Summer break is right around the corner and we're dreaming up our next getaway. Maybe you are too? Let's face it, travelling with kids gets expensive quickly and it's easy to lose the style and leisure you might have imagined for your holiday in favour of keeping costs low end and subsequently lack luster. An affordable family holiday takes some strategy to organise but with careful planning, attention to detail and a bit of creativity, style need not be compromised. Ok, ok! Yes, of course, living in Europe right now we feel super lucky to be so close to so many amazing destinations and we are determined to see as much as we can. However, like anywhere else, planning a trip is still a challenge and a cost. I like to keep our trips simple but classy, staying off the beaten track and making sure that there is something for everyone. Whether it's a long weekend or a two week vacation, shoestring, camping, road trip or boutique hotel- family travel can be done with plenty of panache! Here are some pics from our road trip last summer to the South of France. We took our Jeep, piled in with pillows, snacks and a thermos of coffee and drove from Switzerland about 6 hours to Provence region in Southern France. Pay attention to details when choosing where to stay. We booked cool, interesting and reasonable lodging through Airbnb. Renting an apartment instead of a hotel worked really well for us as a family of 5 and cuts cost as you are able to shop locally and cook some meals from a proper kitchen. I scoured the Airbnb listings in search of properties with good design and practicality within our budget. We lucked out with two beautiful rentals on this trip. Our first stop was the Roman town of Nimes, with it's charming old town, markets and the best preserved Roman amphitheatre. From Nimes we took day trips through Provence to Avingnon and the Pont du Gard, where we swam in the river beneath the amazing ancient aqueduct. Just hanging at the river all day was a highlight for my kids which cost nothing. We brought our own picnic, swam, climbed olive trees and soaked up the sunshine and the views. We checked out a load of ancient Roman ruins in the region and visited the small town of Saint Remy, famed for Vincent Van Gogh's stay there and where two of his important paintings are from: 'A Starry Night' and 'Self Portrait'. Most of the sights were free or cost very little to enter being heritage sites. Cafes, ice cream and wine as well as shopping at the local markets for our amazing picnics were all inexpensive and less than what we would have been spending at home. As a photographer, making photo albums of our trips is one of my favourite creative outlets. It's true that my camera is one of the first things I pack! I love to photograph and document our travels in a way that conveys all the design and details that we observed. Looking back on our photo albums instantly takes you back to the place emotionally. How about you? What is your travel style? Do you have any favourite destinations or tips for traveling with the family? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this travel post where we make our way to the Cote d'Azur and then back up to the mountain village of Roquesteron above the Mediterranean sea.
(Photography by Tanya Moss)