As a child I always wanted to go camping. Not camping in the traditional sense with portable stoves, folding chairs and insects, but to a European campsite in France or Italy like my friends and cousins. They’d come back with tans and tales of water parks, discos and shifting exotic, foreign lads. I’d be green with envy.

We holidayed annually but my mother, at the end of a year’s teaching and keeping house, exercised her right to demand a break from the drudgery of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. As a result, a self-catering break was always out of the question and campsites were a no-no.  Instead we had full-board stays in hotels closer to home, usually within the UK. No language barriers, no long flights, no cooking, no laundry. I think that to her, the notion of campsites and holiday parks conjured up images of sub-standard accommodation, forced fun and Redcoats (Hi-de-hi was big at the time). Butlins or anything similar would not have been her thing!

When Camping isn’t Really Camping

It wasn’t until we visited a campsite in Italy a few years back with our own kids that I realised how far from her grim imaginings campsites were and that, in fact, it wasn’t really camping at all. I’m pretty sure that real campers who erect tents and own Stanley knives are less than happy with the term being so flippantly bandied about in Brittany and Provence by people holed up in mobile homes with flat-screen TVs and Nespresso machines.

Holiday Quiz Feature Image
Image: Warner Bros.

We went on our second ‘camping’ holiday in Spain last year and this summer we’re returning to a campsite in Italy. It looks like we’re converts. Yes, the more luxurious, pre-kids holidays were bloody fantastic – the expensive city breaks, the fine dining, the long-haul flights, the luxury beach resorts –  but for now, we’re campsite folk. European campsites meet our needs at the moment in ways that other holidays don’t (and when I say ‘our’, I mean the three little dictators we annually fork out a month’s wages to entertain in the sun).

I’ve had conversations with friends who worry about camping holidays in the same way that my mother did; they’re unsure about what they’re getting and more importantly, what kind of luxuries they’ll be sacrificing. Despite my raving about the low cost, the activities on offer and the relative luxury (in comparison to actual proper camping, at least), many remain skeptical and unconvinced.


So, how DO you know if a campsite vaycay is for you?

This quiz will help you find out what kind of holiday-maker you really are…

Holiday Quiz
Image: Warner Bros.

1. You’re over the weight limit at the Ryanair check-in desk. What’s to blame? 

a) Your Louis Vuitton vanity trunk and an assortment of gingham espadrilles.
b) Last year’s giant, inflatable shark and accompanying foot pump.
c) You travel with hand-luggage only. People should really try to minimise their carbon footprint, you know.

2. What else is in your suitcase?

a) A nautical-inspired capsule wardrobe; designer kaftans & swimwear; three Panama hats.
b) The same summer clothes you’ve had since 2002. Sure who’ll be looking at you?
c) Minimal clothing and obvious camping essentials including a solar fire-starter, a head-torch and a bumper pack of biodegradable bin-bags. And, eh, it’s not a suitcase, it’s a planet-friendly back pack made from organic hemp yarn.

3. Describe your ideal accommodation? 

a) A junior suite with a superking, an ocean view and a turn-down service.
b) Whatevs. The kids will wreck the place anyway.
c) Once the site is sustainable and climate-neutral with facilities constructed of locally harvested wood and recyclable materials, you’re happy.

4. Describe a typical day on holiday.  

a) Sailing in the morning, a scuba diving lesson from a dishy local on the offshore reef in the afternoon, followed by a relaxing dip in the infinity pool before dinner.
b) Reapplying sunscreen to little limbs and waiting for the kids’ club activities to start so you can attempt to finish the book you started in January.
c) Fishing in the local stream, exploring the wildflower meadow and visiting the market garden.

6. How would you plan on spending a rainy day? 

a) Enjoying Water Shiatsu followed by a Hammam massage in the resort spa.
b) Sipping on cheap, local wine (it’s less expensive than water, so it’s just good financial sense) while the kids do crafts in the games’ room.
c) Shorts and wellies are ideal for exploring the Mediterranean ecosystem in the rain.

5. How do you like to spend your evenings on holiday? 

a) A gastronomic fanfare of local offerings and paired wines followed by cocktails by moonlight on a catamaran.
b) Pizza and sufficient volumes of beer to get you through your performance of a carefully choreographed dance to Shake it Off in the family dance-off.
c) Sitting by the campfire enjoying a beautiful sunset – Mother Nature’s own entertainment.


Mostly As

You’re a bathrobe and slippers kinda gal. You’d choose a rejuvenating facial over mini-golf, a private beach over a flume-ride, a balcony over a barbecue. You like room service and minibars, memory foam and fluffy towels. You enjoy the finer things in life, preferably served to you on a sun lounger as part of an all-inclusive package. You don’t want to barbecue your breakfast, nor would you like to do a full Lidl grocery shop on your jollies. And THAT’S OK! I was you once. Then I had kids who spent all of my money.

Mostly Bs

You’ll be right at home in a mobile home or a safari tent in a European campsite. The informal and undemanding nature of a camping holiday is right up your street. No dressing for dinner means you don’t have to wear ill-fitting heels on hot, swollen feet. Freedom for the kids to safely roam the leafy avenues and enjoy kids’ club activities while you get quietly tipsy in the sun is exactly what you need. This kind of holiday allows you to pare it back a little without going full-on Bear Grylls. And it won’t break the bank.

