12 Months of Families Can Travel in 2018

12 Months of Families Can Travel in 2018

I recently really enjoyed reading a post by a blogger who summarised her journey over the last 12 months. It made think about the amazing memories we had created in 2018 and inspired me to create something similar.

What an amazing post for the girls to look back on when they are older. And hopefully you will enjoy reading it too. So here we go…


In fact, Families Can Travel didn’t exist in January. For a few years, I had been keeping a diary of our family holidays so that we could capture memories of our wonderful experiences and enjoy them in years to come. But creating a website and blogging about our travels hadn’t even crossed my mind.

Like many of us, January is often a quiet month where we concentrate on clearing out the leftover chocolates from Christmas and focus on our New Year’s resolutions.

We did, however, have some excitement in January – it snowed! It wasn’t much but we jumped at the opportunity to go sledging!

Families Can Travel - Sledging


There was more snow for us in February as we went on our first skiing holiday in Poland. We’d only had a few lessons on a dry ski slope beforehand, so jumping in at the deep end on real snow was a bit of a shock.

We soon got used to it and absolutely loved it and our eldest took to it straight away with no fear (the après-ski was pretty good too).

We are going again in February and I can’t wait to write all about our trip.


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For the third month in a row, we had more snow in Derbyshire, which of course meant more sledging!

As the snow turn in to milder weather, our eldest decided to join the running club at her school. We were so proud of her and took her on a few practice runs.

She also joined Rainbows and we had our proud moment watching her do her Rainbow promise.


Easter is a time for us to get together with family so we visited my sister, nieces and nephew in Surrey. Of course, Easter isn’t Easter without hunting for chocolate eggs left by the Easter bunny in the garden.

With the weather turning warmer, we also had the first of many picnics in the garden.

April was also the month I made the decision to start my own family travel blog.

Not only do I love capturing the memories of our adventures in a diary but I love planning, organising and finding how to get the best value on our family travels. It just made sense for me to publish what I was writing and help others to explore the world and go on adventures with their families.

By the end of the month, I’d got myself a hosting platform, a domain name and that was the beginning of Families Can Travel.


I spent A LOT of time during May working on the branding of Families Can Travel and learning how to design and build a website from scratch.

I drew and created the Families Can Travel logo and can honestly say I have never been so excited about something I have produced all on my own (blood, sweat and tears).

Families Can Travel Prototype
Families Can Travel Logo

Despite the commitment to my blog, we managed to go camping for the first time and absolutely loved it.

I really didn’t appreciate how relaxing camping could be and just how good it is for spending real quality time with your family. We were blessed with the weather so may have a different opinion in time – watch this space!

Families Can Travel - Camping
Families Can Travel - Cuddles
Families Can Travel - More Cuddles
Families Can Travel - Playing ball


During the previous few months, I had also been arranging a Snowdon Triple Challenge event to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Finally, June was the month I completed the challenge along with a team of Boots UK colleagues. We climbed Snowdon, cycled around the base and kayaked on the lake to finish, raising an incredible £40k for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Families Can Travel - Macmillan Challenge
Families Can Travel - Snowdon

The following weekend we were back in Wales but this time, North Wales staying at Hafan y Mor Holiday Park.

Read our full review here.

We had an amazing weekend exploring Pwllheli, Abersoch, Criccieth, Borth y Gest and Porthmadog.  

After all the hard work that had gone into Families Can Travel branding, design and technical build of the website, I wrote my first 3 posts about our little trip (although I didn’t officially launch the blog until July).

Here they are…

June was also our youngest daughters 2nd birthday, which of course we celebrated with a birthday party.

Families Can Travel - 2nd Birthday

Her favourite present had to be her Insect Lore Butterfly Garden.

If you haven’t had these before, you absolutely have to try them!

We all watched each day as the caterpillars grew until they started to turn into chrysalides. 7-10 days later, they emerge into beautiful butterflies’ and you can feed them with fresh fruit and flowers. After a few days, we set them free, although they were quite happy to stay with us for a little while before flying off.

