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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

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 13-May-14 18:42:20

A holiday has to be a minimum of a week. Any less than that, I can't really relax into it because it takes me at least 3 days to truly unwind. Ideally it should be two weeks or more because then there is time for a real range of activities e.g. Relaxing by the beach/pool, sightseeing, eating out, water sports.

I prefer longer holidays instead of lots of shorter breaks away because I would rather spend lots of money having fewer really amazing trips than having lots of shorter trips that weren't of such good quality.

In order to make the trip really good, there needs to be stuff there for my son e.g. a holiday club especially as he is an only child so he can meet other kids. It's good if there is a large range of food so there is plenty to choose from. We like having free wifi so we can keep up to date with the news and use social networking sites while we are away. Good entertainment in the evening is good so we have something to do, such as singers, bands etc.

ScrambledEggAndToast Tue 13-May-14 18:44:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

mercibucket Tue 13-May-14 20:29:33

i need at least one long holiday of at least 10 days to feel recharged

i need nice people around me as well as good company so i choose my destination and holiday company carefully

we take ipads ipods iphones and i take about 10 books

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 13-May-14 20:35:03

A proper holiday is at least 6 nights/a week. I prefer short breaks though.

I would take DH and our 2 DDs (3 and 10 months). I might bring my parents too. I don't really know, because we haven't really done any proper holiday/short breaks yet.

The accommodation is really important. It needs to be clean and well laid out. I want somewhere comfortable to sleep and a decent shower.
Ideally there would be something to do when the weather is bad - indoor pool or play area or something. I'd like to do something new on holiday too.

AndHarry Tue 13-May-14 21:18:14

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
A short break is a bit of a whirlwind as usually we're going for a specific purpose - to visit a theme park, visit friends or a specific tourist attraction. I see a holiday as a time to really relax and take a complete rest from the usual pressures of home and work.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
I'd love a proper long holiday but with young children I feel that holidays are more work than being at home! So at the moment we do a few short breaks a year. It's nice as it gives us something to look forward to every few months.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
I go on holiday with my husband and our two young children (4 and 1).

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
A great view, clean accommodation and something completely different from home.

Hopezibah Tue 13-May-14 23:11:20

~What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
A holiday is usually further afield and needs to be a sunnier location ideally - less going on to just relax more. Short breaks need to have plenty going on to keep busy whether it be an interesting city or lots of kids activities.
~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?

I prefer short-breaks because it feels like you're getting more holdiays / breaks.
~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
family / kids
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
THe children need to be happy - if they are happy we are happy. Simple things like having DVD players where we are staying / free DVD hire etc helps lots.

Bubbles85 Wed 14-May-14 09:35:54

For me a holiday is relaxing and exciting with a mix of activities and taking it easy, whereas a short break is all about getting as much doe as possible in a really short space of time to make the most of getting away - I can relax at home in the garden!

I prefer a long break if we can afford it at the time and it has to be a family holiday. Things are a bit different with a baby so essentials are remembering to take lots of nappies and toys!

tinypumpkin Wed 14-May-14 10:25:22

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

Relaxation (as much as you can with small children). Short breaks are busier.

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

I prefer longer holidays. The packing and organisation is so great that longer breaks seems to make this part more worth it.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
DH, DCs.

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Toys, books, balls, swimming stuff etc. I can bring that though! Clean accommodation.

Carriecakes80 Wed 14-May-14 11:02:28

Every family holiday to us means the world,
we don't get one every year for my two boys and two girls,
Our income is low and outgoings are high,
and holidays cost a lot, but we do always try,
to save money year round for a week's break,
but even a short stay makes our bank account ache!
But last year was wonderful as I won a holiday!
We got a week for six people in Newquay!
It was the trip of our dreams in their star caravan,
but we had to get a lift, so we went in my dads van!
But this year alas, unless I win once more,
there is no fabulous holiday in store.
We've had so many repairs to do on our home,
that we just can't afford to go on our own.
I think that a weeks holiday is enough,
its a break from the norm when the going gets tough!
Its a chance to relax, to let go of life,
a chance to enjoy being a mother & wife!
A chance to eat rubbish without feeling guilt,
to laze in in the mornings and snuggle under the quilt!
To run on the beach, to smell the sea-air,
to build massive sand-castles and go to the fair!
What are the key things to have on your break?
There is ONLY one thing that you do need to take!
Its your sense of adventure, your spirit and fun!
We don't plan our trips, we take it all as it comes!
We grab a map and just take votes where to go,
whether there's sunshine rain sleet or snow!
My dad used to plan so much of our holiday,
but we'd find that it would never ever go his way!
A holiday is time to throw plans out the door,
to enjoy relaxing, to walk along the shore,
As long as there is somewhere free for the kids,
to run about mad when we don't have the quids!
Somewhere they can run while we sit eating chips,
and somewhere comfy to sleep when we all need a kip
nothing else matters, its a holiday!
A time to chillax, rest up & play!
To us it does not really matter where,
as long as where we go has a beach and a fair!!!
Two weeks is too long, and we'd run out of money,
but a weekend is too short, just wouldn't be funny.
But a week is just right, just perfect for us all,
we do love our holidays, we six have a ball! :-)

