Family Travel

Jolly japes on our European Bombaround- Croatia bound

14 June, 2013

Sometime in the early nineties, on one of the many European adventures my parents took my sister and I on, we parked our campervan up late on a Parisian street. We rolled out the beds, fell to sleep immediately and woke a few hours later with the sunrise rising over the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles. No jokes. My folks had plopped our friendly little VW camper right on that  royal porch. We rubbed the sleep out of our eyes and patted down our bed hair and walked straight into this majestic scene. (That is what you call glamping.)Versailles
The Palace of Versailles when we took Ramona a couple of years ago

It is partly these kind of memories that have inspired our own trip over to Europe this summer. Tim and I want to embrace all the jolly japes and high jinks that buzzing around Europe in a campervan can offer.  We are leaving on August the 1st in Betty our VW Westfalia with our two girls, returning to the UK 3 months later. We were originally going to try and take in every part of Europe possible but have reined in our plans a little.  We totted up the miles of our original route and found it came to 9000 which is a bit bonkers! Although this is a once in a life time opportunity we wanted to avoid any feeling of being rushed and harried of not being rushed and getting to know places a little bit.

Since becoming a blogger I have hugely enjoyed reading the travel and family blogs of some of my friends-
Alice’s jel-making Holidays in Sri Lanka, Helen and her brill family’s Center Parcs Holiday Review, Lapland Holiday Review, my gorgeous buddy’s Family Holiday, Penny’s Family Holiday North Norfolk, lists of advice such as Tips for Legoland Windsor and Liz’s Mark Warner snorkelling trip.

While I’m not going to be reviewing things on this epic adventure I do hope to delve for the first time into travel writing and blogging.

We are planning on visiting a fair few countries though:

Wild swimming in France (and cheese eating)
Forest walks in the Black Forest
Hot Pooling In Hungary
Exploring little folky villages in the Czech Republic
Ocean swimming in Croatia (this is our main destination and where we want to spend the most time – it was voted most beautiful country in the world by National Geographic – who’d a thought?)
Pizza eating and soaking up the October warmth in Italy on the way home

We don’t know how long we will spend in each spot, we are going to just roll with it and if we don’t get to them all then it isn’t a big deal. We want to see how driving with the little ladies goes- if they struggle we’ll simple strip back our itinerary even more. We are aiming for the idle, agendaless existence not three months of ticking off countries.

swimmingOur first family holiday with Ramona

I can’t wait for the simple living that van life will offer us (I’m just a little bit nervous about having only TWO pairs of shoes available) and the chance to get much better at being “present”; savouring inconsequential moments. We are stoked to be getting this much time together as a family of four and no work to get up for. (Sometimes it is okay to want to be a bit lazy eh?)

Maybe I do have a bit of an agenda though- ‘cos if we don’t get to park our camper on the driveway of at least one regal establishment I’ll be WELL MAD.


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  • Lyndsay 14 June, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Sweetest picture! The one of you and R swimming! I just live for family adventures. I can’t wait until Aodhan can tolerate the long haul btwn Toronto and UK again! So many place I want to take him. Thanks for sharing.

  • Danielle Askins 14 June, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Sounds perfect!

  • Rachel/ Roo Paprika 14 June, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    The fact Croatia was voted the most beautiful country in the world doesn’t surprise me much at all. The coast is AMAZING (and continues being amazing down in to Montenegro too).

    Looks like a fine plan, I am very jealous. Our forthcoming camper van adventure will be less spectacular at just over two weeks but we intend to hack it down to the French Cote D’Azur, get some Vitamin D in to these preggo old bones and then slowly toodle our way back up right through the middle of the lovely French countryside.

  • Becky Brown 14 June, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Your trip sounds amazing I can’t wait to read all about it. Croatia is beautiful and so varied from north of the country down to the south. We went pre-children but it’s on my list of places to return to. I think my boys would love swimming in the ocean!

  • Mum2BabyInsomniac 17 June, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Wow I’m jealous! It sound amazing! x

  • Sian 18 June, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Wow, it sounds blissful : )

  • Thalia Kehoe Rowden 18 June, 2013 at 10:30 am

    We are currently on our own family tour (two months in the UK, from NZ), and saw a red VW van with two child carseats in the back, parked outside Canterbury Cathedral. Was it youse fullas?!