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To ask if you’ve had a nice holiday with your kids?

(164 Posts)
sandytoes84 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:27:15

Currently pregnant and naively thinking about lovely future holidays with child (children if I’m lucky enough to have another).

I feel like all I’ve read this summer on AIBU is how awful holidays with kids are and what a terrible waste of time and money mumsnetters are experiencing.

So I’d like to ask, did YOU have a a nice holiday? (I hope you did!) And what did you do/where did you go?

RedSheep73 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:36:05

Once they get past toddlerdom holidays are ok. Before that it does tend to be doing all the same childcare work in more difficult circumstances, sorry! worst we had was when dd was just crawling, so didn't want to be in pram at all and screamed all week. Easier when they are walking but need to readjust your holidays to include stuff they want to do and build in rest times.

NameChangerAmI Sun 18-Aug-19 09:44:44

We have just got back from a one week holiday, I can genuinely say that I enjoyed this holiday more than any other - it was mostly stress free. Apart from one day, when 2 of my DCs had a quite explosive argument, everyone got along really well.

We got to spend much more time than normal with my teenage son, who normally spends most of his time in his room - I loved that!

It can be hard work when they are little, but you have to embrace the fact that holidays as you knew them will be a distant memory, and not expect them to be relaxing. The key is to keep the DCs happy, and try to prevent hunger, thirst, boredom and extreme tiredness, then everything else will fit into place.

My DH used to be a bit useless on holiday - I did most of everything, and he relaxed. It caused massive resentment, so if I had my time again, I would not let that happen. Also, by the time I'd sourced & packed everything that I needed for myself & 4 DCs, I'd be exhausted before we'd even left for the airport.

Avoid villas with swimming pools like the plague until your DCs are competent swimmers, as you literally can not take your eyes off your DCs; can't even leave the French doors open,which is incredibly stressful.

Beach holidays are different, obviously, because you can pack up and move away from the water.

Forget sunbathing, if that's your thing, for several years.

We had one holiday, when the DCs were much younger, when we seriously considered getting flights back home after 2 days. It felt like a punishment, and cost a fortune, so I get where the other MNers are coming from.

If I had my time again, I'd just go for a long weekend at say, Centre Parcs, with babies or very small children, and then have family days out, rather than going away for a long stretch of time. The most we've done is 10 days, and that felt a few days too long, tbh.

Oldbutstillgotit Sun 18-Aug-19 09:49:12

DH and I took DGS13 to Spain for a week( DD was working) and had a brilliant time . He chummed up with a couple of other lads during the day at the pool but evenings were great. We went out for meals and chatted about lots of stuff . He has asked when we can do it again !

Serin Sun 18-Aug-19 09:49:28

I always loved family holidays and now our DC are grown up the still come away with us every year (we pay!) and the often reminisce about previous holidays.
I think the key is being organised, have things planned but be flexible too, you have to take everyones wishes into account and find a compromise.
If we wanted to go to an event say, Minack theatre, I would make sure they had spent a busy day at the beach first to burn off their excess energy.
At home we were fairly lazy, I was quite happily let them spend half the day playing computer games or watching TV. They still managed to grow up into intelligent, sociable, motivated adults.

Fudgenugget Sun 18-Aug-19 09:50:08

We haven't been on holiday this year because of other stuff to pay for. We have one. When she was small it felt like the whole holiday revolved around her routine, and I don't think we truly relaxed. She's nearly 13 now and going by days out we are currently having in lieu of a holiday, she is much more manageable save for the odd strop.

We used to have a week away as a family, then a weekend away as a couple. It makes a lot of difference.

banana64 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:50:46

Well considering I adore my kids yes i have lived every single holiday with my kids.
Hard work at times yes. Tiring at times yes.
But I know how lucky I am to be able to have them and i know how lucky they are to have them. So yes I've loved every single holiday with my kids . I can't fucking stand moany selfish people who think oh no I couldn't be a selfish as I wanted to be poor me. Accept the fact that you things change and appreciate the fact that this isvtheir childhood and a parent moaning about being on holidays with them is pretty fucking horrible and it will help you enjoy your holidays with them.

