Thursday, January 09, 2014

This holiday business

this is exactly what Ballito looks like on a nice sunny day

This holiday business has been nagging at me for a good year or so.

When I mentioned recently to a colleague that we'll do Ballito when the schools go back, he said, "oh, yes, that makes sense since it's probably the last time you'll be able to do that".


Then a friend is taking her kids overseas and she also said "it's the last time we'll be able to take advantage of out-of-season rates".

Which all has me freaked out quite a bit.

You see, I like to holiday "well" and "in comfort". I'm not made for camping and the outdoors.

You haven't heard me complain about the heat for two summers now (I made a vow after the COLD winter we had in 2012 that I would stop complaining about our heat) but I still do say, "how on earth do people in Pretoria SURVIVE in the heat?" :)

BTW, this is a secret of adulthood for me - I try to picture someone in a worse situation and immediately feel better about my own.

Like yes, I'm dying of the heat but imagine if I lived in Pta. I'd be useless and get nothing done. Then I get happy :)

Anyway, the thing is that the sole reason we go holiday off-season is because it is much cheaper to holiday "well" and "in comfort" then.

To give you an example - we can go for 10 days now or 4 days in peak season. No choice, right?

Because my belief is if you're at the coast, you might as well be AT THE COAST, looking out on the beauty all the time.

Three years ago we went to PE and no jokes, that holiday (10 days) cost us R17000 (two beach-facing hotel rooms for only half the time, flights down and back, rental car, car seats, two camp cots). I think we got about R4000 off due to our Dis.covery status. But still. Expensive. At the time I said to D, "we could have flown to Thailand" (which is kind of true, but just for two of us).

I'm also a believer that here in Jhb, especially if you work in corporate, you need at LEAST three holidays a year :) A big one, and two 4 - 5 day mini-breaks.

We've been most refreshed when we had an April, Aug and Dec/ Jan break :)

But this all costs money.

This morning Laura asked how we holiday.

I must say I've gotten fussier as I've "aged". I really like a nice place and of course, it's got to be spotless.

With the kids, I like self-catering and hotels that provide breakfast.

I'm very careful with money as you know so we plan to eat out a certain number of times and the rest of the time I prepare the meals. I really am very quick in the kitchen so I don't mind cooking at all once I have my meal plan (I do a meal plan on holidays too - easy to swop around things). We always eat breakfast at the flat (fruit, weetbix, bran flakes, muesli) take fruit and water with us to the beach, go back for sandwiches/ rolls/ wraps/ pitas and carrot sticks/ cucumber/ tomato for lunch, have a rest (this year is going to be "interesting" since the kids no longer nap....), more walking on the beach and then supper, which I throw together or we go eat out.

I have a list already set up with 2 things the kids said they love and "can you please make this again" (nothing fancy - cheese and apple quesadillas (try it with Granny Smith apples - DIVINE as a Sunday night supper), and pasta with ham, butternut, and a tomato-based sauce) so we all need to brainstorm the rest of the meals so I can make my shopping list. BTW, we never braai (barbeque) because we don't have the patience for it and I really hate having to wash smoky clothes/ hair!

In a moment of madness last year, I briefly considered looking for a holiday home in Ballito. When I saw the prices for what you got, I had a huge shock and promptly shut down the webpages and blocked it out.

Now I do think we need to start thinking about timeshare or similar.

On Sunday as we were driving to church, there was a 4 X 4 in the next lane pulling a caravan along. The kids were fascinated (my poor sheltered kids) and D told them when he was young they used to hire a caravan and that's how they would holiday. Of course the kids (Connor) were all, "can we also go on holiday in a caravan?"

How do you like to holiday? What kinds of things do you eat on holiday? Do you cook/ go out?

PS in less than a week we'll be in Ballito!


  1. If I'm cooking I don't consider it a holiday. I never do self-catering but of course it's easy to do full service hotels when it is 2 adults only. And Y has the same thoughts too that we might as well stay at home if we have to cook, do laundry etc while away. So obviously that means on holidays we eat breakfast and dinner at the hotel and restaurants around where ever we are staying and probably catch quick bites during the day as sight seeing is top priority for us when we are away.

