Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog


5 Family Travel Bloggers you should follow

family travel

Travelling with kids is a unique experience and is certainly different to my free soloing backing days around Europe. There are logistics and practicalities that need to be taken into account as well as having an itinerary planned that is suitable for everyone. No country or city is off bounds all you need is a little inspiration and these 5 fantastic family travel bloggers will give you all the wanderlust you need while showing you family travel is possible from long-haul to short haul, city breaks, rural adventures, staycation, camping and everything in between so make sure to check them out.

One Tiny Leap

family travel

One Tiny Leap is an award-winning family travel blog charting the world adventures of Maria, her partner Rob, and their son. Maria, a marketing manager in the travel industry, has been blogging since 2013, when the family decided to pack up their bags, live in Lisbon for a year, and then embark on a year-long round-the-world trip. Now based back in Brighton in the UK, One Tiny Leap continues to share tips, stories and reviews of their travels and adventures, both close to home in Europe, and further afield.

You can follow One Tiny Leap on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

POD Travels 

family travel

Charly is an ex-agency Marketing Director with 20 years experience in the marketing industry. She’s worked with numerous travel brands over this time having initially cut her teeth at Virgin. Charly is well travelled, not just in the UK and Europe, but long haul destinations such as New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to the Caribbean, South America and Australia where she lived for two years. Charly launched her first blog (Multi-Award Nominated parent & lifestyle blog PODcast) in 2012, family travel blog POD Travels followed 3 year later. Both are heavily led by photography. With the Doves travels focused on discovery, adventure and exploration, the family particularly relish unusual or off the beaten track destinations. Charly lives in Surrey with her husband and seven year old daughter.

You can follow POD Travels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Have Kids, Can Travel

family travel

Have Kids, Can Travel is the place Laura (of award-winning parent blog LittleStuff) talks about all the family friendly travel; from wild camping in Wales, a sunshine stop in a villa in Italy or playing with orphaned elephants in the jungle, anything goes. She’s always on the hunt for the best places to stay, ways to travel, and bargains to be had for families finding their perfect holiday. Laura’s the writer of the tribe, while her husband Courtenay is a professional photographer and the four home-educated kids (now aged 19, 16, 15 and 11) are simply up for any adventure.
Popular posts include How Easy Is It to Take Your Dog to France, Perfectly Remote and Perfectly Relaxed in the Highlands, and Meeting My Roman Dog in Pompeii (yes. He’s all mine).

You can follow Have Kids, Can Travel on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and You Tube.

Bavarian Sojourn 

family travel

Emma started blogging back in 2009 when she first moved abroad with her young family. After two years of exploring Copenhagen and beyond they moved to Munich where A Bavarian Sojourn was born. This blog has a strong focus on family travel, and the youngest member of the family has already chalked up a respectable ten countries in his two short years. As well as family travel, the blog also contains valuable advice on living abroad. It now also contains posts on what it’s like to repatriate, as the family returned to the UK last year (who knows where they will end up next!). Follow their journey as for the first time in over 7 years they get to introduce their children to their own country, as well as carrying on their travel addiction further afield. Popular recent posts include: Hiking the Emerald Trail - Austria; A Morning with Pippi Longstocking at Junibacken Stockholm and An Ex Insider’s Guide to Munich with Kids

You can also follow Emma here: Twitter / Instagram/Pinterest 

Project Wanderlust

family travel

Established in May 2015, Project: Wanderlust is a travel and lifestyle blog focusing on inspiring, yet affordable, travel. Concentrating on family friendly adventures, Project: Wanderlust is packed full of destination guides, road-trip ideas, festival guides and top tips for those who are looking to get the most out of their time away.

Alice is a freelance writer, blogger and family travel expert with a passion for good food and seeing the world. With two children now in education Alice fits her family travels around the school holidays - and is always looking find the best deals for non term-time travel.