telsa Wed 14-May-14 11:48:12

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
wi-fi so I don't have to switch off completely! But also lots of variety - good things nearby to explore, like castles, forests, beach, historic towns.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
I prefer a short break because I find it very hard to be away from my desk - sad, I know, but true. I get very itchy after 5 days. Plus I am sure we'll get burgled!

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
DP, and DS and DD. But this year we are hoping to go with two friends and their DS - which I really hope happens, as I have never done this before.

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
lots of changes of clothes.
books, books, books for all of us.
camera. and other recording devices
maps and guidebooks.

SagaNorensLeatherTrousers Wed 14-May-14 14:24:31

After a few years of not being able to afford a holiday at all, I'm so pleased and excited that we've actually booked with Haven this year, in Weymouth!

We've booked a week as we think 2 or 3 days is too short to really relax and have fun.

It will be DH and I plus our 4 kids between us and our dog!

Key essentials would be: a swimming pool plus kid's entertainment and activities and some indoor options in case the weather doesn't hold out. Not too fussed about the caravan as long as it's clean!

Very excited!

Willemdefoeismine Wed 14-May-14 21:01:25

We've been a bit bad with holidays really since the DCs have been born. I think short-breaks have the advantage of being a way to get out of one's usual environment and have a buzzy time doing lots of things, without getting over-tired and worn down by taking 'home life' on holiday with you! Think it takes a time to relax into a longer break and if one is doing so, it really needs to be over a week for one to really chillax and switch-off....

Immediate family - extended families just bring unsorted family dynamics to the surface IMHO!

Essentials are switching off technology, ensuring one has information to hand of all the things that are going on, doing as little cooking and as few normal grind domestic chores as possible! Spending quality time together but letting there be some space in togetherness too!

Ragwort Thu 15-May-14 08:20:49

Actually I find holidays quite stressful now that DS is a teenager grin - my ideal holiday would be a long weekend away on my own ! We already spend plenty of time at home due to flexible working patterns so quite honestly it is no big deal 'to spend time together'.

I also think holidays are so very expensive that you constantly feel you 'ought' to be enjoying it when often it is not much different to being at home (I recognise we are lucky to live in a very attractive part of the country - which is a tourist destination itself). We usually go self catering so it is the same old cooking meals in a kitchen not as good as my own, the times we have gone to hotels or similar I am just so shocked at the prices for pretty mediocre surroundings and food.

I sound like a misery ! grin

hunhun007 Thu 15-May-14 18:58:02

What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
Short break is purely for relaxation purpose... on holidays we want to see something new, learn something new and discover something new.

Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
I think that mixture of both for a perfect balance.

Who do you take on holiday with you?
My whole family. We do not go if one of us can't join us.

What are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Not a lot really, as long as we are all there, feeling good and healthy we will have fun. We would like some sea and a nice beach front but we can do without it :-)

GrasshopperNchipmunk Thu 15-May-14 20:53:24

We have three small children, I work Mon-Fri and my husband works evenings and weekends so we literally have no time as a family. Holidays mean everything to us as it truly is quality time together as a family of 5.

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break? Pre children we always had one long haul holiday per year. Feet up, cocktail fueled sun fest. In recent years we can't afford this anymore, and wouldn't want this for the children. Holidays now are all about the kids - if they are happy then we can relax and have a good time too. We love short breaks or longer holidays and try to have a mix of both every year, nearly always in the UK.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays? Both. Any holiday is a good holiday!!

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday? Enough clothes so I don't have to wash! Enough bits to keep the kids entertained. Enough spending money so we don't have to worry about money (although we do budget before we go, like we will go self catering and do a massive food shop to take).

ataraxia Fri 16-May-14 07:23:36

I like short breaks as there's something to look forward to every few months but a long break is better to really relax since trvel days are already affected, may have to avoid swimming, cycling etc if you don't know you'll have access to shower/changing facilities for the full day before you travel.

If self-catering, taking small amounts of things like tin foil, seasonings - or knowing they are available at the property - is god to avoid too much expenditure

lolancurly Fri 16-May-14 07:25:06

We like to have a couple of holidays a year; somewhere like Greece or Spain for a week during the May half term when it is less expensive to fly than the summer but we still get a taste of somewhere hot and foreign; just eating new foods, being in a foreign supermarket and discovering new places is an adventure. In the summer holidays we go to Cornwall for a week, always the same area and we always do the same things. We like the familiarity of knowing where the good pubs and cafes and beaches are; we don't have to think about it, every day we get up knowing what places we want to see and where we want to eat. We only ever go for 1 weeks holiday at a time - by the end of it, we are all ready to go home and don't have holiday fatigue.

