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Read Mumsnetters' top tips for planning a family summer holiday with TUI
227

LucyBMumsnet · 07/02/2020 10:46

This sponsored discussion is now closed. Thank you to everyone who shared their tips on this thread Smile

School may have only just started up again after the Christmas break, but many people are already daydreaming about their family summer holiday. But before you can imagine yourself poolside with a good book in hand, you’re quickly dragged back down to earth when you remember the planning that needs doing. With this in mind, TUI would love to hear your tips for planning a summer holiday.

Here’s what TUI have to say: “At TUI, we know that your family holiday is a time to reconnect and have fun. That’s why we’ve designed hotels especially for families to make it the best week, or two, of the year. From a wide range of fun activities to all day entertainment including evening family shows, kids’ clubs and children’s menus and buffets in resort, we’ve thought of every little detail to give you a hassle free and family-friendly holiday.”

Do you aim to book family friendly accommodation? Are there certain facilities that make your holiday easier, or that you couldn’t go without? How do you keep your children entertained while you’re travelling? Do you prepare activities for them to do on the flight or take easy to carry toys along with you? What’s the one thing you always forget to pack and only realise as you arrive at your destination? What do you wish someone had told you before you went on your first summer holiday with your children?

Tell us your top tips on the thread below and you will be entered into a prize draw where 1 lucky MNer will win a £300 voucher for a store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!
MNHQ

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Read Mumsnetters' top tips for planning a family summer holiday with TUI
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bikerclaire · 07/02/2020 11:26

We often drive quite a distance for our summer holiday so keeping our 3 year old entertained is vital. We got her a tablet for Xmas (to save my mobile as much as for her to learn tech and enjoy!) so we'll be downloading content for the journeys there and back. I am seriously thinking about getting a mobile WIFI hotspot with a pay-as-you-go data sim as many holiday sites either don't have WIFI or it's only available in one small area. Once I paid for access and it was still terrible. I work online and will be doing some while there so I'll need access. There's a lot to be said for not having WIFI on holiday but sometimes it is necessary and it's very frustrating when you lose money by not having it.

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Pilot12 · 07/02/2020 13:47

We have two children under five so we prefer to go all inclusive for food purposes, if they don't like something you can just go up for something else. Our eldest loves being able to get his own ice cream as and when he likes without being told there's no money! We also look for a hotel that has a large paddling pool with slides etc in just, just for the little ones.

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Asuwere · 07/02/2020 13:56

My DC just enjoy the fact we're somewhere different and out of our usual routine. I don't think we need to travel far as the travelling is the boring bit. We don't have to take a flight for it to count as a holiday. Keep it simple; short journey then relax and enjoy yourselves. :)

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pinkflump2020 · 07/02/2020 14:47

Do you aim to book family friendly accommodation? If we are travelling with the kids then we will always look for accommodation that has a holiday club. The kids love it!

Are there certain facilities that make your holiday easier, or that you couldn’t go without? Could not go without a decent sized pool! My kids are like fish and spend the whole holiday in the pool!

How do you keep your children entertained while you’re travelling? My girls are 8 and 5 so pretty easy to entertain for a short flight - colouring books and puzzles for the youngest and a good reading book for the book work 8 year old.

Do you prepare activities for them to do on the flight or take easy to carry toys along with you? Whatever we take has to be compact and easy to carry. Small travel games we can play, colouring, reading books etc.

What’s the one thing you always forget to pack and only realise as you arrive at your destination? Toothpaste! Luckily theres usually a shop nearby that you can buy one Blush

What do you wish someone had told you before you went on your first summer holiday with your children? That you would spend a lot of time in the room trying to get the baby to nap whilst the eldest and dad got to enjoy the holiday Hmm

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MissusMaker · 07/02/2020 16:40

I'm very fussy, I really appreciate websites that allow me to see all the details that I need in one view. When I'm booking I holiday I am always looking for: flights from one of our two nearest airports, flights that leave after 11am so that we don't have a stressful morning, but also land before 5pm local time so that we can arrive and settle in (obviously that only works for short haul), hotels that are less than an hour from the destination airport, hotel rooms with a separate bedroom, or bedrooms. Plus specific things depending on if we are planning a beach holiday etc. I also like to have a clear idea of the all in cost upfront before I waste my time - I don't care how much it is per person, the kids don't pay their share Hmm

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Nemchen · 07/02/2020 16:52

We’ve not long had a baby but are looking to book a holiday for next year!

We will be hoping for family friendly accommodation, preferably self catering as our little boy will still be exploring food options.

We’ve always gone somewhere with a pool as it’s great fun for both adults and children, I’ve always found it a great place to bond with my nephews on family holidays so will be hoping I can do the same with my son.

