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Share your favourite holiday memories with Haven: you could win £100. NOW CLOSED

(137 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 16:02:01

We've been asked by the team at Haven Holidays to find out MNers favourite memories of holidays!

Please share on this thread your memories of the first time you took your own children away (if you have been lucky enough to have been on holiday with your LOs): where was it, what was it like for you and for them?!

And what was the equivalent one with your parents? How do you think they compare?

What did you do on your holiday when you were a child compared to what your children do on holiday these days?

What's the strangest holiday souvenir you've ever seen or treated yourself too? Maybe a model donkey from Spain? Or some weird drink that tasted good when you were away!? grin

Add your thoughts and memories on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £100 voucher Love2Shop voucher (an excellent chance to stock up on the pre-holiday essentials as the vouchers are accepted at 20,000 stores including Boots, W H Smith, Debenhams, Halfords and Matalan). Prize draw: Monday 31st March 9am.

Please note comments made on this thread may be used by Haven on their pages on Mumsnet, in social media or possibly elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck

PS for everything you need to know to make the most of your Haven holiday. From outdoor experiences for the whole family to on-site restaurants for the fussiest of eaters do check out the NEW Haven pages on Mumsnet

worldgonecrazy Mon 17-Mar-14 16:10:07

Our first holiday with DD was a visit to France when she was 8 months old. My parents came with us, and it was pretty similar to the one we had when I was 6 years old, except we have more money now so could afford to eat out more. It was really lovely as DD was starting solids, so she had lots of flavours to try, and the chefs made a real fuss of her.

All our family holidays revolve around food and this one was not that different, except there were more restaurants, and we weren't having to tot up what we were spending when walking around the hypermarche.

We make a bee-line for religious tat, the tackier the better, so things like picture-change Buddy Jesus, or snowglobes of religious scenes.

Maiyakat Mon 17-Mar-14 19:51:41

First holiday with DD was to Cornwall to meet her great grandad! It was lovely taking her paddling in the sea where I'd spent so many childhood holidays.

sharond101 Mon 17-Mar-14 21:56:15

We went to a neighbour's caravan each year in Southern Scotland and it was beside the Sea. My Dad told us he saw a naked woman walking the plank on a pirate ship and my Sister and I stayed up all night watching through binoculars to try and catch another glimpse.

Another time we went to Bournmouth and we had to use our holiday spending money to pay for petrol to drive home early as my Mum and Dad's bank account had been hacked and all the money had been frozen by the bank as a safety precaution.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Mon 17-Mar-14 22:00:34

We went to Kusadasi with the DDs a few years ago. As we were walking past the line of taxis for our transfer DD2 (age just 3 at the time) waved and cheerfully said "Merharba!" Apparently a Turkish friend at nursery had taught her how to say hello. The reaction was amazing, the taxi drivers were all saying it back, shaking our hands etc. She was (is) super-cute which probably helped.

TopsysMum Mon 17-Mar-14 22:55:04

Our first family holiday was in our caravan and we went to Southern Brittany. We rock pooled, dug in the sand, lived al fresco. The children would have lived in the pool had we let them, and we enjoyed sitting out with a sneaky glass of vino (or so we thought until ds1 announced to his Reception teacher that mummy and daddy like to drink wine!) after a BBQ and the boys were in bed.

By contrast, it was always a hotel and beach hotel with my parents. We arrived a day late for the plane on our first holiday (oh really yes!) as the travel agent had typed the wrong dates on the letter! Dinner was a half board formal buffet, dressing up was essential. Mum and dad were never keen on the pool so we headed to the beach at the crack of dawn while mutterings were made about the reserved sun loungers ;-).

It's funny to look at how less formal our family holidays are now, or maybe that's just what we need these days!

prwilson Tue 18-Mar-14 03:00:47

When I was a child my grandparents had a caravan at the coast, so I have many memories of weekends there and long weeks during the summer holidays. Days on the beach building sandcastles and burying my Dad in sand, walks along the shore, hunting for crabs and shrimp. Good times.

KateOxford Tue 18-Mar-14 06:42:32

The first time we took our son away was to Swanage with other family members. He was very young, only about 6 weeks old. We managed to do quite a lot as he was asleep so much! Our first real holiday with him was when he was about 9 months old and we went to Southwold and rented a house with family who have a daughter the same age,he loved sitting on the beach and watching the water clock. To make it easier we took baby milk that we knew we would need in case we couldn't buy it there and took some ready made baby portions of food in an ice box ready to put back in the freezer.

I think we do with our children much the same as my parents did with me. At the moment we load the car and roof box up and holiday in the UK.

We do much the same things. Go to the beach, the pier, the slot machines. Have chips on the beach. Go and see the lifeboat. Watch people crabbing. All of the things I enjoyed doing we now do with our children.

Before children my husband and I went on holiday abroad. I recently found in the cupboard some awful fruit liqueurs that were unopened and had been taking up room in the cupboard for 10 years!

