What are your little holiday "traditions"?(193 Posts)
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Those little things you do that wouldn't really excite anyone else but you make you happy and enhance your holiday? I like going to a supermarket as soon as possible after arrival and buying shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion in a scents or brands not available in the U.K. Then we use it all holiday and if I like it I buy some more to take home and then whenever I use it it takes me back to being on that holiday 😊
When the DC were little & we did self catering in the UK I used to buy those multi packs of junk cereals for them as a treat for the week!
We also had a tradition of everyone got to choose a day out during our holiday week & the rest had to fall in with it!
We have a pre and post holiday tradition.
We eat out for the last meal, so that there is no washing up to do before we lock the house up......
And when we get home, we always go out for lunch the next day. We like to have loads of veg, after the excess of the holiday without the faff of going shopping and preparing them.
We then do the shop on a full stomach!
I also change the beds so our first night home we get a good sleep.
We always go self catering in UK. I have a tesco crate in spare room which is the "holiday box". So we have one week spring and one November.
During the year I pop in treats and nice booze for us all. Dogs included. So nice toiletries, maybe a flavoured gin, chocolates, snacks. Then I add like books, magazines, and sometimes a game. By the time we go it's usually full with loads of nice stuff we wouldn't normally buy. Everyone loves the holiday box!!
If we're flying then DH always has a Bacardi and coke and a beer. It wouldn't be a holiday flight if he changed his beverage.
For a beach holiday, the last weekend before we all go round the local charity shops and choose a couple of books to read on holiday. The theory is that we'll just leave them behind after but often I bring mine back as it reminds me of the holiday.
In the days before streaming films from the internet was common, if we were going for a UK cottage/caravan holiday we would also buy a few DVDs each from a charity shop and watch them on rainy days/evenings in. I feel slightly aggrieved that I've lost this tradition now that we just take a laptop and use Netflicks.
Ooh I love these, especially The Holiday Box. Might do that one for Center Parcs later this year.
We always but Nutella when on holiday - don’t date have it at home.
I let the children pack their own cases and then they line up.
"Everyone who has packed a toothbrush take one step forward...."
At least two children run upstairs ….. come back
start again …..
"Everyone who has packed a sunhat take one step forward!"
and so on...
eventually they get to the front door and we can leave...
We tend to do UK holidays, and I like looking in the local charity shops & antique places wherever we are. It's amazing the difference between regions and I've unearthed some terrific stuff over the years.
Another thing we do (started when dc1 was a baby) is to find a steam railway and go on a train ride. Love it. Love the sound and smell of steam trains. Love trundling slowly along through random picturesque countryside. Not interested in the trainspotting side of it, I just like the nostalgia of it all.
We also like finding little tucked-away museums. And coffee shops. And fish & chip shops.
Must-have purchases: (bit sad ) souvenir tea towel and shopping bag, and a notepad for shopping lists. I also have a penchant for picking up unusual or interesting-looking stones.
Yes my house is full of crap
our tradition is to go to the same place every year! Love knowing where the best beach is, a good pub, all that - but also finding a couple of new things each time as well.
Oh, I always buy a fridge magnet when I visit somewhere new.
And when away camping, I take a picture of each pub sign we visit. We have no kids, so it's quite a few now!
I love the charity shop idea!
We have blankets and hot water bottles for the car (usually UK based).
We always buy the cheesiest, tackiest fridge magnet we can find. It started when DH went away when we were first together and got me one as a joke. The kids love competing to see who can find the 'worst' one
I love going to the local supermarket for good insights on the local culture.
When travelling to our holiday destination (always somewhere in the UK) we’d stop for “breakfast” in a lay-by and I’d always have a wee box of coco pops from the selection pack!
We also had (and my parents still have) a holiday box where we’d collect bits to take with us that we never usually had (chocolate spread, peanut butter etc)
@homemadegin I'm stealing that idea as we do UK holidays, that's so lovely!!
Always buy a fridge magnet and a postcard.
When I was little my parents got a postcard from every place we went and put in a scrap book with the dates of our trips and I have always done the same as an adult.
I love a magnet, out fridge is almost full!
It’s a bit sad but if we have a break in the uk the kids insist on McDonalds breakfasts. It’s becoming far too regular and I’m starting to get addicted to hash browns
We go out for dinner the night before and always buy a picture of where we are staying and have it framed on our holiday wall
Arrive at airport early, have breakfast, two large Chardonnays (am petrified of flying), have about twenty wees, get on plane with bottle of water in a plastic bag and put audiobook on headphones and pray during takeoff!!!
It's not a holiday without a boat trip is some sort.
