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Holiday in the May half term: a bit special but not hot

(36 Posts)
Misty9 Fri 19-Aug-16 22:01:48

It's dh's big birthday in the May half term next year and I'd like us to go away for a week but for something a bit more special than usual. He's a nightmare to satisfy so I thought I'd see what the mn jury could come up with!

- budget up to £3k (excluding spending money) for two adults and two children under 6
- dh hates being too hot, doesn't like beaches (but kids do so some of that is fine)
- likes sightseeing and food
- can't be one room for all of us, need at least a one bedroom apartment

Any ideas? This year we've been to lake Garda and Valencia (latter to see family) if that helps...

MiddleClassProblem Fri 19-Aug-16 22:03:01

are the northern lights visible then?

Smellysaurus Fri 19-Aug-16 22:03:13

Neilson or Mark Warner?

Smellysaurus Fri 19-Aug-16 22:03:40

Sorry just saw no beaches

MiddleClassProblem Fri 19-Aug-16 22:27:11

Apparently it's a bad time to try to see them but does he have anything he really loves or hobbies?

If he like history I couldn't recommend seeing Pompeii and Herculaneum enough. The weather could be hot though.

MiddleClassProblem Fri 19-Aug-16 22:27:42

I think Scandinavia is mild then though

Misty9 Fri 19-Aug-16 22:30:13

Football and good food grin
Norway would be amazing though..

weegiemum Fri 19-Aug-16 22:32:09

Iceland? I'd love to go back there!

TJEckleburg Fri 19-Aug-16 22:35:29

Iceland is fab, but your kids might be a little too young to appreciate it.
www.adler-thermae.com Is amazing German run spa in Tuscan hills. Plenty of sightseeing around, kids club at the hotel so you can eat with them (and food is unbelievably good) and then nip them down to kids club to watch videos whilst you finish your dinner and wine

TJEckleburg Fri 19-Aug-16 22:36:56

Oh and v sensible family rooms with large space for adults And living area and then small twin room tucked away at back for kids

SealSong Fri 19-Aug-16 22:38:00

Barcelona? Has both football and great food, and is scenic and perfect for exploring.

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Fri 19-Aug-16 22:40:16


Easyjet flights get released about third week September for May half termmand will probably be £20 - £40 each way each so flight budget with seat reservations around £300 - £400 if you just travel with a generous hand luggage bag each.

Accomodation in 3/ 4 bedroom house with essential Icelandic piped hot water tub around £700.

Car hire for a nice off road capable vehicle £650 (yes its expensive).

Fuel £100

Food not much different to UK if you self cater and don't drink much alcohol but you can spen a fortune if you choose.

Days out...

Swimming in thermal swimming pool with slides about £12 for the family

Geyser (geysirs as there are several active) just fuel as free parking

Gulfoss, very impressive split waterfall at end of glacier. Free parking, just fuel.

Thermal gardens and cooking eggs in a stream about £10 including eggs.

Whale watching including oilskins lifejackets etc about £100,for the family ( children are typically free).

We went when our youngest was three, went back when she was four and plan to go back next year when shes six. Its a very child friendly culture and English is very widely spoken and written.

MiddleClassProblem Fri 19-Aug-16 22:40:42

Barcelona is amazing for sightseeing. Weather can be either way but you can go see the football stadium and the Olympic park. The food is amazing and the gaudi park with all the mosaics is beautiful with lots of space to wear out kids

SealSong Fri 19-Aug-16 22:42:09

Also there are plenty of fabulous apartments to rent in Barcelona. I rented one with this company and it was fab.

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Fri 19-Aug-16 22:44:31

A cruise is another option but you'd be sleeping in one cabin on £3k. P AND O do a 7 night Norweigen Fjords trip Southampton to Southampton in the school holidays which would probably be about £600 adults and a little less children in same cabin. Fully catered, relatively civilised not over subscribed kids clubs, pools, theater, some films, lots of food choices and low stress multiple location drop offs.

Misty9 Fri 19-Aug-16 22:49:51

Wow that looks amazing TJ but sadly they only take over 4s and dd will be just 3. Dh doesn't really do spas either... Sigh.

He has always wanted to see Reykjavik so that's food for thought. But a pp said dc are possibly too young to appreciate it?

