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 bm@battlemum.com.Best 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 bm@battlemum.com.

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!

 

Wanderlust Kids #11

Where have these two months gone? Seriously, 2018 is just shooting past. I can’t believe we’re starting March already! And I’m excited for this month, as BattleKid and I are headed to Ireland for a 10-day road trip. We’re going to visit quite a few castles, see some animals and also catch up with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a year. A huge thank you to all my regular linkees who linked up last month and also to some first-timers. You are all welcome and I loved reading all your posts.

We had posts with hints and tips, family travel and days out in the UK, further afield and a bit more far flung too. So, here are February’s featured and special mentioned posts.

February’s Featured Wanderlust Kids Post

It was really hard for me to decide on just one post for my featured post but it has to be Annette from Four Acorns‘ post about visiting Coral Beach in Connemara. For anyone who isn’t familiar with Ireland, Connemara is a wildly rugged and beautiful area located in the West of Ireland, in County Galway. It is many, many years since I’ve visited Galway and Connemara and this post set off a longing in me to revisit the West of Ireland.

This beach looks stunning, and the perfect place for little ones to get lost among the rockpools, hunting for crabs and other such creatures. Annette’s pictures are amazing and her descriptions are what really hit home with me. We won’t make it to Galway this year, but I have a feeling a trip to the West of Ireland might be on the cards for next year. Please go and read her post about Visiting Coral Beach in Connemara.

February’s Special Mention Wanderlust Kids Post

Because I really couldn’t choose between two, they both get a mention. Firstly, Sinead, from Shinners and the Brood share her post in which she shares her tips for booking a European Campsite Holiday was brilliant. She covers everything from getting there to choosing the right campsite, to deciding on your must-haves and must-nots, her post was very informative and will go a long way to helping anyone prepare to book a camping holiday in Europe.

Secondly, Emma from Wanderlust and Wet Wipes shared another of her posts from her series about their trip to Jordan. This time she wrote about their visit to Petra, a place I long to visit. It looks especially stunning at night and it was great to read it can be enjoyed by little ones as well as adults. She even gives us suggestions about where to stay if you are planning to stay near Petra for your visit.

February’s Other Great Posts

Annabel from Smudged Postcard shared some ideas for your family summer holidays including places in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece that are a bit less touristy but still worth visiting.

Lisa of Baby Loves Travel shared her post about Their holiday plans for this year in which they will try to have 12 trips, an average of one per month. I don’t think we’ll manage that many this year.

Riz from Rizology wrote about her visit to Bluestone with three other mums. They all brought their babies and thoroughly enjoyed their visit. To date, I’ve never read a bad review of Bluestone.

Liberty who blogs at Liberty on the Lighter Side shared tips to make travelling with your kids easier. I agree wholeheartedly that travelling with your kids opens your eyes and helps you see things in a way you tend to lose as an adult.

Michelle from The Willow Tree shared her post which has some great hints and tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. 

Jenny from Travelynn Family linked up a post about short walks for young kids in the Peak District. All too often I find we don’t go on walks because we’re worried about little legs, but Jenny’s post is packed with ideas for walks in the Peak District, many of which cover a distance less than 2km. 

Every month I love seeing what posts people are linking up and I love reading them all. They always give me serious Wanderlust no matter what the subject or where on the world they are about. I must say a big thank you again to everyone joining in with Wanderlust Kids.

This month I’m linking up my post about our first dragon hunting adventure here in Portugal. One thing I was worried about when we left the UK was whether we could continue our dragon hunting adventures. Little did I know that Portugal has many, many castles just waiting to be explored.

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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

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