Anyone who’s read this blog or knows our family, knows that holidays as a family are few and far between. In 4 years, we’ve had one family holiday and that was back in October, 5 days away in Swanage. But when Mark Warner wanted to know what our perfect family holiday is, I know exactly what it would be like.
Our family is just the three of us, and we have certain holiday characteristics:
The OH – traditional, set in ways, would probably go to the same place and eat the same food every time if he could. Hates technology, can’t abide hanging around in airports and just wants to sleep on holiday. I always say he should just book into a hotel near home for a week if he just wants to sleep!
Me – I don’t like too much risk, but want to experience different places and cultures, love to dance (so a dream would be Latin America to learn to argentine tango), love to try new activities, want to be able to try a variety of food without having to be too adventurous, or eat shellfish! Loves the beach and pool, but doesn’t want to spend all of a holiday doing that.
N – easy going, loves the beach and being on holiday with the whole family.
Sun and sand
I’ve always said the OH and I are very different people and to a certain extent we like very different things from a holiday. We do however, both prefer sun to the cold. Much as I’d love to try skiing and let N experience it, I know the OH’s knees would definitely not be able to cope, and I’m not sure that mine would either. So it would definitely be a sun holiday. Not too hot, though, and it would need to fit with farming seasons, so it would tend to be May or late September.
While I like to be out and about, exploring surroundings, looking for new places to see and photograph, and experiencing new cultures, the OH wants something a bit simpler for his holidays. A bed, some time away from the farm, and lots of walking along beaches. He’s not one for sun bathing, but a good beach is essential for strolling along. It appears that N has inherited this love of walking along beaches, and if his dad’s with him then all the better!
Along with gorgeous beaches, they obviously would need to be safe for paddling and possibly swimming. I remember my first ever proper holiday abroad with friends after university, and we spent ages floating and swimming in the sea to cool off and relax. We don’t usually drive on holidays, so a beach close to our hotel or apartment is essential, to be able to make the most of early mornings and evenings
The one thing we’ve never been able to do is take N swimming with both his dad and me. I’ve always taken him to his swimming lessons and I think not having experienced horseplay in the water with his dad has really meant he’s not progressed as fast as some of the others who go on family holidays with pools a lot, and who go swimming as a family. So a pool on site where we stay on holiday would be an essential.
After a morning on the beach, it would be great to have some time for fun swimming to really try and help N see that swimming is fun and not just about swimming lessons…and hopefully build up his confidence. There’s also nothing like having a bit of a sunbath with a book by the side of a turquoise blue pool before taking time out for a dip in the pool and a bit of exercise.
Variety is the spice of life
While the OH is happy to have long siestas and a simple relaxing holiday, I like to keep moving. A beach holiday is great, but I love to be able to see the sights and explore, so I’d want to have a couple of days where we could get out and about to see nearby towns and villages, and share some foreign history and culture with N. I think being able to live in and absorb local cultures does children the world of good, and N really enjoyed making our Italian moodboard. A holiday is a great way of teaching children in a relaxed manner, while building some great memories.
I’m also a big tennis fan and have always looked longingly at Mediterranean clay tennis courts whenever I’ve been on holiday, usually without anyone else who plays. N has just started some mini tennis at nursery, so I’d love for us to have a better introduction to it, and for me to be able to get my eye in again with some coaching and games.
A couple of years ago, I took N to watch the sailing club in town go out on the reservoir, and I know he’d love to have a go in a sailboat. While he might be a bit young now, in the future I’d love him (and us) to experience some sailing while on holiday.
An easy life
Being a man, and a farmer at that, any holiday is always organised and booked by me. And all the washing beforehand, the packing, the sorting out passports, getting foreign money and buying necessities. So once it’s booked, the perfect family holiday would have to be as hassle free as possible. Ideally no cooking for me – we like to eat some meals onsite and some out; activities already organised so all we have to do is turn up and take part; and nothing to worry about until the day we have to leave. I’m all for having an easy life and a holiday should be just that, before returning to reality. Holidays are a great way to experience new things, create new memories (and N is definitely at the age where he’s starting to share his memories from a while back), and really feel like you’re away from home.
We’d be great as a Mark Warner family because we’d be sharing our experiences from a family just starting out on family holiday adventures – with N and I set in our ways and knowing what we like and how we work on holiday (as we’ve been away on roadtrips together), and the OH having to find his way and work out what works for the family. We all like different things on holiday, so we’d be able to share different views of the one holiday and how it worked for us.
What type of holidays do you enjoy as a family? How do you cope with all wanting different things?