We had an amazing time in France. We love campsite holidays and this was our fifth one, so I feel like we have it down pat at this stage. We dropped our snobbery about boxed wine, for example, and embraced the challenge of drinking five litres of Bordeaux.
The only downside to a self catering holiday where we packed our car with everything we needed and more than one thing I know now we can live without is the Putting Away of the Stuff on returning home. Countless loads of laundry and ironing, organising space for the 150 bottles of wine we came home with and restoring some order to the house took the better part of a week.
It’s good to get away, it’s good to get home but it’s still a lot of work. 100% worth it though.
Now we booked our summer holiday, I’m once again looking forward to the planning which, as I’ve said frequently, is sometimes the best part of any holiday for me. This will be our fourth time going on the same sort of break and now we’re really into our stride.
While I like surprises (like coming home on a brand new ferry!) I also like the comfort of knowing which amazing cafe to stop off at for a healthy lunch and nice coffee before we get onto the ferry, which supermarket to call into on our way to the campsite and getting a text message from the couriers on site the day before letting us know we’re expected.
One of the best things about our holidays has been that we enjoy a taste of them every single week when we open a bottle of wine. We’ve never been disappointed by a bottle and we’ve found some truly delicious wines for bargain prices. It’s nice knowing that as we plan, we’re enjoying the holidays of years gone by.
A weekend spent well catching up with new friends and family. A welcome antidote to the rain that never let up.
Getting a call from my fantastic library that the books I ordered are waiting for me to collect them.
Planning and booking our summer holiday.
Knowing that the work week which lies ahead will be considerably easier than last week.
Making some last minute New Year’s resolutions and knowing I’ll try to keep them.
A lazy weekend. No plans, nowhere to be and a lot of putting up of feet.
The coffee we brought back from France last summer. Every cup reminds me of a lovely holiday.
Making resolutions I know I can stick to.
Looking forward to a week off work in March.
A return to a normal schedule, even if I’m not completely thrilled about my return to the office tomorrow.
We’re off to France soon. I was at home today so able to get a lot of preparations done. First on my list was going through our perishable food and using as much of it as possible, so we have dinners and lunches for the next week all sorted. We’ll bring whatever’s left with us, either to eat on the ferry (given that the food on board hasn’t really been worth the money we’ve paid for it) or during our holiday.
Last year, I realised for the money we spent on hot drinks on the ferry we could have bought a kettle and made our own, much nicer, tea and coffee in our cabin. Today I bought the smallest ‘proper’ kettle I could find, having researched travel kettles and rejected them on the grounds of cost and being far too small. We’ll bring cups with us and bypass the disposable cups I still feel guilty about using last year.
I’m bringing cloth wipes and tea towels with us, as I ended up using far too many paper towels last year. You live, you learn. Ditto bringing our own containers for the supermarket, and we hope to hit the local markets for plastic wrapping free produce.
I need this holiday very badly. Planning is all part of the fun.
After some weeks of mainly pointless research and reading of reviews, we’ve decided to return to the same place we holidayed in last year. This will be our third year of the same sort of holiday and I feel like this year is the one we’ll nail it. We’ll be travelling on a ferry and staying at a campsite in Brittany.
Last year, having started on a zero waste approach, I noticed some of the supermarkets in France had dispenser like things for putting nuts, pulses and pasta into your own containers. I plan on bringing some of our own containers this year to take full advantage. There’s also an excellent deli about five minutes’ walk from where we’re staying, so the containers will come in handy there too.
We eschewed suitcases last year for reasons of space in the car and in the mobile home. Packing everything into vacuum bags, even if they’re not actually vacuumed out and fill with air before you even drive onto the ferry, was a revelation. We also brought about half of what we did the year before. I plan on bringing a capsule wardrobe of whatever worked last year, including two pairs of my trusty Saltwater sandals, and washing everything half way through the holiday. Fingers crossed the sunshine will do the drying.
I never liked waste even before trying to go zero waste. Therefore, it came naturally to me to pack a box of things we know we’ll use while away. We tended to eat in most days, a BBQ and a glass of Crement de Loire being as relaxing as any dinner out after a long day of sitting on the beach reading. So packing a box with staples from home, including our salt and pepper grinders, condiments we like and our own linen napkins and tea towels is a must. We shop while away, but knowing we have the basics to tide us over saves time, hassle and money.
This year I’m going to do a little more research into local caves and see what’s on offer. We always leave room for plenty of wine and sourcing amazing finds locally, as we did on our first holiday like this, is even better than a large supermarket run.
Sometimes I think planning is the best part.