Ferry or Flight – Which is Easier When Travelling With Kids?

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For five years in a row, we took the ferry to France, then last year, for the first time since having kids, we braved getting on a plane, and we did it again this year. Throughout the journey, I couldn't help comparing flight and ferry in my head, so in case you've only done one ...

It’s Like Riding a Bike

Marina di Venezia lighthouse cycle - Office Mum

If I’d married someone just like me, we’d have gone on holidays to Italy (we did), to a campsite (we did), to drink Prosecco on the deck every night (we did). But being married to that person just like me would have meant quite a different holiday for the kids - no scary slides, no scuba ...

Family holiday in Italy: Review of Campsite Marina di Venezia

Marina di Venezia pool - office mum

Sitting on the deck at half past midnight, I can hear Killing Me Softly wafting across the campsite, to the background sound of waves washing up on the sand. I’m finishing a glass of red wine and thinking about closing my book. The candle flickers in the darkness, and I don’t want to blow it ...

Love at first sight

Marina di Venezia - Office Mum

The voice in my ear gives me the go ahead – I’ve completed my self-imposed time running on roads and forest paths, now Runkeeper says I can go onto the beach. I turn and run towards the gate. “Buongiorno,” says the security guard. “Buongiorno,” I reply, in my Irish accent. I keep my Italian accent for ...

Into The West – Review of The Connacht Hotel & What to do With One Day in Galway

Arrival at the Connacht

Eight years ago, I went along to the Saturday Night Show in RTÉ, and came away with a one-for-everybody-in-the-audience night in a hotel. So we duly booked our night, and headed off to Clane with our then seven-month-old. We weren't quite sure how staying in hotels with babies worked, but everyone else seemed to do ...

Family Holiday in Italy: Review of campsite Norcenni Girasole

Pool - Office Mum

Two things we didn't consider when we booked our holiday this year: 1. Italy can be very hot in July (subsequent raised eyebrows and "Italy in July? With small kids? Really?" comments did hammer this home) 2. Our campsite, Norcenni Girasole, is inland - way inland - sitting prettily in the hills of Tuscany but nowhere near even a ...

The 80-20 Rule of Holidays

sam in pool

Our holiday was 80% amazing, and 20% hot-sticky-cross-cranky. Or at specific moments, 80% hot-sticky-cross-cranky and 20% I’m a parent, get me out of here. There’s the stuff that can happen on any holiday – even before kids, or when they’re older and a trip away (presumably) becomes a relaxing event. Like when a dying wasp leaves its ...

Three campsites in France: comparison and review

Beach in Carnac

Recently, I asked my seven-year-old if she remembered Sequoia Parc, the campsite we stayed in, two years ago in France. "Of course I do - it had a dragon pirate ship thing beside the pool," she said. "No," I said, "That was Clarys Plage, last year." She was sure I was wrong. I was sure I was right. ...

Same place, different century

Office Mum: beach St Jean de Monts

Twenty-six years ago, my parents took the ferry to France and made their way down to St Jean de Monts, with four of us rattling around in the back-seat. The roof-rack that held our suitcases was covered in water-proof tarpaulin, secured with rope. My parents found their way by following a big, unwieldy map; cracked in ...