OK, so I’m in festive booking spirit at the moment. This time it’s booking a holiday.
I’ve been looking at where we might go for our family break
this summer and I suddenly realised how restricted we’ve become in our choices since
When my husband and I used to go on holiday before kids we
really had no restrictions at all—though we didn’t realise it back then, of
course. We were happy to fly at any time of the day or night and from any
airport. All we needed was a hotel room to flop in at the end of the day. And we
didn’t really care if the main attractions were an hour or so away from our
accommodation because, Hell, we could always travel. So, the idea of
backpacking round Greece with no fixed itinerary and not knowing where we would
sleep from night to night was a positive attraction.
But now it’s a totally different story. For a start, we’re
limited to school holidays when the prices sky rocket. We never pay less than
£1,000 for flights and accommodation these days, which is scandalous, when you
think about it. And we’re restricted to daytime flights from Heathrow in order
to avoid overtired, grumpy kids, which inflates the price even more.
Then there’s the issue of space. With kids we tend to spend
more time in our accommodation and we need to be able to cook on site (in order
to avoid the cost of dinner out for four every night). So, we’re looking at a
two-bedroom apartment—with swimming pool, of course, so that the kids can cool
down in the heat.
And location has become all important. If we travel too far
in a hire car in the heat, the kids throw up. So, our apartment needs to be (a)
not too far from the airport (b) not too far from the local attractions (c)
with swimming pool (d) clean (e) affordable...
And I’m left scratching my head in despair because it’s nigh
impossible to satisfy all these requirements and go to somewhere that you actually want to visit.
Oh for the days of carefree Greek backpacking...