Best and Worst Holidays – Travelling With Our Kids

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming Sam from Travelling With Our Kids to the blog to tell us about their best and worst holidays. Over to you, Sam.

Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

Best Family Holiday

We have had many great family holidays since our boys were born, but if I had to choose one, then our recent cycling holiday along the River Danube would be my choice. Flying into Vienna, we spent one night in Vienna before catching the train to Passau. We then spent our afternoon collecting our rental bikes and looking around Passau. The next day we set off from Passau along cycle paths and quiet roads back towards Vienna. We cycled for 7 days to get to Vienna with the maximum distance being about 25 miles.Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

Each day had different things to see and do, which meant we could take our time and stop when needed. Some days we cycled in 30 degree heat which was rather hot. Other days we had rain, but the weather didn’t stop us enjoying the holiday. Places we visited included Melk Abbey, Linz Old Town, and Krems. During the day, if we wanted to cross to the other side of the river, we could either cross by bridge or catch one of the ferry boats. Our boys loved these boats and they varied in size from fitting maybe 20 people to big car boats.Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

Our youngest son was in a bike trailer which I pulled along behind me, while my husband had our eldest son on a tag-along. Personally, I think my husband pulled the easy straw, but he wouldn’t agree! Ha!

Our cycling holiday really gave us a different experience to a family holiday. Seeing the country from a bike was really fun. Both our boys loved getting up each morning and heading off on the rental bikes. We made up silly games to keep them entertained, stopped along the way to go to the park. As we had a bike trailer for our youngest son, it meant he could still have his afternoon nap. The cycle path also made it family friendly as you knew the boys were safe.Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

We can’t wait to go on another cycling holiday in the future. Hopefully our youngest can go on a tag-along next time and do some cycling for himself!

Worst Family Holiday

Our worst family holiday was probably our first family holiday together. Not so much for it being rubbish but because our lives had been turned upside down not long before. Roughly 4 weeks before we were meant to go on our first holiday, my older brother suddenly passed away from a stroke. In the weeks leading up to the holiday we had to plan his funeral and make changes to our holiday (my older brother and younger brother were meant to fly to America, so all this had to be cancelled etc). I was also suffering from PND which wasn’t helped with the sudden loss of my brother.Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

We had decided not to cancel our holiday, as we thought it would be good to escape for a while and try and begin to make sense of what had happened. Both sets of parents and also my younger brother were also with us. Each day was a major struggle emotion wise, and trying to enjoy the sights was rather tough.

About half way through the holiday our eldest son, who was 16 weeks old at the time, became ill. The hotel we were staying in phoned a local doctor who spoke no English to come see us. He gave us a prescription and told us the name of the town that had a 24-hour pharmacy. So, while I looked after a screaming baby, my husband and father drove to the pharmacy to collect the medicine.Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

We didn’t really know what it was going to do but put our trust in the doctor. Roughly 20 mins after giving our eldest his medicine his screaming stopped, and he eventually fell asleep. By the morning he was back to his usual self!Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

 Overall, we all really enjoyed the holiday and would love to go back and explore again. It was just the circumstances around the holiday that made it for us the worst holiday we have been on.Best and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids

Thanks to Sam for sharing her best and worst holidays. I had never considered a family cycling holiday but it sounds like fun. I am sorry to hear about the passing of your older brother. You can read all about their cycling trip along the Danube on her blog, as well as their road trip in Austria and Germany.

Sam is a family travel blogger, based in Scotland. They love getting out and exploring new places whether it be at home or abroad. From cycling to hiking, they like to see places from a different viewpoint as they go. Please check out Sam’s blog, Travelling with Our Kids. You can also find Sam on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at and Worst Holidays Travelling With Our Kids - In today's guest post, Sam from Travelling With Our Kids shares their best and worst holidays with their kids. The best is a bit of a surprise!

Best and Worst Holidays – Liberty on the Lighter Side

Next up in my Best and Worst Holidays series comes from Liberty who blogs at Liberty On the Lighter Side.Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side

We haven’t had one outstandingly terrible awful holiday, yet, but we’ve had holidays with dreadful moments. I tend not to photograph those moments to post on Facebook although I did write about that on my blog here. Strangely enough those bad moments all depend on who you ask in our family because the children and adults have totally different opinions about what those moments were.

For example, if you were to ask the grown-ups, we hate camping in the pouring rain. My husband is still suffering from the trauma of a trip to Galway when he spent six miserable hours trapped in a small tent with our four young children and no car while mummy (me) swanned off to a wedding with my sister (and the car) to eat lovely food and drink nice wine with grownups. I’m not sure how it was all that bad for him to be honest, at least he was able to order pizza deliveries to ‘the first wet blue tent on the right hand side’ in a soggy field in Salthill. The children thought it was GREAT, camping is ALWAYS fun when you’re a kid and especially when beans on toast is upgraded to takeaway pizza. YAY!

Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
Drying out the tent!

I also don’t have very fond memories of all those holidays (lost count) where we’ve had to  either take a child to the doctor, or the car to a mechanic. Holidays are surely only meant to be plain sailing and pain free?

On the other hand. there are a few holidays that stand out as our unanimous favourites. One is to a campsite especially designed for children in Brittany, France (yet again in a tent). There was an over abundance of pools and waterslides, but it wasn’t blisteringly hot.

Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
2 Fountains Pool

This is important point actually, we had a big tree to shade our tent. We’ve camped in hot places (Vendée, France as well as in the Pilanesberg, South Africa) without shade and I’d rather be dead than boil alive like that again. The avenues in this campsite were quiet for safe cycling and our neighbours played badminton with the kids. It was bliss! I read books by the pool side while the kids and hubby splashed about for hours until lunch, and then back again to the pool for even more strenuous relaxation all afternoon. I still dream about that deep sleep I had every night, all week. 

Another was to the Isle of Skye. In every way a total opposite to the commercialised campsite holiday scene, this was remote and rugged. There were no discos, karaoke or bars. There were barely any people! The landscape awed us at every turn, we swam in the icy sea, built dams in the burn and walked for miles, catching a fleeting glimpse of a couple of shy stags before they turned tail over the hills. We stayed in a self-catering house that had its own private cove and plenty of room inside for the kids to play table tennis on the damp days.

Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
Enjoying the sunshine on the Isle of Skye.
Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
Building a Dam

Really what we love best is visiting family back in South Africa, partly because it’s so familiar, but also because it’s so different to life in Ireland. We love spending time with cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and we also love eating seafood cooked over the coals out under the stars on warm evenings, stroking giraffes, antelope or ostriches and playing on soft sand beaches that stretch for miles. We can’t rave enough about a holiday in South Africa!

Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
Feeding Nyala
Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
Beach Tergnietsa

No two of our holidays have been the same and we are always open to new experiences. Meeting new people and experiencing their culture, language and food is one of the highlights always so we’ve house swapped six times around Europe as well as South Africa and this coming summer we are planning to ‘Couchsurf’ our way around the USA. (I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!)

Since having our kids, holidays have certainly been more frenetic, more fun, more exhausting and hilarious. We’ve done fewer ‘adult’ things and have enjoyed the ‘sillier’ kiddie things. Travelling is never dull. Even the painful moments change us, make us more resilient to the next incident. At the least, the terrible disasters make for great stories afterwards. In my mind, travel is not always just about having a holiday, it is about being changed in your outlook on the world. When you return home after a trip, you are never the same person who left home.

John Steinbeck says, “Once a journey is designed, equipped and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality temperament, individuality and uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us.”Travels with Charley

Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side
Liberty and her family

Liberty is a mother of four kids living in Wexford, the sunny South Eastern corner of Ireland, but was born in the UK and raised in South Africa. She and her family get about a bit and usually avoid having ‘normal’ holidays.Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side

Thanks to Liberty for sharing Why not check out Liberty’s blog. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook. We’ve never camped with BattleKid yet, but I’m sure we will. I do remember a very wet, soggy end to a week at the Isle of Man TT. It was so bad that my husband I booked into a hotel for our last night because we couldn’t take the rain anymore!

And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at

Best and Worst Holidays featuring Liberty on the Lighter Side. In this post, Liberty shares her stories about what holidays haven't been great and which ones have!


