Ok, ok I know this is a bit controversial. Why on earth would you choose to travel to a popular destination at the same time as the world and his wife? And (worse still) their feral kids? With the entry of Thing 1 in to mainstream education last year we resigned ourselves to restricting travel to (mainly!) school holiday dates. This means higher priced flights and accommodation. It means crowded resorts and long, long queues at the popular tourist attractions.
I’ve had 4 or 5 people message me recently and ask about my thoughts on which is better – villa or hotel?
The short answer is that I don’t really know and I think it depends a lot on you as a family, if you are travelling with other people and where you are going. That being said, the following list might help you when making your decision if you bear the various factors in mind: Read more
A couple of years ago, I started one of those chat enquiries with a travel agent online. “Hi!” types the chirpy agent at the other end. “How can I help you today?” I didn’t know where to start. I just wanted her to tell me how to choose a resort in the Maldives! Read more
You have 18 summers
Have you seen the meme that does the rounds on Facebook about only having 18 summers with your Things from the day they are born? It freaks me out and I know I’m not the only one! A friend asked me the other day: “What’s On Your Bucket List?” She told me that she and her husband recently sat down and wrote a bucket list of things they want to do with their Things. They realised that they won’t get all of them done before the eldest leaves home. Scary stuff. Read more
7 sleeps till I take the Things back to the UK. This will be our first ever trip back as expats (including the Houston stint) that hasn’t had a reason other than we just want to go home and see everyone! We haven’t been home as a family in over a year and even the last 2 trips I took over were so whistle-stop that I didn’t have time to see anyone properly. To say we are excited is an understatement!
This isn’t your typical holiday
So what are we going to do? Will this be a holiday or just a jam packed 10 days of seeing people, drinking too much and not sleeping enough? Well, there will definitely be an element of that :-). But I am determined to make this a holiday as well. The last year has made me realise that the place I know as home really isn’t home for the Things. They know it is where we are from, that we have lots of friends and family there and that our old house is there. But Thing 1 has only some fading memories of this place and Thing 2 remembers literally nothing of our life before we moved. So this will be the perfect time to show them where we are from.
How do you visit the place you are already from?
I’ve taken a bit of inspiration this week from Bebe Voyage and Wanderlust Crew on how to be a tourist in your own town and in London (which for us are one and the same). My favourite tips from Bebe Voyage included checking local blogs, taking pictures as if we were real tourists (well I suppose we are really) and taking a guided tour. Wanderlust Crew’s recommendations of riding public transport (you just can’t beat a bus or a tube when you are a deprived expat kid who only gets to go on planes or in cars), doing the tourist stops like the London Eye, Big Ben, etc, going to parks and for afternoon tea have really inspired me too!
So what are we going to do?
Our time will be split in 2:
First off I am taking the Things to Tavistock, Devon which is where I am from. It’s been almost 2 years since we made it down so I’m excited to see the moors and to show them where mummy grew up (for the most part lol). Or activities will include:
- Seeing family and friends
- Walking on the moors
- Jumping in muddy puddles (new welly boots at the ready)
- Feeding the ducks
- Finding tunnels
None of it will be particularly touristy but I love the idea that they are both now old enough to remember this holiday and that they will start to have proper memories of where I am from.
After 5 days Mr Wanderlust will head over to the UK where we will meet up with him in London. The only weekend we are in town will be jam packed seeing family and friends (at least 2 sets per day!). The evenings are set to be quite busy as well: Of course we might be on holiday but everyone we know will still be at work so we are trying to do everything outside of business hours! The upside of this is that the daytimes are going to be quite quiet so we can do some more family focussed things.
We are planning on doing some touristy things like going on the London Eye and taking a river cruise (this isn’t a Merlin Entertainment sponsored post, honest!). We will do a few day trips for example to Wimbledon (where our house is) and Kingston (one of my favourite places to shop!). Both will involve trains / tubes / trams so the Things will be Made Up. If we have time I really want to take them to the aquarium and I know Thing 1 is desperate to go to a soft play that he remembers. (Honestly, take them all the way to the UK and they want to go to soft play which we have done twice a week since we got back from Italy?!!)
The end of the summer
It is still 3 weeks away but I can’t believe we are finally looking at the end of the summer. What stretched out ahead of us is now within reach. The UK will be hard (first proper time I’ve been back since my dad passed away last year) but super fun meeting some new family members as well as some of our favourite people in the whole world. On our return we will be back to 7am departures for school runs and settling Thing 2 into big school (*simultaneous sob / fist pump lol).
And of course I am already looking into options for the October half term break and an amazing Christmas holiday! The planning never stops!
This year has been the year of life changing travel apps for me. Since the explosion of travel apps and websites started around the time of Expedia and TripAdvisor. These were pretty life changing at the time but have since been copied (think Kayak and Skyscanner although I would the latter is a hugely improved offering) or have fallen out of fashion (TripAdvisor seems to be discredited more often than it is credited these days!).
In the past year I have been introduced to 3 apps which are truly unique and…well, life changing: Read more
A post by another blogger and some comments from friends got me thinking: the blogger asked about the other side of holidays – the bits that we don’t show on Facebook.
In a desperate attempt to be more organised I am researching what we to do in Italy. This is in no way me procrastinating over the packing that awaits me upstairs… Well maybe not too much! At least I’m being productive… Read more
We saved a life on our way to America and it was one of the easiest things we could have done. Be a flight buddy! Read more
I’m so excited! And I just can’t hide it!
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!
We have 8 sleeps until we get on a plane to go to the USA. 8 sleeps until we go to the airport with S and stay together as a family… Right up until we board the plane where he will turn left and we will turn right. 8 sleeps until I get to spend 16 hours on a plane with 2 Things and no iPads. Read more