Expectations, expectations, expectations.. can make or break a holiday. I usually have great expectations of life in general so naturally when it comes to travel sometimes I get disappointed because of my unrealistic or unsubstantiated expectations. However, sometimes a place exceeds all of my expectations and I have an amazing time on my trip. In the past few years a couple of places have turned out to be pleasant surprises and only one fell short of my expectations.
I had high hopes of a chocoholic heaven (Brussels) but in the end I had mixed feelings about the capital of the EU. It’s not you Brussels, it’s me. I’m sure some people will like you more than I did.
4 years ago I launched this travel blog The Red Phone Box Travels. I wanted to share my travel adventures with the world 😉I may not have travelled as much or as often as some other bloggers but I have loved everything about travel. My life has changed a lot in the past four years. After years of waiting for a baby I finally got pregnant in 2017 and gave birth to a healthy, beautiful boy. It was a challenge to continue blogging after becoming a mum. We have travelled with our son so far and this year we went to Berlin without him, our first trip alone after becoming parents. But our family is growing again. Our baby girl is due very, very soon. To blog and to travel with two children will surely be even more challenging. I don’t know yet if I’ll take a short or a long break from blogging or just write infrequently. Time will tell!
Planning a holiday with children can be daunting. You need to keep them entertained and travel without trouble. Your destination needs to be safe, and there are so many things to take with you!
Here are four of the best places to travel as a young family. Could one of these be your next holiday destination?
It’s every parent’s dream to take their child to a Disney theme park.
The Magic Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, is the most popular theme park of all. In fact, almost 21 million people walked through the Disney World gates in 2018 alone. But the trip to Florida is a long one. A flight from Heathrow to Orlando takes more than eight hours, and the Orlando heat can also be difficult for babies and toddlers to cope with.
For young families, Disneyland Paris may be the preferred option. It’s a great place to visit with children, for all of the Disney magic on a smaller (and milder) scale. You can travel by car, which is ideal if you need to pack all of your family essentials, and can even go for just a short break or weekend away.
Istria is probably the most developed tourist region in Croatia with towns such as Rovinj and Poreč that attract a serious number of tourists. Besides the beautiful coastline the peninsula of Istria boasts excellent cuisine and medieval hilltop towns much like the region of Tuscany in Italy. However, there are still many off the beaten track places in Istria and in Croatia in general that you can visit.
There is a significant number of fortresses in different stages of disrepair and ruin around Croatia that can be visited for free. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit one of such forgotten and abandoned fortresses. But there are many well-preserved castles and fortresses too that attract tourists.
Since my husband and I both love medieval festivals we recently visited a small medieval festival at Dvigrad Ruins in Istria (only 25mins from Rovinj inland). I found out about it by coincidence, an ad popped on my Facebook news feed. So, we took our 20 months old boy to see some medieval knights. It was a hot Saturday afternoon which might explain the lack of visitors (admission was free, the ruins can be visited any time for free too). I think there were more performers than visitors at this festival. Firstly, we walked all over the Dvigrad Ruins. Dvigrad was a prosperous town with a fortress and a church until the plague and the malaria depopulated it in the 16th century. The last surviving families moved out at the beginning of the 18th century and since then this town has been abandoned.
A road trip – at home or abroad – can be an unforgettable experience for the whole family. It gives you the opportunity to get off the beaten track and explore places you wouldn’t necessarily visit otherwise.
But travelling with young kids brings its own set of challenges. Here are five ways you can make it less stressful – and more fun – for everyone:
From the outside looking in, Monaco can be a little bit hard to get a handle on. Sometimes thought of as its own country, sometimes counted as a sort of extension of the French Riviera, it’s actually a small, independent city-state along France’s Mediterranean coastline. Undeniably associated with a sort of opulent reputation, it’s best known for the wonderful city of Monte-Carlo – which, as you’ll see in this piece, is where the must-do activities are.
1.) Monaco Grand Prix
We’ll start off with perhaps the most famous event that takes place in Monaco, which is the renowned Monaco Grand Prix. This annual competition offers the chance to experience F1 (Formula One) motor racing up close and personal in a unique and beautiful setting. During the May event (which takes up a few days when you consider the build-up and aftermath), the whole of Monaco (and a large population of tourists) goes completely car crazy, and nearly every street is shut down for the race.
Dubovac Castle, Karlovac, Croatia
It’s been a while since my last Discover Croatia post and it’s also been a long time since our last day trip as a family. But it’s completely different to travel with an active toddler than a baby. Needless to say, I found it easier to travel with a baby and now regret not travelling more with my son when he was younger. However, that doesn’t mean that we won’t travel with him anymore. At the moment with him running in all directions and me being pregnant again the most simplest of walks can be difficult. Nevertheless, this day trip was great and our boy was on his best behaviour and really enjoyed exploring Dubovac Castle.
So, let’s write about Dubovac Castle. This castle is situated on a hill overlooking the town of Karlovac which is halfway between the capital of Croatia Zagreb and its biggest seaport Rijeka. Dubovac Castle is a Renaissance castle with Gothic elements whose oldest parts date back to the 13th century. The name of the castle originates from the word for an oak tree in Croatian language since it was surrounded by a large oak trees forest. There’s still a lot of greenery around the castle but not a proper forest.