Classic Family Holidays Over the Decades
Ah the sweet smell of nostalgia!
It’s not like it used to be when it comes to holidays…gone are the days of spam sandwiches, Ford Cortinas and cassette players…in today’s high-tech age, expectations are high when it comes to holidays, and rightly so! With modern life set at such a demanding pace, it’s great to get away to a destination offering luxury and relaxation.
It’s always nice to recall family holidays though, so with this in mind, we take a look at the popular culture over the years and what a typical holiday looked like back in the day…
The term ‘traditional family holiday’ harks back to the good old days of the 1960’s. In an era of the mods, rockers and of course the hippies, British holidays were no frills getaways to the beach that often involved jamming the whole family plus luggage into unsuitably small cars, and navigating many a country lane before finally arriving at your destination. The first decade to see the introduction of package holidays from abroad, British seaside and caravan holidays remained the most popular form of family getaway. The 60’s also saw the formation of many holiday camps and static caravan sites, although back then you were very lucky to have electricity and an ‘inside loo’ in your home, never mind your caravan!
1960’s Popular TV Shows
The 60’s Batmobile in 2003 at a Presentation of Cars Used in Movies
The first Batman series, which was based on the DC comic book hit our TV screens in the 60’s, providing iconic characters, humorous fight-scenes and epic cars like the Batmobile. Coronation Street aired in for the first time in December 1960 and Top of the Pops first hit our TV screens in 1964.
The Beatles had 17 number-one singles in the 1960’s and bands such as The Who and the Rolling Stones were found in most comprehensive vinyl LP collections as the ‘British Invasion’ took over music in the UK and the USA.
A Typical 1960’s Family Car
The Morris Minor was Produced between 1948 and 1971
The Ford Cortina was a top selling car in the UK during both the 1960’s and 1970’s. Available to buy in the UK from 1962, it was named after the 1956 Olympics’ location. The Morris Minor was originally available as a 2 door saloon and a convertible and was the first British car to sell over a million models.
By 1972 ‘the first 1,000 miles’ of motorway had been built in the UK, making it quicker and easier to reach holiday destinations around the country. During the era of glam rockers, the 1970’s also saw the package holiday become increasingly popular and the birth of the Club 18-30 holidays! In the late 60’s and 70’s camper-vans became popular, boasting a robust build, longevity and a chance to explore the open road – VWs have remained a favourite of today.
1970’s Popular TV Shows
Zippy and George Contemplating the End of Rainbow
Opportunity Knocks was a radio show, produced originally in 1949, the show had a number of TV series’ – appearing in the 1950’s and then from 1964 to 1978, it appeared again in the 1980’s presented by Bob Monkhouse and then Les Dawson in 1990. Children’s TV would never be the same thanks to Rainbow! Rainbow won multiple awards and was one of the pioneering TV shows that aimed to improve literacy and numeracy amongst pre-schoolers. The TV programme had more than 1,000 episodes, from 1972 to 1992.
With a range of progressive rock and pop in the charts and the likes of Blondie, ABBA and Hot Chocolate and the popularisation of the car-cassette-player, car-journeys to the seaside would never be the same again! Incidentally, Karaoke was born in Japan in 1971 – with Daisuke Inoue’s invention responsible for encouraging drunk people across the world to sing their favourite songs…
1970’s Family Car
The Ford Escort was Both Stylish & Practical
During the 70’s, the Ford Cortina was still going strong in terms of sales, with the new Mark 3 version boasting a 2 litre engine becoming the best selling car of the early 70’s, whilst the new Ford Escort found favour with buyers as a small saloon.
The 80’s is often described as a ‘decade of excess’, with city trading floors and shoulder pads being icons of this era. Package holidays become popular during the 80’s with the likes of Thomson Holidays leading the way. UK Seaside holidays were still popular, however, with Rhyl seafront enjoying amazing popularity thanks to its botanical gardens, seafront, beach and promenade; with the Rhyl Sun Centre opening in June 1980 with water slides and high-tech wave pools.
