Every parent has the nightmare of planning a family holiday; finding something that matches the budget, appeals to all, fits the schedule for time of work and school holidays, be that a weekend away, 2 weeks self-catering in the Algarve, a week at Butlins or camping in the lakes.
Since my separation my children have had 5 weeks away, 2 weeks in Italy with their Mother and her parents, 2 separate weeks at a time share in Scotland and now a week on an adventure holiday in Wales, but I haven’t been in able to afford a week’s holiday. So now we have finally settled the finances, I am going to take my boys away, but where?
So, do we go somewhere low key, do I splash out, a week or two in Florida with a trip to Disneyland, or is it all inclusive in Europe?
I have to first consider who goes, is it me single dad with two boys or do I take a friend or a relative and not feel I am SAD DAD abroad with just the boys.
The boys will enjoy anything where we are together. Do I want a holiday where I am in control organising days out and full on, or do I go somewhere that have kids clubs and where the boys can enjoy being boys and have adventures of their own, interspersed with a couple of trips to water parks? If I choose the latter I am not the sort of person who can unwind by the pool so what do I do? Being a single man can make you feel like a social pariah, you don’t fit in with couples and can be seen as a target for singles, I don’t want to end up with a pack of single dads being my only social circle. If I take a friend I will get accused of not focusing on the boys. If I focus on just the boys though I become too overpowering so where is the balance?
All these decisions to make before I look at budgets! Even a trip to Butlin’s can be as expensive, or more so, than self-catering abroad. Am I being over indulgent? If I try a big holiday knowing that this is the only time for several years I am going to be able to afford this sort of holiday? Do I plan for the future and limit my budget by being conservative?
My gut says enjoy and have a great holiday abroad, focus on creating memories and hang the expense, but my head says be cautious. However the practicalities of a foreign holiday rear their ugly head. Travelling abroad especially to countries in North American like Mexico and Canada, as a single parent means you have to carry a letter of authorisation from the absent parent, that you have permission to travel with your own child under the aged 18. This is to prevent child abduction, but as a non-resident parent means I have to get my ex wife to agree, never easy when we were married, and …….. virtually impossible now. If she puts the children first it shouldn’t be a problem but it does mean that she still has some control over my holiday, some say, which is a pain – so the kids may not get to Florida.
Well off to the travel agents for some brochures to gain some inspiration – more fun than the Internet………till next time.