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What does your holiday mean to you? Share your thoughts with Haven: you could win £100 voucher NOW CLOSED

(67 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-May-14 10:56:29

We have been asked by the team at Haven to find out from MNers what they look for in a holiday?

Haven say "We think we know what families want on their holidays - as well as being lovely seaside destinations, we also have a lot to offer families to keep the kids busy and entertained. For the rainy days there are indoor heated pools plus the fantastic kids clubs. Outdoors you can take part in nature trails and create memories on the beach. Haven also offers a range of activities for all ages. But we'd love to know what you think!"

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday?
~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?

Add your comment to this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 Love2Shop voucher. Please note comments made on this thread may be used by Haven on their pages on Mumsnet, in social media or possibly elsewhere. Prize draw: 23 May 2pm

thanks and good luck!
MNHQ

WowOoo Mon 12-May-14 13:53:48

To make it a proper holiday it would have to be at least a week.

I prefer longer holidays. In a dream world it would be a month away from reality, but the most we've managed recently is 4 days!

My family and sometimes my extended family or another family who are friends with us come along.

Essentials are good food. I like to eat things I don't usually cook at home.

Another essential is a nice environment. This could be anything from clean, attractive rooms, to a perfect forest nearby for example.

It's nice to be able to take your time on holiday. Even a day or two away means I can relax and slow down a bit.

Groovee Mon 12-May-14 15:51:16

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
Somewhere where we can relax, be a couple if on our own or be a family if we're altogether. It's a down time for us where the normal routine can be broken and instead of feeling stressed. Either suits, as it's getting away from home regardless of length of time. We do like to be somewhere with different things to do and a good local area to explore too.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
We've done years where we have shorter breaks over the year rather than 2 weeks in a hot climate such as florida. As long as we're together getting some much needed quality time, that is what matters for us

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
If self catering I have to take my own knife and chopping board. My mum laughed at me when we did a weekend away! A camera of some sort to remember the memories is a must too!

CMOTDibbler Mon 12-May-14 15:58:23

We mostly do short breaks - whichever way, its time together that matters for us. I like short breaks as we can have more of those - with 5 weeks holiday a year a 2 week holiday takes up most of it in one go

We like to camp, so I take my duvet and pillow with me

MaddAddam Mon 12-May-14 17:43:53

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday?

Quite varied. We like lots of types of holiday. Lots to do and see, good weather (hot and sunny), lots of physical activity, beautiful scenery, cultural activities.

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
Not much difference, we just go further for the longer holidays.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
I like them all! But I prefer 1-2 weeks or more, so we get time to wind down properly from work.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
My partner, 3 children. Often we go with friends and their families too.

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Wine. Books (lots of them). Walking boots.

Roseformeplease Mon 12-May-14 19:31:33

We like to do stuff - together. We like to go out to eat - together. We love having a joke, finding new places and building memories as a small family.

We like at least a week but, because we live in the middle of nowhere, a short break usually starts with a 4 hour drive, just to get somewhere vaguely different.

Love just my DH or DH and 2 children. We have fallen into taking MiL once a year which is a bit of a chore (can't really relax) but worth it because it means so much to her.

We read a lot, and love a good tea room in the UK or more exotic fare overseas.

AmandinePoulain Mon 12-May-14 19:47:39

I'll tell you one thing - my ideal family holiday would be as far from a Haven site as possible grin

We went to Combe Haven when dd1 was around 18mo. Never. Again.

The chalet was dirty. Our bed was broken. The high chair I paid for was filthy, I am so glad we took our own cot as I wouldn't have put dd anywhere near any provided by Haven if that's the level of cleaning to be expected. The worst thing though, as far as I was concerned, was the TV which was on a table too small for it. It was so unstable, and so dangerous with a toddler around. The staff couldn't have cared less, and my complaint letter resulted in a fob off.

I will never ever go near Haven again.

On the other side of the coin, my favourite self catering holiday destination is Bluestone. Clean, well maintained accommodation with excellent facilities on site.

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Mon 12-May-14 20:19:44

What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?

A holiday needs to be further away, somewhere we wouldn't ordinarily visit. We tend not to do short breaks as it's difficult with a toddler and a dog.

Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?

We tend to do one week holidays. If we are going abroad, this is long enough to leave our dog with his "holiday family", and if it's in this country, a week is long enough to do everything we can in the area.

Who do you take on holiday with you?

If in this country, our 3 year old daughter and our dog. If we go abroad the dog stays with a family.

what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?

If in this country, somewhere which has a bit of luxury, plenty of private space, and lots to do with a toddler AND a dog. You wouldn't imagine how hard that can be. We plan for dog friendly restaurants and cafés, but most attractions that appeal/allow for both are beaches and parks.

