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What do holidays mean to you? Stressful and anxiety inducing? Relaxing and enjoyable - a mix of the both? How have they changed and how do you balance it all?

What is it about HOLIDAYS?! It’s the initial idea of relaxation, sight-seeing, time with your loved ones, cocktails, amazing food that you’ll order and then think twice about eating. It’s so wrapped up with emotion that its easy to get swept away right? Wrong! The lists, the endless lists that go on forever, your thought processes that imagine light well into the evening so children can’t sleep, the nightmares about places not having pizza (but the right pizza, exactly what they’re used to), the actual travel bit, the bit that involves getting in and out of a vehicle and up early and listening to endless whining about legs being tired.

Holidays, if you’re interested are defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling’ or, if you care to take one from Cambridge, ‘a time when someone does not go to work or school but is free to do what they want, such as travel or relax'. Does any of that sound familiar? Maybe an extended period, or when you don’t go to work or school but the rest is pretty subjective.

But what makes the perfect holiday? Is there such a thing or is it one of those far reaching dreams that we never quite get to the end of. What about if we went with family or people who knew us well - sometimes this worked perfectly and sometimes it drove a wedge, highlighting the differences in personality and parenting that we were all trying to politely ignore? How can we make holidays more pleasurable and less of a headache - this is a tough one. On the one hand you have to plan with kids, unless you want a meltdown about not packing their rainbow sunglasses 30 minutes into a car journey. It’s in everyones interest to be organised to some extent, even if that means a mad rush in the supermarket one hour beforehand. But how to we reconcile time for ourselves when it seems so far reaching? Are we able to find time to enjoy the holiday that we’ve planned and paid for or would we rather it act as a distraction for the kids so you don’t have to fill those endless days of summer? Did we feel able to communicate with our partner about our needs and what we wanted?

If there’s one thing for sure, Holidaying isn’t what it was. It’s stressful, expensive, lonely, tiring & maddening - but it’s also needed, hilarious, fun, rewarding and welcome. So why do we do it? Lets blame the rain.

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