Mini Travellers Year in Review 2018

Kalkan Regency Hotel | Family Friendly Hotel in Kalkan, Turkey

In 2015 and 2016 we took 54 and 53 trips respectively.  In 2017 we took 33 trips but with 60 flights between the five of us, so it wasn’t exactly boring either!

So what did we get up to in 2018! How many countries are there in the world that we explored.

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This year we took less trips but very very exciting ones!


In the first week of the new year we had a mini break to Sandybrook Country Park.

Sandybrook Country Park is a small and friendly holiday park, with an indoor swimming pool, toddler play area, outdoor playground, mini golf, onsite activities and a small woodland walk.   It is also in an ideal location for CBeebies Land at Alton Towers, National Trust properties, the stepping stones at Dovedale and various market towns like Bakewell.

We made a little video of our time at Sandybrook Country Park, let me know what you think!

In Mid January we spent a really lovely weekend (without the kids) at The Wood Norton Hotel & Restaurant in Evesham, Worcestershire with Caro and Richard from The Twinkle Diaries.  It was really nice to just have chance to talk and to catch up in some gorgeous surroundings.

Review | The Wood Norton Hotel & Restaurant, Worcestershire

Review | The Wood Norton Hotel & Restaurant, Worcestershire


We spent February half term Exploring Porto with Kids. As a family of 5 we flew from Liverpool with Ryanair to Porto for only £220 (yes that price was for all of us) so it was a fabulously cheap thing to do for Half Term.


We had a mini day trip to North Wales but we managed to fit loads in – here is the video Visit Wales put together!

I was lucky enough to head off to Tuscany with a fab group of Family Travel Bloggers and stay at an amazing house with Bookings for You.

Country Relais & Spa Le Capanne or Villa Le Capanne is a 100+ year old farmhouse that was purchased by the Giovanni family and renovated in 2014. It is a Rustic, Country Chic Style Villa located close to what is arguably one of Italy’s most historical and prominent cities: Volterra. Well everyone from Volterra will tell you it is the most historical and prominent city, people from Siena will tell you it is, and Florence and Rome the same, but to be honest I love all the Italian towns and cities so I’m not going to dispute anyones claim to the title.

Villa Le Capanne with Bookings for You | Mini Travellers Review


We spent 14 nights in Malawi over Easter and had the most incredible adventure.

You can see our highlights video of our 14 nights in Malawi below and there are a couple of other videos within the post all about our 14 nights in Malawi too!

I then finished the month with a fantastic trip away to Lisbon with two of my very best friends.


End of May into June took us on a fantastic trip to Kalkan with Simpson Travel and we had an incredible week. So different to Malawi, but so much fun too.


July saw the start of a Summer of festivaling!

Timber Festival first down near Derby with lots of friends with an incredible amount of sunshine!

The first year of this new Family Friendly Festival set at Feanedock, in the heart of the National Forest was a rip roaring success.
If you’re looking for a festival with a very relaxed vibe, a festival that truly is family friendly and one where you will feel instantly relaxed then Timber is your festival. If you’re looking for Mr Tumble, neon lights and famous bands then you’ll need to head elsewhere. Timber Festival we absolutely LOVED you!


followed the weekend after by Deer Shed up in Richmond in the North Yorkshire which we also loved and would love to do again soon.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the weekend if you’re planning on heading to Deer Shed Festival 2019.

Top Tips if you're heading to Deer Shed Festival in 2019

and finally Camp Bestival in Dorset where we spent a couple of sunny days followed by epic rain!

Plan to go for the full 4 days. Camp Bestival 2019 runs from Thursday 10 am to Monday late afternoon.  Treat Camp Bestival 2019 as a mini holiday it will help you justify the ticket price. Gates open at 10am on Thursday, although the acts don’t start properly until Friday, but treat Thursday as an ordinary camping day, you can take your time then and relax.


We started August with a trip up to North Yorkshire with Sykes Cottages and did lots of days trips from our base in Richmond, including the Coldstone Cut, The Bowes Museum, Rievaulx Abbey  Newby Hall and a trip to Kynren.

North Yorkshire’s Best-Kept Secrets with Sykes Holiday Cottages

We then went for a few days to the Cotswolds and did Shakesepeares England attractions which was a surprising hit.  We also managed to fit in a trip to Warwick Castle with my parents.

Review | The Cotswold House Hotel with Kids

The third week of the Summer was Just So Festival and a great opportunity to have a massive camp up with lots of friends and their families. If you’re planning a trip to Just So Festival for 2019 do check out our tips!

Finally we escaped for a week in the sun to GK Beach Hotel in Crete for another Simpson Travel relaxing family holiday. We loved our week by the pool and on the beach and it was the perfect end to a busy Summer.

Highly recommended for totally relaxing!


In September we did our fourth and final festival of the Summer, The Good Life Experience. We decided not to camp as we had done so many times as it is so close to us so it was day trips instead.


October included a weekend in Knaresborough to see my brother and his family in their new house, and a fantastic trip to Umbria to stay at Villa Pia. October also saw the purchase of a new drone and you can see the new footage below.


I did a weekend away in London in early November and the we spent a weekend with friends in a YHA up in the Forest if Bowland. The accommodation was slightly dubious to be honest but the company and the location was perfect!


December finished the year with lots of day trips, theatre trips and school christmas events but no actual trips away as the planned ski trip had to be cancelled due to hubby having a minor op cancelled a few times and still not being done! We really can’t complain though, the year has been another incredible adventure and we are so excited at what’s already in the diary for 2019 – Hamburg, Berlin, New York, Corfu and Paris!

Happy travel planning for 2019!

Church Farm Santa Experience 2018

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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Mini Travellers Year in Review 2018”

  1. Wow that’s a lot of trips! Looks like you’ve had great fun. What amazing experiences and memories for your children. I always travelled a lot as a child (mum was a travel agent) and I think it’s the best way to learn.


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