If there were a spectrum for adventure levels on family holidays I think we’d be slap bang in the middle of it. While we love holidays and like to put them together ourselves, we’re risk-averse rather than gung-ho, always start the planning process with a strict budget and are often frustrated by the limits of travelling with 3 kids spanning 6 years and both genders.
Since the kids have got older (they’re now 16, 13 and 10) we have become a little braver: In 2013, having spent far too much time on the amazing and very persuasive website Seat 61 we did a — slightly overambitious, as it turned out — Christmas train journey to a Kinderhotel in Austria which involved 8 European cities and 12 separate train trips (including the 2 sleeper trains which were originally the whole point of the trip), while the year before we spent eight weeks mooching around France and Italy in a camper van / occasional hotel / glamping unit / apartment / overnight ferry.
Now it’s all about the alphabet. We’re hoping to reduce the endless holiday hemming and hawing by opting for an A-Z underlying structure. The plan is to visit at least one place for every letter of the alphabet, NOT (and I feel this is going to be important for our collective sanity) necessarily in the correct order.
The rules, such as they are:
- We have to want to go to the place anyway – no ticking off letters for the sake of it (that’s from the 12 year old who’s not keen on random trips to Slough, Yate or Milton Keynes just because we need the letters)
- All trips to be taken in school holiday time (bar the odd shaved day here or there for budget reasons) or at weekends
- We have to spend a reasonable amount of time (ideally at least 24 hours) in each place we visit
Favourites have already been aired since we floated the idea over the best of Pizza Express: Florida, Croatia, Legoland, Denmark and India are already, slightly terrifyingly, on The Tentative List. Google has been briefly consulted for places beginning with X (they’re all in China. Or Ohio) and Garry and I are already slightly daunted by the scope of the suggestions literally on the Italian restaurant table, but we’re going to give it our best shot and hope that you enjoy seeing how we get on.