Holiday Diaries 2018

This post is a little late being published this year but none-the-less, here it is. Now, 2017 was a fantastic year for holidays for the Battle Family. I have no idea how we are going to beat it. But, as wanderlusters we will strive to enjoy whatever holidays we have planned. And so far we have three booked.

As for last year, we started the year with a scouting mission to Portugal in readiness for our permanent move here. Then, after what felt like a very long wait, we were finally on our 2-week USA road trip. And what a trip that turned out to be. Only a few weeks after we returned from the States, we were back in the UK to experience a mid-week stay in Bluestone as part of their Bluestone Bloggers Programme. And we ended the year in style by visiting Disneyland Paris in December. BattleKid keeps asking to go back to the castle every time we watch a Disney film.Photo collage of holiday destinations visited by the Battle Family in 2017

So, what do we have planned so far for this year I hear you ask? Well, firstly, BattleKid and I are off to Ireland over Easter for a 10-day trip. We are starting with a 7-day road trip in the southern half of the country where we will take in places like the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and Fota Wildlife Park. After our mini road trip, we’ll be heading up to Dublin to visit family and to also spend a day being a tourist in Dublin, thanks to an amazing collaboration with a tourism company (more on that to come). I’m really looking forward to our trip to Ireland, which is only a matter of a few weeks away now.

The next trip we have booked is a long weekend as a family in Barcelona at the beginning of July. BattleDad is going to see Guns and Roses in concert there. When I discovered we can get a direct flight from Faro to Barcelona, I asked could BattleKid and I tag along. We’re going for four and a half days, and I’m looking forward to visiting this famous Spanish city. 

And last but not least, we have an awesome trip mostly planned for December. We’re going to visit Santa in Lapland, and we’ll also spend a few days in Helsinki as well. And this is the trip that has me most excited. I am literally hopping with excitement. We have our flights to Helsinki booked, and are finalising our accommodation. We will also need to sort our transfers from the capital to Lapland nearer the time but I know it’s going to be amazing. There are a few final details we need to sort out with family we’ll be joining there, but for now, it’s shaping up nicely. 

The three trips we have planned so far are going to be wonderful, but I don’t think we’re done yet. We are weighing up options for another trip at the end of the summer and it’s between two options. Both will entail a road trip, as we’ve really been bitten by the road trip bug since our epic time in America last year. It will very much depend on BattleDad’s work commitments and whether we can take one or two weeks. I’m really hoping we can stretch to the two weeks as I have something in mind for that. But if not, we’ll plan the one week in the coming month or two. So watch this space for updates.

That’s our travel plans so far for 2018. I’ll update this post if we plan and book that road trip, and also if anything suddenly appears on the horizon.

Have you got any trips planned for this year, and if so, where are you going? Inspire me!

Cath x

Twitter graphic for Holiday dairies 2018 plan post by BattleMum

 

Wanderlust Kids #10

Wow, 2017 was a quick year. And I can’t believe we already a month into 2018. How did that happen? We didn’t have a Wanderlust Kids linky last month as Christmas was a busy time but it’s back for 2018 for all your kids-based travel posts. A huge thank you to all my regular linkees, I hope to see more from you this year. And if this is your first time joining us, welcome. I hope I’ll be reading lots from you this year. 

Without further ado, let me tell you December’s featured and special mentioned posts.

December’s Featured Wanderlust Kids Post

I had never before thought India was a country to visit with kids. It always worried me how they would get on with the heat, food and possibly busy areas. However, Jenny from Travelynn Family linked up her post about top things to do in Jaipur with Kids and it’s completely changed my thinking. Not only does it look like an amazing part of India, but she also shared lots of tips for visiting some of the various sights with kids. The Pink City looks stunning and that sunset at Nahargarh Fort looks amazing. Please pop over for a read of her blog post if you haven’t caught it already.

December’s Special Mention Wanderlust Kids Post

The other post which really caught my attention last month was posted by Nicky of Go Live Young. She shared her post about Camping with Kids in Wadi Rum in Jordan. It’s another thing I wouldn’t have thought possible with kids but it sounds amazing. The rock bridge looks scary and their picture of the Milky Way is just spectacular. Why not pop over and check it out.

December’s Other Great Posts

From Toddler to Traveler shared their post comparing Carnival and Disney cruises with toddlers. Which one came out on top? You’ll have to pop over and find out!

Lisa of Baby Loves Travel shared her post about visiting London Zoo with a toddler. We’d love to visit this zoo one day.

Lydia from Hollidaze and Hellidaze linked up her post about why the Angsana Lang Co is a brilliant luxurious family resort in Central Vietnam. It really does look pure luzury.

Truly Madly Kids shared their post about why kids love Brighton. With things like the BA I360 pod (like the London Eye) and the pier, it’s easy to see why.

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts last month and cannot wait to see what is linked up this month. I must say a big thank you again to everyone joining in with Wanderlust Kids.

This month I’m linking up my post Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris: The Ultimate How to Guide. We visited Disneyland Paris in December for the first time as a family and had a great time. So I thought I’d share as many hints and tips about visiting Disneyland Paris as I could. It was my longest blog post to date too, so feel free to just pin it for future reference!

_____________________________________________________

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, a travel review, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up by everyone, and I’ll be featuring my favourite one, linking back to everyone’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment. Alternatively, if you’d prefer not to add the badge, simply link back to this post.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

And last but not least, I’ve created a Wanderlust Kids group on Facebook. The idea behind it was that not everyone who travels with their kids will have a blog. So, by creating the group we can share our posts and travel tips with non-bloggers, and maybe even help each other out by sharing advice or ideas about travelling with your kids. I don’t know if the group will go anywhere but I’d love it if you could join up, and add anyone you think might benefit from the group. Feel free to share your travel blog posts there too!

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration. And if you’re wondering about what types of posts have been linked up before, check them out under my Wanderlust Kids Section.

WanderlustKids

 Loading InLinkz ...

Wanderlust Kids #9

Wow, November has flown by. As I post this month’s Wanderlust Kids linky we are just days away from our first ever family trip to Disneyland Paris. And to say I am excited would be the understatement of the year. It’s been five years since BattleDad and I visited, and we cannot wait to see BattleKid’s face when we arrive at Disneyland. We’ve been watching Disney movies in preparation. But first, I must thank everyone who linked up their kids-based travel posts last month. I’d like to thank my returning linkees and say hi to the newcomers as well. I’ve loved reading everyone’s posts.

November’s Featured Wanderlust Kids Post

The post that has added another destination to our family travel bucket list and is this month’s featured post was from Celine at Family Can Travel. She linked up her post about How to see Oslo in 5 days with children. BattleDad and I flew through Oslo on our way to Tromso and are planning a return trip in a few years with BattleKid. But I think we are going to have to add a few days onto our trip to include a stopover in Oslo. The sculpture park sounds interesting as does the opera house where you can walk on the roof. But most of all I know BattleDad and I would be most excited to visit the Viking ship Museum as we are fans of Vikings, the TV series. The Vikings also settled in Dublin and established it over 1000 years ago, so to see real life Viking ships would be amazing.

November’s Special Mention Wanderlust Kids Post

The other post which deserves a special mention was posted by Helena of Babyfoote in which she tells us all about their stay in Chiang Mai around the festival of Loy Krathong. Thailand has been on our family travel bucket list for a while, but I wasn’t aware of the Loy Krathong festival until I read Helena’s post. The weaved baskets for the river look amazing as do the temples they visited. I just know we’d thoroughly enjoy visiting Thailand for this festival!

November’s Other Great Posts

Jenny from Travelynn Family shared her post in which she tells us why Doha I worth a stopover with young kids. Although accommodation can work out expensive, the half day desert trip sounds like so much fun.

Iris from Baked by Mummy Iris linked up her post about visiting Taipei with Kids. The post includes her one-day itinerary and it looks amazing, especially the Longhan Temple. I’d love to see it at night too.

Nicky of Go Live Young shared her post about doing a road trip along the Garden Route in South Africa with kids. Her 7-day itinerary includes whale watching, hiking and meeting ostriches. I’d be very tempted to do this before our trip to Kruger National Park, if we get the chance to go.

Wandermust Family linked up their post about dealing with jet lag going east. They have some great tips to help families with toddlers deal with jet lag if travelling east.

Truly Madly Kids shared their post about visiting the Cote D’Azur with kids. They stayed in a lovely mobile home and had a great family holiday. BattleDad and I have visited Nice pre-BattleKid, but I was glad to read there is plenty to do and see in the area with kids in tow. Another trip might be in order.

Helena from The Queen of Collage linked up her post about going to a baby-friendly bonfire celebration at Roves Farm in Wiltshire. There was plenty to do including a soft play area, food, and of course fireworks to enjoy. Great to see somewhere that caters for families with younger children.

Lisa of Baby Loves Travel shared her post about exploring Grennwich with a toddler. She visited the National Maritime Museum and Mudchute Farm. I just know BattleKid would have to be torn away from the AHOY area of the museum as it sounds great.

Claire from The Ladybirds Adventures linked up her post about their family’s adventures in October. Their month included a trip to a forest school and also to the Lake District, somewhere I’ve never been in the UK but always wanted to go.

