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Share your tips for surviving family holidays with Drac from Hotel Transylvania 3 - £300 voucher to be won

200 replies

DracLordOfDarkness · 09/07/2018 09:23

Hello, hello it’s me Drac here, vampire, and owner of Hotel Transylvania! A lavish five-stake hotel for monsters and now humans, too. I have come to Mumsnet because I desperately need your help. My little poisonberry daughter Mavis has booked a family vacation - she thinks I need a break from running the hotel. Even though a family vacation seems more work and stress than just staying at home! Not only do I have to keep my daughter Mavis and her human husband Johnny happy, I also need to be a good Vampa (vampire-grandpa Wink) and entertain Dennis-a-vich my 5 year old grandson; and don't even mention the hotel guests like Frank, Murray, Wayne and all of his pups, Tinkles, and Blobby.

I like the idea of spending some quality time with the family and hanging up my cloak but how do I do it without the arguments, and the tantrums, and the agony?! Please Mumsnetters, help me by telling me how you survive your family vacations without wanting to turn into a bat and fly away or wishing you were at home with a bowl of monster soup?

I will enter everyone who posts their most zing-worthy family vacation tips on this thread into our special Hotel Transylvania 3 prize draw where one monster or human will win a £300 voucher of their choice. If you win you could use it to come visit my monstrous hotel!



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Share your tips for surviving family holidays with Drac from Hotel Transylvania 3 - £300 voucher to be won
OP posts:
GenericHamster · 28/07/2018 00:58

Days planned in the area
Days planned out the area
Board games for rainy days

lolly2011 · 28/07/2018 12:37

Lots of days out, picnics, park, theme parks beach, take a picnic so you don't worry if they'll eat, make sure there is something for all ages as I have a 6 and a 12 year old. I try to see if the best way of getting tickets so that you know it won't break the bank when you get there to.

BraayTigger · 29/07/2018 19:04

On a flight wrap up little presents for the children to open & then keep them occupied (ie colouring pencils, activity books etc).

Take lots of snacks and drinks on trips

Play games such as "first to spot a horse gets a chip" etc

Just relax and pick your arguments, let the kids have fun

FreshEyre · 29/07/2018 22:21

Change your holiday expectations 😊.

Pre-DC we enjoyed lazy holidays, city breaks, sightseeing, long lunches, afternoon snoozes and fine dining.

We worked out very quickly that having happy DC makes holidays a whole lot easier and more fun for everyone. We plan things to do, look for local child-friendly attractions, swimming pools, flights at sensible times (even if it meant limiting options) and try (within reason) to stick to regular mealtimes and bedtimes. Villa holidays worked well for many years as we would eat out at lunchtime when DC were happy and then have an easy supper back at the villa with wine and snacks after bedtime.

We have now turned a corner and DC are happy to do a bit of sightseeing and enjoy eating out at different places and trying new foods.

I would also suggest relaxing rules around screens, particularly on flights. Anything you can do that gets everyone to the destination feeling relaxed and happy is fine!

sharond101 · 30/07/2018 12:27

Pool with slides, football pitch and play park essential!

AVT5 · 01/08/2018 13:53

Plan the holiday and always pack crayons and paper so any where you are they are entertained

ncullinane · 01/08/2018 14:35

I think go with low expectations that there will be arguments, niggles etc 😂 so anything above that will be a bonus! Haha! However I think choose somewhere that is child friendly and has lots to entertain them and knew them busy.

ClarkWGriswold · 01/08/2018 15:21

My dad has a 'rule' that everyone must have an icecream every day on holiday. He told this to my DDs so now this rule has been implemented for us. It works for us and keeps DDs' suitably well behaved for their reward at the end of the day Smile

UpOnDown · 01/08/2018 16:29

take lots of small wrapped toys to distract on the plane.

thewayoftheplatypus · 01/08/2018 16:58

I find it helpful to dramatically declare that I have reached the end of my thether (I have no idea what my thether is, but I regularly reach the end of it) and then flounce off, leaving DH to look after th kids for an hour or two. Best hour of my whole holiday!!

Bearfrills · 01/08/2018 17:29
  1. Say yes to everything you can reasonably say yes to. We get one main holiday a year and I don't want to spend it locking horns with the kids, after all it's their holiday too. No bedtime, sweets, iPad at the dinner table, go into every park we see, where a Wonder Woman costume instead of regular clothes .... fill your boots, kids!

  1. If it's going to be sunny, freeze a bottle of water or juice the night before to take out with you. It'll defrost relatively slowly so you'll have ice water all day long.

  1. Take baby powder to the beach, sprinkle some onto sandy feet and the sand wipes straight off with no rubbing or crying.

  1. Pink gin tastes really good in a red Slush Puppie, buy the kids blue ones so you don't get them mixed up Wink
Pineapple75 · 01/08/2018 17:52

If you've got older kids, get them involved in the planning and research.

waterlily200 · 01/08/2018 19:12

Our stress free 4 hour flight with an energetic 4 year old was provided by a variety of blind bags/eggs. We got MLP,, Disney princess, Trolls and Thomas eggs/bags from poundshops before our flight and randomly gave them to her through out the flight. She was so excited and she was so happy to play with the little toys the time flew by (pardon the pun).

howardbear · 01/08/2018 20:17

The best tip I ever heard was remember that your kids are still your kids on holiday so if they are prone to tantrums, whining, loudness etc then they are not suddenly going to turn into little angels just because you’ve spent a small fortune taking them adjust expectations accordingly!

