Travelling with children is an amazing experience- for them, as they learn about the world in a way in which they never could in the classroom, and also for you. Children approach the unfamiliar sights and sounds of a new country with a wonderment that will inspire a new level of appreciation in their parents; whilst their lack of self-consciousness enables the entire family to involve themselves more fully in the customs and cultures of your chosen destination. This is an excellent opportunity for family bonding- and yet, travelling with children can also be stressful if not planned properly. This article offers a few tips to consider when booking your family holiday, in order to make sure that your time abroad together is everything you had hoped for.
Stick To Overnight Flights Where Possible
One big bonus of African travel is that wherever you choose to go, the time difference from the United Kingdom is not too significant. As a result, jet lag doesn’t commonly affect adults- however, children are more susceptible to changes in routine. One of the best ways to combat jet lag is to fly overnight, as waking up in a new time zone makes it easier for your body to quickly reset its clock. Overnight travel is also a good idea in that your children are much more likely to sleep- reducing the chances of them getting bored and restless on a long flight, and making sure that they’re refreshed and in a good mood upon arrival.
Be Prepared To Make A Quick Decision
One of the difficulties of travelling with children is the need to align your holiday plans with the dates of your young ones’ school holidays. Inevitably, Christmas, Easter and the British summer all coincide with peak travel times for many African destinations, and as such availability and prices can often change at a moment’s notice. In order to avoid disappointment (and to save on costs), it is therefore important that you are prepared to make a swift decision regarding your booking once you have all the facts about your chosen destination. Of course, the easiest way to make sure you get what you want, when you want, is to book as far in advance as possible.
Make Sure To Have Ample Entertainment
By definition, international travel involves lengthy journeys; and in Africa, long waiting times are often an unavoidable part of the experience. Children become bored quickly, and as such, it is important that you have ways to entertain them if needs be. If you travel with iPads, Kindles, or any other form of electronic entertainment, make sure that they are fully charged at the start of every journey. Additionally, it’s a good idea to download your children’s favourite games, apps or movies before leaving home- that way, you’ll avoid hefty international data charges, or the frustration of attempting to download using sporadic African wi-fi.
Book Over The Phone For Added Peace Of Mind
Booking online may be convenient, but it’s a good idea to interact directly with one of our agents over the phone when making arrangements for children. Our travel experts have an intimate knowledge of each of our African destinations, and can give insider advice as to which properties, activities or regions are best suited to family travel (and in particular, to the specific requirements of your family). By booking over the phone, you can also ask any questions you may have that aren’t answered on our website- therefore allowing you the peace of mind that comes from making a fully informed decision.
Ensure Your Family Are Properly Insured
Very few African countries provide public healthcare, and even in those that do, the treatment at public hospitals is often substandard. For this reason, it is important that you arrange comprehensive travel insurance for your family before leaving the United Kingdom- so that if an emergency does occur, you are able to go private. Particularly, if your African adventure involves any out-of-the-ordinary pursuits (including scuba-diving and horse-riding), you need to make sure those activities are covered by your insurance policy. At Africa Travel, we can help you to choose the right travel insurance for your family when you book your trip- so that everything, from health issues to lost luggage and cancelled flights is taken care of.
Africa Travel offers a variety of family holiday options - visit our family holidays page for further details or chat with one of our experts now.
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