Tracey of Mums Makeup Bag shared her very funny post about surviving their first family holiday. The experiences along the way and the laughs they had resonated with me and reminded me of our past sun package holidays with BattleKid.

Lydia from Hollidaze and Hellidaze linked up her post about visiting the Maldives with her kids. Despite having to choose from the limited resorts that would accommodate not one, but two kids, they had an amazing holiday and I’d love to visit. I’d also love to experience the Sand and Stars dinner.

Shades of Courage shared their post about seeing Jerusalem from ramparts. It is definitely an interesting way to see the city but not one for strollers.

Naomi from Trips with a Tot linked up her post all about their family holiday to Haven Thorpe Park in Cleethorpes. It sounds like one of the best Haven holiday spots with loads for families.

And last but not least, Rosie of Eco-Gites of Lenault shared her post about why you should choose one of their baby-friendly self-catering gites as a base for your family holiday in Normandy. They have everything you’ll need to avoid having to pack the kitchen sink.

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts last month and cannot wait to see what is linked up this month. I must say a big thank you again to everyone joining in with Wanderlust Kids.

This month I’m linking up my post in which I shared 5 things you can do around Lake Bled with a toddler in tow. We visited Bled when BattleKid was eighteen months old and wouldn’t have even considered it as a holiday destination with a toddler unless our friends had suggested it. We thoroughly enjoyed it. In my post, I hope I’ve shown that you shouldn’t discount Bled as a destination to visit with a toddler as we loved it.

_____________________________________________________

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, a travel review, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up by everyone, and I’ll be featuring my favourite one, linking back to everyone’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment. 

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

And last but not least, I’ve created a Wanderlust Kids group on Facebook. The idea behind it was that not everyone who travels with their kids will have a blog. So, by creating the group we can share our posts and travel tips with non-bloggers, and maybe even help each other out by sharing advice or ideas about travelling with your kids. I don’t know if the group will go anywhere but I’d love it if you could join up, and add anyone you think might benefit from the group. Feel free to share your travel blog posts there too!

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

 Loading InLinkz ...

Wanderlust Kids #8

Last month I had a record number of people linking up to Wanderlust Kids and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single one of the posts. I got some great ideas for destinations to visit with BattleKid in the future and also some excellent hints and tips.

September’s Featured Wanderlust Kids Post

The post that got me really excited while reading it last month was by Jenny of Travelynn Family, who shared their 16-day itinerary of their visit to Sri Lanka with their boys. I’ve always wanted to visit Sri Lanka and BattleDad and I almost did for our honeymoon, but we chose Cuba instead. That said it is still on my wanderlust bucket list. From beaches and elephant sanctuaries to the capital Colombo, they covered a lot in this detailed tour itinerary. I have this post pinned to one of my travel boards on Pinterest for future reference!

September’s Special Mention Wanderlust Kids Post

Another post which I thought deserved a special mention was from Annette at Four Acorns. In her post, she gave us comprehensive details of all the places her family enjoyed wild swimming in France during the summer. From incredible beaches to swimming under a derelict Roman bridge, she had some stunning pictures in her post. What a way to spend the summer!

September’s Other Great Posts

Wandermust Family shared their post about favourite city breaks in both the Middle east and North Africa with babies from the bloggers who have been.

Andrea from Topsy Turvy Tribe told us about learning lessons from travelling with toddlers including some great tips for travelling with them such as always carry cash, something BattleDad rarely does.

Elizabeth from Dutch Dutch Goose shared her post about their trip to visit Mount Pilatus in Switzerland. It reminded me of a similar trip we did to Mount Rigi pre-BattleKid.

Paul at Family Makes told us all about their visit to Hadrian’s Wall. I never knew you could actually walk on the walls and their children got to meet a Roman soldier too.

Helena of The Queen of Collage shared her post about their visit to Gisacum in Normandy to see a Gallo-Roman archaeological site.

Annabel at Smudge Postcard showed how enjoyable slow travel on a narrow boat on the Basingstoke Canal could be for celebrating a birthday.

Nat at Awaybies shared her post about visiting Kidzania with her 8-year-old. This kid play area at Westfield Shopping centre looks amazing and kids will love it!

Katie of Mum of 2.5 shared her post about their lovely family holiday to Spain to visit the grandparents.

Zen Baby Travel shared their post about an amazing hotel which they went to for their first family holiday as a foursome. It looks incredible.

Tara of After The Rain Comes Sunshine shared her post about their visit to Felbrigg Hall, which is a stunning National Trust property. From her pictures I can certainly see why she fell in love with it.

