I was thinking (as it's sunny) about holidays. It seems that holidays can mean different things to different people and there is no 'perfect holiday' that would suit everyone. Of course Americans don't even use the same word and they call them vacations! But whether you take the family on holiday, on vacation or away for a break, the way people do it varies.
I wondered what people thought about planning a holiday and what they expect from it. I've already mentioned the dangers of relying on holiday review sites for information, and when you see how people look differently at vacations you'll realise why. What one person sees as a positive point can be a negative to someone else.
For example, even in my own house (3 of us) we have different ideas of 'fun on holiday' . Mr TM likes self catering as we get more room, it's easier to do what we want, when we want and meal times are flexible. He also likes to swim but gets bored laying around all day. Miss TM, the lovely DD likes a hotel, with a widescreen TV and free wifi. She likes to swim and lounge by a pool and also loves a hot tub, she loves a posh hotel. I like both but favour a more adventurous holiday, staying somewhere unusual like a narrow boat or a tree house, hiring a car and exploring. I like to eat out but at local restaurants, the sort rarely used by tourists, and I like to visit local attractions and also meet people and find out about different cultures.
I asked a few parents what they liked too, and of course the answers varied just as much.
Emily at Emily and Indiana said "A holiday to me is spending proper quality time as a family. No interruptions, lots of fun and creating as many memories as possible! And in a hotel, I want a break from everything!"
Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts agrees that it's the break from the chores that really makes a holiday "A holiday to me means no cooking or washing up, we work so hard the rest of the year I don't want to be doing that on holiday"
Nikki at Yorkshire Wonders went all out for a cruise! "My favourite holidays are with my family, where we are all catered for so everyone is happy. So, a bit of sunshine, new places to explore, organised activities for the kids and lots of nice food and wine! We cruised last year and it was fab!"
As did Emma at Island Living 365 "For us holidays are very important. We use them as a an opportunity to spend time with the rest of our family. We also believe that it's really important to show the girls that there is a big, exciting world outside of Jersey"
Louise at Pink Pear Bear is more flexible with her approach, it seems that a change is the main aim "Going on holiday is a total break from the everyday chores for me. Well, it would be if we stayed in a hotel with a kids club!
For the last few years we have done self catering and so there is still the same amount of work, washing etc but it still feels better being somewhere different and in the sunshine somehow!
It's also about reading books, something I rarely do now. When abroad, I like to really soak up the culture, enjoy the food, see the sights etc. But chilling by the pool is also nice too! "
Hannah at Hannah Spannah agrees that it's being somewhere else that makes a holiday - getting away from the mundane. "My holidays as a single mum are either self catering or camping so there are still all the jobs to do but it means being somewhere different. A change is as good as a rest and that's true. I love the opportunity to just play together and explore."
And if you follow my other blog Tentsniffing for Beginners, you'll know that I also adore the camping life. Of course I'm not alone in that either.
Claire at Tin Box Traveller says "It's all about leaving behind the routine of every day life, exploring new places and getting lots of fresh air. We enjoy all sorts of breaks. The more varied the better. And they don't have to be expensive. I've come back from short camping weekends with recharged batteries and feeling like we've enjoyed quality family time."
So from a hot, all-inclusive holiday abroad, to a weekend in Wales self catering, from a Christmas cruise, to a road trip with the family it seems that there is something for anyone, even if every holiday isn't for everyone.
What is your favourite holiday and will you be going abroad this year or staying closer to home? A time to be spoiled or just time to be together as a family...or alone to read?