Close your laptop. Pack away the iPads. It’s time to fully unwind, be present, and relax -as a family. Set your intentions from day one of your next French getaway with these steps to a blissful family break that will leave you feeling fully rejuvenated and better connected to the ones you love. (Heightened wellbeing with the kids around? I promise, it is possible!)
What parent doesn’t feel the twang of digital guilt every time they check work emails or find themselves carrying out their daily (OK, hourly) social ‘loop’. Escape the norm of both ‘real’ and virtual day-to-day, by setting your devices to airplane mood. A foreign escape is the ideal time to be present with fresh surroundings, and removing the temptation of our screens is crucial to noticing the full beauty of a holiday destination. Not to mention those we’ve brought with us.
It might take some gentle limit setting with children who are used to their swipe-and-click entertainment, but you’ll soon realise they know exactly how to explore new surroundings. What grown-up doesn’t wish they could see things through a child’s eyes!
Get your adrenaline pumping and have a giggle while you’re at it with active session for all the family. Pick up a map (go paper for the real feel of adventure! Google maps takes that element away…) and hike amongst the French hilltops, set up your yoga mats on the patio, or get playful out in the garden of your holiday villa. Rough and tumble, egg and spoon races – a holiday that boosts wellbeing doesn’t need to be a lazy one!
Not forgetting the bliss of having your own swimming pool to enjoy. (A must when we were choosing our luxury French villas.) Grab the armbands, chuck in the lilos, and get splashing. Highly recommended for hilarity: family synchronised swimming.
Keep them entertained
We all know a happy child makes a happy parent, so prioritising our kids’ holiday contentment is a sure-fire way to boost our own happiness. At French Loaf we try to make holidaying as a child as comfortable, and fun, as possible. Expect toys to play with, beautiful bedrooms to make dens in, and a family DVD player for much-loved movie nights. If you start hearing the dreaded ‘I’m bored’ murmurs, don’t panic. With no 9-5 commitments, you’ve got all the time in the world to get playful, be silly, and connect with the minis – you’ll soon remember how great their smiles are for your soul.
Delight in the holiday food
French food! It’s one of the biggest perks of every getaway we make to Dordogne. Explore local eateries, browse the markets, and pick up the freshest ingredients to cook as a family - or get the BBQ on for a late-night, starlit grill. Delicious. It’s not just the food itself, to sit and chat over a family meal is a chance to make memories you’ll remember for a life time.
Reconnect as a couple
Let’s not forget the importance of connecting with your other half on a weekend break or summer getaway. With the kids in bed (and phones still on airplane mode!) it’s time for completely uninterrupted chill time together. Snuggle up with a DVD and a glass of wine or chat out in the garden with nothing but the sound of crickets to distract you. And if you’re feeling daring, a skinny dip under the stars is sure to get the endorphins flowing! After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Thank you to Melissa for the wonderful feedback and the beautiful pictures used in this blog from her holiday at our La Verger property.