Husband and Wife Holiday

Are parents who holiday kid-free selfish?

An article has been doing the rounds on social media again, and it’s whipping parents up into a frenzy about whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to go on holidays without your children.

Though the article was first published on Kidspot earlier this year, it’s started circulating again in the lead up to the September school holidays.

It’s all about a family who were planning a holiday, and their kids’ grandparents offered to have their 2-year-old for the week while they take their two older children on vacation.

They’re planning to hit up a waterpark, theme parks and the beach – all places that a 2-year-old would enjoy. But let’s be honest… it’s not so much fun for the parents to take their toddler to these types of places!

Ask any parent who has travelled with an ankle-biter and they’ll tell you: going on holidays with a toddler is not a holiday. It’s simply a transfer of goods from one location to another.

You schlep an endless supply of nappies, wipes, clothes, toys, snacks and other essentials to a new location, and you endure the journey – whether it be via plane, train or automobile – to get there.

Yet when these parents dared to suggest that they might enjoy going on a holiday without their youngest child, the internet was aghast. Aghast, I tell you!

Comments on the original post (which has gone super-viral) included, “Couldn’t do this, sorry. Baby will miss you so much!”, and, “You’re a family. You made a choice to have a baby who is now two. I’d hate to have a family holiday leaving out a member of the family. Sorry, I do think it’s quite selfish.”

Putting aside the fact that we’re all so ridiculously judgemental these days, I wanted to point out the glaring hypocrisy of this.

It frustrates me that as women, we constantly say things like: We’re all about supporting one another! Let’s lift each other up!

And my favourite: Gosh mums do it tough! They really deserve a break… Then when the opportunity to support and lift and encourage a break comes up, parents are quick to judge and tear down instead.

Plus, how come dad isn’t “selfish” in these debates? Why is it always all on the mum?

It really grinds my gears. But what do you think – are parents who take kid-free holidays (whether it’s leaving all kids at home, or just one child) selfish? Or are they living the dream?!

Kids Take Over HOTA these school holidays

KIDS TAKE OVER is the playful program planned for children and parents alike, as HOTA’s precinct transforms into the ultimate playground and a central hub of entertainment for four days during the school holidays.

CEO at HOTA, Criena Gehrke, said that it’s about the kids taking ownership and getting the whole family involved.

“Our school holiday program is all about expressing a sense of kids being in control. Think fun, chaotic and messy activities that appeal to the whole family and get your creative senses buzzing,” she said.

“Whether it’s taking a moment to watch a show, have a belly laugh or get your hands dirty in one of our interactive activities, there is something for everyone and we’re so excited to get the Gold Coast involved.”

Headlining is Haircuts by Children, a free activity run by Canadian production company – Mammalian Diving Reflex – where a group of twenty children under the age of ten will be given a crash course in hairdressing, prior to taking the reins of their very own salon and offering free haircuts on The Terrace at HOTA from 29-30 September.

Teaming up with Byron Coathup from Maverick’s Salon in Coolangatta, the production company will set up a fully functional mobile salon out of a container in front of HOTA for five days to train the kids, while taking bookings for the dedicated coiffures and daring adults.

Children Are Stinky is a show, presented by Circus Trick Tease and featuring a talented acrobatic duo on a mission to prove that kids “stink”. With wild laugh out loud moments, riotous daredevil stunts and incredible circus skills to a 90s soundtrack, The Space at HOTA will play host to this interactive show each day during the school holiday program.

HOTA’s Arts Theatre will home the Kids Comedy Hour, with a cracking line-up of comedy talent, music, adventure and magic that is showing on September 28. Featuring the renowned puppet comedian, Randy Feltface; Brisbane-based and internationally recognised artist, singer and comedian, Madame Lark; multi-award winning comedian for children, Mickey D; and Chores by Cluster Arts, the brothers and duo inspired by slapstick legends, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.

Boxwars is the final free activity planned as part of HOTA’s school holiday program, where both art and destruction play a part. Using nothing but cardboard to engineer a masterpiece, children and adults can join in the fun with a series of free workshops to construct mega mysterious creations and costumes that culminate in the battle of battles on September 30.

Image supplied by HOTA

All the way from Melbourne and fresh from touring around Australia, this will be the first time the Gold Coast will host the box warriors battle on HOTA turf, in a family-friendly festival with a coastal beach and sea creature theme that comes to life with live music on HOTA’s Outdoor Stage.

With plenty to see and do, HOTA’s KIDS TAKE OVER will be jam-packed with activity for the whole family during the September School Holidays.

HAIRCUTS BY CHILDREN

The Terrace
Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 September, 10am-2pm
FREE – bookings required

CHILDREN ARE STINKY

Ages 3 – 10
The Space
Friday 28 September – Monday 1 October, 10am & 12.45pm
Adults $22 | Concession $14 | Kids $14 | Family $60 (2A, 2C)

KIDS COMEDY HOUR

Ages 5 – 10
Arts Theatre
Friday 28 September, 11.30am & 2pm
Adults $22 | Concession $12 | Kids $12

ADULT BOX WORKSHOPS

Paradise Showroom
Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 September, 9am-5pm
FREE

KIDS BOX WORKSHOPS

Ages 7+
The Basement
Friday 28 September – Monday 1 October, 10am-2pm
FREE

BOXWARS BATTLE

Outdoor Stage
Sunday 30 September, 12-2pm
FREE

For more information on HOTA, Home of the Arts, visit their website: hota.com.au/kids-take-over/

Koala Road

How to minimise threats to koalas during peak breeding season

Koalas are on the move around the Gold Coast with peak breeding season underway.

