Family Holidays can make you or break you.
We have just spent two weeks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. I can honestly say…we had a great holiday.
As Supermum Clare Dunphy (my role model) says when travelling with children…it’s not a holiday, it’s a business trip! And I couldn’t agree more. As a family, we do holidays well. We relax, we have fun and we go deep, deep into the zone. Maybe this is because we live at the beach and our life feels like one long holiday anyway!
Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same positive experience and let’s face it…travelling with small children can be fraught with stress, extreme fatigue and near marital collapse! Here are my tips on how to survive a family holiday…
1. Bring Food
It doesn’t matter if you are driving, flying or arriving by boat…bring your own lunch! Food on the go is less than ideal and if you can fill up hungry kids with healthy, low sugar snacks you will be well on the way to avoiding a melt down…and then you can stop for the really important stuff…like coffee.
2. Don’t share accommodation
Okay, this might ruffle feathers but you know it’s true! It’s wonderful to share your holiday with other families but everyone needs there own accommodation! You need to know at the end of the day you can take your ratty kids to bed, shut the door and retreat. This way you don’t have to worry about your baby waking up others, getting stuck with all of the cooking/cleaning/child minding duties or sharing the last piece of sticky fruit cake!
3. Take time to sort yourself out
On the day we arrive anywhere, we unpack and stock our fridge and pantry – we even make a loose meal plan which goes like this…sausages and salad, chicken and salad, steak and salad, hamburgers and salad…and when no one can face one more bbq, pasta with pesto. We usually eat our main meals at home and go out for treats like coffee, ice-creams and of course, the occasional cocktail!
4. Entertain the kids
There is no point expecting to sit undisturbed in the sun on your banana lounge reading your book for any length of time while you are on holidays with your kids. Accept this and avoid disappointment! Get in the pool, go for walks, play games and have fun…failing that, make a deal with your husband and get him to do it…promise whatever it takes to get that sleep in every other morning!
5. Go with the flow
This is so important. Relax, accept there are certain things you will have no control over. It rained every day except for two while we were away! A few days it was raining when we woke up and still raining when we went to bed! I was dangerously close to a princess attack over the weather but my positive thinking husband saved me on more than one occasion. So it’s not as good without the clear seas and blue skies, but you are still somewhere other than home so make the most of it. We spent hours reading, finding lovely cafes, walking in the rain (ok, I sat that one out) and even watching TV. Letting go of our initial expectations was hard but so worth it because we came home relaxed and recharged.
Do you have any tips for a successful family holiday? Have you ever had a disaster? I’d love to hear about it! Please let me know in the comments below!