Best 5 Tips for Planning a Family Holiday

Planning a family holiday can be a bit like trying to get your toddler to wear a raincoat on a stormy day – surprisingly challenging. After decades of personalizing luxury holidays for families all over the world, we’ve worked out a solid step by step process on how to plan a family vacation. Not only does it work (check out some feedback from someof our many happy family Lightfoot’ers) but we’ve also tried to make it fun and have broken it down into 5 actionable stages.

Or, if you’re just keen to get going and skip to the good part (talking to one of the Lightfoot team) – fill in our enquiry form and one of us will get back to you within 24 hrs. We’re here – ready and waiting.

Stage 1: Where do I start when planning a family holiday? The dreamy bit...

        Write down a list of three destinations that you’d like to visit, or experiences you’d like to have.

        Make it personal by considering each of your different family members. Get them to write down the top three things that are most important to them on any holiday. Eg – good food, great weather, lots of activities, air conditioning, the chance to have a child free morning each day, whatever it might be

        Learn from the past and reflect on your favourite (and least favourite) holidays. Write down three things that made them great (and three things that didn’t).

        Stage 2: The practical part...

                Check your school term dates. It might seem like an obvious step, but it's undoubtedly the most crucial one! Sync your calendars to be sure that your children don’t miss any important educational commitments and working parents can co-ordinate their diaries accordingly. Write these down so you have clear windows for travel – try and allow some wriggle room around your dates.

                Consider the budget. It’s always hard to put a price on something as special as family time, but having an idea from the outset of what you’d like to spend will always make the process easier and avoid disappointment down the road. As part of your financial planning work out a budget for everything (including flights, visas, vaccinations, tips, insurance, all food and drink etc) and from this try and separate off a budget for the core parts of the trip – such as accommodation, internal transfers etc. There are always unexpected costs, and your quote will not include every travel expense.

                Allow some time. Travelling as a family inevitably requires more planning, more rooms and is often done over peak periods. Particularly if you have your heart set on somewhere, don’t leave things until the last minute. We recommend at least a six-month lead time for more adventurous trips with multiple destinations and at least six weeks for simple single destination itineraries. For example, now would be a great time to plan an October half term safari – or a Spring Break beach escape.

                Do a travel brain dump. Download ALL your thoughts, concerns and queries onto a single piece of paper and then try and sort them into order of importance.

                Stage 3: The planning stage...

                    ContactLightfoot Travel!

                    Take all the information and thoughts you have gathered from the first two stages share it with us over a phone call – or on an email if preferred. We will want to know everything about you and your family, including all of the information above. We then take this away and use our expert knowledge, personal connections and extensive travel experience to put together a bespoke proposal for you.

                    Stage 4: Getting ready to go...

                    Mobilising a family for a holiday is complicated enough, we make it easier by helping you to remember all the things you need to do like:

                    • Taking out travel insurance
                    • Organising visas
                    • Vaccinations

                    We will also take you through your trip again before you go to make sure that you know what is happening when and that we have all the little details taken care of.

                    Stage 5: The main event...

                    The Lightfoot team and our partners will be there throughout your trip with 24/7 emergency support, we are here if you need us, meaning you can focus on the important stuff – spending precious time with your family.

                    A selection of our favourite family itineraries

                    The Maldives is a beautiful destination for a family holiday. One&Only Reethi Rah is an island resort buzzing with life and energy. Staff are constantly thinking up new ways to keep guests entertained, from the KidsOnly Club to excursions for teenagers and relaxing and romantic activities for parents.

                    A pinch of relaxation and a touch of adventure makes the perfect mix for a holiday. Combine the pristine beaches of Mauritius with the profusion of wildlife in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and you have the ideal match.

                    Sri Lanka offers a wealth of experiences – and varying landscapes - for families. Pick tea leaves in the Central Highlands, look for leopards while on safari on the east coast, and unwind on golden beaches.

                    Why chose Lightfoot Travel for your next family holiday:


                    Everything we do is personal – we're genuinely passionate about travel. From the fun games we have tried to create to get the whole family excited about your next trip, to the personal relationships we have with the amazing people we work with in the many different destinations we send our guests to. And of course, the personal nature of every itinerary we create.


                    We are what we say we are. We have children ourselves and have been dragging them around the world since they were born. We know what works and what doesn’t. There will always be things that we can’t control, but we’ll be honest with you and make sure that your experience with us, and on your holiday, is as real and special as possible.


                    Did we say we are passionate about travel? Because we really really are. Between us we have decades of travel experience. Whilst we can’t claim to know the ins and outs of every single destination in the world, we certainly know a lot more than most and we are definitely experts in organising and operating incredible luxury family holidays.

                    So what are you waiting for – get dreaming and we’ll be here to do the planning for you.

                    Suggested Itineraries

                    Classic Zimbabwe

                    Zimbabwe Africa

                    • Marvel at Zimbabwe’s abundant birdlife on a birding safari

                    • Take a thrilling bush walk looking for elephants and black rhinos

                    • Catch your dinner on a fishing excursion in Matusadona National Park

                    • Hear the bush come to life at night on a nocturnal safari drive

                    • Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River next to Victoria Falls

                    When to go:

                    J F M A M J J A S O N D
                    ideal length 11 nights

                    Highlights of Jordan

                    Petra, Wadi Rum & Dana Nature Reserve Amman & the Dead Sea

                    • View Petra’s Treasury at dawn and dusk

                    • Stay in a luxury tented camp deep in the heart of the Wadi Rum

                    • Meet Bedouin communities and hike through remote wadis

                    • Experience the wonderful sensation of floating in the Dead Sea

                    • Stay at a charming ecolodge in the Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan

                    When to go:

                    J F M A M J J A S O N D
                    ideal length 4 nights

                    Long Weekends in Cebu

                    Cebu & Bohol Philippines Asia

                    • Visit Bohol’s Chocolate Hills, a unique geological formation of cone-shaped hills

                    • Catch a glimpse of the cute but endangered tarsiers, the world’s smallest primate

                    • Enjoy lunch on a floating restaurant on the Loboc River

                    • Relax on Cebu’s pristine white-sand beaches

                    • Stay in an intimate, boutique resort on Mactan’s oceanfront

                    When to go:

                    J F M A M J J A S O N D
                    ideal length 3 nights
                    Destinations Featured in the Article
                    Japan, Mount Fuji, Autumn Season, Lake Kawaguchiko


                    Discover the best holiday experiences Asia has to offer, from fascinating culture to delicious cuisine, to some of the best beaches in the world.

                    Indonesia Floating Market


                    Indonesia is ideal for getting away from it all, offering white sand beaches, luxury villas and resorts, dreamy sunsets and world-class watersports.

                    Table mountain sunset, Cape town, South Africa

                    South Africa

                    Visit South Africa for a luxury safari, natural beauty, culture and history, vibrant cities, rugged coastlines and incredible food and wine.

                    Salt lake in Los Flamencos National Reserve, desert Atacama, Chile

                    South America

                    Let our South America experts curate your perfect luxury holiday ranging from Inca trail trekking, Amazon River cruising, Samba dancing, or humpback whale sightings.

                    Rome, Italy. Papal Basilica Of St. Peter In The Vatican. Aelian Bridge


                    Lightfoot Travel brings you the finest luxury experiences from all corners of culture-rich Europe, including vineyard tours and Arctic voyages.

                    Choose Lightfoot Travel
                    • Knowledge
                    • Expertly Crafted
                    • Value
                    • Peace of Mind