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Childhood Holidays


DavidB6937
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Do you have fond memories of any particular childhood holidays? Were you always abroad or more local? Did you even get to go away?

I never got to go 'abroad' until I was 18 when I went to America by myself because my mum wouldn't fly and my dad hated boats so we were pretty limited. My childhood holidays consisted of going to Broadstairs every year for a while, then Blackpool for about a decade to meet up with Scottish friends, and then for the final few years before my dad passed we just took a week or so and did day trips all over the place.

Now I've got kids myself (6 and 3 and another one due this week) it's crazy how they've already been to Disney World twice, Greece and Spain but the great thing is they still love go to places like Haven and Butlins. I know that won't last but I am grateful that they're not holiday snobs quite yet.

I was always happy going to Blackpool. I thought it was bloody brilliant as a kid. The piers, Pleasure Beach and all that. I've not been back since my dad died because I just think I'd have a mental breakdown but I do have incredibly fond memories that I hang on to. I would really love to take my kids one day just for the emotional connection even if it is mostly a shithole.

Curious to hear others experiences and if they've changed as you've grown and had your own families.

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We used to go to Wexford nearly every year. A family of five packed into a caravan for a week in the summer beside the beach and we absolutely loved it. A great little corner of the world is Wexford. Used to see half of Dublin there when we went there, mind. Was supposed to go back there for the first time in nearly 20 years a couple of weeks ago until Covid came calling for me.

Edited by Wretch
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Mum and Dad took me and my sister to London when we were young.. We ate in the hotel restaurant the first night.. Then dad not expecting it to be as expensive as it was we ended up in KFC every night after that, I ended up getting a M.A.S.K toy from hamleys.. It was a black car that turned into a sub. 

https://images.app.goo.gl/E6c8wnsyKsexewKg6

Edited by King of Hamptons
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If we had a holiday (tended to be every other year) we stayed very local, didn't even leave the county. Always a week in a caravan at Wells-Next-The-Sea on the north Norfolk coast.

Going to the amusement arcade in the evenings was always the thing I'd look forward to most - Wrestlefest, Turtles & air hockey. There was a local (we assumed) fella who was always hanging round the arcades who was on the larger side & vaguely resembled Ray Traylor. One evening my dad greeted him with "alright, Boss Man?" as we walked past him which 9ish year old me thought was the funniest thing ever.

It's still one of my favourite places in the world. 

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For a few years, going to guess approximately between the ages of 7 and 10, my parents would take us on mad road trips for a couple of weeks every summer holidays. We'd take the boat to Zebrugge and then drive off on various routes across continental Europe stopping off along the way and then circling back. I only wish I could have appreciated it more because at that age you can't really but looking back it was cool as fuck. Because of these journeys, I've now been to places like Liechtenstein, Bratislava and Krakow and I'm sure it was these holidays which instilled my later love of travel and adventure. 

A few years later, my parents got tired of the ambitious (and I imagine often stressful) trans-continental exhibitions with 3 children and instead just went to Spain every year. Each year they'd pick a general region of Spain and spend 2 weeks travelling around there. In this case, I'm certain that this is where my love of Spain began and many places I was brought as an obnoxious teenager became places I travelled to - and even lived in - years later. 

It's a bit humbling when you remember how much of an outwardly obnoxious prick you can be at that age when, looking back, you clearly loved it and it really gave you so much for the future. 

Edited by SpiritOfTheForest
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I was very lucky when I was little and started going abroad when I was 4 years old and my brother was 10. We went to the south of France by coach and stayed on a campsite.

We went a couple of times and my parents got to know the owner of the travel company. They became friends so the owner would send us on test trips (being a family with a good age gap between me and my brother) where he’d only charge the absolute bare minimum for my parents. This meant we went to different parts of France and Spain trying out these campsites before he then opened them up to the wider market. We’d go 3 times a year until I was about 8.

Then when I was 8 (my brother was 14) we progressed to flying and we went to Florida for the first time. That was incredible. My parents said they wanted to wait until my brother and I were both old enough to properly appreciate and remember everything. I think that’s when my travel bug properly took hold.

After that we flew most places but still did a couple of the coach trips to Spain in between ‘main’ holidays. We did Tenerife, Egypt, Jamaica and Florida a couple more times by the time I was 16.

I am very grateful to my parents and know this was a very privileged childhood. I love to travel and have been to a lot of different countries, even took a gap year after university and went around the world. My travel buddy and I try to go to different countries as much as possible and usually do 3 trips a year under normal circumstances (sometimes for a Grand Prix). My favourite places have been Fiji and Brazil, and one of my bucket list trips was Chernobyl.

