real life

Checklist: The things you need for a family weekend away.

Nicole’s loveable husband Paul and loveable two boys Beau & Bailey






I love my family. I really do.

My husband, my kids, love them all.

Needless to say, I love it when we’re all together.

Which, like most families, isn’t often enough, with work commitments, school, kinder, appointments and everything else that life demands.

But while I long for weekends which allow for a full two days of family time, it does have its drawbacks.

Like the fact that my two boys go the slightest bit hypo because daddy’s home.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Paradise Resort. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

With daddy’s presence, mummy’s weekday rules seem to fly right out the window – because when it comes to daddy, boys are equally as happy with “naughty attention” as “good attention”.

And after daddy’s long week and limited tolerance for naughty boys, he regularly falls right into their evil trap by offering plenty of “naughty attention”.

And so the cycle continues.

While Nicole really loves her kids, she may not always love their bizarre tendency to spread their belongings as far as possible.

Add to that, the bizarre tendency for all three male inhabitants to spread their belongings to cover as much surface area as possible, and the walls of our open-plan home feel like they’re closing in. Quickly.

Which is why my favourite thing to do on the weekend, is get the hell out of town.

It could be half an hour to the Gold Coast, or a couple of hours to the Sunshine Coast.

Apartment, hotel, even a cabin – I’m easy.

Because for some reason, being away from the routine of the house makes the chaos of the family dynamic a little less stressful and a little more fun.

Daddy goes from stressed-out, working man to hands-on super dad, while the kids are so full of excitement about “staying in a room” that it’s hard not to follow suit.

It also takes the mess out of my house, and handballs it elsewhere.


Of course, once you arrive at the said apartment, hotel, cabin, you quickly learn why it’s essential to pack half the contents of home. There’s only so much two boys can do in a small room without destroying the place (or your sanity).

But with a new baby having recently joined our family, I have a new dilemma.

The space in the car once reserved for the boys’ endless toys, iPad and other knick-knacks, is now needed for all the supplies of a newborn bub.

Enter newborn baby, bringing with her bottles, pram, rattles etc

There’s bottles, pram, portable bassinet, the sterilizer, nappies, changes of clothes, the list goes on. And on. And on.

So as the family expands, we’re relying more on the destination’s ability to entertain the kids to avoid bringing the entire playroom with us.

Because let’s get one thing clear, if the kids aren’t entertained, mummy and daddy aren’t relaxing. No they are not. Not by a long shot.

So it’s with this in mind, we’ve created a new checklist for weekends away.

The room must be large enough to survive games of tag, dining out venues must allow the noise made by even the best behaved children, the less breakable the décor the better, a pool suitable for children to ensure they don’t disturb the lap swimming or general relaxation of adult guests, a nearby playground, close proximity to the beach/parks, dedicated kids’ area – or better yet, a kids’ club so we can really escape, a gym to release the stress and most importantly, a great spot to relax with a drink.

Does such a place exist? I’m not so sure.

But if it does, you can bet the house I’m trying to escape I’ll find it.

The hunt. Is. On.

Here’s a quick introduction to Nicole’s family…


What are your tips for planning a holiday with the family?


Where magical family moments create lifelong memories, Zagame’s Paradise Resort is a heaven for kids and a paradise for parents. With facilities including the giant Zone 4 Kids water park, Ice-skating rink, Kids club, lagoon pool and spa, bistro, cafe and bar, the whole family will find their perfect holiday haven.  For Gold Coast family accommodation close to beaches and theme parks, where the kids will feel welcome, Paradise Resort Gold Coast is the perfect family getaway.  Heaven for Kids…Paradise for Parents!