Packing the kitchen sink
Packing the kitchen sink
Scott Dunlop
Holidays are much more fun if you prepare. This past weekend I decided to go away for a couple of nights- it’s that time of year when it feels like your body and mind start begging for a break- so spontaneous holiday cottage time it was. Just two nights away, but it reminded me of the elaborate holidays my parents used to organise every year, and it helped me appreciate the effort that goes into taking your family on holiday.

Perhaps it’s those childhood summer holidays which condition us to need a break. In the UK where I grew up, we’d head for the seaside. It was a novelty and a treat to swim in the waves and dig holes in the gravel which passed for sand. We’d stay in old cottages with dodgy nautical-themed prints on the walls and gloomy kitchens which always seemed to have orange linoleum, orange curtains and orange Tupperware. Our beach towels would be hung up to dry and sand would be everywhere. Mealtimes would mostly consist of bread and cheese, bread and cold meat, bread and…

Some South Africans seem to be even more intricate in their holiday plans: A long trip from inland to the sea can take hours, if not days. Everything is taken along, from braai tongs and television sets to sporting equipment. Trailer-loads of stuff.

But here I am in Cape Town, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. If we do go away, it’s usually for a quick weekender, not a huge family holiday. It’s exciting to pack cases and bags and go on a travel adventure, but it can also be quite stressful (and expensive). We don’t really need to escape to the sea- it’s fifteen minutes away.

There are people who adore the bush, and crave the space of game reserves and those who make an annual pilgrimage to a seaside town. Some choose to go to other countries and others are happiest in a tent in a field somewhere.

But these two nights away on the weekend have kindled that desire to have a wild road trip with my kids again. Even if they’re bickering (half-murdering each other) on the back seat after half an hour’s drive. So that one day, when they’re all grown up and perhaps have children of their own, they’ll remember the holidays as a special time, a time of exploration and possibility.

How about you? Are you about to load up two tons of holiday stuff and drive across the country, or will you just chill at home? Maybe you aren’t even getting a holiday, in which case I apologise for rubbing it in. I’d invite you to stay with us in the Cape, but our house is always full!

Whatever you choose to do this holiday season, I hope you all travel safely and have a wonderful time. Don’t forget to send us your pictures!

What’s your ideal family holiday? Tell us about it and you could win a R250 voucher! Email us:

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