5 holiday experiences my children will never understand

*This is a collaboration with Hello Canvas

During our recent trip to France, I couldn't help but reminisce with Steve about what holidays used to be like for us in the 1980s and 1990s and how much times have changed for our own children. The holidays I experienced during my own childhood were never flash or expensive but were definitely from more a simple time and I hold many special memories from weeks spent in Scarborough or Cornwall. 

I decided to share some memories with H, H and J over a game of cards one night and I honestly don't think they could believe how different my own holidays were from there own. Here are a few ways in which holidays have changed over the years, let me know if you have any to add to the list: 

1 - Handing a disposable camera into the pharmacy 

Why did pharmacies process disposable cameras? Medicine and photography seems like a bit of an odd combination but its what used to happen back in the day. There were no iPhones, Instagram or instant sharing of your #holidayspam and there were definitely no companies such as Hello Canvas around. Turning your holiday photographs into beautiful works of art was pretty much unheard of when I was younger and it would be homemade photo albums with poor-quality disposable prints only. Owning a proper camera was reserved for only professional photographers and a decent camera was something that most families just didn't own. My children honestly can't comprehend not being able to see a photograph you've taken instantly on a screen and having to wait a week to see how the final image has turned out. I can't believe how much technology has evolved in the past few decades.

2 - Travelling in the boot of a car 

We have a seven seater car now but I vividly remember travelling to Cornwall for a few weeks as a child with my grandparents. My dad borrowed an estate car from his colleague at work and my mam and dad sat in the front, my grandparents in the back and myself and my brother sat in the boot of the car with all of our luggage being strapped to the roof. We travelled all the way to Cornwall from Northumberland like this.  I have no idea if this was legal back then but it was certainly pretty normal where I lived. I honestly can't even contemplate driving the kids anywhere without a car seat these days nevermind without a seatbelt! Thankfully we survived to tell the tale - did anyone else travel like this as a child?

3 - Making holiday penpals  

Heidi and Jack made friends at Eurocamp Kids Club this summer and when a relative mentioned if they were going to be penpals once they were back home, they honestly looked at them blankly and didn't have a clue what they were talking about. I used to LOVE sending letters to holiday friends when I was little but in an age of Social Media and where many children have their own mobile phones and email address, I honestly think the traditional penpal is dying out.

4 - Helping your dad navigate with a map 

Our hire car in France had a SatNav built in and we use google maps on our phones to get around on a day-to-day basis. It got me thinking about how times have changed and I remember an AA map in the back of our car would be our main source of route-planning when I was a child. It was always exciting when there were roadworks or an unexpected road closure as it would be my job to find an alternative route using our map. I think this is a skill that's probably going to die out unfortunately and in fact being able to follow a SatNav is now part of your driving test whereas being able to read a map isn't. I think during our next trip, I may challenge the kids to find our way using a map and see how they do......

5 - Suitcases without wheels 

We bought new suitcases this year and I could not be happier with them. They have 360ยบ wheels and are honestly an absolute breeze to carry. The kids even managed just fine with them and they are a far cry from the old-school suitcases we used to have in the 80s that actually had no wheels and needed to be carried everywhere! I love it when you spot somebody with this kind of case at an airport and I'm always filled with nostalgia. There's no way I'd go back to using them again myself though.

What do you think? How have holidays changed for your family over the years? 

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5 holiday experiences my children will never understand



  1. I remember suitcases with no wheels! What a nightmare they were to carry around. I also remember sending the disposable camera to the pharmacy, by the time we got the film back I had forgotten what photos I had taken x

  2. This is such a great post! i used to get triple prints so i'd have a little set of pics too. I had around 10 penpals at one time-loved to write letters. Had a penpal called Cormac from Dublin who i kept in touch with for a few years...wonder what he is up to now? ha ha

  3. Fantastic post, really took me on a trip down memory lane! OMG penpals - I used to make so many when we were on holiday, I'm actually still friends with one girl that I met on holiday in Dorset! It was so amazing to get post through the door addressed to you with a lovely long letter inside!

    Getting your photos developed - OMG so so exciting! It was actually quite nice to have something to look forward to after a trip. Seems so bizarre how odd this seems to modern day children!

  4. Oh god, I remember all this too. You've made me feel really nostalgic now. And really old!

  5. I took a disposable camera to Tenerife with me last year, it was so much fun getting it developed! Quite a pricey process nowadays though..
    I don't remember travelling in the boot of a car, but I certainly remember four of us being squeezed into the backseat of my aunt's car to go to the cinema for a birthday treat!
    Laura x

  6. Ah I love this. I remember sending films off to triple print and photos came back with 2 small photos on the side to cut off. We did a lot of camping in Northumberland as my parents owned a business so my dad would still go off to work, camping further afield like Scotland, Devon or Norfolk was so exciting for us as it meant my dad would be with us the whole time.


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