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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.

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

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.

asuwere Sun 18-May-14 17:41:15

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
I think they are both the same, whether it's a long weekend or a week away, it's still time away from the usual routine and time to enjoy just being a family.

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
Depends on other circumstances during the year. We've sometimes had a few shorter breaks throughout the year or sometimes had a week away. Kids are happy with either.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Just immediate family (ie. me, DH and DC). Essentials are to get away from the usual routine, relax and just have fun - even better if we can get bargains too! smile

kmills Mon 19-May-14 07:47:15

~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
In either a holiday or short break, I look for things that will be the most fun and involve all the family.

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

I think around a week on holiday is great, anything longer can leave the kids a bit bored and home sick.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
I take my two daughters and my Mum on holiday.

~what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
The key things for us as a family on holiday are being able to find fun activities we can all do as a family together.

Bunbaker Mon 19-May-14 07:57:18

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? Somewhere with lots of sightseeing and interesting things to do

~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays? It's easier to go away for a week at a time.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you? Family only - me, OH and DD

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Clean and comfortable accommodation
Excellent food
local culture
Attractive scenery
Interesting places to visit
Not too busy or touristy
Swimming pool
Nice walks
We avoid all inclusive type holidays and places with kids clubs

We are probably not Haven's target market

ISeeIt Mon 19-May-14 17:27:06

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

The chance to really relax - to have 'on' days and 'off' days, rather than a packed itinerary for the whole period to make the most of time.

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

I used to, but now I'm older and with kids, I prefer to wait for a longer holiday - less stress!

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?

My immediate family

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

Safety, comfort, peace but also fun, some beauty or interest

Cherryjellybean Mon 19-May-14 19:51:43

I look for the same now in both, all weather facilities nearby for young children, beautiful area, places to relax and out door things to do.

With a younger child I now prefer short breaks. After 4 days she starts to ask to come home and gets a bit fed up. Me and dh always used to prefer week long breaks for our relaxing holidays before we had her. Then we had more adventurous short breaks.

I like going away me dd and dh but our extended families like going away as big groups, which I never find relaxing when we go.

Our key essentials for going away are beautiful area, safety, and fun activities for all of us.

FrontForward Mon 19-May-14 22:04:47

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?
I probably consider a holiday as going abroad. Short break is UK or City break anywhere

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

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?
Dog and child

and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
Sun, activities and a pool

Bluecarrot Mon 19-May-14 23:33:13

Short breaks tend to be city breaks or visiting family. I think when you can fit a lot into a few days, it feels like you have been away longer!

Longer breaks I like to have something cultural, something exciting (like a theme park) and somewhere to relax -beach or pool. We are getting ready to go away on Thursday and will be doing beach/pool in mornings, then theme park in afternoons except for 1 full day at a water park and a 2 day trip to the city. A good balance for our family.

I would rather have a 1 week break plus a long weekend away rather than a 2 week holiday. ( though if I could have a 2 week plus a long weekend away, I wouldn't say no!)

Our holidays are mixed- last year I had two breaks with just DP, one with just dd, and one with dd and 2 other mums and kids. I like them all in different ways.

Key essentials are a picnic kit for lunches and enough cash to eat out every dinner time. I do to want to have to cook at all!

MissVanDyke Tue 20-May-14 10:20:39

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

A holiday would have the opportunity for more restful periods - a short break would have a lot more packed in, or be visits to family.

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

We only really take short break holidays now (Mon - Fri) or a long weekend. I would prefer to take a couple of these in a year than just pay for 1 holiday.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?

Immediate family (DH, 2DC) on one holiday but we frequently go away with my parents on one holiday too.

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

None of us seem to know how to sit around relaxing on holiday, meaning that location is really important! We enjoy planning our time carefully and visiting places of interest (museums, seaside, steam trains, adventure playgrounds, farms etc.) We treat our home as a base and go out daily but we like to be near a shop / restaurant as well (either on site, or close). The DC (4 and 2) just seem happy and excited to be together as a family and we enjoy their enthusiasm. I enjoy packing the fun into the day and then putting exhausted DC to bed and enjoying a relaxing evening in with the grownups.

MontysMum22 Tue 20-May-14 19:26:49

I prefer a holiday of at least two weeks if it is abroad, there never seems to be a point in travelling a long way for any less than that and if I was to go to Australia or China I don't think I'd go for any less than a month. Shorter breaks do have their place, they are great for recharging the batteries but I'd prefer to take these in the UK. I'd love holidaying in the UK but the weather is such a lottery here that a home away from home is essential. I can remember some nightmare holidays in tents and cramped caravans trying to make the best of two wet weeks in this country. However accomodation has got so much better these days. I was sent some sales information on a holiday park in Bude yesterday and the picture was just of the interior of the accomodation and I was quite stunned to read that it was a caravan. It looked so gorgeous I thought it was someones very smart house. If you've got plenty of room where you're staying so that you aren't all cramped together in a tiny space when it rains and if there is plenty to do like an indoor activity pool etc it can make all the difference. I have been on holidays with friends in the past and firmly believe now that this is a very bad idea and wouldn't do it again its the quickest way for friends to become ex friends. All we need is our immediate family and that to me is the recipe for a lovely holiday. One day I would love to buy a campervan for fitting in lots of little weekend breaks, I think getting away from it all for little breaks like this is the key to keeping sane.

