Summer Travel Series: Claire, Tin Box Traveller

Ella
17th July 2019

We talk to our favourite travel bloggers about what they’ve learnt from around the globe, their top travel tips, and what they have planned this Summer. Read on to get to know UK family travel blogger Claire, Tin Box Traveller.

Most likely to travel with: husband, two kids and a dog

Most likely to travel to: Cornwall

Budget: Affordable 

Hi Claire! What inspired you to write about your family travel experiences? How has your blog evolved over?

I've always loved writing, and have spent my whole career following this passion. Travel blogging came about when I was made redundant while pregnant with my first daughter - it was a way to keep on writing with purpose and bring in my other love, travel. 

My first readers were family and friends who wanted to keep up with our adventures. Now I have a combined social media following of 29k and 12.5k monthly page views. Those numbers are growing all the time which blows my mind - it's amazing to think our experiences are helping other families.

What do you think your traveling experiences have taught your kids?

We've clocked up more than 100 trips since becoming parents - my girls are living their best life and certainly seeing more of the world than I did at their age. They are four and six-years-old sponges, soaking up all kinds of different things. The learning that I see shaping them most is patience when we are travelling, a sense of adventure when we arrive, and an appreciation that everyone we meet is unique. 
 

 

What are your top tips for traveling with kids? What are the restrictions vs benefits? Are you all about routine or spontaneity

When we started going on trips with the girls they were babies and routine was our friend. Now they are a bit older we can be more spontaneous. There's a bit of flexibility around meal and bed times without the mother of all meltdowns following. What I'd say to any new parents wanting to travel with young children is to take it slowly, know your child's limits and plan every aspect of your trip thoroughly. Know what baby facilities and equipment will be at your destination and pack accordingly. 
 
Which countries are most conducive to family travel?
From our experience, we love Spain and Italy. Everyone loves kids and they get a lot of fuss made of them.
 
What advice do you have for families looking to travel on a budget? 
Whatever your budget, it's always good to set a daily spend allowance and stick to it. Just a bit of overspending each day will soon mount up. This can apply to when you book your holiday too. Set your overall budget before you start booking travel, accommodation and excursions. Use price comparison sites to find the best deals and, when booking flights and hotels, search in a private browser window. This will stop the prices creeping up artificially if you are returning to the same search results again and again. 
 
What, in your opinion, are the activities to save on, and which are ones to spend on? 
This really does depend on the individual family and what you enjoy doing. In a week's holiday we may choose two or three big days out or experiences to share as a family. On the other days, we will use the facilities at the place we are staying, go for a walk or hit the beach. This gives us the right balance of activities and inexpensive family time that we enjoy on holiday.

What are your top tips for camping with kids? 

Camping doesn't need to be as 'back to basics' as you might think - although that can be quite fun as long as the sun is shining. If you are new to camping why not consider glamping. A pre-pitched yurt or glamping pod can take the stress out of a camping break and still give you all the benefits. If you do want to try camping in a tent but don't want to shell out loads on the kit then borrow equipment from friends and invest later if you enjoy it.

Lastly, any summer plans? 

Yes, we have a summer of camping and caravanning planned and will be travelling to South Wales, Tuscany in Italy, and North Devon - not all in one go! 

Keep up to date with Claire over on Tin Box Traveller.