As any parent of a teenager knows, there are challenges taking your offspring on holidays, especially if it’s just a family holiday. So I was delighted to hear that our recent trip was the “best holiday ever” from one of the men-children as we returned from the airport yesterday. Add to that myself, Father of a Man-Child and Sister of a Man-Child all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we’re on a winner.
So what’s the secret to success? Well we didn’t leave Australia for some exotic destination like Bali or Fiji or Thailand. We went to Hamilton Island – sun, sand and a flight all adding to the appeal of the trip. We didn’t holiday with friends, but rather the father-in-law (potential recipe for disaster but actually pretty smooth sailing thankfully). We didn’t have surf (which the boys love) but the plethora of water sports meant that there was plenty of options at the beach. In short, they had so much to do they had no time to be bored.
What teenager wouldn’t enjoy the following:
- Driving the golf carts every day on the island since that’s the only form of transport (okay, yes, they don’t have their licence yet, but how much trouble can an almost 16-year-old cause in a vehicle that doesn’t do over 20kmh? We could get used to being chauffeured everywhere actually.)
- More water sports than you can poke a stick at, including paddle boards, kayaking, catamarans, snorkelling on offer every day. They just about had a go at everything.
- Donut rides – you can imagine how fast the boat driver went because he was determined to fling the two men-children off the donut as often as possible – they LOVED it.
- A trip to Whitehaven Beach to see one of the most stunning beaches in the world and to Dent Island to play golf on a spectacularly scenic (but difficult) course.
- Go-Karting – just a bit faster than the golf buggies!
- Fishing on a nice big cruiser (sadly it was a bit rough so one of the men-children spent the entire four hours sea sick and heaving his guts up over the side, along with two other adults and a poor 6-year-old boy).
- Early morning runs with the sports club (they’re in pre-season for rowing so are quite serious about doing sport at the moment). 🙂
Add to the above a brilliant house with a pool and view to die for and plenty of room for everyone, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Sister of a Man-Child also had plenty to do activity wise, and Father of a Man-Child and Mother of a Man-Child were able to relax and read countless books and dawdle over morning papers. The holiday was even more relaxing because no laptops or PS3’s accompanied us, so the boys were pretty limited to Facebook updates and texting their friends back home. I especially relished the break from all the technology that drives our lives on a daily basis.
You know the holiday has been long enough when they start fighting again just like at home – the last 24 hours of our 9 day trip showed that about a week on the island was right.
The only issue we faced was the discussion about our next holiday – hopefully to Sydney over the Christmas/New Year break. When the men-children learned we plan to be away for New Years Eve they were aghast. “But we HAVE to be in Melbourne for NYE, we already have plans (to get drunk somewhere)……well not Melbourne actually, we’ll be away with friends (away from our parents who control our lives)……”
We decided to drop the discussion until we got home – it was set to ruin our happy holiday. Now we face the decision – do we force them on the family holiday, or adapt our plans to suit them? There’s a number of reasons supporting both points of view and options that could fill a whole blog post that I won’t bore you with now – but suffice to say it’s going to be an interesting decision. The men-children are all for a trip to Sydney – just not for NYE. We shall see.