Family travel dilemmas and how to deal with them
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It's the time of the year when families venture on summer trips to let their hair down and relish the peace that a holiday provides.
However, it is not always rainbows and sunshine as holiday mishaps happen.
Here are some family holiday dilemmas and how to deal with them:
The single parent trip
Dilemma: You are travelling as a single parent and forgot to complete the relevant forms.
Solution: Make a list of what documents you require for travel and set deadlines to complete them. Complete them a day before you depart as the last thing you want is to have a stressful airport experience or miss your flight.
"The easiest and least complicated way to ensure you have everything you need is to print the form directly off the relevant Home Affairs website," said Laura Hendel, Head of Marketing at Club Med South Africa.
"Complete that and get the documents together on the checklist before you leave, so you can relax knowing they can’t ask for anything else," she added.
The boredom factor
Dilemma: Depending on their age and interests, children enjoy different activities. Catering to everyone's needs may prove challenging when one draws up an itinerary.
Solution: Parents are constantly trying to find ways to keep their kids occupied during a holiday. Finding experiences that can be appealing to tiny toddlers and independent teens can be daunting.
Parents should, therefore, ask their kids what they would like to do at the destination. Taking suggestions will make them feel valued, and everyone gets a chance to experience something they love.
"When travelling with kids who have a big age gap, it’s sometimes more important to satisfy the older one than the baby. A baby will be happy as long as they are fed, cuddled, and entertained, whereas a teen or older child will loudly tell you how bored they feel if you don’t consider them in your destination of choice," said Hendel.
She recommended all-inclusive resorts as they offered a range of activities for all ages.
Get everyone to join the fun
Dilemma: Holidays can cause friction among family members. With different personalities, many may find themselves in a few arguments.
Solution: Include some fun activities that can help family members bond. If you are in a rental, split the duties like cooking, cleaning and other tasks, so some family members do not feel like they are taking on all the responsibility.
"It’s the same with costs: make sure these are shared equally. You could even create a kitty for everyday essentials like milk and bread. It’s best to discuss this all before even getting on the plane to help manage expectations," said Hendel.
Make everyone feel valued
Dilemma: Some travellers may take over the trip, leaving little room for others to share any suggestions. This can leave travellers feeling upset and isolated.
Solution: Let everyone suggest activities that appeal to them and create an itinerary based on their recommendations.
"Let everyone gets a turn to choose something. With so many different personalities on the trip, it also helps to choose a destination that offers a little of everything, whether it’s kite surfing for the adventurous, cultural tours for the seasoned historian, or some relaxed pool time," added Hendel.