‘Please don’t destroy the holiday cottage!!’

Holidaying with boys!

In my case one big one and two little ones and I am always going to be outnumbered! I always remember reading an article written by a lady who had 3 small boys and comparing her children to dogs with the constant exercising that is required – I now fully understand what she meant!

Our cottage holidays since having boys have certainly changed and here is a survival guide for all parents (of boys and girls!).

Packing for a cottage holiday

Since having the boys the amount of luggage and time for packing has greatly increased. However we are well past the baby stage so they are now more like mini adults. So as long as we remember snugglers and favourite blankets we’re doing ok. We use to take bags of toys but these are no longer required and most family orientated holiday cottages have a good supply.


Teddies to pack on holiday
Don’t forget the snugglers!


The car journey to the holiday cottage

We can travel for a good 5 hours for our holiday cottage in Northumberland and if we’re attempting Cornwall that figure could double! Planning for the car journey is like a military operation. Firstly, ensure that the CD players are in full working order and the DVDs are in the cases! Why am I the only person in the house capable of putting DVDs away?! Then I like to get the boys a new sticker book or magazine for the journey.

The most important thing though is the picnic. There is nothing like a long car journey to make you feel starved. My boys will start asking for food when we reach the end of the road! I try to have a good mixture of healthy and treats to keep everyone happy. Often my husband and I will try having a secret stash of sweets in the front of the car but my eldest has such a strong sense of smell that he always sniffs them out!


Picnic on a cottage holiday
Is this picnic big enough?














I try and find a village off of the motorway by lunchtime so we can all get out and the boys can have a run around. If we’re lucky we find a nice village park to stop at.

‘Are we nearly there yet?’

Once you’ve successfully located the holiday cottage which isn’t always easy when they are hiding along country tracks or I’m not reading the directions correctly. The boys are so excited by this point and have been asking every 5 minutes how much further it is. If it’s still another 3 hours a little bending of the truth is required. However we can begin to get caught out on this now that both boys can read the clock in the car!

It’s always so exciting to get the holiday cottage key and have that first look around. My boys bound in and have run around the house in a flash messing up the pristine beds as they go. We always have to have the ‘please do not destroy the holiday cottage’ chat. I’m quickly going from room to room removing all of the vases and ornaments and placing them well out of reach. I’m not sure why owners leave these out when they know that small people are coming!

Then they need to choose bedrooms and beds and start rearranging them to get them exactly how they like them.

Next is locating the cupboard with the board games and toys. There is always something exciting in there and one year a game called Stratego was discovered which they played the whole week.

Day 1 in the cottage

On the first morning the boys get up as normal and veg in front of the TV. This can sometimes be a big disappoint when they find that there is no Sky or Netflix. I remember my little one being distraught because he couldn’t pause the TV whilst eating his breakfast! As for there being no WIFI – shock horror – yes this is still possible in a holiday cottage. However if Lavender Street are finding you a holiday cottage we’ll ensure that doesn’t happen!!

It’s picnic time again!

Days out start a lot earlier with kids as they become active from the minute they wake up and being contained in a holiday cottage does not work. Especially if the boys are in the mood to wrestle each other! We now tend to try and get up and get out. This is somewhat slowed down by the size of the picnic that is required. It does take quite a while prepping all of those sandwiches. It’s quite nice to have a day where you have sausage rolls or cheese scones which require less effort. Or a nice village bakery close to the cottage and choose your own sandwich fillings.

We can’t leave the house before we’ve decided how many layers are required, if we need full waterproofs and then add in scarves and gloves for that winter holiday cottage break. We always get out for the day and find we have forgotten something but it’s usually my gloves rather than the kids!


Time for walkies

As the boys have got older we are doing more and more walks and every year the length of walk is increasing which is great. There is nothing better to do with the boys than get out in to the fresh air and explore the countryside and feel good at the end of the day that you have covered so many miles. If they find a stick and a stream that is a good day! My boys are obsessed with building dams in rivers so lots of spare clothes are required.


photo of boys building a dam
Another stream, another dam!


Play park time

I find it invaluable to find the nearest play park to your holiday cottage. We check out the local villages to our holiday cottage and have found some real gems in the past. If your day out has ended a bit early you can pop to the park before returning to the holiday cottage and however tiring your day out has been the boys will find energy to run around and play. It gives you a nice chance to sit and rest with the paper and a flask of tea!

Hanging upside down at the park
Where do they get the energy from?!


Eating dinner past 5pm!

The evenings are also getting more exciting and we don’t have to rush back to the cottage for 5pm to get the dinner on the table. The boys are now more civilised and good company in a local pub or restaurant. I always go armed with paper and sticker books but they are not always required. We find Indian restaurants are good as there is a constant supply of food with popadoms being produced not long after you arrive.

So all in all holidays with boys is very different but I wouldn’t change it for the world – surely lie-ins are over-rated?!

Let Lavender Street help you look after all of your family’s needs and find you the perfect holiday cottage. https://lavender-street.co.uk/

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