Like a real, live one. Guide books with folded corners, free hotel toiletries, and getting lost in new cities.
As an expat family we have been lucky enough to travel regularly. Over the last four years we have lived in Dubai and Al Khobar, headed back “home” to visit friends and family all around the UK and we have always gone to Bahrain to visit my parents. Not bad going!
We are pros at travelling with the children now. What to pack, when to arrive, how to keep them entertained, how not to break down in tears when you crash the hire car then somehow manage to make check in only to find your husband has been taken off the flight list and you must fly solo (again) with two small children (actually happened).
But we haven’t been on a holiday since Arthur was born. Living away from family means we need to see them during holidays and trying to save money means not spending more on travel than on those family visits.
Now though, vacation envy has really hit and I want to explore and sightsee again. Before having the children, we loved travelling. The moving-to-new-places satisfied itchy feet for a while but it definitely feels like time to pick up and go.
Plan: drive from Al Khobar to Muscat, via Al Ahsa, Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, Hatta, along the Oman coast and then back on the mountain road to Al Ain and on home.
I am ridiculously excited and we have booked some amazing places to stay on the way. Each place has a balcony or terrace space so that once Arthur and Eirlys go to sleep, Tom and I can enjoy some grown-up time too. This is key in maintaining the “holiday” feeling. Less like a military camp run by tiny, sadistic, toddler generals, with a strict 6pm curfew as well as the 6am wake up calls!
So, we now have one week to read the guide book, pack the car and plan the holiday clothes (any excuse).