After travelling with my nephews I’ve figured out a few tips for travelling. We pack an old pencil case with toys and crayons, a few free colouring books/papers that you can get from restaurants and it keeps them occupied for a while. We also download activity games on an tablet. Books for reading when they’re getting sleepy if the flight is at a difficult time.

The one thing I wish I’d known before we booked our first family holiday with the nephews was don’t make the travel from the airport to the hotel/villa too long! We had an hour or two the first time and it was so much for them. Next time I’ll be looking for something a little closer hopefully only a short cab ride away!

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BristolMum96 · 07/02/2020 18:28

I think its always worth paying for all inclusive at a kid friendly resort

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IHadADreamWhichWasNotAllADream · 07/02/2020 19:01

It’s not a holiday if I have to share a bedroom with my children. I’m happy to cook and wash up and do washing on holiday, but I draw the line with sharing a room with children over the age of one. My pet hate is the fact that most holiday websites make it really difficult to search for connecting rooms or family suites: we tend to go for holiday cottages and apartments instead.

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ha2el · 07/02/2020 19:04

I wish that someone had told me that travelling abroad and holidaying with children is even more tiring than at home!

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MadeForThis · 07/02/2020 19:33

Relax and enjoy.

Lots of small new toys for the plane and stickers, lots of stickers.

Buggy for walks as heat knocks them out.

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SusanWalker · 07/02/2020 22:12

My son has autism so I usually get him involved with the planning as it helps him feel less anxious.

We always need a swimming pool and if possible a jacuzzi as he loves the sensory feedback from one.

It's important that the accomodation is suitable for chilling in and maybe watching dvds in case he needs a break.

I therefore also like there to be activities that DD (13) can go off to alone if DS is needing some chill out time so she doesn't get bored.

It's important that we can take things at our own pace.

WiFi is also needed as if my son is feeling anxious he likes to listen to Spotify or watch YouTube/Netflix.

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Hopezibah · 07/02/2020 22:49

Do you aim to book family friendly accommodation?
Yes we try to where possible. As a larger family with 3 children sometimes we need to book two rooms. So things like adjoining rooms appeal to us.

Are there certain facilities that make your holiday easier, or that you couldn’t go without?
A decent pool that doesn't get overcrowded - or even better more than one pool! And it has to be clean too. Good quality food is important including a variety of choice that the kids will like.

How do you keep your children entertained while you’re travelling?
Longer flights are perfect due to the in flight movies etc. It's harder on medium flights or short haul with no entertainment provided. I encourage the kids to take a book or buy a new one at the airport and a notepad and pen is great for playing hangman!

Do you prepare activities for them to do on the flight or take easy to carry toys along with you?
See above.

What’s the one thing you always forget to pack and only realise as you arrive at your destination?
Thankfully we are usually ok. Got caught out once without packing enough sun lotion and it cost over £30 per bottle in the resort!!!

What do you wish someone had told you before you went on your first summer holiday with your children?
That you will never get another holiday without them until they leave home! That they will wake at all hours if there is a big time difference.

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TellMeItsNotTrue · 07/02/2020 23:21

Make and print a list of everything you pack, when you get back cross off everything you didn't use/add things you should have taken, reprint and leave in suitcases so you have a list to work from next time

Get DC used to packing for themselves to save you time/effort/energy/stress. DD1 now packs her own stuff, DD2 packs her own but I check it and DS packs with me

If travelling abroad don't have a suitcase each, split everyone's stuff between every case so that if one case goes missing its not as big of an issue as everyone still has most of their stuff

After unpacking make one case the dirty washing case and have 3 bags for white/dark/colours inside the case, or if smaller cases/larger groups of people do one case each for white/dark/colours, so it can just be thrown in the machine when you get back

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AhoyMrBeaver · 07/02/2020 23:41

It’s not a holiday if I have to share a bedroom with my children...My pet hate is the fact that most holiday websites make it really difficult to search for connecting rooms or family suites

Agreed. I'd love it if there was a website that specialised in this. The big travel agents' websites are not clever enough to pick only those hotels with accommodation that are realistically suitable for a family with teenagers for a fortnight.

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ZekesMomma · 08/02/2020 01:40

Wherever we choose to go on holiday, I completely scope out the local area online for attractions, activities and events before we go. I make a schedule for each day so there is always something fun to do and to make sure we don't miss anything! We don't stick to the schedule rigorously, but one thing about travelling with kids (even though we only have 1) is that getting out in the morning always takes way longer than you intend it to. The last thing I want when we're having a late start is to then have to decide on or find a place to go for the day. Enter my schedule :)

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zigzagbetty · 08/02/2020 08:50

Echoing above, we really want to book interconnecting rooms or a suite so we are not sharing with our 3yo (but obviously not wanting separate rooms) it can be really hard to search for these rooms.
I always pack too much and need to scale back now with kids so have lots of multi use outfits.
Normally have her tablet for the plane or car when travelling. Were going to Spain this year for our first package holiday as a family and I looked for a good splash pool with kids entertainment. Also look at reviews to check hotel is relatively quiet with good food choice for our fussy one.

