Welcome to my family travel blog.
I remember back to my twenties when I thought I’d mastered sensible holiday planning.
Hubby and I were classic Dinkies – dual income, no kids – and went to great lengths to make sure our precious time off wasn’t cluttered by other people’s children.
We’d flick through brochures, skimming past any places with water slides, kids clubs or play areas quicker than a toddler can drop his ice cream down your new maxi dress. And school holidays? We’d happily work while the mums and dads in the office took time off to go on their hugely overpriced jaunts, much preferring to chase the great deals and quieter breaks that March, June and November offered.
How the arrival of our four children changed everything. Now I can spot the best family-friendly adventures, cheapest child menus and nearest theme parks at the drop of a UVA sunhat. Even if it does mean joining the throngs during half terms and summer holidays.
But you know what? I’ve realised you don’t have to ditch the passport as soon as you dip into your first pushchair. Even if you do have to dig decidedly deeper into your pockets to afford it.
I was 18 before I first went abroad but instantly fell for the new experiences, people and values that travelling can introduce you to. So I’m determined our own children – Harvey, 15, Max, 14, Rosie, 11 and eight-year-old Freddie – will relish travelling as much as I do. Holidays now are the best ever; the kids are an infectious mix of fun and frustration, hilarity and hormones and spending quality time with them is a joy.
Pre-kids I worked in Japan and Germany, backpacked around south-east Asia, swam in Victoria Falls, became a beach bum in the Maldives, sunbathed in Madagascar, camped throughout France, jet-skied in Barbados, took a road trip through New England and sailed around Bali.
Now as far as holidays are concerned it’s the joy of six – but I’m finding they’re a whole lot more fun with kids, whether it’s husky sledding in Finland, white water rafting in Provence, driving a Trabi in Berlin, cycling in Glasgow, staying in an ice hotel in Norway or speeding down Europe’s longest zip wire in Snowdonia.
With children you find something of interest in the unlikeliest of places, excitement in the dullest of environments. I feel lucky to have them on board.
So yes I adore children and travelling. But with this blog I’m also lucky to be combining another great love – writing (I’m sure coffee and chocolate could be squeezed in there too).
I worked for many years as a national newspaper journalist before realising I actually wanted to see my kids grow up and quitting to go freelance. Nowadays I work solely as a travel writer.
Holidays certainly change when you have kids…but life doesn’t stop.