I grew up in a family that didn't travel abroad on holiday, the rise of the package holiday came after I left home, so holidays for us were far more the pack up the car and tent and travel for what seemed like hours in the car; my brother, sister and me, all squished in the back, with sleeping bags under our bums and a suitcase under my feet.
I remember moaning all the way there, my children definitely inherited "are we nearly there yet?". I remember, I spy and the number plate game, from my own horrific holiday car journeys. I remember car sickness vividly and the smell of Brut 33 as dad frantically tried to remove the smell from the car when one of us didn't warn him in time.
My memories of actual holidays mingle into one, but some things never changed. Cheese sandwiches and warm lemonade as we stopped in a layby on the side of the road on the interminable journey down to Cornwall or Devon. Dad and mum always fighting whilst erecting the tent over which pole went where and just how best to put the tent up. Rain and bad weather seemed to dog our holidays, yet no matter how windy it was, I could never ever get the kite to fly. I don't even remember why I bothered with it, but each year, I insisted that we buy yet another kite, which would end up in a bin at the end of the week, battered and broken from endless dives to earth.
I used to love collecting shells, spending hours picking them up from the seashore and each year, I insisted on bringing them home. It's only now looking back that I think, why? The smell in the car from the shells and seaweed always made me feel even more sick on the return leg and I had to hold the bucket filled to the brim on my lap all the way home. Then within days the lustre had gone from the shells and mum would throw them away.
I look back with nostalgia on my holidays, hours spent looking through rockpools, playing crazy golf and eating ice creams, (normally in the rain) and think how little has changed.
Surprisingly not alot. My early holidays shaped me into an avid staycationer and it's what I still do with my kids now. I love holidays in the UK. We live in such a beautiful country if we take the time to look around and visit it.
The campsites or holiday villages are much nicer; no longer the old huge frame tent that took half a day to erect or dodgy chalets. The sleeping bags are warmer and the term "glamping" figures high on our list. We now camp on pitches with electric and have a fridge or stay in plush chalets, with showers and decent beds and facilities, but some things still remain true to my early holiday memories with my family. We still love the amusement arcades, the penny falls still take coppers, fish and chips still taste best out of newspaper on the beach and nothing quite beats the feel of jumping the waves in the coldest of cold seas imaginable.
I look back with nothing but good memories and hope that my children will feel the same when they are older. I can't find any photos of those times, but I do have the shots from my son's first family holiday, he's threatened to kill me if I put them up on my blog... so I'm not going to win this competition, I'm going to die......(The things I do for my readers risking life and limb)
“Competition sponsored by Butlins Holiday Parks, helping your family make memories.”