As of yet, my children haven’t been abroad. That doesn’t mean it’s not been on our to – do list… Things just haven’t gone according to plan over the past couple of years. So with that in mind, today I’m sharing some destination ideas for our first family holiday abroad. Read on for some suggestions and ideas to help you plan your first overseas family holiday.

Destination Ideas For Our First Family Holiday Abroad

For a lot of families, getting abroad every year is high on their priority list. That’s never been the case for us though. When I was married, we always had too much work to do on the house. Additionally, we’d never been able to decide on a location for our first family holiday abroad. I’d always been keen to opt for a family resort with plenty for the kids to do. Alternatively, the kids’ Dad dreamed of a private villa – a home away from home in almost every respect. This meant I usually just took the kids camping instead.

Read on to check out my list of things to consider when choosing a destination for your first international family holiday.

child on plane on our first family holiday abroad

Flight Time

The first thing I considered was how far we were willing to travel. The flight to Paris (For Euro Disney) is only 80 minutes from us. However, there’s also a transfer to the resort of around 45km / 1 hour to factor in. Personally, I’d sooner fly for longer and then have a shorter hotel transfer time once you get off the plane.

The flight to The Canaries is around 4.5 hours long, which is a good slog for any first time flight. However, there’s several hotels to be found in this link which are only a short 20 – 35 minute transfer away from Gran Canaria Airport. So I guess it boils down to how much time you actually want to spend travelling.

Children’s Needs

The needs of toddlers and babes in arms are very different from tweens and teens. So it’s important to work out what you want from your resort or accommodation to keep them entertained. For example, if you, like me have a sociable 8 year old who needs to be kept busy, a hotel with a decent kids club is probably a good idea.

Alternatively, if your child isn’t a fan of noisy kids clubs, and will entertain themselves around the pool… A private villa or small hotel may be better suited for your family holiday.

Additional Needs add an entirely different layer of requirements to your list. If your child has allergies or food aversions, self catering is usually the best option for you. Make sure there’s a decent supermarket nearby if you plan on doing a good portion of cooking yourself, though.

Family on beach wearing straw sun hat. Young couple with three year old boy, inflatable ring, beach bag and toys. Clear sky. Summer family vacation. Sithonia, Greece.

Resort Requirements For Our First Family Holiday Abroad

I’d highly recommend making a resort shortlist to help you narrow down your destination. On my list is:

  • Sandy Beach without tides close by.
  • Short Airport transfer time (under 45 minutes).
  • Decent kids club for 8+ year olds. (With support for kids with additional needs).
  • Good Hotel pool.
  • Air Conditioning.
  • On – Site activities. (disco for the kids / evening entertainment).
  • Good variety of restaurants within walking distance.
  • English speaking holiday reps.
  • ATOL protection.
  • Hospital within 20 minutes.
  • Flight time of under 5 hours.
  • Sunshine, but not 30+ degrees c.

Narrowing Down The Search For The Ideal Resort

Once you’ve made a list of what’s important to your family, it’s time for the fun part. Make a list of all of the destinations you’d consider, and the pros and cons for each. So for example, I’d consider Marbella in Spain for a family holiday, but not Malaga, as it’s more for young and lively holiday makers there. I’d also consider Playa D’en Bossa in Ibiza, but not San Antonio, for the same reason.

Smiling Mum and her two cute children playing together in the sand during summer holiday at the beach

Work Out Your Budget

The final thing you need to do is work out your budget. If you have £2000 to spend on a 7 night holiday, it’s probably going to make sense to look at all inclusive. That way you don’t need to worry so much about spending money. Self catering usually works out much cheaper on paper, but once you factor in food, drinks, travel and tips, it’s often much more expensive.

Finally, let me know in the comments if you have any more time to help me plan our first family holiday abroad.

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