Organising a family holiday often takes planning and preparation by the suitcaseful. That’s become even more important in 2021, with regulations surrounding where we can go vacation, when, and the rules surrounding Covid at arrival or return. BritMums cofounders Susanna Scott (who blogs at AModernMother.com) and Jennifer Howze (who blogs an Jenography.net) chatted with Karen Beddow, the well-known family travel influencer behind the popular Mini Travellers site.
Karen recently wrote for BritMums about some of the best places to visit in Portugal, one of the countries on the first ‘green list’. Watch the video to hear the insights from veteran family travel influencers and scroll down for Karen’s tips for planning family holidays this year.
Top tips for planning family holidays in 2021
- Triple check your cancellation policies – We’ve grown accustomed to checking the cancellation policies of our flights. But don’t forget to do the same with your that of your accommodation, any activities, your hire car. For example, for some VRBO cancellations you get your money back but you’re charged a service fee.
- Get new travel insurance – This also is no surprise but it’s important to read the fine print, especially what your policy covers in regards to testing. If you get a positive test, coverage may vary depending on when you’ve taken that test and cancelled holidays because of red listing might not be covered.
- Reach out for the hotel or resort’s own rules – When Karen discovered the resort her family was planning on visiting had more stringent mask rules than she anticipated, she decided to switch from a room to a villa, so they could could spend a more relaxed holiday if a bit more separately from the rest of the resort.
- Don’t forget about testing costs…and differences – Any overseas holiday requires testing for the various departures and arrivals. Testing requirements can also vary according to your destination. For example, the UK currently doesn’t require tests for under-12s, but Portugal requires them for anyone over age 2. Don’t get caught out.
- Stay flexible – The family travel landscape and government guidelines seem to change week to week or even day to day. Your plans need to be similarly flexible. As a parent you want to prepare your children as well to manage their expectations in case the big family holiday you’ve been building up to ends up being a few days at granny’s or a series of days out. Also, you might consider camping instead of going to a cottage, or hire narrowboat and cruise the UK’s waterways (hat tip to Carrie Bradley of Flying With a Baby for that idea!)
- Know your own parameters — and your children’s – If a long quarantine is required for an upcoming trip Jennifer hopes to take with her teenager, they may rethink the whole thing, she says. Confined to a hotel or home for a lengthy period after a lovely holiday could erase all the benefits, her daughter says.
More family holiday ideas for 2021
- 5 great family-friendly pubs with rooms
- 10 top family beaches in the UK (as chosen by parents)
- Fun activities to do at the beach with babies
- Baby travel essentials for a UK staycation
- Top 10 UK summer staycation destinations