parents

Family holidays: expectation vs reality.

Telstra
Thanks to our brand partner, Telstra

The idea of a break away with the family is a wonderful thing.

From the minute your mind starts wandering to exotic locations or quiet, peaceful towns, you convince yourself that a family getaway is exactly what the doctor ordered.

But often, your expectations of a family holiday and the reality of the situation are two very, VERY different things.

Firstly, there’s the getting there part of the equation. Most of the time this involves a car ride or a plane trip. Car rides are fun, right? You could all play car games and stop off along the way to discover new towns. Except in reality, your kids will get bored 20 minutes into the drive, probably start bickering and announce they need to use the toilet at ten-minute intervals.

You’re right, you should take a plane. That way, you can book a night flight and the kids will sleep all the way there. Ha, you’re funny. You and I both know that regardless of the time of the flight, your kids will be the ones running up and down aisles, screaming constantly and thrashing around like fish out of water the second you try and get them to stay in a seat.

It’s ok though, because you’ve somehow arrived at your location to check in to your pre-booked accommodation. You still can’t believe what an amazing deal you got. Soon though, you realise that ‘quiet’ means the middle of nowhere and ‘rustic’ means old and mouldy.

And the worst part? No. Internet. Connection. Cue tantrums from the kids, and sheer panic from you. How on earth can it be a holiday if you can’t post envy-inducing photos on Facebook? And how will you be able to look up local attractions and plan the perfect holiday itinerary?

“That’s ok” you think to yourself. “We’re here now, let’s just make the most of it and head out for a nice meal”. Given that your choices are limited to a bistro or a very overpriced modern Australian restaurant, you decide to treat everyone to a dinner of Mod Oz. Naturally, your children will choose this exact time to behave like circus animals and loudly demonstrate their pronunciation of every word you’d wish they’d forget.

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Any activities that you had planned will directly conflict with various sleep times that you need to work around and you’re starting to wonder why on earth you would do this to yourself. By day two, you’re thinking of calling it and just heading home and forgetting the whole thing.

But then, amazingly, something miraculous happens. Overnight your children have transformed.

They start behaving – liking each other, even. The rain clears, and you stumble across a cheep and cheerful local Italian that makes a wicked carbonara.

You head into town and manage to pick up some pre-paid mobile broadband – which means you AND the kids are back online and connected (and finally able to make your friends jealous with smug Facebook updates and Instagram photos).

You start to relax and forget about making sure everyone has the best possible time and just go with the flow. It’s magical. With no plans, suddenly you’re not worried about getting places on time and making sure you see the sights.

You do things as a family as you wish and make decisions to suit the moment. You’re no longer the stressed mum you were when you arrived, and oh my, what’s that? You’re all having a great time.

Your expectations of how you would all fill the days may have completely changed, but no one cares – you’re all just enjoying each other’s company.

This is why you came away. This is what family holidays are for.

What is your best/worst experience on family holidays?

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