If you have been following me for a while then you know that I love travelling with my kids. Just this year we went together to Cuba, Poland and lastly on a week of a road trip around the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. And while I’m the first to admit that it’s not always easy, I really believe that traveling with kids is like deposing coins of happiness into their inner bank of memories! I think that nothing really can replace the bonding that happens while we travel as a family. And I’m convinced that nothing can grow their curiosity more than exploring new places and trying new foods. Not to mention how it can open their minds on new cultures just by seeing all the different ways in which people live around the world.
[bctt tweet=”I really believe that traveling with kids is like deposing coins of happiness into their inner bank of memories! ” username=”TwittingLazyMom”]
But being honest, regardless of all the benefits of travel, the transfer part from place A to place B with kids is always the one that’s most complicated, and the one I used to dread the most. And what I really used to hate was caring big car seats with me all the time, like this last time in Poland! I had to carry car seats with me everywhere! It was so tiring. And then there where times when we couldn’t go somewhere only because we didn’t have that big car seat with us. Not to mention the frustration of trying to install the car seat in the new car. I’m sure you’ve been there too!
So you can only imagine my excitement when I discovered the Mifold booster seat at my local Canadian Tire! It’s small and foldable, fits in my purse or in my daughters little backpack, takes minutes to install, and makes travel and changing cars a breeze!
My five-year old Lili learned pretty quickly how to attach herself, and if you’ll look at her sitting next to her sister in the car, then you’ll see the real difference in space that this seat makes in the car!
So on our recent trip to Gaspesie, Lili was in charge of her car seat, and she could easily switch from our car to her grandparents car, and travel with whomever she felt like that day!
And I just love this car seat for how it facilitated our travel! Not to mention that it’s safe, practical, and can be used by the kids of age four and up. So as you can imagine, I’m already planning more family adventures for us this summer!
Disclosure: this post was brought to you by Canadian Tire, all opinions remain my own.
While travelling with young kids isn’t for the weak of heart, it’s so worth it! Even if they might sleep bad and whine half of the time, the bonding that happens while out of the everyday routine is priceless!
And I deeply believe that traveling with kids is like deposing coins in their own bank of happiness!
So this year I decided to take my girls to come and visit my home city, where I was born and raised, Wroclaw, in the region of Lower Silesia, in Poland. I seen it with a fresh perspective, and have visited it as a tourist with kids would. And here are my top ten reasons why you too should travel to this beautiful region, with kids
1.Kid friendly restaurants and coffee shops: One of the first things that I noticed upon arrival was the quantity of restaurants and pretty coffee shops with dedicated kids corners and changing stations. My girls would sit and play while I had my meal in peace! Almost every place we visited had a little corner full of toys and books! This alone makes vacation with kids so much easier!
2. Old city centre- AKA the Rynek; it’s the place of all the restos, coffee places, ice cream and lovely streets full of pretty stores. In the summer, it’s often filled with music, giant bubbles that kids can play with, fountains on every corner and street artists. Cars aren’t allowed there, so kids can run safely and parents an really relax!
3.Easy transport: If you’d stay in a hotel in the city centre then you can either walk everywhere, or take the public transport. Wroclaw has lots of pretty tramways and new low buses, so even with a stroller you can easily get everywhere. It’s very affordable, and kids travel for free! And since the public transport is much more developed there then here in Montreal, we never waited longer then 5 minutes on a tram stop!
4. Amazing ice cream! Forget the Italian gelato, and try the all natural, organic Polish ice cream! You can find them all around the city, and my favourite where the sweet cream and the lemon with parsley. So good, I already miss them!
5.The gnome hunt around the city:Wroclaw is know for it’s gnomes, and you can find over 100 of them around the old city centre: some are alone, some in couples, some eat pierogi and some play on instruments! My daughters loved running around Rynek and looking for them!
6.Fairy tale like castles surrounding Wroclaw, in Lower Silesia, like the picturesque Ksiaz castle, located only 40 min drive outside of Wroclaw!
7.Lots of parks and green spaces: everywhere we went, there was a fun park to stop by, and play.
8.Food truck festival and seasonal Markets: In the Rynek, during the winter and summer there’s a lovely market where you can buy authentic food and artisanal objects, and at the end of May we had a chance to visit a food truck market!
9. Great food that kids love: from all sorts of pierogi’s ( you need to try the strawberry pierogi!) to polish gnocchi ( kluski) and soup served in bread, Polish food is particularly kid friendly! I was so happy to see my girls devouring every meal!
10. Activities for kids: We visited the impressive Zoo, and the huge park ( that looks like a forest) around the Hala Targowa ( don’t miss the huge fountain spectacle!). Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go on a boat ride around the city, nor to viit the Hydropoils museum, but for sure we’ll do this next time!
