As I trekked across to the neighbouring village in my muddy wellies a couple of weeks ago, I dreamed of brighter days and far off (warmer) lands. My friend and I spent a chunk of our time discussing our travel goals and the trips we want to take this year – so many that we could probably do to get Jettly on speed dial and charter us some flights right about now (how great would that be? ). In all seriousness though for a special occasion or small excursion, it could be something memorable, as well as useful, to consider!
Travel is such a wonderful thing, possible on any budget, and I think it’s always exciting to hear of and share travel ideas with others – I find it exciting for them and also inspiring for me, as we swap ideas and suggestions too. I have several people in life that share our passion for travelling and it makes me so happy to talk and share our wanderlust lists together! This year, we have quite an exciting list to work on – both as a family and also as a couple, and I can’t blumming wait to get jet setting (or at least cruising down the M62 for a change of scene)!
This year is unique for us as Nathan is now working in education and so it means we have all of the school holidays to play with. It obviously means we may pay a little more (no more missing the last couple of days for cheaper flights) but with me working more too, we hope to be able to save up some extra cash to enable us to take the trips we want to this year around Europe and the UK. I think
I really really really (cannot stress that enough) wanted to go to NYC and DC this Easter for 10 days and I hoped we might be able to (I literally have had loads of dreams in the last month about being there too), but I think realistically it is a pipe dream for 2020 and definitely one that needs to be shelved until next Easter!
Alternatively, there are plenty of other (more currently affordable) places on our travel bucket list, that we hope to tick off in 2020 which are each special and exciting to us too. I have listed them below and would love to hear of any free or cheapish ideas of things to do in these places from any of you who have been there (or generally fabulous experiences that will make it more memorable)!
I hoped that the first time I went to Tenerife would be as a little family, but instead my first visit will actually be me heading there in May for 3 nights on a girls trip for my friends upcoming wedding. It is such a beautiful place for a family and I love the idea of seeing the volcanic vibes together and beach adventures, so it is still on our list in the next few years, but this trip is my first solo one abroad since being married and that feels both weird and very exciting.
I am excited to chill in the sun and eat plenty – have some girly chat etc and I anticipate it may get a little “hen night-y” which will be pretty funny (but hoping not too much!). It will be weird to not travel with Nath or the kids, but I look forward to returning again with them at a later date.
*Nath also has a “solo” trip to France booked in February half term with his mum and brother (kid free also), and will be going to Lyon for a friends wedding for 3 nights – fun times for him too!
We hoped to visit Istanbul last October for our 10 year anniversary. We discussed Poland, Istanbul, Berlin or Russia as options at the top of our couples city breaks list, but then never actually committed to anywhere! Of course time then got away from us and I started a new job too (and consequently we are still awaiting to celebrate properly!). We have decided though that we will definitely be doing Istanbul as our 10 Year anniversary celebration/trip/gift this year it’s just a matter or when. Istanbul looks so cool, so beautiful and will be fantastic for a few days as a couple…it is also most definitely not a place we would be taking the kids any time soon.
We want to stay in the heart of everything and visit the markets, Mosques, Palaces and take a ferry ride too. But i’ll be honest – I am also very very excited about the food options there too…my mouth is watering just imagining all of the incredible cuisines, fresh flavours and street food that I know will be available to us – whoop!
So yes, Istanbul. Better late than never and we hope to book in April to go in May when it warms up (only 7 months later)!
Slovenia (and maybe Croatia)
Slovenia is at the top of my list this year for a family adventure and we are considering doing this either May time with one of our brother and sister in laws and their kids (and swapping Istanbul to later in the year) or right at the start of the Summer holidays in July when the kids break up.
We will fly to the capital Ljubljana and explore that for a day or so, but we want to spend most of our time staying near Lake Bled; swimming in the lake, walking or biking around it and also seeing the many caves around that area too. It will be an adventure holiday with only a little bit of site seeing, which is something we haven’t really done before. Now the kids are getting older though, it seems like a fab idea and lots of fun for us all! We will obviously take a boat ride to the little Island too and see the church there.
As Croatia boarders Slovenia and is another place in our top 5 (for so long now) we have talked about possibly doing 9 or 10 days if we go in July and doing 4 of those spent in Croatia. It is only a 3.5 hour drive (we will hire a car) from Lake bled to Plitvice Lakes National Park (another incredibly natural beauty spot we want to take the kids to), and would mean we could also visit the coast and catch Predjama Castle on the way down too which is in southern Slovenia (an impressive fairy tale castle out of the rocks!).
