Travel | How my trips have changed over time and an Amazon giveaway with Kwik Fit.

 
You don't need to adjust your screen, your eyes aren't deceiving you.  No, the pictures included in this post, today, are in fact about 34 years old.  The little girl in the blue cardigan is me, the little boy is my brother and we're standing with our dad.  Our mum was probably capturing the moment.
 
The photo shows us standing proudly beside my Dad's car with our caravan attached to the back. It was taken in Calais, France, in the early 1980s.
 
When I was a little girl, our family regularly travelled by car with our caravan attached to the back.  I've been all over Europe for 3 weeks at a time, in the summer holidays, throughout my childhood, until I was about 12 and then we upgraded to coach holidays abroad instead.  I was about 15 before I had my first experience on an aeroplane.


 I have nothing but fond memories of these days.
 
 
A few years later.  Same Caravan - different car. 
 
It took us about two days to reach our destination.  I remember sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, as my Dad navigated hair-pin bends in the Pyrenees, getting all excited as we travelled through 32 mile long tunnels in Austria.  Driving through the snow capped valleys of Switzerland. Buying eggs and French bread in small French villages, that looked like the setting for 'Allo, 'Allo! I'm trying to make it sound idyllic, because that was what it was, in many ways.
 
Well most of the time it was. The journey we had then, bares no resemblance to the ones we have now with our own children.
 
I was eight, in the first photo and my brother was 4. We each had a pillow and a duvet and we would lie, full stretch on the back seat, with our colouring books, crayons and sweet wrappers surrounding us. There was probably a Barbie doll and a few matchbox cars too, but there was definitely no car seats for us, and the only technology we had was Elvis blaring from the cassette player in my Dad's car stereo, inter-mingled with a bit of Barry Manilow. (I now love Barry Manilow, but don't tell anybody, because I never do!)
 
Once we hit, mid France, the temperatures started to rise along with the tempers.  Me and my brother would often be down to our underwear by this point and we would have full blown 'fisty' cuff fights on the back seat. It was probably down to boredom.  There's only so much colouring in, one can manage on a 2 day car trip.
 
 
 
My cousin and my brother at Calais (again)
 
It's quite unbelievable really how we used to travel. Today, it would be completely mad to even consider travelling to the supermarket with no car seats in the back, never mind all the way to the South of France.  And my daughter can't get into the car, unless she has her phone and USB charging lead, in case it runs out of charge.
 
I had a few years off from caravanning in my teenage and early adult years, but when I met my husband, I convinced him that a caravan was the way to go for us too.  He agreed and we've not looked back since.
 
Our 3 children are safely strapped into the back seat, the DVD is plugged into the cigarette 'thingy' and my daughter sits happily nestled between her 2 brothers, quietly playing on her iPad.  They do still resort to fighting though - some things never change do they?
 
We rely a little too much on technology, to be honest.  I'm usually on my phone eating into my 4g data allowance, when really what I should be doing is thinking of more creative ways to entertain the kids, in the car.  There's lots of ideas on Pinterest for ways to keep the kids occupied on road trips and one of my favourite tips is to do a mobile 'scavenger hunt' like this one, where the kids look for certain things on the journey and then tick them off their list.  It sounds like a lot of fun.
 
How do you keep the kids occupied on long car journeys without resorting to technology?
 
Why not try to win £150 worth of Amazon vouchers & stock up on your nostalgic favourites, to bring the family together on your next road trip?

To enter the giveaway, run by Kwik Fit Insurance Services, please click here.

Nicola x

*Post written in collaboration.

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