Mallowmarshmallow Sun 18-Aug-19 09:50:52

We're on our last day of two weeks in Menorca with DCs 5 and 3 yo. Menorca is great: short flight, family friendly, loads of great beaches which shelve in so gently the kids can walk out for ages before it's too deep.

We came last year and stayed in a villa with a private pool but this year are staying in an apartment on a small complex with pools.

We've had the best time. We thought it was a bit of a downgrade from the villa but it's actually more fun; there's more going on in the pools so it all feels a bit more lively.

Tips are:
Alternate between pool and beach days
Similarly alternate between eating out and take aways on the balcony (we try to avoid cooking on holiday and are happy to buy food in)
Accept that tiredness is cumulative and that by the end everyone will be a bit ratty
Don't stress about whether or not/what the children eat. Last year I stressed a lot and this year have accepted that DD in particular will eat one slice of apple for breakfast, a chip for dinner and several ice creams and will survive albeit with a broccoli craving once home.

This year our friends are staying downstairs with the same aged children. Pros: the kids have all played together beautifully and had a great time and we've had some other adult company
Cons: I feel like we've had a bit less family of four quality time....

Chickaletta16 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:51:52

We have just come back from a lovely holiday to Turkey with 4 dc. 10, 8 6 and 4. The elder 2 went horse riding. All of us went paragliding which was amazing. We had a day at the beach and also went on a boat tour. I got some shopping done and also went to a hamam ! The kids were happy to swim in the pools at the hotel and also I.made sure we picked activities that they would all enjoy - it was lovely x

Sirzy Sun 18-Aug-19 09:52:49

Ds is 9 and has multiple disabilities which make things harder. We holiday at least twice a year and this years was the first disaster to the point we cut it short.

Our best holidays are cruises because they meet our needs best (sadly can’t afford this every year) otherwise it’s caravan holidays.

I think you need to go in with realistic expectations of what you will and won’t be doing. Ds won’t do kids clubs so I know the days of sunbathing with a book for hours are behind me!

Queenioqueenio Sun 18-Aug-19 09:53:26

I’m currently away in a hotel. Being in 1 room is unspeakably awful - everyone has slept badly. A villa, apartment or even hotel room with 2 bedrooms is far better.

justaweeone Sun 18-Aug-19 09:54:05

When my Dc were younger Dh and I would take turns when at the pool
Therefore you knew that you had to keep watch and didn't assume the other one was
This enabled the person not watching to relax, read their book etc

Queenioqueenio Sun 18-Aug-19 09:54:31

Oh yes my kids will never go into kids clubs either, just flat out refused.

DelurkingAJ Sun 18-Aug-19 09:55:49

I read a fab article about this which noted that the ‘holy trinity’ with small children is:-
All inclusive;
Good weather; and
A holiday club they want to go to.

We’ve managed this a couple of times. It’s amazing what a difference a 2 hour slot of actual relaxing for the adults once a day makes to how smoothly the holiday goes!

I loved holidaying with my DP when I was younger and as a teen and I’m hoping we’ll have relaxed villa holidays like I grew up with when DC are older.

www.huffpost.com/entry/vacation-or-trip-a-helpful-guide-for-parents_b_7789310

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Sun 18-Aug-19 09:57:19

Oh yes - especially when ds was little. Small kids are treated like rock stars in a lot of places!

Plan, think about temperature, facilities, activities...

justaweeone Sun 18-Aug-19 09:57:39

Another thing we did when they were young was by staying in self catering accommodation we could feed them as soon as we came up from the pool as they were always hungry
This enabled us to eat later and they would have ice cream/ dessert whilst we had our main course
Now they just cost us a fortune in cocktails when on holiday!

sandytoes84 Sun 18-Aug-19 09:58:16

@banana64 that is what I thought! But I’m aware I’m doing so from a very ignorant position.

I’ve waited so long and had such a hard journey to this baby, I’ve grieved for them on every holiday for the last few years when I’ve seen families. I know it’s not rose tinted glasses, but I can’t wait to show them some of the world!

Some great tips on here to keep in mind while I do though!!

SeriouslyEnoughAlreadyRantOver Sun 18-Aug-19 10:00:05

Holidays with my kids are and always have been my favourite times of the year, I wish there were more of them!

