The big family summer holiday, a blissful escape, a week or two of happy memories and perfection, or is it arguments, stress and shouting? Let’s look at the expectations vs reality of a holiday with the husband and kids and what we can really expect!
My memories of this from a child’s point of view were always long drives up to the Highlands of Scotland, for some reason our parents decided that although we couldn’t afford foreign holidays we therefore had to drive to the furthest possible destination in Britian! This I’m sure was a well-intentioned plan to allow us to experience different places but in reality it just resulted in fights, car-sickness and the constant “are we there yets”. One year they even thought they were getting ahead of the game by transporting us stealthily out of our beds and into the back of the car, still asleep, but we awoke as we were leaving our street asking the obvious, “are we nearly there yet”. I thought I had cracked it when I first had kids, we’ll not do the driving holiday, we’ll fly, but with parking, delays, baggage claims, it’s really just as well to try and avoid the stress of flying as well.
What type of accommodation is best for a family holiday, well we all want a break when on holiday so we might naturally lean towards an all-inclusive type hotel deal. This, after all, would surely take all the stress and bother of meal planning and cooking out of the equation, right? But then maybe that’s not the whole story, there is a lot to be said for the idea of self catering being the preferred and more flexible option especially for families. Firstly think of the flexibility you gain by going self cater catering you can work on your own schedule, not being tied down to dining room meal times and not being constrained by their menu. This can be especially advantageous if you have young children who nap and sleep, might be fussy eaters and generally a bit of a nightmare in a restaurant situation. You will have access to fridges and freezer most likely and can prepare and take packed lunches for your day activities which will save you a packet of money, especially if you plan on visiting attractions like theme parks or water parks as lunches can easily top £10 each in these places meaning potentially over £50 every day for lunches!
Schedule and Activities
What should your schedule be and what type of activities are best to organise for a family holiday is often the trickiest aspect of planning. Are you looking for the kids to be booked up on day long activities and be kept busy the whole time allowing you to relax and kick back, if so, somewhere like Centre Parcs might be perfect as it has a huge range of sporting and leisure activities for both children and adults alike and you can pack the whole duration with organised activities, it can be expensive but if you’re looking for this kind of thing then it’s perfect. A hotel in the sun has it’s advantages as well if you’re the type of family that just wants to sit be the pool and chill, although many of these places have kids clubs as well that can organise a whole week of activities for the little ones! Finally the good old fashioned self-catering holiday, great on the budget but be sure to research and plan your activity schedule yourself before you go as it’s not going to be laid on for you.
Overall you really need to think what’s best for you and your family? What kind of leisure do you all enjoy and pick a destination and holiday type to suit.