Five things I learned during a weekend at Camber Sands

Three children at Camber Sands.

We’ve just returned from a long weekend at Camber Sands. We stayed in a caravan on one of the holiday parks, which was a first for us.

We were all really looking forward to staying in a caravan and the kids loved it. It wasn’t quite as good an experience as I had hoped, but the stunning beach more than made up for it.

Here are five things I learned or was at least reminded of during our stay.

The long shadows of a family of five on a sandy beach.

It’s good to go off-grid

For various safety reasons, I don’t post holiday content until we’re home. I took that one step further this time and had an impromptu hiatus from social media. It was really nice going off-grid and only using my phone as a phone and camera.

While I’m not too bad at limiting my own screentime around the kids, there’s still room for improvement. And this was a great exercise in ignoring my phone and paying them more attention.

A child's hand holding a shell.

Kids are easily pleased

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that keeping the kids entertained during the summer will cost a fortune. But it doesn’t have to. Which was just as well for us as most of our budget went on accommodation and food.

The kids all had loads of fun on the beach when the weather was behaving itself. From drawing in the sand and looking for shells to splashing in the sea and rolling down the sand dunes, they were all at their happiest and it didn’t cost us a penny.

Several doors in a small corridor.

I’ve never seen so many doors

There were so many doors so close together in our caravan that it was reminiscent of the Honeycomb Maze on Takeshi’s Castle. It wasn’t possible to open the toilet door without preventing two others from being opened.

Plus, given how hilarious the kids found it, I was often greeted by at least two of them jumping out and growling at me. Although, mercifully, there was no narration from Jonathan Ross.

A shell on a sandy beach with two children running towards it.

Top Trumps can last forever

We were on a traditional British summer holiday so it was always going to rain for the majority of it. We spent as much time outside as possible but there were spells when we had to stay in the caravan.

Oldest brought a set of Top Trumps with him and I’m now convinced that a game could conceivably last forever. I have to confess that, after about half an hour, I started to throw the match but even then it took another ten minutes as I was winning back cards even when trying to lose.

A child running along the beach at Camber Sands.

Youngest CAN sleep through the night

It’s taken over three and a half years, but it emerged that youngest is actually capable of sleeping through the night. She didn’t get in with us once. Which was nice. And just as well, as the bed was a bit smaller than our own.

I don’t know whether it was the sea air, the novelty of being somewhere different or the slight increase in exercise. But she actually slept and it was glorious. Thank you, Camber Sands!

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