Last year a bunch of families from school organized a lovely weekend away on the Central Coast in NSW. It was going to be a weekend of fun for the kids, casual BBQ’s for the parents, wine, beach and all round fun.
Which is was…..kind of.
It must be said the kids had a ball. They were busy and completely enthralled by the blow up pillow trampoline thingy’s, water slide in the pool and go carts. It was kid heaven complete with resident kids who told ours “I’m gunna kill ya” – charming. Unfortunately it was a little bit swaying towards my idea of hell. Let me explain.
Firstly, it was at a caravan park [Insert silent sound of cicadas here]. My friends knew my allergy to carvavan/camping holidays (Yes yes, call me a snob, up myself whatever but I actually spent my childhood at this caravan park as my parentals were keen caravaners in the 80’s.) I had mentally moved on from the fun of caravan parks a long time ago. It was a massive step back in time for me and not a good one. The gang did convince me the last two words in the destination’s name “CARAVAN PARK” didn’t matter because we were in cabins. Oh, totes, of course. Must be ok then (meantime other friends in Sydney were facebooking me the entire time saying “OMG, what on earth are you doing THERE?” – Didn’t realise it had a rep for being as bad as I had convinced myself it was)
Secondly, we organized our weekend away on the first game of basketball season where the coach and a few of his key players were on holiday with us. They HAD to play. This meant Coach, The Big Guy and players had to spend 70% of Saturday away playing sport, which would have been fine except we spent many an anxious moment keeping the other kids safe at a beach or within the caravan park and it really did look like every criminal on the planet had arrived there overnight. It was NOT my cup of tea. To put it mildly, this put me in a filthy mood from the outset. I was on edge and the campers in the tent next door who were drinking scotch at 8:30am weren’t helping (don’t judge, don’t judge – I couldn’t help but judge, it was 8 frigging 30 AM). I was not good company until the Saturday evening where drinking wine till the wee hours with a couple of night owls managed to dull the pain.
Thirdly, the cabins were itchy. Like in a way where I couldn’t help but think the 5 cabins in a row would have played host to swingers nights (because I have some weird thoughts that all swingers would be itchy people). It was hard to clean the feeling of itch out of the cabin but to make matters worse, the cabins didn’t provide washing up detergent. Only those dodgy little sachets (one per cabin) of detergent that don’t even create enough soap suds to make you think you’re washing the itch and germs off the forks. Sure you could go buy some but that would be a 1 hour round trip for two lots of dishes, whatevs, I put up with the itch. I am not a clean or neat freak so for me to be feeling unclean and itchy. It’s saying something.
Finally, it was $400 per night. To stay in a caravan park. We stayed two nights. Yup $400 PER NIGHT.
I’m fairly sure that it’s only till you’ve been to Asia and stayed in the most incredible resorts all of which are 5 star everything and less than $400 per night that you realize going away in Oz is VERY EXPENSIVE. In our caravan park there was a sachet of soap that didn’t work but if you go anywhere in Asia, you can have a massage that you’re paying $8 for and there’s a hand sculptured vegetable in the shape of a flower floating in a bowl of ocean mist water on the floor as you put your head through the massage table so that you have something pretty to look at when getting your massage. It’s cheap wow factor but it’s awesome.
I have a number of rules I like to check off when we pay money to stay somewhere else.
- We have to stay somewhere that’s nicer than our house. No point in paying good dollars to stay somewhere when home is nicer.
- Must have running water, own bathroom facilities and sturdy enough walls to not classify as a tent.
- It’s not a holiday unless Mum doesn’t have to cook, clean or wash up. No kitchen is preferred.
Simple rules but ones I managed to stick by till our weekend away. It was then that I realised why I have my rules.
Needless to say, the rules could all be overlooked because the company was great, the steaks were delicious and the little people had a ball. Not surprisingly, my kids haven’t asked to go back. It’s something to do with that resident kid who wanted to kill them. Fair enough I say.
The opportunity has just arisen again, the gang sent out the invite and I thought about it carefully but…..I declined. My dislike of the accommodation outweighed my FOMO. The gang even tried to move the destination but unfortunately it had the same two last words: CARAVAN PARK. Erk. Have decided that the $800+ would be better spent on the next holiday overseas or better still, massive party here at home where I could fall into my own bed, without the itch.
Have you ever stayed at an itchy hotel or caravan park? Am I the only person with allergies to these places?