Travels with a baby – two years on

Two years ago, I was lying in a hospital bed feeling battered and bruised, looking at my brand new daughter and wondering how on earth I did this parenting thing. Two years on, I’m still wondering, but am mildly less battered at least.

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Yes, there’s nothing like a birthday to take stock – even when it’s not my birthday.

Our travels haven’t all been easy this year, especially as Minnie seems to time her various viruses and ailments to coincide with a holiday (though not, thank god, her bout of chickenpox). But so far, not a bad tally of trips. Continue reading

The well-travelled generation

Hurrah! Finally a survey which suggests that not only is it possible to travel with your kids, but that more parents than ever are heading overseas.

In fact, twice as many under-fives have travelled abroad compared to their parents at the same age, with more than a quarter fitting in three or more trips by the time they turned five. A generation ago, seven in 10 hadn’t left the country once.

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Unsurprisingly Western Europe is the most visited destination, followed by the USA, but a cheering 12% of pre-schoolers had gone to East Asia in the past year, and 16% had braved the longest of long-hauls to Australia and New Zealand. Continue reading

Stress-free family holidays without breaking the bank – the expert’s tips

Chatting with a couple of friends yesterday about family holidays summed up the hassle you sometimes get when trying to book a break.

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One was busy looking for different dates, after a quick flight search to the US had turned up a price tag of over £4,000 for three. Fortunately with a toddler, she’s still got that flexibility, but school holidays aren’t too far away for any of us.

The second, meanwhile, had stumbled across what sounds like a fantastic place to stay in the south-west of France. Child-friendly, the perfect location and without costing a fortune… but only after combing the internet until she was almost cross-eyed.

On the plus side, it proves the gems are out there – just sometimes you need to be prepared to dig. But you can help the quest by digging in the right place, with a few tips from one expert. Continue reading

Eureka! Discovering the National Children’s Museum

I’m still working on what July’s trip will be for the Take 12 Trips challenge – but as the year of travel draws to a close, I’ve got August’s entry planned already.

Eureka-The-National-Childrens-Museum

Having come across Eureka! The National Children’s Museum (their exclamation mark, not mine…) in Halifax, I’m teaming it with a visit to my oldest friend, who lives just outside Leeds, and her three-year-old.

Continue reading

Otters in the sunshine: the London Wetlands Centre, Barnes

What a difference six months makes. When Minnie and I first visited the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, she was still newly walking and it was a brisk (OK, freezing) January day.

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Back again for a return visit, thanks to a bargain Living Social voucher, the sun was shining, Minnie spent most of the time running around (equalling one exhausted toddler and the world’s easiest bedtime tonight) and we saw everything in a different light – literally. Continue reading