Planning The Ultimate Family Holiday...
How is it that January feels like THE longest month ever, February finally arrives and boom before we know it it's March?!?
We've had a week full of snow and any signs of spring seemed to have disappeared to be covered in a blanket of white fluffy stuff that brings two things, chaos and fun!
Making memories in the snow this week.
We had two snow days last week and if there is the one thing that snow forces you to do, it's 1. slow down and 2. it brings people together. Communities start to pull together to help one another, strangers who you've never met will help you get from a to b and families are sometimes forced to spend the day together and this is great. Our lives are so busy rushing from a to b, from one after school club to another it can sometimes see that we have forgotten just how to slow down and have some family fun. And this is the main reason why I love holidays with my gang.
Webbo and I both work full time and are incredibly fortunate to be able to spend all the school holidays with both Charlie and Hectie. Someone said to me recently that I was to cherish the time I had with them because all too soon they won't want to hang with me. New friends will be their favoured past time and hanging with mum and dad will no longer be cool. Charlie turns 6 this year and if we are really lucky we've probably got realistically another ten summers before they will want to swap France for festivals and sun holidays in exchange for teen holidays with their mates. This makes me sad. I love my mum and dad and adore spending time with them, I just hope that my boys may want to hang out with me as much as I want to hang with my parents - but then maybe I'm not the norm.
Hanging with my parents and brother in Cornwall last October. We do love a British holiday!
As the boys get older the type of holiday that we take as a family shifts slightly. I've written time and time again about our love for sun holidays with the added bonus of in resort kids clubs. Some people look in shock when we say we put our children into the kids clubs, "what's the point of going on holiday if you are just going to send them to kids club?" - well two reasons, 1. This holiday is also for us parents. We work our socks off during the year so we can afford two weeks in the sun and you can bet your bottom dollar that in those two weeks away from the washing and ironing and humdrum of home that I want a couple of hours to sit, relax, maybe take a dip, read a book or simply do nothing. Doing nothing for just a small amount of time I believe is good for our souls. And, 2. My kids LOVE it. There is honestly nothing that gives me more pleasure than watching my little beasts being pushed out of their comfort zones whilst I watch from the wings. And, when my kids are happy and smiling, Webbo and I are happy and smiling which all leads to a very relaxing holiday.
Now....one thing we all have in our house is differing views on dream holidays. We have to be realistic in our disposable income and if I had my own way I would spend every single spare penny on travelling and experiences (maybe my lack of having a gap year is now coming back to haunt me 15 years later...?), but there has to be one sensible half in our partnership and that's Webbo, and he's completely right we can't spend all my salary and then some on holidays - but hey wouldn't it be fun?!?
So, with this in mind we have to be incredibly careful when picking where we travel to and the type of holiday we book that will have something for EVERYONE.
So....for us the big family holiday must have....
1. SUNSHINE, A BEACH AND A SWIMMING POOL....
We want heat. We want smacks you in the face when you step off the plane heat. We want a beach with gorgeous warm white sand that we can sink our tootsies into and build sandcastles that even Walt Disney would be proud of. We want a pool where Mummy can have a dip to her knees, where Daddy can lark about with the boys and we want a pool big enough to house all our inflatables that we always end up taking on holiday!!
Matchy matchy swimmers in Greece last summer.
If you wondered why Aldi sold out of inflatables last summer here's why!
2. FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD, COLD BEER AND COCKTAILS!
There is no denying it, we are a family that LOVES their food. Webbo likes add buffet to his CV as he likes to work the buffet to his full advantage! We love resorts where all tastebuds are satisfied, where the pickiest eater can fill their bellies to the food critic who's eaten at the best restaurants in the world - we like food to suit everyone. We love nothing more than sampling the local cuisine whilst sipping beers looking on to the sea. What bliss! I LOVE a cocktail so for me, a pre dinner cocktail is a must and for Webbo he is in his element when the kids are in kids club and he's sipping a freezing cold beer!
This kid just LOVES pasta!
BBQing on the beach at sunset was definitely a highlight of last years holiday.
Churros and chocolate dipping sauce on my beloved Porthmeor Beach in Cornwall last spring.
3. THINGS TO KEEP THE SMALL PEOPLE ENTERTAINED
For us, and it doesn't always suit everyone at the moment with the kids at the ages they are, a kids club is a must for us. We like our time in the afternoon to have our time and we love watching the kids smiling, making friends and doing things that they ordinarily would not do.
His second year of sailing on holiday and he loved it!
4. AND IF WE CAN, TRY SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!
Unfortunately, we can't afford to do two big holidays abroad but instead opt for one abroad holiday and a couple of single weeks down in Cornwall - one of our favourite places in the world. But, one thing this snow has shown us and how the kids were is that we would love to one day take them skiing. Seeing their faces having fun in the snow sealed the deal for me. We will do it one day. It's on THE list.
Where ever you chose to go on your holiday, whether it's on safari in Africa or a caravan in Skegness - make those holidays count. Take time to slow down. Take time to watch your children being children. Take time to look around and realise how lucky we are. Take time to enjoy new surroundings and embrace new challenges. Take time to make memories. Take time to take photos - take loads of photos and be sure to get them printed, don't just leave them on your phone or laptop. Take time to be you and above all just enjoy yourselves, life is too short and spending time with your loved ones has surely got to be the best way of spending your time.
**This post is my entry in to the Mark Warner Ambassador 2018 programme. I have not been paid nor sponsored for this post and all images and words are my own. **