Hands up who’s busy. Like so busy some days you feel like you’re going backwards?!
Yeah, I’ve been there. I AM there. It’s exhausting.
You keep thinking, if only I could just have a BREAK. Just a little bit of time off to get my head clear and have some R&R. And actually spend some quality time with the kids instead of constantly nagging and rushing them from one thing to another.
The good news is, YOU CAN. Think you’re too busy to get it organised? Check out these tips –
Need to get away from this?! Read on…
BOOKING A FAMILY GETAWAY
STEP ONE: LOOK AT THE CALENDAR
Before you do anything else, you need to take a good look at your calendarand work out what’s going to be the most viable time for your family to get away. Does it need to be school holidays? Would a long weekend work? What time of year is your least hectic? Give yourself a rough idea of the options and it will make the next step flow easier.
STEP TWO: INITIATE A DISCUSSION
Pick a night and make it a family dinner night – whether you go all out and cook a fabulous meal or just grab pizza, just make sure everyone is sitting down together. At the same time. With no distractions. Set down the parameters that you worked out in Step 1 and then let everyone have a turn to talk about what they most want to do, or where they want to go. Write it all down in a list.
Is a beach holiday on your family getaway shortlist?
STEP THREE: SHORTLIST
Go through your list and take out anything that won’t fit into the length of time you have allocated, or doesn’t fit everyone’s idea of a good holiday. See if you can narrow it down to 2 or 3 options.
STEP FOUR: RESEARCH
Yes, I know that sounds like hard work, but it doesn’t have to be! Basically you just want to find out if your 2-3 options are going to be viable. So this may involve a quick Google search (check out some great travel resources here) or simply emailing your list & prospective dates to your travel agent. They’ll be able to tell you quickly if for example it’s the wrong time of year to visit that destination, or if the flight times will make your other destination to prohibitive.
STEP FIVE: BOOKING
Once you’ve got that last viable list you can start the booking process. To maximise your time I really do recommend doing this step through a travel agent (see here for more reasons why) – they’ll be able to present you with a couple of package options to suit your budget much more quickly and reliably than you can online. The more information you can give them up front the quicker and more effectively they’ll be able to help.
This is what they need to know:
- FULL NAMES & BIRTH DATES OF EVERYONE TRAVELLING. A lot of people don’t like giving out this information up front – but trust me it doesn’t lock you into anything. It just gives your agent the ability to hold sale seats that might otherwise disappear in between them emailing you the quote and you responding. And because they know the ages of your kids they can suggest appropriate accommodation and activities.
- SPECIFIC DATES / DESTINATION. You’d be surprised how many enquiries I get for “somewhere warm, around June/July”. This is fine, and you’ll get there in the end, but it’ll happen a lot quicker if you nail it down in the initial enquiry. If you’re flexible, just tell them how flexible (a few days? A week?) and they can work with that too – but it’s so much easier to have that date to start from.
- SPECIFIC BUDGET. I’m talking an actual monetary figure. No-one likes doing this but again, it’ll just help your agent get a better picture right at the start about what you’re able to do. For example, if you’ve said you want a 7-night package to LA for 4 people on a budget of $2000 they can save you a whole heap of time and disappointment by telling you straight away it’s just not going to happen. Check out these tips on how to save for your holiday.
- BEDDING CONFIGURATION. This can change greatly depending where you go. For example a family of 4 on the Gold Coast can easily find a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment but in States you’re more likely to be offered a single hotel room with 2 double beds in it. Be clear on what your expectations are. Do you need a separate bedroom so the baby’s naptimes don’t get disturbed? Are your kids happy to share a bed? A pull-out sofa?
- SPECIAL NEEDS / PREFERENCES. This could be anything from dietary requirements to medical conditions to personal expectations. Do you like to have a kitchen at your disposal so you don’t have to pay for all your meals? Do you have a toddler that likes to move and would be a run risk in a ground floor apartment?
Once you’ve sent that information through, you can sit back and relax carry on with the housework while your agent does all the hard work. If you’ve never booked through an agent before and aren’t sure where to start, just ask around – your friends/colleagues will be happy to recommend their preferred agent and referrals are much more reliable than walking into a store! Or contact me 😉 (you can check out my testimonials here).
In the meantime, download this handy printable Pre-Travel Checklist in anticipation of your much deserved family holiday!
Where would your ideal getaway be to? Share your dream holiday in the comments below – I love to hear from you
Anita | Burgess Travellers
Anita Burgess is in the business of making memorable family moments. Soccer mum, travel broker & writer, she’s happiest with a camera in her hand and the sand between her toes. Find insider travel tips and inspiration for your memorable moments on her blog, Burgess Travellers, or get in touch if you’re ready to make your holiday happen.
This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. All affiliate products and companies are recommended by Burgess Travel Co and may or may not be products used by the featured traveller. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.