@homemadegin I like the thought of your dog enjoying luxury toiletries and quaffing gin on your holidays 😂😂
I have to buy something new from the airport.Perfume,sunglasses etc
We used to save a couple of tins of Quality Street or Roses from Christmas and smuggle them into the car. On rainy days (and we normally holidayed in Scotland so it rained often), we’d announce a holiday PJ day and stay indoors watching Buffy DVDs and eating chocolates. DH and youngest son had a special dance they did to the theme tune - just happy memories now.
We always buy something for our Christmas tree. It’s lovely each December unpacking memories of places we’ve been.
If we go to Majorca it’s not a holiday until
We see the Bimbo bread van.
We always get a fridge magnet
If we're flying we always have breakfast in the airport pub
When we go on UK holidays I always make a bolognese to take with us for our first tea! We're off to butlins on Monday so I need to make it this weekend!
No wi-fi..none of us.
And we always have a 'shit shirt' night...the gawdier the better!!
We always buy a fridge magnet & send postcards.
My dm always sends postcards to my dc & has done since they were born. They've each got a folder full of them now as dm goes on lots of holidays. They're so lovely with all the unusual stamps & sweet messages.
In the old days (15+ years ago) DH & I used to buy a new mug each as when we stayed in caravans they only had tiny cups. These days everywhere has mugs so that tradition died out
full English/Scottish/welsh breakfast over looking the sea, with a newspaper and at least 5 cups of tea.
Yy to fridge magnet and tea spoon.
We always take UNO and cards with us to wind down in the evening.
At the end of the holiday we go to a supermarket to see what lovely —wine— things we can bring back. Inevitably cheese may be on the list.
I always get a tree decoration too! I also like to buy a souvenir tea towel!
DH always buys new underpants just before a holiday. It’s like a compulsion. His mum always bought his new pants and socks before holidays when he was a kid and he just can’t leave the country without new undercrackers.
The Poundland junk food run! A week before holiday I go to Poundland with 20/30 quid and buy loads of fruitshoots, sweets, crisps etc. Then put together the infamous 'Sweetie Bag'
The kids are allowed to ask for something from the sweetie bag whenever they want when we're on holiday and it's just brilliant. Seeing their little faces when they realize they can have what they want when they want. Normally we're quite strict about treat portions, so they love the freedom.
If going on holiday in the UK we always have a breakfast pitstop at a local American style dinner. We fill up on pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and old fashioned coke floats and coffee. It nicely sets us up for the seven hour drive to Cornwall.
Always make the beds up with fresh linen and clean the bathrooms before going on holiday so the house feels welcoming to come back to.
Usually try and arrange some sort of treat like theatre tickets or night in a nice hotel the weekend after we get back so don't get post holiday blues
Back in the days of audio cassette tapes, any holiday that included driving, we would make mixed tapes and play them in the car. Whenever I hear music from those tapes, it always takes me back to particular holidays.
I like to take a day or two off work before a holiday so that you can revel in the anticipation and take joy in the prep and packing.
Another tradition that I learnt from the Kardashians is on the last evening to ask everyone what their highlight and lowlight of the holiday was. The lowlight one I feel helps to make peace with the time someone puked on your lap in the car, for example.
It's always stuck with me and also I've found that when friends/colleagues come back from holidays asking that question gets some really lovely and interesting answers.
If in the UK we always try to have breakfast at Giraffe on our way. We always buy a fridge magnet. And we must always go to the beach, even if it's pouring with rain and we're in our waterproofs.
When we were young we went to Spain a lot. My parents would always buy Fanta Lemon. It was the holiday drink. They totally ruined it by bringing it out here in the UK, now it’s just not special anymore.
My Mum would always get my Brother and I the multipacks of cereal when we went away in the caravan. My brother and I would argue over who got the Snaps. We would never have them at home, only the caravan!
Dh always has pizza when we get home I sometimes do but not exclusively and we always have a Chinese night before we go.
Week before is random meals to use the fridge stuff up
Oh yes Fanta lemon when it was only an holiday drink was so much nicer
Similar to the holiday box we have a 'camping box' with all the little useful things like sugar and sauce sachets, head torches, cards, travel connect 4, glow sticks, mystic fire, solar fairy lights, Bailey's (milk substitute as there's no fridge).
We have the same tradition as youv@Elliemayclampett
We always have our favourite Chinese takeaway the night we get back from holiday. Means we don’t have to cook when we get home and gives us one last little thing to look forward to. The thought of salt and chilli wings especially helps us through long haul flights home!