CathBookworm · 01/08/2018 20:53

Take familiar games and books, stick to same bedtime routine if you can and try to plan kid friendly activities in the day and relax in the evening when they’re in bed.

TeacherKS1 · 02/08/2018 08:09

Be prepared! Plenty of drinks and snacks. Before we go away we do s bit of research about the area (can only holiday locally to us in uk as DH is disabled and struggles with travel). Make a list of things everyone would like to do/see and make sure each person gets to do one thing off their list. E.g. Have a BBQ, go swimming in the sea, visit an attraction. Listen to what the kids want, don't assume. Mine are all junior/senior age now so it's getting much easier!

cmlover · 02/08/2018 09:09

the first holiday I took my 3 and 6 year old to as a single mum, I got so stressed trying to get every Thing perfect, stressing over the kids not listening or not wanting to do a fablouse activity I had planned.

the second morning we where there I woke to find both by 3 and 6 year old had de-skinned bannas and had lined the hall way of the caravan with banna skins and was running up and down playing minion rush app game

I couldnt help but laugh, it made me realise that i was taking things to seriously. so I stopped planning everything down to a T.
asked them what they wanted to do and took it in turns to choose what to do next. (with in reason)

I losened the bed time routine, let them have that extra slushy. went to the park in the night. spent hours looking for pretty stones.... only to throw them into the sea.

basically chill, don't plan every second, say yes to what you can and enjoy it. holidays with kids is never going to be stress free but you can lower your standards to endure it and have fun.

Windmyonlyfriend · 02/08/2018 10:00

With young children (we just came back from our first holiday abroad with our 3 and 4 year olds), I found it useful not to expect anything of them then you won’t be disappointed.

We booked a hotel with a water park on site - pirate ship, slides, water sprayers, all that jazz. ‘Amazing!’ I think, DC will LOVE it. 4 year old loves it, 3 year old spent pretty much our entire week there standing on a chair drinking from the public water fountain. I can’t bear to think how much I paid for him to just spend all day pushing the button on that bloody water fountain.

Still, at least he was well hydrated.

So yeah, low/no expectations!

user1495807524 · 02/08/2018 18:29

Always go on a holiday they will enjoy, take some toys and a few favourite books and teddies.

rachaelsit · 04/08/2018 10:10

Do not plan too much, do not expect to stay on any sort of schedule and forget the idea of regular meal times! Or food for that matter!!!

laundryelf · 04/08/2018 14:44

We go self catering in UK, always has to have WiFi! We have family movie nights or afternoons if weather bad. Take a couple of boardgames.

Organise a supermarket delivery or click and collect, with lots of snacks, fruit, drinks and easy to make meals.
We also book as large a place as possible, so teenagers have their own room and sometimes bathroom too. Any SC has to have laundry facilities or even better a local launderette which will do service washes, a god send when DCs were toddlers and having lots of accidents.
Geocaching makes walks more interesting and gets them to walk more, also have sweets available that they can use as a pick me up boost when they get tired on walks.
We research the place we are going to and Google Street view the accomodation and local shops.
When really bored, have a let's see where this path/road leads to drive or walk. And if it goes past a tea room or pub stop for drinks and snacks. Check out local foods in shops, e.g. Welsh cakes in Wales, Wensleydale cheese factory in northern England, Scotch pies, haggis and fruit dumpling in Scotland.
We take tablets to stream TV and movies on or now TV stick, Chromecast or Amazon Prime stick. We download radio shows like Infinite Monkey cage to listen to in the car or buy new DVDs for extra long journey.

And as others have said, have low expectations, really low and enjoy the little things that make it easier. Take tea outside into garden, while kids play, make sure you make time to stop and just be, watch the sea, the sunset or sunrise if your kids are early risers. Don't force everyone to do an activity, it's fine to split up some days and each do different things.

urltcom · 05/08/2018 06:29

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MargoChanning · 05/08/2018 15:45

My tips would be 1) have very low expectations 2) if bribing your kids into good behaviour means you have a more relaxing holiday, then do it! And 3) choose your battles. I want a relaxing, easy life when on holiday and if that means letting my daughter eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner to stop her wingeing, then so be it. I feel no shame Grin

CommonFishDiseases · 05/08/2018 19:11

Involve the DC in planning what to do on holiday e.g. what activities they would most enjoy. If on a city break, build play times and rest times into the day, stopping regularly for a sit down and a drink.

Sierra259 · 05/08/2018 23:22

Firstly lots of snacks. We try to be led by the DC as much as possible with what/how much we do and choose things that are (mostly) age appropriate. Ours are both under 6 so aren't going to be interested in things that we are for too long. We've found the key is to be flexible and let them do the things that interest them, even if that's just throwing stones in the sea for 2 hours! It's just no fun and stressful if you try to force young DC to do things for the duration you might want to!

Lots of research on local attractions/activities also helps.

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