This week I caught up with Claire from Tin Box Traveller, from her name I am sure you can guess that they travel around in their beloved Tin Box aka a caravan.
Fairly similar to us, Tin Box Tot has just welcome Tin Box Baby, much like the Toddler has welcomed Baby Boy. And it hasn’t stopped them travelling in the Tin Box, though the holiday shared today is a flight away in Sweden…Over to Claire.
Where are you taking us to today?
A long weekend in Karlstad, Sweden.
What sort of trip was it, adventure, beach, relax, sightseeing?
Most of our holidays happen in a touring caravan but this short break was a bit different, and involved flights and a foreign country. It was different for us any way!
The excuse for leaving our tin box behind? Some friends were getting married.
Tell me all about it; where you stayed, food you ate, how the little person took it all!
This was our first foreign trip with Tin Box Tot and her first experience of flying. I had done quite a bit of research into keeping toddlers entertained on planes and was pleasantly surprised with how well she coped. Our then 18-month-old was a star in departures, behaving wonderfully. We did have a bit of a meltdown half way through the flight but, after being woken up at 4am to head to the airport, I can’t blame her.
When we arrived in Sweden we had a three and a half hour drive to Karlstad so the Tot made up for her lack of sleep in the back of our hire car.
Karlstad is built on the delta of Sweden’s longest river which runs into its largest lake – Vänern. Our friends were getting married beside the lake.
We stayed in an Ibis Style hotel in the centre of town. It was budget accommodation but we had a really friendly welcome and our room was very comfortable. We ate breakfast in the hotel buffet each morning where there were plenty of pastries, fruit and cold meats. At lunch time and in the evenings we dined in Karlstad’s restaurants. Eating out was really pricy with the average one course meal for two adults and a toddler costing us more than £40 – ouch!
The wedding was fantastic. Our friends hired a venue on the shores of Lake Vänern. They were married in the open air and we partied until the small hours in a gorgeous boathouse with panoramic views of the water.
We had saved the day after the wedding to do a bit of local sightseeing. The weather wasn’t great but it meant we had the city park pretty much to ourselves. The Swedish definitely know how to do public amenities. The park – Mariebergsskogen – is a city farm, heritage centre, nature reserve, concert venue and play park rolled into one. And it’s totally free to visit!
Why did you choose to tell us about this holiday?
Sweden might not be somewhere you’d think of visiting, but it is a beautiful place with clean cities, friendly locals and lots to do for families. The cost of living and holidaying there is high, but we felt it was a price worth paying for an amazing few days.
What is your favourite memory from this trip?
Standing on the shores of the lake watching the sun go down – it was such an stunning venue for a wedding.
What did you learn about travelling with babies/toddlers/children from this experience?
Remain relaxed, be flexible about your routine and pack lots of snacks!
What is your top tip for travelling with little people?
We have a bulky three wheel pushchair that we use at home because it’s great for all the walking we do. However, it was a bit too cumbersome to take on our trip so we borrowed a light weight and compact buggy from friends. Don’t feel you have to buy these things new if you are only going to use them once. Beg and borrow in order to save money for your holiday.
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