We've always had a 'holiday box' but it's got smaller now we have adult dc. It's now more of a 'holiday tupperware box' with sachets of ketchup, mustard, vinegar, mayo, brown sauce, and packets of salt and pepper and brown sugar. We collect them for months beforehand - every time we go to a cafe, we'll take one or two.
Saves taking bottles and jars of the stuff with you if you're self-catering., and handy to keep in the car if you are out and about having impromptu picnics etc.
Love the holiday box idea!
We always have a posh meal out on the last night of the holiday.
When the DC were small we used to go s/c to the same place every year and the only supermarket was Asda. So Asda food always = holidays for me!
Dh cues up "Holiday Road" on the iPod as we drive away.
I always used to Make a playlist and last week my now teenage children both remembered it when a certain song came on the radio.
Clean loo and beds before we go and also the washing and ironing basket both have to be empty
Yes house clean and tidy.
Empty wash basket.
Clean beds but folded back so they air.
Cleaner in the loo.
Coconut shower gel and body oil if going abroad to a hot sunny place.
I save up new books to read on holiday.
You used to be able to buy sew on tourist badges with the names of places and a pic on. We’d buy one each UK holiday and sew it onto a thick blanket used in the car and when camping.
I buy a cute notebook before any holiday and write a little diary before I go to sleep, noting down random comments of the day or funny things we have seen. Then DS draws a picture of his favourite thing about the day.
I get one out every now and then to read and laugh about Vall Buti (Sausage Valley [buti = butifarra, Spanish sausage] ) a bit of mountain road we were driving along with the amazing scent of grilled sausage! DH falling over in a stream during a picnic in the middle of a 7-hour drive , a double rainbow, a cloud that looked like a spaceship, a field of donkeys - that led to the 3-legged wonky donkey joke! Our dog being chased by a goose!
And we always find a small something to put on the Christmas tree.
When I was a child, a solution was found to arguments about small decisions, such as who would sit next to who, which café we would go to, what activity we might do. The choices would be written on scraps of paper and put in a box; everybody would be reminded that no moaning would be allowed about the outcome. This having been agreed, one of the children would be blindfolded (a fitting use for airline masks), and would draw a scrap of paper. This really worked, and we all liked it so much we had to agree to make a choice of this sort every day we were away!
We didn't use this method to decide where to go on holiday, although once our parents announced it by writing the same destination on multiple pieces of paper for us to draw!
VanillaSauce - how does Bailey's work on cornflakes? (milk substitute) sounds like my kind of holiday
Whatever time of day we land we go to McDonalds near the airport. We eat in the car and talk about what our pets have been up to while we were away and if the kennels will be open to get our dog.
I love your idea of the notebook elquinto and your holiday sounds so familiar and very much the type of things we laugh at too...I could just picture it.
I'm also like you MrsPear and have to have everything coconut when abroad - spritz, shower creme, hair products ...just makes me think of the sunshine smelling them!
Ours are :
We must all sing Cliff Richard's Summer Holiday as we set off in the car.
If driving to the South West we must play Spinal Tap's Stonehenge as we are passing It.
First alcoholic drink has to be toasted by saying "cheers cheers holiday beers"
Camping holidays must involve a bottle of Sloe Gin
Must do one family selfie at an interesting place.
Must buy a Hard Rock Cafe badge if there is a branch where we are.
Husband must visit all record shops in the area.
For UK. A pile of magazines. Including really awful magazines. The ones with puzzles where people share stories of sleeping with their boyfriends stepfather who was a serial killer etc. Plus a couple of decent books and a large jigsaw to share.
Plans. I always plan. Places to eat. Things to do. Weather forecast. Travel when abroad - preferring not to book trips through travel agent. Local laws and etiquette. I have a huge folder by the time I go away. Silly because we rarely use the information!
Arrange for deep clean so house is sparkly to come back to.
I watch an episode of blue bloods whilst packing. I have no idea why.
We always book into an airport hotel that offers parking for the duration of our holiday for the night before our flight.
That way we can take our time getting there. It doesn't matter if there's a traffic hold up etc, because we're not rushing to get the flight. Once we've checked in and parked the car, we go to the bar and relax. We have an evening meal in the hotel with a bottle of wine. As soon as we've checked in to the airport hotel our holiday has started as far as we're concerned, even though we haven't left the ground yet.
Is the holiday box going to become the new Christmas Eve box?
When we were kids my dad had a running joke with a friend to send each other the most boring postcard possible, so we all loved looking for the dullest ones we could find - things like dead chickens or old wooden buckets!
