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Why I Loved My Family's Caravan Camping Holidays

Static caravan

I've never been to Disneyland and it's something that my mum still laments to this day. It's the epitome of a kid's dream holiday (although let's not pretend that I wouldn't pass out from happiness if I went as a 27 year old), but we couldn't go and it was never an issue for me. My childhood certainly wasn't short of holidays, it's just that they weren't all-inclusive beach resorts abroad - instead we headed to UK seasisde towns, where we stayed in static caravans and had the best time.


My love of exploring new places comes from seeing more of my home country than most people I know. From Bournemouth to Bognor, Scarborough to Skegness, I've seen them all. I didn't feel like I was missing out because I wasn't missing out. Our family holidays often included our extended family joining us, a car full of beach toys, SPF50 AND raincoats, and an unholy amount of food. Here's the essential components of a classic caravan holiday, the way my family did them:

Cleverly utilising space


A caravan holiday is pretty much what inspired the idea of a TARDIS. You think you can't fit much in there but that dining table folds out into a double bed, the shower is above the toilet, and you can attach a tent to the side for cold drink storage and a few extra kids. At first you think there's only two children in this photo, but look a little closer...

Family Caravan Holidays in the UK

Kids club


This was the Shoreditch House of any caravan park. The kids club had treasure hunts, dance-offs, craft activities and a cracking disco. It allowed the parents to have a sneaky G&T because I literally wanted nothing to do with them because OHMYGOD OTHER KIDS MY AGE I WANT TO SHOW THEM THIS ROUTINE I HAVE FOR SPICE UP YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW. That would be why I'm wearing platforms in this photo...

Kids club at Family Caravan Holidays in the UK

Activities


My parents never took us away without the following: buckets and spades, racquets/bats of all varieties with accompanying balls, a frisbee, swimming costumes, probably a blow up paddling pool or five and a partridge in a pear tree. There was no chance we were going to get bored. And the Day Charlotte Hit A Shuttlecock For the First Time is legendary in our family history. Charlotte's me by the way. Obviously.

Family Caravan Holidays in the UK

Family Caravan Holidays in the UK

The beach


We had sandcastles absolutely nailed. My mum was the absolute king of creating spiral staircases and always brought little mini flags to put on top of the turrets. My stepdad was amazing at constructing bridges. BRIDGES. And I collected pointless water for pointless moats because I wasn't particular science-y and didn't get why it would never stay full. At least I'm pretty, right?

Sandcastles on a beach

Family on a beach in UK

Picnics and barbecues


My mum's picnics are legendary. Tupperwares full of everything you could possibly imagine, sandwich fillings specific to everyone's tastes (I loved BLTs with crispy bacon rashers) and there was always a box of hard boiled eggs. Weather wasn't a factor; we had windbreakers, umbrellas, waterproof blankets and if it was truly horizontal rain, we'd just eat in the car. Or if we went on the playground roundabout for too long we wouldn't eat a thing and then get in trouble. Oops.

Family Caravan Holidays in the UK

Camping in the traditional sense isn't always top of my travel list, but I have such fond memories of caravan parks as a kid that I'd gladly go back for a weekend in the UK soon. Only if I there's a tupperware of boiled eggs for the ride.

This post is sponsored by Yelloh! Village but all embarrassing photos and cherished memories are mine. 

9 comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE this Charlie! Old pictures are my absolute favourite, and so are reminiscing on family holidays! We never went to Disney Land either, but although I would still LAV it, I wouldn't have my childhood any other way, camping and kids club is the way forward. Immy x

    www.immymay.com

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  2. I always loved caravan holidays when I was a kid, and still do them now with my little ones!

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  3. Oh god, this post is just WONDERFUL. I think I stayed in a caravan once in my life - we had big extended family holidays too, when I was little. The only thing I remember about it was being stuck in the top bunk when my Grandad came round to visit. But similar holidays are the ones that have stuck with me.

    I never did a kids' club, but having lots of cousins about the same age meant I got to set up my own :D

    Lis / last year's girl x

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  4. Thank you for such a lovely comment! I always loved getting relegated to the top bunk, it made me feel super important!
    Cx

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  5. That's ace! Where do you go now?
    Cx

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  6. Awww thank you so much! Those old pics made me cackle with laughter, it's so nice to find them which is so rare now everything is documented online all the time.
    Cx

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  7. What a great idea for a post! This is brilliant.

    We used to go to the Norfolk Broads as a family every year and I have great memories. The kids clubs were a big part of this. Now I can see them for what they were - an excuse for my parents to get a few hours away from us kids - but they were always a great time. Even for a shy child like myself!

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  8. I enjoyed this so much, I feel so nostalgic! :) I liked the tardis-feel of a caravan too: one of my favourite things was bagging the top bunk and arranging all my books on the shelf beside me to read throughout the holiday. #geekykid

    Sandcastles and being bikes all day, hanging out with siblings and make friends on the campsite felt so good, didn't it?! I was permanently muddy and bruised and slept so well, haha! And god, do I miss a camping bbq...

    This post has genuinely made me think about hiring a caravan this summer rather than going abroad - thanks for the reminder of how brilliant it can be!

    Flora

    www.theeverchanginghome.com

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  9. I'm so pleased that you like this post, it's super personal to me and I think there's so much emphasis on expensive long-haul flights that people assume that's the only way to holiday. I'd love to hear about your upcoming travels if you do end up caravanning this summer!
    Cx

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Cx

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