Staycation or abroad? Family resort or make it your own? Our dads give their thoughts on the perfect summer holiday
James Slattery: At the moment it is staycation – someday we will get to bring the kids to Lanzarote, a place me and my wife love, until then its big jackets and close your eyes to pretend it’s warm!
It doesn’t matter where you are or what the weather is like once you are all together it is what you make it. When Josh (our eldest) was young we used to love playing cards on the balcony in Spain. Now the quads are here we will find new things to do. This year was our first holiday with them, we spent a week in Kerry and it was brilliant to be away from work and focus on my family – it didn’t matter if we were in Spain or Kerry, once we were together that’s what mattered.
Mark Lloyd: We are definitely a staycation family. We’ll decamp to Lahinch and spend most of the summer there. The kids love swimming and hanging out with the gang of holiday friends and relatives. Also, it’s not too far from Limerick so we can dash back for the occasional cricket, hurling or football match. Every year we try to do a surprise adventure where we bundle them into the car and go last-minute.com on Donegal or Dublin or Belfast, or drive from Malin to Mizen, or visit Fr. Ted’s house and the Aran Islands. Last year we discovered camping and even though our tent leaked twice, I’m pretty sure this will feature every summer from here on until the boys are too embarrassed to be seen with us.
For our gang there needs to be something for everyone together and something for everyone apart. There should be moments of planned adventure and moments of ‘make your own fun’. But the same rule from earlier applies: if you stress about it, so will they. Our boys are 9, 11 and 14 now, so it is difficult to find something that everyone wants to do. We eat together and go to the beach together but the rest of the time everybody is left to their own devices. The teen will hang around with his mates online or up the town and the other two will play outside with their friends without want or need of adult intervention. Camps are a brilliant idea for the younger ones – swimming camps, football camps, tennis camps, tech camps, drama camps, general-get-messy-and-have-mad-fun camps. For the rainy days it doesn’t hurt to retreat to the old favourites – board games, quiz games, card games or a good film.
Jason Kenny: We like to mix it up with both staycations and vacations. My advice for any holiday is to be prepared for any possibility. Look into your location first and if you can buy things there do, so that you lighten the load. More often than not at the start you load up on every known item and double and triple of things you actually don’t need. Look at amenities and family friendly locations. If going abroad it is 100% worth it to have priority boarding, have your seats booked in advance, and have your connections from airport to hotel done and dusted before going. It is important that it runs as smooth as it possibly can go.
Article by: Kayleigh Ziolo