Family time is great … but so is grown-up time.
It was love at first fright…
He was an Aussie surf rat; she, an exotic European.
They met when she leapt out from behind a wall to say, “Boo!” This would be a rather unusual courtship, if they weren’t aged 5 and 7. At this tender age, Taj had his first holiday ‘romance’ with Alexandra, at a resort in Morocco.
The two became best buddies, which made it easier on the adults: “Why don’t you both play chasey on the lawn while we enjoy cocktails as the sun sets …?” We became friends with her parents; it was almost too good to be true. Our interests were similar, so we hung out together. It got me thinking – wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an app to connect with parents who have kids of a similar age, while on holidays?
Well, it turns out there is. Q2Connect is a free social networking tool, which filters information based on your travel plans, accommodation, or destination, to connect with friends, colleagues, or other families.
After creating your profile, load your itinerary into the search engine to find friends all over the world. It’s perfect for cruising where – after a couple of days of family time – you yearn for some playmates. The children can do kids stuff while the parents do adult stuff. Simple!
“You have to remember holidays aren’t just for the children. Parents also want to enjoy their trip so it allows them to meet others travelling to the same place who have similar interests like golf, movies, music and shopping,” says the founder of Q2Connect, Peter Mansour. I remember returning last year from holidays in Thailand to discover two other families from the kids’ school had been there at the same time.
“I wish we had known,” one of the parents lamented. “It would have been great for the kids to catch up with some of their mates!” Sure, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are terrific tools, but Q2Connect allows you to hook up without using a public forum.
“The best thing is, you have control over who you want to connect with. It’s a private platform,” Peter says. “Parents can post questions in a secure platform and get responses about things to do, places to see from people travelling to the same destination.” It’s also wonderful for families with special needs children. “They can come together knowing they have support and make their holiday less stressful, and more fun, based on common interests,” Peter says. Sadly, Taj’s romance with Alexandra was short-lived.
They were from different worlds: He, a surfer boy who spoke in a series of small snorts; she, a budding genius who already spoke seven languages.
Arriving home, we discovered 576 photos he’d taken on my iPhone, as she frolicked around the fruit grove.
We sent the pics to her parents. Fortunately, they didn’t accuse Taj of stalking. Ah – there’s nothing quite like that first holiday romance.
Twitter & Instagram: @TraceySpicer