    I like off peak get aways too, aside from the more affordable cost there's less crowd as well.

  2. Yup...that is the downside of children growing up. Next you it will be "Welcome to the life of holidaying with school going children"...I think that is probably why we bought a caravan and had some awesome chilled holidays with our children with the caravan overlooking a beach, a river or a lake. The children were free and all the cooking was done over the fire or on a skottel. Life has changed drastically for me now that my children are grown up. I still prefer out of season breaks....probably because we are surrounded with needy people in our ministry. I love our time in the Beacon Isle resort and also when we book self catering breaks through the holiday club. In Plett we always eat out.

  3. Not braaing when on holiday- that's like not being on holiday. :)

  4. Marcia, this is one of the big reasons why me and hubby don't holiday that frequently because the in season rates are so high. One can't afford it. The only way we can afford a holiday, is when we visit hubby's parents. Otherwise, we only holiday every 5 years. Yes, 5 years.
    I am sure that you will be able to find a solution towards holiday-ing in season. You're clever :)

  5. Holidays are VERY expensive and that's why we rarely go - if we do go it's only once a year. Maybe. I actually enjoyed camping a lot. I would do it more often if we had a bigger car or a trailer because there's a lot of stuff that needs to be transported. Btw very few people actually “camp” these days – it’s glamping or nothing. Most places have electricity and VERY decent ablution facilities. Go look at @Taniar2’s instagram feed – that’s how people do it. In fact I have seen fancier camping than that.
    Obviously my first choice would be to not cook or clean – as far as I’m concerned it’s not a holiday when I have to do those things – it’s just my normal life in a different environment.
    I have become more clever about the way I do the food things. We braai a lot – meat and fish and vetkoek (with dough bought from the Pnp) - we even do bacon and eggs on the braai – Lance LOVES to do this, we make potjiekos and for the rest of the time it’s a buffet. I put stuff out (usually leftovers and ready-made stuff from the shops or deli) and they choose from the selection. We actually don’t eat out when we go on holiday unless it’s for ice-cream or something. I insist that they have a good breakfast because I don't walk around with food. When we go to the beach we only take water along and fruit – usually apples or bananas.

  6. File this under things I'm not ready to face! I like my no-crowd Tuesday morning trips and appointments! We've always worked around the school schedule for vacations, obviously, but I dread thinking we'll be left with weekends for activities like the zoo and pumpkin patches. Gah!

    For vacations I make sure we have at least a small fridge and microwave. That will get us through breakfasts and lunches, although I prefer places that include breakfast because I am never successful in traveling with fruit. I take quick things like you, lots of fruit, granola, and the like. We eat out for every dinner, and to avoid the crowds last year we tried a picnic dinner on the beach! No swimming but the ladies had fun running around after dinner and the beach is much less crowded and hectic, perfect evening! When we go in the summer the ladies and I graze, we lose our appetites in the heat, so packing food is a breeze. What kills me is having to buy hot meals when we go in fall/winter.

  7. We usually do self catering too. My mom makes extra of things before that we just heat up in the evenings, we might braai once or twice too, and definitely at least one night eating out. Breakfast us usually rusks, cereal or fruit and for lunch we'll grab a sandwich or something.

    I am going to.miss out if season rates too...

  8. This year we splashed out (for our 40th's) on a walking trail in a private tented camp and we had our own rangers/guides for the duration of the four days. There was no electricity or running water and no fences, so the wild elephants literally walked through our camp as did other wildlife. Despite all of that, it was very luxurious, three course meals being cooked for us three times a day, and they heated water on a fire which they put into those bucket showers. It's the best holiday I think I've ever had, I just absolutely love being in the bushveld.

    Normally though, we go self catering, out of season. Sometimes we camp. We also spent some time in Kruger Park this year, self catering. I never mind the cooking because I don't always love restaurant food.

  9. I would also like comfort all the time but sadly we need to go in school holidays. However, the kids love camping Totally adore it.


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