Miles Kington Remembered: For the ideal family holiday, go with the ideal family

20 April 1999
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The Independent Online

It is not often that a major leap forward takes place in the holiday industry. But such a leap forward is taking place today. I am proud to announce a holiday-planning innovation which will revolutionise the way the British take holidays. It will solve the problem that taxes all but the most far-sighted holiday-maker: That is, making sure you go on holiday with the right people.

We can now plan where we go and when we go and how we go. If we want a glossy French holiday home, we can look in a glossy brochure like Chez Nous or Vacances en Campagne; if we want a cruise, we can pick the ocean, the vessel, the cabin, even the nubile purser; if we want two weeks getting pink in Santa Alfalfa, we can home in on the hotel of our dreams.

But what we can't do is decide who we want to be on holiday with. Oh, yes, you can take your family. Often you have no choice but to take your family. It is very difficult to tell your family that you are leaving them behind this year, even though your family might be secretly relieved.

So often you try to spread the stress by taking another family or your own relatives. Which doesn't work, does it? Between you and me, we wish we had a wider spread of friends and relations to choose from, don't we?

Well, now you have! Because this year I am introducing a new holiday catalogue called En Famille, from which you can choose the family you would like to go on holiday with. Yes, the ideal family of your choice – even though you've never met them before.

Picking a family by mail order? Doesn't sound right, does it? And yet that's exactly what you do with a holiday home or hotel or cruise ship! You pick it out of a catalogue without hesitation because you like the sound of it or it looks nice in the photos or the description makes it sound just what you're looking for.

Well, if you can do it with a holiday home, why not with your holiday companions?

In En Famille, we have hundreds, if not thousands, of stunning colour photographs of families of all ages and sizes, one of which is bound to be the perfect fit for your holiday wants.

Say you are a normal (!) family of four people – father, mother, son, daughter. Father is dead keen on sailing. Mother hates sailing, loves shopping and antiques. Son quite likes sailing but prefers video games and loafing around. Daughter hates her brother, likes horses and pouting a lot.

Bit of a problem, eh?

The long-term solution is obvious. This family is headed for disaster and should be split up immediately, each member being relocated in another family.

But in the short term, for holiday purposes, turn immediately to the pages of En Famille and, using the sophisticated step-by-step guide, find another family with a yacht-mad father, a shopaholic mother, a grungy son and a moody, horse-loving daughter. Book them to go on holiday with you, and your problems are over!

Perhaps you don't need an entire family, just a companion for your moody teenager or a golfing crony for your golf-mad dad? These, too, can be hired singly from En Famille! You don't have to have a whole family from the catalogue. We have plenty of individuals for hire, ranging from louche single mother to bulimic teenage daughter, from studious 20-year-old anorak to football-mad, middle-aged and paunchy!

Although En Famille is in its first full year of operations, we had a pilot run last year, and initial reports were unbearably exciting. Here are some of the comments we received from happy first-time En Famille users...

"Dear En Famille, Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting me in touch with another caravan freak! None of my family has ever understood my hobby, so it was beyond my wildest dreams to be able to hire a fellow enthusiast!"

"Dear En Famille, We were dreading taking our 12-year-old son on holiday, as all he is interested in is this dreadful new Warhammer game, so we are eternally grateful for the hire of an equally dreadful teenager from your catalogue, who kept our son quiet throughout."

"Dear En Famille, I thought you might like to know that my wife has recently run off with the husband of the family we went on holiday with from your books last summer. I cannot thank you enough for this."

The En Famille holiday catalogue. More than 1,750 families in full colour. It could change your life. It could even change your wife. Order your copy now.

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