Sept wedding in Montenegro with/without the kids

(24 Posts)
THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 11:53:26

A really good friend of mine and dh's is getting married in the middle of Sept in Montenegro. It was originally scheduled for next year but he's brought it forward (not sure why).

Our problem is this: dh already took 2 weeks off work over Easter to see his family and to visit my father in the Orkneys. It wasn't a family holiday as such in that the kids weren't entertained/went to theme parks/had family activities, we were just visiting family and had scheduled Orkney in this year as we thought we had this wedding to go to next year.

dh is currently going through a lot of changes at work so he may only have a week's holiday left (they are changing work pattern to 4 days a week, 10 hours a day and cutting back on holidays).

We have supported said friend through many traumas and would really like to support him now but we are fairly certain there won't be many other children there and certainly there are no family activities or resorts in the place he is getting married, so we couldn't turn it into a family holiday as such.

We will have to take the children out of school either way as there is no-one close by to look after them and take them to school so they will have to stay with his parents.

If we go, the kids might not get a family holiday this year as we can't afford to go there and have a summer holiday with them.

So our dilemma is really over giving the kids a nice family break and still attending the wedding of our friend. dd has already mentioned how 2 of her friends are off on adventure breaks over the summer which sound really good and I know they would feel cheated if they didn't get a family holiday this year too. Yet our friend is a very close one and when I say he's been through a lot, I'm not exaggerating.

It's a bit complicated as you can see but any ideas would be mightily welcomed.

ShoeHorn Tue 09-Apr-13 12:03:23

I would take the children to the wedding. Google what there is in montenegro for them to do. Surely it will be a lovely beach holiday in a far off destination which is somewhere they may not get a chance to visit.

The wedding will be one day, the rest you can enjoy yourselves on, i'm sure. And you would miss them like hell if they stayed behind.

MissLurkalot Tue 09-Apr-13 12:06:01

Is the wedding on a weekend?

I think you should first look into cost of flights for you and hubby to go alone for the night or two nights. And kids to parents... No holiday being used. From reading your post a couple of times, you should go.. Either you or both of you. You know you will regret it.

Then. Save husband's holiday for a kids holiday... Money wise, does it have to be in the school holidays? (Eg centre parcs costs £400-450 in may, June or September. And for the same sized cabin and duration is £1450 in summer holidays!) I know this all depends on your view and your schools view in term time absence.

There will need to be compromise, and maybe pulling kids out for mon-fri is the best option, if you can wrangle it with the Head!

What do you think?

ShoeHorn Tue 09-Apr-13 12:07:00

oh just realised it is in the med blush. God knows where I was thinking it was!!! but it is the 'pearl of the med', lookes fantastic and i'm sure you can have a superb family holiday there as well asenjoy the wedding.

EasterHoliday Tue 09-Apr-13 12:15:25

what is it with Montenegro & weddings? we're going to one in June (without the children though...)

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 12:19:02

Here's the other complication. His parents live 200 miles away and they are the only ones who can look after both kids, so if we don't take them we would have to spend a day travelling there, then fly from Manchester airport. It's not doable in one weekend.

To take the kids we could fly from a London airport but flights are £175 per person return and then we'd need to hire a car to drive us from Dubrovnik airport as the location is in the middle of nowhere.

Alone, we could split the cost of the hire car with another couple.

So, it's cheaper to go without the kids and probably less stressful, but we would need to take more time off if we went without them in order to factor in getting to Lancashire and back.

Trust me, the place is not anywhere near a resort. It's in the middle of a nature reserve. Lovely but nothing for kids.

BitBewildered Tue 09-Apr-13 12:22:01

I've got a house in Montenegro! <random unhelpful fact>

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 12:24:02

Well if it's near where he is getting hitched and if you are not using it - can we? grin

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 12:27:17

I think the crux of this is that if we took both kids that would be our holiday money well and truly spent and they might not have all that great a time, whereas if we don't then I'm worried that dh's annual leave might be spent and they might miss out on a family holiday.

Yes they have just spent 2 weeks with us during Easter and I know that they are very lucky in that way. But it's a long way off summer yet and the Easter will be a distant memory by the time Sept comes and they are listening to their friend's tales of holidays in the sun, camping at CenterParcs and so on.

BitBewildered Tue 09-Apr-13 12:32:20

grin it's being done up so we can go with the DCs from next spring. If it was ready, you could have it, but you'd have to camp in it at the moment! I only really know Kotor and a bit of the Lustica peninsula, but it is lovely. And warm!

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 12:35:52

Kotor is where we are headed. Lovcen in particular.

He has no kids himself and as it's mid-Sept I foresee that many will be leaving kids with grandparents or other relatives. Fine if you didn't happen to live 200 miles away from the nearest set of relatives!

