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Ho far do you compromise with your kids about holidays?

(35 Posts)
roisin Sun 21-May-06 20:20:14

Obviously everyone compromises to some extent, and it's about finding the appropriate point.

We took the boys to Centerparcs 18 months ago, and they loved it and want to go back. I didn't like it at all, and think it's overpriced for what it is. In a mad moment this week I entered the Mn Butlins comp, then spent the rest of the week panicking in case I won it, because I know I would loathe that! I also refuse to even contemplate Disneyland, Paris. But is that fair and reasonable of me? The boys really would love to spend a couple of hours a day for a week in a huge swimming pool complex.

In the past couple of years we have done a lot of City Breaks, which we've all enjoyed; This summer we're heading for a fairly remote cottage on Mull and hoping to do lots of outdoor/walking/wildlife/boating sort of stuff.

littleshebear Sun 21-May-06 23:36:34

This is difficult. My children love Centerparcs too - I quite enjoy it, but definitely wouldn't go without the children! They all say they would love to go for a week - the idea of that appals me, TBH. My idea of a perfect holiday is either somehere wild and remote, where we could do a lot of walking, or going somewhere with guaranteed sunshine and plenty of interesting places to visit.

However, since I have 4 children between 13 and 3, three of whom have red hair, we tend to go camping in this country and the cooler bits of France!Usually if we're going for a week or more we do Keycamp or whatever, as there are then kids' clubs and thrilling pool complexes for the kids, but usually the campsites themselves are peaceful enough for us, and we can fit in a bit of culture off-site. We had a really good holiday in the Loire (although it was a bit hot and ds1 spent a lot of time slumped in the tent moaning piteously about his cruel parents)where we managed to do half a day in the pool and half day trips to chateaux and so on. We have also stayed in sites near Paris and gone to Disneyland Paris for the day only, and that worked quite well. Another good place for that type of holiday is Duinrell, in Holland - it has big indoor pool complex and theme park on site but it really green and pleasant - you can go cycling from the site and there are loads of things to go and see round and about.We even managed a quick sprint round the Van Gogh museum!

It is a compromise, though - I would love to go somewhere like Mull on holiday, used to love going walking in Scotland, but with the age range and personalities of my four really couldn't cope if it chucked it down with rain for a week.We have been to North Devon a couple of times, which is beautiful, but quite weather dependant - my ds2 is emphatically not the indoor type so we can't all sit round playing scrabble if it pees it down, we have to go out and spend loads of money on crap attractions. The eldest really isn't that keen on going camping, but the others love it - play sports for hours with new friends,spend ages in the pool and so on. Ds1 would love to go on more city breaks too -we went to Paris with my mum (me, ds1 and ds2) for the weekend last year and had a fabbo time - but isn't really practical with all of us - the two youngest wouldn't enjoy it at all.

JanH Sun 21-May-06 23:39:27

roisin, there are lots of smaller complexes in the UK with similar (but smaller) facilities to C Parcs but much less silly prices. Would you like some details?

trefusis Sun 21-May-06 23:42:16

Message withdrawn

myturn Sun 21-May-06 23:48:00

Exactly the same as Trefusis (must be a Scottish thing). We have found that if we base the holiday totally around the children and they are still not satisfied we all end up being unhappy. We now go 50/50 - days that we want with the children tagging along (which they tend to enjoy anway) and days devoted to the children (in which we can be kids again).

JanH Sun 21-May-06 23:50:49

Knockerdown Cottages in the Peak District?

JanH Sun 21-May-06 23:55:13

Beech Farm, nr Pickering

Blandmum Mon 22-May-06 06:49:13

Like trefus and myturn , we all compromise. We are going to Euo Disney this year but we are on a campsite off site (much cheaper and we like camping). So we don't get the full Disney experience.

We are doing two days at disney, but are going to Paris in between. We are going to do the Musee d'Orsay (quickly!) but will also do a boat trip, and ice cream and a trip up the Eifel tower, So we all get something.

Rest of the holiday will be at a camosite near the sea. They kids know they get the trip to the beach if they entertain themselves in the afternoon/evening so mum and dad can have a rest/ read books etc

We do it so dh and I get some culture at some point in the day, the kids get a run around/ swim/ boat trip. Then we all stay happy.

Blandmum Mon 22-May-06 06:50:41

Oh , and if you are going to do the centre parks type thing. Go with another family that you get on with. That way, at the end of the day you can share the cooking, have some nice things to eat and drink and some good conversation with friends.....helps no end!

DelGirl Mon 22-May-06 07:33:56

janh - dh & I stayed at knockerdown cottage for our honeymoon

It was lovely & the people were nice too but you couldn't see a thing for thick fog all week. It was December though. We literally couldn't see 10 feet in front of us the whole time we were up there . Great places to visit too if you like that kind of thing.

roisin Mon 22-May-06 07:54:32

Oh thanks all - reassuring to hear I'm not the only one.

Myturn - you've got it just right. If I don't have a good time on holiday I am really miserable and grumpy and that spoils it for everyone!

MG - Hope you have a great time in Paris. We persuaded the boys to spend 4 hrs in Musee d'Orsay with us, when they were 5 and 7 - they loved it! We saved the Eiffel Tower as a treat for the last day ... if they'd been good all week. Ds2 took one look at it and said "I'm not going up there!"

What boat trip are you doing? We did a fabulous one on the canals. There is a section of canal which goes under the roads, under the Place de la Bastille, then up 4 HUGE double locks to the Science Park place. The canal is mentioned in Lion Boy - if your children have read it?

Anyway, hugely recommended by us - let me know if you want to know any more details.

