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11 Londoners remember antics from their childhood holidays

By Time Out Tastemakers

Ah, good old summer holidays. Sun, sea, sand and a mojito in-hand. Sounds ideal, doesn't it? But lest we forget, it wasn’t always that way. Freedom to choose our own paradise location was not a given because, in decades gone by, it was our parents who ruled the holiday decision-making roost. 

We asked our London Tastemakers to throw it back to yesteryear when they all holidayed with family. Get ready for nostalgia in bucketloads because here’s a sample of their finest childhood holiday antics:

‘I told Singapore airport security my mum wasn’t my mum so I could stay on the airport playground.’ – Shona Read

‘My dad and I went to Cuba together. At 15 years old thought it’d be nice to get a tan so I didn’t put a lick of sun cream on during the first day. The next six days of the holiday I spent in bed, throwing up and blistered.’ – Gabrielle Casey

‘When on holiday in Mallorca age 13 we booked a paella evening with cabaret-style entertainment at a local restaurant. When we got there anyone age 13 or under was sent to a kids’ club. I was mortified. I had to sit with the five-year-olds for a full three hours while my mum, dad and sister had a whale of a time. We have a cracking photo of me looking super pissed off with my face painted all sparkly.’ – Emma Walton

‘When I was younger I was desperate to go panning for gold in Colorado. So for my birthday, my family planned a trip there. We got to the top of the mountain and I was super sick. It was so bad I couldn’t get out of the car. We stayed another two nights hoping I’d get better and could go. Turns out I have altitude sickness, and the minute we left, I was fine.’ – Katherine Glaubius

‘We went on a barging holiday and me and my brother spent the whole time hiding in the bedroom screaming, “we’re going to dieeeeeeeeee”’. – Charlotte Walter

‘I went to France with my family and we decided to go to a fancy restaurant. My brother and I ordered two orange juices for us and then looked on in horror as a gigantic plateful of seafood arrived. Turns out we’d ordered two fruit de la mer [fruits of the sea] instead of fruit juice!’ – Claire Etchell

‘My family and I did a day trip to Egypt from Cyprus years ago and decided to go to see Tutankhamun’s tomb. My sister and I were wandering around the exhibit when suddenly she whispered that she’d dropped her ticket down the side of this one-million-year-old sarcophagus. We ended up having to get a member of staff to crack open this delicate artefact and reach down for her ticket.’ – Dianne Hawthorne

‘Holiday options were quite limited for Eastern Europeans during communism, but every country of the Eastern Bloc had some cool stuff that your own country was short of. During my second ever holiday abroad – to East Germany no less – my mum, my sister and I bought about five pairs of shoes each. This number of shoes was enough for the border officers to think we were planning an illegal trade back home, so we had to wear all of them interchangeably so they looked worn.’ – Iza Kawecka

‘My sister choked on a boiled sweet in the poshest hotel in Jersey. The pile of vomit on the royal red carpet was a sight to behold.’ – Luisa Gottardo Levey

‘We were in a Trust House Forte Hotel and my brother and I had our own adjoining room. Excited by having a kettle and free tea and coffee, we thought we’d see what would happen if we filled the kettle with milk. It was quite funny watching our parents complaining about our filthy, rusty looking kettle with the manager.’ – Susannah Fields

‘When I was about nine we went to Disney. As I lay in bed in the middle of the night I heard my mum say, “keep your eyes closed”. This was followed by a whacking noise and a cockroach landing on my face. My mum had seen it on the wall and tried to hit it but it just landed on me instead.’ – Kishma Smithurst

What are your best and worst childhood holiday memories? Share yours with us in the comments below. This article was put together by Rosie Akenhead with ideas and suggestions from the Time Out Tastemaker community.

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