Travelling is the best way to disconnect from your routine and daily stress. The type of holiday you choose depends on the number of days off you have, the budget, and of course, your personal preferences. Every type of vacation is a good way to rest, but sometimes, everybody needs a peaceful escape in the middle of nature, alone or with the ones we love.
If you want to go hiking with your family, continue reading this article, and find out the steps you should follow, to make sure all your family members have an unforgettable time.
Choose the best destination for the whole family
After you decided you want to take your whole family hiking, you have to choose your destination. And this depends, not only on your personal preferences but also on whether you have kids or not.
Why? Well, you can’t take your little ones to places with difficult trails or dangerous areas. If you want to go hiking in Europe, there are plenty of locations which are both breathtaking and kid-friendly. Tenerife, one of the most beautiful of the Canary Islands, is definitely one of them. There, you will find easy hiking trails, as well as a multitude of other things to do that both adults and children can enjoy.
For instance, after a good hike, you can relax on a volcanic beach, enjoy great watersports, have fun at one of the best waterparks in the world, go horse-riding, and much more. Also, the weather is always amazing, so you can go whenever you want.
The Scottish Highlands are another great choice – there are plenty of trails for all different kinds of experience levels and group sizes, and the scenery they offer is magnificent. You can arrange to stop off at some of the villages and small towns across the country, and experience much of it in just one go.
Choose the right accommodation for everybody
When you plan a hiking holiday with your family, you have to choose the best accommodation you can find. Imagine what you want to go back to after an adventurous hiking day. Is it a comfortable hotel room with a big bathtub you can soak in, for a few moments? Or maybe you want a spa, where you can relax while your kids enjoy the play area and the pool?
Many families also prefer all-inclusive resorts, where they don’t have to worry about the kids’ meals and entertainment. You should try to find whatever you think you need. And keep in mind that this is not only your kids’ holiday but also yours.
Packing- the art of bringing enough, but not too much
Traveling with kids is not easy, especially if you want to have a hiking holiday. And packing can be very stressful.
In addition to the normal things you pack for a holiday, this time you must also add the items you usually need when you go with the little ones on long walks. With kids, no matter where you go, you must be prepared for everything. So, you need to have layers for warmth, waterproof jackets, hats, as well as spare clothes in case they get wet or very dirty. And, of course, the most comfortable walking shoes or boots.
But that’s not all. Kids need to be entertained, so bring whatever you think would make yours happy. For instance, a pair of binoculars and a compass might be very handy when it comes to children’s entertainment during hiking trips. Also, don’t forget a map of the area. You can use that for all kinds of games and treasure hunting contents.
Plan every hiking adventure properly
After planning your whole hiking holiday, you must get ready for every hike. Besides the clothes your kids might need on the trail, you also have to think about snacks and water.
While adults might be able to complete a hike even when they are hungry or thirsty, for children, this is more difficult. But you already know that! So, make sure you pack everything your kids enjoy eating. Not only do they need the extra energy, but they will also be very eager to have a small picnic, every now and then.
Related: Hiking Gear for Beginners
Clothes, food, and water are mandatory. But to make sure the little ones don’t get bored, keep them entertained. As mentioned above, a pair of binoculars, a compass and a map can help a lot. But can also play “Simon says” or a fun game of I-spy as you walk.
And when it comes to the regular stops, for a tasty picnic or just to rest, playing cards and even colourful pens and paper might be very useful. These would also be helpful for the afternoons at the hotel.
Take it slowly
Even though you are a passionate hiker, you should consider the rhythm of the other members of your family, especially the kids, and not push them too hard.
The whole idea of this family hiking holiday is that everyone enjoys it and that this is just the beginning of your adventures together.
Don’t forget about yourself
Organizing a vacation with your family is not easy, especially since you are trying so hard to make everybody happy. Travelling with small kids makes it even more difficult. But, while you should consider every member of your family, when planning this escape, you must also think about yourself.
So, as already mentioned, take your preferences and desires into consideration when choosing a destination and finding a location. And combine your own, as well as your partner’s likes with your kids’ hobbies when deciding on the extra activities. Everybody needs to have fun!
These are the steps we advise you to follow to have a perfect family hiking holiday. In addition, always keep in mind that some things might not go the way you planned. Sometimes, weather changes when least expected, or maybe your kids are moodier than usual. And, of course, these are just two examples. But whatever happens, you must be prepared to change your plans without letting the unexpected destroy your family escapade.
Rebecca is a translator by day, and a traveler mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft