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The smell of a campfire, the cheerful orange tent canvas color, bare feet on grass, canned nasi fried on butane gas, sticky hands from melted ice, your skin crispy in the evening and your eyes stinging from the chlorine... Feel ' m? Today we take a leap back in time and compare the holidays of Dutch families in the 80s with today. Time for nostalgia and reminiscing. Let's look at some interesting comparisons.


First of all, the destinations. In the 1980s, domestic camping holidays and holiday parks in the Netherlands were the popular choices. Families went to the nature of the Veluwe or enjoyed the sun on the Wadden Islands . Nowadays we see that travel to distant destinations is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable. Families fly to exotic beaches, explore cultural cities and make unforgettable memories around the world.

80's holiday

Digital world

Another difference that stands out is the influence of technology. In the 80's we had limited television channels and video tapes (remember the video store?) to keep us entertained. Now we have smartphones, tablets and portable gaming consoles that provide us with entertainment on long trips. Although technology helps us to combat boredom, it can also distract from real family fun and togetherness. Therefore, always keep an old school deck of cards in your suitcase for hours of off-screen fun together.

Where are we going?

We also see changes when it comes to accommodation. In the 1980s, camping and holiday parks were the favorite options for families. Nowadays, however, there are plenty of alternatives, such as glamping, Airbnb and all-inclusive resorts. Families can choose from a wide range of comfortable and luxurious options to suit their needs and budget.

Tip: a house in the woods

Our top 3 destinations always include 'a house in the woods'. Forest is not even that necessary, as long as it is a back to basic house with some greenery around it. Not luxurious, but often not expensive either, but a lot of fun! On the Night(s) Away page we collect the nicest houses.

Night away

Six weeks off

Another notable aspect is the change in the duration of holidays. In the 1980s, summer holidays usually lasted six weeks, giving children plenty of free time to enjoy outdoor play and adventures. Today, families often have shorter vacations of a week or two, due to work commitments and other responsibilities. This can have both positive and negative consequences, because although shorter holidays are better suited to our busy lifestyles, it can sometimes be difficult to truly relax and unwind.

Quality time

Finally, social interaction has changed. In the 1980s, most parents worked outside the home, which gave children plenty of time to play with friends, neighbors and relatives. Nowadays, parents often spend more time with their children during the holidays, leaving more room for family activities and quality time.

Although there are clear differences between holidays in the 80s and today, the essence remains the same: spending time with our loved ones, discovering new places and creating precious memories. Whether then or now, holidays are a time to relax, enjoy and escape the daily grind. So let's continue to enjoy these precious moments, regardless of the times we live in! Think outside the box and book a pleasant overnight stay in Friesland.

This music was played at many an 80s camping disco...

What can we learn from this when it comes to small happiness?

When it comes to small happiness, we can learn some lessons from the comparison between holidays of Dutch families in the 80s and today:

  1. Enjoy simple moments
    In the 1980s, vacations were often simple, with outdoor play, camping and social interaction with friends and family. This reminds us that happiness can be found in the little things. It doesn't always have to be grand or extravagant. Appreciating simple moments of joy and connection can give us a deep sense of satisfaction.

  2. Take the time to relax
    In the 1980s, summer holidays often lasted longer, giving families more time to relax and unwind. Nowadays we often have busy lives and can feel rushed, even during holidays. It is important to consciously take the time to relax, slow down and enjoy the moment. Give yourself permission to rest and recharge.

  3. Find balance in online and offline time
    While technology gives us more options for entertainment and connection, it can also distract and keep us away from valuable moments. It is important to be aware of our screen use and find a balance. By putting aside our smartphone every now and then and focusing on personal interaction and the environment around us, we can experience more satisfaction and connection.

  4. Create quality time with loved ones
    Whether it was in the 80s or now, holidays provide an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. It is important to cherish and focus on this time. Pay attention to your family, relatives and friends, share experiences, laugh together and create lasting memories. It is these moments of connection that make us happy.

  5. Appreciate the 'now'
    Whether we are traveling to a distant destination or vacationing close to home, it is important to appreciate the 'now'. Take time to admire nature, explore new places, experience local culture and feel the simple pleasure of life. By being in the moment and showing appreciation for our surroundings, we can find happiness in the small details that surround us.

Small happiness is often hidden in everyday moments and experiences. By being aware, enjoying the simplicity and paying attention to what really matters, we can find a deeper sense of fulfillment and happiness, both on holidays and in our daily lives.

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