I compare it to doing up a house. The prospect of choosing all the soft furnishings, the tiles, cushions, pictures and lighting always seems like the best part of the whole process until you are confronted with too much choice, too many different opinions and then it all becomes one big chore and you just want to bury your head in the sand!
Having been on many family holidays, I feel that I have now discovered one which perfectly meets all the needs of every member of my family. Thankfully none of us (my husband and I as well as my 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son) are the type to just want to sit around all day long on a beach so something active is a must, especially with 2 children with endless energy. However, I personally also love a good book and a sneaky G&T so I really don’t want to be breaking any kind of physical/sporting records either.
Luckily, we all really like each other but that doesn’t mean that we want to spend every single minute of every single day for 2 weeks in each-others-pockets – a real recipe for disaster! So, a holiday which gives us the opportunity to spend time together as well as the freedom for them and us to make new friends or chill out is key. And I’ve also been averse to the whole all-inclusive, don’t leave the hotel, must go on all the excuursions, must choose to do all the activities type of holiday. However, I do like to dip in and out of some well organised activities and have the opportunity to explore the local area – especially in France where there is so much to see and do.
Having been on a Rockley all-inclusive family activity holiday to France last year it did go down as one of the best holidays ever! It was a perfect combination of water activities, dry and evening activities for the kids and as a family, time apart and also some much-loved family time together (we played a lot of cards, although we are coming to an age where they children are out-skilling the parents which does not sit well with me!) So, when the subject of our summer holiday was brought up around the dinner table on a dreary, wet evening earlier in the year, it was a resounding yes when a return to France was suggested.
One of the main aspects of the holidays which the children loved so much was the level of independence they were given which in turn, I keenly observed allowed them to really grow in confidence. I was more than happy for them to go off for a few hours on their sailing taster session or grab a paddleboard / kayak with their friends. All the water activities were well supervised and they couldn’t go on the water without a buoyancy aid so I knew they we safe and well looked after. And as we all know with a camping holiday, making friends is such an easy, instinctive thing to do that they would always be tent hopping with their friends, cycling around the campsite or heading off to the park in their little groups.
Watching them with such massive smiles on their faces and enjoying themselves is great – congratulations to me for finding a holiday which they loved! But personally, what’s always a real bonus is experiencing something and going somewhere which really positively allows your child to develop. I loved their confidence to go out on the water and try something different and new. I could see their pride in achieving new skills – coming second in the regatta for one child – great! Finishing the regatta at all – equally an achievement for an uber competitive football / rugby / cricket loving son! And just seeing them interact so easily with their peers and adults made me realise that these kinds of holidays go such a long way in not only creating the very best of memories but also developing your children and preparing them for the outside world! It inspires a want for adventure, a desire to take on new challenges and a real love for the outdoors. Long may this continue!
So if you are still pondering this year’s summer holiday. Why not check this one out – it may end up being the best family holiday ever!