By Jasmine Stephens, Family Editor
Memories of childhood holidays are some of those that stay with you for life. When I was a kid, our summer days were spent eating chips in cones on the shingle beaches of Leysdown and during the evenings we would career around the caravan park clubhouse, chasing the lights of the disco ball until we were so tired we were lulled to sleep on the bench seats by the Birdie Song.
In later years, my parents changed tack, but holidays were still more about playing in the garden of our cousins’ house in Cornwall, rather than an elusive trip to Disneyland or a much coveted flight to…, well anywhere really. Despite this, they are still some of the happiest memories that I have. The eighties were great; when responsible parents covered their kids in Ambre Solaire oil to help them tan more evenly and jelly shoes were all the rage. At least 50% of that is back in fashion now, so I guess it’s not all progress.
Times have changed and the world is a more mobile place. Many families are now fortunate enough to be able to afford to take their children abroad, but for me family holidays should still all be about spending time together, not spending as much money as possible. A two-day camping trip can give children the opportunity to build amazing memories and enjoy quality time and attention from their parents in just the same way as a fortnight in Florida. Alright, us parents might not enjoy it quite as much as a week in the sun but what the heck, it’s all about the kids, right?
If you’re stuck for ideas for new holiday experiences, loveholidays.com has come up with a ‘Bucket and Spade list’ of things to do with your children to encourage adventure and fun in families before the kids have flown the nest and it’s too late to make the kind of memories that matter.
The list has something for everyone, from ‘build a sandcastle’ to ‘light a paper lantern in China’. You’d have to be Princess Charlotte to get through them all, but it’s a great place to turn to when inspiration is running a little low.
loveholidays.com found from their research that for 25% of UK kids, being with their family was their favourite part of going on holiday, compared to just 13% who said it was all about the flight on an aeroplane and 13% who loved the warm sunshine that a break away can bring.
“This Bucket and Spade checklist really goes to show how much children appreciate their holidays,” said Matthew Lawson, E-commerce Director at loveholidays.com.
“Possibly, most important of all, this means that they’re remembering the fun things you’ve done together as a family – something that’s proven by the 25% that say spending more time with their family is the best part of going on holiday. We just feel that making lasting memories is one of the most important things in childhood, and we hope our checklist will help in creating some of those.”
So next time you’re wondering how you’re going to fill the half term break, I’d recommend browsing the list and thinking back to the parts of your childhood holidays that you really cherished. I wonder if you can still buy Wham bars and Rola-Cola on the Isle of Sheppey…?