CaptainSinker Tue 20-May-14 22:30:36

What I look for in a holiday vs short break...

For a holiday we would be willing to travel a bit further to see something different or visit somewhere particularly special. For a short break convenience is very important, don't want to spend half the break travelling!

A holiday for me would be with my partner and our toddler daughter. We might go on holiday with one set of grandparents this year however.

Before becoming a parent I was quite relaxed about travel, just turn up somewhere interesting and explore. Now there is a bit more planning involved, we need to know that there are things DD will enjoy. She loves being outdoors so city breaks are less appealing now.

CaptainSinker Tue 20-May-14 22:32:14

Other question that I forgot...

Ideal holiday configuration would be one fortnight break plus one to two short breaks. Depends on money of course!

MrsMikeDelfino Tue 20-May-14 22:41:20

We prefer short breaks to a couple of week's holidays, as this way we get to have more of them! smile
There's a lot more variety with mini breaks. We go as a family (me, husband and our two children) and if there's a beach within close proximity we're happy. A bit of relaxation while the small people bury each other in the sand, build sandcastles or jump over the waves as they come up the beach (the last bit dependent on the temperature as we holiday in the UK! grin )
As husband can't sit still for longer than five minutes though, we like to be near civilization so he can at least go for a wander around town while we relax.
We usually self cater so the kitchen essentials are on our 'to bring' list - towels, washing up liquid, sponges etc. Things that if you forgot to bring and they didn't have you'd end up forking out extra money you'd rather not be spending! smile

Stripytop Tue 20-May-14 23:05:53

What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
In a holiday I am looking to relax and spend time with family, whereas in a short break I am usually trying to pack in as much activity as possible.
Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
I like both. We are lucky in that we usually have 2 longer holidays (2 weeks) and a number of short breaks too. If we weren't able to do this our focus would be on trying to have 1 or 2 week long holidays. I would drop the short breaks.
Who do you take on holiday with you?
Immediate and extended family and sometimes friends. Dh and I sometimes holiday independently of each other, with and without the dc's.
what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
A good (interesting) beach, lots of space, beautiful scenery, lots of things to explore, good food and good company.

Justtrying Thu 22-May-14 10:59:08

holiday vs short break for us a holiday is a complete break as a family where we can forget work for 10-14 days, normally near the beach. Where as a short break ideally would be child free, recharge of the batteries somewhere peaceful with good food and drink just for dh and I.

We like both holidays and short breaks, but arranging childcare is proving troublesome so short breaks are a rare treat happening only once a year at present. Where as we will have 2 maybe 3 holidays a year if the funds stretch. A 2 week main holiday, with 1-2, 7-10 night budget trips. For a short break travelling time must be minimal.

who we take with us last year was dd, who is 3, dh's grandson 16, dh and I. This year holidays are just dd, dh and I. For a short break if we manage it it shall just be dh and I.

key essentials are by the sea, good choice of resturants, heated pool. Now dd is older some children's activities/ kids club and ideally the option of a couple of nights baby sitting. As far as accommodation goes, a separate space for dd to sleep in the evening whilst we relax and a mini fridge is a must to keep soft drinks and milk cold.

kateandme Thu 22-May-14 19:13:01

So, what are the key things you need to have for it to be a great family holiday?
my family.nice place.nice atmosphere.
~ What do you look for in a holiday vs a short break?
holiday it has to be somehwhere we can live in for a week or more.it has to be comfortable.for a short stay id say we still want that but are less picky.and then you can always look for things like b&bs then too depedning on the occassion.
both can be great though.it depends on money,how long youve got and what your looking for.both suit for different purposes.
if we are doing a longer holiday id say we put more planning into it.and of course it needs more funds nusually.
short breaks are great if you can get your head around spur of the moment outings.i wish we could do more of them.
~ Do you prefer more short breaks instead of 2 week / 1 week/ longer holidays?
both are great for different reasons.
~ Who do you take on holiday with you?the family always is the best. and id choose them always.friends family too as the kids get older.
and what are you key essentials for you and your family on a holiday?
comfort.something a bit special.camera.books,games.food.maps and knowledge of the place we are going,especially restaurant and supermarket.

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

my daughter, my husband, good wine, somewhere comfortable to stay and entertainment for the preschooler.

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

A holiday needs a more comfortable place to stay, preferably self catering, with a good mix of activities for the whole family.

A short break we like to be close to family and / or friends. Happy to use budget hotels or b&b's.

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

We prefer a 5 day holiday and a couple of short breaks per year.

~ Who do you take on holiday with you?

Kindle, wine, comfy pj's, the child!

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

Good food, comfy beds, lots of entertainment.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 23-May-14 11:33:43

Thanks for all the comments!
Am pleased to say Doobydoo wins the £100 voucher - well done!

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