Also, last but not the least, Wroclaw is the night life city of the region, with countless bars and clubs, and the food scene is particularly strong, with the big popularity of fresh and organic based meals. Plus, everyone speaks English! No wander it’s a weekend travel destination for many Europeans looking for a fun and colorful place to visit!
So, next time you’re planing a trip to Europe, don’t miss the Lower Silesia region of Poland, as I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!
Here is the truth, I don’t really like camping all that much, and that’s exactly why I have prepared this guide to camping with kids! Because I learned that by making it simpler and more comfortable, I start to mind less bugs and public bathrooms and appreciate more forest hikes, and canoeing on the lake.
And I just love how kids are running around happily and how our family is reconnecting together over the campfire! Also, I truly believe that camping is great for kids development (I wrote all about that here) so even though I’d feel better in the hotel by the sea, we will keep camping!
There are a couple of things that you can do, to make camping easier and more comfortable, even with little kids around, and even if you’re not sure where to start.
1. Take just the right things.
If you’re a Pinterest junky like I am, then you’ve probably seen these super long “essentials only” lists of things you need when you go camping. Do they overwhelm you? Because they sure did overwhelm me. Until we actually went camping, and found out that we’re all good without a folding table (there was a picnic table!) and without a big box of outdoor toys ( kids did play, even more than ever, using their imagination and a minimum of toys).
Because let’s face it, what’s relaxing about camping is simplifying life, and not spending hours upon arrival on setting things up!
That’s why I’ve prepared you a list that you can print out:
So my advice, is take only the essentials. Sleeping gear, cooking gear, folding chairs for the campfire, a minimum of clothes and food. Ok, I’ll admit that I like to add the French press coffee machine and some pretty plates and a quilt, but that’s just my glamping essentials!
2. Consider ready-to-camp set up.
That’s the easiest of camping options, as you don’t have to set things up, and so your preparation is so much easier. I especially recommend this option for camping newbies and families with babies! We went to one of these ready to camp places when Lili was two years old and Rose was three months old, and it was one of the best vacations we ever had as a family!
3. Camper or tent, which one is for you?
Camper set up is so much easier, and gives you place to eat and cook when it rains, but is considerably more pricey then all the tent gear.
Tent gives you more of an outdoorsy feel, and is much cheaper, but more time-consuming to set up.
I say, try both ( you can rent a camper for a weekend, and there’s always that one friend who has a tent to lent!) before investing in either of them!
We decided that since we don’t go camping every weekend, the investment in a big camper wouldn’t make sense for us. Instead we started camping with a very large tent, that was just enough for our camping trips during the summer. And lately we got an old pop up tent- it gives a bit more of a glamping feel but without braking the bank.
3. Tent camping preparations and what to do a week before:
Set up your tent in your backyard. You need to see if the tent is all good! And I reccomend running a trail night with the kids in the backyard. That means checking if your mattresses aren’t pierced, and if you’re warm enough in your sleeping-bags. I admit that it’s usually my hubby sleeping in the backyard with our older one not me, but it does get everyone exited!
Check if you have enough fuel for your camp stove, if you have batteries and first aid kit is well packed.
4. Tent camping must haves.
Good quality mattresses and sleeping bags are really a necessity! And for some extra comfort I like camping with my own pillow and real bedding. Of course, if you’d like to be sure that the rain won’t ruin your stay a canopy is a good buy, but I never used it, and we where just fine! Also, folding chairs, and if there’s no picnic table provided on your camping ground, then a folding table! ( see my full list above for what to pack for details).
5. Make cooking easier: prepare a meal plan, and have some meals pre-prepared!
Really do make a detailed meal plan. Bake some muffins ahead for easy breakfast, and bring ready-made salsa, dips and pasta souse. What I also do, is opt for easy preparation, like fajita or tacos, hot dogs or pasta! I make sure to have lots of snacks, s’mores box and some drinks for adults!
Also, camping is much better with bacon and eggs for breakfast, and good coffee!
As much as hiking, kayaking and chilling around the camping ground is fun, it’s not as fun if it rains, and that’s why we always camp close to attractions like a zoo, pick up farm, or just close enough to the city. That way when there’s a rainy day head, we’re not stuck in the tent!
7. Let the kids be kids.
You don’t need to prepare them extra activities and they really don’t need all the toys. Bring a couple if their favourites ( max 4 per child) and let them get dirty and wild, let them explore the nature and make use of their imagination.
And lastly, enjoy yourself. Camping with kids is all about reconnecting, unplugging and relaxing, so just let the kids be dirty, eat all the s’mores you want and enjoy the nature!