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 Where to take the family for a first trip

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Stu
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PostSubject: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:00 am

As per the title, I'd like some suggestions of where to go and what to do for our first overland trip. This will be for a family so I don't want to join a trip that is full of guys wanting to do loads and loads of driving. We would like something very relaxed and chilled out, so any suggestions / ideas?
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:05 pm

It depends for how long are going to travel and what you wonna see.
But from top of my head...
Marocco is nice place to start. A good mix of everything.

Hope this helps
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:04 pm

Stu,
A few questions first.
Age/number of children?
How long for?
Budget?
Convoy or not convoy?


These are some of things you got to consider.

Young children in convoys can be a PITA for everyone in convoy. Babies need nappies changing when they want it changing not 2 hours later at next scheduled stop.

Do you like playing follow my leader?

What languages do you speak?

What interests have your family got?


Personally I am not keen on convoy driving, personally I think Morocco is overrated as a destination. Remember it is not the destination but the whole journey that is important.

What is reliability of your vehicle like/your mechanical abilities


OK some ideas for you to consider.

Scandinavia, great place to go. On safety scale very safe, English widely spoken, wild camping allowed, great scenery. Not as expensive as people think. Must get round to do some trip reports on Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Baltic countries/Eastern Europe. Great places to go, English not as widely spoken, not as safe as Scandinavia, easier to get to (Ditto about trip reports)

Portugal/Northern Spain? Great place to go to. Safety relatively high. Easy to get to. (Look HERE


Tour companies vary a lot in price and standard of service.

Want security of a convoy but not drive in convoy? Consider the raids by Boab. You get a road book and make your own way to destinations but have back up of the Boab vehicles France and Morocco

Want looking after? Consider Waypoint Tours. They do all the cooking in the evening. Your wife might enjoy that Razz Razz

Consider the RGS Overland Weekend at end of May. Informal, exchange of information. Not a buying show but traders (including us) will be there. Time to talk aplenty.

4x4 Travel and overland show. A selling/buying show. Not really time to chat.

When going to your first show leave your plastic at home so temptations don't run away with you.

Talk to traders, find out their actual experience in travelling. Are they just salespeople or have they travelled? At the outdoor shows we give an open invitation to people to join us for a beer (possibly a curry) and a chat on Saturday evening


HTH


Brendan

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:06 am

Quote :
Personally I am not keen on convoy driving, personally I think Morocco is overrated as a destination.

How come you think that?

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:56 am

Not all tour companies are as Brendan discribes Stu.
Please feel free to contact me if i can help, wether you book a tour with me is neither here nor there, this forum is for sharing information NOT as a ways and means of SELLING your product.
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Mandy.
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oh and for the record ..ANY show i am at i ALWAYS have time to help/chat.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:22 am

rustyrhinos wrote:
Quote :
Personally I am not keen on convoy driving, personally I think Morocco is overrated as a destination.

How come you think that?


Convoy driving? Hate being in other peoples dust, hate having to go at other peoples pace, love the freedom of solo driving, stopping when I want to stop, changing the route as and when I want to. Yes I understand the advantages and disadvantages of solo travel v convoy travel. Most convoys are just too large in my opinion

Morocco? Many people head down there on a 2 week break from the UK. It is often a big rush for a few days play in the sand. My feelings is that it is too much of a honey pot, spoilt by too many people going there.

Stu asked for suggestions where to go with a family and not doing loads and loads of driving. Hence I tried to give him some food for thought about what his family should possibly consider and a range of possible destinations, all which we have experienced.


Quote :


Not all tour companies are as Brendan discribes Stu.
Please feel free to contact me if i can help, wether you book a tour with me is neither here nor there, this forum is for sharing information NOT as a ways and means of SELLING your product.
Regards
Mandy.
aka Hillbilly Raider
www.alpinerovers.com

oh and for the record ..ANY show i am at i ALWAYS have time to help/chat.



HOW have I described tour companies?


That they vary a lot in price and standard of service? I would have thought that was self evident or are you suggesting that the tour companies have a uniform price structure and standard of service?

