As we’re moving rapidly through yet another year (what is it about getting older that means times whizzes faster by?), my mind’s turning to holidays and chance to get away from the farm for a bit. We’ve not yet had a family holiday as the OH isn’t keen on leaving the farm, but now I’ve also got N on the case hassling him to take some time off. N wants to go to the beach, although really he just wants to go on holiday.
Since having N, I’ve tended to do road trips with him visiting friends and family around the UK for a few days, but this time I want to do one trip and stay for longer which would avoid the stress of being in and out of the car and sleeping in lots of different places. I’ve had a think about the different holiday options there are in the UK.
A bit of luxury is never a bad thing on holiday as it’s always nice to not feel like you’re working as hard as you would do when away from home. There’s always a variety of budgets catered for, especially if you use a hotel specialist like Hotel Direct, from 5 star to budget hotels. For meal times, if you don’t want to eat out, you can generally find a restaurant either in the hotel or next door.
If you want to ensure a bit of space between parents and children, look out for family suites – where you’ve got the main bedroom, and ajoining room for children. It means they’re still close enough, but you also get a better night’s sleep without a noisy snoring child (or OH if they’re the noisy sleeper!). The alternative is family rooms which are larger, and tend to have a convertible sofa bed. Make sure you check when booking if you can have a cot to save taking your own travel cot with you.
Bed and Breakfasts
While hotels can be all inclusive saving you time and potentially money, eating out, B&Bs give a bit more of the home from home…but without the cleaning. Always a good thing when you’ve got a messy child in tow. We’ve always tended towards B&Bs (if not hotels) prior to N as we like to know we’ve got a good home made breakfast, usually from local produce to start the day. You also get to know the owners/staff well as the owners tend to be the ones you see as you come and go.
We quite often stay on farms as well (not really getting away from home!), but if you want outdoor play space for children, then look for B&Bs on town or city outskirts, if not further out. If you stay further out of town, you’re more likely to find places to stay with parking spaces, as often city centre locations have limited parking.
If you’re the type of family who want to control times of meals, when you can come and go, and not worry about fussy eaters or noisy children wanting to run about all over the place, then self-catering might be a good option. I’m too lazy and prefer to come back in from a day out to a tidy and clean room, but there’re definitely advantages especially if you want keep your budget down. Many places will let you order an online grocery shop ready for your arrival which definitely removes the need to shop before you leave, or having to visit the supermarket before settling in.
With self-catering you get a huge choice of accommodation types – you could tour via caravan or camper van, have serviced apartments, or a country cottage.
Camping (or even glamping if you need more home comforts) isn’t for everyone. I’ve been a couple of times with my best friend after uni (maybe February in Snowdonia wasn’t a good idea!) and would love to take N. A chance to have a bit more of an adventure, be at one with nature, and have a great night’s sleep thanks to spending lots of time outdoors – what’s not to love in my opinion? I just need a nice shower and toilet block, plus possibly kitchen facilities for an occasional meal by the tent. But it would take a lot of convincing to get the OH to camp out, so it’s probably not going to happen on a family holiday.
I’ve never been to a proper overnight festival either, but nowadays there’s so many appropriate for families, that I might have to look one out and arrange to go with my friend and her son. N loves music, but a countryside festival away from home sounds interesting and would mean you’re involved with the festival rather than having to make a specific visit to a country show as part of your holiday. I’ve not been to Ireland since my geography field trip days, but have friends in Northern Ireland. A trip there might be a possibility in future with the scenic outdoor opportunities for the OH and N to enjoy, as well as some city culture for myself.
Nowadays there are so many options for holidays in the UK or abroad, with so many companies realising they have to cater for families to continue to broaden their customer base, it’s making the decision on where to go that’s hard. That’s of course, if you can persuade your workaholic husband away from the farm!
Where are you planning to go on holiday? Do you have any tips for taking children?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own.