Family holidays..

(63 Posts)
Hawkmoon269 Sat 30-Mar-13 06:54:27

Aibu to ask you all where you go and how much you spend?!

I haven't really enjoyed our family holidays over the last couple of years. We've hired a cottage and also went on a Mark Warner holiday - both in Europe.. 2 young dc.

Both holidays were exhausting, at times fun, at times stressful. Travelling to Europe (let alone further afield) with children is a schlep.

The holidays we'd really like to do seem completely unreachable financially. And I'm not talking about Necker Island - more like a really lovely hotel in France or a beautiful hired cottage in Devon. £1000 for a week is our total budget. I can't really get my head around spending more than that when there's so many other pulls on our money. Eg we need a new car in the next year.

I'd just like some inspiration I think - I'm baffled by "holidays" as my idea of a holiday pre dh and dc was flying long haul to stay with friends or camping in Cornwall! I've never been a fan of beach holidays but our dc just want to spend a week in a pool.

JollyYellowGiant Sat 30-Mar-13 07:48:24

We are going to a cottage near Oxford this year as I will be very pregnant and not able to fly. As it is I'm a little worried about the 8 hour drive!

StanleyLambchop Sat 30-Mar-13 07:48:34

We have booked cottages in Devon for less than £1000, try May half term it is alot cheaper than August . there are also loads of owners who don't use agents, if you book direct with them it can be alot cheaper. We are not that far geographically though so the petrol is not too bad. I imagine if you are a far way off then that will start pushing up the price. I hope you find someone nice though, Devon really is great for families!

JollyYellowGiant Sat 30-Mar-13 07:49:02

Cottages4you is a good site for UK cottages.

Hawkmoon269 Sat 30-Mar-13 07:52:23

jollyyellow that's what we did last year. 2 weeks, 2 gites in France all for £1000. First week was great, second week not so good - bit isolated, no other children around and lots of rain!

Maybe we should try again but just for 1 week...

Urbanvoltaire Sat 30-Mar-13 07:53:24

Hire a static caravan in a lovely campsite in Fife (went there for all my childhood holidays). Train to Edinburgh then hire a car, approx £750 all in. Kids 6&11, still ok to share a room. It's good value for money IMO & I'm tight! It's like a home from home if on a smaller scale.

Bonkerz Sat 30-Mar-13 07:58:25

We book two holidays a year. Generally first week of summer holidays and either feb half term or oct half term. This year it's July and October. We. Have paid £220 for each holiday. One in north Wales on a site in a caravan (3 bed all mod cons) and another in South Wales on a bigger site with loads for the kids to do. We tend to go to a different part of country each year. Last year we did Norfolk and year before that Devon. It suits us as kids love the activities (4 aged between 12-1) and everything is on hand so older ones can go off round camp alone.

maddening Sat 30-Mar-13 08:05:21

4 nights in a cabin 50yds from the beach in Anglesey £250 plus petrol and food. Loved it.

charlieandlola Sat 30-Mar-13 08:06:11

Keycamp, booked months in advance is an option. May half term much cheaper than summer.

maddening Sat 30-Mar-13 08:06:49

Under the thatch has nice properties

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 30-Mar-13 08:10:05

the west country (and the lakes) are really expensive compared with the rest of the UK
you can get a cottage on the Llyn, or the Gower for half the price, and the beaches are amazing.

this year we are going to North York Moors (again!). £650 for a really well-appointed 3 bed cottage in August. Beautiful part of the world with Whitby, Robin Hood's bay, York all within an easy drive. The beaches are great if we get the weather, but there's lots to do around York/Pickering if we don't. we save tesco points and other vouchers to get money off days out while we're there.

SweepTheHalls Sat 30-Mar-13 08:12:55

I feel your pain, I too remember the lovely holidays! We have found that camping with friends with kids the same age has solved it. They have a fantastic time in the day ( which to be fair so do we) we let them stay up until they fall over! Then enjoy spending the evenings drinking wine with our friends every night. Until we can go snowboarding again, this is is sorted! 5 mini camping hols in different areas of the country booked for between May and September, so no one holiday is a huge deal if it goes pear shaped!

Portofino Sat 30-Mar-13 08:20:13

Could you try a Gite complex in France. The benefits of self catering/ having your own space, but with other kids to play with.

We have so many places we want to go in the UK that we are staying home again this year, with an expensive (for us) day trip each week of the school holidays. Much easier to bribe the DC with the day trip than a holiday I find grin

We will be having a long weekend camping with some friends in August - I couldnt go for longer than a long weekend no matter how much the kids love it.. I try but god I hate camping when sober! blush

AllOverIt Sat 30-Mar-13 08:29:17

We're off to Devon on Monday, for 3 nights. It's our friend's apartment so free, but will need lots of spending money.

