On Being Prepared for Self Catering Holidays

fromage pate

Soon, we are off on a self catering holiday.  Like last year, we are sailing over to beautiful France, and driving through Brittany and the Vendée regions to stay in a Siblu holiday parc (great for families, lovely swimming pools, gorgeous locations) but unlike last year, we are more prepared. 

We had a hilarious trip to a supermarket last year, where we had to buy all sorts of stuff.  Things you don’t want to have to buy on holiday.  Things like antibac spray and washing up liquid and cloths and loo roll.  I am not sure why it escaped me to take those things on a self catering holiday, but it did, and so I had to buy them in Carrefour. 

fromage pate self catering holiday france

And if you take nothing else from this post, take this: finding antibac spray and cling film when there are gaping gaping holes in your French, will inevitably mean searching high and low on every single shelf in all the seemingly relevant aisles until they are located. 

Excusez-moi, Madame, où est le cling film? 

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Siblu Summer Holidays in France

IMG_1299

Right at the beginning of the summer holidays, we went to France, on a ferry, and we stayed in the Vendée region in Le Bois Masson, a Siblu holiday park.  Both of us having enjoyed years of this kind of holiday as kids, Ross and I were on a mission to make it one our small children would really enjoy.

We stayed in a mobile home, the static kind with multiple bedrooms, a working kitchen and a flushing loo.  It was spacious and despite packing our car to bursting with all sorts, our accommodation never felt cramped.  It even had a lovely terrace to sit and while away the balmy summer evenings on.  You’ll have to excuse my mental overexcitement and makeup-free travel-face in this video – it had been an incredibly long day, and we’d all gone rather stir crazy in the car.

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Cycling in the Vendée

I don’t think this post could have come at a better time, given all the gold medals we’ve just  won at the Olympics for cycling.  The Vendée region of France is very popular for cycling, and has a lot of dedicated cycle paths and routes.

We decided to hire bikes whilst we were on holiday and check some of them out, and made a little video about it.

Even though it was a damp day and spitting with warm summer rain, we got a decent few hours riding in, stopped for a picnic lunch in the forest before bundling our sleepy toddler back in the trailer and heading back to the Siblu village.

We are no Pendleton and Wiggins (though Ross is a very keen cyclist), but it was a very fun day out, and I’ve come back to the UK on the lookout for a bike of my own.  How is that for inspiration?

Crossing the Channel with Brittany Ferries

brittany ferries

We’re back from our week at Le Bois Masson Siblu holiday village.  We travelled over to France last saturday morning on Brittany Ferries.  The ferry was early – sailing at 8:30am, and we bundled two very sleepy children into the car at 6am, and were off with a flask of coffee and stacks of sausage sandwiches to eat at the port.

Getting on to the boat was quick and hasslefree.  We had a cabin – almost certainly a must if you’re travelling with young children as it provides somewhere calm, quiet and safe to rest on an otherwise packed ship.  An outside berth, complete with porthole and ensuite facilities costs under £40 for the crossing.  Surely then a no brainer.

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Driving in Europe – More to it Than Keeping to the Right

Stuff for your car

We are off to France, on a car ferry and then driving to our destination at the other end.  It’s been yonks since I went to France, and I’ve never driven on the Continent, so I read up.

It’s common knowledge that you need some extra car kit to drive legally in France, but a new law, enforced at the beginning of July, means that as well as the high viz jackets, hazard triangle and headlight deflectors, you also have to carry breathalysers.  At the moment, les gendarmes are going relatively easy on unprepared tourists, but why flout the rules?  French motorways are not free, so have some money to hand for tolls.  It goes without saying that a route map or sat nav is important as well.

Anyway, since a lot of my posts about nos vacances will be vlogs, I thought I’d start how I meant to go on.  Shot and edited by my lovely husband, enjoy!

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Revisiting Childhood Holidays

l-r Meg, Dad, Me

This summer Ross and I are taking our kids on what is possibly going to be the most nostalgic holiday ever.  We are going to France, on Brittany Ferries, to stay in a Siblu holiday park.

Fond memories

I should disclose from the outset that I was lucky enough to have been approached a while ago, and offered this holiday in exchange for reviews of the Siblu park at Le Bois Masson, and the Brittany Ferries crossing.  All opinions are our own, and are an honest reflection of our experiences.

l-r Meg, Dad, Me

When I was a kid, my Dad used to take us on holiday for a couple of weeks during the summer holidays.

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