I’m not going to lie travelling with kids isn’t easy and yes you will get frustrated at times, but it is also the most magical experience, for me holidays have always been a big part of my life.
My Mum and Dad took me abroad as a toddler and I was lucky enough to go every year, I would literally have given up Christmas to get a second holiday in the sun it just made me so happy, the sun, the culture, family time, great food, swimming, sunbathing, heck I even enjoyed the whole airport experience. Every year one of the things I looked forward to most was seeing the stress of work leave my Dad, it would take him a couple of days but you could see it slowly melting away, he just looked so happy and relaxed. My Mum is a bit of a home bird so it took a little work to relax her but nothing the odd sangria didn’t fix.
As I grew up I loved the humble package holiday so much I even worked as a travel consultant for five years as I found it easy selling a product that I was passionate about, fast forward a few more years and along came my Husband (MrM), we’ve had some awesome holidays including partying in Mexico, city breaks, even getting hitched abroad and taking 74 family and friends with us.
The holidays memories just grew and grew, next came our turn to take our own children away, we booked the usual safe choice of a package holiday, the kids loved it but I found jumping in and out of the pool all day in the heat made them a little tired and grumpy, I couldn’t help but feel this style of holiday just didn’t quite suit us right now, my 21 year old self would be absolutely horrified to hear me say that. Sitting around the pool not taking your eyes off two young children can get quite tiring and frankly I was bored, it was not like I can pick up a book or lie down sunbathing, the entertainment even got on my nerves, I felt frustrated and trapped.
The one day we decided that we would hire a car, absolute game changer it was for us as we found exploring little coves and beaches, new restaurants, local villages and a cute little Aquarium, the kids thoroughly enjoyed going out exploring and ending the day having a swim back at the hotel, this was a light bulb moment for me that we’re definitely a family that enjoys more independent travel. Maybe it’s me or maybe a sign of the times, these days you’ve got your phone with a GPS and TripAdvisor, gone are the days to track down the holiday rep to get a holiday company branded map covered in adverts for bloody awful sponsored local restaurant’s usually called something stupid like the red lion or queens head, not to mention over priced trips that the itinerary is set by someone else, these days technology has transformed the way we travel, it’s given us a comfort that encourages us to go further and most importantly explore! Being able to read reviews and get advice from people in your position gives you confidence and peace of mind, even a quick text back home to check in these days, long are the days of ringing home using a pay phone on the street with one of those call cards, the whole process must of took an hour for what was basically a five minute phone conversation.
In the future we have quite the wish list of places we would like to visit but all we know is that it will be done a little different from now on. How have holidays changed for you over the years? I would love to hear your experiences via twitter, facebook or email.
Until next time have fun!