How to: plan a family holiday

How to: plan a family holiday

Organising a family holiday is so much easier with advice like this at your fingertips!

Whether it’s your annual holiday away or you’re staying at home, there’s lots to consider when creating fun family
moments. One of the first is cost. As life’s daily expenses climb, considering the cost of a family holiday has become more important. Budgeting beforehand makes sure you plan fun you can afford. Work out a budget for the number of days you’ll be staying, to include accommodation, food and extras.

Are we there yet?

Long car trips can be a major hurdle when travelling with kids. Endless hours of ‘I’m bored’, ‘Are we there yet’, and
‘There’s nothing to do’ fill the air while they’re fighting over music preferences and space. Francois Labuschagne from
Auto Mart shares a few tips:

  • Planning the trip around your child’s sleep schedule shortens their journey, making it more of an adventure.
  • Stop every two to three hours on longer journeys. These breaks provide the ideal opportunity to structure short activities and games for your children.
  • Games are a great way to pass the time. I spy with my little eye, the alphabet memory game, car tennis,
    20 questions, and tell a group story are all great time fillers.

Must-haves for the car: a playlist with everyone’s favourite music, and snacks to curb all appetite cravings.

Home is where the heart is

Opting to stay at home can be as much fun for your kids as going away, says Dr Kgosi Letlape from Dettol SA.

  1. Search entertainment websites or scan the local papers to see what’s going on in your area.
  2. Opt for simple activities like ball games and picnics.
  3. Get them gardening – growing plants and getting your hands dirty is fun and therapeutic.
  4. Baking together is a great way to spend quality time. Simple-to-follow recipes keep them busy and provide
    a great opportunity to bond.
  5. Challenge the kids to come up with different sandwich fillings for picnic lunches.
  6. Let the kids invite friends over to ‘dance until they drop’ or put together a movie collection and spend the day watching everything from cartoons to musicals.

Border crossing

International travel can be scary, especially when travelling with kids. John Ridler from Thompsons Travel suggests keeping these tips in mind when planning your overseas holiday:

  • Book through a reputable travel agent or tour organiser and check that they’re a member of the Association of SA Travel Agents (ASATA).
  • Make two copies of your passports and visas, and leave one copy at home with a friend. This simplifies matters should your documents get lost.
  • Keep credit card details and important phone numbers safe. Don’t carry cash – use a bank card loaded with foreign exchange.
  • Take out travel insurance for medical as well as lost luggage.
  • Buy a good guide book. If your destination is a large city, buy a ‘what’s on’ type of publication when you arrive, as it’ll give you details on the latest events and concerts.
  • Take a city bus tour of the city you’re visiting to see the sights, and get your bearings.
  • Pack neutral colours you can mix and match, and remember to roll clothing to avoid ironing.
  • Pack some soap powder and wash essentials and t-shirts as you go. Roll them in a towel to
    squeeze out excess water.
  • Carry medication and a change of clothing in your hand luggage.
  • Buy food at supermarkets for lunch and supper, and sit in a park to enjoy your meal alfresco while you watch the locals.


Check on specials: Keep an eye on your favourite establishments, and consider self-catering options where costs can be split. Make sure there are kids’ activities at your chosen venue.

Consider camping: It’s still a cost-effective holiday and children love it. If you’re not too sure about forgoing comforts, book a resort that offers ‘glamping’, with private ablutions or preerected tents.

Did you know?

  • You can arrange with a company such as Airport Parking Services to have your car waiting at Domestic Departures when you come home. They’ll also arrange to have your car serviced while you’re away.
  • The multi-currency World Currency Card loads up to 17 currencies on a single card at one time and allows you to lock in exchange rates – great for budgeting! It avoids conversion fees by selecting the local currency. Available through MasterCard and Bidvest Bank.



Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.


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