10 ways kids ruin your holiday
Holidays used to be something you looked forward to, but as a parent you know they can often be more trouble than they’re worth. Here are our top 10 reasons why travelling with the kids ruins your holidays.
1- You can’t bring them anywhere
Your planned night out in the best restaurant in town is unexpectedly cut short by projectile vomiting that would put Regan from The Exorcist to shame. It doesn’t matter that that steak you ordered would have probably been the greatest culinary experience of your life, the table looks like a swamp and smells worse. You can feel the other diners’ eyes boring a hole in you so you’d better make a swift exit. Pizza in the hotel room will have to do, again. If you do manage to make it to the main course, you have to clear space for it among the crayons and markers, crawling around on your hands and knees looking for missing colours, while your food gets cold on the table. Remember dinner on the veranda at the local fish restaurant, with the sun setting and a cold glass of Pinot Grigio? That’s reason enough to leave the kids at home.
2 - Constant attention
You may have gone on holidays with your best friends and their children, but you may as well be in a different country. When you booked, you thought your kids and theirs would spend the day peacefully playing while you kicked back for long, easy conversations with your friends. However, now you’re there, the kids need your constant attention, you can’t even finish a sentence… Worse, you can’t organise a night out because their little brat won’t have his daily nap and ends up in a frenzy by dinner time. The schedule of your holiday, that you’ve spent months planning is being dictated by a 2 year old, and he’s not even yours. By organising an adults only holiday, you can stick to your own schedule.
3 - Back-breaking work
That baby carrier backpack looked great in the catalogue. A young, fit dad with his son smiling benignly from a comfortable looking back pack looked like the ideal solution for getting around. Not so much, the first time you take it out you get caught in the midday sun tipping 40 degrees, you’ve stupidly wearing flip flops and that walk to that church on the hill, although it looked just ten minutes away, turned out to be 10 kilometres of steep ascent on a main road without a footpath. You’re pumping sweat, severely dehydrated, risking sunstroke and you baby is weighing on your back sending piercing, sharp pains up your spinal column and fusing your vertebrae together. You feel you may lose your legs. There are buses and scooter coming at sickening speed around blind corners.
If there’s danger to be found, your kids will sniff it out. Days at the pool or the beach are great but for parents they mean only one thing. Constant vigilance. Try talking to a parent when their kids are in the pool, they only barely listen to you, never make eye contact and cut into their own sentences shouting at their children with stern warnings. Imagine spending long, lazy days by the pool, in peace and quiet. No children bombing into the pool, no blood curdling screams when one of them cracks their head off the side of the pool. Adults-only resorts offer holidays as they should be.
5 - Sleep cycles
The whole day revolves around whether your kids get their nap or not. If they fall asleep in the car on the way back from the beach, it throws everything off. If they sleep too late in the afternoon, they’re going to be up until 2am and your dinner plans are scuppered. If they don’t get sleep, they’ll change from the sweet kids you know and love to some kind of changeling, vicious, selfish, aggressive, hysterical…
6 - The crack of dawn
Remember when holidays meant late mornings and breakfast in bed? Never again, you are up at first light, breakfast is wolfed down and you’re out the door before those kid free couples have even stirred in their beds. You’re up at the crack of dawn every morning in life, so why shouldn’t you enjoy a lie in on holiday.
7 - Reading the situation
What? A reading list for summer holidays? Best-seller? Kindle? Don’t make me laugh. You’ll still bring a book on holidays, because you live in hope. But more than likely, you’ll read about two pages over the course of the holiday.
8 - Wheels
You’d like to rent that sporty convertible number and fly around with the top down and the wind in your hair. But instead you have to get the yellow 2005 Fiat Multipla, because, well, you have to be practical.
9 - Airport hell
You’ve planned everything in minute detail. The flights have cost you more than you used to spend on your entire holiday, but you’re determined to make it work. The kids have had the necessary naps, they’re fed, watered and currently not killing each other. You’ve arrived a full hour early just in case, when you see ‘delayed’ beside your flight on the departure screen your heart sinks. The peaceful, happy situation you’ve managed to orchestrate falls apart and there’s nothing you can do about it. Baby needs to be fed and changed, the others have gone completely feral. This is just the beginning of your holiday and you already want to go home.
10 - The dreaded family room
For the price of a penthouse luxury double room with sea view and sun terrace you get the dreaded family room, facing the car park. Two single beds pushed together to make a double means you spend the night scrambling out of an ever-widening chasm. The kids get a back-breaking fold-out sofa, so in the end the whole family ends up in your bed, while you perch on the very edge of the bed with a knee in your back and a body on your head, in a state of semi consciousness for hours before rising, bleary-eyed and with throbbing head to go downstairs for breakfast, at some unholy hour.
Of course you could book a family holiday with all of the above, if that’s what you’re looking forward to this summer. Or you could lean on your family to take the kids for a week and head off to an Adults only resort for a well-earned rest. When you get back you’ll be calm, happy and rested. And you’ll be so happy to see the kids. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
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