Planning A Family Holiday To Canada!
It’s been so long since I planned a family holiday that wasn’t camping in this country but finally we are beginning to see a turning world where international travel is on the cards again and I can’t help but dream about trips far and wide for my family. Posie hasn’t been away anywhere yet having been born into the midst of lockdown last year and so the next vacation we take with be bigger and better, not to mention all the more special with our new addition, than ever before. We simply cannot wait!
While it is always on my agenda to find a beach, plonk myself on it and sit in dappled sunlight for a fortnight, I think the pandemic has shown me that any break, any time, would be for me and with the world smaller than ever before with the internet at our fingertips, perhaps it’s time to broaden our horizons from that fortnight in the Med. We are in the depths of winter here in the UK. Cold, dark mornings and very early light drawn in evenings don’t spell the perfect recipe for wintry fun, a holiday where we could utilize the fact it’s cold however and yes please, I’m all for it. Now, where do they have snow? Snow really is the very best thing about winter and we definitely don’t have much of that here but… Canada does and unlike old Blighty standing still for the 48 hours we get covered in soft white flakes, transport systems up the spout and gritters unable to cope, Canada does it with aplomb. So, for a perfectly wintry break, now that we can, how about setting sights on a Canadian retreat to cosy up warm and enjoy winter at its very best rather than enduring the drudgery of a January at home?!
Canadian holidays for the family don’t have to be winter set mind you. There’s plenty on offer once you hit the vast country of Canada and in summer I hear its lakes are beautiful while the City breaks on offer can rival anywhere. Soak up some French culture in Montreal with its diverse culture or if that doesn’t float your boat then what about Vancouver? Vancouver sits on the Pacific ocean and with high rise city living it’s a juxtaposition on many levels and can suit all needs, for all ages no matter how large your family. I also rather fancy the bustling streets and waterfront city of Toronto. All these places we hear about in movies, oh wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a trip?!
What’s great for families I hear you ask?
Well, Canada is particularly famous for its friendly people, natural aesthetics, maple syrup, ice hockey and of course, the northern lights. I can pick something for every single one of my family members to enjoy in Canada while once there you can embark upon a cruise to make your holiday exactly right for you, a trip by rail, in a motor home… Oh absolutely so much to choose from but for me, and to make sure we all had a great time, it would be ski and snow!
Planning a family trip to Canada right now and I’d be looking at:
You can fly from all over the UK to Canada, my closest airport for international travel this far is Gatwick which is a 3 hour drive away. My top tip for travelling with children by air is to book an airport hotel to make the day of travel run as smoothly as possible. There’s nothing like the ease of waking up exactly where you need to be, no matter what time of your flight and with all the bags packed and ready to go it makes flight day run super smoothly. Pack snacks and entertainment for children but don’t underestimate them on flights, children adapt and a long haul journey is never as hard as you think it will be.
Passports and checks:
As it’s been a while since any of us have really travelled in the manner to with which we were once accustomed, it would be prudent to check your passports are up to date. We have 3 out of 6 about to run out and one which needs a first application for. Travel to Canada requires 6 months validity on a passport and you will also need to adhere to all current COVID quarantine requirements.
Hiring a car:
When hiring cars in advance to pick up in another country it is always good to remember who needs a car seat, check the legalities of car seats in the country you are travelling to and making sure the car hire company can provide the seats you need. Not having to take your own with you will save money in baggage with the airline and also a lot of hassle ferrying them from A to B.
Choosing your accommodation:
Depending on which airport you fly into and where you wish to stay my best advice would be to make sure your onward journey from landing isn’t too treacherous. A long haul flight with children might not phase me but another 4 hours in the car with the kiddos might just tip me over the edge. Google earth is a fabulous tool for visiting where you will be staying before you even stay there, just so that you can suss out what it looks like, how easy it is to get to with children and really get a feel for it before you book.
Whether it’s skiing in the snow (like we’d choose) or breathing in the beautiful vista of clear water lakes and long family walks, planning the equipment you will need, where you can hire it once in Canada and working out what you need to pack for them is imperative. For example, I can’t do a holiday without a buggy as my two smallest children wouldn’t be able to walk very far. I like to take a sling for one little one with me which works in the airport well and then buy or hire a cheap buggy once on holiday. If traveling to Montreal check out Travel Buggy who will hire you all the baby equipment you might need! It’s not just about thinking of skis and snow boots when travelling with all the babes in tow!
The reasons we go on holiday with our little ones are so vast and varied but above all it’s about making memories. Invest in a decent camera so that you can film all the best bits. GoPro is an ace choice if you’re active and wanting to film sports but I love my Canon DSLR which is an all rounder with a great ability to pick out the best moments on an auto. My family complain that I take too many pictures when in the moment but afterwards, at the end of every year when I make calendars for the next and albums using all our favourites, everyone is always very pleased that I did say STOP, LOOK, SMILE!