I mention two companies which gives their clients vastly different styles of services which I thought might be of interest to Stu. Anything wrong with that?


Yes this forum is about sharing information, that is why I mentioned several possible destinations which many UK tour companies do not cover. I am not here trying to sell a tour as we don't sell tours.

At shows we can get very busy during the daytime and do not always have time to chat. Many people have told us they have come along to see us for a chat but we were too busy, hence the invite for beer and possibly curry come evening time. A logical solution I would have thought!


Brendan

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:19 am

Yes you were correct , it is a personal opinion ....one you express quite often
Maybe other posters have different views ?
with respect
M.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:37 am

Hillbilly Raider wrote:
Yes you were correct , it is a personal opinion ....one you express quite often
Maybe other posters have different views ?
with respect
M.


What exactly is YOUR contribution to the OP request?

Nothing but grinding your own personal axe! getting nowhere fast

The original post

Stu wrote:
As per the title, I'd like some suggestions of where to go and what to do for our first overland trip. This will be for a family so I don't want to join a trip that is full of guys wanting to do loads and loads of driving. We would like something very relaxed and chilled out, so any suggestions / ideas?


At least I had the decency to mention some vastly different destinations, and raise some points which I thought should be taken into consideration by the OP


Brendan computer-22

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:14 am

Stu wrote:
As per the title, I'd like some suggestions of where to go and what to do for our first overland trip. This will be for a family so I don't want to join a trip that is full of guys wanting to do loads and loads of driving. We would like something very relaxed and chilled out, so any suggestions / ideas?

Spain, west coast. I have a DVD (free with LRO) pm me your address snd I,ll pop it in the post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm8PbXRIOj8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL This is part off it.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:37 am

Is this topic going the same way as Biodiesel?, are insults to follow?, are we to lose another member?.
The UK needs a forum like this but lets not make it a lonely place for just a two or three, I think some posts are close to the knukle.
Whare are the moderaters?
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Stu
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:27 am

Guys I run the Disco3club forum and have done for about a year now, we seem to manage not to fall out over there and I ask you all not to get too stressed over my op.

I'm up for all suggestions. Thanks for all your ideas so far. LRO came through the post today and there is a feature in that about where to go so I'll have a look at that.

Please don't fall out. Imagine you were having a conversation down the pub.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:39 am

I don't know, I go away for a couple of days and WWIII breaks out ... well, not quite that but we don't want it escalating.

The thing is, apparently there is more than one way to skin a cat (weird expression), likewise there are a host of different ways of running overland tours, and a host of varying opinions of what is best and what isn’t. Also, there will always be differing ways of presenting one’s thoughts. To some it will seem like self-promotion and to others perfectly acceptable.

Personally I think Brendan’s original advice was sound and he even suggested two companies that provide tours - both reputable enterprises I might add. If in passing he mentioned that his company runs tours to a certain destination – let’s say Mongolia for example – then that’s fair enough as it’s relevant. Similarly if Hillbilly ran tours especially for wheelchair users as he had a specially adapted vehicle, then that too is relevant so should be mentioned.

Forums are all about advice and the sharing of information – whether that advice is sound or not is up to the viewer to decide. Within reason I don’t mind in the least if a company mentions they do things in a certain manner for it’s informative (even I would if it related to a tour I’m running in the Pyrenees) but obviously it must be relevant.

Lastly, I think Stu’s “Imagine you were having a conversation down the pub” advice is sound. Life’s too short, so please everyone … no personal digs/insults/etc. Already the knowledge of the users around here is vast, let’s not lose anyone else over something so small and insignificant. There are much greater things in life to get irate over, let’s save our efforts for them!

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:27 am

Me and the wife have been chatting about a trip till Morroco but we are thinking of doing a trip over the alps into italy first to see what its like this would be our first trip also and it would seem easier if somthing went wrong whilst hopefully giving us a taste for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:44 pm

Red, have said it before and will say it again Razz

Quote :

Consider the RGS Overland Weekend at end of May. Informal, exchange of information. Not a buying show but traders (including us) will be there. Time to talk aplenty.



