Family Travel Times

Family Travel Times: July 2011

Saturday, 30 July 2011

A caravan convert in France (The Vendee region, July 2011)

The week before we went away on our summer holiday, a friend couldn’t believe I was going. “You’re exhausted,” she said. “Why on earth are you going to self-cater in a caravan?” I knew exactly what she meant, but I had my reasons. It was the kids’ fault.

My daughter, in particular, had been going on and on about “staying in a caravan” and I had given in. But I wasn’t looking forward to it. After all, how relaxing could it be?

To my astonishment, the answer to that question turned out to be “very”. In fact, the entire holiday was a revelation, and in an extremely good way. Who’d have thought that I would become a spokesperson for caravan parks?

The holiday even began well as we flew to Nantes from City Airport, as opposed to Heathrow, Gatwick or Luton. It was a wonderfully unstressful way to go. The check-in time was just half an hour before departure and there was no sense of panic. The children – used to travelling by easyJet - couldn’t believe that with CityJet they were offered free chocolates and croissants by smiling stewards.

We then picked up a hire car and after about an hour and a half, arrived at our new home at Le Bois Dormant in the Vendee Region. For some reason I have hardly ever holidayed in France, so I didn’t even know where the Vendee Region was. It is actually in western France, along the Atlantic coast and south of the Loire. And it turns out to be a brilliant region to visit with kids.

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