We're All Going On A Family Holiday

We're All Going On a Family Holiday

We’re off on a jolly family trip these school holidays. Think long walks on the beach at sunset, gin and tonics by the pool, lazing on a sun lounger reading a WHOLE book while wearing white (and it staying white), pedicures, massages…hmm the stuff of dreams. Hands up who has those holidays? No? Surely someone? Still no?

Why didn’t someone warn me BC (before-children) to really savour those days of adult holidays; long sleep-ins, making up the plan on the day and then changing it three or six times, not worrying whether your case is too heavy or too light, and generally being rather more adventurous when choosing the destination.

AC (after-children) here is what my holidays actually look like:

  • Posting ad-nauseum to Facebook mums group about pros and cons of exotic destinations and then ignoring all advice and going to Queensland instead because we’ve been there four times already and know the drill. And there is a complimentary bus transfer to save us having to hire a car. Just think of the savings!
  • Once decided on holiday, work through all the logistics of getting there including having to hire enormously expensive car because littlest one gets car sick and the complimentary bus transfer takes three times as long and don’t want to risk being hurled on by 3-year-old.
  • Day before we leave, sudden rush of blood to head to do absolutely all washing in the house, including having it dry and packed away – because for unknown reason washing basket can’t stay full of dirty clothes for a week.
  • Packing for 5. I don’t think I need to elaborate.
  • Day of departure, do a check of kids’ carry on backpacks and remove 3 x hard cover books, toy blocks, a crown, a hair brush, 2 x beanie-boos, a pair of mittens (always useful in QLD)  and a roll of toilet paper.
  • Order Uber and have fight with husband because we can’t all fit in a normal sized Uber and because of age of children we need to take car seats. Running late. Rush to get car seats out of own car. Consider driving. Order second Uber. Make it to airport in time, just.
  • Go to security and take out the 27 items of technology we have brought with us to try and make the flight bearable and can’t get them all back in bags because bags are too full with in-flight snacks we’ve packed for hunger emergencies.
  • Get to airport gate and wait while kids run up and down the travelators the wrong way,  helping remind childless couples about to embark on holidays to practice safe-sex.
  • Plane ride. I don’t have words.
  • Bags collected and spend an hour trying to reinstall own child seats in hire car and get increasingly agitated because the fittings are different and there isn’t the fixing point. Adults blame each other.
  • Finally arrive at destination. Hurrah!
  • Fight over who has what bed. Everyone wants the top bunk. Naturally. Point of note here – we have a top bunk at home that NO one ever wants to sleep in. Seriously. No one.

  • Wake up next morning exhausted because of the night-time musical beds.  

  • A week later it's time  to head home. We need a holiday!

  • Spend next few days gushing to friends about how ‘ah-may-zing’ the holiday destination was and how relaxed we all are.

And it’s true. Even though no books were read, lounging by the pool was non-existent we enjoyed time connecting as a family. In the end we revert back to the familiar and we go back to places we know, because we know it takes some of the pressure off (and we didn’t need to make sure all the passports were up to date). But you know what – kids don’t care where they go. They just want to be surrounded by people that love them.

The time for going exotic might be when they are older or when we turn into the grey nomads I read about. Or possibly never if our kids grow up and buy too much avocado on toast and we can’t afford to be grey nomads. Either way, holidays aren’t what they used to be. And if you can get through the torture of getting there (and back) they are worth persevering for. Mostly.







Josie Jones