Soap. No matter where we go abroad, we go into local chemist type shops and buy a few bars of soap. We use them up throughout the year and remember our holidays. My favourite so far is a lovely pink bar we bought in a small town in Spain, followed by a transparent bar we bought in Germany. Very cheap ways of preserving the holidays and remembering throughout the year etc...
Not such nice traditions seems to involve both me and my husband getting hugely flustered, running round checking everything is turned off and him deciding to start packing as me and the children are all packed and sitting in the car waiting. Often an argument ensues and quite often we drive to the airport or campsite or whatever in tense silence :-)
I always buy a pretty mug. Then sometimes when I drink from it/get it out of the dishwasher I get happy memories of when and where I bought it. I don’t care about mid-matched mugs!!
This thread has made Discussions of the day
My mum always made cauliflower cheese for dinner when we got back from holiday, as we'd have eaten rubbish on holiday. I bloody hate the stuff! It felt like adding insult to the fact that the holiday was over!
Always one ice cream per day (no more, no less)!
If we’re driving to our holiday we always plan a stop at a KFC. Maybe don’t go any other time so it’s a big treat.
Also Fanta lemon and I try to resist buying it any other time
Eat ham rolls at 4am on the way to the Eurotunnel and all day thereafter.
Crack open a bottle of red as soon as the key goes in the gite door. And panache for the older DC's - referred to as 'Barmaid's tears'.
Plan a Carrefour trip asap to stock up handsoaps and shower gel etc.
Insist on taking my Joanne Harris French cookbooks even though I rarely open them
Visit one or more brocantes for tat to bring home.
Stock up on books to read - usually get through 10 in a fortnight.
Just booked a week in Brittany, can't wait now!
I have to clean and tidy the house and empty the wash baskets too. So lovely to come back to a welcoming house.
DC always have those mini sugary variety cereal packs. Even now as almost-adults they ask for them if we go away.
Everyone gets a new book
or three to take away with them.
A massive breakfast once we're airside, and once we're on the plane a G&T. We always take our insulated cafetiere and a bag of coffee, so can begin each day wired to the eyeballs.
I will collect paperback books from the boot fair or charity shops before we go and leave them there. I also take shampoo, conditioner shower gel etc and leave remains there.
My reasoning is the weight gained in my suitcase by leaving them behind can be utilised by bringing back different items of food and drink we have found in local supermarkets or just booze. We try to sample the local spirit or liqueur in restaurants or bars (sometimes we'll buy a miniature bottle to try) and if we like it we will bring it back
am chuffed so many of you like my holiday box.
It's definitely loved here. We have just had first baby, but usually take niece and nephew away. If I'm shopping with them they love choosing something to go in.
Hope DD loves it as much as they do.
Have loved this thread and reading all your traditions.
For DD I have started a book, with a note of where we went and what we did for each holiday, like a holiday diary......it can live in the holiday box!!!
The other thing that lives in the box are items I may have forgot or lessons I've learnt the hard way. Spare dog collar and lead I'm looking at you.
Ahhh how they have changed now we have kids. Uses to be we'd get accidentally shitfaced on the plane, drop stuff at hotel, go out, drink more beers then spend 6 hours trying to find our way back to hotel.
Now we have new traditions... usually while camping. Toddler DD has to hand out the pegs while pitching the tent, and also has to "help" roll up the tent at the end by sitting on DH who is trying to roll it up. Ice creams will be regularly deployed.
We always eat out the night before we leave and get take away the night we come back. An ice cream everyday is compulsory too! Lots of lovely ideas here.
G&Ts at the airport... the earlier the flight the better, as it feels naughtier.
we always swear to eat less and do more culture...we never do, so that's our tradition
been to Amsterdam I don't know how many times and 25 minutes in the RijksMuseum is the sum total of the culture, there was a scary giant puppet, we left. To buy a stiff drink. That thing still haunts me.
We look it all up, make plans and then just daunder about people watching, buying coffees, cakes, drinks and meals and wandering about markets.
We come to the UK in Spring (budget airline and hand luggage only) every year. It’s become a tradition to:
Pack heavier clothes away in our suitcases as we stop using them in March.
Save hotel toiletries for the first night.
Buy two of those lightweight facecloth medallions that expand in water.
Pack ancient underwear/T-shirts to use and throw away so there’s more room for souvenirs.
I buy a CD for our collection and a kindle book.
A multi-socket for our tech.
Once we’re there:
Classic FM on the car radio.
Fish & chips on the hoof is a must.
Variety pack cereals.
A delivery from Iceland (other supermarkets need a UK credit card) with stuff like black pudding, Kraft lunchables, Aunt Bessie.
