So after the success of my Facebook post asking for help with our 6 picky Things in Sicily, I wrote a post with my Top 5 Meals for Picky Eaters which also went down really well – yay! And then I thought I should really write a post with tips on how to travel with picky eaters, not just how to feed them food that you know they will eat (although obviously I hope that’s helpful too!).
DISCLAIMER – these are not fail safe methods. Every single one has worked for me at one point or another but they’ve all backfired on me too…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
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
It is so so hard when you are living in the desert over the summer to think of enough things to do with the family to keep everyone entertained. We haven’t even been here all summer and I’m already slowly losing the will to live going to multiple soft plays every week! I mean thank goodness we have access to so many of them but still… it’s pretty mind numbing, not to mention expensive. To be honest, I don’t know why a staycation hadn’t occurred to me before! Read more
I asked a question recently on my Facebook page about what to do with picky eaters on holiday. Let me set the scene for you: We had 6 Things on this part of the vacation, all with their own little quirks and preferences. I’ll be honest with you, mine drive me bonkers at the best of times – one will eat scrambled eggs, the other won’t. One will eat baked beans, the other won’t. One will eat ravioli, the other won’t. One will eat salmon…. you get the picture. Read more
My Facebook feed has been flooded for the past 2 weeks. Memes and posts about the end of school, summer holidays and summer holiday blues. Posts showing the side by side, first / last day of school grins are followed by questions in mummy groups about What On Earth You Can Do with kids on summer holidays for £1.63 a day. Routines are disrupted, all the useful extra curricular activities and baby classes have stopped and friends (including me) selfishly disappear on holiday. Read more
Lots of people are worried about travelling with their kids. People who freely and happily travelled before are suddenly paralysed by fears of running out of nappies or disruption to routines. I’m not belittling the fears – we have all had them! But what happens when the travel you are talking about is expat travel? When the destination is somewhere you are going to live rather than visit for a week or two? When international travel is necessary just to get home? Read more
Our third and final week in Italy saw us fly to Sicily to meet up with some of Mr Wanderlust’s school friends. And what a week it was!
These lovely chaps happen to have lovely wives and lovely children so we were excited to spend a week catching up. Living away from your country means catch-ups usually happen once a year (twice at best) for an afternoon / evening. You spend the entire time talking as fast as you can to catch up on everyone’s news and leave feeling like you missed something huge. Having a week with friends from home is the ultimate luxury! Read more
The lakes in northern Italy have been on my mum’s bucket list for as long as I can remember! I don’t know why they weren’t high up on mine as they should have been. If they aren’t on yours I recommend you add them IMMEDIATELY! We chose Lake Como but we could also have looked at Lake Garda or Lake Maggiore. Lake Como was recommended by friends and George Clooney has a villa there so if it’s good enough for George it’s good enough for us! Read more
I’ve been set a challenge by Alana over at Burnished Chaos to write a post about 10 Things That Make Me Happy. Its not my usual type of post but I like a challenge! I think trying out different styles of writing will ultimately make me a better writer and blogger so here goes (in no particular oder):