How to win at holidaying when kids outnumber parents

By Mim Jenkinson

We’ve all seen that family at the holiday resort we’re staying at.

You know, the exhausted looking couple with what looks like a whole class of kids running around them. Shouting, squabbling, crying. And that’s just the parents.

So how do you plan a holiday with three or more kids without the drama?


1. Plan ahead
Get organised and book the essentials in advance to make your stay as stress-free as possible.

If you have three kids, chances are you might need to book more than one hotel room. Or at least get an extra pull out bed or mattress put into a large room. Book early so you have more options.

Mum of three Claire says “Our family stays in hotels a few times a year and have learned that booking spare beds and cots in advance is essential. It only took one night of sleeping four in a bed for us to learn that!”

If you’re planning to hire a car at your destination, book it in advance to make sure you can secure a car with enough seats and luggage storage for all of you.

Finally pack the luggage as far ahead as you can manage so you have a chance to not only catch your breath in the couple of days leading up to the holiday, but also factor in time for a suitcase cull. We all pack too much on the first go, right? When you multiply that by five or more people it adds up! Don’t let luggage literally weigh you down.


2. Have a game plan
Team work makes the dream work. Make sure both parents are on the same page with the holiday schedule. An easy to access list on both your phones with key details like flight numbers and times, hotel addresses and things to see and do takes the pressure off one of you always keeping the holiday show on track.

It’s also good to be on the same page about what holiday vibe you’re going for. You’d be surprised how often one partner is picturing lazy days by the pool while the other is on a site-seeing and activities mission. Make sure you’ve found the happy medium that works for your family. Then plan ahead on things like tickets, shuttles and restaurant bookings. The bigger your group, the harder it is to be spontaneous and not have it end in tears.

Try to tag team and give each other a little solo time too. A relaxing massage might be just what the doctor ordered!


3. Take reinforcements!
Think about roping in a grandparent or two to lighten the load!

“My mum is a God send,” says mum of four, Karen. “It helps that there’s always someone to have eyes on the kids when we’re away and she often looks after them for an evening so we can have a date night!”

An alternative is to travel with other families. The kids will occupy each other and play together and the parents can watch over each other’s kids too.

As well as sharing the responsibility, it’s a great way for the whole family to socialise too and create great memories.  


Time to win at holidaying?

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