Whilst we’re not travelling at all right now due to the pandemic, it doesn’t mean we can’t plan for our future travel plans.
We are always discussing places we’d like to visit, both as a family and as a couple.
One of my favourite places I’ve visited so far has to be San Diego. I found it incredibly exciting when I visited the USA for the first time, even if it was with an ex-boyfriend in 2010!
We spent five weeks in San Diego visiting some of his skater friends, seeing the sites and for him to take part in an inline skating competition he had qualified for.
Even though I have now been with my husband for a decade, I still do have fond memories of being in the US and I’d love to return one day.
There is so much more of California I’d like to explore too, but San Diego is a great starting point if you’re looking for a base whilst there with so much to explore as a family and a couple.
If you’re looking for things to do as a couple in San Diego, whether you’re tourists like I was or perhaps you’re nearby and looking for dating ideas to impress a date you’ve met on San Diego Personals, then read on!
Christmas this year is going to be very different for us in England. There are talks of Christmas bubbles and travel permitted on certain dates, but with stricter tiers being enforced across pretty much the entire country, who knows what will actually happen over the festive period.
For the past two years we went away near to Christmas on short breaks. It was the first two years we ever went away over Christmas and we really enjoyed it. Last year we went to London on a budget and also Bluestone for a few days. The year before we went to Bluestone Holiday Resort too.
It gave us something extra to look forward to at Christmas and meant we could spend some real quality time together as a family. Not that we don’t enjoy seeing family and friends, but the years before this, Ben was always working full time and only had a few days off work – a week max some years. We’d spend his time off going here and there, travelling to different friends and family houses every day he was off and never feeling like he got to relax or we spent much time just to ourselves enjoying family time.
That’s why I really wanted to go away at Christmas, and although we haven’t been away for the day itself yet, it’s something I am tempted to do! I’d love a beach holiday and real break away at Christmas! Bah-humbug perhaps, but I’m not one for the cold and get SAD each year, so a week or two in the sun would really be amazing!
We’re not religious so we could celebrate Christmas a weekend before, or after!
Anyway, not going away at Christmas at all this year is such a shame. Whilst we weren’t planning on going abroad for a beach holiday, I was planning on a UK staycation to Cornwall or Devon. A little cottage or holiday home for a few days and some coastal walks.
I haven’t bothered to book anything as everything is so up in the air. The only weekend away we did have to Wales has already been rebooked three times and now delayed until next year, so I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of booking something just to keep cancelling it or rearranging it again, especially for a Christmas break.
Nonetheless, it hasn’t stopped me thinking about travel plans for next year and the amazing Christmas destinations we could visit.
Surely things will be back to normal next Christmas, yes? Lockdowns done and dusted and a sense of normality once again? Travel back to normal?
I really hope so!
Whilst a sunny break is a dream for me at Christmas, I’m not sure if the kids and Ben would agree! Instead they may want something a little more festive full of Christmas cheer!
With that in mind, here are some of the cities in Europe that look great to visit for a Christmas adventure:
Whenever we travel we have a budget to try and stick to. This is money we have saved specifically for that trip, plus we can add on what we would have allowed for food shopping if we were at home that week.
As well as keeping a travel spending log to stick to our budget (or at least try to), I also like to see exactly where we are spending money and how much things cost. It means we can see where we can cut costs on travel, if we need to, and also helps me predict how much similar trips will cost in the future.
Hopefully it’s also useful for others to see how much family trips cost or can cost.
When planning our recent six night stay in Portugal, I had a rough budget in mind of £1000. This all depended on how much we could get our flights and accommodation for as it was half term so prices were, of course, higher than usual.
£1200 was around our maximum and for six nights in Portugal as a family of four with all travel, food, accomodation and entertainment, I think this was a more reasonable amount as a budget. £300 per person for almost a week’s stay, food and transport.
Castelo Branco in Portugal has a lot to offer. There are many beautiful traditional Portuguese villages that are almost stuck in time. The landscape is vast and we discovered lots of beautiful historic places to explore mixed with stunning mountains and the natural environment. We spent a day in the centre of Castelo Branco, but also ventured to Penha Garcia and Monsanto to explore castle ruins, rock villages, fossil mountains and more.
If you already follow me on Instagram then you’ll have already seen my top Instagrammable locations in Castelo Branco from our recent trip, but here I will share some more photos that I haven’t put on Instagram yet.
I can now add another location to my list of most amazing places I’ve seen. My favourite beach so far is Hemmick Beach in Cornwall and now my favourite village has to be Monsanto rock village in Castelo Branco, Portugal.
Whilst visiting my brother-in-law who is now resident in Portugal, we took a half day trip to Monsanto mountain after visiting the amazing nearby fossil mountains of Penha Garcia in the morning.
What a day! Two really incredible places that can be visited in central Portugal in the same day. A feast for the eyes!
In this blog post I’ll share what we discovered at Monsanto in Portugal and lots of our incredible travel photos of the rock village, boulder houses and castle!
Last week we stayed in Portugal for one week in the district of Castelo Branco. We were visiting my brother-in-law who has moved to an offgrid farm in Vale de Prazeres. Not too far from the centre of Castelo Branco is an absolute gem of a place called Penha Garcia.
If you want a holiday with a difference then I’d recommend looking at villas in Portugal and getting off the beaten track to explore some of the incredible inland landscapes. We discovered rugged mountains, stunning wild swimming spots and old worldly Portuguese villages.
The best part about visiting parts of Portugal beyond the well-known beaches and tourist hotspots was just how quiet it was. We had many of these places to ourselves and rarely saw another person.
We have just returned from one week in Portugal to visit my brother-in-law. He’s been living in Portugal for one year and it was the first chance we had to visit him. Originally he bought a plot of land and lived in a caravan with a dream to set up permaculture land to live off. It was around 10 minutes from the town of Castelo Branco. This was where we were originally going to visit when I booked the trip, but he has since moved to a much larger plot of land a little further from the centre of Castelo Branco in a village called Vale De Prazeres.
It’s still in the Castelo Branco district, but more rural. His plot of land looks over vast amounts of countryside, goes up a mountain and he’s living offgrid with no electricity or water to the house! Water comes from the springs on the mountain and wells and he currently has two solar panels with plans to increase the number so he can run some more appliances. It’s an amazing place and he is just starting to develop the offgrid house into a self-sufficient abode and two other outbuildings will be turned into Airbnb residences. Continue reading “Things to do with kids in Castelo Branco Portugal for one day”→