I'm definitely not a winter person. Even though this winter has been mild so far, I still struggle with the relentless greyness at this time of year. Now I'm marathon training, it is extra depressing because I 'have' to get out there in the drizzle and grey to get my training miles in. That's why I always like to have a warm holiday to look forward to - something to incentivise me to survive the winter months! This month I've teamed up with Thomson to share the things I look for in a family-friendly summer holiday.
This year we have booked a family holiday in the Algarve in Portugal for our main summer holiday. It feels like such a long way off, but I can't wait for it; I know that with all the chaos at work, the months will whizz by and it will soon be the school holidays. Because Lara will be preparing to move up into junior school, and Holly will be preparing to start infant school for the very first time, we decided to splash out on our summer holiday and we've booked an all-inclusive family holiday in a very smart hotel perched on a cliff, over-looking a beautiful sandy beach that the girls can play on.
For us, the decision to go abroad was a big one - we normally spend our holidays in the UK. Mr. B. was, quite understandably, fairly worried about travel to a number of different popular tourist resorts and we both also worry about travelling for a long distance with Holly (who has a phenomenally short attention span and requires constant entertainment!). We were looking for a European beach holiday within 4 hours flight from London and which could offer lots of family-friendly options without being too full-on!
Neither Mr. B. nor myself have ever been to Portugal before so the Algarve will be a bit of an adventure for us all - a totally new experience. While we were researching and choosing our resort we had a few family holiday success criteria to fill:-
* Away from the main tourist hot spots (Mr.B. and I much prefer a peaceful holiday away from the bustle of the town) but within a short drive, bus journey or reasonable walk from civilisation so that we can explore!
* Swimming pools with warm, fresh water and lots of options for swimming with the kids.
* All-inclusive. Mainly because, once on holiday we don't really want to have to think about sorting out money, or shopping for food. We've had some great all-inclusive package holidays in the past and it works well for us.
* Kids playground and kids activities. The hotel we have chosen has a pirate-themed kids area and a kids club with qualified staff; at our hotel the kids club costs extra but many resorts and hotels now include this in the price of your holiday. I don't think Lara and Holly will want to spend a lot of time in a kids club but it is good to know that there is the option for them to do some activities that they wouldn't normally try.
* Accessible beach with plenty of sand and gentle waters for the girls to play in until their heart's content.