Hours queuing in the airport, fighting for seats on the plane, having to pack so many things for your children into your suitcase there's no space left for your bikini and trunks. When you think about it, a drive down the motorway to Cornwall doesn't sound that bad after all! And the most south-westerly county of the British mainland has mild weather that's great for little ones, with an average temperature of 19 degrees in July and August.
There are plenty of stunning family friendly beaches to enjoy the sunshine. You can find sheltered waters - ideal for paddling - at the sandy, pebbly, Marazion beach, within sight of St Michael's Mount near Penzance. This beach can sometimes get rather windy, so pack a windbreak – but it's also great for any novice surfers in the family.
There are fascinating rock pools to explore, and intriguing caves for intrepid kids to discover at Mawgan Porth beach, near Newquay. This wide and sandy beach has a stream too, so there is even more fun to be had jumping over the water, or building dams.
Cawsand beach, near Looe, is a delightful, small, shingle and sand beach near the border with Devon. Popular with families, the water is safe to swim in. Summerleaze beach, with its large areas of sand, never feels crowded and there's always plenty of space for a game of football or cricket. There is a small sea-water pool here and handily, the car park is right behind the sand, so you won't have to carry your deck chairs too far.
Seal of approval
Budding conservationists will love a day out at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. The sanctuary rescues injured and sick seal pups and nurses them back to health before releasing them back into the sea. They also help sea lions and you can visit the otters, penguins, and a selection of other creatures –and there's a play area to help the kids burn off a bit of energy too.
Theme park fun
Cornwall's Crealy Great Adventure Park can be found near Newquay – and hosts a variety of events through the year, with a teddy bear's picnic and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles visiting in the summer. Older children will be able to get their fill of thrills and spills on rides like The Beast and Thunder Falls, while youngsters can bounce around in the soft play area - Dragon's Kingdom.
The famous bio-domes of the Eden Project near St Austell are Cornwall's biggest tourist attraction for a reason – providing the perfect combination of education and enjoyment, all done with the wow factor. Showcasing plants from around the world, different climate zones are recreated with an authenticity which your body can feel – most notably in the rainforest dome. It's best to allow at least a full half-day for a visit – and don't forget your sun cream on hot days!
Land's other end
Let the crowds flock to Land's End and queue for a photo at that novelty signpost, because Britain's most-southerly point on the nearby Lizard Peninsula makes a much more relaxing outing. The rugged coastline and sleepy out-of-the-way country lanes combine to create a real holiday feel which is notably different from the rest of the county.
Kids will love a visit to the Lizard Lighthouse at the southernmost point, where they can learn how the waters around the peninsula were known as the "graveyard of ships" - before climbing to the top of %VIRTUAL-AFCSponserAds%the tower to go on look-out duty. Pop to the staggeringly beautiful beach at Kynance Cove afterwards and you may never go on holiday abroad again.
Are you planning a holiday in Cornwall this year? Leave a comment below...