October half-term – not going on holiday

I don’t mind admitting that we gave our eldest financial incentives (or bribes if you prefer) to do well in his GCSEs. The incentives were attainable, but they did require some hard work to get them. In addition to the financial incentives we also offered a massive carrot in the form of choosing a holiday for October half-term for the very highest grades. Again, they were attainable, but we all knew he had to work very hard to get them.

He chose Lisbon. And if he didn’t get the grades, we could all go to Center Parcs.

As it happened, although his grades were good enough to get him to his new grammar school for 6th form, they were nowhere near good enough for the holiday.

Which left us with a dilemma. To go or not to go? And if we went, where would we go to?

I was clear we shouldn’t go to Lisbon, otherwise where would be the incentive to work hard in future? But the holiday wasn’t just for him, it was for all of us, so we needed to go somewhere. I still remember October half-term two years ago when it felt like literally the whole world was on holiday apart from us. And I’ll admit I hated it. We swore that was never going to happen again, so last year we went to Rome and had a lovely time.

Where to this year? Paris? Amsterdam? Edinburgh?

But I thought we were going to Center Parcs?

It turns out we were never going to Center Parcs. That was just an idea my daughter had, but she wanted it and believed in it so much that she had herself and me convinced that we really would go if we didn’t go to Lisbon. But my husband just saw the huge potential for arguments as teenagers refused to agree over what we were going to do.

And we looked at the prices for Paris and Amsterdam. We googled the best cities for a bargain European break. And we multiplied the flights by five and added on the cost of two hotel rooms (because we all know a family of five will never fit into one room) and the holiday started to look rather expensive. Too expensive.

Surely we could go to Edinburgh? Or London?

My husband’s main objection to Edinburgh is that it’s too cold. I kind of see his point, but we don’t just go on holiday to be warm (although that’s a definite bonus), we go for a break from real life.

So unfortunately we’ve reached the conclusion that we’re not going on holiday this October half-term, which I feel quite sad about. I understand that it’s sensible financially (maybe this will mean the dreaded ensuite bathroom can get done in the spring), but I really would have liked the break and the change of scene. Instead it’s going to be another one of those half-terms when we realise all of our real-life friends are away and I can’t look at social media for fear of catching yet another exotic holiday location (or even a windy Welsh beach).

Colosseum, Rome, Holiday, Rome success

We won’t be seeing views like this at half-term



Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Ahh that’s a shame, not that you’re not going but that you’re disappointed. We’re not going away either, mainly due to my husband being on crutches but I’m looking forward to just having some time at home with the girls. Our October half term was disastrous last year as my eldest was so ill, so if we can stay well I’ll be happy! I hope you manage to have a good week anyway, whatever you decide to do.

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    • Thanks very much! Fingers crossed it’s a better half-term for you this year. I find if we don’t go away I will just be working, the boys will get up too late and my daughter will be bored. We will have no structure and nobody will enjoy themselves! That’s the reality of life with big kids, which is why I’d like to take them somewhere else for a few days, but I guess we’ll just all do our own thing at home.

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  2. We are on a cheap long weekend away this half term. We did one of the Sun Holidays for £9.50 (which was actually just over a hundred pounds but anyway…) It’s self catering and we plan to actually self cater this time, after massively overspending in Spain. By the Monday evening we will be back in sunny Gloucestershire. xx

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    • Just over £100 is very good! Hope you had a good time. We always self-cater anyway (apart from the rare times we go abroad).

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  3. We aren’t going away either. We are trying to save for a holiday next year, but I think the kids are glad to be having a rest this week, to be honest. It’s been a bit hectic recently. x

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    • Sometimes a rest is a good thing and it’s nice to save for a really good holiday! x

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  4. Yes we are exactly the same, apart from a quick trip to Wales, we are homebound, it is so expensive to go anywhere and with Christmas looming, we did talk about it and then decided it was too much. I was looking at February half term instead and then we realised that my husband has a different half term to the kids, so back to the drawing board.

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    • It’s always a tough decision to make, but I think we’ve probably made the right one, even though it wasn’t the one I wanted to make! We talked about February half-term too, but we nearly always have someone ill in February half-term, so we rejected that! It’s annoying that the kids and your husband don’t have the same holidays, it’s the same for my BIL and their kids.

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  5. I remember THAT half term too when everybody (apart from me and you) were away. I think that the October half term seems to be getting more popular with people being away. Sorry that you are disappointed, and I think Edinburgh would have been a great choice for you. We went in the summer and loved it. We managed 1 night away at the weekend which was mainly as I wanted to keep myself busy as the teen was in Iceland, though it was for husband’s birthday treat too x

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    • The October half-term is definitely getting more popular for people going away! Although strangely I haven’t noticed so many photos this year and actually I’ve been so busy with work that I’ve missed being on holiday less than I thought I would!
      Hope the teen had a fab time in Iceland. x

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