If abroad, child friendly facilities, with a chance for us to relax.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Mon 12-May-14 20:45:07

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday? A holiday is an opportunity to relax and enjoy quality family time.
~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break? For me, a short break is often connected to visiting family, or dog walking and is usually in the UK. A holiday is going away,preferably abroad, and not doing much day to day stuff. I try to avoid cooking, cleaning, etc. on holiday but don't mind self catering on a short break.
~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays? I like both but would choose a 2 week holiday over several short breaks.
~ Who do you take on holiday with you? Me, DH, 2 DDs.
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday? Clean, comfortable accommodation, pool, choice of places to eat, places of historical interest, beaches, some entertainment for the kids, friendly staff/reps, the opportunity to get away from the hotel/complex easily.

boptanana Mon 12-May-14 20:57:02

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
Somewhere to relax that is clean and comfy in the evenings. We have small children so can't really go out so need somewhere nice on the evening to relax and have drink and meal.
~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
Either are great, I'm easily pleased.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
Sometimes it nice to be a family of 4 but gps are great for evening babysitting.
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Baby kit to save space in the car

MakkaPakkasSponge Mon 12-May-14 21:11:55

We would generally decide on our holiday based upon the price. So we'd tend to do more short breaks.
Other than value for money we'd look for activities and what's in the surrounding area (nice parks, nature walks, the sights, restaurants). It'd be me, DH and our toddler DC.
Key essentials are: bringing the toddler's things to minimise the stresses of a strange place, and baby friendly places to go. Oh and decaff tea/coffee in our room!

DurhamDurham Tue 13-May-14 08:25:42

We have always enjoyed going away on holiday as a family. We both work full time and the weeks fly by. Getting away means a complete change from the ordinary for us. A chance to have leisurely meals, time to talk, play games, go on walks.

We used to have a two week. Ian holiday every year and some short breaks. The last two years we have gone for two separate weeks. One in June and one in September. This means that we have something to look forward to through the year.

When we can we like to get away for long weekends, or mon-fri deals and explore the UK. Some of our best memories are of trips to the Lake District, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

I do enjoy staying in hotels, it's a big treat for us. However I think for a really great family holiday nothing beats the flexibility of self catering in a mobile home/chalet or lodge that you can call your own....at least for the time you are there. It has always felt like a real home from home for us.
We usually do a big shop before we go away and as soon as we arrive we can break open the treats and enjoy them while we unpack. We tend to eat in for breakfast and then either eat out on a lunch time and make a meal for dinner or vice versa. This keeps the cost down but also allows lots of flexibility and we can just dine when we want.

The unpredictable weather in the UK has never bothered us, go prepared and nothing can spoil your fun. Sunshine is a bonus but the Lake District etc still look amazing in the drizzle grin

GetKnitted Tue 13-May-14 09:00:19

We can't really take long holidays because of work. I prefer short breaks anyway, it gives me time to get organised at home before and after. I like a good mix of free and paid for fun, I'm happy to make a picnic if there are the facilities, that frees us up to have evening meals out, my kids ate happy with any break so long as it is a bit different from home.

KateOxford Tue 13-May-14 10:05:09

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday?
~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?

We always go for a week or longer as by the time we get everything organised and packed and do a long drive we would rather go away for long enough to relax. There is nowhere nearby where we would go for a short break however if there was somewhere worth driving to in an hour or so then we would consider a short break.
~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays? No we prefers holiday of 7 or 10 nights.
~ Who do you take on holiday with you? Husband and 2 children. Sometimes grandparents stay nearby in a house that they own near to where we go on holiday. We then see them a little but all have our own space.
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday? Things to do outdoors and indoors, toddler friendly places to eat, places of interest to visit eg national trust or English heritage, take aways for an evening treat for husband and I. Seaside location.

Spirael Tue 13-May-14 11:32:30

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
A short break for us is usually designed around a specific event/show/exhibition/day out. A holiday is more to get away from daily life, relax (to a certain degree) and spend quality time together as a family. It's good if there are a few things to do in and around the area if we feel so inclined.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
I prefer a combination of both throughout the year, as they both are for different things. Generally however we don't go away for more than ten days at a time anywhere. After ten days, we're usually ready to come home and back to our normal routine!

~ Who do you take on holiday with you? and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
For weekends away, mostly it's just DH and I at present while DD1 stays with family as she's too young to accompany us on whatever it is we're going to. As she gets older, she'll be able to come along if she wants and we might even arrange trips around things she specifically wants to attend.
For longer trips, since having children (DD2 is imminently expected) we've always travelled/stayed with grandparents. We've yet to plan/take a longer trip with just us and kids, but I expect that'll change as children and grandparents get older.

ArtFine Tue 13-May-14 11:45:46

I now have a baby so everything has changed.

When child-less, I would have preferred to have gone on regular short breaks, but now I would never do a short break. I think a week is perfect time.

What I look for in a holiday is luxury and location. It has to be a place that will cater for our dietary requirements and if has to be luxurious - or else, there's no point going and I would rather stay at home.

In the past, the historical and cultural elements would be important to but now, I just want a break, somewhere we can chill and is family friendly.

Holidays would he with DP and DD.

A family holiday for us is a week in a UK cottage, with visits to heritage railways, archaeological sites, historic houses and gardens and museums.
We are a family of unashamed geeks, we'd hate a "compound-based" holiday or all-inclusive. Our holiday accommodation is only a base to explore the area, and the thought of a week by the pool makes me fidgety, I doubt I'd last a morning even with a good book to keep me occupied.
Not taken with kids clubs either, surely the point of a family holiday is to spend time together (also, why should the kids get all the fun activities?wink)

NomenOmen Tue 13-May-14 13:38:19

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday?

