Ten things dads want to do on family holidays

When planning a family holiday, don't forget about dad. Dad Daniel Scott names 10 things every dad would love to have on the itinerary.

Dad can sometimes seem like the forgotten man of the family holiday. He wouldn't miss it for quids, but unlike Mum and the kids, he generally hasn't come with an agenda.

If he's busy at work, it'll take him a few days to get out of the business mindset, so the less accessible his Ipad/tablet/phone is, the better.  All too often this is a source of friction as Mum implores "can't you just relax?" as he taps away at his device over dinner.

Dads: They're just 12-year-old boys at heart.
Dads: They're just 12-year-old boys at heart.  Photo: Getty

Of course, he's probably playing Minion Rush or Words with Friends and thinks that looking serious will fool the family. So, all being well, you're holidaying somewhere where his device is as useless as a toothpick in a stoush with a crocodile.

But, actually, dads dig family holidays more than they will admit, and often try to relive their glory years as kids holidaying on the beach. So many of the same elements are required to make him happy, and putting the children into Kids Club is a last, erm, resort. But one nostalgic element he won't be pining for is shark and chips or badly sizzled snags for nourishment.

Here are 10 things dads want from a family holiday:

1.  Family dinners. Dad may not see his brood half as much as he'd like when working, so most nights he really wants to sit down with his kids and hear what they've been up to.  So kids, please humour his queries about what "your favourite subject" is and what's been happening at school/uni or the mental institution he's driven you to.

2. Dad time. Solo dad time is ill-defined but should last at least two hours per day and include activities such as surfing, cycling, fishing, jogging or time at the pub TAB. He's surrounded by idiots at work, he needs solitude on holidays so he doesn't go mad himself.

3. An adventure. You might be spending your holidays at the beach but Dad wants to see action – he didn't pay all that money for the Prado to sit on your suburban street. So let him take you on a thrilling drive over the dunes and help him when you get bogged in the soft sand.

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4. Beach cricket. It was a ritual of his childhood and his proudest memory was of bowling his own dad with an early, pebble-assisted version of the Warney leg-break. So let him join in with the game (and don't get him out first ball - no golden ducks).

5. Spas aren't just for Mum. He won't admit it, but he's secretly envious of Mum and her pampering and he'll even pretend he doesn't want the two-hour "bloke" treatment booked for him. But he'll emerge glowing and with one less grumble about the knots in his shoulders.

6. A gourmet dinner with the mother of his children. At least once during your holiday, Dad wants to sit down with Mum, guzzle premium wine and not worry about the kids. Book a babysitter and he might remember how the family got made in the first place.

7. A lie-in. On the first morning of the holiday, Dad would sleep in until 11am if he could. Mind you so would Mum, so why not let them both sleep in until 10am, when he'd like a strong flat white and vegemite toast delivered to his bedside, please?

8. A board game or jigsaw.  For Dad, childhood holidays nearly always featured games of Monopoly, Scrabble or a thousand-piece jigsaw and this is another element he'll want to recreate. Remember too that all Dads are also still 12-year-old boys at heart so let him win.

9. A mate. Ideally, Dad would have brought his mates with him on holiday. It's not that he doesn't love his family or their company, it's just that he can share bloke things with them. If a couple of his mates mysteriously turn up at your resort, let him join them for a few beers - it will make his holiday.

10. Some culture. Dad is interested in his kids' education, he really is, so if you're on a South Pacific island go to the traditional dance display in the local village and believe him when he says that drinking a bucketful of kava's important for understanding local people.