Taking a luxury trip abroad can be one of the best ways to unwind and relax from the stress faced in everyday life. Whether it be a smooth flight to the gorgeous Maldives Islands or a getaway to the sparkling Dubai metropolis, a holiday abroad can be an amazing time for even experienced globetrotters.

Yet regardless of how often you’ve checked in at the airport with your eyes closed or relaxed through chaotic flight turbulence, the prospect of jetting away with your young family for the first time can see overwhelming and daunting to both the child and the adult - the exact opposite of what you want to feel on a holiday break. You may spend the days before the break wondering how to deal with the seemingly inevitable cries of boredom on along flight or how to calm the stress of dealing with unpredictable travelsand extreme weather.

With just some careful planning, however, your first family holiday needn’t be as stressful as you think. Here are our key planning hacks to ensure you have a holiday to remember for all the right reasons.

Decided on your holiday before the destination

First of all, before even deciding where and when to travel, consider the optimal conditions for your fun family holiday. Do you have a young baby or child? Then perhaps it’s best to travel to a warm but not boiling family resort or book a sunny holiday during the winter months to keep the holiday temperature comfortable for everyone.

Time zone should also play a key part when deciding on your travel location, especially for those with babies and toddlers. Just as it impacts adults, any major change in body clock impacts a child’s body clock tenfold - a loud recipe for disaster while stuck on an aeroplane for hours on end. Consider adjusting your child’s (and your own if possible) sleep schedule a few days beforehand if travelling to a much different time zone. This will make the process of adapting far smoother for everyone, reducing the stress of jetlag at the start of your break.

If the case that this isn’t an option, it may be good to bring a supervised electronic device to distract your child from the long flight. Just be sure to keep any activity offline to avoid any anger when on the plane. Another option is to travel to somewhere with a closer time zone. Even with only 1 hour apart you can still travel to some amazing destinations abroad.

The choice of travel location really is down to what works best for you and your family; it should be used as a key indicator of where to travel in the world rather than the other way around.

Activities available

The activities and facilities on offer at your chosen resort will be fundamental to having an enjoyable family holiday. With this said consider finding family resorts that offer entertainment for everyone. Choosing somewhere like Fujairah for instance you have access to amazing beach resorts; always a good place to keep the whole family entertained. I mean who doesn’t love the beach? Young children can enjoy the wonder of building the perfect sandcastle while parents can relax in the sun. This shared experience allows for quality time together as a family.

Just as important as spending time as a family, you may also want to schedule downtime during your trip and look for family resorts that offer specific clubs and activities tailored towards your child. This gives your child a break and allows the adults an hour or two of complete relaxation.

Hotels like the Al Raha Beach Hotel are a good choice for young family holidays as they offer a ‘kids’club’ supervised entertainment space where activities are catered throughout the day to children of all ages.

Give extra time for everything

One thing you’ll quickly realise on a family holiday is that everything takes much longer than travelling solo. Going through the airport there are inevitably issues with security and always when you’re in a rush to make boarding. A parent’s stress level can then produce behavioural stress responses from the child - all before even making it to your holiday resort.

Put simply, no one responds well to stressful situations.

We suggest preparation and additional time to be the perfect remedy to ensure this doesn’t happen. As the adage says it’s much better to be 1 hour early than 10 minutes late. Consider organising all your boarding documents beforehand, keep snacks to hand in case your child gets hungry, and bring a favourite toy for the flight to make your young child feel more comfortable in the new location. If you have an older child, it may also be a good idea to set obvious meeting points during the holiday just in case they get lost during the holiday.

We also suggest booking all your trip activities ahead of time to avoid any stress or disappointment while away. Schedule your daily activities in advance and try to convey this to your child. We recommend booking an all-inclusive trip to easily book your food, drinks, activities, entertainment and more ahead of time.

Pack smart for your family holiday

A key driver of holiday and travel stress can often be something as simple as the number of bags you bring with you. In addition to the challenge of carrying heavy luggage, the more you bring the more chance you have of losing something important of yours or your child’s. The simple remedy to this stress is to pack smart and light based on where you are travelling to. Don’t bring any more luggage than is necessary on your trip. Many essentials you can also buy on your holiday rather than taking them with you. Think shampoo, toothpaste, and shower gel. These can potentially take up valuable luggage space that you could save by not travelling with them. If you do bring similar items with you, consider buying them in travel size to save the same luggage space.

Another factor of packing smart is considering how the destination climate will impact what you need. For instance, if you have a young baby then a sling may be better for much colder destinations to keep your baby warm throughout the trip. For a warmer place, however, a pushchair is likely a better choice to not overheat your baby.

Finally, just remember that there is no perfect holiday even at the best of times. Things will not always go to plan and that’s okay. Enjoy your time spent together as a family and remember to give yourself a vacation from the vacation.

Interested in your perfect family holiday and a lifetime of new experiences to share as a family? Value Added Travel has you covered. Contact us today to speak to one of our experts and discover the very latest value holiday offers on the world’s best family resorts.