I know the UK Holiday seasons over and most of you will have already been on your holidays this year, but, I’m going to tell you about the things that are important to us when thinking of holidays. This is my entry into the holidaycottages.co.uk must-haves competition.
We always take our holidays in the UK. In fact I’ve never holiday’d anywhere else. The UK has so much to offer and so much to explore, and I haven’t even seen half of it yet. Scotland is actually high up on my list of the places Id like to visit, I really do want to be that person that gets a good photo of Nessy!
Before we became a family MrFO5 and I used to take spontaneous trips to random places, we’d just get in the car, and drive and stop when we found some where that looked interesting. We love the countryside and its rolling green views and we equally love the seaside with its divine fish and chips and the relaxing sound of sea! We’ve seen some lovely things on our travels such as The Smallest House in Conwy, which Mr FO5 could barely get inside because he’s so tall, Stonehenge, which actually I found a little disappointing if I’m to be brutally honest but MfFO5 found it fascinating, and the beautiful views from the top of Snowdon Mountain, actually they were rubbish views because it was so misty, but even still, just being up there felt magical, I guess being on our Honeymoon helped with that too 🙂 I really do love the UK, but I wont deny wishing the weather was a little kinder to us in the summer months!
Spontaneous trips are a thing of the past, these days our holidays and even outings take far more planning and preparation. The girls like routine and familiarity and that’s what we need to consider when booking a holiday. Those of you that are regular readers will also know how much of an issue sleep is, so finding accommodation with enough bedrooms is also vital. Camping is a no go here, not only because I’d rather saw my own head off than sleep in a tent, but because the girls wouldn’t be able to sleep in that sort of an environment. The closest we can get to a home from home is what we always look for.
We also like to make sure we have lots of familiar things with us to help the girls feel safe in their new temporary environment. Comfy Pyjamas for example, sounds silly but when you have children that are already anxious and unsure, having itchy, uncomfortable pyjamas isn’t going to help. Something to cuddle in bed is another one, none of my girls cuddle a teddy in bed generally, they don’t have any favorite teddies that bring them comfort and reassurance, but on holiday, having something familiar that smells of home, makes all the difference. Next on my list would be cutlery, the girls have their own child sized cutlery which they find easier to use than the full sized versions. Now at home, if we eat out they manage with the larger knives and forks and its not a massive problem just a bit messier, but on holidays, when they’re already out of their comfort zones, eating a cooked breakfasts (we always go self catering and start the day with a cooked breakfast) with a knife and fork that are too heavy and uncomfortable to hold doesn’t make for a great start to their day. Baby wipes is next, I’m never far from a pack of baby wipes, we use them for all sorts, snotty noses, dirty faces, sticky fingers, bumped knees, dinner in hair (yes you did read that right), sticky tables, spilled drinks, toothpaste on clothes, cleaning public toilet seats etc etc the list is vast, so I never ever ever leave home without a pack of babywipes, I make sure I pack at least 3 packs for a weeks holiday! Next would be things for the journey. Holidaying in the UK generally means a nice long drive to get to our destination. The girls all travel well but like all kids, get bored. So we make sure they have stuff to do. Some paper, some pens a magazine with tacky toys stuck to the front, the odd small toy they can fiddle with, and of course their DSi’s and DVD players and the all important car chargers to go with them! Generally the DVD players and the DSi’s hold their interest the most, which is interesting because at home, they barely get touched. I also make sure to pack some snacks and more importantly to let them know that I have food with us, food can be a great source of worry if they’re unsure. So toys and snacks are a must!
Finally, and probably the most important thing to remember, is my camera. Our holidays are usually the only times the girls really allow themselves to be carefree (providing I’ve got all the other stuff mentioned above in place), its the only time they can really ‘forget’ about school and therapy and ‘real life’, so having my camera is so important. I want to make sure I capture all of those memories for them, all of those genuine smiles and loving moments that we share as a family. I want them to be able to look back when they’re finding things hard and struggling to remember the good times, I want them to be able to see and remember what their ‘happy’ looked like and in turn felt like.
All children benefit from holidays, but my children benefit perhaps a little more than most which is why I work so hard to ensure they get the best experience possible.
What are your families ‘must-haves’ when booking your holidays?