This week I got my kids back to school for the last half term of this academic year before we break up for summer and have 6 whole weeks of fun together! We were all ready for the May half term break as it has been a long school term before it and everyone in the family was in need of some R&R.
Last week we spent 7 nights at the Camping Bella Italia resort with Canvas Holidays, which is one of their biggest sites in Italy. You can read more about the resort in this post but today I wanted to share how we made half term really easy to make the most of our week off!
Half term breaks are only a week long so you really need to plan things well to make the most of them or else you will get into relaxation mode by day three then it’s almost time to come home! Here’s how we got organised and what we did to ensure a smooth ride!
Fly from a regional airport. We travelled from Birmingham airport to Verona, Italy. A flight time of about 2 hours, but travelling from a smaller airport meant that there was less traffic and less hustle and bustle than from a major international airport. Airports will always be busy but we were pleased to have everything we needed in a more compact space.
Book an airport hotel. We arranged a night’s stay through Holiday Extras on the day before departure as we had an early morning flight. The Novotel in Birmingham was only two minutes from the check in desk… Literally! On the morning of our flight we checked out of the hotel and walked across the road straight into ‘Departures’! Couldn’t be easier!
Arrange car parking in advance. We also relied on Holiday Extras for our car parking too. They have access to get deals from a multitude of airport parking service providers so you can compare rates easily and book online. The Airparks Drop & Go service we used meant that we dropped off our car at their location, then got the shuttle bus with our luggage to the airport hotel where we stayed. Upon our return we would usually join the shuttle bus again outside the Arrivals terminal to be taken back to our car but we decided to upgrade our return and pay a £35 one off fee to have our car brought to us once we arrived. All we did was call the telephone number they provided once we were at baggage reclaim and their drivers bring the car back so you walk out of the airport and straight into your car!
Download books to Kindle. Before the break we anticipated that we’d all get more time to read than we do in our everyday lives, so we each got a book or two from Amazon and downloaded to our iPads (via the Kindle for iPad app) so we had plenty to read on the airplane and at the resort. Handy tip: Make sure that you actually download the book to your device whilst you are still on your home wifi as the book appears in your ‘library’ when purchased but it actually needs downloading before you can read it. Holiday wifi is much less reliable than what you have at home! There’s more people on it for a start!
Pick a holiday destination that isn’t too far so you get to spend more time relaxing and less time travelling. If you only have one week, then you won’t want to choose somewhere with a 10 hour flight and big time differences because by the time you acclimatise you will have to come home! Europe and here in the UK are both excellent choices for a relaxing week long holiday without too much hassle.
Campsites in Europe make a fabulous holiday choice as they cater for families with facilities that kids will want, and they are also a more cost effective way to see different countries. If you have a large family, it could work out much cheaper to book a 3 or 4 bedroom lodge on a campsite rather than the equivalent in a hotel. Canvas Holidays have loads of family friendly destinations across eight European countries and can accommodate all party sizes and budgets.
Consider different travelling options. We flew to Italy to save time but Europe is also accessible by car and ferry and you can even use your Tesco Clubcard points with providers like DFDS Seaways, P&O Ferries and Stena Line to get the travel costs down even further.
So what did you do on your half term? Do you have any other ways to travel more easily? Let me know in the comments!
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With 50 years experience, Canvas Holidays are specialists in providing quality family camping holidays in France, Italy, Spain & throughout Europe. Learn more at their website.
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Disclosure: Thank you to Holiday Extras for the hotel and car parking provided for the purposes of this blog post.