So we made it. For the first time in 11 years we are on a proper overseas holiday (which will explain the delay in posting something new. I’ve had other priorities – such as consuming my own bodyweight each day in anchovy stuffed olives and beer).
This kind of holiday is so totally beyond the realms of our experience that just getting the whole thing organised has been a pretty steep learning curve. We could have taken the easy option and done it all through a travel agent. In fact, at the outset we did naively wander into one and were quoted some prices. The blood swiftly drained from Dad Dancer’s face and Khaleesi started wondering if there was defibrillator handy.
We were tempted by one of those all inclusive holidays that are all the rage these days. No more washing up for a fortnight. For a moment I thought Khaleesi was going to do that When Harry Met Sally orgasm scene right there in the shop. I can see the attraction of this kind of holiday – the peace of mind of knowing that’s it paid for. But when we thought it through, we weren’t sure that kind of holiday was for us because:
a) We couldn’t afford it
b) Part of the idea of going to Spain is that the kids experience another culture. God forbid, they may even speak a few Spanish words to the natives. But if everything’s paid for, there’s a strong incentive to stay in your all inclusive bubble.
c) An endless supply of apparently free beer and ice cream would expose our worst personality traits. I’d be like Alan Partridge taking his “big plate” to the all-you-can-eat buffet, just so I can get my money’s worth. I might enjoy myself but I’d need to check into rehab on my return. And as for the kids…
So we finally opted for a villa, sourced through AirBnB (thought it turned out to be managed by a small holiday rental company) and organised our own flights and car hire. Did we save much money doing it this way? In all honesty, probably not that much – but we did gain a fair degree of control over what we were getting. So far it seems to have worked out well. The place is lovely, we have a private pool which is keeping the kids amused for several hours a day, leaving us to enjoy our beers, books and the general joy of not having to do anything at all (apart from referee the occasional squabble).
Life is good. I’ll post an update soon (if I can be bothered to get off the sun lounger).