What makes a perfect family holiday?

July 24, 2012

Photos of MiamiOur last proper holiday was to Miami at the start of 2011. Alex and I stayed in an amazing boutique hotel on South Beach, with a rooftop pool and view of the seafront. We drank loads of cocktails, went out to eat, slept in, and did plenty of nothing. In short, it was the perfect holiday. In retrospect, it was also the perfect pre-baby break as a couple of months later I was pregnant.

Six months into Eliza-time and we’ve not yet been away properly (I don’t think trips to the grandparents and a couple of staycations count, do they?) Alex has now booked a week off work in September. Herein lies the subject currently up for debate – do we go home or away, and if we venture further afield, how do we cope with a baby abroad?

So it was pretty timely to see this infographic produced from research commissioned by Jet2Holidays bout the secret to a happy and harmonious family holiday. I have to admit I’m slightly anxious about getting on a plane with a baby but I’m not alone – one in ten families surveyed in the research have yet to travel abroad on holiday for fear of it being more stressful than staying at home. I backpaked round the world by myself for a year with no problems, but going away with a baby really does seems like a whole different ball game; however, nearly a quarter of parents polled said going away isn’t actually that stressful – so there is hope!

The research also threw up some interesting tips for holidaying with children – including taking grandparents with you – which I wouldn’t have thought of. And it concluded that apparently Spain is most people’s destination of choice with children in tow, as well as taking one week instead of two.

But what’s the secret to a perfect family holiday? Apparently it’s actually finding a balance between children taking part in activities and the family spending quality time together; do you agree? I’ve taken a note for future reference…

Check out the Jet2 Holidays infographic below for more details (and a shot of Mary Poppins):

Jet2 Infographic - what makes the perfect family holiday?


  • Emma

    July 29, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Great post! We travel quite a lot, and getting the balance right with something that appeals for everyone is really important. What would have been 4 nights in a beautiful boutique hotel in Prague BC recently became 4 nights in a hotel with a huge pool complex for the kids so we could blackmail them with that after days in the city! 🙂 Hope you find somewhere lovely and relaxing to go! 🙂

    1. gillian

      July 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      That’s a great tip, thank you (plus I’m sure my husband will love the pool complex too). I guess the lovely boutique hotels and rooftop pool bars will have to go on hold…for a while, at least 🙂

  • Gem

    July 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I have just come back from a weeks holiday in the Lake District where my little one came down with gastroentiritis on the first night we were there, so my advice would be to make sure you are never more than ten minutes away from your nearest hospital or doctors, and if you’re going abroad take a dictionary so that you can tell the doctors what the problem is. And take plenty of calpol in case they run a temperature. As for going away with extended family I really wouldn’t recommend it unless you are very close to them, we went with my sister in law, her family and my father in law, and we ended up more stressed on holiday than if we’d just had a nice week at home! I don’t want to worry you, but because my little girl hasn’t been seriously ill before now I hadn’t even thought about doctors or things like that.

    1. gillian

      July 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Oh no, so sorry to hear that – is she better now? It sounds like a nightmare (especially as it holidays are supposed to be relaxing, aren’t they?) That’s really good advice as I wouldn’t have thought of it either…sounds like you really do need another break now x.

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