Summer is fading fast, and before we know it, the kids will be back at school, and we’ll be hurtling towards half-term. If you’re eager to keep boredom at bay, it’s never too early to make plans. Whether you’re going away, or treating the children to days out, booking in advance can often save you time and money. If you like to plan ahead, here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Are you keen to make the most of your time off and go abroad? If so, there are various options open to you. You could soak up a little autumn sunshine and visit Spain, Italy or Portugal. Hit the beach and relax. Alternatively, organise a city break and take a tour of the sights. Popular destinations include Paris, Madrid, Prague, and Rome. If you want the best of both worlds, Barcelona, Pisa, and Valencia are excellent options.
Holiday prices tend to peak during the school holidays. If you are interested in going overseas, it’s best to book early or wait until the last minute. If you’re open-minded when it comes to destinations, you can get some amazing deals by booking a couple of days before you travel.
City breaks are often associated with adults, but they are an excellent choice for families. Flights tend to be inexpensive, and you can fill your days with all kinds of activities. If you’re visiting Paris, for example, you can tick off all the must-sees. Visit the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, and Notre Dame. If you’re flying to Rome, marvel at the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain. It’s always wise to have a rough idea of what you want to do before you fly. This will prevent you from wasting time, and reduce the risk of getting lost! Check out some online travel guides and books. You may also find it useful to read some reviews and get recommendations from friends or colleagues.
We may not have ideal weather for beach days and picnics in the park. But there’s a lot to be said for opting for a staycation in the UK. If you fancy an outdoor adventure, head to the Lake District, Bodmin Moor or the Yorkshire Dales. If you like the sound of charming villages and sea views, make for Devon, Cornwall or Dorset. It may not be camping weather, but you could book a seaside lodge or a hotel. Alternatively, take the kids on a cultural tour and book a few days in London, Newcastle, Liverpool or Bristol.
If you choose to visit London, it’s well worth planning your trip before you go. There is so much to see and do. If you have a rough itinerary, this will ensure that you don’t miss any highlights. Many of the museums are free of charge. If you are including paying attractions in your plans, it may be better value to buy a bundle. You can often save money by combining entrance tickets. Tourist hotspots include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye. It’s beneficial to invest in a travel card or buy an Oyster card for your break. The tube can be daunting if you’re not a seasoned pro. But once you know where you’re going, it’s easy to navigate your way. If you do need help, simply ask an attendant at the station. You can plan your journey online by typing in your starting point and desired destination. You’ll be shown bus, train, and underground routes. Often, it’s possible to walk between attractions.
If you don’t fancy going away for half-term, you can have plenty of fun at home. You can enjoy all kinds of days out without spending hours on the motorway or jumping on a plane. Blackpool is a family favourite, and there’s no danger of kids getting bored. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a major draw for both children and adults looking for a fun day out. It’s wise to book your tickets in advance, as Internet rates tend to be lower. If you’re going with friends, you can also take advantage of discounts. Once you’ve got your email confirmation, get ready to brave some of the UK’s most exhilarating rides. Tackle the Big One if you’re an adrenaline junkie with a head for heights. If you have young children, they will love Nickelodeon Land. Here, you can meet Dora the Explorer, Spongebob, and the Rugrats. Once you’ve had enough of being thrown around and turned upside down, stroll along the promenade and enjoy fish and chips on the seafront. Take in the views from the top of the tower or get wet and wild at The Sandcastle.
The zoo is another fantastic place to enjoy a day out. Chester, Twycross and London zoos are among the UK’s most popular options. Book tickets online to avoid the queues, and try and research feeding times. Many zoos have special events running throughout the holidays, so it’s worth doing a little research. If it’s miserable outside, a visit to the aquarium could save the day.
If your kids are adventurers in the making, consider some active pursuits. Search online for local climbing walls or water sports centres. Look out for children’s swimming sessions at the leisure centre or try something new as a family. You could go rafting, mountain biking or abseiling, for example.
Museums are another great idea for wet and windy days. Try and opt for child-friendly museums, which have interactive displays and exhibitions. Halifax’s Eureka and London’s Natural History Museum will keep kids occupied for hours on end.
The summer holidays are only just ending, but half-term is on the horizon. It’s a good idea to try and make some plans now. You can save money by booking tickets or holidays in advance. You’ll also enjoy peace of mind that you won’t have to deal with the kids moaning that they’re bored. Do a bit of research, make some inquiries, and then look forward to spending quality time together.