The pros and cons to going on holiday with other families

Last weekend I went away for a ‘not-so-relaxing mini-break’ with a four-nado (mine), a three-nager (not mine), a very terrible two year old (mine) and a bubba (not mine). And their designated adults too, of course.

Almost all of us. Just missing mummy no 2 and bubba. It’s impossible to get a picture of everyone together.

This is not the first, or second, or even third time we have been away with another family. We’ve done long holidays with other people and there mini humans and we’ve been on short breaks with multiple families. And we’ve even been part of a destination wedding with lots and lots of families (glorious carnage, is one way to describe that one)!

And although we return exhausted every time, we will definitely do it again, as they really are lots of fun. But, if you are thinking of sharing a holiday – big or small – with some of your favourite big peeps and little peeps. Here are my pros and cons to going away with other families, to help you decide if this crazy group holiday thing is right for you (and your little crazies too)!

Your children have other children to play with

Pro: Your children have the constant entertainment of other littlies. This gives you some respite from your role as kids entertainer/ climbing frame/ event planner/ snack provider for at least part of your holiday. And you might even get a second to sit down.

Con: Your children have the constant entertainment of other littlies. And I mean CONSTANT. At 5am, at 9pm, at midnight (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration). But what I’m trying to say is children have no boundaries or sense of time. So holiday playing often begins early and ends late, with a big bedtime battle and early morning giggles from the shared bedroom. Not cool!

My secret chill time (I snuck off) being invaded by the four-nado, three-nager and terrible two!

You have other adults to play with

Pro: I love my husband. And I love going away with him. But sometimes it’s nice (really nice) to have some other adults to talk to, drink wine with, do stuff with, drinks wine with, play games with and drink wine with. Oh, and an added bonus is you can sneak off with an adult friend for a few hours, leaving the children behind with the remaining adults – usually the dads in our case. Definite Brucey Bonus.

Con: Going away together can be pretty intense. You are together all the time. When was the last time you spent more than a day with your friend and their family? Just saying, pick your holiday friends carefully, or a weekend away can be a very, very, very long time.

It’s cheaper (usually)

Pro: This is definitely one of my favourite pros (having children is bloody expensive, or haven’t you noticed)! Usually – and I say usually, because I don’t want some angry parents messaging me because they went on holiday with friends and it cost them more – getting a larger apartment, split between more people, works out a lot cheaper. Plus you can share the costs of cars, transfers, wine, food, wine, and anything else you can think of. Sharing is caring people.

Cons: Are you crazy?! There is NO con to things being cheaper when you have children. NO CON!!

You can look after each other’s children

Pro: This is an extra special pro that you only get with extra special friends or family. When you find these people, hang on to them for dear holiday life. These are the people who offer to look after your children on holiday, so you and your significant other can have some ‘quality time’ together.

Cons: You have to look after their children in return. With your children. All of them. Together. In a strange place. All of them. With half the adults. And lots of different aged children. All. Of. Them.

So there you have it. Going away with other families is glorious, exhausting, fun and hard work. Pretty much like every other aspect of parenting. Give it a go, you might just love it.

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