Guest Blogger: Nick Ball of Optima Villas
Good news—despite summer being over, you don’t need to say goodbye to relaxing with a cocktail on the beach! In the face of shorter days and longer nights, there’s no time like the present to think about booking a winter getaway and trading snow boots for swimsuits.
But before booking your winter holiday, there are many considerations to make in order to reduce stress and frustration. From choosing the perfect destination to getting the kids involved and creating your packing list, we’ve got it covered.
Choose your destination
When it comes to picking the ideal destination, some essential things to consider when you’re searching for the perfect winter deal are the length of the flight (particularly if you are traveling with children), the climate and the type of beach that you’re looking for.
If you’re traveling with youngsters, it may be best to steer away from long-haul destinations such as Dubai – which is an almost 15-hour flight from New York. Instead, consider destinations such as Florida which won’t leave little ones or elderly passengers feeling too irritable. By choosing a destination closer to home, you may even have the option to drive, which could be preferable for those who don’t enjoy flying but don’t want to compromise on a warm climate. For those who don’t mind traveling a little further afield, why not catch that Caribbean climate on a trip to Cuba, where you can find warm and sunny days with very little rain? Or for avid surfers and yoga lovers, a visit to Morocco could be just the ticket.
Select accommodation carefully
Finding the right accommodation for your family holiday can often make or break the experience. While a hotel in The Algarve, Portugal, may appeal for it’s ‘all-inclusive’ temptation, if you’re traveling with little ones and need a little more flexibility, perhaps consider booking a self-catering apartment in Lanzarote in Spain instead. Apartments provide all the home comforts you need with that added freedom to set your own schedule that can be essential when traveling with younger children.
Something to consider before booking your accommodation is where exactly you want to stay. For example, if you have young children you may prefer to be nearer the beach or closer to local amenities such as a shopping area. This may also be worth looking into if you’re staying in a self-catered apartment or villa to ensure you don’t have to travel too far for supplies.
Define your packing list
With your flights and hotel now booked, the luggage is the only thing between you and your holiday!
Packing for a holiday is never easy, however-particularly if you are also packing for young children. Yet spending time deciding what to pack instead of actually packing your suitcase can make you procrastinate and ultimately waste time. What’s more, there’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination and realizing you’ve forgotten an essential item. So, to prevent forgetting the small things, it’s best to go into as much detail as possible with your packing list. Although you may feel like you’re spending longer writing your list than actually packing, this is a great way of organizing your luggage and deciding exactly what you’ll need to buy before you leave.
On that note, it’s essential that you pack wisely to ensure that you’re within baggage restrictions. Research exactly what you’re allowed to take in accordance with liquid and gel limits, keeping in mind that many airlines charge travelers fees for checking in bags on domestic flights. Ensure that you’re aware of your allowances with a carry-on bag to avoid unexpected charges-while we’ve all tried to squeeze an extra sweater into an overloaded suitcase, it may be more sensible to leave it at home this time, especially if you’re planning on taking your Christmas gifts with you!
Lastly, if you are traveling internationally, be sure you have a comprehensive travel medical insurance plan to protect yourself and your family from unexpected mishaps like illness or injury while abroad.
With these tips, we hope that you’ll be on your way to booking the winter break that you’ve dreamed of. While all holiday travel can be notoriously busy, expensive and stressful, there are still deals to be found. With some careful planning ahead of your holiday, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your time knowing that you’ve got it all covered.
Nick Ball is Marketing Manager at Optima Villas and has lived on the island of Lanzarote since 2001.