So Slovenia is a for sure this summer, Croatia a possibility! Lake bled looks so stunning and idyllic for a Summer family adventure. I get so excited thinking about being there and soaking up all of its natural beauty together – I really cannot wait to go with the kids and have some outdoor fun together.
Italy – Pisa, Cinque Terre and Bologna
In August we will be once again be going to Italy for a week or so – only this time it is with all of Nath’s siblings, spouses, mum and all the kids (30 something of us!). We have a massive villa just outside of Pisa with a pool and I am so excited for a relaxing epic holiday with everyone.
We plan on visiting some of our favourite spots around this area (especially exploring Cinque Terre again in the day time this time and a few things in Pisa we love too) but mostly we want it to just be a week of chilling in the sun with family and lots of time in the pool playing with the kids. On our holidaysnwe always spend so much time site seeing, that I hope this time we will take a lot more time to do very little and soak up the sun with loved ones in the time we have with them there.
In case you didn’t know, Italy is one of my most favourite places in the world (so far discovered) and whilst I hoped my next trip there would be to discover Naples and Pompeii, I am also excited to revisit and discover new places in Northern Italy and Tuscany too (I never tire of it). On this trip I think I want to learn more about their cuisine and take a class or at least visit more places that are famous for various delicacies. It interests me a lot and I think the kids will get a lot out of it too.
We are currently deciding on where we might fly to for this epic week long family trip and are most likely going to go a day or 2 before the family fun begins to purely site see in a new city or area so that we can discover a new place before a week of mostly chilling. We considered Milan, because flights there are cheap from London and last time we only spent a short day there, but Bologna has also come up as an option and I really love the idea of Bologna now I have looked into it.
We will be hiring a car and probably will end up flying to Bologna and spending one night there as flights are not only cheap, but it isn’t too far from Pisa either. Bologna also ticks off another Italian City for us and is a great place to discover more about Italian foods (win win all round and so exciting). Bologna is home to several traditional foods such as the beloved tortellini or mortadella as well as lasagne and, it offers the opportunity for us to also learn about how Parmesan and balsamic are made, with food tours both in and around Bologna. As foodies, Italian lovers and travellers this all sounds so exciting, tasty and educational too for the kids. I hope to do one of these whilst in Italy this time as well as seeing more beautiful places together and eating plenty of our favourite things with loved ones!
Poland – Krakow
October will once again be our wedding anniversary (hello 11 years). We hope to celebrate this years in Krakow as it has been a dream of mine since being a teen, and Nathan also loves the idea more since we looked into it last year as an option. We both LOVE history to the city itself is rich in that, but we will also take a day trip to Auschwitz and the salt mines too. We will hopefully do 3 nights for this trip.
UK Travel Goals
This weekend I am finally fulfilling my 2 year wish to go to Cromer in Norfolk and I can’t wait (yahoo) it looks like such a cute and pretty little place, and as far as I know, the kids have never been on a proper pier so that will be really exciting!
We have a family event in Norwich on the Sunday and have a hotel booked near the airport there and so thought we would spend part of the Saturday visiting Cromer on the way down, before heading into Norwich for a peruse and family meal out. If we love it (which I am sure we will) we will definitely be back in the Summer time (this or next).
I don’t know why, but I keep thinking about the city of Liverpool and so we have discussed it as an option later in the year for a weekend or a couple of days in half term. There seems to be lots for families to do and it has a great history too, so exploring Liverpool would be really fun!
I follow a couple of instagrammers from Liverpool and it just looks cool for families!
We have been to London several times as a little family and too many times as a couple too. We had a lovely weekend there last year, but this year we will hopefully going again for a weekend as a family (as well as me maybe going with my sisters for my youngest sisters 30th). Perhaps we will go in the summer time, or perhaps towards the end of the year for the Christmas lights. Either way, we have promised the kids that we will head down there as a family in 2020 to see their aunt and uncle who now live in the city, as well as visit some of our favourite sites. I also want to take them to Royal botanic Gardens, Kew and Camden Market, which will give them a new view of London and make some lovely memories!
In 2020 we also want do a lot more camping, but are yet to decide on which part of the country those trips will be to – Scotland would be nice or the Lakes but we will just see what we fancy and what we want to do in other parts of the UK at that point in time. We hope to tick off another mountain (or 2 if we are brave enough) and a lot more day trips to some new places around Yorkshire and beyond!
I love taking my kids on adventures and I love seeing the world and exploring together. 2020 is going to epic and lots of fun together – I just feel it!
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