A-Z activities

A-Z countries

What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

When hens need B&B

Pete, Nicola and their children Lola and Nell love to travel, but like to find ways to do this oh-so-low carbon... This off message post is from Nicola

I have this idea to make a longer trip than normal during 2011. It's a little hypocritical to attempt this (or maybe even mention it on my Around Britain No Plane blog), and I don't take much comfort from the fact that I've not flown for 10 years, but may do this year. However researching ways to keep my pets in the style they have become accustomed to while we may be away (eg, mud and the occasional worm pill) offers earth-shattering reasons to stay home. If climate change wasn't good enough, say.

The hens will cost £5 a night to go to their Club 18-30 stop-off at a nearby city farm. And someone has told me a kennel for the dog would be £30 a night. I can hardly breathe thinking about these expenses at the end of a three-month trip.

It's extraordinary how much influence economics has on decision-making. If only renewables were cheaper (or seeemed the sort of no-brainer choice that a smart phone has become). If only trains were the obvious way to get from A-B (or buses or maybe even feet). If only the richer world stayed put and the poorer world had more.

No surprise that "If only" and "too late" are famously still the two saddest phrases in the English language.

Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 roundup

Pete, Nicola, Lola and Nell love to travel - and try to do so in low carbon ways. This post is a summary of 2010 entries.

It may be better to travel than arrive but now we're in the fourth year of this blog (it was started in 2007) it is also a lot harder to find "new" countries for us to visit simply by using our imaginations in the UK.

Worth visiting
My top trips this year were to Ethiopia - via a coffee ceremony and music in my local London park, see here. I also loved the stop-off in Chile via Darwin-themed tour in another nearby park, see here.

We also visited the super dog-friendly Cheddar Gorge, a Somerset location that rivals just about any Alpian chasm, or Romantic- (as in 19th century German art) themed picture.

Just by making simple leaps of imagination - sometimes by choices of food, or doing the research, reading noticeboards or listening to the hubbub around us - our family stayed home but felt like we were tasting someone else's culture. I reckon we managed virtual visits to more than 35 countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh, Somalia, Croatia and Albania. I love the way this can happen. It just shows that 10 years of not using a plane has enabled our family to get to know the UK far better, and the UK's links with the whole world. Definitely one travel habit worth hanging on to.

Apologies for slackness
Just for the record, one reason my entries are down on this blog during 2010 is that I started up a new one, named after my book, Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children which saw me post more than 60 times. Travel and kids, what could be better?