First 'school holiday's' holiday - where?!

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  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,091 Forumite
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    Thanks, some interesting options to consider. I did show my wife Santander, but she didn't seem blown away by the hotel choices. I thought they were fine!

    I suspect she's looking for a combination of things that don't really exist too often. I know when we went to the Algarve we did have a 'resort' hotel but we could easily walk to a town and other towns too. I sense the usual plan is to keep you isolated! 

    I'll have a look st Brittany, cheers. 

    Driving wise, that's v unlikely to happen on holidays, for various reasons! 
  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,063 Forumite
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    I'm not sure a 12/13 hour flight would be anywhere near top of my list with two small children especially if a first flight. 

    Europe beach resorts you are likely to exceed your ideal temp of 20°, how about Austria or even Italian lakes? 
    We went to Norway last year and that was very good, family friendly, plenty to do and by no means hot.
    I can only agree. Something like Poland (Wroclaw and Gdansk are 2 of my favourite cities in the country for travel) if you're looking for culture and a city environment, or Romania or Albania (something like Constanta/Mamaia, you may find it significantly cheaper to fly to Bucharest, or flying to Corfu and taking the boat to Sarande instead of flying to Tirana, Albania has become almost mainstream in the last few years, we visited in 2020 in probably the last quiet year) if you'd prefer the beach.

    If you'd prefer mountains, I'd be looking at somewhere like Zakopane/Poprad (fly to Krakow/Katowice or Kosice respectively, I think Tatry flights are winter only now ex-UK) or Sinaia (again Bucharest) may suit. These options again are quite warm in the summer season.

    Long flights and small children generally don't work well together and tbh there's enough to do in Europe that they're not really necessary.
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  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,091 Forumite
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    Thanks for the suggestions..... the latest thinking..... Guernsey! - We went to Jersey a few years back and enjoyed it, seems like a good option at the moment!

    Regarding Poland - my wife's actually Polish so we've been to a few places in Poland already - Wroclaw is actually the closest 'big' town from where she grew up, so yeah we've been there together. Zakopane is on our list at some point - probably as a winter destination. Apparently the prices in Poland have shot up quite a bit in the last couple of years too. (Although still cheaper than some of the places I have mentioned!).

    The whole flights thing seems to differ depending who you ask. We've done a few flights with our son (now 5 and a half), longest I think was about 4 hours - seemed okay really. That's from ages of 9 months to about 3. Long haul I'm not so sure on - some seem to think babies just fall asleep, some think it's horrendous and they'll scream the whole time. Luck of the drawer I guess!
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,357 Forumite
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    edited 18 January 2023 at 4:52PM
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    ChilliBob said:
    Thanks for the suggestions..... the latest thinking..... Guernsey! - We went to Jersey a few years back and enjoyed it, seems like a good option at the moment!

    Regarding Poland - my wife's actually Polish so we've been to a few places in Poland already - Wroclaw is actually the closest 'big' town from where she grew up, so yeah we've been there together. Zakopane is on our list at some point - probably as a winter destination. Apparently the prices in Poland have shot up quite a bit in the last couple of years too. (Although still cheaper than some of the places I have mentioned!).

    The whole flights thing seems to differ depending who you ask. We've done a few flights with our son (now 5 and a half), longest I think was about 4 hours - seemed okay really. That's from ages of 9 months to about 3. Long haul I'm not so sure on - some seem to think babies just fall asleep, some think it's horrendous and they'll scream the whole time. Luck of the drawer I guess!
    If babies scream it's likely to be because the change in pressure hurts their ears, some young kids suffer from this too, swallowing helps so give them something to suck on (eg bottle, breast, lollipop etc depending on age) during takeoff and landing when the cabin pressure changes.
    The other issue with long haul is jetlag, kids usually suffer worse than adults and nothing worse than being shattered with a wide awake child who wants to play! No point going long haul if you just want a beach holiday anyway. In Europe the second half of August is usually cheaper and less crowded, a lot of Europe go back to school mid August.

  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628 Forumite
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    edited 18 January 2023 at 5:06PM
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    ChilliBob said:
    Guys, 

    We are trying to plan our first school holidays summer holiday for our family and having some trouble... So, looking to pick the brains of the collective on here!!!

    Pre school time we would usually go to St Ives in Cornwall, this is *perfect* for us, however, anyone who has been to St Ives knows August isn't a good time to come - it's just ridiculously busy.

    So, we considered elsewhere, Mauritius is currently our top bet but we're not sure.. 

    'we' is Mum and Dad (40), son, age 5 nearly 6 by then, daughter, who will be 13 months by then.

    What - somewhere beach based

    Weather - not too hot! - which seems to be our sticking point, once it gets over sbout 20 degrees we're all about just right.

    Hotel - rather than a cottage, we are after a hotel to provide probably half board. Whilst we have two children we aren't looking for a child specific place - basically somewhere that tolerates children. Our son won't be interested in the kids clubs etc just yet he wants to be with us all the time!

    Budget, we'll, we know it's going to be stupidly expensive compared to what we're used to, I think 10 days in Mauritius with flights would be something silly like 7k-8k+, we can go go this if needs be.

    What we didn't like on the resorts we found is the isolation - it looked like you'd basically be marooned in some resort and dependant on a 5 star hotel for everything - with no possibility to wander to a local town, supermarket, etc! - something quite alien to us.

    Also all these luxury resorts seem really cagey on what's included, like some reviews suggested half board still means you need to buy all drinks at breakfast and dinner - that includes water! (and tea, coffee etc). 

    Suggestions, advice and comments most welcome! 

    Personally wouldn't be paying £8k for a ten day holiday unless it came complete with a bevvy of swimsuit models to tend to my every whim but each to their own! 

    If you're tied to the not above 20o thing then that's going to make things tricky - even the UK is generally above 20 degrees in summer now. So maybe southern hemisphere? Cape Town has some lovely beaches I believe? Rio is amazing - probably would be a bit warmer than 20o but not too much so as its winter in July. Again Rio has loads to do and plenty beaches etc. 

    The isolation on resorts thing is something I hate as well which I why I tend to just do city trips nowadays - of course there is nothing to stop you jumping a taxi to the nearest town. But safety can be a concern in some places. 

    With regards half board - I would expect to pay for drinks at dinner (even water) but breakfast generally includes juice/coffee/tea - you would be expected to pay for anything beyond that. Generally if you want drinks included thats all-inclusive.  

    ETA: With regards kids and long flights I found when they are really young (i.e. first year or so) they do just sleep through the flight. And when they are old enough to just sit and watch movies or whatever they can entertain themselves well enough. It's that awkward bit in the middle where they get bored/want to get off/won't sleep that causes issues. But I imagine every kid is different. Our daughter did pretty regular long haul flights from about 9 months old and she generally managed them OK but it isnt relaxing travelling with a toddler.   
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,091 Forumite
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    zagfles said:
    ChilliBob said:
    Thanks for the suggestions..... the latest thinking..... Guernsey! - We went to Jersey a few years back and enjoyed it, seems like a good option at the moment!

    Regarding Poland - my wife's actually Polish so we've been to a few places in Poland already - Wroclaw is actually the closest 'big' town from where she grew up, so yeah we've been there together. Zakopane is on our list at some point - probably as a winter destination. Apparently the prices in Poland have shot up quite a bit in the last couple of years too. (Although still cheaper than some of the places I have mentioned!).

    The whole flights thing seems to differ depending who you ask. We've done a few flights with our son (now 5 and a half), longest I think was about 4 hours - seemed okay really. That's from ages of 9 months to about 3. Long haul I'm not so sure on - some seem to think babies just fall asleep, some think it's horrendous and they'll scream the whole time. Luck of the drawer I guess!
    If babies scream it's likely to be because the change in pressure hurts their ears, some young kids suffer from this too, swallowing helps so give them something to suck on (eg bottle, breast, lollipop etc depending on age) during takeoff and landing when the cabin pressure changes.
    The other issue with long haul is jetlag, kids usually suffer worse than adults and nothing worse than being shattered with a wide awake child who wants to play! No point going long haul if you just want a beach holiday anyway. In Europe the second half of August is usually cheaper and less crowded, a lot of Europe go back to school mid August.

    Yeah, I'm just paranoid it'd be other reasons too - like she'd start teething that day lol.

    As regards jet lag, one of the benefits of Mauritius is supposed to be very minimal. 

    However, it looks like its off the cards for now, the expense was mental, looking into everything, if we were half bord I think it'd would be nearer 10 - as I said to my wife, 1k a day just seems insanity to me!

    Guernsey for a week looks more like under 3k. Admittidly, it's not often you'd find someone comparing the Channel Islands and Mauritius but hey ho! 
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,091 Forumite
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    ChilliBob said:
    Guys, 

    We are trying to plan our first school holidays summer holiday for our family and having some trouble... So, looking to pick the brains of the collective on here!!!

    Pre school time we would usually go to St Ives in Cornwall, this is *perfect* for us, however, anyone who has been to St Ives knows August isn't a good time to come - it's just ridiculously busy.

    So, we considered elsewhere, Mauritius is currently our top bet but we're not sure.. 

    'we' is Mum and Dad (40), son, age 5 nearly 6 by then, daughter, who will be 13 months by then.

    What - somewhere beach based

    Weather - not too hot! - which seems to be our sticking point, once it gets over sbout 20 degrees we're all about just right.

    Hotel - rather than a cottage, we are after a hotel to provide probably half board. Whilst we have two children we aren't looking for a child specific place - basically somewhere that tolerates children. Our son won't be interested in the kids clubs etc just yet he wants to be with us all the time!

    Budget, we'll, we know it's going to be stupidly expensive compared to what we're used to, I think 10 days in Mauritius with flights would be something silly like 7k-8k+, we can go go this if needs be.

    What we didn't like on the resorts we found is the isolation - it looked like you'd basically be marooned in some resort and dependant on a 5 star hotel for everything - with no possibility to wander to a local town, supermarket, etc! - something quite alien to us.

    Also all these luxury resorts seem really cagey on what's included, like some reviews suggested half board still means you need to buy all drinks at breakfast and dinner - that includes water! (and tea, coffee etc). 

    Suggestions, advice and comments most welcome! 

    Personally wouldn't be paying £8k for a ten day holiday unless it came complete with a bevvy of swimsuit models to tend to my every whim but each to their own! 

    If you're tied to the not above 20o thing then that's going to make things tricky - even the UK is generally above 20 degrees in summer now. So maybe southern hemisphere? Cape Town has some lovely beaches I believe? Rio is amazing - probably would be a bit warmer than 20o but not too much so as its winter in July. Again Rio has loads to do and plenty beaches etc. 

    The isolation on resorts thing is something I hate as well which I why I tend to just do city trips nowadays - of course there is nothing to stop you jumping a taxi to the nearest town. But safety can be a concern in some places. 

    With regards half board - I would expect to pay for drinks at dinner (even water) but breakfast generally includes juice/coffee/tea - you would be expected to pay for anything beyond that. Generally if you want drinks included thats all-inclusive.  

    ETA: With regards kids and long flights I found when they are really young (i.e. first year or so) they do just sleep through the flight. And when they are old enough to just sit and watch movies or whatever they can entertain themselves well enough. It's that awkward bit in the middle where they get bored/want to get off/won't sleep that causes issues. But I imagine every kid is different. Our daughter did pretty regular long haul flights from about 9 months old and she generally managed them OK but it isnt relaxing travelling with a toddler.   
    Thanks, we've got 18+ years of this to contend with for now so I'll look into those places with future years in mind.

    Yeah the isolation wasn't our vibe, also, it was £300 for a 1hr taxi transfer, so you've gotta think a cab half an hour there and back is a oneer too! 
  • annabanana82
    annabanana82 Posts: 3,035 Forumite
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    Another thing to consider is that 10 days is often more expensive than 14, you can play around with duration on most travel websites.
    Make £2023 in 2023 (#36) £3479.30/£2023

    Make £2024 in 2024...
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,334 Forumite
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    I'm not sure a 12/13 hour flight would be anywhere near top of my list with two small children especially if a first flight. 

    Europe beach resorts you are likely to exceed your ideal temp of 20°, how about Austria or even Italian lakes? 
    We went to Norway last year and that was very good, family friendly, plenty to do and by no means hot.


    If you'd prefer mountains, I'd be looking at somewhere like Zakopane/Poprad (fly to Krakow/Katowice or Kosice respectively, I think Tatry flights are winter only now ex-UK) or Sinaia (again Bucharest) may suit. These options again are quite warm in the summer season.

    Long flights and small children generally don't work well together and tbh there's enough to do in Europe that they're not really necessary.
    Another vote for Poprad and Zakopane. Poprad is the base for a wonderful mountain railway system that most children would enjoy almost as much as I did. You can combine the two: Flixbus operate one bus a day over the mountains between them, taking about four hours. Probably a hired car would be a lot quicker, and easier with young children.

    I was in Poland last April and found prices to be very reasonable. Yes, if I wanted a comfortable hotel with an indoor swimming pool I had to pay almost £40 per night, but that is a lot cheaper than most other places.
  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628 Forumite
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    ChilliBob said:
    ChilliBob said:
    Guys, 

    We are trying to plan our first school holidays summer holiday for our family and having some trouble... So, looking to pick the brains of the collective on here!!!

    Pre school time we would usually go to St Ives in Cornwall, this is *perfect* for us, however, anyone who has been to St Ives knows August isn't a good time to come - it's just ridiculously busy.

    So, we considered elsewhere, Mauritius is currently our top bet but we're not sure.. 

    'we' is Mum and Dad (40), son, age 5 nearly 6 by then, daughter, who will be 13 months by then.

    What - somewhere beach based

    Weather - not too hot! - which seems to be our sticking point, once it gets over sbout 20 degrees we're all about just right.

    Hotel - rather than a cottage, we are after a hotel to provide probably half board. Whilst we have two children we aren't looking for a child specific place - basically somewhere that tolerates children. Our son won't be interested in the kids clubs etc just yet he wants to be with us all the time!

    Budget, we'll, we know it's going to be stupidly expensive compared to what we're used to, I think 10 days in Mauritius with flights would be something silly like 7k-8k+, we can go go this if needs be.

    What we didn't like on the resorts we found is the isolation - it looked like you'd basically be marooned in some resort and dependant on a 5 star hotel for everything - with no possibility to wander to a local town, supermarket, etc! - something quite alien to us.

    Also all these luxury resorts seem really cagey on what's included, like some reviews suggested half board still means you need to buy all drinks at breakfast and dinner - that includes water! (and tea, coffee etc). 

    Suggestions, advice and comments most welcome! 

    Personally wouldn't be paying £8k for a ten day holiday unless it came complete with a bevvy of swimsuit models to tend to my every whim but each to their own! 

    If you're tied to the not above 20o thing then that's going to make things tricky - even the UK is generally above 20 degrees in summer now. So maybe southern hemisphere? Cape Town has some lovely beaches I believe? Rio is amazing - probably would be a bit warmer than 20o but not too much so as its winter in July. Again Rio has loads to do and plenty beaches etc. 

    The isolation on resorts thing is something I hate as well which I why I tend to just do city trips nowadays - of course there is nothing to stop you jumping a taxi to the nearest town. But safety can be a concern in some places. 

    With regards half board - I would expect to pay for drinks at dinner (even water) but breakfast generally includes juice/coffee/tea - you would be expected to pay for anything beyond that. Generally if you want drinks included thats all-inclusive.  

    ETA: With regards kids and long flights I found when they are really young (i.e. first year or so) they do just sleep through the flight. And when they are old enough to just sit and watch movies or whatever they can entertain themselves well enough. It's that awkward bit in the middle where they get bored/want to get off/won't sleep that causes issues. But I imagine every kid is different. Our daughter did pretty regular long haul flights from about 9 months old and she generally managed them OK but it isnt relaxing travelling with a toddler.   
    Thanks, we've got 18+ years of this to contend with for now so I'll look into those places with future years in mind.

    Yeah the isolation wasn't our vibe, also, it was £300 for a 1hr taxi transfer, so you've gotta think a cab half an hour there and back is a oneer too! 
    I can't imagine anywhere in Mauritius is genuinely a £300 taxi trip from anywhere else. I have a feeling that some of the prices you are getting quoted are way over the going rate. I know some high-end resorts can be a bit price-gougy but some of those prices just seem silly
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