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I am a home educating mum of 2 living in the Northwest of England. I long to travel with my family (including the fluffs) to see the world and have amazing adventures, because life is too short to worry about paying off a mortgage!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

An Exciting Road Trip Adventure: Travelling to Spain through France with a Caravan, kids and Dogs Part 1 - Planning

Late last year an amazing opportunity arose that would enable us to spend a few months in Spain from January this year (yep I'm writing this from the warmth of sunny Spain). Never being one to turn down a chance to escape the bleak UK winter rain, coupled with the promise of staying in one of Europe's sunniest spots we of course accepted.

The best way to enjoy your new caravan is with a dainty fairy light jar and a cup of G&T!!

Our next major decision was how do we get there?
Since we were heading out for 6 months there was no question of leaving our furry family members behind so any way we got here had to be dog friendly. That immediately ruled out travelling by plane as I didn't fancy stowing them away in the hold.
Whilst our European counterparts enjoy trotting through security at their airports with small dogs in tow ready to pop in the cabin together we, unfortunately, have to package ours up and bundle them in the belly of the plane hoping they'll manage it by themselves - something I just don't feel happy doing unless I really have to.
Next was a long ferry trip across from Plymouth to Santander. Not knowing how any of us would manage with long term sea travel and having to put the furries into kennels for 24 hours made this option much less appealing.
So we decided on option 3 travelling by ferry or tunnel to France, driving through France and Spain to reach our destination. We decided to break it up with frequent stops and take our time to get down here.

So method of travel had been agreed, next do we stop in hotels all the way down and cram as much as possible into the X-Trail or do we opt for something a little more? So being the jump in with both feet, the dogs, the kids and everything else kind of people we decided to just go buy a caravan. Easy.

Our lovely little house on wheels on the journey South!

This is how we have ended up with our lovely Lunar Quasar caravan and along with it being introduced to a whole new world of people, clubs and way of living. It can be a love or hate thing caravanning, luckily as it turns out we love it!

Dubbed "Rainbow Star White Olive" by the kids (the car incidentally has been named the "Black Olive" by JJ due to it being a very subtle dark shade of metallic olive) our little home on wheels has done us proud for the long journey down. Keeping us toasty warm in England and Northern France, carrying our heavy load of essentials for 6 months of living and just managing to cope with the everyday pressures of housing two young, curious children with ways of being able to test even the most robust of structures. Rainbow Star has passed the challenge unscathed; well apart from some unfortunate exterior damage where it appears some car or truck may have misjudged the distance between us when overtaking. No joke it was our first leg of the journey and first tow out and stopping at the services for fuel and a drink we spotted the paint and cracks - not the finest hour.

A note for anyone who is thinking of buying a caravan, do not underestimate the amount of crap you'll have to buy on top of the caravan itself - mains adaptors, gas bottles, waste carriers, aquarolls, hitchlocks, wheel clamps, any extra security you need, steps, all your lightweight kitchen equipment, awning, camping chairs, table, groundsheet, pegs..... honestly the list is endless and easily adds a few ££-£££ onto the original cost.
So it has been months of frantic planning, caravan buying and prepping, insurance arranging and now we are here in Mojacar in the south of Spain soaking up the beautiful rays, enjoying the breathtaking waves and mountains.

Arriving at the coast

What a journey it has been so far, a real adventure for us. There have been struggles, learning curves, great moments of joy and everything in between.

See Part 2 for our adventures driving through England to the ferry to France.

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