Travel: How was your summer?

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Where did you go and what did you do on your summer holiday, and would you recommend it? I love hearing about other people’s travels, and it often inspires my own. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of these summer holiday posts (as well as writing about my own family trip to Thailand). Thank you to everyone who contributed posts this month.

If you’re looking for travel ideas and recommendations, click through to read these inspiring posts on trips around the world, from Australia to the UK.


Nichola West of Globalmouse Travels spent two weeks on the Caribbean island of Aruba with her husband and their three children, and it sounds marvellous. Nichola says: ‘We loved our summer trip to Aruba. It started with us worrying there wouldn’t be enough to do there and we might get bored and ended with us falling in love with this beautiful, sandy island. Aruba is a bewitching island that gets under your skin. From deserted beaches to a cacti filled national park there is plenty to see and do there and we can’t wait to return.’

You read about the trip in Nichola’s post A Fantastic Summer Family Trip To Aruba.


Carrie Bradley of Flying With A Baby headed Down Under to spend time with family and to explore. Carrie says: ‘The long summer holidays gave us ample opportunity to visit my husband’s family in Australia. With people to see in Adelaide and Melbourne plus a visit to the Whitsundays for a family wedding, it meant quite a few flights in a short space of time! However, it was absolutely amazing to see whales swimming in the ocean, and hang out with kangaroos. We even had a cheeky cockatoo take food from our house. Although Australia is such a long way from the UK, it’s so incredible to see such a variety of wildlife in its natural habitat and of course the beaches are pretty good too!

For a list of things do in Adelaide with kids – read here to learn about activities for all ages.’


Nell Heshram of The Pigeon Pair and Me was lucky enough to spot dolphins in the sea on her family trip to north-west France. Nell says: ‘With wild dolphins, stunning sea views, pink granite and towering fortresses, Roscoff to St Malo is a spectacular part of France. Invited by Brittany Tourism, we spent four days driving between the two ferry ports.’ You can read about their trip in Nell’s post A French road trip along the beautiful north coast of Brittany: Roscoff to St Malo

Jenny Lynn of TraveLynn Family went on an adventurous four-month overland trip around South Africa with her family earlier this year. This summer they enjoyed a short trip to France. Jenny says: ‘Being just a 4.5 hours drive from Calais, the Loire is a perfect destination for a quick and easy getaway and was just what we were looking for after our return from our African adventures). There are so many chateaux to explore, and there are a handful that are even family friendly with magical playgrounds, life-size inventions, and mazes to get lost in.’ You can read Jenny’s recommendations in her post Best Chateaux to visit in the Loire Valley with kids.

Eva Katona of Captain Bobcat also went to France with her young children, and the place where they stayed sounds idyllic. Eva says: ‘For the first time ever, we booked a whole house for a 10-day holiday in Southern France, near Narbonne. I can highly recommend doing this with small children as an option between going for a regular hotel stay and an all inclusive resort holiday. Our holiday mansion was  surrounded by vine yards and fields. The setting is truly, quintessentially French, the Southern type of it, as you picture Provence in your head: wine yards, cicada concert and lavender smell and olive trees. We drove to the beach every day and it didn’t have a pool – because we felt safer without having a pool as my children can’t swim yet. But the garden was glorious and we set up a paddling pool for them there.’ You can read more in Eva’s post:  Our Narbonne Holiday: Le Domaine de Montlaurès Review.


Ting Dalton from My Travel Monkey headed to the Greek Island of Zakynthos with her husband and their two young sons. In Zakynthos Ting says she discovered the most beautiful turquoise waters, charming villages and epic beaches. She says that the highlight of the trip for her was watching over 50 baby loggerhead turtles hatch…You can read all about their trip in Ting’s post A family holiday at Periyali Villas with Simpson Travel.

Karen Beddow of Mini Travellers spent a relaxing week on the Greek island of Crete with her husband and their three daughters. Karen says: ‘Right at the end of the summer we booked a last minute trip to GK Beach Hotel in Crete with Simpson Travel. It was booked because we needed a week of rest and relaxation and if that’s what you’re after then this place definitely fits the bill.’ You can read Karen’s review of the hotel where they stayed in her post GK Beach Hotel in Crete with Simpson Travel.

Clare Thomson of Suitcases and Sandcastles was in Greece this summer for an impressive seventh family trip there, and also spent some holiday time closer to home. Clare says: ‘This was a summer of glorious beaches, both in Wales and the Greek islands. We learned to surf on the Gower and snorkelled for hours in the Aegean Sea. We tried a digital detox and fell back in love with reading. And we came home so relaxed we were soon ready for another adventure – a day trip to France for a birthday weekend.’ You can read about Clare’s summer experiences, and why she loves Greece so much, in her post Highlights of a Summer in Greece.


Claire Hall of Tin Box Traveller enjoyed a week-long multi-generational family trip to Northern Italy. Clare says: ‘I was blown away by the beauty of Lake Garda where the girls and I spent a week with my parents over the summer. We managed to find just the right balance of exploring the idyllic lakeside towns and relaxing (plus plenty of splashing) by the pool at our campsite. We also discovered that it is possible to attempt a day trip to Venice from Lake Garda, ticking off another bucket list destination!’ You can read about Claire’s trip in her post 7 days on Lake Garda with Al Fresco Holidays.


