Meet Simone | Maternity Travel Adventure

Simone
Hi, I’m Simone; I’m currently on maternity leave and travelling around Europe with my partner James, toddler Audie and baby Inigo. We gave up our north London flat we were renting and sold all our furniture so we are currently living a very nomadic life with all our possessions in our backpacks. Embracing new experiences as a family and learning about different ways of life. We started in Cyprus, then headed to Greece and travelled round the Sporades Islands and Athens, then onto Croatia; soon, we will be heading to Norway. 
You can follow our adventures at instagram.com/maypeacetravel

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“We started in Cyprus then headed to Greece and travelled round the Sporades Islands and Athens then onto Croatia “.

In three words, describe your family’s travel style.
Slow-paced, embracing, relaxed, (My partner thinks unplanned, hectic and panicked suit us better, but I’m an optimist)

What has been your favourite family adventure?
Swimming in the different seas, Audie has learnt how to swim in the Aegean off the island of Skopelos, and Inigos first dip was in the Adriatic off the island of Korcula. Diving down to find treasure for Audie, such as old bells, sea urchin shells and learning about jellyfish, hermit crabs and barracudas.
My favourite family adventures always centre around the water; we hiked along pine tree covered cliff edge in Alonissos to an empty beach called Spartines and jumped in the waves and had cormorants sitting on rocks next to us.

“My favourite family adventures always centre around the water”.

What has been the most challenging aspect of travelling with a baby?
Keeping Inigo cool whilst travelling, Croatia has recently been averaging 38-40 degrees and sunny. I have become an expert shade finder and suncreamer.
We have to be diligent about how much Inigo drinks and upping my water intake as I’m breastfeeding.
We have had to completely change our UK timings; Audie and Inigo now stay up til 9.30/10 pm most evenings.
We do most of our exploring late evenings, and swimming occupies the hottest part of the days.

Three destinations on our bucket list are…

Norway, which we will be going to soon
Costa Rica
Japan

What is your favourite global cuisine?
I lived and worked in South Korea for 2 years and absolutely fell in love with the cuisine, my favourite is Bibimbap.

Do you have a track hack?
It’s all about what you have packed and knowing where it is in a hurry, especially if it’s nappy-related.
Packing for a year-long adventure without knowing which countries we were going to was difficult, especially as we were also going to be weaning one baby and potty training a toddler. We packed three times, each time culling it down to be as lightweight as possible.
The least used item is the cot and the pushchair (most places in Greece are not pushchair friendly) – the most used is our Ergobaby sling and mountain buggy travel highchair.

What travel item always makes it into your bag?
Mountain buggy travelling highchair seat, it attaches to tables and is so lightweight, weaning would not have been as fun without it, especially as we are BLW and most places we stay do not have washing machines.
Also, Audie’s bedding which we vacuum pack, to keep some routine, we travel with his toddler pillow and duvet, which is also very lightweight

Do you have any advice for families feeling nervous about a big trip?
I think the scariest part is actually deciding to go and thinking of all the reasons why not. Always give yourself the day after travelling to reset, the first day in a new place Audie needs lots of cuddles, snacks and attention, Inigo just goes with the flow now as travelling is all he knows. No matter what you need, you will always be able to find a version of it.
Always research where the nearest hospital to where you are staying and get travel insurance.
Travelling with a toddler and a baby is brilliant fun, you can make friends within a minute of arriving anywhere just head to the nearest playground, in Europe most have a cafe/bar attached to them.
We also do lots of Facetime with grandparents, family and friends.
You can follow Simone’s adventures at instagram.com/maypeacetravel

Want to take part?
Send your answers to the questions above, along with 6-10 photos to susannah@ourtribetravels.com and put FEATURE in the email title. 
 
Backpacking with a baby resources:
Backpacking with a baby packing list
Infant products available by country
Jet-lag tips for travelling with young kids
Meet more of our travel triibe here 

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Meet Milly | Backpacking with a baby | Maternity adventure

Milly
Hi, I’m Milly, I’m a midwife and currently on a big adventure during my maternity leave with my partner Stu and baby Poppy. Our adventure started at the bottom of Argentina, and we’ve been heading North: through South and Central America, the USA and Canada. I believe that adventurous travel does not need to stop with motherhood.
You can follow my adventures at instagram.com/wildtravelchild.

