Monday, 24 August 2015
We have just returned from our first family holiday abroad. We took the girls to France.
I have felt nervous about travelling overseas with my daughters. Mostly, I feared the long periods of waiting around in confined spaces (in the car and on the ferry) and there were some stressful moments on our journeys. Listening to the baby cry for an hour as we waited to board the ferry at Portsmouth was a particular low-light and didn't give me much hope for the holiday!
On the whole, though, the holiday was a success.
We kept it simple and stayed with Eurocamp not far from St Malo, thus limiting the amount of driving we had to do to get to our holiday destination. The campsite had lots of outdoor and sporting activities to offer, as well as a kids' club and evening entertainment.
Our 5yo threw herself into the holiday spirit with gusto! She spoke some French and tried new foods. She also demonstrated confidence in the swimming pools and even attempted the water slides on her own! She really appreciated the fact that we were visiting another country and she looked for and revelled in the differences between holiday and home.
The baby was less enthusiastic. I think she would have found it difficult whatever holiday we had chosen but there was no space in the caravan for her to crawl about or play and the campsite didn't have any facilities for babies to play in or explore. She hated the swimmings pools (perhaps they were too noisy or cold?) and so she spent a lot of time strapped into a highchair or her pushchair. When she did crawl about on the grass outside the caravan, she tried to eat pine cones and sticks that she found lying around!
All in all, we had a good time. The weather was nice and we found lots of things to entertain ourselves with. We did some day trips, visited some local markets and enjoyed the kids' club activities.
We have agreed that we'll venture across the Channel again with the children but probably not until the baby is a few years older.