You can follow Alice here - Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

family travel


Let them Be Bored Challenge with Petit Filous

positive parenting

If your a regular reader to my blog you may remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about how important free play is for our children especially as screens are becoming more prevalent in daily life. If your not sure what Free Play is all about it's pretty simple, you turn off the screens and let your children enjoy some unstructured play without you being tempted to dive in to direct it (of course if it's becoming unsafe you do need to step in), allowing them to learn through play. All you need to do is simply provide them with a safe space that will allow their imaginations to run wild, whether this be inside or out.

We are pretty low screen in our household as it is with having little to none Monday to Friday and a movie or two on the weekends. Outdoor play is something I am very passionate about although lately even I have felt screens have been creeping into our lives more than usual mainly due to all the wet wintery weather. So taking on this challenge I really wanted to focus on keeping screen time to a minimum on the weekend too, no matter how cold and miserable it may be and focus on quality family time, creativity and natural learning.

So this past weekend we set ourselves the challenge and while Saturday was pretty wet and at times very temping to pop on a film instead we it was lovely to see the boys actually play with their toys, get creative, draw more and they actually got on a lot better when screens where not an option, the environment was also calmer. On the Sunday we decided despite it being bitingly cold we wrapped up and headed to Garwnant near the Brecon Beacons for a hike and to allow the kids to take control of how the outing would turn out.

rope climb

Animal trail

My eldest had actually initially been hesitant to go out but once we were there they enjoyed it so much we struggled to get them to leave. We simply provided them with a space that was safe but inspiring and had a variety of options for play. They first spent an hour or so in the nature inspired play park and turned the rope ladder and bridge into a pirate ship climbing to the nest to see across the sea. They then wanted to head off on the animal trail through the woodlands with sticks in hand the pirate adventure continued. 



We generally find on our outdoor adventures we try to have it as unstructured as possible but even so especially when visiting somewhere new the urge to want to see and do everything can come into play and you end up rushing your kids, this time however we took it slow and at their pace and thoroughly enjoyed our walk. If you find free play a little bit too much indoors as it does mean embracing mess than heading outside is fantastic and good for the whole family. We ended the afternoon with some hot chocolates in the beautiful cafe overlooking the reservoir. 

Brecon Beacons

What have I learnt

During the Free Play challenge I had the chance to speak with Anita Cleare a parenting expert and co-founder of The Positive Parenting Project, I found our discussion really useful and insightful and she gave me some really good tips on structuring screen time better on weekends by still being very clear about rules when it comes to tablet use, making it something that was positive and moderated.  

I've also found that we often as parents complain our children don't play with all the toys they have, the ones we spent a fortune on but perhaps we are not providing them with enough distraction free time to do so. I found both of my boys have been far more creative, enjoying role playing and also being better companions with each other when a screen is no longer an option. 

free play

 The Petits Filous Play Free campaign is all about putting those screens down, getting creative, going with the flow and letting your children learn in a natural and unstructured way. We often underestimate how much children learn from doing thing themselves, from jumping in puddles we see cause and effect, from making dens they learn about spacial awareness and sometimes these vital skills are being lost when children are provided with too much screen time and now enough organic learning opportunities.

Petits Filous are also the perfect snack as they are a good source of  calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth and also have no artificial colours, flavours or sweetness and no added preservatives. As part of a well balance diet these make for a tasty treat after a fun session of free play.

I’m working with Petits Filous and BritMums promoting the #PetitsFilousPlayFree campaign about the importance of free play.


Great Weekend Reads for Home or On Your Travels

Books to read

I found last year I just didn't make enough time to read and I think there is something very relaxing, calming and positive about picking up a book and being immersed into a story and with this ever increasing manic world we live in taking a moment to just step back and detach yourself from the now and get lost in a book is very important.

I have put together a small reading list which I feel is doable even around working from home, travel and running after two small children. I have included a mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as one or two books to help keep me inspired and help with different areas of my life. So I thought I would share my reading list for 2018 with you and perhaps encourage you to take some time out and enjoy reading.

1. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

This is such a fantastic pocket sized book perfect for when your travelling, it's lightweight and less than 100 pages long and great if your taking a train across country or just going away for the weekend. Its said to be one of the best short stories Hemingway has written and is a classic fable of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish.

2. Our Lady of Alice Bhatti - Mohammed Hanif

I picked this book up at a second hand book sale as it really caught my eye. I love stories and tales based in India and Asia especially as that part of the world is very much on my family travel bucket list and I am really looking forward to getting started with this one. It's about a healer, ex-prisoner and now nurse working at a hospital in Karachi, her ways are unorthodox and so is her new relationship

3. Winter - Ali Smith

I actually started this just before Christmas but because everything was so manic at the time I decided to revisit it when life was a little bit more calmer. I have heard fantastic things about Ali Smith with her book Autumn being shortlisted for the Man booker prize and this is her follow on from there. It based around family, history and memory all woven and entwined with each other which is meant to be both warm and uncompromising.

Reading list

4.  Sweet Encore, a road trip from Paris to Portugal - Karen Wheeler

This is the perfect summer feel good travel book and documents Karen Wheeler a former fashion editor now living in France and her adventures from Paris to Portugal with her sixteen year old niece and dog called Biff. A 3000-kilometre round trip where they mingle with surfers, wander around Lisbon, spend time at a Ayurvedic spa in Madeira and learning why you should never argue with a Spanish waiter. It's fun, full of wanderlust and I am sure I will be wanting to pack my bags into my tiny car and hit the road.

5. Moominsummer Madness - Tove Jansson

I was given this book when we visited Helsinki for a week two years ago, we had been invited by the tourism board to come and discover the city and see what made it tick. When we arrived at the apartment this book was there and our host told me that Moomins to them was much more than just a cartoon but a sort of Ethos to life and that it was something both adults and children enjoy as there was many different levels to the messages of Tove Jansson. This is a fairly short book and a really positive one by the sounds of it that will be perfect for when head out on one of our many adventures we have planned this year

6. The Moneyless man, a year of freeconomic living - Mark Boyle

I have to say I have always been attracted to the whole sell everything you own, buy a bus and head for the sunset but of course one does have to be at least semi-relistic and I am currently really trying to declutter my life and make things more simple and Mark Boyle takes that a little further. A story of a social experiment of living for one year without money, trading for goods with skills, volunteering and learning to adapt and use what you have in a very economical and environmentally friendly way. I'm sure his story and what he learnt over that year can be adapted for modern living as well.


7.  Let my people go surfing - Yvon Chouinard

For those who don't know who Yvon Chouinard, a renowned rock climber, reluctant businessman,  founder and owner of Patagonia, an ethical outdoor brand and he is also a keen environmentalist, activist and all round solid guy. This book is a combination of an autobiography of his interesting life from where he started out as part of the original "dirtbag" climbers in Yosemite as well as a story of business and hope. I know I am going to feel really inspired after reading this.

8. Mindfulness for Creativity, Adapt, Create & Thrive in a frantic world - Dr Danny Penman

I felt last year especially near the end I felt very stressed and overwhelmed and this has an impact both on my physical and mental wellbeing as well as my work, social and family life. I had a lot going on of which much was not in my control and I am determined this year to not be the same as last and feel this book is perfect for putting things into perspective especially when your work is online in what is such an ever changing environment. This book is meant to offer a easy to follow four week program, that takes around 10-20mins a day and helps to clarify the mind and feel more in control, relaxed and inspired.

9. In My Heart - The Children Meditations - Gitte Winter Graugaard

So I thought I would add this book in as it's aimed for children but with the help of adults and both my boys need a little assistance at bed time to help them settle. This Danish book has helped thousands of children sleep and helps to create a calming atmosphere to the end of the day. The book contains four short stories for sharing together, they are beautifully written and help to re-enforce your Childs sense of belonging, self-love, gratefulness and empathy. You can pick this book up from Amazon.

Books to read

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