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“I believe that adventurous travel does not need to stop with motherhood. “.

In three words, describe your family’s travel style?
Free-spirited, wholesome and adventurous.

What has been your favourite family adventure?
Hiking to the top of a mountain in Patagonia from the town of Bariloche and staying the night in a mountain hut. We were told that our baby was the youngest ever visitor. It was my first big hike since I had given birth, and although I found it challenging, I was very impressed (and relieved) when I made it to the top of the mountain! I mainly carried my baby Poppy, and my partner carried the bags.
We used the Ergo baby carrier, and I carried Poppy on my back which she enjoyed. We had a picnic halfway up the mountain by a beautiful lake and a big Argentina-style feast in the mountain hut!

“Contrary to what people say, you don’t need to pack loads of stuff for your baby – they are pretty un-materialistic!”.

What has been the most challenging aspect of travelling with a baby?
Transport days are a challenge. I always dread any bus/coach journey longer than 2 hours as our baby starts to make a fuss, and it is very unrelaxing, so we try to limit these journeys by flying or stopping often.

Three destinations on our bucket list are…

Japan
South Korea 
Australia (where my partner is from!).

What is your favourite global cuisine?
Our favourite is definitely Ceviche – we had this a lot in Peru.

Do you have a track hack?
Pack light!
Contrary to what people say, you don’t need to pack loads of stuff for your baby – they are pretty un-materialistic!

What travel item always makes it into your bag?
Our baby sling.

Do you have any advice for families feeling nervous about a big trip?
Go at your child’s pace. We always make refundable reservations so that we can be flexible. This makes me feel less under pressure that I have to always stick to our plans. If we feel tired, we stay in one place longer to reset.
Follow Milly and her family, here https://www.instagram.com/wildtravelchild/

Want to take part?
Send your answers to the questions above, along with 6-10 photos to susannah@ourtribetravels.com and put FEATURE in the email title. 
 
Backpacking with a baby resources:
Backpacking with a baby packing list
Infant products available by country
Jet-lag tips for travelling with young kids
Meet more of our travel triibe here 

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A kid free holiday in Mallorca

“This finca is a hidden gem. Stunning views, beautiful rustic rooms and a fabulous breakfast make this adult only bolt hole the perfect location for rest and relaxation”.

A beautiful, adult only Finca 
I have been to Mallorca many times, and it’s my first choice short-haul break when I fancy some sunshine and warmth.
This recommendation is unusual for Our Tribe Travels as it is an adults-only accommodation, but I was so in love with the place that I felt the need to share it with other parents who might be planning a child-free break in the future.
What is it?A gorgeous Finca set on 72 acres of farmland.
Where is it?Located between Port De Soller and the old town of Soller, it’s rural enough to feel secluded and quiet whilst also being within walking distance of the beach.

Designed for rest and relaxation
The first thing that hits you when you arrive at Ca N’ai Finca is how peaceful it is. Located within 72 acres of beautiful farmland, predominantly orange and lemon trees, you instantly feel relaxed. Being an adults-only hotel, it’s ideal for parents looking for some peace, and much needed me time.
I’m not a fan of super slick, high-end rooms with no personality and Ca N’ai delivers character and quirky interiors in buckets. All of the rooms are spacious, and some have private room terraces, which give you a peaceful vantage point to relax and take in the views. There are also farm buildings converted into rooms that are ideal if you are travelling in a small group.

Walking distance to Port de Söller 
If you’ve visited the little town of Söller before you’ll know that there is a traditional wooden tram that suns between Söller and the Port (7 euros each way). At the end of the farm is a tram stop, so you can jump on and take the tram in either direction, or you can walk to the Port, which takes around 15-20 minutes. 
The Port has a sweeping bay full of bars, restaurants and boats and has a great atmosphere in the evenings. I walked down most evenings and felt comfortable walking back to the Finca alone.

