recommended family holidays blog

history of recommended family holidays

Planning your family holiday each year can be fraught and now is the time to tackle it otherwise your choice may become limited – it used to be a time of year I dreaded!  Committing to a holiday booking, unless you have been there before, is always worrying – am I going to get exactly what I have signed up to? Quality family time together on holiday is precious and therefore you try so hard to get it right and if it does go wrong, it is so disappointing.  Travelling with children has its own added complications – how on earth can I take my children on holiday when they seem to travel with everything but the kitchen sink and if I get it wrong and they are miserable it will just be hell for us!
If you have a family of school age children, being confined to school holiday dates is a real disadvantage – apparently its called “supply and demand” – but basically it means much increased prices for families.  If you are lucky enough to be able to travel outside of the peak summer weeks then take full advantage – the world is your oyster!
My family and I regularly travel in the UK either during the Easter school holidays or the May half term – we have been lucky enough to have the best weather at that time of the year, often better than during the summer holidays which have been so disappointing in recent years.  Again, travelling in the UK at that time of year certainly helps the pocket too – you do get more for your money.  Then in the summer we head off to sunnier climates for our 2 week family holiday. 
For the past 5 years, my boys are now aged 5 and 7, we have packed up the car, crossed the Channel on Eurotunnel (courtesy of Tesco Clubcard vouchers) and driven into France to a self catering cottage or “gite”.  Whilst the kids were young this was a perfect family holiday for us – the self catering option helped in providing for the children – you know what it’s like, when they want something, they want something and in the confines of a hotel this just wasn’t possible.  Not only that, the kids would be off playing with other children in front of the gite in the enclosed garden whilst we could relax.  At the end of the day, we would always choose a gite with the option of catering a couple of nights a week, so if I didn’t feel like cooking, I wouldn’t – they were happy, so we were happy, perfect!
Now that the kids are older, we are starting to be a little more adventurous.  We no longer need that kitchen sink and are ready to “brave” taking them on longer flights to hotels, but you guessed it, to make my life easier I want somewhere with kids clubs, early dinners and childcare options as well as the traditional swimming pool and beach.  Yes, all these things do not come cheaply, but booking independently can save you money and hassle with the children – cheaper flights, better flight times, private taxi transfers so no endless waiting in the airports for that coach and tailored accommodation – for us, its 2 interconnecting rooms, but for others it’s a family room.  Booking independently allows you complete control over your family holiday and when you are spending that much money, you want it to be right.
Yes, I do have a vested interest in telling you my story.  As a mum, I tried to find places to go on holiday with my family that would suit all my needs – recommendations from other mums and dads who had been there and experienced them, children equipment, perfect accommodation, catering, playground – but used to struggle.  For personal reasons I was physically no longer able to go out to work having recently become disabled, so I thought I would do something useful and set up RecommendedFamilyHolidays.com – a website that has loads of self catering family friendly holiday options, mainly in France, UK and Cyprus.  The website encompassed all of my particular needs for a holiday and I asked other mums and dads to recommend places to go – a formula that seems to have been really popular with our visitors as well as me – I still get holiday ideas for my own family from other people! 
From that, as my children grew up and our needs changed, I have now branched out and set up RecommendedFamilyHotels.com – worldwide family friendly hotels for the independent traveller, teaming up with a great little company of other mums who will help you book everything you need for a perfect family holiday in a hotel – flights, transfers, accommodation, car hire, kids clubs – you name it and they can help.
Article By Lucilla Paull

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