Do Children Really Appreciate a Holiday?
Over time my opinion on travelling with children has changed. Like most of us before we become parents I always thought travelling with children would be a waste of time and money as they don’t really appreciate the effort and don’t also retain the memories. As time has passed my opinion has changed somewhat.
This summer we choose to venture on a type of journey we hadn’t tried before. We hired a motorhome and travelled 737 miles around the UK. A journey that took us through some breathtaking sites and gave us treasured moments that I hope we won’t forget.
The thing is at the age of 5 and 1, how much will they actually remember? I would expect that our eldest would retain some of those memories but not all. I don’t expect the youngest to recall anything of this holiday once he’s older.
So why did we do it? Let me tell you it wasn’t all pictures of perfection. We had rain, lots of it. We had tantrums, many of them – mainly from the youngest. We had whining, mainly from the kids but sometimes even from me! Our living space was small so sometimes frustrations grew. Our youngest quickly learned how to open the windows in the motorhome, as a result we found him hanging out the window on a couple of occasions.
So again why did we do it? We wanted to explore and see places we hadn’t been before but mainly, we wanted to spend time with our kids without thinking about those doors that need painting, the deadline at work, the washing machine that’s on it’s way out, the overgrown garden that seriously needs sorting out. We just wanted to enjoy time away where the only focus was spending time together as a family and having fun. We also wanted a break from the usual routines.
Despite the frustrations and challenges of the weather and small living space we did have fun and lots of it. The pace of life slowed down whilst we took our time to explore and soak up the sights. Most of our holiday involved making use of nature’s playground. We watched on as they became absorbed in their surroundings and found excitement and pleasure in the simplest of things. Who needs toys when you have stones and leaves? With this slower pace of life we noticed more about them. We watched them more and played with them more. We noticed things we hadn’t done before like how much Pud is beginning to say and what mischievousness he’s getting up to. For them they got to run wild in beautiful landscapes, listen to new sounds and enjoy the excitement of discovery.
Before kids I used to take the point of view that taking young children away on holiday (especially abroad) was a waste of money as they don’t remember it and don’t appreciate it. So Ok, kids may not be bothered about home or abroad but if it matters to you then surely it’s still worth it. Also kids DO appreciate it. Whether it’s a weekend in Blackpool, a camping trip 10 miles from home or a week in Spain, kids really do appreciate the time you spend together as a family.
So while a family holiday with young children is NEVER going to be like any holiday you had as a couple and it’s never going to be relaxing. Holidays with children are absolutely, always worth it.
Check out our UK Road Trip Diary
Part1: The Lake District
Part2: Loch Lomond
Part3: Pitlochry and Faskally
Part4: Alnwick Castle
This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums, a site that builds community among mums.