Some friends came for dinner last week. Conversation eventually moved onto forthcoming holiday plans and I mentioned a blog I’d recently discovered called http://www.aroundtheworldwithahighchair.com
It’s an award winning travel blog started by a mum, who took her son’s high chair on their first family holiday. To France! It’s full of great family travel tips for holidaying with little ones. I found it after clicking on a link to a post about taking kids to festivals, that was written by the fabulous Hannah Saunders of http://www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk
Mr. Baffled loves a festival and really wants to get the little Button-Pusher and I to Glastonbury one day. I’m not so much of a happy camper so we’re practicing with one-dayers in London. Hannah from Big Fish is a seasoned Glastonbury goer, so I read her tips in the hope it would inspire me to be brave.* By the way, if you haven’t experienced a Big Fish Little Fish family rave yet, then do check out their website, book some tickets and put on your dancin’ shoes!
Anyway, so back to the dinner conversation with friends, and I mentioned the ATWWAH blog saying it looked like it would have some great tips for independent travel with kids. Our friend, who also has a two year old, said that for the next few years, all she wants from a holiday is a kids club for her little one and a pool for herself. Mr. Baffled and I shuddered a little, having never been fans of the all inclusive, already packaged and organised type holiday. “Don’t you want to show her the world a little?” asked Mr. Baffled. “No.” she replied, “Every day’s a holiday for a toddler. Until she’s a bit older, I want, no, I need holidays to be about recharging my batteries. I need to relax and feel human again and not just like a worn out mum of a two year old. I want to put her in kids club each morning, know that she’s safe and having fun, and then I want to lie in the sun, by the pool, get some vitamin d, and read my book or fall asleep.”
I have to say, it was one of the most simple but compelling arguments I’ve ever heard for kids clubs and all inclusive package holidays! It had never really occurred to me that while I was ‘working’, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, my little B-P was having a whale of a time: waking up when she wanted, going to music and ballet groups, soft play, painting and play doh. She’s always on holiday: she’s like the Kate Moss of toddlers! It’s Mama Baffled who could do with a hard disk reboot, and perhaps a week on a sun lounger is just the ticket?
Mr. Baffled, ever the adventurer, told everyone a story from a backpacking holiday we had in Thailand almost 20 years ago: We sat in the back of a truck, travelling up to a North Eastern point of Ko Pha Ngan. Also in the truck, sat a French couple with their impeccably behaved and very confident daughter, aged about say, 7 or 8. Though they only had a little English, and we only had a little French, through the daughter, surprisingly, we learnt that they were travelling for 6 months, with just backpacks, to show her all the places they had once travelled to in their younger, pre-child years. We were in awe of their gung-ho spirit of adventure, and decided that if we had children, we’d show them the world too. “Don’t you want to carry on having holidays like you’ve always done?” asked Mr. Baffled. Without hesitation our friend replied with a very definite “No! Not for a few years, not while for a toddler, every day’s a holiday!”
Honestly, I think she might have a point. Our recent holiday involved a blustery beach (on the beautiful Gower Peninsular in South East Wales) and a set of grandparents. B-P had a great time: building sandcastles, investigating rock pools, running around like a mad thing. She had a fabulous holiday. As did Mr. Baffled and I, though we came back just as tired and worn out as when we’d gone! Maybe if we’d added a kids club and 25c of sunshine, it would’ve been a bit more relaxing?!
Mr. Baffled is still not sure, but it’s certainly given us food for thought about our next holiday with B-P. We can save the backpacking in Thailand until she’s about say, 7 or 8. And can speak French.
Where are you off to this summer?
* Hannah’s ‘Glastonbury with kids’ tips were brilliant, but I’m afraid I’m still not feeling brave enough to venture into a potentially muddy tent with B-P! Poor Mr. Baffled. Maybe next year eh?