When Libby was about the age that Lia is now, I had some work to do in Paris so Libby and I packed our bags and jumped on a plane. This was the last time I went abroad and the only time I’ve ever flown with either of the girls.
Paris is a fabulous city and we loved our little trip there. However, I can see how it would be a nightmare for people with young children too. Luckily, having spent quite a bit of time in Paris when I lived in Nantes, I knew that taking a pram or buggy was an absolute no-no so we took the baby carrier. I think if I’d attempted the Paris underground with a buggy I’d still be there now waiting for someone to open the barrier.
Since then, we’ve purchased a trailer tent and we tend to opt for camping holidays so that Pluto can join us as well. It wasn’t until our trip to Bluestone that I realised that travelling further afield with the girls probably wouldn’t be too difficult.
Heading abroad as a family has always been on our radar, since hubby and I are both reasonably well travelled and our exciting holidays are the one thing we do miss now we’ve got the girls.
I had thought to leave it a bit longer though until the girls are old enough to benefit from it educationally. We hope to take them out of school and home educate for a year towards the end of primary school while we travel around Europe and maybe even further afield in a camper van. I think they’ll learn so much more about the world by seeing it than by reading about it in text books.
Whilst holidays with young children are entirely possible, travelling can be tough and the sort of travelling I’m used to would be even more difficult. I’ve always been one for getting on a plane and then playing it by ear in terms of accommodation. It always works out cheaper because hotels are keen to fill their rooms when you book at the last minute. It also allows for a little bit more spontaneity.
With two little children though, I guess spontaneity is going to have to wait for a few years so I’ve been looking into different ways to achieve the cost effective side of my “just turn up” attitude to hotels.
I’m not one for trawling the internet to find the best deals. I know I should, we’re not minted and I shouldn’t pay full price but it just drives me mad. Quite frankly I’d rather just book the first hotel I see and spend the wasted time on working for a bit longer to earn enough to pay the difference.
There does appear to be an alternative emerging though, in the form of a company called Tansler. This website allows you to select the place you’re going to and the dates you want accommodation for. You then enter the price you’re willing to pay and search for hotels in the area.
You choose two or more places that you’d be happy to stay in from the list and they will be notified of your offer. As soon as one of them accepts your offer the auction is off, and if nobody accepts your offer then the auction ends.
There are several things I love about this concept. Getting the accommodation cheaper is great, as is the fact that the hassle is taken away from you. I also love that many of the properties are plush rental apartments rather than hotels, ideal for a family with young children who are rather fond of their home comforts.
At the moment, you have to name your price in Dollars. Whilst this wouldn’t put me off using it, I’m hopeful that there will be an option of using £ sterling in the future, purely for my own convenience of course!
Please note, this post was sponsored, but all views, opinions, beach loving babies, wanderlust and irritability when booking holiday accommodation are my own.