So, to take them out of school and for us to treat it as a family holiday or to leave them with grandparents (still out of school) and for dh and I to go and try to arrange a long weekend or something with them in the holidays?

BitBewildered Tue 09-Apr-13 12:53:17

Kotor's a nice old town. Cafes and stuff. I've not been since before DD was born (she's nearly 4), but DH is going in a couple of weeks to do some work on the house. I would say go as a couple for a romantic break, and go to the coast or something with the DCs for a few days if you can.

Is there any chance the grandparents could look after the DCs at your house? Less disruption for the new school year?

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 13:18:22

My mind is swinging wildly between the two now.

His parents can't really come down here no, his father had a mild stroke over Easter so the less driving he does the better. He is 80 and his wife is in her late seventies so it's not fair to ask them to drive 200 miles down here.

My sister can help look after them although at the ages of 9 and 12 they are no trouble and more of a help really.

There is no-one closer who can take both of them on or even just one of them. It's a big ask in itself and even if someone would look after dd what would we do with ds?

I am tempted, as they will be out of school anyway, to try and book it as a family holiday and spend some time doing things with them on the beach, etc. However as most of our friends will be there, without kids, they will want to have a ball and will be out most nights whilst one of us will have to babysit.

Yet going alone I would feel bad for the kids and worry about how we can afford a separate break with them.

Dammit it this is proving to be a really hard decision!

BitBewildered Tue 09-Apr-13 13:46:26

Parental guilt!

Hi

We do the opposite to you - drive from near Manchester to the south, drop off the DC's with inlawa & fly from a London airport.

Depending on flight times/days it is do-able but can be tiring!

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 13:58:02

I'm going to feel guilty no matter what aren't I? Just looked and all four of us can leave from London for £430 all in. That does include a stop in Zagreb on the way back and a ridiculously early flight there but it does give us a week in Montenegro.

Leaving from Manchester the prices in the space of a few days have shot up and I'm now being quoted £230 each leaving on the Fri and returning on the Sun.

It would be cheaper to take them both with us so we might actually consider doing this.

BitBewildered, do you recommend anywhere really cheap for us to stay? Self catering if possible?

BitBewildered Tue 09-Apr-13 16:46:06

I've always ended up staying in hotels, sorry. I know my inlaws stayed in a rented flat once. I'll try to get some info.

THERhubarb Tue 09-Apr-13 16:49:08

Thanks Bitty.
smile

BitBewildered Tue 09-Apr-13 23:19:32

I texted my MIL earlier. I'll let you know what she says. I believe you can get a ferry from Bari in Italy. I've not done it, but would like to give it a go.

THERhubarb Wed 10-Apr-13 11:35:03

It's probably just as expensive though, especially flight fees and then ferry fees.
Appreciate you contacting her. Have pretty much made the decision to take them now. It's not ideal considering that none of the others will probably have their kids and most will want to get pissed and have a merry old time, but I think the kids will enjoy the holiday and they aren't babies or toddlers anymore so can stand a few late nights I'm sure.

BitBewildered Wed 10-Apr-13 19:18:07

They went through Owners Direct but I don't think they think the place worth a recommendation (it flooded!). I've stayed here about 4 years ago, and it was nice in a good location in the old town of Kotor. It's a nice, European-feeling walled town, next to the harbour. I hope you all have a great time!

AllBellyandBoobs Wed 10-Apr-13 19:30:24

DH and i went to Montenegro a few years back in September. It was truly beautiful. We visited Lovcen national park but it was a bit deserted as out of tourist season by then, Kotor was gorgeous and the drive from Lovcen to Kotor was breathtaking. We also spent some time in Durmitor national park where we hiked and you can organise to raft down the canyon near there (largest in Europe). I could go on for ages about all the places we visited and how much we loved it so all I'll say is go, travel round and enjoy yourselves.

THERhubarb Thu 11-Apr-13 10:58:57

Thanks all. Our minds are changing back and forth all the time now! Prices of flights seem to differ every single day. We've now found flights from Manchester that would be around £155 each and they fly direct to Dubrovnik. Or we could take the whole family from London for £437 all in (so that's around £100 difference) but we'd have to change on the way back and it would be a shorter holiday (Fri to Mon).

This is a huge dilemma, we either go for a short break just me and dh and leave kids behind or we try and make it a family holiday but that would obviously be much more expensive. Either way the kids end up having just as much time off school.

Aargh!

HandanZenger Mon 08-Jul-13 14:59:52

Hi there,
I am a wedding planner myself and living in Montenegro and, if you decided to take your kids to Montenegro let me know maybe i can help suggesting what to do or arrange a baby sitter for a night or two.

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