How not to have the perfect family holiday in 10 complicated steps

We went to France.We didn’t really plan it well short of tossing all our stuff (two small childers included) into our car and heading off. Fail to plan and you’ll plan to fail they say.Never has that been truer in relation to a vacation with tiny humans. Here’s the mini guide to completely mucking up your much anticipated family holiday abroad.

Step 1-See offer in local Aldi two weeks before you are due to leave for two DVD players that fit the back of the headrests in the car.Decide for some unfathomable reason that you will not be one of those parents who entertains their kids with screens all the time. Fail miserably to keep kids entertained on long car journeys with crayons/teddies/songs/nursery rhymes/snacks/drinks/games. Frantically search every French supermarket and electric store for portable DVD players.Finally find them at twice the price of those on sale in Aldi.

Step 2-Buy a brand spanking new roof rack in order to fill it with gallons and gallons of cheap French booze cos you know priorities. Fail to amend ferry booking to reflect this new addition to the height of your car. Cause confusion at the port and wait for two hours on the side of the road while they reassign your parking spot on the ferry.Attempt to entertain the two small children who are already at the outer limits after a three hour road trip. Be literally the last ones to board.

Step 3-Fail to bring sufficient nappies on a day trip to the country half an hour from where you are staying. On a Sunday.When all the shops are closed. Be suitably surprised when toddler does a number two in her last nappy and baby follows suit. Drive back to your lodging with both children naked from the waist down and sitting on plastic shopping bags in a futile attempt to keep the car seats piss and shit free.

Step 4-Decide to visit absolutely everyone-family,friends,everyone. Drive for a minimum of 3 hours everyday for a week.Wonder why the kids are completely out of sync and in foul moods all the time.

Step 5-Book a gite(French holiday home) under the mistaken impression that you have booked the entire building. Realise at 10pm when the kids are bouncing across the beds attempting to ascertain which one they would prefer to sleep in,that there is a noise coming from an adjoining room and that you are not alone in the house. Attempt to keep baby from crying through the night,toddler from waking up too early, both children from singing,warbling,wailing,screaming at all hours. Fail miserably at all these. Receive complaint from your fellow lodger in the morning about how it is impossible for her to relax with all the noise that is coming from your rooms. Long to respond it’s been impossible for you to relax for over 3 years now.Bite tongue instead, mutter a feeble ‘desolé’ and check out early.

Step 6-Pick a beach which has its car park 650 metres away. Fail to bring buggy or baby sling. Lug all beach paraphernalia and baby all the way down to beach.Discover tide is out. Spend next few hours chasing eldest daughter down the beach until she has finally gotten to her desired level of seawater-knee height or approximately 20cms high.

Step 7-Ensure babies are covered with sun cream,hats and UV resistant swimwear at all times.Fail to sufficiently protect yourself from the French sun’s powerful rays. Be unable to walk properly for a week due to nasty sunburn on shins and inside of ankle.

Step 8-Accidentally leave eldest child’s toilet seat behind at a motorway rest stop.Realise your mistake two and a half hours down the road. Fail to convince eldest child to accept new toilet seat. Regress half a dozen steps in the potty training programme. Cry into your cheap French booze.

Step 9-Decide to completely rip the arse out of the holidays by spending an extra night away from home in Limerick catching up with more family and friends and leaving eldest daughter utterly fried for her first day at preschool the next day,because you know,priorities.

Step 10-Swear to plan it better next year…

Have you any gems to add to the list?

The packing was probably the most successful part of the trip.

0 thoughts on “How not to have the perfect family holiday in 10 complicated steps

  1. Aedín. Oh my goodness. I’m sure it wasn’t at all funny at the time, but I’m laughing reading it – sorry. And hey, at least you got a great blog post out of it!

    1. I can look back now and laugh for sure now that the kids are safely tucked up in their own beds and I’m enjoying the lovely French wine.I don’t know how people manage to do holidays with more than 2 smallies.I am in awe of you and other parents who fit that bill!

  2. Ha ha. Love it. I love the honesty and the fact that many of us have these awful holidays. Yet we say we really enjoyed them, and in a way we did.
    Hope next year is even better!
    I remember going to Allihies, my favourite place on earth. It rained for three days solid. The kids got a vomiting bug. My baby at the time cried day and night. We decided to come home for two nights for me to sleep and stop crying! Then we went back and had a great holiday.

    1. Oh god Tric,that sounds like hell-glad ye salvaged the situation.Holidays with small kids can be so stressful-not at all like what holidays were like before but they bring their own highlights too.

  3. Oh Aedin! You need a holiday! I’m sure it doesn’t help but I did a proper belly laugh out loud at step 3, but only because I’ve been there – albeit with only one smallie, and not in France 🙂

  4. Also in France ….. Visit evening funfair where toddler after enjoying tge baby rollercoaster! Starts coughing and spluttering in front of frantic mammy and fairground assistant with no English! Get nabbed by french doctor visiting funfair with his family that daughter has respiratory distress , very common with “special babies” (his words not mine) and she needs to go to A&E, despite toddler never having an episode like this ever and having appeared to be back to herself again, somehow find ourselves surrounded by ambulance staff beside the rollercoaster. after examination and x-ray to check if she had eaten something we were discharged from A&E at 3.30am with clean bill of health and suspicions of a bit of good going down the wrong way ……..

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