“The finca is walking distance to Port De Söller, a pretty waterfront town with a small beach – perfect for sunset drinks”.

The highlights of staying at Finca Ca N’ái
The breakfast is very relaxed buffet style, with eggs made to order. There’s no rush for tables, and you can sit and enjoy your food and coffee for a few hours. The view from the terrace is incredible and was one of my highlights of the day.
The swimming pool is surrounded by comfortable double sun beds, plenty for all guests. The water wasn’t heated, but it’s the perfect way to cool off in the sunshine. Reading my book with the gorgeous view was a treat.
Service at the hotel is fantastic but understated, and I loved the fact that the swimming pool had an honesty bar where you could help yourself to drinks.
The rooms had a fridge in them, so although the hotel doesn’t serve lunch or dinner, I could buy food from the supermarket and enjoy lunch on my roof terrace.

“Breakfast is served from 8.30 am until 11 am giving you the opportunity to relax and have a lazy lie in”

Other things to do in the area
Mallorca attracts many walkers and cyclists because of its mountains, beautiful villages and coastline.
I recommend taking the famous lemon tree train from Söller to Palma. Take an early train to the capital and enjoy a day exploring the city, visiting the many small tapas bars and walking along the waterfront.
Hire a car and explore the many gorgeous beaches. Being a small island, you can see a lot in a few days.
Head into Söller for an evening and enjoy a meal in the square.
Or just relax at the Finca and leave feeling fully refreshed.

Booking
Booking for 2023 opens in late September / early October 2022.
I don’t usually visit a place twice but Ca N’ái is a gem that I intend to go back to again and again. 

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Istanbul with kids | Community Feature

Dom Tulett
Dom Tulett lives with his family in Harpenden. He started writing about old trips when Heidi was born, as opportunities for travel went the same way as sleep. He was the winner of the Edward Stanford New Travel Writer of the Year award in 2017 and has also won the prestigious annual travel writing competitions run by Bradt Guides and National Geographic Traveller UK. He sleeps better these days.

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“Before Heidi arrived, every spare pound and every spare day went towards travelling. My wife and I made sure we would take one substantial trip each year – East Africa, Latin America, the Indian subcontinent – with as many short stops and weekend breaks as possible stretching the ranges of the calendar.”.

Our first family adventure to Istanbul
I remember the tram. I remember its colour, its shape, its passengers. I remember its serene approach, gliding smoothly on rails that glinted with springtime sun, rolling through a stop, moving up the road, passing the men selling grilled corn cobs under the watchful gaze of the Hagia Sophia. We were sat on a bench in the cool Istanbul air, greedily gnawing away at our snack, spilling as many little yellow cubes as we ate, Heidi swinging her legs in opposite, absent-minded rhythm beneath her. And I did what I always do – I pictured my daughter jumping down from her seat, rushing out across the road, and I pictured the tram screaming a dirge of angry metal brakes, raging against the inflexible will of physics, spitting sparks and bracing time. Though she showed no signs of leaving her seat, I instinctively shuffled closer to Heidi, placed a hand on her knee and said: ‘Careful’.
Before Heidi arrived, every spare pound and every spare day went towards travelling. My wife and I made sure we would take one substantial trip each year – East Africa, Latin America, the Indian subcontinent – with as many short stops and weekend breaks as possible stretching the ranges of the calendar. When we decided to start a family, we hoped that lifestyle would continue, but the girl we brought into the world came without a functioning sense of danger, and with an endless supply of energy as a wicked compensation.

The fear of leaving our comfort zone
It is impossible to tell how many times I directed the word ‘careful’ to Heidi in the first three-and-a-bit years of her life, each time accompanied with a fearful wince as she climbed or ran or grabbed or wandered, not perceiving the macabre near-future I saw. For our own sanity – and to minimise the risks – we sought out reasons to not travel: the flights will be too difficult; Heidi might not like the food; a bad experience will put us off travel forever. Really we knew that we just might not handle the pace; it would simply be too hard. So we hid her from the world, our precious thing. But really we hid the world from her. We had a colourful map on the wall of her room, and would read bedtime stories of far-off lands, recounting the trips her mother and I had taken as younger adults, but all these tales simply served as forbidden inspiration.

