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Holidays before and after having children…

Happy summer everyone! I’m not sure if you’re going away this year or whether you are doing days out near home but either way these summers are drastically different to the pre-children years.

We are travelling to France for our first holiday as a family of four. We’re staying in Eurocamp with various members of our families who are all travelling in different ways to get there. And when I say we are travelling to France, I mean as in right now. I’m writing this blog on the notes app in my phone whilst sandwiched between two car seats in the back since Mya has a frosty relationship with the car. I’m hoping that, by the time it uploads tonight, we will have arrived in our chalet. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, like I said, these holidays are very different to the way they were when it was just the two of us. Here are 5 of the differences I’ve personally noticed.


I can’t quite remember what it was like to just pack for myself. It must’ve been miles easier. I’ve found myself feeling very anxious about packing for this holiday. It just seemed like such a huge organisational task. Mya needs nappies, a pram, baby bath stuff and Finley needs his Robinsons cordial or he will be dangerously dehydrated by the end of our trip! We’ve also packed Calpol just in case.

Getting There

Well, it used to be a case of flying to our destination. But today, we are currently on the final leg of our fifteen hour drive. We have a roof rack with the clothes, a pram and boxes of medication and British snacks in the boot and me wedged between two car seats in the back.

The other thing that is different is making sure we are on time. It’s something that’s always been important to Mark and me but we now need to convince two other humans who don’t care at all about time to comply with that.

We used to just have to set an alarm and then get up and get dressed for our flight. One pre-children holiday we did that in semi-darkness as we were too tired to put the full set of lights on but, when we did switch them on, we discovered Mark had accidentally put my top on. He did say it felt a bit tight but he assumed he’d eaten too much the night before.

Now we need to get up extra early to get ourselves ready and then start on the kids. That’s having been up half the night as well. Last night Mya woke up at 2am, saw that we were all in the same hotel room, got excited and started crawling about the bed, bouncing up and down and laughing… until 3am.


It’s our wedding anniversary today. When we booked our honeymoon some 8 plus years ago we looked for an adult hotel so that our holiday would be as peaceful as possible. After we’d booked it I did get a bit worried that it was an adult hotel and we might see a lot of things that we hadn’t planned on but it turned out to be just a normal hotel without children in the end. Although we did see an older woman with two men and couldn’t quite work out the relationship/s there.

Right now we are two hours and seven minutes away from Eurocamp. The last time I was at one of these I was a child myself.

One of the things that won’t have changed though is how much we do on holiday. Mark and I have always been the type of people to do a lot of things on holiday and need a rest when we get back. This holiday will be the same. Except that we won’t get a rest when we come back!


Pre-children, we went on holiday to Malaysia for our friends’ wedding. Like I said in the last section, we booked lots of activities including a street food walking tour. We did this at the beginning of our holiday for three reasons: we could become familiar with the area quickly; if we liked any of the food we tried we had plenty of time to have it again; and finally, if the food didn’t ‘agree’ with us then we wouldn’t be stuck on a 13 hour flight with just an aeroplane toilet to share with all the other passengers.

Today, we have a storage box in the boot with baked beans, Hula Hoops, Tesco macaroni cheese and I am currently feeding Mya her veggie straws as we drive through one of the countries with the best food in the world. Finley has already taken issue with the chocolate brownies and the cheese in a cheese and ham sandwich because they are ‘not the same as we have at home’. He was very much ok with the Nutella though.


We have some great memories of trips we have taken before we had children. In fact we used to buy a small, tacky souvenir from each place. We went to Liverpool when I was only a few weeks pregnant with Finley and went on The Beatles 4D ride. Because I was pregnant, I had to sit in a wooden chair on the side while Mark was in a reclining armchair style seat with bubbles being blown at him, giving me the thumbs up.

We went to the Dominican Republic for honeymoon and I remember Mark scrambling about for some clothes whilst shouting, ‘Hola!’ back to the lady who had just let herself in to clean the room during his naked nap.

We also went to Venice as a surprise for Mark’s birthday and went to the highest rated pasta place on tripadvisor. It took us two or three attempts at queuing before we finally got there before they ran out of pasta. It was decent. I wouldn’t go any further than that though.

The thing is all of these memories for me are great but compare them to our post-children holidays and it’s just not quite the same as getting to watch your children thrilled at their first time on an aeroplane or playing in the sea (and not be freezing cold!)

Yesterday Mark played Guess Who with Finley on the Eurotunnel. That will be a core memory for the rest of his life. As the train set off he was jumping up and down as he was so excited (I should clarify that I’m talking about Finley in these last couple of examples but, don’t worry, Mark was also very excited too). Mya was looking around at everything and waving out of the window. Core memories for us too.

So trips are not what they once were. They’re much more tiring and far less flexible than they used to be but one day, no doubt much sooner than I could have imagined, I’ll be wishing that they could be exactly like this just one more time.

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