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Staying sane on family holidays

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Herald Travel readers share their tips on how to handle the stresses of a family break.
'Take a deep breath and pause to consider how fortunate you are to have a holiday with family,' writes Caroline Milner. Photo / Thinkstock
'Take a deep breath and pause to consider how fortunate you are to have a holiday with family,' writes Caroline Milner. Photo / Thinkstock

If the country you are travelling to allows it, take some of your kids' favourite foods from home (unopened in packets or cans is usually okay). Although it's great to encourage the kids to try the local cuisine, you may be grateful for a taste of home when they are tired and refusing to eat anything.
- Rob Carter, Papamoa

My tip for staying sane on a family holiday is simply to stay home yourself and send the family on holiday or go on holiday by yourself and the family stays home. Simple.
- Steve Hodgson, Te Puke

Take a deep breath and pause to consider how fortunate you are to have a holiday with family, how precious they are and how the memories from your holiday will stay in your heart forever and give you comfort and warmth forever when you think back to your special time together.
- Caroline Milner, Glenfield

Get the whole family involved in planning what to do during your holiday.

Let the kids choose a day - or at least a half day - where they get to decide what activities to do, what to eat, etc. It may mean you have to do a few kids' activities (which you may in fact enjoy more than you thought) or eat icecream for breakfast, but at least you'll get to go shopping or have a quiet rest on the beach when it comes to your turn.
- Leah Carter, Papamoa

Ensure that each day at least one of the activities planned is suited to each family member (i.e. four members, four suitable activities). They might all be at the same venue but all family members get to choose an activity. It could be a roller coaster ride or a cup of coffee - everyone is considered at least once in the day.
- Marjanna Jones, Henderson

Always have an unlimited supply of food for the kids. Plan well ahead of time.
- Heidi

First, get the kids involved right from the start. Get them excited about the whole thing and be allowed to choose some of the things that they want to do while there.

Second, make sure you plan to have some time out for yourself while away and are prepared to let your partner do the same.

Third, leave the iPads/tablets behind and use your phone only as a phone. This way you will have to interact with each other and also other people in proper conversations. But this will mean you all share in the adventure and by talking to others might find some hidden gems that aren't in the online guidebooks. The whole reason for going on holiday is to go on holiday. Have fun, relax, try something new and just go with the flow.
- Troy S

Don't over-commit. Decrease your load and enjoy the fewer commitments you make.
- Prakash Bhoopatkar, Remuera

Make sure there is a "Kids' Club", as well as a good pool where they can be entertained, or do as they want each day.
- AC Woodcock

What are your tips for a fuss-free family holiday? Share them below.

- NZ Herald

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