Summer holidays are finally here, even if you don’t have school aged children yet you can’t escape the call of the summer holidays. The slightly slower pace, the hopefully warmer weather, the paddling pools and the pull of the UK holiday. This year we have made a conscious decision to stay in the UK for our holidays for a couple of reasons; with two children under 2 ½ packing, flying and navigating a new place abroad seemed like more stress than it would be worth and with a couple of UK based events and family gatherings it made sense to make the most of these opportunities to explore closer to home.
With trips to Cornwall, West Wales and Norfolk already under our belt this year and another week long road trip planned to Yorkshire, Isle of Arran and the Lake District in late August I thought I’d take the chance to share some things we have learnt so far about our UK road trips so far.
Home from Home
Because you aren’t flying you have the mega bonus of your car, every nook and cranny can be filled with all those last minute things like your babies favourite toy, the must have cereal or peanut butter. And as our British weather can be a tad unpredictable you can pack wellies, sunglasses and everything in between so you are prepared for anything. Another advantage is that wherever you end up there should be a supermarket that you recognise, so you can always pick up more nappies, snacks etc. with confidence about what you might find. No need to worry about a language barrier or the lack of familiar TV for your little ones either. You can fully embrace the home from home feeling and benefits wherever in the UK you end up.
Drive like you have children in the car
Oh wait you actually do, gone are the days of putting your own music on and just heading off whenever you want to and driving for as long as you fancy. You now have passengers that can be pretty demanding and hard work so try and do what will be best for them, trust me you will all benefit. Drive in nap times if you can, ideally leave 20 mins or so before your little one needs a nap so get as much driving done as you can while they are asleep (if you are driving with little babies be aware of the guidelines on how long babies should be in their car seat and make sure you take plenty of breaks).
When you stop have a proper stop, have a run around, a meal, nappy changes etc. Factor this in so that you don’t feel disappointed when you arrive an hour later than planned. When driving back from Cornwall Bristol was the perfect half way stop so instead of pulling into the service station we had a look at the route beforehand and stopped at Aerospace Bristol. Aeroplanes, space to run, café and playground what more could you want! Also before you set off have toys, stickers, balls, games to hand that can be given slowly to the kids so that when one is dropped, like magic you have another.
Unlike if you are travelling to the tiniest village in Italy more than likely your neighbour, friend or colleague might have been to the area in the UK that you are travelled to. When you say you are going to Cornwall for two weeks, how many people say, ‘Oh you must go here…’ or ‘You must go there…’ Make the most of that, ask for recommendations on accommodations, kids activities, baby friendly pubs and anything else you can think of, gather some of that holiday knowledge. That way you can have some ideas and plans up your sleeve that will hopefully be just the ticket after the drive.
Wherever you are heading this summer or later in the year enjoy the change of rhythm and routine and make the holiday work for you and your little ones whether at home or abroad.