Tuesday, 16 October 2012

What's the most important thing you need for a holiday in the UK? Apart from an umbrella that is...

Our summer holiday seems like a distant memory now, but we're already looking forward to our next visit to the holiday cottage we love.  If you're looking for a UK based holiday I can recommend the Llyn Peninsula in Wales, it's a beautiful part of the country and we've been holidaying there for the past 8 years.  I reckon the beaches in that area are amongst the best in the country - and there's so many of them, all beautifully maintained and never crowded.

Our favourite beach, Porth Oer
Of course when you go on a UK holiday the car tends to get packed to the gunnels with stuff. Oh you know the sort of thing: beach tents, bodyboards (for the great waves at Porth Oer), beach umbrella, camping chair (for me to sit in on the beach and read); bulky beach towels; boardgames for rainy days; books; DVDs for the evenings; rain coats (it is Wales after all); food essentials; and that's before we even put the suitcases in!

Unfortunately about this time last year I made a tactical error. After driving spacious family cars for years (always with a big boot which was handy for prams, all the essential baby stuff and my Dad's wheelchair at the time)  I decided to get a smaller car.

My reasoning was good - we didn't need such a big boot anymore, and there's only the three of us, so a smaller car was the way to go although I still had our summer holidays in the back of my mind and the fact that the boot had to be big enough for Tessie, our greyhound, to sit in comfortably.

I suppose my main aim was to reduce costs such as fuel, insurance and road tax and so I was quite pleased when I found a smaller car that fitted my criteria. Well, annoyingly the insurance is the same, I haven't noticed any huge savings with the fuel (mainly because I make a lot of short journeys in any normal week) although the road tax is, thankfully, less than our old car.

But, uh-oh, when it came to our annual trip to Wales I realised my mistake. Even though the boot was a reasonable size it just couldn't accommodate our usual amount of essentials and we ended up having to leave some of it behind. And have you ever tried telling two teenagers that they can't take some of the things they simply 'can't live without'? Yeah, that.

So, before our holiday next year I'll be looking at family cars and dreaming of upsizing again.

A Tessie friendly car boot

Oh, and Tessie will be relieved too. She hates travelling in the new (smaller) car boot and she makes her feelings very obvious. So don't make my mistake: if you're thinking of changing your car remember to take your dog with you and get their approval first.

You don't get that sort of advice on Top Gear do you? You're welcome.