We go camping in France for the first two weeks of the Summer. It's about £1800 including all spends so pretty good for a family of four. Think I've only queued for the showers on a couple of occasions so never a problem really.

In between we're off camping in Devon for May half term, then we're camping for other weekends in between. They cost about £100 per weekend including site costs and spending money.

ComingtoKent Sat 30-Mar-13 08:33:05

When my ds was younger we had a few holidays at Sands Resort in Porth near Newquay. It wasn't very expensive, especially outside school holidays, and is just brilliant for kids - and to give parents a break. Loads of activities, clubs etc all included and it's right on the beach so brilliant walks and rock pooling on your doorstep. I saw an offer for it recently on Groupon I think, which made me check out the website and it looks like they're still offering the same standard as we enjoyed a few years ago.

Also my ds absolutely loved (whisper it) Butlins and we got several cheap deals there using the Sun £9.50 holiday vouchers. Again, great for younger kids and tolerable for adults for a weekend.

Nowadays, ds is doing A levels and I get to go on holiday just with my new partner - we had a wonderful cottage in France last year (Owners Direct website) with its own private pool. The cottage slept four and cost 800 euros for a week in August - fantastic value. Obviously we spent a fortune on good food and wine while we were there, but the house and pool were so fab we mostly ate by the pool.

GeekLove Sat 30-Mar-13 08:34:22

I recommend cottages4u and English Country Cottages. I would get one with an indoor swimming pool and a games room as even of the weather is pants you won't be stuck for things to do.

malteserzz Sat 30-Mar-13 08:35:00

We've been put off uk holidays as the weather is always so bad and you end up spending loads on entertaining the kids ! Somewhere like center parcs is expensive but at least you can spend the day in the pool and there's lots to do in the rain !

DiscoDonkey Sat 30-Mar-13 08:39:45

We had a lovely little apartment over looking the beach in Cornwall last year (during August) that cost just under £600. It was a small place but room enough for four people and we couldn't have asked for a better location.

BarredfromhavingStella Sat 30-Mar-13 08:39:48

We're doing Tunisia at the end of August, £2200 for the 4 of us for 2 weeks AI in a two bedroom room-one of us is an infant though so he's only £40 of that grin

We did eurocamp in Italy a couple of years ago & it cost a fortune!!

CatsRule Sat 30-Mar-13 08:44:12

We're going to a caravan in the north of Scotland this year for £300. All we will need is diesel and food.

Previously we went camping and plan to again with ds. He is only a year and we'd need a bus to carry all his luggage including the camping gear! That's why we're not doing that this year but hopefully next year. Plus we need a bigger tent. We also find all the palava of going abroad for sun holidays stressful. Although we'd love to drive to France to go camping.

mamageekchic Sat 30-Mar-13 08:52:57

Disneyworld for us in 2 weeks time!!! Just under £2.7k for flights/hotel/car hire then £500 on park tickets for disney and hoping to get away with £1500 spends. Planning a week in Portugal/Tenerife for later in the year, probably September, budget is £1k ish for flights and accommodation then £700ish spends.

2 adults and 2yo DD

jojane Sat 30-Mar-13 09:07:41

We are off to london for a week next week. Sharing costs with MIL. Out share of 2 bed apartment it £350, train was £100, using various vouchers/ Tesco/ 2-4-1 etc so with a couple of meals out etc etc spending money will be £3-400.
Will book to go to legoland for 2 days in sep/oct and stay in legoland hotel again which will be about £500 including meals.
MIL and other family live in north Devon by the beach so will spend some time there in the summer so cost will be minimal
Might try a few day camping in the summer if we get nice weather
Other than that will be lots of day trips as we are buying a new car in a couple of months

ENormaSnob Sat 30-Mar-13 09:37:47

For your budget I would look at sites such as onthebeach or travel republic for a cheapy holiday to the sun.

Or keycamp/eurocamp/canvas holidays and look at the super tents on the big sites for a week.

Montybojangles Sat 30-Mar-13 09:42:43

www.independentcottages.co.uk/lateAvailabilityOffers.php

If you can bear to wait until a week or so before you can get some reagama regains for self catering on this site. We do it, adds to the excitement of wondering where in the country you will end up. Been to places I wouldn't have thought of and discovered lovely places.

MichaelaS Sat 30-Mar-13 09:54:15

We like to go on uk short breaks and stay in premier travel inn type places. You know what you're getting and it's consistently reliable. Eat a huge breakfast and don't buy lunch! We raid those local information stands and do cheesy days out. Walking in parks or on the beach is good for little ones. It's all pretty cheap compared to proper resorts or abroad. Local transport is fun for small boys.

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