There was a time when we were threatened divorce everytime we packed the car for ‘the holidays’. Typically these would start two days before as the mountain of un-washed and un-ironed clothes groaned on my clothes horse.
There were last minute hair-cuts for our kids after work. A mad dash around the most expensive shop late at night to buy colouring books, Crayola twistables and stickers. There was the midnight dash to Tesco to get all range of suitable snacks for our road trip.
In the new world, I now start two weeks in advance – organising clothes, getting neat piles ready to be carefully placed in bags. Organising shoes – crocs, wellies, runners and sandals for 3 outfits. I had jackets set aside, good trousers and skirts pressed and ready. Two days to go I had the thermos placed in the food bag, made flapjacks and mini muffins. I had bought fruit, calpol and an assortment of cheap dot to dot and colouring books – the latter courtesy of the €2 shop!
We had talked about ways of making this holiday the least stressful. So we booked into a B&B in Rosslare where we were catching our ferry. We packed the car in an hour on the morning we were due to leave – kids off to school, sat down for a coffee and chatted. I went and got my hair cut and collected the kids at 2pm. We had a lovely drive to Rosslare and checked in at 4.30pm. We walked in the sunshine to the playground, then onto the beach and wound up at a seaside hotel. We had a relaxing drink, had a bar snack and walked up to the B&B.
Kids asleep at 8.30 and we sat in an alcove outside the bedroom enjoying a glass of wine with their door ajar.
On the ferry they read, played DS and watched a movie on the big screen. I don’t know if its the kids getting older? Personally I feel overwhelmingly that it is because I was less stressed and more prepared that we had our least stressful holiday in years. Today we arrived in St Ives and are staying with Granny and Granddad for 2 weeks over Easter.
I cannot describe the positive impact this has had on our family holiday – even faced with 5 hour drive through Wales and the South West of England – we had one small ‘to-do’ about whose turn it was to sing!
We have confidently entered into a new era of family holidays as I am now a lady of enforced leisure -I cannot recommend it highly enough.