Choosing a holiday destination can be tricky. With 158 ports of call just from Gatwick Airport alone, it’s difficult to narrow the options down to just one country.
But there are lots of fun ways to pick a place to go on holiday. Flight Centre’s holiday inspiration comes from a Travel Name Game. You type your name into the seach box, and it tells you which destination is most popular with people of the same name as you. Mine’s Melbourne, apparently. Which is a little spooky, considering that’s where D was born…..
But I also wanted to come up with my own way to pick a destination. I’ve posted before about how different members of our family have different needs when it came to holidays. But, I thought, rather than focusing on our differences, perhaps it would be better if we used something we have in common as a starting point.
So: what is it that we all love, in our family?
My answer was The Great British Bake-Off.
If you live in the UK, it will have been impossible to escape the furore around this much-beloved baking contest, first broadcast on the BBC, and now rather controversially sitting with Channel 4. From Mary Berry’s facial expressions to Noel Fielding’s naughty double entendres, the show’s style and catchphrases have entered the British national psyche.
And so, I thought: why not let The Great British Bake Off be my guide in helping me choose a place for our next family visit?
Bake a showstopper
The ‘showstopper’ is the climax of each week’s Bake Off episode. It’s a chance for competitors to showcase their skill in spinning sugar into castles worthy of fairytales, bake bread in the shape of a lion, or fashion breadsticks into an elegant display that looks convincingly like a matchbox.
Showstoppers are special. The destination that, for me, captures their drama and intricacy, is Canada – and specifically, the Rockies. The area’s jagged mountain peaks, wealth of wildlife and accessible recreation sites are top of my travel hit-list.
Pick somewhere that’s worth the calories
Channel 4 judge Prue Leith’s catchphrase resonates with a lot of us. Why eat something that’s indulgent and just a bit naughty, if it’s not also completely delicious? The same can be said for destinations. Some places hit the wallet harder than others. If they’re not going to blow your mind at the same time, wouldn’t you be better off saving your pennies?
The destination that I think is definitely worth its ‘calories’ (and more) is Norway. Sure, it’s not cheap – but where else can you find hip cities that harness the beauty of nature, as well as jaw-dropping, rugged mountains and fjords? The place is so compelling that, even though I’ve been several times, I’m already planning my next trip.
I might need to go on a diet when I get back, though….
Concoct a cream horn
Complicated to construct, sugary sweet and full of moreish, whipped dairy, a good cream horn is the pinnacle of a baker’s success. Not every Great British Bake Off contestant has been successful in making them. The show’s had its fair share of drooping horns, and dribbling cream. But, when they’re done well, they stand to attention: crisp, proud and delicious.
My family holiday version of the cream horn would be a theme park. On a bad day, they can be disasterous. But, if a theme park is light on queues and heavy on spectacle and fun, it can make for the best family holiday ever – even for adults. Top of my theme park wishlist at the moment is Europa Park, in Germany.
Avoid soggy bottoms
This Summer, we spent a fortnight in Scotland. It was wet. This is a common downside to the Great British Staycation. The weather’s never going to be predictable, and if you’re not prepared with waterproofs, umbrellas and indoor play options, you’re likely to develop – yes, you’ve guessed it – a soggy bottom.
That’s not to say I don’t think UK destinations can be delightful. We had a wonderful time exploring the lochs, forests and coast of Dumfriesshire. Scotland was recently named as one of Lonely Planet’s top destinations, and you only need to look at travel blogs like Scots 2 Travel to realise how much the country has to offer.
If you don’t mind preparing for all weathers, instead of soggy bottoms, you’re likely to have a magical time.
Have you been to any of these destinations? What would be your own Bake Off destination of choice?
This is a collaborative post. All views are my own.
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