Last week we spent five days at a caravan park at Camber Sands. Now that we’re experts on surviving caravan holidays with babies, I thought that I would run through the advantages and disadvantages of taking this particular type of holiday with infants.
The good stuff:
I know that babies are as expensive as you make them, but ours are of the expensive variety. Between the extortionate price of formula for two and my teensy little Scandi clothing habit, not to mention the cost of conceiving them in the first place (IVF), our little money-suckers have well and truly ensured that there will be no luxury vacations for us this year. Or next year. Or, quite possibly, the year after that. So the affordability of a caravan holiday was a big lure for us.
You can’t keep much stuff in a caravan, so the floors are likely clear. And clear floors mean that babies practically babysit themselves. Fling down some toys to entertain them and your time is your own!
It’s a good chance to switch off from the electronic devices and focus on the family. No, really. I didn’t take my laptop but did bring my iPhone and it was nice to reduce the screen time a bit and enjoy Kirsty and our small dependents.
Go ahead and try to find something to break in a caravan. Go on. Granted, smashables are more of a concern for those with toddlers rather than wee potted plants like the twins, but as somebody who is prone to knocking things over in a haze of sleep deprivation I can happily report that in a caravan, this is impossible. There is simply nothing to break.
The bad stuff:
COLD. Caravans are COLD. You should probably know this before you rock up to one and have to sleep under four duvets, like we did. They don’t come with heating so bring your own or prepare to freeze.
They also don’t come with a washing machine. Apparently some caravan parks DO come with a laundrette – and supposedly ours did – but we could never find the time to actually visit it. Babies and a lack of washing facilities don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and jam, so bear this in mind and bring extra clothes!
I want you to picture this: Two adults, two babies and a dog, sitting for an hour on a crowded bus. Or worse: two adults, two babies and a dog, waiting for an hour to catch the crowded bus. Now imagine us doing that multiple times daily in order to access the local town, where everything (including the overpriced local supermarket) was based. Go ahead and laugh!
Thankfully the babies were little superstars and Josephine-dog travels like a pro but as I’m sure you can imagine, it wasn’t ideal. I’ve always said that living in London, there’s little point in either of us learning to drive… but after this holiday, I’m re-considering the validity of that statement. If you’re considering booking a caravan holiday, bear in mind that you will need to bring plenty of supplies and not just food – you’ll also need your cleaning products, toiletries and even loo roll!
Oh I know that I’ve just written about the positives of limited screen time and I did okay on days one and two, but by day three dear god what wouldn’t I have given to be able to pull out my laptop for an hour. Thankfully I did have my iPhone with me so I was able to check in, instagram a picture or two and tweet about what we’ve been up to.
Even though the disadvantages seem to outweigh the advantages in this case, I can happily report that in spite of very nearly perishing of hypothermia, we had a jolly old time. The sheer thrill of being so close to the sea, and spending so much time together, by far compensated for being a bit cold and having to spend half of our holiday either sat on a bus or worse, waiting for one.
Have you stayed in a caravan with babies? How did you find it? And most importantly: what are your holiday plans for this year?
If you enjoy reading Goblin Child, please consider nominating us in the MAD Blog Awards. We probably fit the Baby, Writing and Photography categories the best.