WFH – Work From Holiday (booked!)

The Lady and I decided we’d try something a bit different and have just booked a holiday house for 4 weeks in July in Holland and I can’t wait!

The Lady and I both love travelling – it seems to be a common theme among many Personal Finance bloggers – we would love to have the freedom that financial independence brings you and use that to see the world.

Some of the FI bloggers who travel lots and that I like to read (and end up envious of) include:

However, if you have kids, the kids come first and that means the idea of being a backpacking around the world isn’t really an option. You need to keep your kids educated, entertained and safe. So, as much as I’d like to get up and go, I don’t think that it’s practical.

Stop Gap Measure?

Maybe we’ll take the kids out of school for a year to travel at some point. That’s a dream – maybe by moving to a new country for a year or 6 months. There’s probably a lot of benefits for the kids to be gained by travelling and living abroad for a while. We certainly try to do a lot with our kids as it is – we can see that they benefit from our active holidays (packed full of trips to museums, adventures on public transport and seeing the big wide world).

Seeing as we have the kids in school (1 now, soon 2) and have jobs – the best that we could come-up with was to use the school holidays to spend a month abroad. Far enough away to make it exciting and foreign but close enough to make it easy to get to.

Birds eye view of the locale

Going Dutch.

After much discussion, we decided to a holiday home in Holland* for 4 weeks in July. The cost including the ferry will be a little less than £3,000. It’s quite exciting really because there’s a bit of uncertainty ahead (Covid and workload) but we decided to book now rather than wait and see and miss out.

Nearby playpark at the beach

I think that the place that we got was a real steal as similar properties rent out for much more – one of the benefits of booking longer stays and slow travel.

Holland is a great place, there’s so much to do and I’d consider moving there to live. I’ve written about my affection for Scandinavia before – maybe I just have itchy feet but 1 month in Holland will be a good litmus test.

I suppose that we are lucky to have WFH jobs – all we are doing is swapping the Home for Holiday. Having the money to do this is a major advantage – but this holiday will be half of what a 1-week ski trip would be for the family and probably less than any 2-week holiday flying out of Scotland. So, it’s a funny combination of a cheap extravagance. If we weren’t financially stable, we’d not be able to do it but ironically, if we were wage slaves, we’d not have the time/flexibility to take 4 weeks off and would shoehorn a holiday into 2 weeks – spending the same amount of money and not truly unwinding from it (plus the Dutch sun will be kinder to my pale Irish skin).

Beautiful trees in the Dutch wilderness

Itinerary and Plan

The Master leaves school at the end of June and over that weekend we’ll pack up and drive to Newcastle to catch the ferry. It’s an overnight one and it’ll be an experience for the kids. The house is less than an hour from Amsterdam but it’s in a beautiful location – between the sea, dunes, forests, a lake and fields full of tulips. The infrastructure for cycling is great too – so I expect we’ll all be on 2 wheels to get around. The nearest town is 2km away and there’s a few cafés and bars a few minutes’ walk. The Lady has a list of places to visit – from day trips to Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht and The Hague to this place. There’s no shortage of things to do.

Life at the water’s edge

I will see if I can take the whole month off work – in failing that, I’ll work evenings/when the kids are occupied. I’ll take the lead in looking after the kids and the Lady will see what holidays she can take. The kids are still young enough to need supervision, but they are getting older. It’s hard to know when the right time to let your kids go feral – but not now (probably).

There’s loads to do for kids in Holland – besides the outdoor stuff. And 4 weeks gives us more time to explore and enjoy ourselves at leisure instead of being rushed like you have with short-burst holidays.

Dedicated cycle paths

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside

The whole coast of Holland is practically a giant beach. It’s disturbing how much beach they have – as anyone who’s ever been to the Brighton beach will notice, the Dutch beaches are sandy. I expect that we’ll have many sunny days building sandcastles there, playing in the playpark and drinking black coffees under parasols. The local beaches that we have in Scotland have more features like rocky coves – but the better Dutch weather makes up for it.

The Dutch Riviera

Summer Plans 2023+

If this holiday goes well, we’ll see if we can do the same the year after but maybe exploring somewhere different. I looked at getting the ferry to Santander in Spain and holidaying there. But we’ll take it one step at a time.

If you’ve read this far and have kids – what were your holidays like – did you do anything like this before? We can’t be first.

Thanks, GFF

*We are actually staying in the Province of South Holland which is part of the Netherlands – so Holland is appropriate.


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