Edited by Monkee
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When I was younger it was always one year a Haven/Butlins/Pontins break then the next year/2 years after off to Spain. 2 of the best were one year going to a Haven camp in Yorkshire as a big group of 3/4 families where my older cousins were drooling after the male yellow coat reps and one of my younger cousins and my little sister would drive everyone nuts by constantly singing the 'Finger Song'. The other was another Haven camp in Scotland, we took my cousin Ant from Weston with us to keep me company and we spent the whole time trying to best each other on the arcades and one night stayed up late as one of the channels was showing The Lost Boys, which neither of us had seen before

One of the funnier Spain holidays was a few months after my aunt passed away, we took my cousin Kate (who I've always had more of a sister bond with as we're the closest in age) to Estartit with us to lift her spirits and took our older cousin as a company, we had one day where it was like being back home as it belted it down for practically the entire day so we spent most of it in the club under the hotel in a kids/teen club watching movies

Most of the better holidays though for me came after my teens, having a lot more freedom to do things on my own, such as going out and exploring the local areas in Marmaris and Benidorm (the latter being the first holiday I had a room to myself instead of being in a family room) when I didn't fancy staying round by the pool, or getting to live out childhood dreams like doing the tour of MSG with my dad in New York and seeing Times Square all lit up at night

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Holidays were a massive mixed bag depending on how well my Dad was earning. We never flew anywhere because he was terrified of flying and he only got on a place to go to my wedding (and one small practice flight a few months in advance).

In the 'poorer' years we stayed in the UK and enjoyment was related to weather, some of the shitter ones included a cottage in Derbyshire where it rained constantly and we had nothing to do and a caravan in Tenby which was ruined by me breaking my arm 2 days before and all of us getting the flu during the holiday. Actually we've always got sick as a family when staying in Caravans. That said we had some great holidays like camping in Devon with beautiful Sun and my parents letting me and my brother just mess around in the outdoor pool for half the day each day.

As I got older my family had a bit more cash so we took a couple of road trips to Europe in 2000 and 2001 which made up for about 5 years of bad UK holidays. The first one was fantastic with us travelling to different regions of France every few days. We were staying in the Eurocamp tents and each place had a pool or beach. Apart from the weather, food and being allowed a couple of beers with my dad. My strongest memory was being astounded by all the European girls/ladies happily parading around the pool in bikinis and even less at the beach. Quite a step away from what we saw back home. Quite overwhelming for teenage me back then.  The year after we had a wedding to go to and we took a trip to Paris afterwards.

 

While staying in a caravan around Compiegne, the whole family suffered from 2 way release food poisoning. This resulted in one of my more embarrassing moments as a kid. My parents went off to the supermarket and let me stay on the camp ground but didn't give me a key. So I was left mooching around with a still dodgy stomach  when my internal warning system went off. Dashing to the nearest shitter and completing a round of croissant filled destruction it became apparent there was no toilet paper. Without surveying the damage I pulled up my kecks to look for something to wipe with. Luckily I swiftly found some unused tissues another camper must have left behind in a another stall. Sadly my khaki trousers had not weathered the stains well and around the crevice. There was no a deep brown line of shit stain. Panicking I managed to stealth over by crab walking to the shower block and wash my trousers before putting them back on and lying in the midday sun arse up until they dried. Not my finest moment. 

I genuinely feel lucky that my parents took me to some pretty interesting places at home and abroad though as even being dragged around some museums or other places I considered boring at the time. I think the trips helped shape some of my interests and passions as an adult especially road trips and long distance travel overland. I actually can't wait until I move my new family back to the UK in a few years and we can do holidays there and in Europe. Hauling my wife, unborn son and dog around Europe in a tiny car overloaded with camping gear is one of my main future goals. 

 

 

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As a kid we only went abroad once as a family before my parents split up to Majorca. T2 was out on video and the local bar was showing it a couple of nights during the week so I kept on insisting we go there for tea to watch it. It was also there at age 7 where I discovered Sangria was delicious. After that it was UK holidays with just my mum, Cornwall and Devon in a caravan but still just as many good memories. We were always slightly jealous of those kids that got to go abroad every year, particularly the ones going to America, but we were more than happy with just being able to go anywhere at all.

I've got three kids now and me and my Mrs have taken them abroad three times but we go camping or in a caravan two or three times a year aswell and we love it. They're happy wherever we go but finally getting to go to America, to Disney and on a Disney cruise is something I hope they never forget. We'd told them for nearly a year that we were going to Spain and then a month before told them that we'd had to cancel but we'd booked somewhere else instead. I had cards printed off with clues as to where we were going and video cued up and filmed their reactions. It was priceless, everybody cried and it was worth the cost just to see how happy they were. I'd always said because we'd never been able to go when we were younger I'd do anything to take my kids there. And I cried like a baby when I walked in to the Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios.