Brighton or Broadstairs?
The urgent, remorseless peer pressure of social media shook us out of our discomfort zone. Envious of a couple of friends who had taken advantage of parental leave to travel with their two children to Asia for a month, we resolved to take a trip ourselves, even if not quite so far afield. We battled through another day of Heidi’s relentless questions, perpetual motion and blind risk-taking and, collapsing on the couch after we had wrangled her into bed, identified a clear weekend.
‘So, where shall we go?’
‘Somewhere on the train, no more than a couple of hours from here.’
‘OK.’
Bottle, glasses, corkscrew.
‘By the sea maybe?’
‘OK, yes. Brighton? Or Broadstairs?’
Pour, drink, repeat.
‘Could we manage France?’
‘On the Eurostar? I don’t know. What do you think?’
Within an hour, we had tickets in the inbox for a long weekend in Istanbul.
The flight out there was hard – as difficult as we had imagined. Heidi refused to sit still through the early-morning departure, fiddling with the tray table and kicking the seat in front of her, raging when it was time to clip in her seat belt. Snacks and games and her favourite cartoons on the tablet failed to sooth or distract. The cabin crew brought crayons, paper, stickers and sympathy; other passengers were not so generous. I was those passengers once – I couldn’t blame them.
Heidi chatted ceaselessly on the train from the airport to the city – questions that could not be answered, an internal monologue that had broken free. ‘Why has that man got a beard? Daddy, I can see a flag. That girl has pink shoes. When does this train stop?’ I couldn’t match Heidi’s energy and struggled to find suitable responses, my brain defeated by the early start and emotionally draining flight.
The receptionist at our hotel – a modern place wedged into the ancient bustle of the central Sultanahmet district – welcomed us with a pocket map that folded out across the expanse of his desk and he marked it up with a flurry of circles, arrows and lines. His final recommendations were closer to home: ‘The spa is in the basement. The restaurant is on the ground floor. You can go to the roof to see the views.’

“It is impossible to tell how many times I directed the word ‘careful’ to Heidi in the first three-and-a-bit years of her life, each time accompanied with a fearful wince as she climbed or ran or grabbed or wandered, not perceiving the macabre near-future I saw. “.

Gaining Confidence
At first we felt that less was more, that staying close to the hotel would enable us to have a simpler trip, so we started our Istanbul break at the bottom – the water was cold and there were no lifeguards, but a swimming pool was familiar territory, something we could handle. Afterwards, we had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, then hurried Heidi to an early bedtime (‘Which room is ours? Why is the carpet blue? Can I have two stories? I want to go to the roof.’). Before switching out the light, I asked Heidi what she thought of Istanbul.
‘I don’t know,’ she said. It was her standard response to many questions, but this time I felt that she meant it. She had seen glimpses of the city through the windows of the train, but little else.
The next day, we finally poked our heads out of the comfort blanket of the hotel and ambled down to the Bosporus. Heidi was initially captivated simply by watching the water, but it didn’t slow her down for long. I clasped her hand tightly, convinced that she would somehow fall into the river or wander into the road. She buzzed around the streets, dragging us to keep up her pace, entranced by everything she saw, asking questions, squealing whenever we passed a café and she saw the glistening trays of sugared sweets shining in the window displays. ‘Mummy, sweets! I know how to count to fourteen-a-million. Has my friend Daniel been to Turkey? I need a wee.’ Her energy outlasted ours, even without the sugar rush she so desperately craved.

“We ate sweetcorn in Sultanahmet Square and wandered around the dusty lanes near the Grand Bazaar…”

Exploring the city
We ate sweetcorn in Sultanahmet Square and wandered around the dusty lanes near the Grand Bazaar, then hurried along dark, covered alleyways where men sat on small metal chairs at small metal tables, sipping steaming glasses of rich, black coffee. But all I really saw were the trams, the dogs, the potholes in the pavements. ‘Careful,’ I fretted, again and again, my hand gripping tighter each time.
As the day closed, we collapsed back into the hotel lobby’s armchairs. Heidi’s energy had still not dipped. ‘I have an itch in my wellies. Is tomorrow the next day? I want a chocolate cake for my birthday. Please can I go to the roof?’
‘OK,’ I replied. ‘Just five minutes.’
 