8kingfio Tue 18-Mar-14 07:10:05

my favourite holiday memories were of being taken camping in the South of France - great location, beaches and games, and picnics, it was fabulous family fun!

maryandbuzz1 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:43:24

We had a disastrous first holiday with our son. We thought that we could still do the things we did as just a couple. With this in mind we went away for 3 nights in Paris when he was 10 weeks old! He screamed non stop the whole time. We could only sit down in lovely French cafes with one of us walking up and down the street with him in our arms. I was bottle feeding and there wasn't a kettle in our room so we had to traipse through the hotel to the kitchens every time he needed a bottle.
I was so glad to get home. My husband left my son and I at the airport and disappeared for 2 hours as things got to a head. The trouble was it took us a while to learn our lesson as we booked for Greece later on in the year! Kindly the travel company let us fly home a week early!

KittyKat88 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:48:40

As a child, mum took my sister and I on hols to Cornwall (we absolutely loved the space and freedom of the coast and greenery as the complete antithesis of our town life!) and remember running in sand dunes and playing in rockpools, then fish'n'chips as an 'exotic' treat! Our first holiday with DDs (age 1 & 3) was last year: a week in Edinburgh but staying by the beach in Portobello. The best of both worlds; culture in the city (the Nat. museum and Museum of Childhood were great!) with fun and play at the beach! When I was a bit older, I recall family 'adventures' in Spain and France, and likewise I would be very keen to introduce my DDs to other cultures and experiences when they are a bit older too. My lasting memory of travel abroad was 1. the amazement of my first plane ride (to Spain) and 2. going to the Alhambra in Granada and seeing this amazing Moorish palace. I would love to re-visit this exacct place with my own DDs in the future.

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Tue 18-Mar-14 07:52:23

We used to go to Butlins with our parents every year, and we used to roam the camp without our parents, do all the activities we wanted, and turn back up at the chalet to meet our parents in time for dinner. Taking our dc to somewhere similar last year, there is no way we'd do something like that now, and that makes me a bit sad in a way that our dc won't have the chance for independence we did as times have changed so much.

Ikea1234 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:53:38

As a child we always camped, and I am proud to say I was even potty trained while camping in Spain! :0)
We have done the same with our son and he is now lucky enough at the ripe old age of ten to say he has some great memories and holidays, including camel riding and scuba diving in Egypt, the sights of Paris and Island hopping in the Med! It really has broadened his view of life, his cultural experiences and makes him more understanding of life.

Ganne Tue 18-Mar-14 08:39:20

We were visiting a small village in the Loire in France, and my two children and my husband went to a cowboy-style restaurant (not normally our style, as we prefer farm or adult restaurants, and insist on the children having the chance to eat good food). The meal price included a non-alcoholic cocktail, which was brought to the table with a character stirrer. Clare (about 7) had a black stirrer and Marc (5 or 6) a yellow one. Clare wasn't too happy about this, so she called over a waiter (even as an adult I find that often difficult to do) and asked in fluent French if she could change it. This was duly done, leaving us gobsmacked! There has always been French in our house, but we didn't realise just how much she'd picked up. It was clearly just very very important to her!

lorna1104 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:56:13

The 1st time my kids when on holiday in Spain they love playing at the water parks and digging and making sandcastles they was so well behaved and shattered by bed time it was lovely seeing there faces beaming x

lizd31 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:13:59

When I was a child we never went abroad just holidays to Blackpool or staying with family down south but we always had a wonderful time & I often watch the videos of the lovely times spent with my parents & sister. Nowadays we love to travel abroad but also love breaks in the UK. One of the best holidays in the UK was Haven at Prestatyn, there were 18 of us travelling & we were in 3 caravans next to each other. The entertainment throughout the day & in the evening was brilliant for everyone. For those without kids there was an over 18 room while the ones with kids could go in the other room.

JoJoBaldwin Tue 18-Mar-14 09:54:54

Falling asleep cuddling my daughter on a hammock in the sun, overlooking Lake Windermere....

happysouls Tue 18-Mar-14 10:27:26

Growing up we went to Anglesey every year in a caravan and when we were old enough we had our own little tents too. Loved it! Daily outings to a beach with a picnic dinner and dingys to play with. I had a caravan for a couple of years when my son was young and an alarming collection of tents, so he has grown up with the same sort of holidays as me. So much fun to be had in the outdoors with a little imagination, and very cheap holidays! The camping experience is all part of the fun, its den building for adults!

FrenchieMum2Be Tue 18-Mar-14 10:28:50

I haven't been on holiday with DD yet but my favourite childhood holiday memory was to go to the beach in the north of France and build a sandcastle! Living in the city, I found it amazing.

knitnut24 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:39:27

We decided to take our boys to Blackpool for the week (they were only 4 + 6 years old at the time). On the way down the youngest began to feel unwell and was very restless. The next day he had come up in spots and had a bit of temperature and it seemed his brother was getting ill too. We went round to the chemist to get something for them and they were diagnosed with Chicken pox!!! We bought medicine and plenty of calamine lotion and spent the next couple of days dabbing lotion on their spots and trying to stop them from scratching. We bought some comics for them and read them stories. The comics came with free gifts - finger puppets of Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Scampi. We put on puppet shows for the boys day and night and we had great fun. Sometimes Sooty + co would just peep round the door at any time of the day just to say hello and see how everyone was. At the end of the week the boys were well and they treated us to a puppet show. I've never laughed so much in all my life. I don't remember if I was laughing at the story they were telling, or the fact that the puppets wouldn't stay on their fingers, or just the pure delight they were having at telling the story. We all laughed until we cried. What started out as a disastrous holiday ended up being one of the best and one I will remember for the rest of my life.