Lots of time together with some interesting activities/destinations thrown in.

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?

A holiday means relaxation to me, while a short break is more about a change of scene, doing or seeing something new. Holidays can involve this too, of course, but I don't (or didn't) go on short breaks to unwind.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?

No preference, really, although short breaks are - for me at least - not so easy with DC. My idea of a great short break is a city break, with lots of cultural activities (museums, houses, interesting restaurants), and my 5yr old, though good at these things, has a limited capacity for it all.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you? and what are your key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?

My kindle. Enough clothes! Sponge-bag. Sun cream.

cluttered Tue 13-May-14 13:52:32

What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
A holiday for us is a minimum of a week and is ideally in a self-contained villa as none of us find it relaxing to eat out all the time, especially we don't want to have breakfasts in a restaurant every day. We have a mix of relaxing days around a pool or out walking or meandering around and more organised days whether visiting a museum or historical site or doing an organised activity such as sailing. A short break on the other hand would be based in a hotel, probably visiting a short-haul city destination and for 3 or 4 days we would expect to eat our meals out and not have to bother with supermarket shopping and food preparation. We wouldn't have the down time but would be focused on spending as much time as possible exploring the destination and visiting museums and other places of interest

Do you prefer more short breaks instead of a longer holiday?
No, we need a main summer holiday so would go without any short breaks rather than omit the summer holiday. But my ideal would be 10 days in the summer and a couple of short breaks

Who do you take on holiday with you?
Always just our family of 4. We have tried spending our summer holiday with another family once and it didn't really work for us, too many parenting differences

What are your key essentials on holiday?
Lots of books to read, and for our summer holiday we always choose somewhere with a pool. I don't want to be somewhere hot with no pool! I am really fussy about the coffee I drink so always take my own coffee and cafetiere. I have learnt not to take the coffee in my hand luggage though as it always means my bag fails the Xray screening. I have been told the machine can't distinguish between ground coffee and liquids!

Letitsnow9 Tue 13-May-14 14:00:02

Prefer 2 weeks to a short break, like sunshine and relaxing so no cooking or housework. Essentials consist of big fluffy towels and a good book

sharond101 Tue 13-May-14 14:21:02

Relaxation and time for fun with my family are my must dos on holiday. We are on our last day in gran canaria just now:-(
Duration depends on where you are going, what the weather is like, how you will pass the time, who is going.
I love the sunshine but for DS two weeks might have been too long so em have done one week. I reckon 10days would have been perfect.
I prefer a longer holiday to numerous short breaks as I find the planning and packing stressful as well as the unpacking and washing when we get home so doing it all as one suits me better although we have this year been on an overnight and a four night break as well as this holiday. The hotel we are in just now is fabulous and thinking if returning in September.

Bingbongbinglybunglyboo Tue 13-May-14 14:31:38

Short breaks are better at the moment, as my toddlers can only seem to cope with about4 days max of disruption to usual routine before total melt down, it's also exhausting for parents being away with toddlers for longer than that.

Love the freedom from the day to day, and doing different things tho.

Always pack more packs baby wipes!

NettleTea Tue 13-May-14 15:56:18

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?

length and further afield - somewhere we wouldnt pop to for a weekend/half term for instance. And sun.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?

I would love both!! But I really need the break that a a longer trip offers

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?

I take the 2 children

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?

Somewhere that offers the chance to unwind, safe for the children to have some freedom, and a chance to get out and see a different place.

JuniperTisane Tue 13-May-14 17:33:51

A short break is a holiday in the Tisane household due to DH being self-employed and us not willing to take more time off than a long weekend. Suits me, I am generally ready to come home after a few days away. Maybe as the children grow up we might want to go further afield for a bit longer occasionally but for now if its within 4-5 hours drive its good enough for us.
We go away as a family - DH and I and the two boys. Nobody else.
Key essentials - peace, space for the children to run riot and within driving distance. A standard of accommodation on par with home or better if possible and absolutely NO walls that move smile

mammamic Tue 13-May-14 18:26:03

holiday vs a short break?
for me, any time away from home together is a holiday. If I had to differentiate, a short break is a long weekend or shorter. Anything more, is a holiday

short breaks vs 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
We like the best of both worlds.
I aim to have at least one break of 10 days away together and, if funds permit, abroad (though this is not an 'essential')
If I can get the time off, I also like to have 3 or 4 short breaks, in the UK
Of course, in an idea world, I'd love to have a month away in an apartment somewhere - as I did as a child every summer! How parents afforded that then, I don't know - and that was with one salary...

Who do you take on holiday with you?
My daughter and, if he's not annoying me too much, her dad. We are separated but try to have on break/holiday together as a family per year.

what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
For short breaks:
fun, easy to organise things to do - simple things like maps to local cycle routes
perfect accomodation - I don't want to spend a day sorting out a dirty room, shower not working etc - it's a short break - time is precious

For longer holidays:
fun things to do
new thngs to do
free things to do
good local amenities

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