Family holiday checklist: Legal requirements, expenses and tips

It's that time of year when families are contemplating hitting the road as a unit. Family travel expert Leah Squires says there are some key points to cover off for successful family travel. The director of travel agency BYO Kids firstly recommends involving children in the planning stages, encouraging them to research and learn about the places they will be visiting so they understand and embrace any cultural differences ahead. 

A common mistake she sees parents making is allocating all their holiday funds to accommodation and airfares. "Don't forget if you are travelling as a family costs like food, drink, activities and attractions can total thousands over a week," she says, recommending 30-40 per cent of the budget should be held for on-the-road costs.  "That way you'll be able to enjoy the destination without stressing about money," she adds.

Another common oversight is legal requirements.  "Passports are the most common one with people not realising that in most countries you must have at least six months validity from your return holiday date," she says, adding it's surprising how many people fail to check on visa requirements. "Using a travel agent who know the ins and out will cost you no more and you can sleep at night knowing your dream holiday will be exactly that."

Once on the road, she recommends building downtime in for kids. "Find a local playground where they can explore at their pace or a nice garden to lay on the lawns or have a relaxing walk in between all the sightseeing and activities."

And finally, "Ensure you have a destination and accommodation that appeals to everyone in the family.  Some families make the mistake of choosing a resort or hotel that might be perfect for the parents but boring and not suitable for the kids or visa versa.  Speak to a family travel specialist about what activities are on offer at the resort for every member of the family especially if you have a wide range of ages in your children."

See www.byokids.com.au 

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