Going on holiday with my family is right up there with Christmas as my most favourite time of the year. Breaking away from the usual routine gives us all time to enjoy each other’s company, without the pressures of leaving the house on time in the morning, with those fraught two hours before the school run filled with the sound of my voice bellowing round the house, asking ‘where are everyone’s school ties’, ‘have you cleaned your teeth’ and ‘for god’s sake, why is there hand wash in your hair Noah’. For me, holidays are a blissful relief from the humdrum of life, and this is why I feel it is so important to get them right.
We have been lucky enough to have quite a few holidays over the last few years, largely down to us sacrificing getting work done on the house, in favour of 2 weeks in the sunshine. This works for us though, I’d rather have some wonderful holidays to remember when I’m old and grey, than a spectacular bathroom suite. Horses for courses, I know, but I’d take a holiday over a new kitchen sink any day. Though if the truth be told, if skipping just one year of holidays would pay for a kitchen extension and renovation, I could be swayed. Funnily enough though, it doesn’t come close, so our annual tans are safe, at least for now.
Since having children, we have had holidays in hotels, long-haul Asia holidays, short European breaks and more recently, we have been going to stay at my Mum and Dad’s place in Spain year on year. Now, I realise that this won’t be the same for everyone and that other people will have their own preferences, but for me, short haul flights and a stay in a villa are the way forward in my eyes. Our children are still quite young at 2, 5, and 7, and a short flight with a stay in a villa is the most relaxing option for us. Elodie can have her nap in the afternoon, without Chris or I returning to a hotel room, we can wash our clothes, handy when you have little people covered from head to toe in ice cream and ketchup each day. We can also eat in from time to time, which saves on remortgaging to take out shares in Sprite, Heinz, and a pizza/chicken nugget factory.
We have found the perfect holiday for our family through trial and error, but there are services, like Tots to Travel, out there specifically designed to assist families in finding and booking the perfect family getaway. They do the hard work of hunting down the best places for families to holiday and find family friendly accommodation, that is accessed to ensure it is as child-safe as possible. They provide stair gates and take other safety measures where needed, and also provide an essential Baby & Toddler Pack, including items such as a potty, high chair and steriliser, at every property. When I think back to our first holidays with the children when they were even younger, I think this service would have proved invaluable, particularly when we were bottle feeding and weaning.
We are already on the countdown to our next holiday, having booked for next year just this week. One of the bonuses of having to fork out for 5 tickets, is that it forces you to take advantage of the early bird offers and leaves you with longer to look forward to your next getaway. Is it August 2017 yet?
*Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.