On Holiday With Teens, Toddlers and Transvestites

I've been away, yet again, but this holiday had a few interesting twists and turns to it. With capsizing boats, car crashes, and leather chaps - it was a trip to remember



Having returned from ("yet another" I hear you shout) summer holiday, I've been reflecting on the difficulties of vacationing with children of various ages. My advice is to research and choose your destination wisely, particularly when you have teenagers with you.


We were lucky enough to be invited out to stay with friends on the Greek island of Mykonos. They brought along their 3 children plus an extra teenager (as if 2 weren't enough). Which meant we had 7 children in total aged between 5 and 15.

They'd hired a magnificent villa overlooking a sparkling bay. The weather was beautiful, the food delicious and we brought enough duty free with us to ensure no day was hangover free.

Accommodating all ages

It became pretty clear early on that each age group had their own agendas of what they wanted to do on holiday. Broadly speaking it went like this:

  • The women wanted to sunbathe, shop, sunbathe, shop, sunbathe, shop. Predictable but accomplishable
  • The men wanted to tune into the Ashes. Not quite so easy. It took them a full day to find a radio channel that worked, only to discover it was Aussie commentary which seemed to anger my husband immensely
  • The youngest children wanted to swim and eat ice creams. Preferably at the same time. In addition my youngest son, who is showing all the hallmarks of a naturist (as opposed to a naturalist, which would be much better) wanted to run around nude. This didn't please the girls
  • And the teenagers? Well they just wanted to party.

The new Ibiza

And we couldn't have chosen a better (or worse place depending how you look at it) to do that. Because Mykonos is apparently the new Ibiza, but bigger, better, louder and with a lot more dubious goings on. The teenagers desperately wanted to get amongst it, but being only 15, we felt we couldn't let them out on their own.

So they faced the humiliation of having the grown ups following them to the beach parties and the bars. Not cool. But for us oldies, it was as if we were reliving our youth. You couldn't keep me off the dance floor. I have videos and photos recording the look of horror on my boys' faces as they watched their mother bump and grind. I just told them being embarrassed by your parents was a vital part of growing up, and showed them my knickers. They'll definitely be scarred for life.

A step too far?

There was one place the teenagers desperately wanted to go to, and that was the Transvestite night at Jackie O Beach Bar. But when we got near to it, and saw a wall of young men in very tight trunks slapping each other's bums and knocking back shots, we decided that was a step too far for all of the kids (and the two dads if the truth be told).

Instead we went back to our villa and turned it into its own party destination. We had music blaring out around the pool. We had group dance offs to the annoying but quite catchy "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silento. Which reminded me of my days doing the "Macarena".

My husband commandeered the bar and channelled Tom Cruise in "Cocktail" but failed miserably and made a horrendous concoction of ouzo, watermelon and Sprite.

We were very sad when our holiday came to an end, as it had been an adventure for all of us, and despite the age ranges, we had managed to make it work.

Mirror, signal, manoeuvre

There is a word of warning to anyone thinking of going to Mykonos. I don't think anyone on the island has passed a driving test or knows any of the Highway Code.

It's like being in a stock car race. We were crashed into twice - once because the driver was too busy kissing his girlfriend to notice we had stopped in front of him. Our friends' car didn't have a 1st gear because the previous owner burnt through it.

And the poor driving extended to the sea. One morning whilst we were eating our breakfast we witnessed a super yacht sink - not your ever-day occurrence. The captain clearly didn't see the reef (which was more than apparent from where we were sitting) and the boat ran aground and sank within an hour. My boys thought that was hilarious. I doubt the yacht's owners would have been quite so happy.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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Tinies have amazed guests and our hotels in providing truly magical crèche experiences for children. By working with Tinies we are able to offer our clients a quality crèche service, including a mobile crèche service and babysitting with complete peace of mind.
Director of Events, Claridge's, Hotel Crèches