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HOLIDAY LIKE A NATIVE

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There are a lot of things you can’t do with a tricky toddler around your ankles on holiday – including sit and enjoy a coffee in a quiet square, admire a view, go clubbing, eat in a fancy restaurant at a leisured pace. I’ll admit that it frustrated the heck out of me on my first few trips abroad with my daughter and husband.

There have been some bad times. Visiting Venice with a heavy pushchair was a low point. Every bridge in Venice has steps, and there are over 400 bridges. That’s a lot of lifting. And we spent every night in our hotel room,

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crammed in around a baby sleeping in a cot, wishing we could go out for dinner instead.

There must be a better way, I thought. We can’t spend our holidays for the next 16 years gritting our teeth and wishing we could do the things we can’t.

Which is how we found ourselves going native. Shooting down a long zinc slide in a hidden playground amid the skyscrapers of Battery Park, New York, at seven in the morning (blame jet lag for the early hour), swimming and playing with a Danish toddler in the harbour baths in Copenhagen, and drawing pictures

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in a modern art gallery playroom with views of the Öresund Sound.

We found these spots through reading local mum bloggers who knew these places better than us; as a result, the city was unlocked and more interesting than ever – for all of us, parents included.

As it turns out, going native is a bit of a revelation. It’s made our holidays more authentic and rich, and much more enjoyable. We’re not busy trying to do all the things we ‘should’ do in a given place, we’ve chucked away the travel guides, and it’s all a bit more adventurous

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as a family.

I love this idea – the thought that you drop into another family’s shoes for the week and see the city like they do, equipped with the knowledge of which restaurants serve great grub for nippers and where local kids play. Architecture appreciation, museums and cultural sights have to take a back seat until the kids are bigger, and going native is the new way to experience culture in a city as a family anyway.

Go native in five easy steps…

1. Read local mum blogs. Bone up on what’s hip and new in the world of mums in your

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destination to get a fresh take on the city (use google translate if needed)

2. Deliberately underpack. Buying shampoo in the local supermarket is fun and when you get home you’ve got something to remind you of your trip

3. Persuade your kids for one meal only to try the local food. You never know what they might come back with a taste for

4. Teach your kids – and yourselves – a few local phrases. Hello, goodbye, please and thank you are always good; YouTube can help with language learning

5. Discover Kid and Coe, the holiday rental site

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which enables you to rent holiday homes from likeminded families in lush destinations. So you’ll never need pack a high chair again.

Image credit: Bondi Beach by Louisa Seton at Lumitrix

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- 3 Aug 14

There are a lot of things you can’t do with a tricky toddler around your ankles on holiday – including sit and enjoy a coffee in a quiet square, admire a view, go clubbing, eat in a fancy restaurant at a leisured pace. I’ll admit that it frustrated the heck out of me on my first few trips abroad with my daughter and husband.

There have been some bad times. Visiting Venice with a heavy pushchair was a low point. Every bridge in Venice has steps, and there are over 400 bridges. That’s a lot of lifting. And we spent every night in our hotel room, crammed in around a baby sleeping in a cot, wishing we could go out for dinner instead.

There must be a better way, I thought. We can’t spend our holidays for the next 16 years gritting our teeth and wishing we could do the things we can’t.

Which is how we found ourselves going native. Shooting down a long zinc slide in a hidden playground amid the skyscrapers of Battery Park, New York, at seven in the morning (blame jet lag for the early hour), swimming and playing with a Danish toddler in the harbour baths in Copenhagen, and drawing pictures in a modern art gallery playroom with views of the Öresund Sound.

We found these spots through reading local mum bloggers who knew these places better than us; as a result, the city was unlocked and more interesting than ever – for all of us, parents included.

As it turns out, going native is a bit of a revelation. It’s made our holidays more authentic and rich, and much more enjoyable. We’re not busy trying to do all the things we ‘should’ do in a given place, we’ve chucked away the travel guides, and it’s all a bit more adventurous as a family.

I love this idea – the thought that you drop into another family’s shoes for the week and see the city like they do, equipped with the knowledge of which restaurants serve great grub for nippers and where local kids play. Architecture appreciation, museums and cultural sights have to take a back seat until the kids are bigger, and going native is the new way to experience culture in a city as a family anyway.

Go native in five easy steps…

1. Read local mum blogs. Bone up on what’s hip and new in the world of mums in your destination to get a fresh take on the city (use google translate if needed)

2. Deliberately underpack. Buying shampoo in the local supermarket is fun and when you get home you’ve got something to remind you of your trip

3. Persuade your kids for one meal only to try the local food. You never know what they might come back with a taste for

4. Teach your kids – and yourselves – a few local phrases. Hello, goodbye, please and thank you are always good; YouTube can help with language learning

5. Discover Kid and Coe, the holiday rental site which enables you to rent holiday homes from likeminded families in lush destinations. So you’ll never need pack a high chair again.

Image credit: Bondi Beach by Louisa Seton at Lumitrix

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Laura Hall is the Director of Communications at Kid & Coe, the brilliant vacation rental website that offers families the opportunity to rent family homes around the world - while their owners are away, of course. Laura lives in Newbury with her husband, daughters Olivia and Elliott, and cat Sukie.

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