Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Surviving the £9.50 Holiday

It's all been a bit quiet here recently, hasn't it?  Well, my feet have hardly touched the ground, that's the only excuse I've got.  Aside from doing what can only be described as Too Much Work, we've been gallivanting off for long weekends on those £9.50 holidays that crop up in the papers every now & then. (Not naming the paper, but you know the one I mean!)

We've done a few of these now, with a couple more to follow in the next month or so.  We're becoming old hands at it really, and so we've sort of put together a £9.50 Holiday Survival Kit of the essential things you need to remember to take with you.  Never mind the clothes, towels, toiletries, etc, the real things you need to take along...

Matches - If you're in a caravan, there will be a gas oven.  And it probably won't light itself, even if it's got an ignition switch.
Fan Heater - Unless you're as lucky as we've been this last weekend, you're likely to find your little metal box is pretty cold in the evenings.  And the gas fire is going to be even more temperamental than the oven.
Sharp Knife, Can Opener, Corkscrew - In theory these will be provided in your self catering kitchen. In reality the knife is going to be blunter than James Blunt, the can opener is going to be older than you, and the corkscrew will take one look at a cork & crumple. Even if you plan on cooking nothing more than toast, it's worth having these 3 items with you to insure against the chances of having to try & open a tin of beans & bottle of Bud using the door of your caravan.
Portable DVD Player - I've seen a few tvs with built-in DVD players in caravans & chalets. I've yet to see one that works.  A DVD player, plus essential kids DVDs means you stand half a chance of bedtime, or generally some quiet, happening without tantrums.  And if you take a couple of films, then when you're stuck in the van after baby's bedtime you've got something to watch too.
Coffee - I'm sorry, but I'm not paying what they charge in the "convenience store" for a tiny jar of nafcafe when I've got a huge catering size tin at home.
More changes of clothes than you ever believed possible - You child may be the neatest in the world at home, with their entire wardrobe on hand. But given a weekend away with limited changes, they will cover themselves in chocolate, ice cream, juice, sand, mud and unidentifiable muck roughly every 15 minutes.  And then wipe their hands on you.
A Fancy Dress Outfit - There's a pretty good chance at some point there will be a kids fancy dress party.  It happens, you might as well be prepared for it, rather than having to spend a Saturday afternoon in desperate search of a right sized fairy princess costume.
Lots of Biros - There will be bingo. Fact.  There may well be a quiz.  Don't be that person who has to go round all the other tables in the bar asking if people have got a spare pen.  (Or do like I did the other week, and use an out-of-favour lipstick as a bingo dabber)

Oh, and one more thing Your Sense Of Humour.  It's going to be cheesy, there's no two ways about it.  But so what? Squeaky has a great time, and looking around it looks like most of the other kids do too.  Who cares if you wouldn't normally be caught dead dancing to Agadoo?

This post is my entry to theTravelizer competition, though it was written as a genuine blog post prior to the competition opening.

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