Real mums' family holiday ideas (for any budget)

12:0AM, Jul 3rd 2013

Stuck for time, money or ideas? Real mums to share some of their holiday success stories

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Holidays with your family are supposed to be fun, and they are often the source of our fondest childhood memories, but what if you're stuck for time, money or ideas? We asked some real mums to share some of their vacation success stories...

Heading back to nature with two in tow, by Renee Murdon
“Our family loves nothing more than escaping the rat race and relaxing at my favourite place in the world, Wilsons Promontory National Park,
or The Prom, as it’s also known. It’s the perfect place to be at one with nature, where you can take in the fresh air and peace and quiet.

We make the four-hour drive from our home to this beautiful place once a year. As soon as we arrive we set up camp while my son Nate, 22 months, amuses himself in the dirt and sand – but our daughter Tahlia, four months, is more interested in food by this point!

We spend the weekend at the beach, hiking, watching the rosellas or just relaxing. At night I love just lying back on a rug and spotting stars in the clear skies.

This place means a lot to me as l went there often as a kid and can now share this beautiful, untouched place with my own children and husband. Our extended family often come along too, so it gives us a chance to catch up with everyone we love at least one weekend a year. We have more friends joining us each trip. I certainly look forward to our trips to The Prom, no matter what the weather brings. We might see you there one time!”

Heading OS with a baby, by Viv McIntosh
“My husband and I badly needed a holiday. I was nursing a broken arm and my husband wanted to scuba dive, which meant we needed some help and entertainment for our 17-month-old son, Jack.

Avid backpackers in our pre-children years, we baulked at going to fancy resorts. We settled on Vanuatu as it seemed to satisfy all our needs for a tropical escape – with a toddler in tow.

We island-hopped and stayed in a variety of places, including a Robinson Crusoe-like island called Hideaway, and enjoyed some exciting activities while we were there. We trekked to waterfalls, sat on the rim of an active volcano, visited local villages, scuba dived and snorkelled.

When it came to packing for Jack, we kept things simple and only took his special milk formula (because of his allergies) with us, deciding to buy nappies and toys when we arrived. When we wanted some time out for dinner we arranged babysitters for Jack through the hotel. The locals were wonderful with kids and Jack had heaps of attention. All in all it was $7000 well spent!”

Queensland on less than $25 per day, by Melissa Walters
“We had recently bought a caravan, so we decided to go camping. It was one of the best holidays I’ve had for a while, even though our nine-month-old tried to escape all the time! The expressions on her face when she saw all the new sights and sounds were priceless.

We spent the days playing in the sand at the beach and at a local park playing on the swings. But the most memorable thing for me was bath time at night. Erin loved sitting on the floor of the annexe having her bath in a bucket. And our lovely family holiday cost $150 for six days!

Low-key family fun with toddlers, by Kelly Jones
“My partner and I decided that we’d go away for a nice holiday, as it was our first one since our two-year-old was born. So we made the trip up to Fingal Bay, just outside Port Stephens. It was fantastic!

We stayed at a nice unit, located right across from the beach, and it was so enjoyable watching my four- and two-year-olds rolling down the sand dunes – my youngest filling his nappy with sand to the point of bursting!

The best thing of all was having no mobile reception, so it was just the four of us without having to worry about interruptions. We found a great little bowling club close by that had fantastic meals and a huge play area out the back.

The cost was only $370 for a full seven days – it was worth the torment of all the whinging and whining in the car as we had a brilliant time.”

Something for everyone, by Julie Jones
“Our family is a tricky family to satisfy on holidays: our 11-year-old son has a disability but still likes action and adventure, while our daughter, who’s four, loves animals and quieter activities. Nelson Bay had something for everyone, and since it’s only a two-hour drive for us that was our holiday pick.

We hired an apartment at a resort in the heart of Nelson Bay, which was convenient to all the activities we wanted to try. A 4WD tour of the sand dunes of Stockton Beach satisfied our son’s adventurous nature, and both the kids loved sandboarding.

We went to Oakvale Farm, where my daughter got to feed the baby farm animals while our son enjoyed a tractor ride. Both kids also enjoyed Toboggan Hill Park, which had a 1km toboggan ride... and everywhere we went, everyone was more than happy to accommodate the fact we had a wheelchair. The kids keep asking when we can go back!”

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