Enjoying the moment – and planning ahead

Enjoying the moment – and planning ahead

The Park family – Iain and Sarah, and children Rosie and Danny – have been Bondholders since 2008 but their Bond has been in the family for a good deal longer than that. Iain’s mother invested in the Bond in 1990 – and St Brides Castle in Pembrokeshire retains a special place in Park hearts. “St Brides was the location for our first Bond holiday,” Iain recalls. “Rosie was a baby then – and much fussed over, not just by us but by all the staff, from the site manager downwards! But behind all the fuss was solid, practical help – which, as new parents, was gratefully received.”

These days, the Bond is split between four Parks: Iain, his brother, and two sisters.

Another favourite UK site is Duloe Manor in Cornwall – which since Iain, Sarah and family live in the county, might seem an odd choice. But as Iain explains: “It’s great for family get-togethers. Though Sarah’s a Cornishwoman, I originally hail from Shropshire – and other family are scattered about the place. We live in Hayle, in the far west of Cornwall. It’s a lovely place, but takes some getting to. Much easier for all to meet at the Bond’s beautiful Cornish home.”

Sarah and Iain, both primary school teachers, enjoy lots of holiday time throughout the year – the main drawback being, of course, that airlines ratchet up fares during school holidays. However, Iain remains philosophical. “It’s just supply and demand. But the great thing is that the price of a Bond holiday, being based on Holiday Points rather than ‘real money’, remains, effectively, rent-free, with only the no-profit User Charge covering actual expenses. As long as there’s availability, and you have the Points, the holiday is yours. And let’s face it – there’s nothing else you can spend them on!”

“I really think the Bond can represent excellent value over the long term,” Iain continues. “But more important is the reassurance you get from knowing that, whatever site you choose to visit, whatever your areas of interest, the standards – of cleanliness, of equipment, of furnishings, and above all of staff – will be uniformly high.”

Which brings us to La Gomera – unsurprisingly the Parks’ favourite overseas site to date. “It’s such a lovely location,” Iain rhapsodises. “A beautiful island, with a beautiful climate – and a beautiful Bond site. It’s great to be able to kick back, and not have to think about much! And the children are having a brilliant time. They’re not involved in the Easter Activity Club (they both decided it was a bit too ‘young’ for them), but they’ve found loads to do – especially in the water. Sea scooters, hamster-ball… they’re loving it. It’s great, too, to see so many generations here.”

And what of other sites? “Well, we definitely want to go further afield; we’re very aware that we’ve hardly scratched the surface of what the Bond can offer, and where. But for now we’re plotting and planning about how to get back to La Gomera next Easter!”

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