Twiglett Mon 22-May-06 08:13:07

Centreparks midweek (arrive late Mon leave early fri) is a good deal out of term but I don't think I'd pay extortionate prices

take them to blackpool for a weekend or similar place with a big tacky fun fair

btw littleshebear PMSL @ "since I have 4 children between 13 and 3, three of whom have red hair, we tend to go camping"

Tortington Mon 22-May-06 08:30:19

thats exactly why we go camping in a eurotent.

the kids et to sod off to a pool all day - but we have out own car and can go to visit the nearby towns.

we've even done eurodisney and i fkin hated everyminute - was on main street in tears!! but it was one day out of a holiday - rather than THE holiday

everyday someone comrpimises - the kids have to comprimise when we want to go exporing in the car - and we have to comprimise when they want to stay in the pool. we get a bottle of wine and read a book by the tent - hard life ....i want to go on holiday

JemimaBobbins Mon 22-May-06 13:15:51

We go to France with Eurocamp (mobile homes) because we do find find it a good compromise. Areas like Loire and Dordogne offer lots of sightseeing, chateaux, caves and towns to explore but then when you get back to the campsite there are other kids, play areas and sometimes a kids club. I find staying on a campsite more relaxing than hotel/apartment - I like having my own little space and don't feel that I have to spend all my time round the pool/at the bar.

We've often called at Eurodisney on the way back just for a day, staying at a campsite nearby the night before and then near Calais the next night.

moondog Mon 22-May-06 13:19:07

Don't compromise at wary of the whole tailor made holiday experience.
The idea of going somewhere because it has slides,babysitting,kids club and what have you completely eludes me.

I go somewhere because the place/country interests me and I expect it to interest my children.

Tortington Mon 22-May-06 14:43:07

what if the kids are bored shtiless?

puddle Mon 22-May-06 14:54:40

We've rented a cottage on an organic farm in pembrokeshire next week, chosen mainly because the kids will love it. But also meets my needs in that it will be beautiful, peaceful, there's a gorgeous garden so may get a couple of hours with a book and I love that part of Wales.

I have to say at the moment (and my children are still only 6 and 3) I relish the simplicity of their holiday requirements (space, trees to climb, a beach, animals an extra bonus). I guess as they get older they have more fixed ideas about what they do or don't want to do.

hulababy Mon 22-May-06 14:58:54

At the moment we have chosen to go for child based holidays, doing Disney. DD is 4 and loves it. When she was tiny we did our holiday choices. Did Disney first time with my family and even DH enjoyed it depite himself So gave DD choice this year and that is where we are of again. Not planning this every year though. Most holidays are/will be a compromise - something for all three of us. Me and DH like cities but there is nothing really for DD at this age. I don't like beach holidays much.Neither me or Dh like the idea of kids clubs, etc and prefer to spend time together when on holiday.

Considering Spain next year with maybe a day trip or too to the Universal theme park there for DD. And maybe Australia the year after - DD is killed to go in a motor home for a week there! And we can visit SIL's family too.

hulababy Mon 22-May-06 15:00:09

We tend to do cottage type holidays in Uk or France in october as well - more for us than DD.

GDG Mon 22-May-06 15:00:58

Mine are only little yet but, while it's deffo not something I'm into, we'll take them to Disney World when they are a bit older. It's not something they'll get every year but they would love it and I could cope with it to experience their enjoyment iykwim.

Like you roisin, Centerparcs would be a no-no for me. I generally hate commercial things like that - wouldn't do any sort of Butlins type thing. Similarly, I wouldn't do hotel/apt complex with evening entertainment etc - <shudder>. We are going to Majorca this week but in our own villa.

So, I think I'd definitely compromise to accommodate stuff the kids would want to do but there'd also be holidays I just wouldn't do - Butlins etc. I might consider Centerparcs for a weekend break but tbh, it's so extortionate imo I think I'd rather drive up to The Lakes where there is plenty of stuff to do anyway.

GDG Mon 22-May-06 15:02:45

I most definitely will not be asking my children where they want to go on holiday though!

moondog Mon 22-May-06 18:10:49

Hula,'dd is killed to go in a motorhome there'...

Curious about this turn of phrase.
Where is it (or you) from???

I think ultimatetly child oriented entertainment creates bored kids.They grow to expect and all singing all dancing experience with bells on and kick off subsequently if it's not on offer.

The things Puddle describes (space,trees,peace) appeal to most people,young and old I think.

Are your boys excited GDG?
The temp. will be lovely now.

hulababy Mon 22-May-06 18:15:47

Was mine not DDs. Just a phrase sometimes used here I think. Don't know - never thought of it. never heard DD say it. Not sure I have much. Can't explain, sorry.

roisin Mon 22-May-06 19:31:33

Janh - thanks for those suggestions. They look great! They seem quite heavily booked during school holidays though, and you can only book a 4-night stay (which is what we would want) a month in advance.

mrsbang Tue 23-May-06 01:06:44

DH and I decide where we're going on holiday, but take into consideration that we are taking three children away with us too.

We don't follow the same format every year, eg in recent years we've done s/c in this country (flat, cottage and caravan), Florida, Keycamp in France and hotels in Spain/Canaries. We're going on a cruise this summer, and next year we're looking at going to Dunreil. In future years we want to take them to Egypt and on safari, interspersed with cheap weeks where we can find them.

To us, holidays are what you make of them, whether using the tokens out of the Sun (and we've had some very successful short breaks) or going all out on a luxury holiday - and anything inbetween.

Don't think you can please every member of the family all the time, but with compromise you can get the best out of any holiday in most locations, as long as you plan well, something for mum and dad, something for the boys, something for rainy days, and some days, you even manage to please everyone, lol.

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