Best and Worst Holidays – DaddiLife

This week’s guest post in my Best and Worst Holidays Series here on the blog is from Han-Son who blogs at DaddiLife. Let’s hear where his family’s best and worst holidays were.Best And Worst Holidays DaddiLife

Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

As a working dad, time off with the family is so, so precious, and holidays have come to represent so much more than just time away. They’re a chance to reset and reconnect with the family, and a chance for me to bond with my son in a way that just going outside or using our Tuff spot won’t quite do.

In this piece I’d like to tell you more about our best holiday as a family and our worst.

The Best: Barcelona 2016

What can I say about Barcelona. The city, to me, is just magical. In December 2016, when Max was 2 years old, we decided to forego Christmas tradition and my partner and I just decided to go to Barcelona for Christmas with Max! I had never been to the city before, let alone over Christmas, so even though part of me was a little sceptical of doing it over the Christmas period, I knew that getting away for a little time was important.

Best And Worst Holidays DaddiLife
Best Holiday – Barcelona

Why Barcelona was the best family holiday:

  1. The weather – December in the UK is cold, and unless you’re a fan of waiting for a white Christmas, it’s going to be pretty gloomy (even with all the Christmas lights around). Barcelona averages around 15-16 degrees in December – perfect for a lovely stroll around.
  2. The pace of life – it’s far from siestas on every corner – it’s lively, but not rushed. It has that lovely balance of being a busy city, but with a charm and tranquility that means you can just easily loose yourself walking down promenades and park ways.
  3. The food – wowee! We tried the incredible Osmosis taster menu, and to this day it’s still one of the best meals I’ve ever had. A wine paring with every course, and a great wine shop next to it too! If you go, you also can’t miss Boqueira el Quim – the best market restaurant you’ll ever go to.
  4. The amazing architecture – Whether it’s Sagrada familiar or the Gothic Quarter – there really is something for the whole family that the children will love too. You could easily have neck ache at the end of the holiday because of the time you’ll be looking up!
  5. The stay – There are so many amazing Air BnBs now that cater for families super well.
  6. The people – The people in Barcelona are helpful, knowledgeable and friendly without being too in your face.

The stay was so good that we just did it again last Christmas!

The Worst: Legoland, Windsor

Let me start by saying that I’m not putting Legoland down because I necessarily hated every minute, it just didn’t quite live up to expectation.

We went with Max over a half term, which in itself perhaps was part of the problem as the queue times in the drizzly rain didn’t make for an all-round great day.

There are some great features. Max LOVED the fire engine ride where you get to ride a fire engine, put the fire (fake) out, and then back to base, and he really enjoyed the classic model city where at my last count he had watched the trains go past approximately 20 times!

However, there are some significant drawbacks to the day.

Best And Worst Holidays DaddiLife
Worst Holiday – Legoland

Here’s why it’s on my list:

Where am I –  Unlike most other theme parks, I found myself lost, very lost. Though it’s not as big as some other theme parks, the ability to get lost is rather vast. An extra sign or two would not go amiss.

Food choices are limited, at best – The food choices I found to be very limited. Who doesn’t love a good hotdog on a day out, but I’d rather that not be the only option. Ok, that’s a little unfair – I think there was a ice cream place and a fish and chip place, but overall there just wasn’t the kid of friendly food selection that you’d hope for.

The car park – it’s a good distance from the park itself, and seems to have a real lack of 2 way system about it

The upsell – ok, I know you go to Legoland and you really should leave with Lego, but there’s something about the experience that, while in may ways an amazing engineering feat, doesn’t feel as interactive as it could. The magic of lego for me is about making things, and there’s just a real lack of that around the park.Best And Worst Holidays DaddiLife

Thanks so much to Han-Son for sharing their best and worst holidays. We are going to Barcelona for the first time in July so it was great to get some hints and tips for our trip. And to be honest, I didn’t enjoy Legoland when we visited either. We went on one ride during the entire day, although we did come away with a good bit of Lego.

Han-Son runs DaddiLife, a parenting site for dads. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at

Best And Worst Holidays DaddiLife - A Guest Post by DaddiLife blog in which he shares with us his best and worst holidays to date with his kids.


