School summer holidays are great . . . for the kids

Jennifer O’Connell: I love long vacations – when I’m participating in them

Jennifer O’Connell: how can two working parents survive the kids’ summer holidays? Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: how can two working parents survive the kids’ summer holidays? Photograph: Getty

We recently took our first real, full-length family holiday in five years. By real and full-length, I mean not the kind of American-style vacation we might have been forced to adopt if we had continued living in the United States.

There, holidays have to be organised like military campaigns, in which participants are forced to trudge through 11 European countries in five days – with no idea where they are at any given moment as Amsterdam whizzes past, and then Copenhagen, until they find themselves in Kerry, wondering if they can get tickets to the Louvre or if this is the day they’re going bungee jumping in Dubrovnik. They have to treat their holidays like this, as they only get nine days a year.

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