In our pre-kids years, we travelled whenever we could. I won’t pretend it was intrepid, back-packing, getting-under-the-cultural-skin of the country travel – it was much more about hotels, beaches and safaris, but we still covered a lot of ground. It was also important to us that we always explored historical sites in the region, and tried to experience a little of the local life too.
When our oldest arrived, holidays were a very different prospect. As nervous first-time parents, we booked a family hotel with our nine-month old in Menorca, and hoped for the best. We still managed a trip to the capital, but most of it was spent coaxing him to eat or sleep in places he objected to.
We left it a while after that – Number 2 arrived, and with various relocations and house moves over the following years, we didn’t plan anything until my cousin invited us to his wedding in Cyprus. Aged 4 and 2, the boys had a riot. We played it safe again in a Holiday Village, and they loved it all – from the ice cream to the entertainment, and having extended family around made it extra special.
They loved the Holiday Village experience so much that we stuck to the winning formula over the last few years, and got progressively more adventurous with the sorts of excursion we could manage. In 2019 we took them to a Greek Night while we were in Kos, which included food they would never have given the time of day to normally, and some riotous dancing.
The pandemic has paused our travelling abroad, and by the time we feel ready to return to it, we will be long past Holiday Villages…so while all I can do is dream, I’ve been working on my list of dream holidays with kids before they get too old and grumpy to want holidays with parents any more. I have no idea if we will achieve one or any of them, but daydreaming about holidays has always been one of my favourite activities!
1 – USA:
I’ve never been there, and I would love to experience it as a family – the Grand Canyon, Disneyland on either coast, New York, and maybe even Hawaii…that’s several holidays in one country alone! America is the stuff of movies and legends to the kids, and feeling the culture and seeing th sights would be amazing.
2 – Egypt:
Cairo, the pyramids of Giza, the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, and perhaps even the spot where Mr RLC popped the question back in April 2004, at St Catherine’s monastery. The boys’ interest has been sparked since we had a whole week of homeschool dedicated to it last year, which included mummifying some tomatoes, so they’d jump at the chance to see the real thing…
3 – South Africa:
Early morning safaris may prove difficult with sleepy teenagers, but if there’s anything that motivates them to get out of bed, surely it’s the prospect of seeing some of the most powerful predators on the planet, right there in the wild?
4 – India:
The little one has fancied a trip here ever since he drew a masterpiece of the Taj Mahal last year at school, and I would love to go too. I was fascinated by Indian history at school, and the thought of standing on the banks of the Ganges is mind-blowing.
5 – Australia:
Where to start? According to my aunt and uncle, who have lived there for over 30 years, you need at least three weeks to do a tour of Oz any sort of justice. The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, Uluru, the beauty of the west coast – and if we were there, I would absolutely have to visit the lighthouse from Round the Twist.
I’m excited to take them to places here in the UK that none of us has ever explored too – there’s certainly plenty to discover here – but there’s so much for them to experience around our incredible planet, too, and I would love to be part of discovering even a tiny part of it with them. If you’ve got any dream holidays with the kids ideas, or even some fabulous experiences of your own to share, I would love to hear them!