I remember going on my first ever holiday abroad and that was for my 18th birthday. My boyfriend at the time and I headed off to Benidorm for a week and I had the best time. We went out of season as my birthday is in March and I loved the relaxed, quiet feeling and just being able to relax on the beach and do whatever I wanted. That first holiday really made me want to travel more, both abroad and in this country. Since then, I have been able to go on holiday to some fantastic places and John and I had some especially great holidays before Erin came along.
Our first holiday together as a couple was to Rome for a short break. I’ll be completely honest here and say that it was not the holiday of dreams. It was the first time John and I had really spent time together in a small space for an extended period of time and I wanted to kill him at times. One evening I kicked him out of the room and told him to go see the Colosseum on his own so I could have some me time. I was due to move in with him for the summer days after this and I think he was a bit worried about what we’d got ourselves in to.
Luckily, that all worked out and we went on to go to Paris, get married in Orlando and even went to New York while I was pregnant with Erin. We did, of course, go to a few places here in the UK as well and spent quite a bit of time in London. The theme of our holidays together seems to be ‘exhausting’ rather than focus on a particular type of holiday.
So, when we decided to start going away with Erin, on both holidays and short breaks here, things changed very quickly. The first holiday (not a city break) we went on as a family was to Center Parcs and before this, I never thought it would be somewhere I’d even want to go, let along really enjoy. We booked this holiday because of the pool, the animals and the outdoors and the activities for Erin. Apart from the sneaky spa trip I got in, the whole thing was planned around Erin. Since then, all of our holidays have been booked with Erin in mind and if it hasn’t suited her, we haven’t gone.
I don’t know if that sounds silly or not. I think what I’m trying to get across is that the things I would look for in a holiday have now changed. I don’t look for a hotel in the middle of a hectic city. Instead I look for somewhere we can chill out as a family and have fun; somewhere with space to spread out and home comforts. I look for hotels that have a bath, where the nearest park is or where we can eat that’s family friendly. I make sure there is plenty for Erin to do without her getting bored quickly. I make sure there are indoor options in case it rains and we can’t spend the day outside.
I never used to really care about any of that. The only thing I was ever really bothered about was having an en suit because I just can’t cope without my own toilet and shower or bath. Next year we have two holidays book and both we chose because of Erin. The first holiday is to Butlins in June. I wanted Erin to be able to experience Butlins before we have to pay the ridiculous term time prices. The next holiday is to Haven Seashore, somewhere we went earlier this year. Erin had such a fantastic time there that we wanted to take her back (the amazing rotisserie chicken had nothing to do with it, honest)!
If you’d have asked me 4 years ago if I would be looking forward to a Butlins or Haven holiday I would have laughed in your face. Those holidays are going to be some of the best times we have next year and I am so excited for the kinds of holidays I said I would never have.
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