Breaking away for a holiday with the kids is not an easy outing from a logistics point of view.
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But since ours was a jaunt of firsts (the wife’s first time in Port Elizabeth and the first flight for the kids), bawling and bellowing was not really the order of the day as is often the case when dealing with the little ones.
Holidaying with kids demands thorough planning – from what you pack in your luggage, to accommodation and meals, as well as activities to do while on vacation.
For anyone who is originally from inland, the beach always tops the list of dream summer holidays, hence our excitement to see Port Elizabeth.
At Summerstrand, we found a perfect nest, a self-catering unit at the heart of everything.
The package came with uninterrupted sea views and it was a short walk across to the beach.
We had our moments under the sun but we also created a room to accommodate the often unpredictable coastal weather. They mean it when they describe the weather as “four seasons in one day”.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, even on a miserable wet day. On such a day, we took a drive to Uitenhage, which was about 24km from our base.
We enjoyed the scenic route with beautiful views of the Indian ocean along the road until we detoured towards the historic town, which is identified from afar by the landmark Volkswagen SA plant, rated the biggest car factory on the continent.
Their new-generation VW Tiguan came in handy for sightseeing and made the trips a joyride for the kids.
We also embarked on a 15km drive across another beauty of nature in the form of Willow Park, a residential area overlooking a rocky bay.
Apart from private chalets that cover a 2km stretch along the way, a few residential houses forming a cul-de-sac reflected a picture of a place at harmony. No high walls with electric fences, no security gates or “beware of the dog” signage.
The place is perfect for hibernating but the kids just loved the tranquility while admiring ships cruising from a distance.
This was what they needed, especially since they are exposed to an environment with the hustle and bustle of city life.
Having spent a reasonable time playing with beach sand, lunching and dining at areas with play areas for kids and adults alike, PE has more than just the harbour or heritage and historic sites to offer.