I also have a hardback notebook that we fill in every year with our planned activities. DC write memorable phrases on the last page for that year.
This year I had the L’Occitane Advent Calendar so I have lots of mini products to take with us! Even though we go to the same place every year I still get excited and the traditions are part of it.
This year DC1 is extending University holidays to come with us after a 2-year break when holidays with the family were NOT cool!
Listen to R2 on UK holidays
Take my washing puff thingy with me and leave it when holiday over. Have a new one ready and waiting in the shower when I get home.
Clean house top to bottom, washing up to date and beds changed before departure
I always complain on last day of holiday that I haven't had an ice cream. DH and DD roll their eyes
Christmas tree bauble from all holidays (preferably with the year on it)
Individual cereal packets for UK holidays.
If travelling by plane, I always spend the whole return journey worrying that either my Nan or the Queen will have died.
Lots of souvenir tea towels and mugs. DS1 now says "look there's a gift shop mum".
A "surprise" holiday. Last year I told them at the airport where we were going. Planning the same for this year!! Excited 🇸🇪 😉
Wine for me. M&S shop for UK self catering. Even better if the meal deal is on!
I've loved reading this thread!
I'm taking my DS on his first holiday in June, he will be 10 month. It's a UK holiday and I'm thinking I might buy a postcard and create an album with the dates and highlights of the trip and do that for each holiday!
My tradition is a bacon sandwich and a pint in the airport no matter what time we fly!
I never set foie in a supermarket on holiday if i can help it. Currently on a tiny island in Indian ocean with no shops so that works for me!
We have a holiday clipboard with random info attached to it. Lists of places to visit, dog friendly beaches, restaurants that we want to try, events and festivals, and money off vouchers. I'm considered very "sad" and get endlessly laughed at by the kids who are pretty much grown up now but when DS holidayed with friends recently he had to condescend that they were so disorganised they could have done with a clipboard too!
Loving this thread but @MsMightyTitanAndHerT
I always buy a supermarket bag carrier thing for a euro so when I'm doing my weekly shop in Aldi at home, I feel all continental with my Mercadona and Albert Hein bags
Jack Daniels and coke on the flight
New book and downloaded films
Meal at height - such as berlin tv tower etc
Climbing lots of towers for views
Something fun - such as VR, Segway etc
Try the local delicacy/tipple - usually a food tour
Always have a G&T on the plane - never drink it otherwise!
Must get a fridge magnet too!
Couple of bottles of wine in the luggage in case too late or too difficult to go out to a local supermarket on arrival! Bliss!
Every time we go abroad, we start with a cocktail on the plane
because it's fine to drink first thing in the morning on holiday
Dd chooses a magnet.
Dd gets a holiday hoodie (the ones with the name of the place we are. E.g. Menorca) and she wears it on the plane on the way home.
We always lose something over the balcony 😂 a beach towel, dds bikini bottoms, 1 flip flop.
We love a self catering holiday and we always get a variety pack of 8 and I always sing the song to go with it 😂
So many -
We have champagne the night before and champagne with our breakfast at Heathrow.
We go to a particular restaurant for lunch when we get there (same place as we have a house in US), and dh and I have the same cocktail and I tragically, take the same photo.
When we get back, we go out for a fancy meal that evening. I think because, when I was a child, coming back from holiday was mega depressing - so we always make it really nice.
everyone getting there pillows set up in the car.
food shop when you get there is somehow thrilling especially in foregn countries but even a welsh Tesco seems amazing!
tuna splodge being the first meal.easy,comforting. done.
the 2 bars of diary millk put in the fridge door on arrival for evenings.
choosing your book.
packing bed linen.
traveling in the dark.
stopping for a golden arch.
Always buy myself some fancy perfume at the airport!
kateandme what is a golden arch?
Is it a sexual position that I haven't heard of?
Mine are quite rubbish but a a tradition is a tradition
I write packing lists for everyone and start packing about 2 months before we go so I know I don't miss anything. Makes me feel less anxious.
We also have a good tidy up of the house before we leave so there's nothing to do when we get home. Leave detailed instructions for cat sitter with important information like where they like to be scratched
We buy sweets / chocolates / mints for the flight out.
And I always take a sandwich on the plane with me, even if there are meals included (just in case I don't like the food) as I've been sat on a long haul flight feeling very hungry once before and felt miserable
I take a book to read and leave it at the hotel when we leave.
We walk to the nearest shop when we first arrive and buy a few beers and nibbles for the room.
We always buy a tea towel for my dad and dh's parents with the name of where we've been.
(Yes, I realise food features quite heavily in my traditions)
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