From July to January, koala movement increases as last year’s young disperse from their mothers and adult males try to find a mate.

Unfortunately this means there is increase in the likelihood of koalas coming into contact with key threats such as vehicles, dogs and barriers.

To try and reduce the number of koalas being hit by cars during breeding season, the City of Gold Coast has installed message signs  on koala ‘hot spot’ roads.

These roads include: Guineas Creek Road, Elanora; Simpsons Road, Elanora; Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters; Trees Road, Tallebudgera; Captain Cook Drive, Arundel; Napper Road, Parkwood; Colman Road, Coomera; Foxwell Road, Coomera; Helensvale Road, Helensvale; Discovery Drive, Helensvale and Bonogin Road, Mudgeeraba.

Drivers who frequent these roads or travel through koala habitat areas, are urged to slow down and stay alert for koalas and other wildlife crossing the road, especially between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

Gold Coast dog owners are also being urged to try and prevent koala-dog interactions to help reduce the risk of koalas being injured or killed as a result of dog attacks.

Dog owners are encouraged to safely contain their pets indoors at night or confine them to a veranda or in a garage area. Exclusion fences using smooth metal sheeting or rendered brick surfaces is another good way to prevent koala-dog interactions by impeding koalas’ access to your yard.

To the opposite effect, residents living near known koala habitat without pets are encouraged to install koala friendly fencing to help koalas safely enter and exit your yard and move around as needed.

This could include fencing that is easy to grip and climb, fencing that allows koalas to move under or through easily, or simply timber posts or sturdy shrubs alongside the fence to help them over.

Locals are also reminded to call Wildcare Australia Inc. immediately on 07 5527 2444 (24 hours) should they come across a koala that is sick, injured or trapped.

For more information, visit cityofgoldcoast.com.au/koalas

This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by City Of Gold Coast

 

The 2016 Schoolies Support Team

Volunteers needed for Schoolies week on the Gold Coast

Tens of thousands of school leavers are set to descend on the Gold Coast for schoolies celebrations this November, with Crime Stoppers Queensland calling for locals to volunteer their time to help keep the youngsters safe.

The community volunteer organisation is looking for 350 people to join this year’s Schoolies Support Team to help patrol the Surfers Paradise beachfront, assist with walk home services and be a safe person for school leavers to reach out to.

Crime Stoppers Qld Chief Executive Officer, Trevor O’Hara, says it’s a great opportunity for the community to assist school leavers in a positive way.

“Parents of school leavers can get involved with the safety program, while observing their children’s wellbeing from a distance,” he says.

“It also allows mature aged students who are studying criminology, law or paramedicine in South East Queensland, the chance to gain valuable experience and is something that can be put on resumes.”

Mr O’Hara says anyone can be a volunteer, they just have to be at least 20 years of age and have a valid Queensland Blue Card.

“Blue Card applications are due by September 30 to allow for processing time,” Mr O’Hara says.

“It can take several weeks for volunteers to be accredited with their ‘working with children’ Blue Card, so it is imperative for all new and returning volunteers to register early.”

If successful, volunteers will be rostered on the days and times that suit them.

“We understand that people are busy and won’t be available every day of Schoolies 2018,” Mr O’Hara said.

Schoolies week kicks off on November 17, with volunteers needed until the 23rd.

Community members interested in volunteering can read more information and register online at www.schooliesvolunteer.com.au or call 1300 309 355.

Money Paris

Getting ripped off when travelling to Europe

I’m heading to Paris in the next few weeks. I’ve never been to Europe before, but through a beautiful stroke of luck mixed with a surprise work opportunity, I’m going to spend 10 glorious days in the City of Lights. I am mind-bogglingly excited about the trip.

I’m also getting a little bit cautious – because the cost of my trip is going to be mind-boggling, according to recent reports.

The cost of basic food and drinks in Europe are ridiculously high, I’m told. Factor in the language barrier, and it’s going to be a recipe for financial disaster.

I should expect to pay around AU$10 for a coffee, for instance. That’s a pricey hit of java.

One friend recently returned from a five-city tour throughout Europe, the fiscal standout of which was purchasing two soft drinks and a bag of crisps from a convenience store. She was charged 15 Euros – or about $AU25.

If you think that’s expensive, you’ll be gobsmacked by the next story…

A tourist recently ordered two coffees and two bottles of water in Venice.

The cost? An eye-watering 43 Euros – around $AU67!

It translated to around $AU18 per coffee and $15.50 per bottle of water.

According to a spokesperson for the café, it was the “experience” they were paying for, not the beverages.

“If they just want a coffee they can have it at the bar for €1.25 ($1.95),” the spokesperson said. “If they want to sit outside and enjoy the music of the orchestra, look at the bell tower and the Basilica of St Mark’s, then they are paying for an entirely different experience.”

We should consider it an entertainment or service charge, then?

This is not the only report of tourists being bilked for food and bev.

Last year, a group of four Japanese tourists were reportedly charged over 1000 Euros for four steaks in Venice. That city seems to be a repeat offender, as there was also a British family of three who were charged over 500 Euro for a seafood lunch, which included 20 oysters at 5 Euro a pop, which the family never ordered.

I guess I should be grateful I’m not going to Venice?! And I better have a handy translation guide on my phone…

Have you ever been ripped off on holiday, and how did you handle it?