We've been lucky enough to take our 2.5 year old abroad on holiday a lot since he was born and this year we have had two holidays in the space of four weeks (it wasn't planned that way, honestly).
We have chosen our holidays slightly differently since being parents, we look for somewhere that he is accommodated as far as high chairs, cots and knowing the restaurants don't mind Lightening McQueen joining us. A far cry from a deserted beach, cocktails and a few books.
We haven't yet booked a hotel that is ' kidtastic' although a recent trip to Lanzarote did have a kids pool, club and disco. We obviously spent a lot of time around the pool, maybe an hour supervised in the Kids Club when the sun got a bit hot and a few evenings at the kids disco. But that was it. We spent 10 days as a family.
Our son goes to nursery a few days a week, so he's happy in that environment but as a family we like to spend time with each other and are happy to have him with us all day and night on holiday.
We are lucky that he sleeps for two hours in the day on holiday so mummy and daddy can still have a little drink and catch some rays. So I believe that at this point in our journey we get the best of both worlds.
When we went away last week it was with my sister and our kids whom love each other like siblings and are happy to play together. We were at a gorgeous hotel from a chain that caters for both the grown up and the child.
My niece chooses not to go in to Kids Club saying 'holidays are family times'. She is a sociable girl and is happy to make friends pool side. Part of me thinks she would have more fun if she did go to the club on offer but she chooses not to and that's fine.
The two-year-old could have gone in to nursery as he still isn't old enough for the fun club but then he wouldn't have had that time with his aunty and cousin and when would he have got the chance to learn to swim and for us to witness it.
For me, holidays are for creating memories and I worry that once he goes to the Kids Club he will want to do that every time. I'm not ready for that. Yet.
He did love the kids disco and I did get great pleasure from watching him dance to those crazy holiday club tunes and make a new friend. Since being home he is continually asking for the Disco!
I can understand why parents pop their kids in to a club, everyone needs a break. I am lucky that when we are away with Daddy he takes the little man off, to give me an hour and when we were away last week we all entertained each other. If we were a big adventure seeking family and wanted to go off sightseeing then I see why a child would rather go to kids club but we have inflatables and water pistols that create the fun, so we certainly don't expect him to entertain himself.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against kids club and I can totally understand that an environment where they are entertained by professionals and have fun is perfect for them and the parents.
I have heard kids come out of the Kids Club raving about what a great time they have had, with their new friends and that's great. I see mums with the perfect tan and a half read book, I didn't even turn a page.
I don't remember being put in to kids club when I was little but we always went away with another family so all the kids played together.
Right now almost three years in I can't imagine going on holiday and then popping him in to a club, he may have well stayed at home, gone to nursery, had grandma collect him and have him sleep in his own bed. Plus it would have saved us some money!
I think my husband's week home alone was more of a holiday but I wouldn't have changed it. That said, I have come back from 17 days abroad with my son desperate for a little bit of me time, so tomorrow I'm off to a grown up club called a spa for 24 hours.
Photo; Authors Own.