Any holiday time is hard work, no matter what your kids ages. When ours were younger (all 5 of them) we spent days on the beach, in the woods, at relatives, in the park, but then they all started to get older and needing higher levels of entertainment and this unfortunatly costs money.
A few rides at the fair ground on the beach, large appetites that need feeding, ice creams, replacement hats, sun cream, buckets and spades, money for the arcade...it goes on and on.
I don't recall what age my children were when things stopped being free, when an easter egg hunt was eggciting (sorry couldn't resist) and junk modelling lost it's appeal.
But things turn round if you find the right place to go on holiday, if you stop thinking about what you as an adult want for a holiday, as these are the ones that usually cost the most money in regards to entertaining the kids and plan a holiday for the kids, around the kids and then I can guarantee that you as a parent will get to relax.
So here's what we did for 5 nights over the Easter weekend.
Booked a campsite, we only need a roof over our heads for sleeping.
Yes, we are lucky here, it doesn't rain at this time of the year, it's warm during the night and hot in the day.
This is the second time we've used Forever Resorts and will continue to use them everytime. Plenty of washing facilities, clean and tidy. Reasonably priced shops and restaurants. Clean pools, spas, changing facilities and lots of free activites. Tubes, slides, hot baths, wave machines.
The additonal activites zip wires, go karts were at a very good price and were worth the money for the time you spent on them.
Made sure there were enough sockets for kids to charge Blackberries and laptops for watching DVDs on. There is no point going away with teens and telling them they can't have them. Why would you want to be away with teens that think they are old enough to stay at home without you and then ban them access to their world and put up with endless strops? Why would you want to do that to yourself?
So what was there for the adults? Bars (Beer, Southern Comfort & Lemonade R30, less than £3) loads of open space to set up towels and deckchairs, 12 hours of day light to sit, read and sunbathe. Occupied and happy teens. Restaurants with TV's to watch the sports. Camp attendents to assist with putting up the tents and for R20 will do your washing up (bit lazy, not for me).
Peace and quiet and money left in your wallet at the end of the stay, some campsite made bunting and no worries about what to wear.
Fuel R 700 4x4
Campsite R2300 High season
Food R 600 Meat for Braai,salad, bread, pasta Sundries R 600 go Karts, ice creams, drinks
Total holiday cost R4200 (£340)
*This blog post has not been sponsored, I've just been so impressed, I thought they deserved a plug.