We have a group of friends we try to go on holiday with every year. There are four families between us, and this year we totalled 16 – that’s 8 adults and 8 children – so we needed a UK holiday cottage with plenty of bedrooms and lots of space. As we were only going away for a weekend break, we also wanted to keep driving to a minimum. Plus, the total cost needed to be within everybody’s budget.
<img class="alignnone wp-image-1199" src="https://i0.wp look at these guys.com/therewegoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_6681.jpg?resize=800%2C532″ alt=”The Hollies South Kilworth holiday rental” srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/therewegoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_6681.jpg?resize=1024%2C681 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/therewegoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_6681.jpg?resize=300%2C199 300w, https://i0.wp.com/therewegoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_6681.jpg?resize=768%2C511 768w, https://i0.wp.com/therewegoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_6681.jpg?w=1600 1600w, https://i0.wp.com/therewegoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC_6681.jpg?w=2400 2400w” sizes=”(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />
After a pretty lengthy email exchange between all parties, we settled on a pretty Georgian farmhouse about an hour’s drive away in a little village called South Kilworth in Leicestershire. It looked great on the website, but turned out to be even nicer when we actually got there, with 6 ginormous bedrooms spread over 3 floors and some pretty gorgeous interiors (a soak in the ‘funny bath’ was one of the kids’ highlights).
The outdoor space was fantastic, too, and thanks to some sunshine we were able to let the kids play outdoors for lots of the time. We went geocaching on the Saturday morning (more on that in another post) – it’s not something I’ve done before and I wasn’t sure if the 3-year-old would be particularly interested, but all the kids loved searching for ‘treasure’ along the canal and we’ll definitely be doing it again.
We had a barbecue on Saturday night, followed by a big fry-up on Sunday morning before we set off home at lunchtime carrying a good few stone in extra weight between us, and we’re already thinking about the next break. There’s something really lovely about going away as a group – it’s really nice having the company of friends in the evenings, and the kids entertain each other to a large degree. It’s fair to say the next property we stay at will have a lot to live up to. We may even have to revisit this place again…
9 tips for going away as a group with children
- Look for a property with extra rooms in the form of bathrooms and en suites.
They can be used as bedrooms for little ones in travel cots providing the space is big enough – The Girl ended up in our en suite and slept fine. This opens up lots of properties you might not even consider if you filter purely by the number of bedrooms you need.
- Research places of interest along the route.
Many properties don’t allow you to check in until 3pm or 4pm, so a stop-off on the way will break up the journey and mean you don’t lose a day of your holiday waiting to be allowed in.
- Book a Click and Collect order to be delivered to the holiday cottage.
It’ll save you having to go out to a supermarket en masse, and the list can be managed by multiple people as long as everyone has the login details.
- Consider taking basics like sugar, marmite and tea from home to save on costs.
It’s a good idea to divvy these up between families depending on what people already have in their cupboards.
- Take plastic plates, bowls and cups unless it’s clear they have some.
Most places charge for breakage so it’ll be a weight off your mind.
- Pack a few essentials just in case.
Things like a bin bag, a couple of dishwasher tablets and a tea towel per family – these are often in short supply at rental properties.
- Check if there’s a washing machine.
If you’re going for longer than a weekend and there are lots of kids, that might be a deal-breaker for your party. If there is one, pack a few washing tablets. Even if there isn’t, you could wash the odd bit by hand if you’re desperate – bring a few pegs to hang them somewhere to dry.
- Check how baby-friendly it is.
You can ask if there are things like travel cots, stair gates and high chairs at the property or if you need to take your own. For travel cots, you’ll usually need to pack your own linen.
- Ask about checking out slightly later.
It may be possible to leave an hour or two later than the advertised departure time if you speak to the owner. This will depend on whether there’s another booking after you, and there might be an extra cost involved. Either way, it’s always worth asking – packing up when there are loads of kids involved usually takes twice as long as you think.