Brendan

PS Have nothing to do with the organisation of it. Just think Sam and the RGS put on a cracking weekend where both the novice and experienced overlander can exchange ideas, tips and learn from each other




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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:06 am

We have a four year old and went with Atlas overland to the pyrnees last summer and found it really easy with our little one, most of the sites we stayed at had swimming pools so we would leave mr mchenry to build the tent while we went for a swim . We enjoyed driving in convoy and think we only had to stop the group once for our little one. A couple of times we got the address of where we would be staying so we could make our own way there , once becouse our little one spotted mcdonalds it was near the end of the day and other time becouse we fancied the afternoon on campsite.. On our rest days of the tour we went horse riding , swimming ect. I think going with a tour company takes the stress out of traveling with children
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:16 pm

There are plenty of different ways seeing the world, and tour companies are one of them.

It is for you to decide wether it is ideal for you and your family.

There are positives:
They know the best routes/places
You have support
You will have a person who speaks the local lingo
Possibly other kids, so yours can play and give you time out
Make new freinds

There are negatives:
Cost
Set dates
You see/go where they decide you are going
You may not get on with everyone in the group
Foced start times and stops
Lot of driving

The most important thing with these companies is to meet the person who will be leading the trip. Go to the shows and talk to them face to face, see if you bond. You are trusting them with the most valuble of things, YOUR TIME.

We have done both organised trips and our own. We have had our trips made better by others, and other bits ruined. But on your own you can do as much or as little as you want, but won't have that local knowledge, and off road must be cautious due to no assistance.

Spain's mountains, Alp's, Corsica, are all good places to start. Would not recomend further than Europe at this stage. That way you get medical and vehicle assistance.

Andy




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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:37 am

Sound advise Andy ( wheres the thumbs up smiley?)
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:22 am

Err, scroll down within the smiley's section!!! Obviously been a long day Razz thumbsup

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:11 pm

Stu wrote:
As per the title, I'd like some suggestions of where to go and what to do for our first overland trip. This will be for a family so I don't want to join a trip that is full of guys wanting to do loads and loads of driving. We would like something very relaxed and chilled out, so any suggestions / ideas?

Corsica...great empty beaches, small towns, mountains, plenty of places for wild camping,....
http://helcakamil.rajce.idnes.cz/Corsica/#

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:49 pm

Corsica is a very good suggestion actually - another place I have been! We rented a house for 2 weeks overlooking the beach as a base, and drove about the island in a rented Citroen C3 Very Happy

Quote :
Morocco? Many people head down there on a 2 week break from the UK. It is often a big rush for a few days play in the sand. My feelings is that it is too much of a honey pot, spoilt by too many people going there.

Fair enough. Go to the tourist places in Morocco and you will see tourists. Whilst in Morocco doing off road, I only saw one overland vehicle - which was beefed up Unimog. I would hardly describe that as packed...I think you are either experiencing it at the wrong time of year, or going on the (what I would consider as) tourist pistes that you find in the overland books.


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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:51 am

Hi - we travel with two children in a 110. We are members of the Landrover club and the children have enjoyed days/ weeks and weekends of green laning with them and members of Mud Club. They started joining us at age 6 weeks. We went to the Pyranese with the kids two years ago with a tour company One Life Adventure and had a fantastic time. Before we did this we tried a weekend away with two whole days of driving to see if the kids were up to it as it is very different having to put up and down a tent every day.
We have been lucky that EVERYONE we have ever travelled with have always been very tolerant of the two kids and it isn't always families that hold up the driving - i.e. unreliable vehicles, people who sleep in , over confident drivers that get into trouble will hold the group up. Accept that as part of a group you will not like everyone, but we have met some wonderful people and are still in contact years after the holiday with others.
Give it a try - we have so far only travelled with a company due to not just wanting to do the tarmac route and accidents unfortunatley do happen and going alone down the more "scenic" routes could be unwise and surely contradicts the unwritten rules of safe offroad driving. The backup of pre organised campsites that have been checked is so valuable when you are away with young children. We did risk it one night with no booked campsite and we luckily got the last spot on a very busy french campsite after three previous attempts.. A litle worrying with two children.
We always try to break the driving down the kids can manage 600 miles in a day but you wouldn`t want to do this two days in a row. We`v also found that the promise of a few days elsewhere on the way there or back ( We did a week at Disneyland on the way back from Spain!!) does help on the negotiations with the kids.
It is a holiday you are planning after all and it is for everyone ...enjoy.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:16 am

