Wednesday, 24 February 2016

How holiday planning has changed

We're going to Bali! Last minute decision to take advantage of free flights before the boys turn two.

The last time we went on a really spontaneous holiday was probably in 2009. That was when Kevin Rudd was giving out economy stimulation money and we were both in a bit of a rut at work. We went to New York. It was only live regrets...all those things...

A lot has changed since then. 

That time we just thought where would we be fun that we hadn't been before. This time we thought where would be easy and not too long of a flight. That time we found an apartment on Craig's list. It was tiny but in a superb location on Bleecker Street. This time the key location consideration is that it's not too far from the airport. 

I know you can't really compare Bali to New York but I can compare to the last time we went to Bali. That time we went to two different places; Amed which is a slightly off the tourist track and Ubud. This time we're staying at a resort in Nusa Dua and just the idea of moving locations sends shivers up my spine. Tourist central is fine with me and I am completely ok if we don't leave the resort.

Pre-children was all about location. The actual room we stayed in didn't mean too much to me. It was just somewhere to sleep. Post-children, the accommodation really matters. It needs to be big enough that we won't have to whisper while the children are sleeping and there needs to be things to do. Having children's activities was the number one priority in choosing our accommodation. 

What else has changed? I think the only special request I'd ever considered pre-children was late check-out. This time I've requested car seats for the transfers and a pool fence around our private pool. Previously, the idea of stepping out the door into a pool sounded luxurious. Now it just causes anxiety.

Of course comparing no children to three children is extreme. It wasn't like this when we had just one baby. We had a great holiday with baby J. A week in London and three fantastic weeks travelling around Spain. She was just short of one and at that age you can still do a lot of the things you would do without children. We went to museums and art galleries, we ate out at bars and some quite nice restaurants. Of course we also completely embraced the siesta. We didn't go to a single park and we didn't have to. It was just the right age. A little bit older and we would have had to work in activities for her. 

That's where we're at now. The children need things to do. I'm not planning to drop them off at a creche and run but I am planning to go with them to do children's activities. What we do will be based on what I think will be nice for them. The reality is that unless they're happy I'm not happy so the best thing to do is to keep them happy. 

The irony is that right now relaxing by the pool and reading a book sounds like a dream but before we had children, when that was an option, it isn't what I wanted to do. When we came to Bali before we did activities everyday; scuba diving, white water rafting, bike riding. We went into the towns, we ate with the locals. There was a bit of lying around by the pool and it was nice but it wasn't what I went on holiday for. I had the opportunity to switch off and basically do nothing but it wasn't what I wanted. 

How things change!

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