It’s been nearly three years since Dan and I had a holiday, and those three years feel like a very long time. I grew up going away for at least one holiday every year, usually abroad, and since meeting Dan that hasn’t changed. We were the couple who loves to travel, to backpack, to explore. But when Darcie came along, that all changed, and going away on holiday became a distant dream, something that we weren’t sure we could justify the expense of anymore. Something that we weren’t even sure we would enjoy enough to be worth it. We were spontaneous backpackers, not child friendly resort, sit-by-the-pool people. We weren’t sure how to incorporate a child into a holiday we would actually enjoy.
But this year we are determined to go away! Hopefully in September, when the schools are back and things quieten down, we are planning on heading off with both (!!) children in tow. We haven’t got very far with the planning of this trip but I thought I would write down our current thoughts on it all in case they could be useful to any of you lovely readers.
Deciding where to go
This should be the easy bit. Where do we actually want to go? The struggle we are having with this decision stems from our reluctance to spend more than a couple of hours trapped on a plane with our offspring. That narrows down our options quite dramatically and unfortunately eliminates a lot of the places that we are actually keen to go to. We are currently leaning towards mainland Spain or one of the Canary or Balearic Islands as we will be almost guaranteed sunny weather in late September. It shouldn’t be too hot to have to be worrying about sun cream and hats 24/7 but warm enough that it feels like a ‘proper’ holiday. I’ve always loved Spain and the Spanish culture, and maybe I’ll even manage to remember some of my Spanish A Level! I’ve always wanted to visit Ibiza Old Town so that’s quite a strong contender on the list! I’d love to know what countries you would recommend for family holidays?
What type of accommodation?
Once we have decided where we want to go, we need to settle on what type of holiday accommodation will be right for us. We will have a two and a half year old and a four month old so child friendly is a must! As I said before we haven’t really ever been ‘resort people’, but since having children I’m beginning to see the appeal. It would be nice to be somewhere that having children doesn’t feel like a burden and where they are catered for in every way. We will need a travel cot, high chairs and to be somewhere that is easily accessible with a pram. All inclusive is always a plus too, it’s amazing to not need to worry about getting the bill after every meal, and not having to think about taking so much money to spend when you are away.
Another option would be to rent a private villa. This is what my family holidays were like as a child and I can see why it was the option my parents chose. Generally it will be a lot more cost effective to rent a villa or cottage somewhere and to self cater. You also don’t have to worry about the kids making too much noise and disturbing anyone and you have your own space more so than being in a hotel. The downside for me of doing this would be that it would feel like less of a holiday. You still have to cook, wash up and are often asked to clean before you leave too. I do so many domestic chores on an everyday basis that it would be nice to have a proper break from it all.
Budgeting for our holiday
Ah, the biggie. I’ve talked a lot on here about how we are currently saving for a mortgage and that really does take precedent over everything else. Every ‘luxury’ that we spend money on we can’t help but feel bad that the money should have gone into the house fund instead. For this reason we really do want to do our family holiday as cheaply as we can. I’ve been looking at low deposit city breaks this summer, scouring sites like Air BnB and checking out all the last minute holiday and cheap flight deals. Ultimately, I’m pretty good at finding a bargain and so I know we’ll be able to get a good deal one way or another. We just need to actually decide what it is we are looking for first!
Those are the main things we need to consider at this moment in time. Once we have actually booked the holiday of course there will be plenty more to consider. We’ll need to get the children passports and try and work out how on earth you pack for two small humans and stay within luggage weight restrictions. But we will make this work, we need a holiday!
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