Corfu is another great island. The east coast can be wild (in the madness sense) as it's where all the Brits congregate therefore not so great – it also has calm seas – whereas on the west coast the seas rolls in with breakers so is much more fun, plus it’s virtually deserted compared to the other side of the island.

Myself and the other half found one beach at lunchtime and with just two Greek families and a taverna packed to the hilt with enticing ice cold beers with our names on them … sheer heaven! cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:32 am

it is very difficult for me to give advice/say what we do as regards traveling with kids or tour companies as i own/run one without it looking like i am looking for business.
However i was a mother traveling with kids long before i was a tour company owner so if i can help please dont hesitate to ask.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:48 am

kevinf wrote:

Give it a try - we have so far only travelled with a company due to not just wanting to do the tarmac route and accidents unfortunatley do happen and going alone down the more "scenic" routes could be unwise and surely contradicts the unwritten rules of safe offroad driving. The backup of pre organised campsites that have been checked is so valuable when you are away with young children. We did risk it one night with no booked campsite and we luckily got the last spot on a very busy french campsite after three previous attempts.. A litle worrying with two children.
We always try to break the driving down the kids can manage 600 miles in a day but you wouldn`t want to do this two days in a row. ...enjoy.



Kevin, most scenic routes are NOT off road.

Many roads are not tarmac/bitumen and driving these roads is not off road driving. Off road driving means just that, you are off a route which in general terms the public does not have a right to drive.

We have travelled many tens of thousands of miles on non sealed/tarmaced/bitumen roads normally as a solo vehicle. In general terms this is not particularly unsafe. These non sealed roads have included countries as various as the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, Eastern Europe such as Romania, Iberian countries and Australia in our 110. This included such places as the Simpson desert as a solo vehicle. A correctly prepared vehicle and occupants is essential. It is no more dangerous then solo walking in the Cairngorms or the Himalaya for instances

Driving 600 miles a day on sealed/tarmac/bitumen road is probably more dangerous then 100-200 miles on non sealed roads. To cover 600 miles in a day means an average speed of 50mph for 12 hours. For a single driver to do that sort of driving is dangerous for a single driver and would be illegal for a HGV driver. Even sharing the driving it is not exactly safe as codriver can not fully rest in passenger seat.

Avoid major holiday rushes e.g. Paris fortnight and major honeypots and you will not have too many difficulties in finding places to stay.

When we travel with our Land Rover we keep fixed points to a minimum, which is normally the ferry out and which airport I might be picking Barbara up from. Return flights/ferries is normally booked after the start of the trip and getting closer to the end of the trip

Driving as a solo vehicle or with one or two other vehicles is generally more enjoyable then being part of a much larger convoy. In fact in some respects solo vehicles/small groups can be considered to be safer then travelling in a large group as there is minimal peer pressure/targets on the solo traveller. I have seen tour operators with groups of vehicles as large as 48 paying vehicles plus support vehicles! In fact seen some of the videos of organised/group tours I would argue that some of them are exposing themselves to more dangers then I do in remote areas as a solo vehicle. Getting a vehicle airborne is NOT safe driving. Steep side slopes in sand is just an accident waiting to happen. The amount of kit carried by some vehicles is far too much!

Solo/small group travelling gives much more flexibility then tag along tours as you can start and stop/change your routes as you go along. Having too many fixed time constraints, pre booked sites/ferries can actually raise the danger level.



HTH




Brendan

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:34 pm

all good advice Brenden, but you forgot that some of us dont drive "off road" we greenlane, many people get the two confused.
Again i can not comment on other tour companies as i have not used them, but i can say that we wild camp and only use a "proper" campsite a couple of nights
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