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ScorpionQueen · 08/02/2020 09:28

I always read reviews on Tripadvisor but don't take them as gospel, there is a style of complaining that is easy to spot and I don't tend to take it too seriously.
When the dds were younger we'd go for family friendly accommodation as a bit of evening entertainment was great for them.

I used to book everything myself but got stung a few times with smaller companies going under. Always covered financially but when you have to reorganize and chat your money it's a pain.

Last year we lost a holiday and popped into our local Tui. The agent was amazing, spent hours working with our budget to help us get a great trip quite last minute. So we've used him again and will continue to do so.

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voyager50 · 08/02/2020 09:52

These days we mostly stay with friend and family so don't have to worry about accommodation.

I have to confess on long journeys it's the only time I let him have unlimited time on his 'switch' as it will keep him amused for hours!

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Peony99 · 08/02/2020 14:09

Look for sunshine!

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balletpanda · 08/02/2020 14:59

I think getting the facilities right is everything. We love being by the beach but actually the family prefers a pool so I try and stick with that. I love being self catered so I can get everything in and don't need to spend a fortune on food that's they'll pick at! So pool and food = everyone's happy ☺️

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welshmardymum · 08/02/2020 15:24

i plan, plan, plan much to my husbands annoyance! Nothing spontaneous about me anymore - but i think we kids you can't be! We're used to camping so we don't ask for much - some where to sit outside thats not going to be too peopely is always nice!

I'm a fan of the audio book - we have old portable cd players and lots of batteries and it keeps them quiet - you can buy loads of box sets now. Dobble and sticker books is always good too.

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MrsFrTedCrilly · 08/02/2020 16:06

Do you aim to book family friendly accommodation?
When the children were younger this was definitely a consideration, now the location is more important than the accomodation
Are there certain facilities that make your holiday easier, or that you couldn’t go without?
The pool is always a nice extra if we are somewhere hot.
How do you keep your children entertained while you’re travelling?
Magazines, snacks, movies
Do you prepare activities for them to do on the flight or take easy to carry toys along with you?
In the past we did, they each had a trunki case full of assorted toys snacks and nuts thankfully we are out of that stage now.
What’s the one thing you always forget to pack and only realise as you arrive at your destination?
Usually something random like antihistamines or toothpaste
What do you wish someone had told you before you went on your first summer holiday with your children? Not to expect any real down time...

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FuckingHateRats · 08/02/2020 16:33

We always let our kids but a Boots meal deal or similar at the airport. This is guaranteed to waste half an hour on the place and guarantees something they'll eat.

We research our destination beforehand and take notes of places we might want to go with time it'll take to travel, how much it'll cost and opening times. Saves us the logistical headache when there.

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PinotAndPlaydough · 08/02/2020 18:49

We plan way ahead, try and have a rough idea of what we would like to do each day. Research the accommodation and make sure it has everything the kids want.

Lists, all the lists! Lists for packing, lists for the airport, lists of taxi numbers etc.

The biggest thing for us is making sure that the kids are entertained on the plane and at the airport if there are delays. Stickers, books, packs of cards and travel games are always a winner.

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mumtumdocare · 08/02/2020 18:56

Top tips include always researching child facilities at a venue, such as high-chairs, travel cots (bottle warmers or microwaves for littles). I like a small paddling pool for my toddler as opposed to just a large pool full of larger (even more) raucous children.

My daughter is 4 and an expert flyer already. Always give a feed/bottle or dummy if used during take off to help babies' ears during the take off. Always pack a bag specifically for each child with some new (new to them at least) toys, puzzles, cognitive exercises. Wipe clean puzzles and water paint games are your friend!!

Take all the snacks! We have flown in and out of most continents with kids and never had issues with taking milk, snacks and drinks for kids. Make sure any drinks are sealed. Liquids will need to be tested as standard.

Many airports have playgrounds! Research which terminal before you travel. The travelator provided hours of fun to our daughter when she was tiny 😂

Always ask your air stewardess if you need anything. On a 3 part flight I literally ran out of milk with my son who had guzzled his way though 6 bottles! We spoke to the air hostess who had formula and Ella's Kitchen pouches!
Bear in mind where you are going in terms of taking a stroller or not. In some countries the pavements are not even enough to make it easy to push a pushchair (particularly some Asian/South American countries).

Do your research! Always make a note of the nearest A&E dept to your resort/location in case of emergency. Have you travel insurance number written down, stored on your phone and on am email should you suffer from theft.

Speak to your reception desk about a bigger room or upgrade. They do become available!

Have fun 😀😀😀

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