With the recession firmly in place, family’s are finding it ever increasingly difficult to afford their sun holiday abroad, on the bright side it gives families the time to be proud of good old fashioned British holidays like the series ‘hi-di-hi’.
There are a large number and variety of British holiday camps such as Pontin’s, Butlins, Heaven etc. Where you can hire apartments, where they include free on-site entertainment, restaurants, and lots more activities and events for kids to participate in, and you can usually get great deals for certain packages, if you start looking and booking.
On the other hand if you like to see the outdoors then why not take the family camping, let them enjoy and experience the wonder of the great out doors and what nature has in store. All camp-sites these days have toilet and shower facilities, an on-site shop and the majority have a club house with live entertainment.
So when choosing your back to Britain holiday try to remember a few things:
Location: When deciding where to take your vacation think about what you really want, do you want to be near to a major town to enjoy the heritage, would you prefer a place with nature hikes and outdoors activities or maybe somewhere with all the amenities in one place for you to enjoy.
You should also take in to consideration your journey time, you will certainly almost be within 2 hours drive of a camp-site. Look at local amenities and attractions along with opening times and prices.
Preparation and travel: Make sure you have checked your car over and topped it up with fuel, water oil etc. along with checking tyres including the spare. If you wear contacts make sure you pop to your optician in Durham to pick up a full supply as it might be more difficult to source these at short notice while you’re away. The majority of check-in times can range from 11am – 2pm, so make sure you plan your journey well including allowing for traffic, it’s advised to check local traffic before setting off and possibly locating 2 different routes. You should also allow for the dreaded saying “I need a wee” which can cause minor delays.
Clothing: You should prepare yourself for all kinds of weather when camping, you most definitely should expect typical British rain. So pack a light cagoule with a hood, avoid umbrellas as they become a hassle to carry. Pack sensible footwear as the majority of the time activities will be involved, but also remember to pack light and sensibly. Tents tend to be short on space so the baggage will either need to stay in the car or be used as a head rest or chair.
Warmth: Even in the summer months camping can still be cold at night. It’s worth putting a ground cover down before you put up your tent, exercise mats are fine or if you like your home comforts a blow up bed is handing to share as long as you remember the foot pump. It is worth spending slightly more money on a proper camping sleeping back along with a small pillow. May be worth sleeping in Pyjama’s and taking a jumper for those colder hours and also for sitting around the camp-fire. (Always check permission before building a camp-fire)
It may also be worth packing a couple of torches with batteries, toilet roll and toiletries, bottled water and empty carrier bags. You can guarantee that someone will need to navigate there where to the toilet facilities during the night so a torch is handy so you avoid the tent ropes. It may also be an idea to take a beach wind break for cooking behind and deck/garden chairs for the wet weather.
Food and toiletries: Take a few snacks and drinks with you for the journey as this is a mini road trip for kids, so let them enjoy it. When camping remember to pack foods in a cool box where needed. You will also need to bring plates, cutlery, bowls, cups etc. Food can be as cheap & simple or as expensive and funky as you like. Cereals or an English breakfast, sandwiches, fruit etc. are probably the easiest when camping or in a caravan along with the occasional meal out. Marshmallows are an extremely fun activities with a warm hot chocolate.
On arrival when camping take a little time to think where you want to pitch your tent, making sure there is enough room for all of your belongings as well as room for the kids to play games and have a run. Let the kids help pitch the tent, it’s the perfect family activity and team work, although allow extra daylight time and have patience they will just be over excited. For safety reasons tie a piece of material which will highlight when lit up around the tent ropes, so people can avoid them when walking past late at night.
Remember to have fun, locate activities which all the family will enjoy, join children’s clubs or day activities and bring back family time. Take a ball for a kick about or game of catch. For the journey suggest games to make the time pass quicker. Cram as much as you can into the days and show the family the best of British holidays.
Claire Nelson is a freelance writer from England who has travelled the world including five continents. Her particular favourites are New Zealand and Canada however since moving from New York to England last year she has started to fall in love with the Great British caravan holiday closer to home.