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 Where to take the family for a first trip

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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:13 pm

Hillbilly Raider wrote:
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.
Mandy

Same here mandy. My 2 kids travelled miles & miles with us in our Stage 1, from 6 weeks of age. We did a few trips of 6 weeks with them as they were growing up. It was some time ago now tho......so my memory maybe unable to recall how we coped with some things, but any advise I can give will be gladly given Very Happy
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Hillbilly Raider
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:28 am

One thing i did and that i advise my "mums" to do, is to when we set up camp for the night to put their kids PJ's on under their clothes.. they can then run around as much as they like before bed time but dont have to strip off and get into cold PJ's and sleeping bag.
I also advise against double sleeping bags as they let too much cold air in, they maybe romantic but 2 mummy bags are warmer and dont lead to a domestic the next morning Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:32 am

Our first overland trip was when our little one was 2, my dad was living in southern spain, he had driven back from spain for a visit and said why dont you come for a break and travel back with us , we decided that driving the 12 hrs in spain to his would be to much and decided we could take our time and camp for a few nights while traveling down to his. So booked the ferry for the following week phoned our friend and asked if we could borrow there roof tent and camping gear. We didnt book any camp sites just drove heading in the right direction, we used our tom tom to find the camp sites and was lucky they where all lovely. We then stay at the villa for five days. This trip gave us the bug for more.

The following year we spent 3 weeks touring around portugal with our own camping gear!. I brought a book "camp sites in spain and portugal" that was very useful again didnt book any, just turned up and again found some very amazing camp sites my favorate was Zmar an eco camp, but as with the spainish trip we didnt do much green laning off roading as i was unhappy to do some of the routes by ourselves.

So we made the big descision to go with a tour company and last year went to the pyrenees, i had nightmares for weeks worrying about traveling with our four year old, but it was fine. We found it easier as we didnt have to think about where we were going routes ect, and we found the timmings of breaks worked for us. Everyone on the tour was lovely to our little one. One morning we had rain and the camp site had huge puddles so while we packed up one of the group members jumpped and ran through the puddles in his flip flops entertaining our little one while she watched in her full waterproofs and wellies !!!!!!

Next we are off to morocco in april and yes i am starting to panic again, more so when people say "you are doing what ?" and you are taking your little one with you, you must be mad"

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:27 pm

themchenrys wrote:
Next we are off to morocco in april and yes i am starting to panic again, more so when people say "you are doing what ?" and you are taking your little one with you, you must be mad"
No, not mad at all. Kids are very resilient so can usually cope quite happily if their parents give off the right signals. If you feel comfortable, little un’s normally follow.

I look at travelling with kids like the way they are brought up with food. My two were eating artichokes, mussels and smelly runny cheeses like Camembert and even Munster when they were in the high chair. Likewise in the garden they would play with worms and grubs, spiders and assorted bugs simply because I wouldn’t make a big fuss about them, simply introduce them as being ‘amazing creatures’.

Another example is when you go around somebody’s house and because little Johnny has just gone to bed, everyone has to creep about on tip toes for the rest of the evening. Rollocks!!! In our household we carried on as per usual, the kids so get used to it and cope. In my opinion kids have to adapt to the adults, and if you give in to their ‘little ways’ (and they will try it on of course) then you’re sunk.

The only way I would pander to my children’s needs when travelling was to keep them amused. Perfectly understandable they would get irritable on a long journey, so playing observation games always worked a treat – in our case it would be spotting and counting Land Rovers vs all other 4x4’s (sad I know) but it really did work a treat. At four years of age my son and daughter could name every make of 4x4 on the road at the time. Quite useless knowledge for a four-year-old of course, but it certainly helped eat up the miles! cheers

Not saying that travelling with kids is ideal, but if you have to then I say embrace it and get them to join in with you, rather then giving in to them.

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:06 pm

Agree with Tom, we have 5 children, (all grown up now) and yes keep them busy, makes of cars colour how meny red in 12-20 miles then wagons, bikes, i-spy counting to 100, also learning alphebet. Smile clinking teacups

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PostSubject: Over the Alps to Italy   Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:32 am

I have just registered so that I can reply to this forum. Hi everyone.
Someone mentioned going to Italy, we did that in our 90 truck cab last year via Belgium, France and Switzerland, with all the camping gear stuffed in the tub - it was great. On the whole campsites were easy to find, I booked some before we left. We don't have kids but the campsites were all suitable for families. We didn't look for wild campsites. Switzerland was very expensive and would be more so with a family as they seem to charge for everything and everyone individually rather than a flat fee. Avoid the campsite in Lucerne, sardines are less closely packed in a tin.

