We are Kate (30), Lee (36) & Toddler Z (1) currently 3 weeks into travelling Europe in a Motorhome.
Lee & I have been together 4 years & married 2. Both myself & Lee have always travelled, lived & worked abroad, we have never seemed to have found a place to settle as such. When we first got married we talked of wanting to travel Europe in a campervan in hopes of maybe finding somewhere to make some roots so we set about trying to make that happen. We found ourselves living & working in Dubai for just over 2 years to build up some travel funds, unexpectedly but happily we found out we were expecting our first baby, so our plans now just needed room for a little one.
Where abouts in the world are you right now?
Lake Wolfgang in Austria, this is country number three for us, we started in France then through Germany to here.
What do you love about this place?
Austria scenery is the most magical we have seen so far on our tour.
Anything you don’t like?!
Right now the torrential rain and thunderstorms are currently making adventures a little challenging to say the least!
What are the three most challenging aspects that stand out?
1. Travelling with a toddler is a challenge for sure, everything seems to take a lot more planning & our adventures are very different than if we were travelling as a couple. That said having the chance to spend all of our time as a family & just seeing how much Z is thriving from the experience is enough to make us want to continue for as long as possible.
2. Trying to find the right balance of driving, working and exploring. We are only a few weeks in so we are still adjusting to living in a van. Unlike having a house with a spare room or an office to go to and having a set daily 9-5 routine, juggling getting things done living in a small space can be hard, especially when there is so much to see and do.
How’s the food!
Meals out with a toddler aren't the easiest so we have fully embraced local markets in each country & enjoy cooking up local dishes. I have to say all of the bread, cheese and wine in France was a favourite!
Any funny, interesting or daunting experiences along the way?
So far our SatNav has given us numerous interesting and anxiety inducing experiences. From tiny bridges to steep hairpin mountain roads and cobbled streets, all of which aren’t much fun in a large Motorhome, must use the map instead.
Can you give us 3 tips for making it work?
1. Keep to a rough routine, Z has always loved his routine, we have found that he is much more settled when we try & plan the day around him having his familiar nap & bedtimes & we don’t find it hinders our travelling or experiences at all.
2. Find that balance. Just like we have working schedules at home we have found that we need to try & replicate this a little while on the road. Ensuring that each of us can take time in the day to do some work or even just take time out to exercise and share the childcare.
3. Enjoy the moment. We are constantly wanting to explore the next place, the next country and we have really found that a slower pace is much more enjoyable and important to remember. For Z right now he just loves to be outdoors, toddling & playing, when we soak that up and just let that happen we have some of the best times.
Do you have any financial tips for travelling?
Our plan was to always have some savings behind us but to try and work on the road as we go. We hope that by doing that we do not have to have an end date for our adventures. We have given ourselves a budget & are seeing how we get on, taking advantage of free rest stops and limiting our eating out spending is certainly helping to keep us on track.
What do you miss, if anything?
Our extended tribe of friends and family. We are more than used to being away from loved ones with living in Dubai, it doesn’t make it any easier though. As mamas we always wonder if we are doing the right thing and I do worry that Z is missing out, so we have planned some trips back to visit family & are getting them to come & meet us along the way.
What advice would you give to other Mamas planning on travelling with their family?
Go for it. If travelling with your tribe is something that you really want to happen then find a way to make it happen. I had a lot of anxiety about travelling with Z and often felt that maybe we should settle in a house and have a ‘typical’ life, but my overwhelming feeling was that time spent travelling with him as a family would make us all much happier, so far I am right.
Where can we find you?!