We do planning in our house. We do long, extensive schedules that forecast our lives for six months, twelve even. The planning reassures me that we are ‘in control.’ Holidays are no exception. We love getting away and love planning for our getaways. Holidays are essential in our family. However, impromptu holidays are not.
Melbourne, the first Tuesday in November, and the nation stops to watch a horse race. The city falls into the full swing of long weekend mode. Long weekends once were a reason to idle around the house, rest and relax. Now long weekends herald a sense of panic. A sense of dread. What are we going to do with the kids for that long?! A long weekend at this time of year would most likely be one where I would be working, glued to my laptop for four days. A reality I wasn’t keen on living.
Out of the blue, three days before the long weekend, hubby suggested we take a family holiday. Initially it sounded like a great idea, but the weekend was only three days away! Barely enough time to think about juggling my work load, let alone planning the trip itself! Truly out of character, in light of letting go, I just went with it. Within the space of time it took me to wash up after dinner, the trip was booked and an excitement had settled in.
Three days out from a long weekend didn’t give us too many options. We didn’t want to travel too far from home, we couldn’t wait and search for travel deals to snap up five star hotels at incredibly discounted rates, we couldn’t be inflexible. This holiday was different.
As it turns out, different was good. It was actually very good. We spent four days resting, relaxing and connecting. We stayed in a great little family holiday park, surrounded by caravans, cabins and campsites. The park was overflowing with activities and facilities for the kids. Hence the park was also overflowing with kids. While we had lots of little trips out into the town, enjoying some of the great tourist attractions there, we also enjoyed spending time in the park itself.
So five-star had lost out to 18 rounds of family mini golf. Five-star had lost out to an enormous jumping pillow, where it was just as much fun watching, as it was jumping. Five-star had lost out, to a weekend of kids fun.
I enjoy my creature comforts and sometimes those comforts are best served five-star, albeit at a discounted rate. So five-star has not lost the battle completely. But next time we have a few days to spare, a few days where we want to get away – then a holiday park where the kids are the focus, will no longer be at the bottom of our list.