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Has anyone been abroad with 4 children?

(21 Posts)
Mrs9C Sat 09-May-15 12:10:30

We are keen to go abroad as a family for the first time. Our children are aged 10, 7, 4, and 1. I really feel like I'm hitting a wall every time I look up holidays abroad for us, they seem to be geared for 1 or 2 kids, but not 4. I'm interested in hearing about everyones experience, no matter where they went. I'd love to go to Italy, especially Sorrento, in October, but worry if the kids would get fed up. Husband would prefer to go to a resort in Majorca etc.. but I struggle to find an ApartHotel type place that'll accommodate 6 of us, as we'd rather not be split into 2 diff hotel rooms through a holiday. So please, if anyone can share their experience, I'd be most grateful. Dh & I have only been abroad for our honeymoon, and that was a lot different to taking 4 kids! Oh and obviously with this many of us, we are on a budget too.

homebythesea Sat 09-May-15 12:14:35

Villa. Villa. Villa

Book a villa! With your own pool.

It's the only way you will get space and privacy for you all. It will be an awful lot cheaper than a hotel too.

You can DIY with sites like or if you want a "package" James Villas are great- they will do flights, hire car etc but it will generally be more than if you do it separately yourself.

I'd be careful about location in October if it's weather that you are after- canaries would be more reliable at that time of year

dirtyfabulous Sat 09-May-15 12:14:51

Have you looked at Bella Italia ? We are going in a few wks with 4 under 7!
2 bed apt, baby in cot with us. Have had it highly recommended.
Good Luck smile

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Sat 09-May-15 12:18:30

I took my four away on my own to see relatives (though not staying with) when they were 2,4,6&8. It wasn't a tourist place so keeping the, occupied could have been a problem but we were somewhere they could potter outside where we were staying safety. They spent hours damming a trickle of a stream.
One of the best things I've ever done. Came back feeling like I could do anything. Even got complimented on the plane about their behaviour.
Bet they would be horrors now, 4 years later.
I would agree private self catering is definitely the way to go.

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Sat 09-May-15 12:19:28

Please correct every single typo in your own heads. Too many for me to do grin

Hersetta427 Mon 11-May-15 08:54:24

Have a look at the first choice holiday villages - they have family rooms sleeping up to 6 in some locations. It doesn't come cheap though.

The villa option will probably be cheaper but even with 2 kids I found that my holiday time wasn't much different to what I do at home and I was always cleaning up after the kids, now we stump up for hotels so I get a break and the kids have the opportunity to meet lots of other kids to keep them amused.

littlesupersparks Mon 11-May-15 08:56:43

Eurocamp :-)

cococandyfloss Mon 11-May-15 14:55:34

Apartment or villa - we have 3 and usually stay in a 3 bed villa or townhouse with 2 of the children sharing a room. That way you have your own space and still have an enjoyable holiday. If you don't want your own pool try staying on a resort with apartments or townhouses that have communual tennis courts and pools so that the children still are able to make friends. James Villas has a section called resort holidays have a look on there to get an idea of the accomodation and resort then book yourself for less through holidaylettings or owners direct etc.

I guess a big expense would be car hire as you need a large vehicle with plenty of space for luggage/buggy etc in boot.

Mrs9C Tue 12-May-15 16:39:30

Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated. Good to hear what others have done. I looked up James Villa, they are gorgeous and lovely looking places, but for the couple I looked up sadly way over budget :-/

Staying somewhere with no car would be a better option, save on car hire costs, plus less stress. Will keep looking :-)

Branleuse Tue 12-May-15 16:48:46

I have 3, and we do eurocamp every year and get a 3 bed caravan. Theres always 4 childrens beds. Its cheap and there is lots of stuff for the children to do. There are loads in italy, altough not sure about october. Some of them end their season in september

crapfatbanana Tue 12-May-15 16:51:35

We are taking our four to Northern Spain on Brittany Ferries this summer and have booked a casa that sleeps six. We normally stay in private rentals and drive as it's cheaper than hotel resorts.

val4 Sat 16-May-15 15:26:18

We have 4 children and travel every summer to Franice, Spain or U.S. For Europe I always check out I find that website great as you put in your request,; 2 adults and 4 children, and they just show you suitable properties. I also check out " owners direct .com" for 3 bed apartments with communal pool. I don't find hotels suitable for 1-2 weeks, as we like to have space to spread out, eat when we like and I find hotel rooms too small for 6 , and v expensive when paying for 6 people. We usually fly Ryan Aer and always hire car as find if kids are tired you can load them into car and go for drive to nearby villages/ towns. My kids are 7- 15 now, and still find self catering the way to go.

Etak15 Tue 26-May-15 10:56:30

I agree with villa villa villa idea! (Or apart) we are just about to go tomorrow (4 kids) turkey for us but clickstay and owners direct you will find them all over the world - take your pick! Skyscanner is good for flight comparison - transfers can usually be booked through the owner of villa/apart or they can recommend someone to contact - if not think there are sites such as resort hopper etc. Or hire car (but not needed where we go) Is best way for large family imo u can do your own thing - cook a bit if u fancy, i always find it's easier for breakfast bring cereal etc from here! Or eat out every meal if you want a proper hol whatever suits u n your budget. Only people it wouldn't suit I suppose is if u want to be waited on hand and foot! But I find just being away from home the normal routine is the best bit about hols, don't mind if I have to do a bit of self catering!!

Eatupnow Tue 26-May-15 10:59:02

Yes - all the time!

No villas - no hoilday for me if I'm cooking and cleaning!

All inclusive hotels in the Med. Fantastic!

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Tue 26-May-15 11:01:13

Eurocamp. We have 4 and eurocamp is perfect. Lots of lovely sites in Italy, as well as France/Spain etc.
If you look at their website they suggest sites which are the easiest to go to without a car, and can arrange transfers if you want. Great kids clubs too.

Notso Tue 26-May-15 11:35:50

Villa with own pool is best for us for a long holiday. We mostly eat out so cooking is minimal, mostly breakfast and bread and cheese type lunches. DH and the kids muck in with the washing up. Last time we went abroad we had a cleaner who came and hoovered, cleaned bathrooms, changed sheets and towels etc four times in two weeks.
The pay off for a bit of cooking and cleaning is blissful, space glorious space, no fighting for sun beds, no annoying entertainment or reps trying to sell you stuff
We've done a couple of short breaks in hotels and it wasn't much fun once the little ones were in bed. Even in a two bedroom suite we had had enough of each other after a couple of nights it was a bit claustrophobic.

SasBel Wed 10-Jun-15 11:15:23

Clubbed ��

SasBel Wed 10-Jun-15 11:16:47

Clubmed. Do not try to post from a phone with autocorrect! blush

imip Mon 22-Jun-15 22:48:41

We euro camp also in France. Centreparcs in the Netherlands and airbnb in Australia. We are currently booking accommodation in the U.S. For a family wedding in a couple of months. It is shitty, some hotel some airbnb. The most cost effective is camping on the continent with kidsclubs. 4dc between 3-8. Have been doing it since they were 1-5 yo.

Trickydecision Tue 23-Jun-15 10:20:53

If you love beaches, Sorrento is a bad choice.

MissSmiley Tue 23-Jun-15 12:21:42

Eatuonow - can you tell us which ones? Do you get adjoining rooms? We've got 5 kids and usually end up one in each room. Thanks.

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