SaltySeaBird Fri 16-May-14 09:50:19

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday?
Just time together, away from distractions of daily life.

What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
In a holiday we'll be looking to explore somewhere completely new. We prefer long hail destinations where our budget can stretch further once we get there.

Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
We are fortunate that we normally have one long holiday of two weeks and several short breaks of a couple of nights (normally just within the UK).

Who do you take on holiday with you?
DH and DD. Occasionally my DM.

What are your key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
On our longer trip we do like to have a pool for at least part of the holiday. We don't really have essentials though, we just like spending time together. We do prefer quieter places rather than staying at big hotels or resorts.

tinacwrdu Fri 16-May-14 09:55:50

I work 30 hours over 6 days so i really appreciate even 2 days off in a row!! My plans for the summer holidays are to split my time away with a 5 day holiday and a 7 day holiday. These will give me time to refresh and have a break. The first holiday is to get away and celebrate my 20 year wedding anniversary and the second is the only week in the summer that we can get all 3 of my child together! We go away in our caravan and plan to stay in Wales as there are lovely places on our doorstep really! We love to have BBQ's whilst away and the occassional take away which saves on the washing up etc. Nothing 'out-of-the-ordinary' but it is the simple, little things that make all the difference!

CheeseEMouse Fri 16-May-14 12:11:42

A whole week off is great as it means we properly get the chance to unwind from work and spend time together. A short break can be just as nice but work sometimes tries to contact us if we are away for a short amount of time ) which is less fun!

Now we have our daughter it is the practical things that really matter. So good facilities for dinner near by and somewhere not too hot. We have found we can still do some of the things we enjoy like walking so long as we are organised and have everything we need with us. It also helps to travel for day trips at nap time.

Doobydoo Fri 16-May-14 19:21:13

At least a week....dog friendly.2 children.Pools/restaurants/fun!
Clean and very friendly.....and space. and not hideously expensive!

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Fri 16-May-14 22:10:34

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

Activities for the children to do.

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

Always the longer holiday, it just feels more like quality family time together.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?

Immediate family only.

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

Lots of clothes, medications and things to keep the children busy whilst travelling smile

kazy82 Sat 17-May-14 03:25:29

~ 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?
I prefer short breaks 2-4 nights and have more spread out over the year. Its always easier for me to save up spending money for a shorter break and enjoy it more rather than saving £100's of pounds for a week then watching what I spend to make sure I have enough to last. I do like week long breaks too just they are very pricey.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
It varies I love breaks and holidays, I love going with my boyfriend and kids, my parents, my sisters and love little get always with just my girly friends.

My essentials....Has to be my camera, I have to snap away at everything...they are the memories and bragging rights to a top break. also have to pack towels even if they are provided there just never seems to be enough for everyone to have their own.

A break/holiday to me is spending quality time with my loved ones, having longer in bed and some fun late nights, so for me a perfect resort is somewhere that runs breakfast later than 10am or has a restaurant that serves all day breakfasts, after all im on holiday so want a fry up everyday but don't want to rush the kids out of bed just to run for a fry up, its their holiday too....and there's no school run smile

MegBusset Sat 17-May-14 11:44:57

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
Has to be self-catering as DS1 has multiple allergies. We love staying in caravans, it feels a bit like camping but much less depressing if it rains smile we generally take UK holidays as DH and I hate flying and it's more environmentally friendly. We like sites that are near lots of places to explore - walks, beach, national trust properties etc.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
We try to have a week at Easter and one in summer as it breaks the year up more than one long holiday. Plus a few weekends camping if the weather's kind.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
DH and the DC. On occasion my parents have come to the same site which is handy for babysitting.

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Relax, forget about normal routines or balanced diet, start the wine early smile

Bonkerz Sun 18-May-14 15:37:57

Holidays for us as a family of 6 (mum, dad, DSage 14, DD age 13, DD age 8 and DS age3) tend to be quite active. We don't want to travel much when on holiday so prefer on site activities. Stuff to occupy the children and keep them busy and that run on time and are either book on or open numbers. My teens love hanging out so pools and teen clubs are good. Soft play for bad weather and good parks are good too. Fab evening shows which are tailored to the children so no bingo etc.
accommodation should be tidy and clean and kitchen well equipped to cook proper food and also on site take away food is good. It's also essential that the places we go understand and make allowances for food allergies and also autism as both conditions are part of my family life.

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