After taking a few months out from my blog, it feels so good to say ‘I’m back’. As the year is drawing to an end, it’s so nice to look through pictures to remind me of our summer adventures. Having a baby last year was pretty big for us. Then this summer we wanted to keep up the momentum with big changes. So we decided to rent our house out, end our jobs, so we could go on a 4 week road trip around Europe. We believe it’s really important to spend time together as a family doing the things we love. Exploring the world and taking on new challenges. Before we went away, we were unsure of what to expect from a European road trip with a baby. Therefore we decided to rent a motorhome to make it more comfortable.
Motorhome road trips
Until you have a baby you don’t realise how much ‘stuff’ they need. Ok admittedly we also wanted to take our mountain bikes, surf boards and a paddle board. So we couldn’t think of a better way to make it happen. With August being a busy time in Europe, we didn’t want to get sucked into booking accommodation in advance. Having made that mistake before, we have found you can often end up in a place for too long or for not enough time. We wanted to go with the flow, especially as we had a bit more time on our hands. Therefore renting a motorhome with no fixed abode seemed like the perfect scenario.
Europe is also really accommodating for motorhome travel, especially in France with all the camping aires. There are state motorhome parks in pretty much most towns in the whole of France. Some are free and some you need to pay for, although the most we ever paid was about £15.
4 week Travel Itinerary:
When planning the trip we had a rough itinerary and places where we wanted to aim for, but we also wanted to take advantage of not having a plan. For example, in the Portes du Soleil region of the alps it was forecasted to rain heavily for days, therefore we went further South to the Maritime Alps instead. Our time spent in Cotes de Azur was cut short because by no surprise the crowds were crazy. We also unexpectedly found ourselves in the Pyrenees, which ended up being one of our favourite places. Here is a list of all the places we ended up visiting:
- Epernay, France – Exploring the champagne region and the Moet & Chandon tour
- Jungfrau, Switzerland – Mountain biking and hiking
- Maritime Alps, France – Mountain Biking, hiking & paddle boarding
- Larche – French / Italian boarder – Mountain biking
- Cassis, France – Hiking and paddle boarding
- Barcelona, Spain – Site seeing
- Pyrenees, Spain- Hiking and mountain biking
- Zauratz, Northern Spain – Surfing and mountain biking
- Biarritz to Lacanau, France – Surfing, paddle boarding and biking
When I think back to our summer adventure, I have some incredible memories. However if I am totally honest it was also completely different trip to any other. Mainly because we underestimated how tricky a European road trip with a baby could be. We couldn’t be as ‘free’ as we first imagined, especially as there is now someone else far more important to care for. However we managed to adapt to a ‘new way’ of traveling and still turn it into a trip of a lifetime.
For example covering large distances needed to be done at night whilst Malia slept so she didn’t get bored. We had a sketchy moment at the services where we were asked to move on by the Police due to it being too dangerous to stay. After this we realised we had to be more careful and plan our overnight stopovers. Some days we avoided spending time at the beach during the hottest part of the day ensuring she was sun safe. We had to baby proof the van and make a pen for her to crawl around safely in.
One of the things I loved the most about our trip, was how much time we spent together outside exploring. Most days would end-up with us all doing an activity together, such as hiking or biking. We will always be free spirits at heart and make sure each day is a new adventure.
We packed in so much in one month, so it will be impossible for me to re-live our adventure in one post. However I will be writing more about the amazing paddle boarding in France. The mountain biking in the Swiss and French Alps. As well as the surf spots in France. So watch this space.