Magical moments
We let the elevator carry us to the top floor and stepped out into the night sky. The rooftop was deserted and dark. My wife and I scanned the area for danger – low walls, trip hazards, anything sharp – but we needn’t have bothered. Heidi looked out across the city, a skyline of a dozen centuries, and for the first time was silent and still. Then she changed her view, craned her neck and looked up. The skies of Europe and Asia met, sewn together in a patchwork of galaxies. Her hand relaxed in mine, for once not straining for release. I let her go, but she stayed close. She spoke again: ‘Stars!’
I followed her in looking up. ‘Yes, they’re beautiful, aren’t they?’
She didn’t cut her gaze or turn to me, just stared straight up at the universe. ‘I’ve never seen actual twinkly stars before.’
I hated myself that my daughter had passed three without seeing real stars and imagined what other wonders I had withheld from her. I tried to console myself that back home there’s more light pollution and it’s normally cloudy and we make sure she goes to bed at a sensible time, but still, she’d made her point – I realised that we had spent too much time looking down, too fearful of imagined lows to experience actual highs.
The next day, we resolved to look up. We went back to the waterfront and sat hypnotised as gulls swooped above the cars streaming off the ferries, shipped across from Asia. We watched men fishing off the Galata Bridge, their rods all positioned at the same upward angle, like the necks of a herd of giraffes. We strolled around the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, and this time we looked up to the skies and the spires, and we noticed the pale pink blossoms of the trees in the park. I gave Heidi some space, loosened the reins, relaxed.

The rewards of travelling with kids
Travelling with Heidi was hard. But a trip to the park’s hard, bedtime’s hard, getting her to eat green vegetables is hard. Travelling’s no harder than all that really, and its rewards are so great. Seeing a cityscape of centuries-old buildings stacking up away from the water, with minarets dominating the skyline; hearing the wailing calls to prayer reach out across the rooftops; breathing in the sweet smell of pastries as we passed the hundreds of cafés that dotted the city; marvelling at the countless pastel shades of Turkish delight. All of this was surely far more interesting and exciting for a three-year-old than the same grey houses we pass, under the same grey skies, on the same grey way to nursery, day after day after day. Children don’t even need to see the tourist-grabbing sites – adults don’t either – it’s the daily differences that amaze, and they’re frequently much more accessible.
On the flight home, Heidi sat in quiet acceptance of her surroundings, the questions and comments silenced temporarily. I like to think that the short taste of the wider world helped her, calmed her, enlightened her, and that our increased trust in her did the same. I also like to think that since that trip, Heidi has thought back to seeing the ferries cross between continents, to wandering the spice-fumed cobbles of history’s streets, to beaming with delight as the corn-seller called her a princess; that she’s remembered all that and would like more of it. The early signs were good. As the plane banked over the city and we pointed out to her the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and the wide sweep of the Bosporus down below, Heidi pressed her face against the glass, taking it all in – the right kind of looking down.
 
First published in Bradt Guides’ Kidding Around: Tales of Travel with Children

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PGL Family Adventures | Member Review | Osmington Bay, Dorset

PGL Family Adventures
Click the logo above to browse the ten PGL Family Adventures locations. Choose from an action-packed adventure day, weekend, 4-day or full week break.

Our competition winners!
Our PGL Family Adventure competition’s winning family share their feedback from their first (and not the last) PGL holiday experience. Find out why they loved the bonding experience of getting outside as a family.
About our family 
I am Kath, and my husband is Charles; we have 2 adorable children, Caitlin, 14 and my son George 11, we live in Reading.   We normally rent a self-catering cottage for a week, ideally near a beach, so Cornwall, Devon, or Dorset visit Family up North.  We love to be near the sea and find it very relaxing, and the children love swimming and the water whilst also making Family day trips locally.  

