The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers Experiences

One of the best things about holidays as a child is the friends you can make. Playing on the beach, building sandcastles, splashing in the sea, snorkelling, rock-pooling … you name it all of these activities are far better to do with other children, rather than your parents once you reach a certain age.

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

Holiday friendships ...

Most kids make instant friendships, my boys certainly do, and being on holiday is no exception to this. Kids don’t judge and discriminate. They don’t have boundaries be it gender or geographic. They don’t care where someone comes from as long as they want to have fun. 

Not only does it make a holiday more fun, but meeting new people, learning to socialise, and making friends is also an important part of their development. It gives them confidence, a new perspective on life as well as new fun people to play with.

Children don’t even have to be ‘away’ on holiday, new friendships can be formed by meeting children visiting your town or even at a holiday club.

My boys recently made friends with two similarly aged local children, a boy and a girl, on a beach in Devon. 

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

We were visiting Grandparents and the other children were regularly visiting their local beach. It didn’t matter at all that they weren’t staying near each other. They arranged what days they could meet up on the beach, and also exchanged gamer tags so could they play each other in the evenings and once the holiday had ended.

After the holiday has ended ...

Recent research shows that only 6% of friendships made on holiday last longer than a month, so I have no idea how long their friendship will last, maybe until they all move on to another game, but social media certainly makes its far easier to keep in touch.

I have fond memories of meeting new friends on holiday. It wasn’t in far flung exotic places but rather in rainy camp fields in the Lake District, Northumberland or on the beach in Devon that we had some of the happiest times of our childhood. It definitely wasn’t the sun that made these holidays good times, but the things we did, places we saw and the new people we met. 

Back then once the holiday was over we’d exchange addresses, write a letter and hope for a reply.

My boys just have to switch on their tablets and not only can they chat, but also continue playing with their new friends – even though they are at the other end of the country. It's good to see that your sex and where you live have no impact on these friendships.

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

I asked some other bloggers about their memories of friends they made on holiday and how their own children interact with others on holiday now...

We all remember how hard it could be to keep in touch …

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

Deborah says “I use to love making and keeping in touch with friends I made on holiday when I was little and had them as pen pals for years. Sadly don’t keep in touch with any now though and the kids haven’t really been on a proper holiday yet so not had a chance to make any 'holiday friends'. We do day trips etc. which makes it a little more difficult! Hopefully, next year and I would encourage them to keep in touch as I think its lovely writing etc. to someone in another part of the world! 

Rachael lost touch with friends after holidays but did go on a camping holiday once and kept in touch with the girl for a year after by exchanging letters. 

Nyomi lost touch with the friends she made on holiday but in those days there weren't all the great ways to communicate that there are now. It was just letters and landlines really (now we all feel old). She thinks it must be much easier now for kids with social media, text and email. 

Sophie made friends with a boy on holiday when she was 7 and stayed in touch by letter and phone and only broke contact when he emigrated with his family to Spain. 

Samantha says “My three tend to make friends during our camping holidays. They tend to all run off and play in the park together until the sun sets. We've never made an effort to keep in touch but I think it's because there are always so many of them on campsites! During our holidays abroad my three don't tend to make friends and they just play with each other. This makes me sad as I always used to make friends on holiday - I never kept in touch though.” 

Though for some of us holiday friendships have survived into adulthood ...

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

Louise met one of her friends on holiday when they were both 17. She says we used to chat on the phone a lot when we first became friends and write letters to each other as well as meeting up every now and then. We ended up going away together for a weekend to the same holiday park where we met ten years on. I was her bridesmaid when she got married for the second time. She now lives in the States but we still keep in touch via Facebook. I have to say social media has made it easier in some respects to stay in touch. 

Kate made friends with a girl on holiday in Marbella when they wwere13. They bonded over Spice Girls Wannabe! And 20 years later are still friends

Amanda still keeps in touch with holiday friends she made back on holiday aged around 13 on a caravan site in Yorkshire. She says it was the same group of people who would come back year after year. We're all grown up and now and have kids of our own. We keep in touch on FB and it's lovely to reminisce about our times spent there.”