Mostly Cs

You’re a purist and you’re much too hardcore for mobile homes and hot showers. A colourful camping ‘resort’ probably isn’t for you. You want to reconnect with nature. Go forth in search of a Geosite in the mountains where you can forage for mugwort and mushrooms, fish for your supper and wake up to the sound of birdsong and lambs bleating. We are mere imposters. The closest we’ll ever get is glamping in a heated yurt with Wifi. We salute you.

Go on, which are you? Have you been camping or do you tend to avoid them? Perhaps you can you gut a fish with your bare hands, garnish it with wild garlic and cook it on a fire started with sticks? Share your comments below.


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Are you cut out for family camping or are you a fan of creature comforts? Take our quiz to find out what kind of holidaymaker you really are!

 

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34 Comments

    • Sinéad Reply

      I get you! I get very cross if I pay for a holiday and the bed is crap. VERY cross! lol.

  1. I’m a mix between A and B, I love a bit of ‘camping’ but I do like a luxury break every now and then! I think now we’ve got a little one we’ll be more B’s, just like we were in my childhood… huge fans of the European holiday parks. I’ve got such lovely memories of going to France, driving for HOURS and HOURS to get there and then ignoring my parents by cycling off with packs of other children for the week!
    Devon Mama recently posted…Living Arrows: Week Seventeen

    • Sinéad Reply

      I’m definitely a mix of A and B too but the A in me is being slowly eaten away! We’ll have to get the luxury hols back though – when the kids are self-sufficient! In twenty years or so! Ha.

  2. Haha I love this! For hotels I prefer something a bit nicer, but when camping I’m happy to rough it a bit. Growing up we pitched our tent next to a river and peed in the bushes and I was happy enough with it 🙂
    OddHogg recently posted…1st Birthday Cake Smash

    • Sinéad Reply

      Otherwise known as embracing Mother Nature! 😉 I’m impressed! Proper hardcore camping, Kim!

    • Sinéad Reply

      I can totally see your point! Hard enough to take care of a newborn at home, never mind on a campsite! Lol.

    • Sinéad Reply

      There’s not a hope I could cope with proper camping either for any prolonged period. Maybe at a festival. At a push!

  3. Bizarrely I am mostly B’s but I’m not sure that I’m ready to take my four children camping just yet! I did enjoy camping when I was younger, especially before the kids came along, but these days I need some luxuries around me just to compensate for the drama and stress that holidays inevitably bring! I could possibly stretch to glamping though!
    five little doves recently posted…Things I want my sons to know

    • Sinéad Reply

      Yes, I get it. When a holiday no longer feels like a holiday, we have a MASSIVE problem! Lide if hard enough!

  4. We have done it all as we just love travelling! We loved camping when the children were younger and it was always fun. Now we like the ease of self catering with self catering. I enjoyed your post. #marvmondays
    Oldhouseintheshires recently posted…Do you EVER sit still?

    • Sinéad Reply

      That’s an interesting point. I’m guessing that the needs / interests of the kids will determine the kind of holidays we take for the foreseeable. I love self-catering and the ease of it all. Hotels with a gang of kids in a very confined space can drive me a bit mad!

  5. Great quiz Shinners! Love it! I think my luxuries days are numbered!! Camping all the way!

    • Sinéad Reply

      Yay, Brons! Let’s hear it for Team Camping (but Eurocamping – with beds and hot water and appliances, like!)

    • Sinéad Reply

      The A-Days will return. THEY. WILL. RETURN! They HAVE TO! They will, won’t they?

  6. I grew up on camping. Definitely something we want to do with Peachy when she gets a little older. I love the quiz! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  7. oh I love a good old caravan holiday! I have to say, I’m mostly D’s : Grateful to have any kind of sodding holiday at all! 😉

    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub
    MMT recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 63

  8. We do both types of camping; stoves, bonfires and blow up beds and we’ve done glanping in France in Safari tents, water parks and kids clubs. We love both lol #kcacols

  9. Love this! I was once an “A” kinda gal, but like you the kids came along and well, the dont let little terrorists into 5* adults only hotels so its B all the way, because who’s got time for C anyway, kids or no kids! Fab post, im definitely more open to Euro camping now 😉 thanks for sharing it with us on #MarvMondays. Emily

  10. This is a fab quiz! I think I’m a mix of A B and C! Mainly B’s though – haven’t been camping with the kids yet, but actually really excited to do it! (So long as it’s more ‘glamping’ than camping!) x
    Rosie @ Fish recently posted…Living Arrows 2017 – 18/52

  11. I think Im a mixture of all of them if thats possible! We loved camping when the children were smaller but with teens they want hotels! Great post. #familyfunlinky

  12. I have only been traditional camping once as a school trip, I was plagued by creepy crawlies earwigs in particular they appeared in my sleeping bag, Wellington boots and even my flannel that’s why I haven’t been again

  13. Hahaha as predicted I was A. I am not a camper. I love a holiday I am a big holiday goer and we do try to keep our holidays ‘similar’ to our pre child life. I of course be lying if I said they were different, because they are. Very different and the spa retreats and infinity pools are perhaps a thing of the past for now as like you say I have children to spend my money for me who’s priorities are different to mine and thats ok. They come first, so we’ll find a compromise eh. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  14. Having started as an A and graduating to C and back to B with family, I think I have been everywhere. But one thing I can say is that if you really wanna clear your mind, refresh and reload for the daily routine, a luxury-free camping( can even be car camping) trip is a must !! And most kids would love the challenges!
    TrishJ recently posted…The best books for camping, backpacking and RV cooking in 2017

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