Camping: Converts

We love getting reviews and feedback from families who travel with their kids. Today’s contributing travel review is from Nuala who  runs her own marketing firm in Belfast Malone.Marketing Belfast, Northern Ireland. In her spare time Nuala is a Regional Leader for Lean In  in Belfast / Ireland that supports and encourages women through peer support to achieve their goals. With any time left in the day Nuala shares some parenting moments as HappyMummyHappyBaby on Facebook and Instagram.

This summer saw a breakthrough in the Murphy household.  After ten years of luxury holidays and city breaks I managed to convince my husband to go camping on the west coast of France. The closest we got was a few years ago to an apartment near a campsite when my siblings and I went back to our childhood holiday destination, La Rochelle to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Fast forward a few years with two kids, we kicked off our travel schedule over the new year with a cruise from New York to the Bahamas and back – you can read more on that trip here

Then in May we got our fancy fix at the Pine Cliffs Portugal when we took my parents for a week to “help” with the children. They had a great holiday.  Fatigued by getting dressed x 3 for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day I was craving a more relaxed break for the July holiday with the kids and campaigned hard for a trip to France for a week with Eurocamp.

 

I have such fond memories from my childhood when my parents would pack us up for July and August and we would spend the whole summer away. We spoke French from an early age, ran freely in the avenues and looked forward to every summer when the 7 of us would make the two day journey by road and boat to our destination just outside La Rochelle.

A side note: only now I realise that it really wasn’t a holiday for my mum who on her holidays still cooked, cleaned and did the washing with less facilities than at home.  Talk about delayed gratitude. Makes my comment about Portugal somewhat redundant. Our summers spent “on the continent” were educational, broadening our minds and thoughts that would serve us well in later life.

So where did we go? The Sequoia Park France

 

Where did we stay? We went for a level above the basic due to availability. It was grand. One thing I would say is bring your own linens, we rented some but I’d bring my own in future.

 

How did we get there? Fly and drive direct from Belfast to Bordeaux and then hired a car.

What did we do? Each day we went to the Aqua Park on site where I particularly enjoyed the lazy river, says it all really. J The resort was huge in the grounds of a chateau with a pony club, go karts, huge sports terrain and many many clubs and activities for all ages. Lest not we forget the farm where if you get up early you get the chance to go in to pet the animals. All in all you really didn’t need to leave the resort. Each night there was entertainment provided by the onsite staff and although it isn’t the standard of the cruise ships it was great for the kids to sing and dance and get tired out. We did enjoy great sleeping patterns whilst away and I thank the entertainment and active days to that.

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What did we wear? Shorts and T-shirts. Wish I had packed warmer clothes in the evenings mind you as fashion disasters did happen on my end sporting socks and sandals one evening when enjoying a few beverages here

 

Is my husband converted? Definitely, no sooner were we home by the hubby was wondering when we could get away again. A great thing about being away in a mobile home and resort like this is that there is no wifi. I didn’t take the laptop and my husband turned off his emails.  This was a holiday for the kids and after a couple of days we soon realised the luxuries in life mean nothing compared to happy little boys playing in the sand spending time with their parents.
Camping isn’t for everyone however, I would urge you to try it once.  I now realise that my parents did it for us as kids for years, the freedom and security we don’t realise when tooting about as kids but now as a parent I see that they are the safest holidays there are.  Also it was great to get the opportunity to have some quality time with my husband on deck when the kids had gone to bed. Having a conversation with Mr M, accompanied by a glass of wine and playing a game of rumikub. The simple life…right?