prompt such tiredness is to invest in a super-heavy itinerary. The result is that you’ll be rushing around from attraction to attraction, without sufficient time to enjoy each one while depleting everyone’s energy levels.
The key is not to over-schedule things and to allow for some downtime where everyone can simply chill out and enjoy each other’s company.
3. The importance of having a Plan B
No matter how well you plan things, something will always go wrong. It might be that one of the kids gets ill, the weather takes a turn for the worse, or there’s a traffic jam on the way.
In such cases, it’s essential to have a Plan B in place. This doesn’t mean cancelling your whole getaway – after all, those aforementioned costs are now going to waste – but it does mean being flexible and being willing to shift things around as and when necessary.
If you have your first-choice attraction, think about your second choice, and so on.
4. Communication is key
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s still worth emphasising. Communication breakdowns are the scourge of family getaways and can quickly turn what should be a fun and relaxing weekend into a series of arguments and recriminations.
Ensure everyone knows what’s going on and that everyone is aware of the schedule and what is expected of them. This might seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the long run. Children, in particular, tend to react better when they know what is happening, and with everything being condensed into one short weekend, this is even more important.
Article Submitted By Community Writer