Guide for Family Vacation in the Philippines


As you grow older and build a family, it becomes much harder to avoid falling into a routine. Kids are a blessing and they change your life completely. However, that doesn't mean your life should revolve entirely around their wishes and needs, while yours always take second place.

Don't get me wrong, I do the same myself and it's completely natural. It's very hard to avoid this pitfall and allocate at least some time for yourself or your significant other. Instead, we work hard all day long and then continue working once we get home.

This lifestyle is demanding but rewarding, and that's why we all do it. Ultimately, having children is such a joy that it's worth any sacrifice. But, too often it leads to us making these compromises automatically, without even considering if there's a better alternative – one which will balance the needs of every family member and leave everyone satisfied.

There have been mountains of books about parenting, and i won't pretend i'm some kind of guru or something. I make the same mistakes as you all do, and try my best to learn from them and become a better person – for my family's sake but also for my own happiness and wellbeing. So with this in mind, i want to touch on a specific topic that i'm sure many parents are concerned with – family vacations.

Taking your kids out for a holiday could be a great bonding experience. You can break the mundane routine, have fun together and create memories that will last a lifetime. It does, however, also pose the risk of becoming a challenging and stressful experience for the parents. The best way to ensure you have a great time is to plan and prepare as much as possible, as well as keep a light attitude if something doesn't go according to plan later on.

So, here are some tips to help you plan your next family vacation. I've also thrown in a couple of recommended locations, to help you get started with planning your getaway.

Tips for planning your family vacation :

  • Don't settle on the first, or cheapest, destination you find. Scout at least a few different places, and do as much research as you can.
  • Before deciding where to go, try to make sure that place is as diverse as possible. That way, it's much more likely it will suit the expectations of every family member.
  • Picking a location with multiple attractions and activities allows for more flexibility – in case something you want to do is suddenly unavailable or you just don't find it as exciting as you imagined.
  • If your family loves the beach, make sure you do some separate research on that topic. Try to identify at least 2 different beaches that could be fun to visit. The best idea is to pick one popular beach and one which is more secluded. That way, you'll be able to pick the one which suits you the best once you get there – depending on your mood and energy.
  • If your kids are old enough, let them be a part of the planning team. Speaking about the vacation in advance and deciding everything together as a family will enhance the experience and create a lot of anticipation and excitement.

One thing to note though is that you must be accurate and reliable with how your present the trip to your kids. You don't want to build their hopes up only for them to be disappointed later on.

- Parents who are travelling with younger children should make sure the attractions they pick are appropriate for smaller kids as well. Again, the last thing you want is to reach a place only to find out your kid can't enjoy the rides or activities out there.

  • Sometimes paying more actually saves you money, or at least helps things go much smoother. All inclusive luxury resorts are always a safe bet, as they offer a lot of activities and entertainment for all family members.
  • All inclusive doesn't have to break your wallet – if you book well in advance and pick the right destinations. There are always promos to keep an eye for, especially from hotel who offer family discounts.
  • Another option is to book the entire trip through a travel agent, such as www.philippinestravelpackage.com for example. Booking through this site will help you plan your entire trip in any way you'd like, and save you money as you enjoy bundle deals and group discounts. It also relieves a lot of the pressure, when you have a professional looking after you and offering his advice.

Many islands have specialized resorts that are supposed to be child friendly. While you'll need to read reviews carefully to make sure they actually provide some added value, this can certainly be a viable option. These type of hotels offer nanny services and entertainment for kids of all ages, which will make it easy for you to have some alone time to relax.

  • Lastly, once you make a plan try and stick to it as much as you can. I'm not saying spontaneity is a bad thing, but try and keep things relatively organized. Don't let the kids run you over and get their way – even if it means you'll have to endure some crying tantrums now and then. By balancing between the kids' needs and your own, you'll make your holiday much better and more relaxing.
My top 5 places for a family vacation :

  1. Batangas – beautiful beaches, and great resorts for affordable prices.
  1. Puerto Galera – over 30 different beaches and lots of activities and attractions
  1. Bohol – family friendly resorts, lots of outdoors activities
  1. Vigan City – relaxed atmosphere, rich culture and history make for a great learning trip.
  1. Manila – endless possibilities for day tours and fun, great selection of family hotels.

Do you have any more tips for making family travel safer and easier? Have you been to other places you'd like to recommend? Write a comment and let us know!

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