We are going to Duinrell in Holland on our £9.50 Sun Holiday this year as we enjoyed ourselves so much last year. I initially paid £118.40 and then had a further bill for £43, totalling £161.40 but this covers breakdown insurance, holiday cover and a waiver equipment damage charge – for 3 adults and 3 children, for 4 nights in Europe (we opted to take our own bedding to save money). We chose this park because of f the pool ‘Tikibad,’ reputedly the largest and most exciting water park in Europe (this had additional costs – I think it was 3.50 euros for a couple of hours each) – which we took our own photos for the pass cards, they need to be passport size and we went and had them done, but ones taken at home I am sure would be fine). Make sure your children have the right swimming aids – my 4 and 5 year olds have life jackets which they don’t usually use over here.
We decided to go on the ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland again, mainly as this meant there was less driving for my husband, and the boys really enjoyed the journey as part of their journey. The Sun Holidays do offer ferry travel but not from Harwich and it didn’t appear to work for our circumstances – as we need a roof top box on top of our people carrier – putting it above the height restrictions. Make sure you arrive at the Ferry in good time (check what time check-in closes – usually a minimum of an hour). We like to plan for lots of roadworks/wee stops etc slowing us down to avoid missing the Ferry. We used Tesco clubcard vouchers which we exchanged in January and we got £40 worth of Stena Line vouchers for every £10. I paid £5 to use my credit card for extra protection and it came to £255.00 (£60 in vouchers, which are free with the shopping, and £15). Note this covers a reasonably sunny time of year, with a car above 1.8ms for 3 adults and 3 children. This brings the actual cost of our holiday to £176.40 (plus the clubcard vouchers).
We couldn’t even do one day at a theme park for that price – and seeing as there is the added advantage that the fair was FREE every day (open 10-5) we really cannot grumble on price. I expected the fair to be for smaller children, but there were rides for the bigger children (including teen) too. You can pay a couple of euros to have the pictures from the rides sent straight to your e-mail address too.
Make sure you know what the current laws are – eg: All those over 14 need to carry photo id; your car will need a GB sticker (unless it’s already on your number plate), and light beam reflectors. We also have other things in our car like a triangle, reflector jackets, fire extinguisher, spare light bulbs, first aid kit – because they were compulsory in other parts of Europe (especially if you travel up from Calais). Know the speed limits – 50 kph in built up areas, 80 kph on open roads and 120kph on motorways – and that you drive on the other side (right). Make sure you have all your car documents with you (and have them to hand) – driving licence (legal minimum age to drive is 18), current insurance certificate and original vehicle registration document. Have and bring paperwork for : Holiday Insurance, breakdown cover (make sure it covers Europe). Obtain a new European health and insurance card (EHIC) which replaced the E111 from January 2006. Print off maps – it’s better to have an idea of where you are going even if you are taking a SatNav – ours stopped working when we got to France the first time we went, and it was then we discovered that our French wasn’t up to much! Have plenty of change – especially useful if you meet any toll roads.
The staff when we arrived last year were all very friendly (and spoke English – as do 80% of the population in Holland apparently). There were plenty of parks on the camp-site, which kept the whole family (or varying ages) entertained.
and there was a beach which we walked to (but it was 5 km away so we will take the car this year)
We have also learnt that we need to take extras such as baking trays, mugs, tea towels etc, and of course, don’t forget the European adapters for the plugs.
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