Friday, 1 April 2016

When did holidays become all about spending money to entertain the children?

Like everywhere else in the world there are things to do with your kids and you'll know that just like being at home these things cost money. Dubai is no exception, while it does things bigger and better it also does things at a higher price.

Just like anywhere else in the world where you live there are things on offer that are just too expensive to factor into weekly activities. Not all expat kids and families spend their weekends skiing, at sporting events or having weekly brunches. Most kids do after school clubs, play for local football teams, do ballet or gym or dance classes, go to brownies and cubs, just like you'd do with your kids back at home on a weekly basis.

Family days out back home in the UK usually included a picnic, visit to the local park or soft play. Bigger trips such as visits to Safari and Theme parks were reserved for holidays and special occasions, just as they are here, now.

In Dubai you can take your kids skiing, visit a water park, can go to Adventure HQ to go climbing, spend the day at Kidzania or go trampolining at Jump Box. Go bowling, visit the aquarium, go to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, the zoo, Dubai Dolphinarium and swim with dolphins, ride a banana boat and various other water activities on the beach.

I've seen lots of blog posts recently about 'Things to do in Dubai with children' All well and good, but without a bottomless wallet, most are out of people's price range, you may find that depending on where you stay some things are included in the price of the hotel, for example free entry to water parks and beach access. However, there are many other things available to do that aren't included in the price such as 10 minutes on a banana boat at the cost of AED100 which at the current exchange rate is £19.

I have no idea what happened to just being on holiday at the beach, being good enough for a family holiday, with a bucket and spade, going for walks, wandering around local malls, having picnics in the car park in the rain. My kids haven't suffered for being dragged around historical sites, visiting museums when it's been too hot or too cold and wet to be outside. Yes they moaned at the time, but we'd factor in a day on the beach, one or two treats, if they behaved such as boat trips or tree top adventures and a day in a water park.

My kids now look back on the holidays as adults now with wonderful memories 'do you remember our bus trip to Tunis, the mud baths, the beach with the turtles, the cathedral in France, the day is rained none stop and we still went on the beach and climbed the sand dunes?' They also talk about the less exotic holidays, camping at Bream sands in the rain, the donkey rides on the beach, the picnics eaten in the car in the rain, the day the car broke down and we had to wait 5 hours for a tow on the side of the M5. The lights at Blackpool, taking advantage of a family English Heritage membership and only going places with free entry and being told firmly at the beginning of the day there was no money for the gift shops, but they could have an ice cream. Of course there was always something one of them wanted and a strop would ensue but we stood our ground and the matter would soon be forgotten, when we got home.

Everybody these days seems to think that if they don't spend a fortune making sure their children are occupied every single minute of the day, especially on holiday that their children will be bored or heaven forbid, upset and feel hard done by. Nearly every child I see these days is walking around with some kind of electronic device, they own phones, tabs and laptops, loaded with apps, downloaded films and TV shows, 3G internet access so they can keep themselves entertained every single second, of every single day. They bring all this on holiday with them, then the parents spend a fortune on top of this to entertain them.

I just don't get it.

12 comments:

  1. I'm totally with you! We don't spend much on the kids in the school holidays and only slightly more when we go on holiday. My eldest in particular is always asking why we don't do 'cool' stuff that he sees some of his friends do, but I remind him that when you multiply the cost of anything by three or five it gets extremely expensive! I tell him when he's grown up and earning his own money, he can decide to do the 'cool' stuff then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep, same response in this house also

      Delete
  2. I don't get it here either! My daughters were always happy to walk in the forest, go to the park or play hide and seek. On holiday there would be a couple of organised excursions as well as many days at the beach. They seem to have survived the experience and are perfectly happy. Great post Suzanne x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's the parents, not the kids i think these days

      Delete
  3. People make their own priorities and I can understand kids being high on the list. However, they need to be taught responsibility and gratefulness and appreciation--they have parents because they don't know these things!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We used to have family holidays visiting family friends and staying with them - sometimes we had beach trips and even a trip to Blackpool and to Edinburgh - but mostly it was riding our bikes in a different street, or learning how to walk along country roads. And you know what - we had a fab time :) thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yep so did we, i see so many blog posts now about people reducing screen time on holidays, easy, just don't take screens with you

      Delete
  5. Time has changed things so much. I used to keep myself entertained with a pen and paper - always writing! Now I fear these days kids will only type and handwriting will suffer as will spelling with autocorrect! It's the same with entertainment, there is so much more available for kids these days and all of them seem to want all of it! I think it's just the day and age we live in. Thanks for linking up to #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again on Tuesday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is sadly the day and age we live in, but not the one most parents lived in (like myself) i don't see why everyone feels their kids are missing out if they don't have the latest technology

      Delete
  6. I hate the way the times have changed. When we go out, Ben has a handful of toys and all traditional kinds of toys. No ipad, no phones. the only phones he sees is when we take a picture of him and occasionally i show him the camera facing him as he's a poser and loves to look at his reflection.
    We often go to London and go to places like Hamleys where Ben looks at all the toys and perhaps brings something back but thats because I have an obsession with teddies and LOVE piling them up in his room hahaha!
    I like to think he is easy going and getting an upbringing that is the kind we had when we were little...
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. Hope to see you back tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my kids had far too many teddies, if that is possible, i grew up without technology and my kids half and half, but i think we got the balance right

      Delete

ShareThis