It’s not easy creating a checklist for the perfect family holiday. People often say that ‘if the kids are happy, then the parents are happy’. I think it’s a bit more complex than that. Families aren’t one-dimensional; something that pleases the kids, often makes grown-ups happy for completely different reasons.
Here are some ideas, straight from the mouths of the babes.
Kids say: We want to spend some time with Mum and Dad/ Granny and Grandad.
Adults think: I need a break!
As any parent knows, juggling work, home and childcare is a frazzling experience. After a day of labour – whether that’s in the office, at school, or in the laundry room – everyone’s usually too exhausted to kick back and enjoy each other’s company. But that’s precisely what a perfect family holiday’s all about. It’s so much easier to properly enjoy a splash in the pool, a board game or a match of table tennis, without the day-to-day pressures of cleaning, food shopping and DIY. A break from the realities of life is a good chance to get to know each other all over again. That’s especially the case if you’re sharing your holiday with relatives who you don’t see regularly.
CHECKLIST: find out if your villa has a maid or laundry service. Also look into what leisure facilities are there – does it, for instance, have a private pool, a tennis court, or table tennis?
Kids say: We want a barbeque! Sausages and burgers for us, please.
Adults think: How about buying some fresh sardines from the local fish market, and slowly grilling them over the flames….
Barbeques are great crowd-pleasers. They come as standard with a lot of villa holidays, and they’re a chance for everyone to mingle and relax outdoors. There’s usually space on the grill for all types of food, from spicy chicken wings and juicy steaks to halloumi and tender sweetcorn. So even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy their meal, while the gourmands get to tuck into a local grilled delicacy.
CHECKLIST: if your family likes barbeques, find out if your villa has one.
Kids say: We want time away from the grown-ups
Adults think: I need a break!
Spending more time with your loved ones is all very well – but everyone needs their own space too (this is particularly true of teenagers). Travelling in a larger group often means people split off into smaller units; the children band together, and the adults then have a chance to catch up. Or Grandparents/Aunts and Uncles get to spend some time with the younger members of the family, while parents take a much-needed break. When you’re looking into your villa holiday, have a think about who will be there, and what might help give them freedom.
CHECKLIST: Electronics always help. Does the villa have Wi-fi? Is there a DVD or CD player so the youngsters can occupy themselves during downtime, and the adults have some entertainment for the evenings? Where is the villa – is it central, so that older children can enjoy themselves independently doing activities like water-sports, or hanging out at the beach? Or is it in the countryside, where it’s sometimes safer for children to roam free? How easy is it for parents of younger children to ‘switch off’: is there a pool gate? Or a babysitting service, so that adults can enjoy local bars and restaurants? Can you walk to places, or do you need a car? And is there anywhere to go on daytrips – aquariums, water parks, castles, zoos?
What would you put on your checklist for the perfect family holiday?
Pin for later: