The summer holidays are nearly over, the kids are back to school next week. But from my Facebook timeline, some people are still on their holidays? Whereas others went away as soon as school was broken up (some families sneaking off before). When is the best time to take a family holiday?
When my eldest started school, we decided to take time off work as soon as we could after the kids broke up for summer. And despite this meaning we were on holiday for our youngest daughter’s birthday, it meant we had the rest of the summer to hang in Brighton with friends and family. Also, summer term is long and pretty stressful towards the end. The kids are ratty and tired. A family break to blow of steam is a superb idea plus can help the family re-bond before the rest of the long summer break.
However, last year the weather was bad and we were out of sync with our friends and family. Meaning we had nearly four weeks to fill imaginatively plus juggle work and childcare when holiday club was closed. Our local (and most reasonably priced) holiday club finishes around the 3rd week of August.
So this year, we bet against the British weather and opted go in the middle of August, making the most of holiday club cover before leaving only three weeks of work, staycation and juggling.
Cue several endlessly sunny and dry weeks and a better organised diary. The weather has helped but this time I diarised when all their closest friends were in town plus planned a few staycation days to break up the boredom. Work is quieter and since we’ve had our main holiday, the kids don’t crave to be stimulated as much, in fact looking forward to hanging out at home with their toys and wearing pyjamas all day. My youngest daughter maturing and being able to play with her sister more is a big factor in this summer being easier.
Looking ahead to next year it’s difficult to see what summer holiday strategy will work best for the family and work. I yearn to take a whole month off, finally reaping the benefits of being self-employed but I can’t always afford to! It’s also tempting to take full advantage of holiday club while it’s open, then spend the rest of the holiday with the kids delegating work to other freelancers who can help. But after the stress of summer term, some sort of break just after it ends could really do us some good.
What’s your fail safe summer holiday routine? Do you have a strategy which works no matter what the weather or age of your kids?