No, Seriously, Don’t Forget The Kids This Vacation

When we were kids our family, like many other families all over the country, used to go on vacation by the seaside. Our dad was pretty free wheeling so, rather than spend money on a hotel or campsite he’d park up in a lay by where he and my mum would sleep in the car while my brother and I would sleep in the boat, still cradles in its trailer.

Our family had a beach hut too, now a beach hut to the English is like a beachfront condo is to the Americans. They’re the pinnacle of aspirational properties not withstanding the fact that they are a little wooden shed with no plumbing, electricity or gas. And you’re not allowed to sleep in them overnight yet they can still cost as much as a house does any where else in the country. As children we’d find ourselves in the crazy situation of sleeping under the car while there was a perfectly serviceable structure with a roof, walls and indeed a floor just metres away which, although we owned it, we weren’t allowed in. That was thirty years ago now and, so far as I’m aware, that little hut still belongs to some-one in the family. The British never relinquish their beach huts.

The trouble with the British seaside holiday back in those days was that if the weather was bad, as it often was, there really wasn’t all that much to do. I remember sitting in a car, staring out of the window so bored I would actually cry as the hours of rain gradually beat against the glass.

If we were lucky, when the weather was wet, we’d be allowed to go to the arcade where we would try to win cash in those push-penny machines or while away the hours shooting at space invaders with their incessant bomp bomp bomp bomp. I hated arcade games then and I hate them now! So many rotten associations.

The thing was that no-one looked on children as a money-spinner so they ignored their wants and needs. Instead of regarding as crying child as an opportunity to provide a service to the child and or its parents it was simply seen a nuisance.

Today more and more people are coming to understand that it’s the children who really control the purse strings. They may not have the spending power themselves but they point the direction in which the money goes. To this end holiday destinations are making themselves more child friendly, it’s becoming easier to find holidays all year round which suit couples with children. Most people will associate family holidays with sandcastles and inflatable rings but there are some great Christmas breaks that you can take your children on, the only worry being, if you’re not at home, how’s Father Christmas going to know where to find you?

Is this a cynical marketing ploy to chisel more money out of unsuspecting naïve parents who just need to take a break and have their children come with them? Possibly but just think about it, it takes a lot of effort and genuine likability for most children click with some-one whose job it is to entertain them. Whether that be your server in the pizza shop who makes your little one s laugh or the hotel manager who makes sure your kids are never bored because they’re always looking after their needs, that isn’t something you just pay for, that’s professionalism and a love of children that can’t be forced.

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