Am now considering a special hotel in uk with interconnecting rooms and gourmet food (but not too posh as, well, we're not!) for a few nights as an alternative...

TJEckleburg Fri 19-Aug-16 23:01:54

I've just taken dc's 12 and 14 to Iceland. It was truly amazing. But best bits were snowmobiling on glacier and going 120m down into the very centre of a volcano. Neither of which would be accessible to you with under 10's. And probably not something you'd want to do more than once in a lifetime, so one to leave until kids can appreciate it.

leccybill Fri 19-Aug-16 23:05:30

DH wanted to 'drink beer and eat meat' for his big birthday so we went to Munich for a few days and into Bavaria a bit. It was ace and he loved it.

nennyrainbow Fri 19-Aug-16 23:07:19

My DH's birthday is also in May half term every year! The last big one, 3 years ago, we went to the Scilly Isles with our 3 DCs who were aged 2 to 8. We got the ferry there and it was a lovely scenic holiday. We did a mixture of beaches, walking, cycling, diving ( for DH) and sightseeing. We hired bikes with a trailer bike for the 5 year old and a toddler seat for the 2 year old, so that could be an option for you. Fantastic day trip to Tresco to see the gardens there. Also stopped at the Eden Project on the way back. And well under your maximum price range.

The big birthday before that (pre-kids) , we went to Iceland. Hired a 4WD with trailer tent and made our own way around the island. You can camp wherever you like within reason. Amazing long days at that time of year - about 21 hours daylight!

samlovesdilys Fri 19-Aug-16 23:17:35

How about a cruise??

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Fri 19-Aug-16 23:37:24

We found Iceland amazing with our then three year old not very mobile dd (physical delay) and older two DC (8 and 10). We couldn't do a few activities like go into one of the volcanoes but could go into a crater. We couldn't go on quad bikes or horses but at three she could have come dog sledding on the glacier with us (had we got our act together and booked it).

She loved the thermal waters and the pools all had arm bands and childrens toys (we didn't do the blue lagoon).

She loved cooking eggs in a fishing net in a stream in the thermal gardens and talks about it two years later.

She was in awe of geysirs erupting and jumped up and down when the water appeared. She was rather overwhelmed by the water falls at Gulfoss and I carried her to see it from a distance and we retreated to drink hot chocolate in the cafe and DH and I took that in turns.

On the whale boat the captain let her take his seat, wear his cap and steer the boat - she remembers it.

If it would be a once in a lifetime trip I think about 10 would be an ideal age but if its a special holiday amongst many you i tend to have over the years then I wouldn't rule it out.

Misty9 Fri 19-Aug-16 23:42:28

Hmm interesting re Iceland. Ds doesn't like pools etc but he'd be fascinated by the science behind cooking an egg in a net!

Dh is now saying he'd like to do a trip to London but stay somewhere special. But I've got months to work on him wrt going further afield wink

Cruises he has denounced as "old fashioned" and "expensive" - and based on previous experience we definitely couldn't all share a cabin, especially with sparrows fart waking ds...

mouldycheesefan Sat 20-Aug-16 10:56:25

Loving these Iceland suggestions. Csn anyone post links to how you booked the different elements I dependetly?
Is it best to book flights, accommodation and then hire a car? Or book guided trips?
Is it best to stay in Reykjavik?

TJEckleburg Sat 20-Aug-16 11:03:57

We stayed in Reykjavik and did day trips as neither of us wanted to spend our holidays driving. Most were done through grayline.is

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Sat 20-Aug-16 15:37:03

We flew Easyjet (both times)

We booked through budget as they have a 24hr base at Keflavik airport (30mins from Reykjavik). Also based at the airport is Hertz, Eurocar and Avis. Budget was cheapest and we independantly got an extra damage deposit waiver insurance for about £30/ year.

We found roads wide, well marked, empty and very easy to drive on. Plenty of free parking around and its cheap in Reykjavik.

I like the independance of having a car and with one Autistic child and one with mobility/ anxiety issues it makes life far easier for us. We also found that whilst it was quite expensive to hire Iceland has masses of free activities you can access if you can get to them.

We stayed by booking accomodation through homeaway.com. We've used them and airbnb in numerous countries now and like self catering due to dietary requirements and budget.

Alcohol can't be purchased everywhere and is more expensive than the UK.

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