4 if you count Scotland as a country …..
When I suggested to go to UK for our end of year holidays, my hubby thought I was insane. He told me that it would be very cold, grey and miserable weather. But he liked my crazy idea, and he even added Norway to our list, which was not in my plan before.
My reason was it was a good time, our boys are big enough to travel long-haul and most important thing that they would remember the experiences and memories. And I would love them to see where they were born and we used to live. The timing was right, they just finished primary school and before the hustle and bustle of middle school, plus it was kind of rewarding present for graduated with good report from primary school.
So, yes we embarked on our long haul flight all the way from Down Under to the United Kingdom. We were lucky enough that the flight was not full at all so each of us got our own three seats by ourselves, how spoil were we!
The boys being eleven years old were pretty good traveler. Particularly one of them is very good with direction and reading the map, unlike his mother! 🙂 But it doesn’t mean we didn’t have problems at all. Oh no….still couple dramas and tears and a bit of tantrums happened for those three weeks a bit more. I am not gonna elaborate the trouble and drama here, it was just typical pre-teens behavior. From not sharing stuff, just wanted to bury their head on their gadget instead of looking out the window, fighting over the bunk-beds, fighting over the camera, arguing over silly stuff, oh…you named it! But after all, they were very good and never complained about how far we got to walk while dragging our luggage all over the place. I’m no perfect parent, so even though my kids read books during our travel but they also brought their Ipad. I think a bit of balance is not that bad, right??!
For those three weeks, we used airplanes, buses, underground metros, trains, and our feet for transportation. As far as I remembered only once of twice we took a taxi. Don’t ask me how many times we got lost, but I supposed that’s the fun of traveling until I got lost for almost three hours in Bergen, and that was not so fun! Read the story here if you’re interested :p
As for the accommodation, again we were pretty lucky. When we were in UK and Scotland we stayed at our friends’ house. One friend in Newark even let us had the house for ourselves while she migrated to her-parents-in-law. She’s a good friend of mine originally from Prague and moved to UK, we knew each other when I was still childless, and now she has two beautiful and cute kids of her own. Cherish our friendship!
In Bergen, Oslo, and Paris we rented an apartment type of accommodation through AirBnB. It was our first time using AirBnB and we were very happy with all the apartments we chose. Most of them have 2 bedrooms with kitchen and washing machine. So, we can make our breakfast every morning, packed our lunch, cooked our dinner, and washed our smelly clothes 🙂 You might think we were stingy, but three weeks traveling in three different countries, we needed to spend our money wisely. Especially in Norway when everything was so dear! I so recommended the AirBnB, especially if you have little kids. Our apartment in Bergen was so IKEA looks like and every thing is from IKEA from the bed sheets to the cutleries 🙂 While in Oslo, the apartment was a bit modern style but very spacious, and in Paris was so with a cute balcony which I think it would be very handy in the summer!
What is your traveling style? When you go to a new place, do you like to go exploring by your own itinerary or you prefer to go with the big group tour company, so you don’t need to think where to go, and not need to worry about getting lost? While I believe we all love the luxury stuff if we can afford it, do you spend your money on posh stylish accommodation or you rather spend it for sight-seeing things, for example; going to the ballet opera or watch the show at the West End theater in London, or going on fjord boat trip? Do you always shop when you go overseas, (and by shopping here I mean not the souvenirs things) ? Do you always eat out when you traveling? Share with me if you don’t mind, please!
we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us