Remember when ‘going away’ meant ‘out of the ordinary’ and therefore wonderful? It was a ‘holiday’ even if it was a conference interstate, a wedding requiring an overnight stay or a lunch in a part of town you’d never been?
And should you actually book a legitimate holiday? I’d be red-lining for days, even weeks prior.
The only red-lining I do these days is before my morning coffee hit when there’s a toddler tugging on my arm asking for Weetbix and then my husband rolls over, suggests we have sex “just quickly” but then says he’ll settle for his own coffee in bed instead.
So what has taken the edge off these wonderful escapes from reality? My children. That’s what. Holidays can turn into an ulcer creating trip from hell spent placating the needs of everyone else when all I want to do is get away and read or eat food I don’t have to share with anyone or sleep. Where’s the ‘I’ in a holiday with kids I ask you??
Surely there are some ways to remedy this? Well yes there are. And here they be in a tidy little list you can read while the coffee machine cranks into life
1. Don’t take your children with you.
So simple. So wonderfully liberating. So fraught with difficulty. This only works if you have super willing grandparent or any other person teetering on dementia who forgot having kids is hard work. Plus there’s your own guilt bypass you need to install so you do actually enjoy flying down a ski slope directly to the après ski bar before popping into the après ski hot tub and then diving into bed for an awesome night’s sleep, awaking when the mood takes you. Not having kids with you on a holiday is as relaxing it gets. Have as many nights as you can!
2. Take a nanny or grandparent.
A poor cousin to the leaving them behind scenario but a do-able one nonetheless. A nanny is better as long as you can cope with a stranger being in your accommodation and ordering her about like Lady Muck. A grandparent is good, but if you’re anything like me, I can’t make my mother look after my kids for six hours during the day whilst I swan off to the day spa or museum tour or whatever. And she’d have to come to dinner with us which means the kids would have to come to… You see the problem.
3. Choose your destination and accommodation wisely.
When I was younger, once I’d spied the “Kids Club” page on a resort’s website, I would shut that browser down before you could excitedly shout “Marco Polo!” But now things are very different. A pool is an absolute essential; cable TV is a close second, and if they’ve got a Kids Club? You’d be crazy not to book it in. I know, I know. Everyone else will have kids there too, but look at it this way- it’s just more people who’ll want to get hammered with you at witching hour, which will be held conveniently at the swim-up bar.