BaileyWhite Tue 18-Mar-14 10:57:40

The first time I took my baby son away was when he was three weeks old. We also took his sister and I bought her a Hello Kitty suitcase from the Sanrio store in Harrods (the only place that stocked the range in the UK back in the day). She carefully packed it, even helping me iron all her clothing.

We arrived in Somerset. Her suitcase did not. Cue her silent weeping- the kind that comes from a wellspring of deep despair and pain. We spent two days trawling the sparse local shops and charity shops in an attempt to find her some clothing.

She ended up wearing what is best described as a motley collection of rags and clashing colours until we could drive to Minehead to locate something better.

My favourite holiday memory is of watching the divers in Acapulco. We used to go there a lot as we lived in the country for a large part of my childhood. We were there in the late sixties and early seventies and used to see Elizabeth Taylor and Burton, Dean Martin and other iconic actors many of whom had holiday houses there. They would descend upon the beach front bars of local hotels like a flock of brightly plumaged parrots, chattering and fussing as they ordered drinks and lit up cigarillos.

Taylor was as vibrant as a Jays wing, eyelids painted in chalky pastels (as was the fashion) and arms like psychedelically patterned wings, encased in the Pucci Kaftans so beloved of the jet set. I have this memory of her with arms aloft looking like Christ The Redeemer on Sugar Loaf Mountain albeit a Christ with a cigarette in a holder and a temper!

Probably not the homespun memories Haven are looking for though.

glennamy Tue 18-Mar-14 11:17:11

Taking my daughter to Florida when she was 5 years old. The look of amazement, awe and love on her face when meeting all the Disney characters, swimming with the dolphins at Discovery Cove, her being part of the show at Gatorland with all the alligators, were memories that we will both take to our graves.

KitKat33 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:20:43

The first time we went away my daughter was 2 1/2, we drove to South of France and she had a tantrum most of the way! It was hell. We stopped for a break at Chartres and she fell off the pavement and hurt her head, 3 days later she was running along the beach front and tripped and bit through her lip, I had to rip off my t shirt to use to staunch the blood; cue me running through the street in my bra, clutching an hysterical bleeding child. I'll never forget that holiday!! My favourite holiday memory was last year in Wales when my daughter, now 14 and her sister 10, spent hours whooping with excitement crabbing on the beach. My memories of holidays with my parents are mainly of being squashed in the back seat of the car with my 2 younger brothers and one of us always needing a wee!

tiddles12 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:22:30

My favourite childhood memories relate to staying in a caravan at a holiday park in Scarborough with my mum, granny and grandad. My grandad always used to dress up in drag and win the fancy dress competition for the nobbliest knees. Every year, he would make me a fancy dress costume from coloured crepe paper and tin foil, and I would always come in the top 3. I used to love going to shop every day and looking at the Toby jugs which terrified me. My favourite night time game was musical statues, nad putting pennies in the one arm bandit. Happy days!

salamandore Tue 18-Mar-14 12:01:37

Please share on this thread your memories of the first time you took your own children away (if you have been lucky enough to have been on holiday with your LOs): where was it, what was it like for you and for them?!

The first time we took our children away was to Wales (Portmadog) The youngest was a bit too young to fly and there are loads of great fun things to do in Wales so we thought why not! We had an incredible time and were truly lucky with the weather, not a drop of rain over four days! We spend some time on the beach, got a steam train and visited some mines. We also threw some pots, my hubby wasn't blessed with a natural talent for this and his looks a little like piza! We also visited the electric mountain in Snowdonia which our eldest loved - she then did a school project on it!

And what was the equivalent one with your parents? How do you think they compare?

My first holiday with my parents was to Ibiza for my first birthday, odd choice I know! I don't remember any of it really but have seen a lot of photos and heard some interesting stories. The first I do remember was to Woolacombe in Devon - I think it may have been a Haven park! We were in a Caravan and there was a lot of rain! However I had the time of my life, meeting new friends, playing the pool and the bar at night. I have been back to Devon many times, it's not my 'happy place'

What did you do on your holiday when you were a child compared to what your children do on holiday these days?

As a child we did a lot of free things and a lot of boardgames. My two aren't massively into board games and everything which interest them seems to be expensive! but it's only once a year so we do spoil them a little bit. I want to build some great memories for them smile

What's the strangest holiday souvenir you've ever seen or treated yourself too? Maybe a model donkey from Spain? Or some weird drink that tasted good when you were away!?

Souvenir wise a shoe horn with Tenerife on. A school friend bought it me, I have no idea why... I think we car-booted it not long after.
Kid cocktails! Best things ever.

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