Family Friendly Stays #12

Forest in the mountains

Welcome to Family Friendly Stays #12

It’s been a few months since the last edition of Family Friendly Stays. The summer months are always a busy time for travelling families so I hope that we’ll have some really great link ups this month. 

We undertook a 31 day road trip across Europe with our kids this summer. I’ll be writing about the highs (and lows) over the coming months. However, if you like to plan ahead and you’re already thinking of next summer, here are a few details which I’m keen to share:

  • I’ve taken the Eurotunnel and countless ferries across the Channel over the years but I have now discovered my new favourite route into mainland Europe: the Stenaline crossing from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. Top-notch cabins sleeping up to five passengers, a peaceful night’s sleep and arriving into Holland at the crack of dawn ready to tackle a few hours of driving before the rest of the Brits arrive. 
  • Top Trumps are a brilliant way to occupy children: in the car, awaiting dinner, focusing attention away from a sibling disagreement… we found them such a useful pastime. The kids also loved listening to audio books in the car. They have very different interests so they had headphones to listen to separate stories, I never realised driving with kids could be so peaceful!
  • If driving long distances fills you with dread, fear not: we cut 1,000 kilometres of driving time by popping our car on a motorail service and sleeping from Innsbruck to Dusseldorf. It wasn’t a complete success but it was certainly interesting. If you have a family with more than two children it’s worth considering as a more economical way to reach southern Europe instead of flying.
road to mantua italy

The road to Mantua in Italy

  • Holidaying in the mountains is just as good as a seaside holiday, provided there’s a pool or a lake. I always thought sea and sand were essential ingredients for a family summer holiday but after stays in both the Swiss and Italian Alps this summer, I’m a convert to mountain adventures.
  • And finally, Italy is still up there as one of my favourite holiday destinations, which is why you will continue to see lots of posts about Italy on this blog. As well as the Alps, we enjoyed stays in Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and the Veneto. We returned to some of our favourite spots as well as exploring new places. I visited Lake Garda for the first time (I know, I really should have been there by now) and we also had time for a quick swim off the coast of Liguria at the lovely little town of Noli which we’d previously visited around 10 years ago.

Camping in Luxembourg, Camping KaulFor this month’s Family Friendly Stays, I’m linking up my post about Camping in Luxembourg at Kaul Camping Park. It’s a great campsite in the north of Luxembourg and it’s perfect for a short break when you’re driving to Italy or elsewhere in Europe.

What is Family Friendly Stays?

Family Friendly Stays is a monthly blog link up where you can share blog posts about brilliant places you have stayed at with your family. It’s also the place to come to if you need some family holiday inspiration.

Have you rented a great little cottage which had a perfect garden for your children? Maybe you’ve stayed on a campsite with the most amazing swimming pool which your kids loved. Perhaps you found that all-important villa which allowed you to walk to a restaurant or a beach. Or maybe you stayed at a hotel where the staff were particularly warm and attentive to your family. It doesn’t need to be a place which is obviously family-orientated, just somewhere which worked really well for you and your brood.

This isn’t the place for all inclusive resorts, big chain hotels or cruise ships. There are plenty of online resources where you can find out everything you need about those types of holiday. Family Friendly Stays is about highlighting smaller, harder to find places to stay.

I’m hoping that Family Friendly Stays will become a community of like-minded parents sharing places to stay that genuinely welcome families.

Posts can be old or new provided you still believe the property is suitable. And if you’re not a blogger, do drop by to have a read of some of the submitted posts, you might discover your next holiday destination!

How it works:

  • Family Friendly Stays will go live on the first Wednesday of each month. It will stay live for 2 weeks.
  • Bloggers can link up one post, old or new. Please add the #FamilyFriendlyStays badge (details below) or link back to my site.
  • Please read my post plus at least 2 others, using the hashtag #FamilyFriendlyStays. We want to share these wonderful places you’ve all discovered.
  • Social media: tweet me your post with the hashtag #FamilyFriendlyStays and I will re-tweet it (@smudgedpostcard). I’ll also be adding the posts to my #FamilyFriendlyStays board on Pinterest and mentioning my favourite posts each month on the @SmudgedPostcard Facebook page

Grab Badge:

Family Friendly Stays

If you enjoy staying in independent, characterful properties, keep an eye on Smudged Postcard: changes are afoot to include a directory of holiday accommodation recommended by like-minded families.


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