Holiday Plans. I Couldn’t Think of a Better Title.

I’m excited because we’re in the process of planning a holiday. The thing about an upcoming holiday is you have to tell everyone, don’t you? Please say it’s not just me? If it is, that makes me more annoying than I thought.

Now I love nothing more than a family holiday. But holiday planning isn’t what it used to be.

Holiday To-Do List, BEFORE Children

1. Put tent in boot of car

Holiday To-Do List, WITH Children

1. Actually have some kind of plan.

Oh, we were so smug, giggling at people who had itineraries and thinking they were uncool. But that’s what we have become.

We are going around Scotland for two weeks in April, and for that we need an itinerary. We are reading travel guides and pinpointing the exact places we’ll visit and for how long. Why fly by the seat of your pants (or kilt – ooh look, a Scottish joke) when you can plan every daily activity like a National Lampoon movie?

Although I’m now wondering since when have we used the word “activity” on holiday? Isn’t that a big daggy, like staying at Kellerman’s before Johnny Castle?

This is what I’ll be wearing to look like a local.

2. Book accommodation.

We rarely booked accommodation for our holidays before children. We just rocked up. I know you’re thinking “how rock’n’roll were they??” and yes, yes we were.

Now just to be clear – I’m not complaining about the prospect of a holiday. But I will say it’s not easy finding somewhere to stay with young children. Do we go for holiday cottages? Cabins? Bed and breakfasts, where breakfast includes those congealed blood sausages? Farms? A yurt?  A camper van where everyone pretends the loo is sound proofed when it ABSOLUTELY IS NOT? Hotels? Campsites with hot showers? Castles with weird-arse tapestries pretending to be wallpaper? Self catered? Semi catered? Family room (which means something different wherever you go)? Inter-connecting room (which are rare in the UK for some reason)?

Can you tell nothing has been booked yet? I can safely say it won’t be for some time.

3. Organise travel.

With the children and the inevitable amounts of luggage that go with them, we’ve decided to hire a car and drive there. I’m sure I’m not the first Australian to look at a map of the UK and think to drive the length of it will take no time at all.

My husband has booked the car. He has gone for a manual over an automatic, apparently it’s considerably cheaper. My first car was a manual so you’d think that would be OK. But I have a dark secret. I can’t do hill starts.

I have explained this but he doesn’t think it’s an issue. But Scotland is hilly. See this picture? Does it make you think of Scotland? No. It doesn’t.


If I am to drive in a place called the Highlands I can’t faff with gears, a pedal and handbrake trying to find the friction point. (See? I have actually tried to do hill starts, you know. How else would I know the term “friction point?”) If I gave it a go, we’d roll backwards into the Lowlands**. So he needs to know he will be doing all the driving.

That means I’ll be navigating. That’s always an uneventful, stress-free and happy time… conducive to a really relaxing and fun holiday.

We’re not going until April and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. In the meantime I’m reading borrowed Lonely Planets and getting excited.

And I know it’s ungrateful, but if anyone offers me haggis I’ll pretend to be unconscious.

**I just threw that in so you’d be impressed with my geographic knowledge.

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