The Palazzo Versace Hotel and my kid's names will never appear in the same sentence let alone my lifetime so this hotel is ruled out. It ultimately all comes down to money and once the budget has been decided, that's what I stick to. Seven nights on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, depending on the season, will cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for accommodation. I'm not sure what it costs when booking from interstate or overseas because agents might be able to get deals cheaper with air fares etc.
|Daughter aged 4 at Sunshine Coast Caravan Park playground|
As the kids are growing, so are our requirements for facilities. When we started out, all we probably needed was a bath tub and being close-ish to water. Now, being aged 7 and 5, as long as we are close to water and the accommodation has a DVD player, that's all we need. With my son being so inquisitive and adventurous, we tend to stay away from high rise accommodation. That's one extra thing I don't need to worry about. If the accommodation has a playground or is near a park, that's a bonus too.
3. Recreational Activities
Vacations are all about fun parks, zoos and other attractions that are usually in abundance in holiday locations. We don't live all that far from the big attractions like Dreamworld, Movieworld and Seaworld so there's no real need to holiday near them. The Sunshine Coast doesn't have too many but does have Australia Zoo and Underwater World so the option is there to visit these places. When you're only staying for five nights and all the kids like to do is play in the water, we might be able to avoid this extra expense. As they get older, I'm sure we'll have to factor visits to these places into our budget.
I always like to make sure that we're going to be comfortable while we're away but it never has to be flash, as above. As long as there are 2 bedrooms, a self catering kitchen, dining area, bathroom and a TV/DVD player, that's all we need. When the kids were younger, we always tried to get a place with a bath but we'd make do with the kitchen sink or a laundry tub. Having linen supplied is something else that needs to be considered as a lot of accommodation places don't supply it. That's one thing I don't need to be lugging along in the car. I'm usually packed to the brim as it is.
"Are we there yet?" How many times have you heard that when you set off on a vacation, driving or flying? Any longer than two hours is more than enough so I like to keep the distance we travel within those limits. Santa is bringing the kids a little in-car DVD player so we should be okay to venture past this distance next year but then again, maybe not. They are usually so excited to be going away, I just can't wait to get there and get them out of my hair.
So these are a couple things that I factor into the decision making process when we decide on holiday accommodation. We don't usually holiday in winter and there's no snow near us so it'll probably be beach holidays for us for a while yet. I don't mind. I'm reliving my childhood memories through my kids.
Are you going away anywhere this Christmas season?