Nicky Williams of Go Live Young had an enjoyable time exploring Norway this summer. Nicky says: ‘This summer we spent three weeks road tripping around Norway, starting in the town of Stavanger and working our way north through the mountains and fjords of this beautiful country. It was the most spectacular trip with the most stunning scenery. It seemed as if around every corner there was yet another amazing view. I took so many photographs! We ended up in the Lofoten Islands, in the north of Norway, within the Arctic Circle. Here’s a link to a post about our first stop Stavanger, a beautiful old town with a buzzing atmosphere, a stunning location on the edge of a fjord, a number of interesting and unique museums, and several amazing hikes all within an easy drive from the town: Top 10 Things To Do In Stavanger, Norway.’

Donna Vallance of Like Love Do also enjoyed a summer trip to Norway, on a cruise with Royal Caribbean. Donna says: ‘Norway was a complete new realm and an eye opener. Until I saw the Norwegian Fjords for myself I had no idea just how beautiful they were. I found myself saying “wow” an awful lot and gazing in awe at my surroundings. The children absolutely loved getting up close to nature and hiking up the mountains. It was one of our most memorable holidays yet.’ You can read more about the cruise in Donna’s post The Beauty of a Norwegian Fjords Cruise.


My family summer trip was to Thailand, and I loved it. I was with my husband and our two kids and we were there for two weeks. We started off with a couple of nights in the capital Bangkok, then flew down to the south of the country to stay at Elephant Hills luxury tented jungle camp, where we met some rescue elephants and tried out some adventurous activities. Then we headed by road and ferry to the island of Koh Samui, for a relaxing week at the gorgeous Tongsai Bay hotel. I’m writing all about our trip on my blog Mums do travel, and you can read about our stay at The Tongsai Bay in my post Hotel review: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui, Thailand and about Elephant Hills in my post What’s it like to stay at Elephant Hills, Thailand?


Lucy of Kids of the Wild had a fantastic few days in London with her family, exploring the city and going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the theatre. Lucy’s young daughter Caroline is a cancer survivor, and the family weekend was organised and paid for by the charity Rays of Sunshine for Caroline’s cancer wish. You can read about their experience in Lucy’s post: Harry Potter Theatre Weekend with Kids, 3-day Travel Itinerary

Penny Alexander of parentshaped enjoyed a trip with her two kids (but without her husband) to one of her favourite festivals. Penny says: ‘Camp Bestival has always been a ritual and a rite of passage for our family, we’ve been heading to Dorset shortly after school breaks up for six years now. Here’s a day in family festival life, this time with tweens… A DAY IN THE LIFE. CAMP BESTIVAL 2018. I DO IT SOLO. WITH TWEENS 

Leona Bowman of Wandermust Family made the most of the UK’s glorious summer weather this year. Leona says: ‘This summer we decided we wanted to explore the best of the UK’s gorgeous coastline in the beautiful summer heatwave but we wanted to do it in style. Step in Soar Cove Mill Hotel! An isolated hotel in an isolated cove that is packed full of family-friendly amenities just outside of Salcombe, Devon!’ You can read all about Leona’s stay in Devon in her post FINDING FAMILY FRIENDLY LUXURY AT SOAR MILL COVE HOTEL SALCOMBE

Erin Ek Rush who blogs at Yorkshire Tots to Teens enjoyed an outdoor trip close to home. Erin says: ‘Staying in a Geodome at Camp Katur in North Yorkshire was a great end to a busy summer. It was so relaxing for the adults and the kids loved it. There was so much for them do to and it was great to be able to see the sky while we slept.’ Read more about Erin’s experience in her post A COZY NIGHT IN A GEODOME AT CAMP KATUR, NORTH YORKSHIRE 

Next time

Ahoy there, shipmates! For the next round-up, please share your posts about cruises anywhere in the world. Please send me links to your relevant posts, with a couple of introductory sentences, by 22nd October by email to [email protected] I’ll include up to a maximum of the first 20 relevant links which I receive. Thank you!

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About Gretta Schifano

Gretta Schifano is an award-winning blogger, journalist and social media manager. Gretta writes about luxury, cultural and active family travel with teens, and trips when parents escape without their kids. Winner of the 2016 Women in Marketing Award for Best Social Media Campaign and the 2014 BritMums BiB Award for Best Travel Blog, she lives with her husband and teenage kids in the Surrey countryside, near to London. Gretta previously worked as a BBC radio producer, has lived and worked in Italy and Spain and loves exploring new places, chocolate and kindness.

1 Comment

  1. 01 October 2018 / 07:46

    Wow, fantastic article about so many kid-friendly destinations!
    Love especially learning about Camp Katur in North Yorkshire, as that is where we are! If readers are ever visiting North Yorkshire, York is a wonderful place to visit with children as well. One really cool thing to do is visit the National Railway Museum. For kids that love trains, it’s fun and free!