Well if you ask the parent’s of any, baby, toddler, baby/toddler combo or just child, or even teen, you are likely to hear a resounding NO. I harp on about our penchant for holidays, this was very much a pre child love of ours. We had some corkers and we have tried to keep it going since the arrival of our children. It is not always easy. We have had to fly 10 large boxes of pre made prescription formula across the continent, all of which were subject to inspection and we will never forget Menorca gate which nearly gave Mr Tammy a break down and us a divorce. They haven’t all been bad, we have had successful getaways, sometimes, but even they haven’t been without their trials.
At the heart of my blog is my attempt to keep some resemblance to our previous life as possible. Now don’t mistake this for down right stupidity. I know life changes when the small people come along. I am living the change. My point is we try to keep slithers of us and our former existence alive and well in the company of two small people – holidays are never going to be an exception. We have already been on one this year and have another 3 booked thus far.
So our quest for the perfect family holiday continues. It is like finding the illusive golden ticket. You book your holiday with the same eagerness and naivety that Charlie opens his chocolate bar, full of hopeful possibility. Maybe..just maybe…
So with that in mind, and our stubbornness not to give up, I have got to thinking about how to achieve the perfect family holiday. How to find that golden ticket. For us it means, keeping 2 toddlers, a teenager and two parents happy, not much of an ask hey? So here is our, and most families check list.
1. The weather
The weather for us can be key. We like sunshine and warmth, especially when it is cold and dreary in Blighty. It is not unknown for me to get a strop on if it is cloudy when it is meant to be sunny. That said we are of course realistic, if we are going exploring Scandinavia for example a tan isn’t our priority. Neither are we likely to sit on a beach doing nothing all day, so equally 40 degree heat isn’t ideal for chasing toddlers.
2. The destination
This is a real biggy. I LOVE going to new places. The world is massive and there is so much to see and do and I want my children to experience as much as I can offer them. However I must confess, Mr Tammy and I have, over the last couple of years, taken to frequenting ‘safe’ and sometimes familiar destinations with our two toddlers. Now that the small one has been given his medical all clear, they both sleep and both eat the same foods we do (kind of) the destination isn’t so much a concern, more how we get there, which leads me on nicely too..
3. The means of getting there
I know many shy away from flying with young ones. I don’t blame you but we never have. We have reduced our flight time and altered what time of day we might fly but we still fly. What we haven’t done, but would love to do, is a multi destination trip, but even for us, one flight is about all we can muster at the moment. It’s not so much the flight but the luggage. Oh the luggage! Packing and unpacking and then carting cases, bags and prams around everywhere is hard work, not a holiday.
Having somewhere to go and something to do is key. Our 1 and 2-year-old aren’t feeling sunbathing or playing in the pool all day just yet. They like to be able to explore, we like to be able to explore. We like to see new things go to new places get out and about. Having nothing to do all day scares me. Similarly the teenager could not possibly sit without wifi for more than 30 seconds so entertainment for her is also key.
This is mostly for pleasure isn’t it. Kind of. Eating with two small people isn’t always pleasurable. However good food can really make a holiday. As can stress free eating with children.
I don’t ask of much eh? However I am coming to the conclusion that actually the above is possible. Dare I say we could put a tick next to all of these boxes…
Can we really embark on a holiday that allows us to explore different cities, even countries? Provide us with a variety of good food that pleases everyone? and one that doesn’t leave us strolling up and down the same promenade everyday, just to get out?
YES. YES there is and I cannot believe I haven’t thought of it sooner. In search for the perfect family holiday I have teamed up with Thomson and I present to you the answer… a cruise. You get to visit a plethora of countries, you don’t have to board trains or hire cars to explore – your moving hotel room drops you off. That’s right, moving hotel room.drops you off. That’s right, moving hotel room. That means your luggage stays in one place and all you need to do when visiting a new country (did I mention that is was a different COUNTRY) is take your day bag with you. Genius. Your destination options are endless too, from the Med to the Fjords to the Caribbean. Pick the climate you want and you’re off.
There are kids clubs for all ages, night-time entertainment, day time entertainment, food and drink to suit everyone – from fine dining, buffets to snacks. That some one other than you cooks and cleans. You can even embark on a family friendly cruise and then you won’t feel bad about your little treasure lobbing apple at someone. Above all it is safe. Providing your little ones don’t do a Rose Dewitt Bukater via Kate Winslet and try hurl themselves off the back it’s all good. They have plenty of space to roam about the decks but they are contained.
I would absolutely love to take my clan on a cruise in our search for the perfect family holiday. I have my sights set on a Canarian Christmas…we can but hope.
What about you? Have you been on a cruise? Have you taken your little ones on a cruise? Would you recommend or would like to try it? I would love to hear from you.