There’s a myth that children (here we’re using the term to cover kids in the age range of roughly 5-12 years) enjoy any sort of holiday you throw at them.
Now it’s true that younger children are usually very pleased to have more dedicated time with one or both of their parents than they might normally have in our modern lifestyles. If parents are out of the house at work for 5-6 days per week between say 7am and 7pm, then it’s a no-brainer that most kids will be grateful to see more of them on holiday.
However, beyond that, some surveys show that children have their own preferences on holiday. Like all of us, if they don’t get many of those satisfied, then they might not enjoy their holiday ‘unquestionably’.
So, here are a few things that analysis shows most (though not all) younger kids really want on holiday.
1. More time with their parents/care providers. So, kids’ clubs are great but don’t assume your youngsters will want to be parked in them for hours on end while you go off and do something else. Try to find a holiday resort with lots to do for the whole family together.
2. Water. Speaking of no-brainers, this should be top of the list! Very few children love much more than slashing around and making a wet mess. If you select luxury holiday accommodation with great pool features, you’ll be half-way there.
3. Beaches. Many people wonder why children below about 8-10 years of age seem to have an inbuilt predisposition to dig holes. The sand on a beach is a wonderful natural plaything but that presumes you’ve chosen somewhere blessed with great, safe and clean beaches. Put that near the top of your list.
4. Exploring. Kids love to think they’re exploring, going on missions and looking for wildlife and ‘signs’ etc. So, great open areas and parklands are an immense attraction to them. Ideally they should be close-by your holiday base because spending 3 hours in a car getting to a park from a hotel isn’t usually going to result in anything other than bored and fractious children.
5. Entertainment. True, in today’s electronic world many youngsters have a more sophisticated taste here than their parents or grandparents did at the same age. Nevertheless, most modern children would still prefer to go to an amusement or theme park than to spend their time watching videos. If there are such parks nearby your holiday resort then you’ll be regarded as a hero/heroine.
6. Boat Trips. This is another HUGE plus point for most younger children, who find them immensely exciting. It’s worth being modest in your ambitions and durations etc. Kids love a short outbound trip, an activity (fishing or swimming etc.) then a short return trip back to base. Three hour round-trips to look at some sea birds flying over an island aren’t likely to keep the youngsters interest levels up for very long.
7. Internet. Whether we like it or not, many young people now have net connectivity at the centre of their lives. While they and you may welcome the chance to reduce that during the holiday, cutting it off altogether may lead to some issues for slightly older ‘young children’. So, try to select a location and accommodation that has good net connectivity.