1980’s TV Shows
Only Fools & Horses – A Replica of Del Boy’s Car
Only Fools and Horses first introduced us to the loveable rogue Derek ‘Delboy’ Trotter in 1981, whilst The Young Ones and Allo Allo both made their TV debuts in 1982.
Rick Astley had his number 1 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”, which is still a much loved song and was number 1 in 25 countries when it was released in 1987. Bands such as Human League, Guns N Roses and artists such as Micheal Jackson dominated the mix tapes of the day.
1980’s Family Car
A Beautifully Restored 1985 Vauxhall Cavalier
The 1980’s Vauxhall Cavalier was a large family car, based on the design of several successful Opel cars which were sold throughout Europe. With 3 incarnations, the car was sold in the UK between 1975 and 1995.
Holidays in the 1990’s will be remembered for disposable & Polaroid cameras, jelly shoes and Walkmans, with many a bargain up for grabs on Teletext. In 1992 the economy recovered in a big way allowing families to enjoy more holidays and more holiday gadgets such as the Game Boy. Technology made some landmark developments during the 90;s as the World Wide Web was launched and used for the first time and the Playstation made an appearance.
1990’s Popular TV Shows
Gladiators was a Hit TV Show in the UK, USA & Australia
Presented by Ulrika Jonsson and John Fashanu, Gladiators hit our TV screens in 1992. Battling against different gladiators, contestants could win a head start on the final obstacle course – the Eliminator. Alan Partridge provided a number of memorable comedy lines from the decade, whilst TV shows such as Art Attack entertained the children.
The 90’s saw a range of music genres top the charts, with the likes of Spice Girls, Britney Spears, TLC, Oasis and Nirvana influencing both our fashion and musical tastes as grunge, indie and hip hop took turns in taking the number 1 spot.
1990’s Family Car
Will Hoy driving in the 1998 British Touring Car Championship
The mark 1 Ford Mondeo was available in the UK in 1992, a highly popular family car, it won numerous awards including the What Car? Car of the Year award in 1993. The car was also driven in the British Touring Car Championship between 1993 and 2000.
Holidays in the 2000’s
The end of wanting to party like it’s 1999, the noughties saw the opening of the infamous Millennium Dome, the first UK series of Big Brother which spawned the era of reality TV – all of which could be enjoyed on digital TV. Technology was also impacting travelling trends, with music revolutionised by the release of the original iPod and iPhone, you could now take your whole music collection on holiday without carrying around a massive pile of CD’s. Map-reading was now on its way out, with Satellite Navigation becoming available (and affordable) for personal use – the ‘open road’ was more open and accessible than ever before! With the growth in popularity of budget airlines and internet-holiday-bookings, the 2000’s saw record levels of spending’s, with visitors to the UK spending a record £12.8 billion; thanks mainly to an increase in visitors from long-haul destinations like the USA and Canada.
Popular TV Shows in the 2000’s
The Sopranos was described as a Landmark TV Series
Popular TV shows included The Office, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The show provided a new style of ‘mockumentary’ comedy. Whilst the UK was creating pioneering comedies, over in the USA hit shows such as The Sopranos and Dexter were providing addictive dramas.
It was Westlife who entered the 2000’s at number 1 in the UK, with their Christmas hit “I Have a Dream” maintaining the top spot for the first 3 weeks. 2000 also witnessed a grand return for U2, Coldplay released a critically acclaimed album – Parachutes, whilst boybands continued to remain popular with the likes of the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync giving the girl groups, such as Destiny’s Child, a run for their money at the top of the charts.
2000’s Family Car
The Honda HR-V (1998-2006) was available with a 1.6 Petrol or 1.6 VTEC Petrol Engine
Some of the more popular cars of the decade included the Ford Focus Mark 2 which provided the reliability of a family car, with a range of engines and models to choose from, including 3 and 5 door versions, the Mark 2 was also available as a saloon, estate and a convertible. The Honda HR-V was also a success, thanks to its reputation for safety & reliability, it provided additional space for families on the move!
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