Re convoys, I have never done one and they don't really appeal - we did a 3 week trip in Botswana and Namibia in a hired vehicle and loved the freedom of it being just us - if we wanted to sit by a water hole for a an hour or a day and watch the world go by then we could. I would imagine that with a family that freedom would be even more precious.

Finally (and with some trepidation at re-opening a can of worms!) what is the RGS event, when and where?

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:57 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?

You pick where you think you'd like to go. visit the library and get the travel books. Get the travel brochures. Read them all and decide. To us the fun is in the preparation of the trip. Also a trip is often decided on the amount of time you have.Do you want to take your own vehicle or hire ?
Scotland is as good a place to try an overland trip without going abroad.

Where ever you go. Take your time. Stop and investigate places. Talk to the locals.We've had days where 300km has been a hard day.

Thinking aloud - overlanding might be the new 'in' term but as youngsters we went on touring holidays all round the UK travelling by car and camping or b&b'ing at night. Not a lot of difference except more is done abroad these days.

Mike and Margaret
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maadmaan10
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:44 am

Stu, don't get distracted by negative comments;

What I would suggest is that you take on board ALL of the comments and advice and pick what you like the sound of. Personallly I can recommend Scandinavia. you can combine a "normal" touring holiday with lot's of offroading as there are loads of "green lanes" and forest tracks over there. And if it's your first time you really want to go somewhere a bit "safer"..I bet if you contacted some of the 4x4 clubs, and there are LOT's of them, they would give you plenty of help about where and where not to go. They are very friendly.

Also, on a personal note I would go with at least 1 other vehicle. that way if one of you get's stuck anywhere.....or break down..... but hey, like I said, take it all in and pick what you want. least that's how I would do it.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:13 pm

maadmaan10 wrote:


Also, on a personal note I would go with at least 1 other vehicle. that way if one of you get's stuck anywhere.....or break down..... but hey, like I said, take it all in and pick what you want. least that's how I would do it.

Same.

Im glad to see this helpful advice cropping up despite some ol banter in the beginning.
Its a topic Ive been watching, like all, and I think everyone Involved in this post and all on this forum should pat each other on the back, you've put away the hand bags & gloves and helped each other out, Well Done all thumbsup .

Jason

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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:46 am

Itchy - I've been away so have only just seen your post about the RGS event. No problem, no can of worms at all.

Basic info about the RGS event can be found here - http://www.4x4calendar.co.uk/show.php?q=RGS&past=y

As it says, there is no official website but when listing it on 4x4Calendar I know that Brendan of 4x4 Overlander knows 100 times more about the event than I do, so he's your best bet. You could always send him a PM (Personal Message) via this forum.

Hope this helps ... and welcome to the forum BTW! cheers
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scott.l.
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:27 pm

I have done Morocco with my son who was 9 at the time (had his 10th Birthday in Morocco). I have just posted a write up about the 2011 trip in the completed trips section of the forum.
I have also just returned from the Alps with both my son and my 6 year old daughter, and had an excellent time!
Both trips were done with a commercial tour company, as 1) Its gives you a little back up if the s*it hits the fan, and 2) The tour group employees have extensive knowledge of the area which can enhance the trip for everyone.
Before starting out on Overland trips, we had several trips away in the UK, to ensure everyone could cope with living out of the Land Rover for extended periods.
I was amazed at how well my son coped in Morocco, and they both did very well during the Alps trip and I even managed to get them to wash up everyday, help make and break camp, and also clean the Landy! Of course a bag of treats for the bribes always helped..!!
At no point did I feel having my kids on the trips effected anyone else in the group. I just did forward planning and made sure everyone tried for the loo before setting off for the day, so we didn't have wee stops on route. I also made sure I had little snacks in the front for hungry tummy's, plus a lot of water / juice.
When I got the familiar 'are we there yet'.... I made a fun game with the GPS sat nav with them, so they could count down until the next stop.

My suggestion is to start off with short local trips with your kids, and then slowly extend the time and distance on each trip, so they get use to the routine, plus you can adjust according to what you learn and experience from earlier trips.

Overlanding with kids is just fantastic, and they learn so much more than sat in front of an X box or U tube!

Enjoy...!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Where to take the family for a first trip   Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:49 pm

This is what it's all about, using our vehicles for what they were designed for in the first place.

Also this line says it all ... "Overlanding with kids is just fantastic, and they learn so much more than sat in front of an X box or U tube!" clapping

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