Travel Guides
Travel Guides

How to have a family holiday: Tips in case you’ve forgotten

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to spread our wings and fly. If you’ve forgotten the basics, we’ve got you covered.

What is a holiday?

The word holiday dates back to 1460 and comes from ‘holy day’ – a day off, usually for religious reasons (and unrelated to the “sickie”). Brits named them, Americans started them, Aussies perfected them.

… and a family holiday?

It’s time away from home, work and school for parents and their kids. It’s not ‘holy’ – it’s an unholy mess most of the time – but it is sacred time carved off to escape the rat race and be together in new places.

See also: 6 things every parent needs to know in London

See also: Kid left behind over mum’s passport error

What's the point of a holiday, you ask?

What’s the point of a holiday, you ask?

Why take a holiday?

The First Australians blazed the trail, following seasons and animals to new, yet familiar places where the sun shone and food was good. Then as now, nice scenery and a kick-ass buffet were holiday musts.

Why take kids?

Our ancestors were nomads and wandering in tribes allowed elders to teach kids about the wider world. Family holidays were a vital primer for ‘walkabout’, when youths go alone into the wilderness for a spiritual transition into adulthood. Today we call it ‘backpacking’.

What is this ‘packing’?

It’s the chaotic art of miniaturizing your home life into a nomad life by ‘packing’ your worldly goods into a bag, swag or Samsonite case. The aim is to pack what is essential for your survival on the holiday. The definition of ‘essential’ spans everything from Xboxes to pillows.

Enjoying a walk along the Newcastle Memorial Walk.

Enjoying a walk along the Newcastle Memorial Walk.

Where do I holiday?

It’s personal. Usually you want to escape your life and find a new one by moving from the city to the bush, or from the ‘burbs to the beach. It’s strangely fun to be a stranger in a strange place living strangely.

How do I get to my holiday?

Depends on your budget, time, physical fitness and mental resilience. A fast flight means greater expense but more time at the destination. A long car-trip celebrates journey and destination (and road food).

What do I do on holiday?

Whatever you want. (Or if you’re a kid, whatever your parents want). The idea of family holidays is to excite, escape, explore and have fun. Usually it mixes big fun (epic daytrips) and small fun (sleeping-in).

Who do I holiday with?

Your immediate family for starters, but later on you can mix it up and go with relatives and friends, even pets. Make sure your holiday has something for everyone and don’t take old squabbles to new places. 

Which holiday is best?

The one you’ve worked hard for and need most. But whether it’s Disneyland, a resort in Fiji, a round-the-world odyssey or a week in a shack down the coast, the best holiday is the holiday you’re on.

Yay, the plane has finally landed!

Yay, the plane has finally landed!

What does a holiday feel like?

It feels like spring-loaded thongs. It looks like an unexplored horizon. It smells like exotic spices on a hot plate. It sounds like a foreign song on a sea breeze. It tastes like local fruit and dare-you-to street snacks.

When do I holiday?

When you’ve hit the wall and need to hit the road and go far away. Holidays call to you from afar. They are lights on the hill, big exotic dreams you can fulfill with a passport or car, and a few saved bucks.

Are holidays dangerous?

Kinda. They are designed to push you out of your comfort zone and challenge your ideas of what life is and who you are. Good family holidays deepens your love for each other, the world… and holidays.

What happens after a holiday?

The post-holiday blues: a curious mix of exhilaration and depression. However the end of a holiday simply lights the fuse on the next one. Usually you dream bigger, travel further, pack smarter, and eat more.

See also:

7 golden rules of packing for a family holiday

Cheeky upgrade hack your kids don’t need to know about

9 things you hear on every family road trip

Mum’s genius hack for travelling with a toddler

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