PGL Family Adventures
We had heard of PGL before from school residentials but did not realize they also did Family adventures.  So we were so excited when we found out we had won the competition and immediately looked up more details on the website.  Our chosen PGL venue was Osmington Bay which was a fabulous choice.   My daughter, in particular, is very sporty so loves active weekends, and we would normally be trekking to sports training or competitions.  

“Our first impression on arrival was what a beautiful location it was overlooking the sea.”

Location and Facilities
Our first impression on arrival was what a beautiful location it was overlooking the sea, and the weather on arrival was amazing.  The children couldn’t wait to get out of the car and start getting involved.  The PGL site was well laid out, with lots of activities available.  It was also safe to allow the children to roam; entry was keypad controlled, so they had some freedom.  

” The rooms were clean, ensuite with a shower and had the important tea and coffee making facilities.”

The accommodation was great whilst basic it was lovely to have a direct door to the outside, we as parents had a room to ourselves all bedding was supplied (except towels), and the children were directly next door to us in bunk beds and very happy with their room (they had a double bunk bed each) The rooms were clean, ensuite with a shower and had the important tea and coffee making facilities, beds were comfy.  We were assigned our own staff member for the weekend, who also was the link for a small number of other Families.  Staff regularly popped around to check whether you needed anything and to make sure you knew where the next activity was etc. The accommodation was quiet and peaceful at night.  

” There was an excellent range of activities including kayaking at the wonderful sports centre from the 2012 Olympics.”

Activities
We were grouped with a small number of other families who followed the same timetable of activities.  Other Families were friendly, and we were all encouraging of each other’s children and helping out with kits etc.  
My daughter had an arm cast, so sadly couldn’t participate in everything.  There was an excellent range of activities we got involved in, from kayaking at the wonderful sports centre from the 2012 Olympics.  This also had parking, a cafe and toilet facilities and was well set up.  The instructor was great, ensuring everyone was kitted out and all safety equipment fitted well.  As my daughter couldn’t participate, we took the chance to visit Chesil beach across the road, which was fabulous.  We also did orienteering, zip-lines; this was the children’s favourite activity,  rifles and giant swing. Again Instructors were great, always ensuring the safety equipment was fitted correctly.  We also squeezed in a trip to the lovely beach with private access from the PGL site with a secure (keycode locked) gate down a steep set of steps.  It was surprisingly quiet given the beautiful weather. 

All the PGL instructors were very, very welcoming and engaging.  They were superb at getting the more nervous children to have a go or give things a try and succeeded each time!!
Our PGL Family Adventure Highlights
The trip’s highlights were having some Family time and organised fun activities to keep the children entertained.  Also for me as Mum having meals cooked and a lovely choice and range of food.  The dining area was Covid safe with hand gel and one way systems in place.  They also catered well for my son with gluten intolerance which was great.  I would highly recommend PGL for anyone wanting a family fun activity-based weekend.  We created lots of fun and happy memories and would love to book another one soon.  
Thank you so much for the fabulous weekend.  

Save 20% off your Family Adventure
PGL Family Adventures are offering Our Tribe Travels members a 20% discount off any of their Summer Family Adventure breaks – valid until 31st August 2021. Click the pic above to reveal a hidden page that shares the 20% discount code.
 

WHAT IS A PGL FAMILY ADVENTURE?
PGL family adventures are the perfect, fun-filled holidays for parents and kids and many families in our community (including myself) love them.
PGL family programs are packed with a wide range of activities, and you don’t need to be fit or have any experience as PGL’s friendly, qualified instructors are there to guide you.
Activities range from raft building, abseiling and zip-lining, to a survival challenge, sensory trail and archery.
Family adventures range from one to seven nights, and all food, activities and accommodation are included in the price. Great value and great fun.
 
WE LOVE OUR PGL FAMILY ADVENTURES BECAUSE;
1.  We enjoy meeting like-minded parents and kids and socialising together in the evenings.
2. The PGL instructors are always positive, upbeat and encouraging, whatever the weather.
3. We love the activities PGL offer; always fun, varied and sometimes challenging.
4. We love spending time together as a family, outside and away from the distractions of devices.
 

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