Johlene from Johlene Orton linked up her post telling us why you should visit Sioux City if you are ever on Gran Canaria island. I think BattleKid would love it after our recent trip to Yellowstone in which we met real cowboys and cowgirls.

Laura from Side Street Style shared with us her post about their action-packed weekend at the Just So Festival. They stayed in vintage tents and had an all-round amazing time. I urge you to watch her video of their weekend, the pillow fight looks like so much fun!

Claire from The Ladybirds Adventures share her post about their September family adventures. They’ve even started autumn by collecting conkers, pine cones and acorns.

Melissa at The Family Voyage shared her comprehensive post about car seat options if travelling with babies or young children.

Niamh from Treasure Tales shared her post about a family break in Wexford, Ireland. I can’t believe I read someone mentioning a baby bowl. If you’re not from Ireland, you won’t get the reference. It’s something I always missed when eating out with BattleKid in the UK!

And finally, Lisa of Baby Loves Travel shared her post about their experience pf the Camper Calling Festival. I must admit I’d never heard of it before reading Lisa’s post, but it looks and sounds great.

I really cannot thank you all enough for linking up so many wonderful travel posts last month. I enjoyed reading every single one of them and am getting excited to see what is linked up this month.

And for this month, I am joining in with my post all about our recent mid-week stay at Bluestone. We have stayed at Bluestone before but for weekend breaks. This was our first time to enjoy it mid-week.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, a travel review, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up by everyone, and I’ll be featuring my favourite one, linking back to everyone’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment. 

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

And last but not least, I’ve created a Wanderlust Kids group on Facebook. The idea behind it was that not everyone who travels with their kids will have a blog. So, by creating the group we can share our posts and travel tips with non-bloggers, and maybe even help each other out by sharing advice or ideas about travelling with your kids. I don’t know if the group will go anywhere but I’d love it if you could join up, and add anyone you think might benefit from the group. Feel free to share your travel blog posts there too!

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

 Loading InLinkz ...

Be In The Picture 9

Another month, another chance to reflect on the month gone by and see if I managed to get in front of the camera instead of just behind it. And I have been pleasantly surprised that I did, albeit mainly thanks to BattleDad. 

We started September en route to Missoula having left wonderful Yellowstone. This was the next destination on our USA road trip before moving on to Portland. While in Missoula we visited the National Bison Range in Montana, in the hope of spotting more wildlife. We had fun and ended our day out at the Carousel for Missoula. BattleKid and I had a few rides after our picnic and he thoroughly enjoyed it. 

be in the picture 8
At the National Bison Range, Montana
be in the picture 8
One the Carousel for Missoula
be in the picture 8
Picnic time in Missoula

While in Missoula we visited our first ever Walmart and BattleKid was treated to new some Disney Cars models. However, they were a nightmare to get out of their packaging. Why do toy manufacturers do this to us? And BattleKid and I got our hats for Lapland in December 2018.

be in the picture 8
Why are model cars always so difficult to get out of the packaging
be in the picture 8
Modelling our Lapland hats

After an enjoyable few days in Missoula we headed for Portland through nearly 600 miles of smoke haze. We even had to go around Mount Hood as I-84 was closed due to fires around the Columbia Gorge Creek. 

be in the picture 8
Driving from Richland to Portland around Mount hood (in the distance)

In Portland we had a lovely relaxing few days, all with BattleKid in mind. We visited Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Zoo and also the Children’s Museum. On our last day we ventured into downtown Portland and enjoyed ice cream at Salt’n’Shake, which had been recommended to us. We also ate at a place called Red Robin no less than 3 times during our stay. The food was that good!

be in the picture 8
Finishing off what BattleKid didn’t at the OMSI
be in the picture 8
Another carousel at Oregon Zoo
be in the picture 8
Seeing my favourite animal at Oregon Zoo
be in the picture 8
The fabulous aquarium at Oregon Zoo
be in the picture 8
Eagerly awaiting our Salt’n’Shake ice cream
be in the picture 8
Another Red Robin dinner

Back in Portugal we ventured to the Algarve Circuit at Portimao for our first ever World Superbikes Race. It was a glorious day to watch some motorbike racing. We’ve also enjoyed dinner outside again, with BattleKid falling asleep before we’ve even finished our meal. We’ve been playing in the garden with BattleKid’s new pirate ship water table and discovered the playground on our park. A busy but thoroughly enjoyable month.

be in the picture 8
At the WSB races in Portimao
be in the picture 8
Asleep before the end of dinner again
be in the picture 8
Garden fun in Portugal
be in the picture 8
See-saw

Be in the Picture encourages us to get in front of the camera instead of always being behind it. I’m guilty of this and by joining in with Be in the Picture, it ensures BattleKid will have pictures of me as well of himself when he grows up.