Families Can Travel - Insect Lore Butterfly Garden
Families Can Travel - Butterfly

The whole process is educational for kids and they’re not expensive for the amount of pleasure you get out of them.


As the weather got warmer we started to enjoy the outdoors with some nice walks and visits to National Trust places.

Families Can Travel - National Trust
Families Can Travel - Sisters

And of course, as nerve-wracking as it was, I finally launched Families Can Travel!


August was a great month! We had more fun with our Families Can Travel cousins, spending the day in London and visiting the Natural History Museum.

Families Can Travel - Cousins

We also had our big summer holiday travelling around South Croatia.

We travelled to Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar and Split and it was completely amazing. If you are interested in Croatia, then here are the links to my posts…

I also started a new job within Boots, moving from Pharmacy into Opticians and was excited and ready to take on a new challenge.


Our Croatian adventure came to an end as we headed into September but I had my new job to keep me busy and keep away any holiday blues.

We had a family day out at Twinlakes Theme Park, which the girls absolutely loved.

I got to attend a black-tie event through work in recognition for the organisation of the Snowdon Triple Challenge and money raised for Macmillan Cancer Support – very honoured!

Families Can Travel - Macmillan Award


October was a busy month!

It was my birthday at the beginning of the month and my mother-in-law very kindly had the girls for the day, so that we could spend the day shopping (and eating) in Manchester . It’s not very often we go places without the girls but I must admit, it was nice to be in a shop without constantly having to say… ‘don’t touch’ or watch where they are!

Of course, it was also Halloween and we did an amazing pumpkin trail in a town close to us called Belper.

Families Can Travel - Belper Pumpkin Trail

We also visited Warwick Castle for their ‘Haunted Castle’ event and had a full and fun packed day of shows, mazes and activities. There was so much more to do than I expected, next time I think we will stay in the Knight’s Village.

If you want to read all about our day, click here.

Families Can Travel - Warwick Castle


We had another lovely weekend at our Families Can Travel extended family and visited the beautiful Box Hill in Surrey. You could go back again and again to this place. The kids just love exploring, running, climbing, swinging etc and there are so many trails to do. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out here.

November is also Children in Need and each year, I love to volunteer for the Boots call centre. It is such an incredible experience, taking donations from such lovely, generous people who want to help change children’s lives across the UK.


The 1st December saw the arrival of Santa’s elves, Jingles and Elvis who would once again keep us busy until Christmas Eve, causing mischief whilst they reported back to Santa on the girls’ behaviour.

December is always manic for us and 2018 was no exception!

It was our eldest daughters 6th birthday and we had organised a Harry Potter themed party for her. So as well as preparing for Christmas, I was making party bags and a Harry Potter themed cake.

Families Can Travel - Harry Potter Cake
Families Can Travel - Harry Potter Party

I absolutely love the whole lead up to Christmas and this year was particularly special with our eldest singing in the Christmas school choir and performing one of the key parts in the school nativity – so proud.

Families Can travel - School Nativity

We also had a last minute weekend away in Chester, which was really relaxing and very festive but did mean we had to be completely ready for Christmas before we went.

Family friendly hotel in the centre of Chester - Christmas tree

Christmas was just magical, spending it with all of the family and a house full of children. We did what everybody does at Christmas, we exchanged presents, ate and drank too much and played lots of games – I just love it!

In between Christmas and the New Year, we tried to get out as much as possible going on bike rides, walks and brushing up on our skiing at the Snowdome in Tamworth.

Families Can Travel - Outdoors

So that was our year in 2018 – our 12 month journey saw us skiing for the first time in Poland, the launch of Families Can Travel, camping for the first time, exploring South Croatia and lots of other mini holidays.

We hope to travel more and make more precious memories in 2019!

With love from Families Can Travel x

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Elizabeth

    Love this reflection! We also started our family travel blog this year (but we didn’t start until August!)- quite an adventure! Love following along with your travels!

    1. Gemma

      Thanks so much for your comment! It’s been an amazing journey so far and despite the hard work, I’ve loved every minute of it. I love reading your blog too, you’ve done so much since August – well done!

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