When you go on an overseas holiday, most people expect to do some research on the country…the language, the security, the visa requirements, cultural influences and more.
So many people spend a lot of time working out all the ins and outs of what’s required, where they’re going to go, and how much it’s going to cost, plus of course, all the fun things that go with that.
The thing is, when it comes to a domestic holiday, the focus should be just the same.
Why may you ask?
When family time is so valuable, and let’s be honest, for most of us it is, you want to make sure the holiday is going to go exactly how you want. It’s not just about the price or about the time it takes to get there, there’s so much more to a domestic holiday than meets the eye.
MEET THE SMITH FAMILY
Mr and Mrs Smith, have three boys aged 8 to 16. Mr Smith works long hours, travels a little and misses a lot of what goes on at home. Mrs Smith does the kid run, school, sport, parties, music lessons plus works in a local specialist centre, busy to say the least.
The kids are looking for activities and fun things to do, not necessarily going to the Gold Coast and theme parks, but they just want to choose a few activities and it’s a ‘no way’ to a kids club. They don’t just want to have to be bored on their holiday.
What Mrs Smith would like is to reconnect the family. She’s looking for a destination kind of holiday where she can reconnect, her husband can stop worrying about work, where he’s going to put his phone down, and above all else, just be there for the family.
Mrs Smith is really looking forward to getting away from the routine and the time-consuming activities of looking after the kids, getting them to school, their sport, after-school activities and the normal routine of day-to-day life.
Why would this be important for Mr and Mrs Smith to get their dream holiday?
There is a lot of expectation on this holiday, time is really valuable and choosing the right destination is the most important step.
Let’s face it, there are destinations and there are destinations, the trick, of course, is the level of research and planning prior to departure to get the right one.
WHERE TO START PLANNING
So what is the first step to planning and researching your ideal location for an Australian domestic holiday?
Please do not rush this step.
Take a bit of time to do the research. Make sure the whole family is involved. Know exactly what you’re looking for.
What we mean here is, do you want an action-packed holiday? Or do you want a five star destination?
Do you want to get outside in the environment and have an “all sorts of adventure things” kind of holiday?
You really want to know what kind of holiday you want.
Once you know that, you can then narrow down the states, the territories, the locations of what’s going to meet those needs.
Take a destination holiday like Lord Howe Island or Norfolk Island. They are destinations on their own, completely out of the way. And you want some thought before you choose that kind of dream holiday.
They’re not wanting to go where there’s lots of people, and they’re looking for something unique, something that will interest the boys.
Find your top five locations of what’s going to meet those needs for you.
Secondly, start focusing on the time away, the flights, where you live, how accessible is the destination?
Thirdly, speak to an expert who knows the destination that you’re going to like.
The team here at Oxley Travel are the leading experts in holidays to Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.
Why not ask your kids what they would like to do.
What sort of things would they like to do on their holiday? Would it be snorkeling, feeding fish, swimming with fish, hiking, surfing, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding?
If snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, you can check out the most southern tip of this World Heritage listed coral reef without having to go to North Queensland to see it. Lord Howe Island is the place to go.
If your kids are like most, they may be spending a lot of their time on their devices and not looking where they’re going, or what is going on around them.
With that said, perhaps you would you like to encourage your children to not look at their devices, to look around them and to spend time with their siblings? I don’t know about you, but that would be very appealing for our family.
Here are three things to think about when planning your next trip.
PLANNING MAY BE THE BEST PART
Think about your own experiences of holidays and trips away, the anticipation was part of the fun.
When you think about the fun you’ll be having, you feel much of the same joy the experience itself will bring. Plan in advance, the anticipation and joy of looking forward to something is half the fun.
PLAN TO DO NEW THINGS
John Coyle, a former Olympic speed skater recalled in his TedX talk on the nature of time, that life of an 8 years old, summer and the good times seemed to last forever.
Why is it for kids? Time moves more slowly, the brain is absorbing all the new and amazing experiences, processing every moment in time.
When planning your holiday, think about how you can slow time down and enjoy the moments again.
As Mr and Mrs Smith have said, everyday life is full of routine, of deadlines, of doing what needs to be done, even though it can feel boring and unfulfilling at times.
Time to be 8 again. Go snorkelling, swimming, hiking, bird watching, fishing, or do nothing and chill out on the sand.
WRITE YOUR OWN STORY
With the enjoyment of the planning, you are writing your own story, with social media this is simpler than ever. You may not be a fan of the good old selfie, but hey…being 8 again, means you will love to share your beautiful images, and let everyone know you have had the ‘best holiday ever’.
THE WRAP UP
We cannot stress enough the importance of planning your trip so that you get the dream holiday you’re looking for, at a destination that’s going to keep everyone happy and relaxed.
Perhaps you don’t even know what to ask, speak to an expert here at Oxley Travel, and they will be able to help you to make the RIGHT decisions on how you want to feel with your family, to make sure that the family needs are met all the way through the trip.
Best of all, get those devices out of your kids’ hands and get them out and about enjoying this amazing country we live in.