Top tips for taking a family Hiking Holiday
Family holidays can be enjoyed in many ways, and whilst some families may enjoy lavish hotels and lounging by the pool, others need a little more adventure. If your family would rather explore a path off the beaten track, venturing up snow-capped mountains and through lush forests, a family hiking holiday may be just what you need. Whilst walking with children can be slightly more challenging than just as a couple, it is a wonderful way to create lifelong, happy memories whilst also positively aiding your child’s development. But before you grab your hiking boots, get prepared by reading our top tips.
Chances are your kids are used to long walks if you’re planning to take a hiking holiday, but if not, start going for walks regularly and slowly increase the distance each time. It’s a great idea to team up for walks, especially with other children who are experienced in long-distance walking. Their encouragement can go a long way to inspiring your own children to feel confident and empowered on your walking holiday.
Make it fun
There is beauty in the way that children explore the natural world, stopping to look under twigs and stones, pulling off their boots to go wading in rivers without a second thought and climbing over fallen trees just for fun. They may only move a few feet in twenty minutes, then suddenly run as fast as they can and never want to stop. The point is that trying to convince a small child to walk at a steady, even pace is no use, so join in and have fun, letting them take the lead.
A good pair of binoculars and a bird spotting guide can be a fun activity for older children, or they might enjoy being in charge of the map and helping to plan the route before you set off.
Pack for all eventualities
Whereas you and your partner may have ‘winged it’ to a certain extent on previous holidays, this is not the approach you want to adopt for a family adventure holiday. Have one of you carry a slightly bigger backpack and fill it with water, snacks, sun cream, bug repellent, a first aid kit and spare clothes for the kids.
Fold-up rain macs are a lightweight way to bring waterproofs for everybody, some of which can even clip onto your belt or backpack to save space. Make sure you also have supportive footwear that is well broken in, and give the whole family plenty of opportunity to rest along the way. Remember to account for the weather and check it for any changes before you set off, and if your children are small enough, it may be worth bringing a toddler carrier or sling to help save you from backache if they can’t manage the entire distance.
Respect the culture of the place you are visiting
As a responsible traveller, it is imperative to respect the culture of the places you visit. Remember to research and be mindful of local customs and hand signals or phrases that could be misinterpreted or deemed offensive to the locals. If your hiking trail takes you through rural areas, this is an excellent opportunity to teach the children about world culture and how other families live.
Heading out on a hiking adventure can be a great way to bring the entire family together, interact with nature and create more of those special holiday memories. Remember, a little planning can go a long way when it comes to trips away, particularly if some tiny travellers accompany you. We hope these tips have helped you to prepare for your next family hiking holiday – happy adventuring!