Growing up we weren’t a family with lots of money and we didn’t have flash holidays and fancy clothes. My sister and I went on camping holidays and to Butlins with our Auntie and Uncle and those holidays will be something I always remember. Watching Jurassic Park in the Kinema in the Woods (Woodhall Spa) is one of those things I can look back on now and think wow, what an amazing time we had.
Being a child, it was never about where we went or how much the holiday cost but how much fun we had while we were there. Before I met John I had been to places like Benidorm, Toronto, Finland and Estonia but also on trips to cities around the UK so I had been to some quite varied places. John has fond memories of camping as a child but he had also been to Las Vegas before we met. Together, we visited Rome, New York and got married in Florida!
When John and I talked about having children we both agreed that holidays were something really important to both of us. We both loved going on holiday together and we wanted to make sure that Erin grew up knowing what that was like. For the first year we didn’t really go anywhere due to my long recovery and PND but as soon as I felt okay we took Erin on trips to places like London, Cambridge and then Center Parcs when Erin was around 22 months.
Looking back at our first holiday to Center Parcs I realise that Erin was so small but she had such a good time. I wasn’t sure if she would be able to remember the holiday but she did and she spoke about it for quite some time afterwards. Erin had already been used to staying in hotels and loving the special feeling of being somewhere else and having an adventure.
When Erin was 2 we managed 3 holidays that year; Majorca, Haven and Center Parcs. All 3 holidays were very different, costing very different amounts but Erin came back from each having had the best time. She spoke about each holidays on many occasions after we got back and seems to constantly be asking about more holidays. We have definitely instilled the travelling bug in her at an early age.
The thing is, holidays aren’t cheap and the year we went on 3 was hard financially. Could we have taken a bit of a step back and not booked as much? Sure, but each holiday was worth it in different ways.
This year we have been away on a few short UK breaks and next week we’re staying in a lodge at Kelling Heath in North Norfolk (AD-Press Trip) and then we have a 4 night break to Haven again in June. We have been very lucky that some of these trips have been for work purposes and my Mum has paid for our Haven break for Christmas and birthdays. However, if these hadn’t have been planned we would have found the money for a holiday this year from somewhere.
At the moment, we’re having a pretty rough time with money due to a quiet time with work for me. This hasn’t stopped me from looking at holidays and I’m currently planning a trip to Butlins Bognor Regis next June. Can we really afford it right now? No, but the deposit is really low and we have a year to pay off the balance.
John works extremely hard, Erin is now at nursery 4 days a week and I am at home most of the time due to being self-employed. We all need a break for different reasons and holidays are worth every penny that we scrimp and save to pay for them. I sell things on Facebook to help pay either for the holiday or our spending money, I am a member of Swagbucks where I earn a little bit of extra money and John works any overtime humanly possible.
We won’t be going on 3 holidays every year like we did in 2018 but I refuse to not at least have 1 holiday a year. Some years we might be able to afford all inclusive abroad somewhere and other years we might only be able to afford self-catering in a caravan at Haven. Erin will grow up knowing that holidays take hard work and saving to pay for them but if you can manage it, you can have some amazing experiences. As a family, we love what holidays can do for us and what Erin gets out of them so we’ll keep making it possible one way or another.
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