I was surprised by our recent poll asking about Takethefamily readers’ family travel plans for 2013. A whopping 77% of you were up for trying completely new places and/or travel trends, while only 17% were revisiting somewhere you’d already tried and tested, and just 6% were following friends' recommendations.
The last came as the biggest surprise. At Takethefamily, we’ve always firmly believed in parent power and the sharing of information, which is why we encourage readers to post reviews of hotels, cottages, farm-stays, campsites or any other places they stay. As parents ourselves, we know how invaluable it is to hear about other parents who have already ‘road-tested’ somewhere we have our eye on.
So are most of you really all about trying completely new places, or is that wishful thinking? It strikes me that when it comes to family holidays we’re probably all a little torn. Most of us yearn for adventure and new experiences, while loving familiarity and certainty – perhaps not pre-kids, but almost certainly afterwards. There’s a big risk in parting with several thousand pounds if there’s any chance your children aren’t going to enjoy themselves.
On the other hand, if we did chance upon ‘the perfect place’, we might be a bit annoyed because it would restrict our movements in the future. When I recently took part in Guardian ‘Ask the Expert’ panel on family holidays. I had a stab of envy for one reader who felt they were ‘stuck in a holiday rut’ because they had been back to the same place in Turkey for five summer holidays in a row. It sounded fabulous in every way, with or without kids. But I also felt the reader’s frustration – part of me dreads finding somewhere that I fall so deeply in love with it stops me from going elsewhere.
Perhaps that’s what that 77% of you meant. Perhaps none of us are really looking for paradise after all. Perhaps it really is all about the journey.
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