Handy Guide to Hell Free Holidays

If you find holidays stressful, you need Claire’s Handy Guide to Hell Free Holidays.  Just work your way through each decision, and by the end, if you are not completely satisfied I will refund the money you have paid for this guide*

*Note that the cost of this guide does not include lost earnings while you were reading it, the cost of your computer or other electronic reading device, the cost of your internet connection, the cost of electricity, the cost of your learning to read or indeed any other cost whatsoever.  Any money you chose to spend as a direct result of reading this guide is entirely up to you, don’t blame or sue me.  Is that quite clear?  If you aren’t happy with this guide, or its impact on your finances, tough.


1.  Choice of destination
Roughly speaking, abroad or UK (sorry to non UK readers, but much of what follows won’t make sense to you anyway).
Abroad has good weather, and a feeling of being away from it all, and the natives will probably speak English.  You might even have a go at speaking the local language.  The food will be interesting.
UK has no airport queues, no passport issues, no exchange rate conundrums and notionally at least no language barrier, although I agree that you may have some difficulty understanding what the locals are saying.  The UK also has unpredictable weather, and significant motorway congestion (although if you’re prepared to pay the M6 Toll, that’s money well spent).  The food may be surprisingly good.  

2.  Choice of travelling companion
You could take your children with you.  If they are little, they can be left with carers now and again while you pop to the pub/spa/tennis court/etc.  If they are aged 16-19, they will make your life a misery, because they would rather be anywhere on the planet than with you, their doting parent.  However, leaving them at home is not without risk.  Fundamentally, would you rather have a stress free holiday and a hideous return to the rubble which used to be your home, or suffer through the holiday, knowing that your lovely carpets are likely to remain beer-free?  The choice is yours.  

3.  Choice of accommodation
Hotel.   Yeah right, I haven’t got that much money either.  In the real world….
Self catering cottage.  Here I admit my bias, I like these.  They can be horrible earwig infested damp hovels (that was a lovely honeymoon), or they can be beautiful gems.  It’s all part of the holiday decision.
Caravan.  I stayed in several static caravans as a child.  Over my dead body do I do that again.
Tent.  See caravan, with an added Outward Bound Course.   I would be prepared to consider a tent if I was walking somewhere wild.  Preferably with a friendly type who knows what they are doing.  But only for a night or two.  Heck, if ever I walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path I might be persuaded that a tent is the best way.  Maybe.

4.  Type of holiday
Activity.  Good fun provided you have plenty of spare clothes, and somewhere warm and dry to stay.
Sightseeing.  Fine if you’ve done the research.  If not, you will end up with a mass of leaflets, drowning helplessly in a mass of information, until the important question actually becomes “where can I get lunch?”
Relaxing.  I fancied one of these this year, tried not doing the research so as to avoid falling into Sightseeing, but was unable to unwind, so ended up doing belated research instead.  Relaxing relies on all the family being happy in this mode.  

5.  Choice of length
If you only book one week, you’ll have a great time and wish you’d booked two.  
If you book two weeks, you will find yourself in a hellhole and be begging to come home after four days. 

So there you have it.  There is no such thing as a stress free holiday, the secret is to find the combination which presents minimal stress to you and those you love.  

Happy Camping!  

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3 responses to “Handy Guide to Hell Free Holidays

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