Hi, my name is Hannah and I went on holiday and stayed in a static caravan!
There, I’ve said it.
I’m aware it’s not a big deal, in fact some of my happiest holiday memories as a kid were from vacations to caravan parks, but as a new friend pointed out to me the other day: “I think perhaps you’ve been spoiled by your holidays in America”.
She’s right, a pool drenched trip to Palm Springs or a few days snowboarding in Mammoth were at our fingertips (because we lived so close and it was affordable) and it’s probably for that reason that, like some sort of unnecessarily embarrassed idiot I’d whisper details of my British based holiday to my friends across the pond for fear of being judged.
“I hear you’re going away next week, anywhere nice?” some friends in America asked.
“Yes, just a little trip to the coast,” I replied. “A place called Woolacombe Bay, it’s supposed to be beautiful.”
Then I’d gulp when they asked if we had a house there or if we were staying in a hotel before revealing: “Nope, I’m staying in a static caravan.”
“Ohhhhh. Like a mobile home?” they’d enquire, and I was sure they were envisioning me kicking back in a downtrodden ‘trailer park’ chewing tobacco, with the kids running around half clothed and caked in dirt.
Why is it that I’d happily tell them I was going camping in a muddy field where I have to pee in a bush, but I was worried about saying the words ‘static caravan’.
I had butterflies – I”m not 100% sure because of what. Excitement? Trepidation? Terror? – as I pulled into Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park to begin our four-day trip with my husband, our two kids, a friend and his daughter too.
My first thought was that we’d be transported to the set of Dr. Who and we were staying in a Tardis – because for six of us to fit into one of those homes, I presumed that’s what it had to be.
After picking up my key from the VERY VERY VERY animated man at the front desk (I see the bright lights of Butlins in his future), I could see my 6ft 2 hubby almost breaking out in hives as he unlocked our front door and practically had to get down on his hands and knees to get inside.
Our friend (who is a seasoned static caravaner) strode in confidently admiring “the spacious living room” and marveling at the “ample amounts of seating.”
Both my husband and I were more concerned about the toilet situation considering our pal had joked before we got there that the movie tagline for our holiday could be “6 humans, one bog, no mercy”.
Also our daughter has taken to shouting “Roll up, roll up, who wants to wipe my bum?” after using the toilet and I didn’t want the neighbours thinking the circus had come to town.
So I was pleasantly surprised to discover we had two loos! I mean my husband says he had to straddle it to be able to shut the door and whoever decided crepe paper was a sufficient material to use for the interior walls of a caravan clearly wasn’t thinking straight.
But lets look on the bright side, no one wanted to waste time sat in there reading a book and you could turn the kettle on while taking a wee, if you got the angle right!
Did the kids notice any of these quirks though? Of course they didn’t. They had pools, playgrounds and beaches (almost sounded like I was back in LA there) on their doorstep.
Plus you couldn’t help but smile when you heard them roar with laughter every time my better half hit his head on the door frame or they heard each other’s bedtime toots through the wafer thin walls.
It wasn’t just about the kid’s enjoyment either. We loved the daily woodland walks down to the incredible coastline and the sunsets were out of this world. I’m not saying we grew to love the caravan itself. Our names aren’t down on the waiting list for next year! But we did have a great holiday with a lot of laughs, many of which wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for our choice of accommodation!