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How to Plan a Family Holiday Abroad

By Bidvest Bank
You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and head overseas with your offspring. Here are a few sanity-saving family holiday tips:

Choose wisely
Not all holidays are child friendly – think Las Vegas, Alaska or the Gobi Desert. A successful family holiday starts with choosing a destination the kids are likely to enjoy, but make sure you settle on one that hasn’t made headlines lately – for all the wrong reasons. The British Foreign Office website is an excellent place to head for reliable, current advice. 

Plan, plan, plan!
Ever tried to get out of the house with kids in under five minutes? Planning is an important aspect of any family holiday, and the same goes for travelling abroad. By getting an early start on your travel arrangements, you have a better chance of securing good deals on flights and accommodation, and you’re more likely to stick to your budget as you won’t be making decisions on the fly. 

Check your health
Travelling somewhere exotic? Make sure you’re up speed on any vaccinations you and your children may need before heading on your family holiday. Netcare has travel clinics around the country and will be able to give you all the information you need. Remember: If you’re travelling to a malaria area, you’ll need to start taking tablets well ahead of your departure. Be sure to check with your health professional on what medication your children will need too. 

Prepare for take-off
Already in a sweat at the thought of flying with your kids? Relax – there are things you can do to tame that terror. Start by booking a night flight and then keep your kids busy throughout the day. Hopefully, they’ll be so exhausted and will be in dreamland well before drinks are served. As far as airline food goes, it’s not always kid-friendly - especially if you’ve got picky eaters. Pack plenty of snacks to keep little tums full and happy, as well as distract them. Dry food like biscuits, dried fruit and rusks is best so you limit the mess. Finally, pack books, drawing goodies and quiet toys to keep them entertained, and don’t forget sucking sweets or their dummy/bottle to help ease the pressure in their ears during take-off and landing.

Manage your expectations
Don’t expect to do the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower in one day while you’re on a family holiday with your kids in tow. Children can’t cope with the same pace as adults, so make sure you have plenty of time to rest and aim to visit only one major attraction a day. 

Fortunately, there’s one thing that you can easily take care of during a family holiday abroad. The Bidvest Bank MasterCard® World Currency Card™ is a smart alternative to carrying cash or using your credit or debit card while travelling. You can preload up to 17 currencies at once, as well as top up your card and manage your account online.