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Tell me about you successful (and unsuccessful!) holidays with young children - inspiration needed

(12 Posts)
InTheZenGarden Sat 02-Jul-11 07:07:21

Looking ahead to next year, it will be the last time we can have a long - 3 weeks or so - holiday outside of the school holidays, so thought we'd make it a good'un.

DD will be just over 4, DS will be 21 months. Thinking of going in June, happy to fly a fair distance as the length of holiday will allow us to forget about the horrendous journey there!! grin

Usual holidays for us are getting a cottage in Cornwall - beaches and paddling predominate. Train rides, animals, running around are all popular with DD, DS currently too young to care!

So have any of you done any fantastic holidays with similar aged children that you can recommend? Or any you can advise against?

I had thought of Disney, DS will clearly be too young to get much out of it, will DD too? Was thinking this would probably be worth the money when they're both quite a bit older? We went to South Africa when DD was 19 months, that was great, but it will be winter in June....

Thanks for any tips and advice! smile

Primafacie Sat 02-Jul-11 10:47:39

Sani resort in Greece. It is gorgeous, the beach is superb, lots of child friendly restaurants around the marina and there is a kids' club. The Sani Asterias and Porto Sani are the best hotels on the resort.

Broadwalkempire Wed 06-Jul-11 18:29:22

Depends what type of holiday you want? Do you work? Do you feel you want to spend time with the kids and don't want childcare ? Are you a SAHM and would like a change of scenery with no cooking and some childcare ?

We've done the villa holiday but I found it a chore having to visit the supermarket/ always having to watch the kids round the pool and still cook and clear up. But if you can find another family to go with it might work particularly if it's what you all want and you can take it in turns with the chores and childcare so everyone gets a rest....There are some lovely villas/farmhouses out there.

We've done the Mark Warner/neilson type holidays - all inclusive/ great food/childcare or kids clubs with properly trained english nannies and activities for the grown ups - you do feel like you properly have a holiday on those types of holidays as it's a complete rest. Out of season, early June you'd pay close on £3 k for a holiday like that (2 weeks) so that would depend on budget.

Lots of our friends do camping which they say works a bit better once the youngest is about 5 as it's harder to keep an eye on wandering toddlers - but I know most enjoy it. We've not got into that yet but I'm keen for the future years. Most friends say it's really relaxing. YOu need to invest in all that stuff though or perhaps borrow from friends.....

bigscarymum Wed 06-Jul-11 18:39:11

My main piece if advice would be to go somewhere where most of the things you want are close to hand so that you don't have to get picnics made, sorted out buckets and spades or whatever every morning. Our least stressful holidays have been where we don't even need a car. French campsites are great but yours are possibly a bit young for that. Definitely too young to appreciate Disney. Save that for when they are about 10 so they aren't excluded from any rides and aren't needing a sleep in the middle of the day. We took ours to Disney Paris on the way to a camp site when they were quite young and then to Florida when they were older. They were probably just about old enough to enjoy it when we went to Disney Paris (6,8&9) but even when we went to Florida (8,10,13) the youngest was probably a year or two too young to really get the most out of it.

xBeingTheBestMummyICanx Wed 06-Jul-11 18:39:47

I only have the one DD who has just turned 4 years old but we have done a few holidays with her and have to say we have enjoyed all of them.

We have been to Spain a couple of times, she has loved the beach and pool, and we enjoyed the weather and just a change of scenery.

We have stayed in a Caravan in the Lake District and there are some great places to visit there and nearby.

Center Parcs is great with the pool and there are many activities for children to do although you do pay extra for them, however, DD loved but just getting out in the fresh air and exploring the woods.

We are not long back from Disneyland Paris and would say that has been our best holiday yet. We had a fantastic time, DD was in her element, and there was so much to do and see that we didn’t actually do everything we wanted to and will probably go back next year. grin

bigscarymum Wed 06-Jul-11 18:43:06

My main piece if advice would be to go somewhere where most of the things you want are close to hand so that you don't have to get picnics made, sorted out buckets and spades or whatever every morning. Our least stressful holidays have been where we don't even need a car. French campsites are great but yours are possibly a bit young for that. Definitely too young to appreciate Disney. Save that for when they are about 10 so they aren't excluded from any rides and aren't needing a sleep in the middle of the day. We took ours to Disney Paris on the way to a camp site when they were quite young and then to Florida when they were older. They were probably just about old enough to enjoy it when we went to Disney Paris (6,8&9) but even when we went to Florida (8,10,13) the youngest was probably a year or two too young to really get the most out of it.

bigscarymum Wed 06-Jul-11 18:44:13

Sorry double post - I keep doing that confused

tallulah Wed 06-Jul-11 18:55:31

We have also just come back from Disney Paris with our 4 yo and hated it grin She keeps saying "I don't have to go back there again do I mummy". Not a patch on Florida and hardly anything DD could go on. Will give it a few years and stick to Florida.

Last year went to Gran Canaria- not my thing at all but DD loved it. Spent hours in the freezing cold sea and equally cold swimming pool, and even enjoyed a dolphin spotting boat trip.

Many years ago we took our then 3 yo to Las Vegas. We all loved it. Don't know what it's like now that the British yoof have discovered it.

lechatnoir Wed 06-Jul-11 20:07:41

I would definitely give Disney a miss until your youngest is 5+ as it just won't be worth it IMO (unless you can afford to go more than once). If you can go with friends/family to spread the load on cooking/childcare then I prefer villa with pool near the beach but if you're on your own & budget allows, I'd go to a really decent family resort hotel especially as it will be double in price when you are restricted to school hols!

Roo83 Thu 07-Jul-11 08:31:36

My best holiday was also the cheapest one....a week in portugal out of season. It was great as we had a bar/cafe on the beach, we could sit and have a coffee while the kids played in the sand next to us, toilets, drinks and snacks were all on hand. The hotel had a heated pool-some of the non heated ones have been too cold for ds/dd to even go in! There was a play area at the hotel with tables right next to it, so we could sit and have a drink while the kids played. We did a couple of excursions to break the week up a bit. It doesn't really make much difference which country you go for, but I'd look for the above things wherever we holiday in future

InTheZenGarden Thu 07-Jul-11 15:01:20

Thanks all for your comments. Think we will give Disney a miss for a few years, but maybe venture to the Paris one in a couple of years; I think the kids would like the characters now, but not the rides, I'm guessing that when they're older they won't care so much about the characters? It's interesting that two of you with similar-aged DDs had such different experiences. Kids!

I am a SAHM, but DH wants to spend time with the kids when we're on holiday, so no sticking them in a kids club, sadly wink We do go on caravan holidays to Cornwall, but were thinking of something a bit more "special" seeing as it'll be the last time we can go out of the school holidays

Reading your comments has made me realise, no, I don't WANT to cook all the time! Or make picnics! So def will aim for something with everything on tap, easy to hand smile

MtnBikeChick Thu 07-Jul-11 22:20:44

Try http://www.babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk/ - brilliant site.

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