Planning our 2014 holidays

After an unfortunate incident over Christmas where I was at the local farm play barn with the kids when in reality I apparently should have been sat at my desk talking to other members of staff about how it was a shame I’d run out of holiday and couldn’t take the WHOLE Christmas to new year period off, it was unilaterally decided that we needed to be more methodical about the holiday planning we were undertaking.

Before Ned came along we’d gone to Butlins down in Bognor Regis a few times, at first because I happened to be on their ambassador scheme but subsequently because it was ideal for kids. The boy and Fifi absolutely loved the freedom of it all, from the pool to the go karts, the softplay and everything. We haven’t been since Ned was born because we’ve been waiting for him to get old enough to enjoy it himself, rather than just watching.

We’ve already booked a week at the sea side in North Norfolk but haven’t as yet paid the balance on the holiday because I’m not 100% sure the place isn’t under 5 feet of water at the moment. We normally try to go away a few times in the year- a week in the summer at a self catering cottage, maybe some camping or a family friendly festival, and maybe over Easter for a few days. Although a lot of the holidays aren’t at parks or camps, we do a mixture of activities. If you’re anything like us, when you plan your 2014 uk family breaks you’re looking at a mixture of things. If we do a week self catering and a week camping over the summer, the idea of going somewhere catered earlier on in the year is a good idea and that’s once of the things we like about Butlins. The buffet food is good, is served at a variety of heights, which means the kids can get to it on their own, and is all fairly stress free.

I have to admit when we first went, which was for the opening of the Ocean Hotel & Spa, I didn’t quite know what to think. The last time I’d stayed at a Butlins was in 1985 at Barrie Island, and it seemed a bit like a prison camp at the time. Things have changed though and we’ve been back regularly up to the point Ned was born. Now he’s turned 2, it’s probably time to look again…

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