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What Are the Best Tips for Farm and Cottage Holidays?

Preparing a family for a farm holiday involves teaching young children how to behave around animals such as pigs, cows and horses.
Some farms offer hands-on opportunities like milking cows or picking garden produce.
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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2014
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A farm and cottage vacation is perfect for city-bound folks who really want to get away from the hustle and bustle and remember what nature is like. A successful holiday is a matter of being thoroughly educated about both the terrain and the accommodations and being prepared for any and all eventualities. It’s important to arrive with the right clothing for the weather, the right footwear for the rambles, and enough entertainment to occupy vacationers if the weather turns mean.

Vacationers with children find that a holiday at the beach, in the woods, or on a farm opens their youngsters’ eyes to a world they may have never imagined. A cottage at the beach or beside a tumbling river gives them the opportunity to learn about tadpoles, fish, and water birds. It’s a good idea to carry along an illustrated guide of flora and fauna, so they can identify wildflowers, insects, and animal life. Plastic jars and small cardboard boxes are vital for shells, bird nests, water pebbles, and other treasures that will make the return trip home.

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Preparing the brood for a farm vacation means talking about farm animals and what they contribute as well as ensuring the little ones understand how they must behave around sheep, pigs, cows, and other farm beasts. Nothing can ruin a farm and cottage visit faster than an injured child who spooked an animal and got trampled. A farm holiday is an opportunity to teach youngsters the value of hard work as well. During the reservation stage is the right time to ask if visitors are expected to help with farm work and, if not, if they are allowed to.

Packing carefully is a must and should include everything from a first aid kit to extra batteries, flashlights, candles, and matches. If the farm and cottage holiday is self-catered, it’s a good idea to bring staples and household favorites that might not be available. Vacationers might also want to carry in toiletries, towels, dishes, and laundry soap because purchasing these items at the vacation center is likely to cost twice as much.

Most farm and cottage holidays include cooking utensils, sheets, blankets, pillows, and the like, but the wise traveler always asks what is provided. If the group will be hiking, an extra pair of shoes might prove useful along with several extra socks as well. Finding a topographical map helps hikers know how steep or difficult a particular walk might become.

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KoiwiGal
Post 3

There are quite a few options for cheap seaside vacations these days, as long as you don't mind getting quite far out of the local cities.

I've seen house exchanges for example, where the person who lives by the ocean wants to exchange with someone who lives in the city, so you might consider something like that if you are thinking about a vacation in a cottage by the sea.

My family once managed to house exchange with a man who lived in the middle of a forest, near a river which was absolutely wonderful.

If I had kids I would definitely consider doing something like that while they are still young enough to appreciate the great outdoors!

croydon
Post 2

@pleonasm - I can remember the first time my family went to stay on a farm and it's one of my most precious memories.

I was absolutely fascinated by the different animals and I wanted to help with everything. Luckily it was the kind of place where they welcomed curious children.

Of course, it rained the second day we were there, so we ended up spending a lot of time indoors watching movies, but every chance I got I would go out to help feed the chickens or look after the goats.

And I think the most thrilling part was being able to eat food which came from animals I had recently interacted with.

A good thing I didn't think too hard about where the bacon came from though, or I think I might have been less thrilled.

pleonasm
Post 1

It's a wonderful idea to have kids to stay on a farm. We had a small farm for a while and whenever people would visit us their children would just be blown away by the animals and even things like the orchard and the vegetable garden.

It was a real thrill for them to come with us to do things like collect eggs.

We never really rented out the place, although we did have some exchange students to stay and they were often even more excited. So many of them come from very large cities and have never experienced the farming life.

If you have a farm or even just a few acres like we did you might want to consider having people over to stay. It can really renew your reasons for being out in the country side, seeing the joy that it can bring to others.

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