Cathryn is still pen pals with the girl she met on holiday 30 years ago! She says: "I met my pen pal Eleanor when we were both nine and on holiday in north Wales. We have been writing to each other for 30 years now! We have the odd text message conversation and have spoken on the phone a couple of times, but it always feels like cheating, so we generally stick to letters. It's so lovely to get a hand written letter through the post, amid all the bills and junk mail. I had loads of other pen pals growing up, but Eleanor is the only one I still write to."

It must run in the family too as she says, "My children know about my pen pal and so when they met friends on their recent holiday, they asked if they could be pen pals. The other children were excited about this too so they swapped addresses and have already written it their new friends and we have only been back a week. Although I have swapped phone numbers with one of the mums and become Facebook friends with another, I will definitely be encouraging my children to write letters as much as possible. My children are too young for mobile phones or social media (7, 5, 3) so I think writing letters is a really good way to keep in touch while helping their handwriting, reading etc."

Emma made friends with her best friend on holiday at Butlins in Minehead when they were both seven. She was living in the Midlands at the time and her friend lived in Devon. Emma says "We used to spend the school holidays together alternating between my house and hers and one time she even came to my primary school with me for the week. I was maid of honour at her wedding three years ago, three weeks after having my little girl and I now live in Devon after moving here just over a year ago. We have been friends for 23 years now and I consider her as my family. I always say her mum is my surrogate mum too." Here is a pic of them together now.

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

But I think we are all in agreement that it’s easier now for our own children ...

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

Reneé says her eight-year-old made an amazing friend on holiday last year and still emails her.

Lindsay never kept in touch with her holiday friends growing up as they always lived so far away and it was harder to keep in touch in the 90s, letters to one another always fizzled out after a few weeks. However her eldest made friends in Spain three years ago and she is still in touch with them now, (even though one lives in another country) thanks to social media.

Adults can make new friends too ... 

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

I’m not talking holiday romances although I do know someone who met their husband because they were seated next to them on a plane, that was their first ever meeting. But I’m talking new friendships for the grown-ups too.

Natasha went on holiday to Majorca in 2012 where her daughter made a little friend and she still chats to the mum on Facebook. Social media has completely changed the game. 

Jen‘s son made some friends in Mallorca 2 years ago and she still sends Christmas cards and keeps in touch with the family on Facebook (he's too young for Facebook!). However, she also says “I met a friend on holiday last year and kept in touch and can’t wait to meet up with her for a drink or two again this year (she lives there) as we’ve kept in touch so it’s not just kids who make new friends I guess. I never made any holiday friends as a child but did write to my grandparents’ neighbours children who I played with once a year when I visited my grandparents (long distance). 

Helena says “We collect friends everywhere we go, and often meet them again in their country or somewhere completely random. We are friends with people we met on holiday 7 years ago. Our kids are now friends and we FaceTime often. They live in the States. We've been to their house, they've been to ours, we've met every family member on their side and I'd count those as friends too. We try to go on holiday with them at least once per year."

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.

And maybe it’s never too late to get in touch …

Carol made good friends with a girl on her first holiday abroad when she was 16 and her friend was around 14. Carol says “I'm from the North East and she was from the North West. We stayed friends for many years, visiting each other and even going to each other’s weddings. We've unfortunately lost touch now due to moving house too many times etc., which is a shame as it would be so much easier to keep in touch these days with social media and technology etc. However, after telling me this Carol looked up her name on FB and has sent her a message! Watch this space!!

So one of the best things about holidays as a child or a grown-up it seems is the friends you make. 

Have you kept in touch with any friends you made on holiday?

Deb x


  1. Thank you for including my story. Making friends on holiday is great and I hope my little girl will also find this out for herself one day. I will definitely help her to keep in touch because if it wasn't for my mum agreeing to travel backwards and forwards over the holidays, I probably wouldn't have the best friend I do today x

  2. Thanks for including us; will share!

  3. Thank you for sharing my story in this great article. My holiday friend and I are now back in touch and catching up, thanks to your motivation and jogging my memory about that friendship x

  4. So lovely to read about other holiday friendship stories. Thank you so much for featuring mine. Definitely easier to keep in touch nowadays thanks to social media, but there was something quite special about getting a proper letter in the post :-)