Half Term Hell - Planning For Half Term with the Kids
Half term’s nearly here and parents are already thinking about what to do with the kids whilst couples are wondering where to go to avoid them. Rhino comes to the rescue with ideas on how you can fill the time with your children and on where you can go to avoid the noise and chaos they bring.
If the budget is being squeezed but you need to get your children out of the house check out your local sports centre. Many have activities for the holidays, especially in the wake of the Olympics and who knows, you might encourage them to take up a sport or activity for the long term. For the less athletic, libraries aren’t what they used to be. Many have now converted to discovery centres which offer not only the chance to read but also to experience local exhibits, take part in activities organised especially for children in the centres or to complete the ubiquitous treasure trail around the library section. If your town is lucky enough to have a museum, it’s worth seeing what they have to offer in terms of children’s activities. Often there’s free entrance and they’ll organise a quiz based on the exhibits.
You may think that travelling anywhere during half term is going to be expensive but if you’ve got a family railcard you can get up to a third off rail fares. If you don’t think you’ll get the use out of it, look out for the 3 or 4 for 2 offers or ‘kids travel for a pound’ offer and suddenly getting to many exciting parts of the UK. Think about a trip to the Science Museum in Bristol or to the Eden Project in Cornwall, both child friendly destinations. Whilst you won’t have the same freedom that letting someone else get you there gives, you can at least stop when you see something interesting and Rhino offer great deals on UK car hire all through half term.
Sometimes you may want to travel further afield and stay overnight with the children. The obvious choice is to look for a Travelodge or Premier Inn but if you don’t want to share with your kids then the choices are often limited. Instead consider renting a cottage or a house for a week. It’ll look expensive on paper but when you consider the cost of up to three rooms at sometimes around £50 a day, the cost soon dwindles when you consider the privacy and use of facilities. If you’re really organised and not too house proud you could consider a house swap for the holiday. Using a company like Homelink (www.homelink.org.uk) you’ll have access to loads of family homes in thousands of locations in the UK and abroad.
Adult Only Hotels
Yes they may sound a little dodgy but many hotels now promise no children when you stay there on a break. Entertainment DOES NOT INCLUDE clowns, kiddies disco, face painting etc. so you’ll be guaranteed a peaceful time with other adults who also don’t like children!
Going to the Extreme!
If kids are your idea of hell then you may want to consider a break in some of the world’s most isolated places. Docastaway (www.docastaway.com) offer holidays where they will maroon you on a completely deserted island. You’ll be completely alone and you’ll have to hunt or forage for your own food. It’s so remote that they don’t even tell you which island in the Philippines you’ll be put on because many don’t even have names. If that is a little extreme, they offer slightly less basic holidays in locations such as Gambolo Island or Siroktabe in Indonesia.
Then all too soon half term will be over and it’ll be downhill to the even more chaotic and child-centred Christmas holidays. Good luck!