The World Tour

You’d think it should be easy organising a family holiday for four. No third child to have to book an extra hotel room for, no need for the millions I hear are required in the bank before you can take a family of five away.

But, believe me, our imminent World Tour has taken months to plan. Along with the flights (which were rising meteorically in price due to a certain event of Olympic proportions taking place in London), there’s the holiday we’re taking to break up the main holiday. The mini break for a certain birthday. Connecting flights (three legs each way), the hire car (with car seats, somehow), the rental house in the States. And Catherine the Great’s ticket for her home leave to the Philippines, via Hong Kong.

Long gone are the days when it was as easy as booking a package holiday to Crete, packing a few dresses and a sarong, and jetting off to drink tequilas in the sun
Quite honestly, my DH, who took on most of the organising, deserves a gold medal for – fingers crossed – pulling all this off.

So after much deliberation (should we try doing all this on staff travel? Can we fit Florida in too? New York? Wouldn’t it just be easier to go to Thailand? Or Wales?) and many late-night calls to the States, here’s what the itinerary looks like:

Dubai-London. Then a few days later, London-Chicago-Minneapolis. Then, by road, Minneapolis-Lake Superior and back. Two weeks later, Minneapolis-Chicago-London, then nearly four weeks later, London-Dubai. All with two small, high-energy boys, and the extended UK part without DH (who gets a month of bachelor-living in Dubai).

Excited, very. Anxious, yes. Worried the boys might turn feral with jet lag and give up sleeping, yes.

But I’m counting the hours now!

There were definitely moments when our desert escape plans seemed too complex, but during all the planning, we discovered something that added a whole new dimension to our search for a holiday home – a secret weapon that meant we could practically spy on the properties we’d seen advertised.

While I trawled the Internet and followed leads sent by kind friends, my DH – who loves anything to do with navigation – would bring up Google Maps to pinpoint the house. Not content with me calling out the name of a neighbourhood, he’d say, “Look, here’s the road, and if you just go up here a bit, this must be it…Look, right on the end…Right by an enormous patch of industrial land.

“With some construction. And a huge area of …. wait, is that SAND?

Thank goodness for virtual reckies!

When you’re hoping for a leafy neighbourhood, and discover it looks more like Dubai, you’ll never book a summer holiday home again without using Google Maps

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