We all know that going on holiday with little people can be pretty stressful. Jo Elliott at www.awaywiththekids.co.uk offers her tips for holidaying with a family.
A family holiday with the kids is one of your largest annual investments – and we don’t only mean cash-wise. The time and effort involved with deciding what type of break you want or need requires much discussion and debate – and it’s REALLY important that you get it right. It’s no use insisting on a ski-holiday when you know full well your partner hates the cold or just can’t get upright, let alone move! Similarly it’s of no use booking an exclusive country hotel for a week – no matter what the write up – if there’s no play area, no high tea or space for the kids to breathe, that means you’ll get no down time and what’s the use of that? Then there’s finding somewhere suitable that may result in your hourly rate dwindling to half that of minimum wage. On top of which you have the sorting out and the packing of clothes – for you, for the kids, for your partner(?) – pets to foster out or kennels to arrange, house to clean, beds to change (if you’re like me!), food to distribute… and then there’s physically getting there, by which time boy do you need a break! That’s why we started Away with the Kids – so that whatever we fancied doing (that’s Helen and/or me, our husbands and three kids each); be it a weekend camping break, a week long relaxed child friendly cottage holiday or a couple of indulgent over-night stays in a fab hotel – we’d be guaranteed a genuine welcome and meet someone who not only looked at the kids but smiled at them too. Not too much to ask when handing over our hard-earned money we figured! We highlight places mainly in the UK as the luxury of slinging everything in the car and heading off was more preferable than packing cases, weighing cases, unpacking cases, carrying fourteen pieces of hand luggage and utilising the pushchair not for the baby but to pile the bags in, waiting to get through passport control. Back to the car journey: full to the roof with clothes for the rain, clothes for the beach, clothes for walking, clothes for bed. No need for paraphernalia as we work with people who recognize how flipping difficult it can be to remember everything so they have provided the high chair and cot, and some toys, and books, outdoor play areas, indoor play areas, pools – as well as sterilisers, black out blinds, food mixers, cBeebies – you know the stuff that you suddenly can’t contemplate not having to hand. Do get the kids to pack their own bag, do check they have their favourite snuggly/blanket (several times), do pack a picnic for at least 17, car journeys can be exerting – do invest in a TrayKit or a Super Scribbler from ELC (my girls have spent hours on theirs) – don’t forget the list of games to play. Pack the essential kit of Sudocrem, Calpol (or equivalent), wipes and plasters and then – well I think you’re ready. Wherever you end up do appreciate your time together, it’s easy and simple fun that builds the memories – and time flies, they’ll be ready to go to secondary school before you know it and you’ll wonder where your babies went!!! Many thanks to Jo Elliott for this blog. For more information on Away with the Kids, please check out www.awaywiththekids.co.uk.