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Planning Travel

When can we Travel from the U.K.?

Our Greece holiday was officially cancelled this week. We had only paid part of the deposit and thankfully it was fully refunded with a quick phone call to Tui. Even though it was inevitable, I still felt a little bit sad.

I couldn’t help but think back to when we were all sitting in the holiday shop together booking it. The kids chose the hotel because it had an awesome looking water park and we even upgraded the room and treated ourselves to a swim up one. My daughter who is 10 was especially really looking forward to jumping in the pool first thing in the morning right outside our room. I’ve never stayed in a swim up room before and I was looking forward to a bit of luxury for a week too. Even more than that, almost 3 months into lockdown and the thought of someone cooking tea for a full week seems like some kind of unobtainable fantasy! 

Lockdown Lifted?

As some of the restrictions that have been enforcing lockdown life in the U.K. are being relaxed a little, people are understandably looking to get their summer holiday plans back on track. While the rules slightly differ between England and Wales about what we are and are not allowed to do, international rules apply to all. Whereas some countries like Italy are open and welcoming U.K. tourists, others are being more cautious due to the high Covid-19 infection and mortality rates we have experienced here in the U.K. Some countries are not allowing travellers from the U.K. or the U.S. while travellers from other countries are welcome. Other places like Madeira for instance, are open to tourism again, however, travellers will be tested at the airport before they can gain entry. 

Socially Distanced Holidays

After you’ve thought about how to drill the kids about not playing too closely with their new friends in the pool and other guests pushing in the queue at the buffet table while you try to keep 2m between you and everyone else, you have to also consider the quarantine rules in place upon your return home. Currently the line is 2 weeks of self imposed isolation at home for anyone entering the U.K. from travel abroad. That may well be imaginable now while the majority of people have become used to working from home but we don’t know how things will look by mid-August, and whether or not people will be expected to go back to work. In which case, how will that play out? Would people have to cancel their holidays because they can’t just take 2 weeks of work to isolate, and then where would they stand with regard to a refund if all international travel is officially back on? As with everything so far it seems as though we’re all just feeling our way forward as best we can for the time being.  

Can I Travel from the U.K. Yet?

More information on the rules around self quarantine upon return to the U.K. on the ITV website here. We can expect these rules to be in place until at least the 29th of June 2020. 

A detailed synopsis of different countries current policies regarding tourism is on the CNN website here.

I hope you manage to sort out your travel plans. For us we have so far missed out on 4 trips/holidays this year (2 family breaks and 2 individual trips). Although I’m absolutely gagging for a trip away somewhere (anywhere!)  I’m grateful that things have worked out the way they have for us and that we have been able to be at home together and safe amongst the turmoil. 

Stay safe all. 

Kate. 

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Dream

Dream Plan Explore: A Family Travel Blog

Dream Plan Explore is a family travel blog. I’m Kate, wife to Rich and mum of our two children aged 10 & 4. Would my friends describe me as an avid traveller? No. But would I say I’m quite well travelled? Well no. But I am really good at day-dreaming about travel, in fact it’s my favourite hobby along with blogging. Trawling the skyscanner and air bnb websites is my idea of relaxation and I’m really good at planning. The exploration is the best part. Children are natural born explorers so travelling with a young family is more fun than people think (once you get over what people think). 

Yurt Free Zone

You won’t find us staying in a yurt village BBQ-ing goat meat over an open fire but still, I do gain a great deal of self value in sharing new experiences with my kids. Taking them on holiday makes me feel like I’m being a good mum, basically.

I love showing them new countries and the different ways people live while learning alongside them. Whether that’s ordering a warm croissant in a boulangerie in Paris by prodding enthusiastically at the sneeze guard glass or something as uncultured as meeting Daisy and Goofy for breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Not all my posts will be about food I promise. I’m just hungry while I’m writing this. 

Day Dreamin’

I’ve always been a bit of a day-dreamer and 99% of those day-dreams are about travel. Places I’ve never seen and places I long to visit. So Dream Plan Explore is a place for me to write them down, store ideas for later planning, and share our family travel memories too. 

Under the Dream tab you will find fantasy posts about all the places I haven’t been to but have heard about and been thinking about since. Like Rio de Janeiro (thanks Pixar). 

Itinery…Itinerary…Itin…plans

The Plan tab will be full of city break itineraries for city breaks with kids plus mini break ideas and tips for travelling with kids. We’ve been to Walt Disney World Florida as a family twice and have another trip booked for 2021 so you will find Disney planning posts under the plan tab too. I’ll include a post about flying long haul with young children because I know a lot of parents feel the doom about it. 

Explore is the best part, here you can find posts about all the fun things we’ve done and the places we’ve been. You can look at the pics to see what it’s really like because my photos are very much ‘mum on holiday’ and not so much ‘I carried a big lens around with me all day that I know how to work properly’.

Yes I will be letting you know if they have a kids menu and if it has chicken nuggets on it. I wish my kids didn’t eat chicken nuggets but they do so let’s just be kind. I’ll give an idea of how easy it is to be there with children in general (Bristol airport I’m side-eyeing you as one of the few U.K. airports without a children’s play area). Also under the Explore tab will be posts about our days out in South Wales and Bristol to give you some ideas of places to visit with your family. 

Been There, Done That.

Last year was a good year for visiting new places. I did 2 mum’s only weekends away with friends without any of our children. Which was a Christmas miracle in itself, friends. One to Venice which was jaw-droppingly stunning and one to Dublin. Although I got blind drunk in Dublin so didn’t see much of it. All the more reason to go back. I did a couple of nights easy-jetting to Newcastle with my daughter to visit my friend. We went to center parcs for a long weekend in summer. Our big family holiday was to Walt Disney World Florida in October which I planned for 18 months prior. And loved every second of it.

Some of the more memorable day trips we did were to Bath Christmas market and the S.S. Great Britain ship in Bristol, and scouted out a banksy round the corner from it too :). 

Don’t mention the C word

This year let’s be honest travel is not looking healthy. I have unfortunately already had to cancel a city break to Paris with my daughter and our friends due to Flybe going bust. We are currently right in the thick of things with the corona virus (at the time of writing March 2020) so booking any travel is off the table for the time being. That just means more time for day dreaming about new destinations. Especially if we’re all stuck in self quarantine.

Later in the year we have a family holiday booked to Rhodes so you can expect some lovely beachy pics, hopefully. Rich is going on a golf mini break to Spain (although it might be U.K. based with the way things are at the moment). I might ask him to do a dad guest post about that. Though I imagine it will be quite boring.

Never say never.

Your travel dreams don’t have to collapse along with your pelvic floor! Squeeze! There are ways of getting out there and exploring new and exciting places.  Let’s do this! And to those travel families out there staying in yurt villages; thank you. I devour your vlogs. Keep em coming. 😉 Never say never!

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