Tips to help you make the most of family holiday 'quality' time
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos has partnered with HouseTrip.com to provide hints and tips for parents on how they can get the most quality 'us' time out of holidaying as a family.
Holiday the way you want
Every family is different, and when it comes to planning the perfect holiday, it's important to remember how you bond with your kids and partner. Some families bond through organised, active activities on holidays such as playing sports or going on treks. Other families bond through relaxing by the pool, sharing meals around the dinner table or at a BBQ in the garden. Find a holiday that works best for your family needs and you will create memories that will last forever.
New parents can still embrace holidays with their young family
Parents may feel that going on holiday is difficult, particularly with young children who need to stay in the same room as you if you're using a hotel. As a result, many don't take their young family on holiday until the child reaches a certain age. Parents can mix up their holiday options and embrace the freedom that comes with a new style of holidaying such as renting a whole holiday home so that you have the space and privacy to suit your specific needs.
Make your holidays work for both kids and your relationship with your partner
After the excitement of the first 12 months of a child's life, many new parents begin to yearn for some of the freedoms they previously enjoyed before focusing all of their attention on a new little one. Think of it as kind of a 'one-year-itch'. A good way to have the best of both worlds is to think of the environment you and your family will be holidaying in. Renting an apartment or home that provides the privacy needed to inspire romance while still allowing you to get away can work really well for young families.
Think new, think different, think about discovering things together
It's amazing how many people return to previous holiday destinations rather than going somewhere new. For parents this can be because it's reassuring to go somewhere you're familiar with and know has the facilities you need. More generally, it can be because the 'finding and booking' phase of the holiday process is actually massively stressful. There are lots of websites out there now that make the experience of discovering new places to visit easy, inspiring you to go somewhere different to the usual resort or out of the well-travelled 'hotel quarter' of a city. Discovering new things together is one of the best ways to spend genuine 'us time'.
Bring your holiday in to the home
The reason holidays are so highly valued are because they take you outside of your normal routine and allow you to enjoy activities that you don't do every day, like going out to eat, being outdoors or trying out new activities and crucially allow you the time to really connect with your family. Holding on to this mentality after the holiday is over will allow you to bring the quality time you spend on holiday in to your day to day life, both as a family and as a couple. Set aside one time a month for a holiday style activity – whether that be going to a local beauty spot at a weekend or trying out a new cuisine in a new restaurant close to your home.