Best and Worst Holidays – Jenna of Then There Were Three

Last year while we were on our road trip in America, I had some fellow bloggers as guests on the blog telling us about their best holidays with their kids and also as a couple. In an extension to this, over the coming weeks, I will be featuring more stories from my fellow bloggers. They will be telling us about their best and worst holidays with their kids, pre-kids and everything in between. 

This week I have the pleasure of featuring the lovely Jenna, from South Wales, who blogs at Then There Were Three

Best And Worst Holidays Then There Were Three

Worst Holiday

When our eldest was around eighteen months old, we decided that it would be a great idea to take her on her first long haul flight to Barbados. The last time I had travelled long haul was when I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and we flew to Las Vegas for my husband’s birthday. I also work for an international airline, so seeing all of my colleagues jetting off to exotic locations fuelled my desire for a long-haul break even more. 

I had never been to Barbados before, let alone with a toddler. I did some research and found a “child friendly” hotel with a play park and kids club. Looking back, I truly just wish we had gone to Butlins for the week. Barbados itself is a beautiful place, but the hotel was certainly not as child friendly as they made out.

Best And Worst Holidays Jenna Newell - Barbados

Aoife was actually the only child at the resort, which of course meant that all attention was on her, which she loved. However, the facilities for her weren’t great.

The play park consisted of an old, rusted metal swing, with a creaky see saw and rather dangerous looking climbing frame; not much use to a toddler. The play park also didn’t have any form of shade, so the play sets became boiling hot with the heat and were unusable anyway.

Around the poolside was a nightmare as there were no anti slip mats, which are essential at a “child friendly” hotel. Our over excitable toddler slipped a good few times which resulted in bangs to the head and bruises.

The kids club turned out to be just a room with a darts board and air hockey table which again was of no use to us.

The food was very authentic to the Caribbean, which whilst lovely, is not something that a toddler would find appetising. Aoife pretty much lived off chips and rice for the whole week, aside from the last night when we were told that they had a children’s menu. I have never seen a child wolf down mash, beans and sausages so quickly before.Best And Worst Holidays Jenna Newell - Barbados

Despite all of this, it hasn’t deterred us from travelling long haul again – we are planning on heading to Orlando next year. In regards to visiting Barbados again, I would love to but I will definitely be researching the hotels a bit better.

Best Holiday

When it comes to our best holiday with kids, surprisingly it was less than an hour away from my home. Last May we were incredibly lucky to be invited to stay at Bluestone for the week (think Center Parks but smaller); my husband wasn’t able to get the time off work, so my cousin joined us instead.

We were so lucky to have such amazing weather whilst we were there – I definitely don’t think we would have enjoyed it as much in the rain.Best And Worst Holidays Jenna Newell - Bluestone

Now if you know me, you’ll know that I am not very good with nature or the great outdoors. However, that week changed me; despite it not being full on countryside, the peaceful nature walks and tranquil lake were enough to change my views and think “I could live somewhere like this”.

Bluestone was definitely well equipped for children of all ages. There was soft play and outside parks for the younger children, along with zip lining through the forest and rock wall climbing for the older ones. Their waterpark Blue Lagoon was an instant hit with Aoife who is a true water baby – she was obsessed with the lazy river and wave machines.Best And Worst Holidays Jenna Newell - Bluestone

As we knew the area quite well, we were able to confidently leave the site and spend the day in Tenby with my parents too.

I loved the fact that despite how close we were to home it really felt like we were on holiday and thousands of miles away.

I would love to go back with my husband and the girls, or even arrange for a huge group of families to go as there really is so much to see and do.Best And Worst Holidays Then There Were Three

Jenna is a parenting and lifestyle blogger based in South Wales – she has two daughters and blogs about everything parenting related to surrogacy. She is hoping to train as a midwife next year and loves nothing more than a Primark visit! 

Thanks to Jenna for sharing her best and worst holidays to date. We are big fans of Bluestone too. Jenna has written about her visit to Bluestone in a three-part series on her blog. Why not start with her Day One report.

You can check out Jenna’s blog, Then There Were Three, and you can also find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at

Best And Worst Holidays Then There Were Three - In my Best and Worst Holidays Series, bloggers share with us some of their good and bad holidays. This time we hear from Jenna of Then There Were Three