I don’t know how you find it, but I think holiday planning can be hard work when you have a family. First of all choosing the right type of holiday can be a task in itself. You then have to think about where you can go to enjoy that type of holiday. Lastly, you get thinking about all the things you need to bring along on this holiday. What a headache!
However, with all that being said, I think one of the best family holidays is going on an outdoor adventure. Let’s face it, kids don’t want to be pulled from museum to museum around a big city. It can be boring for them. They want to be out in the great outdoors keeping active.
The great thing about living in the UK is that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities. In England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is plenty of outdoor fun to be had. Because you won’t have to travel too far to reach a good destination, you hopefully won’t spend too much either on this sort of holiday. Therefore, if you are planning an outdoor adventure for your family, here are a few of the things you should remember.
Take the right gear
When you go on an adventure with your family, the last thing you want to happen is to be caught short without the right equipment. Before you go on your holiday, be sure to think about all the things you might need. Think about how long you will be away from your hotel or home, and pack a day bag with all the things you might need.
Consider the weather and dress appropriately. Don’t predict the weather, but instead make sure you actually check it. If you find out it is supposed to rain, take waterproof clothing, and maybe even a change of clothes if you think you will get soaked. Check out Ridgemont, the adventure outfitters, for more advice on how to prepare for your outdoor adventure.
Choose the activities carefully
You know your family better than anyone. Maybe your kids would love to hike up a mountain, but hate the idea of being stuck in a tent all night long. Take the time to think about all the things they would like to do and choose your destination accordingly. Also remember that just because you are going on an outdoor holiday, it doesn’t mean that you have to do hard exercise. For instance, in the Lake District, you can do many walks around beautiful scenery and also enjoy things like shopping and boat rides. Choose things that suit your family’s personality and that everyone will be happy with.
Remember to be patient
If you are going on a holiday that involves strenuous exercise like hiking, be sure to remember that your kids will find it more difficult that you. Only embark on something you think they can handle. And if they get tired midway, be prepared for it. Don’t get angry or annoyed that they haven’t been able to last the whole journey. These things happen. Take a break and maybe have some food to boost energy. Carrying a bar of chocolate is great for long walks or hard exercise.
Don’t forget the first aid kit
It is always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you bring a first aid kit with you just in case. You never know what could happen when you are faced with the great outdoors. You don’t need to panic and bring a whole pharmacy, but think about the essentials. Plasters and bandages are a good idea for any little cuts or scrapes. Aspirin and diarrhoea tablets might also be handy if you are planning a wilder holiday.
Sometimes you can get sunburnt even in the colder months. If you know the sun will be out and you will be outdoors all day, it is good to consider sunblock. No one enjoys the stinging of sunburn, so protect your family from the moment you step outdoors.
Take plenty of water
If you will be out all day doing activities, be sure to take plenty of water. You might be fortunate to come across shops which will sell water. However, you don’t want to run the risk of not being able to find any later. Take enough for the whole family. As the day gets on your bag will get lighter as the water gets drunk. Just bear in mind that if the kids are drinking lots of water, they will need to stop for a toilet break every so often!
Give yourself plenty of time
When you go exploring with kids, they will love to stop and check things out along the way. It is hard wired into their nature. This means that it may take you longer to do some activities because you will be constantly stopping. If you are on holiday during the colder months where the days are shorter, be sure to keep an eye on the time. You don’t want to have to come back in the dark. If you are hiking, plan your route thinking about how long it should take with no interruptions. With this figure, you can then add on some extra time to make sure you allow for any stops.
As with anything, your children’s interest may wane if they start to get bored. Keep them motivated by electing them to lead your group. This will give them a sense of purpose and make them feel like they are in charge. If you have more than one child, let them take turns to be the leader.
You can also think about playing games along the way. Get them to look out for things as you journey through the outdoors. Getting them to spot wildlife can be fun and keep them occupied for a while.
Enjoy your holiday! And be sure to leave some comments below with some of the great things you got up to with your family.