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Family holidays: big trips or buckets and spades?

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

Destination Specialist

sweden varmland family canoe trip wtrwld

There are benefits of both approaches to going on a family holiday – and not just during the summer – from the chance to relax and spend quality time together, to broadening your horizons. With the welter of holiday options that are available, here’s a quick survey of the Discover the World team to find out how they travelled as children, and what they believe travel can bring to young people.

The benefits of big adventures

“One of my favourite childhood memories is when my Dad took me to the Bahamas to go swimming with dolphins when I was around 12. It was just the two of us and was such a special trip.

“Travel does improve confidence; I gained friendships and also an understanding of different ways of life. On family holidays I enjoyed sharing my Dad’s passions for travel and spending quality time with the family. Growing up travelling to different destinations, I feel, has made me more open minded; open to different experiences and people.

“This year Harvey (my 3 year old son) will be going to Iceland, Portugal and Finnish Lapland in December. I get so much pleasure in seeing him experience different countries, and sharing my love of travel, like I do with my family. I hope that as he grows his experiences will broaden his mind. We will look back with fond memories. Harvey will have opportunities to interact with different kinds of people, just like I did; I hope this will positively impact his maturity in his thinking and behaviour.”
Kim Stacey – Scandinavia Travel Specialist (and daughter of Discover the World MD Clive Stacey)


“I love taking students abroad on action and adventure residential trips to the likes of Iceland and Costa Rica. Yes it is jolly hard work, but the rewards are in the life changing experiences that students are able to have. I have seen students’ confidence grow, and their passions manifest themselves. Over the years many have come to have a deeper appreciation of the world around us, become champions of sustainable and environmental issues and then become travellers themselves whilst pursuing careers in associated fields.”
Karen Ash – Head of Geography

Beginning with ‘buckets and spades’ holidays

“As a child I was carted around Cornwall in a trailer tent. I spent times on farms, being chased by pot bellied pigs, finding jellyfish in the sea and being wrapped in plastic while rain dripped through the tent all night – for about 5 years in a row! As I got older I went to the likes of Majorca, Corfu and I had been to Orlando by the time I was 16. I think as I got older I would have liked to have gone to some more exotic places with my parents, but definitely while I was younger, I don’t think I would have appreciated all the amazing places we could have visited.

“It has given me a thirst for knowledge and a need to see as much of the world as possible, which I think is a very good thing – and perhaps one of the reasons I now work in travel. When I have my own children I want to give them an amazingly fun and exciting childhood – where possible. I will take them camping in the countryside, so they can get there fill of being chased by the local pot bellied pigs, but I might start to broaden their horizons a little earlier as there is still a lot of this world I need to see, so I shall certainly be taking them with me.”
Katie Fox – Scandinavia Travel Specialist


“Speaking as a parent I can see the benefit of both kinds of holidays. The pesky low hanging jetstream tends to wreck English summers, especially during the school holidays! Income prevents us taking the family on dream holidays so they mostly have to live vicariously through me. Their next mini break “brought to you by Facebook” is to Iceland, however we are off to south west France for two weeks in the summer for a mixture of relaxation and culture.”
Mark Champagne – Scandinavia Travel Specialist


“To me the summer holidays still says racing my brothers from Grandma’s caravan to the cliff-path, jumping over the waves, washing sand and grass cuttings off our feet at the outside tap, making dens from foldable chairs, pegs and a groundsheet, and wet afternoons spent playing board games. We went back to the same caravan site each year – it happened to be in Norfolk, it could have been anywhere – and almost all my memories are in one place.

“Punctuating the comforting familiarity there were other holidays to Europe, Canada (pictured at Moraine Lake) and America – I remember the excitement of going more vividly than most of the details. I think the combination has given me an appreciation of how lucky I am to be able to travel and how much fun exploring new places can be, as well as the importance of spending as much time as you can with your family before life spreads you all over the place.”
Clare Wilson – Content Editor

Planning a family holiday? Here are a few our our favourite trips.