When I was younger, I'd love nothing more than the feeling I got when my mum told me that we were about to book a holiday. It didn't matter whether we were taking a flight to Newquay or the States; I just loved the excitement of packing my bags and knowing that I'd soon be in an airport.
Fast-forward a few years and I'm a parent, but my views on the airport couldn't be much more different. Now, the thought of visiting an airport with my kids is enough to make me want to grab the nearest (and strongest) stress-relief tablets I can find - and that's before I've even chosen the suitcase we're gonna squeeze our stuff into despite knowing it's too small for a family of four.
One of the things I hate most about holidaying with kids is the airport faff. There's nothing more stress-inducing than kids who are amused when they pack their shampoos in with their hand luggage and forget to take it out at security, or wanting to grab every shiny object that is ridiculously overpriced in duty-free that they'd never be interested in in a normal shop.
Having said that, I can't complain because my local airport has been voted one of the best for amenities.
Research by flightdelays.co.uk found that Manchester airport was the most airport that had the second-best amenities, but there's still not much to do for kids. The odd play area in Terminal 2 is the only thing that can keep my kids entertained and as you can imagine, they feel disheartened when we arrive and there's nothing to waste their three-hour wait on. (Except my phone or one of these fidget spinners that everyone suddenly seems to have!)
Despite my moaning, I still believe that giving kids the opportunity to travel is one of the most valuable things you can provide them with.
I've always noticed that after returning from a holiday, my kids are always more grateful and enriched by what they've experienced. They love nothing more than running back into school to tell their friends about the hair braids they got - even if it did cost me a fortune and a few hours to get them done.
Travelling with kids is key to their development and growth as they turn into adults.
Instead of having my kids read about the Niagara Falls in a book, I want them to see it with their own eyes. I want them to visit the countries in the world where children are much poorer than themselves, in the hopes that it will inspire them to always help others.
I'm always one for expressing my sadness about how our kids are growing up too quickly, but I'm clinging onto the hopes that putting up with my airport hatred and allowing them to travel whilst they're young will make them better, more accepting and open-minded adults.