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When I was a kid our family couldn't even afford Skegness, we ended up in Ingoldmells every year. I loved it, beach, arcades, soft play areas, great market. Cracking times. 

I keep considering going back, but a friend of mine says the place has gone to Hell, and I don't want to ruin the memories. 

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We never went abroad, but mum and dad always made a great effort for a holiday.

My fondest memory was the week in Paignton where my nan had given me a very generous £20 holiday spending money, and the bollocking I got from my dad after I'd spent it all in the first hour of the first day on Wrestlefest. I also got a blood-blister on my finger.

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We didn't do a lot - a weekend in Scarborough every now and then, staying with my brother when he lived in the Lake District, or down to Suffolk to stay with a great aunt for a few days when I was very young. 

The biggest family holiday we ever did was to Wales, staying in Rhuddlan. It can't have been for more than a week, but it felt like we were there forever. We were in a self-catering place that felt massive and very old, all stone floors and whatnot. It was allegedly haunted, and there was a "trapdoor" under one of the armchairs in the living room that just went down into a bricked up tunnel - my Dad told me that it had once been an escape tunnel leading from Rhuddlan Castle so that if the castle was ever attacked, people could escape. Writing that out now, I realise that's almost definitely bollocks. 

The place was allegedly haunted, and it's the only family holiday I remember going on with one of my half-brothers, who really believes in that sort of thing. The house's guestbook was full of comments about the ghost, a doll, and a mannequin. There was a creepy porcelain doll by the window, and we'd come back from a day out and find it facing a different direction than when we left. Even as a kid, I kind of assumed the landlord (who we saw most days) snuck in and moved it around while we were out to play into the whole "haunted" gimmick. Other weird stuff happened - stuff just used to break for seemingly no reason; a plate fell off a shelf at the other side of the kitchen from any of us, the back of the TV exploded (I remember having to go down to a weird little second-hand shop with my Dad to replace the telly), my Dad broke his toe, and my brother kept having nosebleeds. Any of those things in isolation would just be a shitty thing to have happen on a holiday, but all going on together with the place's reputation for being haunted had my brother freaking out.

The room that me and my brothers stayed in had this tiny little door inset in one wall...even as a kid, I would have had to bend down to get through it, the adults would have to basically bend double or crawl through. My half-brother insisted that we not open it, because it spooked him so much. We agreed that we'd open it on the last day, and it just led to the tiniest little alcove room with an old dressmaker's dummy in it wearing a red formal military-style jacket. There had been a bunch of references to a mannequin in the guestbook and we didn't know what they meant, but there it was. Freaked the fuck out of me.

 

Another was to a campsite just outside Beverley, so practically on our doorstep. We didn't camp, just stayed in a chalet. It was awful. The place was filthy, nothing worked, there were bloodstains on one of the curtains, and it was crawling with bugs. My Mam spent the whole time desperate to just pack it in and go home. There was a really ugly rug in the middle of our chalet, and Mam got really, really freaked out when she got nosey and looked through the window of another couple of chalets while out on a walk and saw that none of them had a rug in their living room area. She was convinced that there'd be either a chalk outline, a huge bloodstain, or a million cockroaches hidden under it. I don't remember most of it now, but it was definitely the worst holiday I've been on.

Towards the end of the '90s, my Dad got his degree and started working in education, and through a transfer programme thing that Hull College had going on, he got fairly regular trips to Rotterdam, and did some teaching over there. A couple of times in around '98/'99 my brother and I tagged along with him, so that was the first time we ever went abroad. Going on the ferry was almost as exciting as being in another country. Because Dad was working, we didn't really see much of Holland, outside of the hotel, the college, and train stations, but we had a couple of trips into town to go shopping. Main memory there is of going to a huge video game shop, and I could still probably rattle off a list of all the games I bought in Rotterdam on those two trips. The main one being Metal Gear Solid, because it didn't have the standard artwork and screenshots on the case - so when, in the game, the clue to find someone's radio frequency is "it's on the back of the box", I was fucked. We made it to Efterling theme park once, though.

We moved to Jersey when I was 13, the first time I'd ever been on a plane, and didn't really do "holidays" after that - even less so than before. Any trips we could manage were back home to see family. The only three holidays I can think of that we fit in outside of that, when I was around 13/14, were a trip to Disneyland Paris, where I got food poisoning and had a miserable time, which I think was just me, my brother, and my Dad, as my Mum didn't want to come, another trip to Rotterdam, and a day trip to St. Malo (again, off the back of my Dad's job, as it was just us and a bunch of his students), where I got violently seasick on the ferry. 

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