Not long after we were married, C and I took a year off work and backpacked our way around Europe. I taught in London, while C picked up temporary office work where ever he could. Most weekends and every holiday was spent travelling around England and Europe. In the process, we developed a love of exploring new places, and have had our understanding broadened in a way that only happens when you get to see new cultures and places for yourself.
While we have certainly done a few trips since those days, it has been our dream for several years now, to take the kids back to Europe and show them more of the world. We have talked about it from time to time, but for various reasons, the timing just hasn’t been right. They were too young, then we moved to the farm, then we were saving to extend and renovate the house, then we were actually renovating the house, then I was starting a new job. You get the picture.
Over the holidays we were looking at old maps of Europe and talking about where we’d like to go one day. But then I thought what are we waiting for? We only have a short time before the kids are too old to want to trail around Europe with us, so let’s bite the bullet and turn the dream into a goal. Lets put all our talk about experiences being better than things into practice and actually go to Europe with the kids. Let’s make memories with our family that will last a lifetime.
So there we go. In 2019 we are going to Europe with the kids. There is nothing like announcing your intentions to the world to kick you into action. Of course, it’s not as simple as just throwing stuff into a bag and going, but we have a plan of action. We’re putting extra money aside each month for the trip and my spare moments have been spent looking on Airbnb for apartments and houses, or else on Pinterest looking at interesting things to do with kids. We’re thinking of basing ourselves in London for a few weeks and doing lots of day trips out to places around, followed by a few days somewhere else in England, then perhaps a week or two in Italy, followed by a week or two somewhere else. We want a mix of places we’ve seen before and places that will be new to us.
We’ve been talking about minimising luggage and managing school when we are going for that long, and how to fit a long trip in among the needs of the farm, and so much else. And it’s exciting to have a goal for our family. Something to work towards and dream about. I’ve picked up a book about Europe for the kids and because I’m old school, a Lonely Planet guide to London to get me started. Last time we were in Europe, social media did not even exist! Over the weekend we watched the Royal Wedding and got even more excited!
So tell me, friends, all the advice. How to travel and manage kids schooling? What are the good things to do? The great places to stay? Good movies and shows for the kids to get them excited too? Have you done a big trip with kids?