Back in June, one blogger (i.e me), drank too much free wine at a blogging conference. This in turn led to some friendly banter with a Butlins PR, which then led me hazily to picking up an Ambassador application form, whereby post-hangover I actually filled out said-form and popped it in the post the old-fashioned way. Little did I know, that fast forward one month, and an email would land in my inbox congratulating me on being accepted as a Butlins Ambassador out of hundreds of applications!
Some wonderful and surreal things have happened to me since I’ve dipped my toes into the blogging world about a year ago, and this is certainly up there with the best of them. You see, pre that vino-filled trip to the Butlins stand, I’m not going to lie- you couldn’t have paid me to go on a ‘holiday’ to where my inner-snob assumed would be a ‘Heidi-Hi’-esque hell-hole. BUT, having picked up that application form and accompanying brochure, and perusing at leisure one sunny Sunday in the garden, I actually felt a weird sensation inside that I never would have associated with the ‘dreaded B’ before: Excitement!
Flicking through the pages, and seeing my inner ‘mum’ waving goodbye for the time-being to far flung trips of old, was like a holidaymaker re-birth. My mind instead was racing, imagining the smalls enjoying all the activities and facilities Butlins has to offer- toddler football, character shows, swimming and the fairground to name but a few. You see, when you become a parent, your idea of what constitutes a great holiday changes slightly. Sure, you’d always like to fly 10 hours to lie on a beach, read endless books and drinks copious amounts of rum, but HELLO, REAL WORLD CALLING- you have a 2 and a 3 year old now! Since the former scenario is unlikely to happen for a good while, Adam and I made a pact to embrace breaks closer to home that keep our tiny twosome happy and occupied, and stress at a minimum. Ones where we can ALL try new shizz, relax as a family and be entertained.
Which is why I’m so glad I popped that application form in the post.
Judging purely from the brochure so far, Butlins certainly seems to fit my ideal family holiday bill <insert smiley face here>. Gone is the “Morning, Campers!” mentality of old, and very much like my idea of a good trip, Butlins seem to have had a jolly good re-think too. New, smart accommodation choices, swish facilities (Defo eyeing up the Spas for moi), and more activities for preschoolers and toddlers than you can shake a stick at. I’m therefore unshakably optimistic that we are going to be impressed when we partake in the first of our two holidays next week; on this occasion we are heading to the Bognor Regis resort, where we have a Gold Apartment waiting for us.
Which is where my job comes in. With my Ambassador hat on, I aim to report back on how these trips were, what there is to do, the things we enjoyed and the things that we think could be done better- all with typical SPJ honesty and frankness!
As Ambassadors, we are very lucky to receive the following:
- 1 x 3 night weekend or 4 night midweek break to be taken in the school holidays.
- 1 x 3 night weekend or 4 night midweek break to be taken in the school term time.
- Dining package (breakfast and dinner) for our stay on both of the breaks.
- Up to 6 people per family to visit per break (3 generational holidays are encouraged- we are taking my Mum on one break, and my in-laws on the other!).
There are 3 resorts to choose from- Bognor, Minehead and Skegness. We have chosen to take our trips to Bognor and Minehead, but it’s definitely worth checking out the other lovely blogger ambassadors and their experiences, so you can decide which resort might fit the bill for you and your family: