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Take the Family › Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Made When Booking Family Holidays

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Made When Booking Family Holidays

Booking your family holidayBooking your family holiday

We've put our expert heads together to bring parents an indispensable guide to the top 10 mistakes made when booking a family holiday, from scrimping on space to omitting to pre-book kids’ clubs.

Stinting on Space

Many parents don’t appreciate that if they book a standard room for a family of four, they may be saving money but their children will most likely be sleeping on an extra bed and a foldout/camp-bed – which is a lot to ask a child for more than a night or two. Sharing a room also means that parents don’t get any privacy during the holiday.

It’s crucial to explore all your options, but parents may not be able to work out what’s available to them in the form of interconnecting rooms, suites or rooms with some kind of partitioning, particularly if they are booking online. Talking to a specialist who knows the properties in question like the back of their hand means that everything is clear from the get-go and parents can make the most informed choice – and one that is right for them and their kids.

Choosing the Wrong Flight Times

It’s cheaper to fly in the night, but consider the many obvious disadvantages of choosing this option with younger kids and to ask if the financial savings are worth the hassle and potential pain? One disadvantage on your return flight may be that you have to check out of your hotel or resort at lunchtime and won’t have access to all the facilities you might need before you fly.

Not Considering Transfer Times

Many parents don’t look at the transfer time when choosing a resort, but a lengthy onward journey is often the last thing a tired family needs after getting to the airport and after their flight itself, especially with younger children in tow. We also advise parents to look into the means of transport offered – is it a minibus that is going to stop at several hotels, and if so should you consider a private car straight to your hotel? It’s also advisable to find out if car seats are going to be available if you require them.

Not Asking Enough Questions About Kids’ Clubs

Though childcare may a vital element of their holiday, many parents take the details for granted and are disappointed with the results. Important considerations are the ages covered, whether siblings of different ages can be accommodated in the same group if this is an issue, whether the club is free or chargeable, and mostly crucially whether childcare needs to be reserved ahead of your holiday – at larger properties and or those with nearby sister hotels sharing facilities, places get booked up well in advance. Our travel experts have all this information and more at their fingertips.

Not Knowing Enough About Crèches

Similarly, many parents don’t know enough about what options are open to them with regard to crèches. For instance, is there a free one available at your resort, and if so does it need booking ahead? If it’s not free, what is the cost? Is the nanny:child ratio acceptable and is the crèche run to UK standards?

Omitting to Pre-book Activities

If certain facilities and activities are central to your holiday, such as tennis and football lessons, don’t leave it to chance – especially if your children have their heart set on doing something specific.

Not Finding Out About Eating Arrangements

Do check that your resort will have child-friendly food offerings, including plain dishes, especially if your little ones are fussy eaters. And look into other elements of eating – most importantly, whether restaurant timings will suit you. If dinner starts at 7.30pm, this may be too late for younger kids.

Over-estimating the Amount of Baggage Needed

Many parents assume they will need one piece of baggage for every member of the family, but with some airlines you will be able to save a significant amount of money by rethinking the number of pieces of luggage you take with them.

Not Checking TripAdvisor

The feedback of other parents is crucial, and despite its drawbacks, TripAdvisor can be crucial for finding out about specific hotels and resorts and their family facilities, such as kids’ clubs and restaurants. But do filter out general reviews in favour of those specific to families, as not everyone will have the same needs and expectations of a hotel as you.

Looking for a Needle in a Haystack!

With more choice than ever before, people trawl the internet and don’t know what they’re looking for – or what they’d missing. Entrusting your holiday to someone who does it for a living saves time-poor parents precious hours and also results in suggestions personalised for you. And that service extends to your holiday itself. Having trouble finding a babysitter in your resort? Your advisor is just a phone call away…

TaketheFamily is an independent travel agency with access to the top family hotels in Europe and beyond. Guests booking with us can claim a free John Lewis voucher as well as enjoying financial protection under ABTA or ATOL. 

We are experts have a passion for travel and extensive knowledge of the industry, so we know where to look and what to look for, including hotels and resorts with the best family rooms, kids’ clubs, crèches, waterslides, playgrounds and other child-friendly facilities. 

To speak to one of our family experts, simply call 020 3633 0653 or fill in an enquiry form.

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