The mithering today is based around the summer holiday. More specifically – what constitutes value for money in a family holiday? The tension stems from the fact that holidays represent freedom from home, from the rituals and routines that define our usual life. We see new things, new places, we read more, drink more, exercise a bit more. Most importantly for me, we are free to think a bit more. All good things.
But freedom is not free. As we are tied to school holiday times (but this is only for another couple of years), the cost is substantial. And that is where my planning always hits the wall.
I am really happy to pay a lot of money for a special occasion; a family narrow boat holiday to celebrate my Mum’s 70th birthday springs to mind. But, the annual summer holiday: not so happy.
The current thinking is around our mode of transport. We have booked a week of beach and sun-filled loveliness with dear friends in Majorca this summer. But, only a week, due to logistical challenges. And we love a two week break from the routine. On reflection I think I may enjoy two weeks in order to give myself time to settle into a holiday routine; the irony does not escape me. So, what to do with the other week?
Having a second week on the island without our friends does not appeal. Well not to me, the youngest of the family does want to do that, but he is being outvoted by the financially powerful members of the family.
One great idea is to hire somewhere in Barcelona. And this is where the value comes in. I really want to go to Barcelona, everyone recommends it. But it is expensive.
And the biggest problem – transport. I think we have to fly to Majorca. I loathe flying; I am not at all anxious about it, but I hate the environmental impact, it makes me feel ill. I loathe airports, the process of luggage drop and retrieval, rules on size of cases, the security ritual, the hanging around, the queuing. Did I mention destruction of the planet?
But, due to our logistics (youngest is on a Scout camp and we have limited time to get to Majorca), we will have to fly out there. But there is the second week plaguing my conscience. If we fly home the cost is ok. If we get a ferry to Barcelona and then the train home, it becomes so so expensive. Unfair, but a reality. So, ‘just flying’ becomes the solution.
But… will that flight home leave such a bad taste, that it reduces the benefits of the holiday anyway. All in all – what is it I want from a summer holiday?