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holiday dilemma...

(158 Posts)
sandythesquirrel Wed 03-Feb-16 17:27:48

DH has decided we 'must' go on a holiday at either Easter or Summer. We don't even have much budget for one - so he wants to do it on a shoestring budget. DH always has a travel bug so I am not surprised he is itching to go anywhere. DS travels well but has started saying he doesn't want to go anywhere - he would rather just stay at home.

Every holiday we have ever been on has been in a 5 star hotel. (usually a city or lake/mountain - we just don't like beaches). Our idea of roughing it is a 3 star hotel with no room service or pool. We have never done camping or caravan or even a self catering apartment. Holidays have always been about luxury and indulgence. This last two years money has been very tight after moving house - so there just isn't much budget.

DH has a 'bright' idea of renting a cottage somewhere in Cornwall or Scotland from airbnb and saving money by making our own meals. He is just itching to go somewhere. It is just not my idea of fun - plus I will end up doing all the planning and thinking of every food item we might need. I would rather have one night in a spa hotel! When I jokingly suggested (actually he thought it was a joke - I was being serious) that he take ds on his own and I can have a week off at home reading books - the look on his face was so pitiful I felt sorry for him when he said 'how is that a family holiday?'.

AIBU to think what is the point of going on a holiday if it involves a 7-10 hour drive and then I still have to get everyone's breakfast and/or other meals. Also, I know with money being tight, we will be limited with what we do and that will frustrate us.

I really don't know whether to go along with it or put my foot down especially as ds is so indifferent.

MuttonDressedAsMutton Wed 03-Feb-16 17:36:13

It's a tricky one. I get itchy if I don't go somewhere every 3 months or so but so does DH. However, we like totally different holidays and always did so when DS was tiny he had the best of both worlds always going off with one or the other of us! Once we realised that actually going away separately worked perfectly well for us we were all much happier. How about another chat with your DH? Tell him it'll be very good for both him and DS to spend some time together and it'll be very very good for you to have a chance to recharge. Explain it's nothing personal and doesn't mean the imminent breakdown of the family and maybe he'll 'get it'? I hope he does!

OurBlanche Wed 03-Feb-16 17:36:37

Repeat his own words back to him.

How is it a family holiday of you are still expected to do the catering, cleaning etc.

Tell him no! Something shorter that you can both relax and enjoy, as that is what you are used to.

How old is DS? Could he feasibly stay at home/with friends/rellies while you have a weekend (or two) away?

Riderontheswarm Wed 03-Feb-16 17:37:52

I'm more like your DH. If my DH refused to go anywhere that didn't involve 5 star hotels I would not be happy. The 7 hour drive would be a bit much for me so I'd go somewhere a bit closer but the rest of the holiday sounds lovely. Eat out and get take aways if you don't want to cook.

whois Wed 03-Feb-16 17:41:03

Just say that to him. How is it a holiday for you if you are doing all the cooking thinking etc!

Maybe he has a solution? Like buying lots of easy ready meal type food and he does half the cooking. Maybe you can compromise on a shorter break so you can afford to eat out. Maybe you can go somewhere closer.

Muskateersmummy Wed 03-Feb-16 17:41:20

We do this. Most of our holidays are spent in self catering cottages. Breakfast really isn't a pain. Mostly we have lunch out so then a light supper. It's still a holiday, we are away from home, exploring new places, seeing different things and spending time together as a family. I would possibly consider choosing somewhere closer to home, we usually have a 3 - 4 hour limit, or else we book a travel lodge somewhere to break the journey. Or at the very least pick a nice place mid way for lunch and exploring.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Wed 03-Feb-16 17:41:47

Personally, I'm happy with camping but I see that you're not and you would rather not have a holiday or have a shorter one to get the luxury you like on holiday. Which is fine. Your DH is not getting how you feel at all, and is putting his wishes before yours. I agree with him and DS going together for some man time and you chilling st home.

Yanbu because you're not forcing people to do what you want, you just don't want to do what he wants but are happy for him to go and do it himself

PennyHasNoSurname Wed 03-Feb-16 17:44:21

Oh I prefer self catering!

Surely if thats the sort of holiday your dh wants then you could at least give it a whirl
He could do some of the cooking or all!

Find somewhere with a barbeque or cafes and restaurants local.

If im.honest you sound a bit snobby about it.

landrover Wed 03-Feb-16 17:50:16

It will be lovely. Go somewhere pretty like Bourton on the Water. Easy breakfasts (pain au chocolate etc). Day out with a pub lunch (try and find 2 for £10). Games in the evening (find some new games in your charity shop). Supper in evening, buttered baguettes with pate etc.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Wed 03-Feb-16 17:52:33

We have done some very nice self-catering (DH scours the back of architecture mags for nice places to rent). We always do it on the basis that there will be eating out and, when we eat in, lots of good ready prepped things to avoid the need for anyone to spend more than minimal time in the kitchen.

And when it is a holiday let, you don't ever worry about what needs doing around the place, so lying about reading is much more relaxing.

Basically, all the work has to be shared. Being a drudge on holiday would be twenty times more depressing than being a drudge at home.

If you plan carefully and have agreements before you go, there is no reason for it not to be a success. BUT: how small is the budget? Your DH has to be realistic about the quality of place you get for the money you spend. Better place for fewer days is the way to go.

landrover Wed 03-Feb-16 17:55:24

Off to look at cottages! smile

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 03-Feb-16 18:03:35

We usually do self catering and I much prefer it to hotels. We eat out several times during a holiday, but I also cook as well. The thing is, I love cooking and at home, as DH and I both work full time, a lot of meals are very rushed (spag bol, anyone?). When on holiday, we buy lovely local food, I pour a glass of wine, switch on The Archers, and really enjoy the process of cooking.

