Try telling a teenager that they’re going on holiday for a week and you’ll probably get a reaction similar to the one I got when I ‘broke’ the news to my son that we were off to St Lucia.
‘Seven days without my games?’ he said. ‘What will I do?’
Yes, while a holiday in St Lucia might be most adults idea of heaven, to a schoolboy used to spending most of his spare time with a computer screen inches in front of his face, the prospect of a week on a Caribbean island just doesn’t cut it.
But within hours of our arrival in St Lucia, he quickly discovered that the best things in life don’t always have a plug on the end.
Swimming in clear blue water and playing on caster sugar sand are just some of the Caribbean island’s simple pleasures. It’s small but perfectly formed, with lush green rainforest, waterfalls and unspoilt beaches.
We stayed at the lovely all-inclusive Coconut Bay resort. If you’ve never been on this kind of holiday, I’d definitely recommend it – it’s ideal if you’re on a budget because you don’t have to worry about where the kids’ next ice-cream/non-alcoholic cocktail is coming from as you’ve already paid for it.
The hotel boasts three pools, a ‘lazy’ river which you float along, a fantastic swim up bar offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails – my favourite was the slightly rude sounding Dirty Banana (rum, cream and Tia Maria) – and three excellent restaurants: one buffet, an Italian and an Asian.
It would be all too easy to sit in your sunlounger by the pool and never move – but that would be a shame, as there’s loads to see on the island.
A ride on a quad bike – or ATV – is a great way to explore, with photo opportunities every few yards – lush green rainforest, banana trees, and beautiful (and totally deserted) Honeymoon Beach, where we stopped off for a quick refreshing dip in the crystal clear sea.
But trying to control one of those things in the hot Caribbean sun isn’t easy – and within minutes of setting off, I’d crashed into a barbed wire fence, narrowly avoiding some free range chickens and a tethered goat.
Fortunately no one – feathered, furry or fleshy – was injured, and I was soon careering through the rainforest and along the cliffs like Lewis Hamiton.
But the highlight of our trip was a trip on the Brig Unicorn, a pirate ship complete with sails and cannons which appeared in The Pirates of the Caribbean.
The ship takes you from Rodney Bay to Soufires, where you’ll see a live volcano and swim in a cool, clear waterfall.
While my son refused to put on an eye patch or skull and crossbones headscarf – far too grown up – he happily joined in a water pistol fight between kids and adults on the return voyage.
As I received a good soaking from a 4ft tall pirate, only the sudden appearance of Johnny Depp could have made our holiday more perfect.
On the flight home, we both agreed that for total relaxation a holiday in the totally tropical paradise of St Lucia is hard to beat. When the biggest decision you have to make on a holiday is whether to use factor 20 or 30, you know you’ve struck gold.
*For more information on St Lucia click here