The only thing to remember is not to try to recreate your adult-only holidays, that doesn't work.

You know your kids, you know what will work. Prepare properly for the trip: the journey itself, pack entertainment, food, drink and the kitchen sink.
Book the right accommodation that will work for you, in the right setting, and think what you will do if it's pouring with rain for a week.

With younger ones, my own preference is to rent a villa - leisurely breakfast at home or a cafe, going out for lunch, and picking up diner from a deli or other so kids can play around but you can enjoy a glass of wine or 2.

There's 2 adults instead of 1, no strict routine, no running around from nursery, school to work, holidays are absolute bliss. Everything is new and interesting, so the kids are never bored. What's not to like - apart from the financial side of it.

CocoLoco87 Sun 18-Aug-19 10:00:57

Yes, fab holidays every time. We go AI to family hotels but haven't used kids club as DS 2 has never been old enough so it's easier to have both boys to play with each other. The boys love a holiday and are happy all week, DH let's me sunbathe and relax a bit and we just share the load! It's always so relaxing, and I say that with a 4 and 2 year old.

Amanduh Sun 18-Aug-19 10:02:29

I’ve had three holidays with dc now, one with a newborn and two with a toddler and they’ve been absolutely brilliant. Ignore what other people tell you about ‘same thing just in another country’ ‘no sunbathing’ and ‘exhausting’ etc. Yes it might be, but it might not. It all depends on your child, and the way you do things. On our holiday last month, we had the best time! We all went out together in the day, pool/beach etc and ds happily swam/played/sat with us, and dh and I took turns to play/read/sunbathe or play all together. We’d then all go for lunch. He’d have a nap either in the pram whilst we were out exploring, so dh and I would have a cocktail at the marina or a wander and a relax looking at the sea, or if we were at the hotel we’d sunbathe, read, swim and relax. In the evenings we’d all eat together, we were at a hotel with entertainment so he would be up dancing at the kids disco whilst we watched with a cocktail, then he’d sleep in his buggy or sit with us and watch the later entertainment, or we wanderered to the port or old town and he’d sit with us in bars/restaurants, wander with us and watch the boats etc. We all went on daytrips and out exploring the area, shopping, to the market, no problems. We’d all go to bed late which meant a lovely lie in every morning, and we came home straight back in to our usual routine.
It was lovely and I can’t wait for our next one!

boymum9 Sun 18-Aug-19 10:03:27

I've absolutely adored every holiday we've done with our children, usually America or France, not all inclusive, travelling around a lot seeing different things, they're the best memories and way better than any holiday memories pre children. We started this when first was 8 weeks and now have 4 and 2 year old. We're separated now but still will take holidays together for the children

Byorderofthepeakyblinders Sun 18-Aug-19 10:03:32

We've just had a lovely holiday with 3 kids, 2 of whom are really young. But different to previous holidays in that it wasn't abroad it was a caravan, we weren't relaxing we were very active doing activities, and we weren't having afternoon sex but afternoon naps, and coffee instead of wine smile

But still enjoyable if you change your expectations and go with the flow

pourmeanotherglass Sun 18-Aug-19 10:04:29

We had a rainy week in Cornwall. Not ideal, but still nice to be off work and have some family time. Had a cottage with no WiFi so read a lot of books and played a lot of games. Did all the jigsaw left in the cottage. Also had a couple of beach days. I also had a week in Greece with just DD1 after her GCSEs, as it is a long summer when they finish at the end of June so nice to break it up, and also nice to take advantage of non school holiday prices.

I'm looking forward to not having to go away in school holidays, as everywhere is expensive and busy.

Cobblersandhogwash Sun 18-Aug-19 10:05:45

Neilson holidays every time. A proper and really fun break for everyone.

Poetryinaction Sun 18-Aug-19 10:07:23

Yes. I live for the holidays. I'm a teacher and am dreading returning to work. My kids are 5, 3 and 1. We have had so much fun in the garden, at the park, the library, friends round, caravan at the beach was glorious, a few days out on scooters and at wildlife parks. One day at soft play! Lots of lazy mornings. Baking, painting, clay, tie dye. We're taking the train to the beach this week. Intensive swimming course. I have loved it. I love their company and watching them play and be free.

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