If you don't enjoy cooking, but want to save money by not eating out all the time, suggest to your dh that you and he buy the M&S/Waitrose "dine in for a tenner" deals for the holiday, and take turns sticking them in the oven. And make sure you rent somewhere with a dishwasher.

DinosaursRoar Wed 03-Feb-16 18:06:20

how small is your small budget and how old is DS? We have a small budget this year so are going to eurocamp in spain, cheap flights, cheap car hire and staying in one of their cabins (mobile homes really, but has air con, a must in August in spain for me!) - it's self catering, but there's a BBQ (which DH will do), restaurants on site that are cheap, and a lidl near by for cheap food shoping, but most importantly, I'm planning on DH being the only one on the car insurance, and so making him do the shopping and therefore food planning.

There's also eurocamps in France which should be better weather than Scotland and you could ferry/drive it for a similar journey time.

firesidechat Wed 03-Feb-16 18:08:18

Most of our holidays involve rented cottages, so you are being unreasonable on that score. However we either buy very good farm shop type food, eat out or have takeaways. I never cook from scratch on holiday - too much effort and too much washing up, so he is being unreasonable about that.

I personally hate staying in hotels where your only personal space is a 10 foot by 10 foot bedroom. We prefer a bit more room to relax in and slob.

Give it a try op, but only if he promises to do lots of cooking or find a bit more cash for eating out.

Branleuse Wed 03-Feb-16 18:09:31

Maybe youd actually enjoy your non 5 star holiday and find that self catering is still a massive treat??

I dunno, ive stayed in luxury hotels and ive had budget camping holidays and caravans on eurocamp places and ive loved all of them. I dont think you need to have luxury and room service to have a great holiday. I think your husband is realistic and growing up, and youre thinking if its not five star, its not worth going

ChippyMinton Wed 03-Feb-16 18:11:02

What's your budget?

We usually self-cater, but not much catering goes on, as others have said. I prefer the space and freedom on our own place. And it's not a chore to have a fridge full of lively, easy food and drink. Your budget will stretch a lot further.

venusinscorpio Wed 03-Feb-16 18:14:43

You should have said back "how exactly is what you're proposing a holiday for me?" I'd agree as long as he did half the work or as PP suggest you get takeaways or eat out in the evenings.

Lightbulbon Wed 03-Feb-16 18:17:09


Say you'll go if he drives and does all childcare and cooking and you get a day in a spa.

CakeNinja Wed 03-Feb-16 18:19:06

I'm on the fence.

We do SC villas and cottages as hotels and complexes are stifling for us and eating set meals at set times isn't fun or relaxing. I also don't want to spend my holiday cooking and cleaning, I do that at home every day. Obviously there is a certain level of clearing up with SC but that's fine.
Hotels are lovely for a 3 night stay but not for a 2 week holiday for me.

But you might find you enjoy something else that you haven't tried before if you branch out. You sound like a bit sulky when you suggested you didn't go on the 'family holiday' as it wasn't what you wanted to do.

Don't get me wrong, im never going to take up camping as a holiday as its really not my style and I probably would secretly prefer fewer days somewhere more indulgent but for the sake of a family holiday I would suck it up and go. And I suggest what we do, which is eat breakfast at home and then out for lunch and dinner.

Sorry if I've missed it, how old is your Ds?

AskingForAPal Wed 03-Feb-16 18:19:12

Ok two responses:

1) Why not suggest he take DS camping somewhere for a few days, or on an Air B&B break, then the two of you go away together for a night at some other point.

2) Say you'll go but you have to have a cooking rota shared between you, and meals planned together before you go. How old is your son? If he's old enough to do some cooking (or at least toast) then count him in to this too.

Radiatorvalves Wed 03-Feb-16 18:21:30

Most of our holiday are s/c. I love it. I like cooking, but do expect DH to help with cooking and shopping.

Tbh it was the easy option when DSs were small. You can't leave them in a hotel room (certainly not on MN) whereas if you are in a cottage, they go to bed and you eat or watch telly..

I'd rather have a week away and a night or 2 eating at a restaurant than one or 2 expensive spa stays. And I like spas.

LagunaBubbles Wed 03-Feb-16 18:22:33

I love self-catering and cooking meals on holiday doesn't bother me at all because we are in France usually and can sit outside to eat! We drive there to from Scotland so a long drive. However my DH does all the cleaning etc as I do the cooking. Sounds like your DH is the problem not a self-catering holiday if he wont do his share.

venusinscorpio Wed 03-Feb-16 18:22:50

At least a continental type breakfast would be low effort. I wouldn't be cooking a fry up every morning! Definitely get a place with a dishwasher though.

TheWordOfBagheera Wed 03-Feb-16 18:23:08

When I've done self-catering cottages I also didn't fancy me (or anyone else) spending the evening cooking. I batch cooked in advance - frozen lasagne and shepherds pie type stuff. It travels well in the car as a big block of ice so no problem in terms of returning to the freezer when you arrive.

AvaLeStrange Wed 03-Feb-16 18:24:19

What's your budget?

If you're used to 5* with all the bells and whistles your idea of a budget holiday is probably very different from mine!

I do get where you're coming from though. We've gone self-catering (holiday home in the arse end of Scotland) and camping for the last four years and when DH wanted to rebook the same campsite for the 4th year running last August I put my foot down hard!

We don't have a huge budget at all but are hoping to do a last minute European city break later in the year rather than having a full week away.

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