At Space In Your Case, we occasionally like to open up the debate. Like when we asked you if you would ever take your child out of school during term-time for a holiday. Or over on our Facebook page, where we’re debating the pros and cons of kids holiday clubs. Today, we’re interested to know your take on an annual holiday with the family, and whether you prefer the excitement of the new, or the relaxation of the tried and tested. Helen took to twitter to get your opinions, and told us about two very different stories:
Every year, my friend Laura plans a great adventure with her family. It might be Morocco, visiting the souks, exploring the flavours and textures of new foods; it could be Egypt, the incredible sights of the Pyramids, and the colours of the Red Sea; last year it was Thailand, the bustle of Bangkok’s street-food, learning to care for elephants, before relaxing in the vivid blues of the pristine beaches. She wants to experience new horizons with her children, make memories with her family, and show them the world.
Conversely, Clara goes to the same appartment, in the same resort of Portugal, every single summer. Spring holiday too, if they can get away. I asked her if it ever feels boring, and she was definitive in her response. She loves the fact that they know what they’re getting: it’s a quick flight, they use a tried and trusted car-rental service that they know where to find at the airport, and they have all the local grocery opening times in their heads before they arrive. They know exactly how the first day of their holiday will go, and they’re straight into relaxation mode within minutes of settling in.
I can see the appeal of both: the thrill of discovering new and exciting experiences, versus the joy of total relaxation with your family; the adventure of the new, against the comfort of the familiar. Certainly the first few days of a new holiday with young children can be stressful, as you figure out where the best beaches are, which cafés to avoid, and what the local supermarket stocks. But isn’t travelling all about discovery, the new, and the different?
We took to Twitter to find out what you thought.
Play it safe, or try something new?
Kev was first to respond: “Both: I <3 trying new places but if you’ve found somewhere which ticks all your boxes why bother elsewhere.” I know Kev online because he talks about his daughter’s Type 1 diabetes. A few weeks after she was diagnosed, the family took a month long trip through remote parts of India, so I was expecting him to go for the adventure angle. And he did say that he loved the discovery of something fresh, new and exciting. But he cited no time-wasting getting to know a new area as his main reason for sticking with somewhere tried and tested.
Becky agrees: “I like familiarity – it suits my family to know what is what.” Emma was always convinced that trying something new would be more fun, but says her view has changed as she has holidayed with her young children. She says “it’s actually lovely and easy to go back to somewhere you know works with a family,” and Cass agrees: “I love discovering new places with the kids but it’s always nice to go back somewhere familiar.”
Carolyn takes a different stance on family holidays, being firmly in the camp of somewhere new every year. “The world is a big place, and I want to see it!” she declares, though she agrees that lack of planning can make a new adventure stressful to begin with. “I try to research as much in advance as possible,” she tells us, using social media and internet to find out which attractions are must-not-miss, where’s best to eat, and how to get around. Driven Diabetic agrees that even with a medical condition, good pre-planning should mean that venturing to new locations shouldn’t be off the agenda, so with kids a bit of advance prep means anything should be possible.
Revisiting a good holiday is not something that Helen would do. She says it’s not worth the risk of going back and finding a holiday didn’t live up to the previous memory. Liz says there are just too many amazing places in the world, and Carolin maintains that “seeing somewhere new is always exciting and broadens your horizon.” And it’s no surprise that travel-blogger Emma goes somewhere new every time; she says that taking her children to Japan, rather than revisiting the same beach year-in-year-out is enriching their lives, and giving them a love of travel for the future.
Then there are those of you who like to do both, and I’m probably in that camp. Michelle likes to try something new, but if she’s lucky enough to have funds and the time for a second break, she’d go somewhere she trusts, where she can slide into holiday mode straight away. Kate feels the same, and says “If it’s one holiday a year I wouldn’t go back to the same place two years running.”
So what’s your take? Maybe you can settle an argument for The 40 Year Old: she wants to go to new places, whilst her husband wants to stick with his favourites. What’s the answer? Is there an age when children naturally become more able to cope with more unusual trips? Do you think it’s important to fill their lives with new experiences? Or is that something best reserved for their adult years, when they can explore on their own?
We’ll leave you with one more quote from Kev: “Good supermarkets is never a reason to go anywhere!”
Tell us what you think…
Check out some of our favourite travel bloggers here.