The best stories start with us. Little one not listening? Try an anecdote! People are interested in people and our wee ones are no exception...offer them a story about yourself and they'll soon be pausing to hear more about the places you've been and the things you've seen!
And that's why we love taking our little girls travelling - because it provides them with the people and places they need to start carving out their own experiences. Spinning stories is simpler when you've left the 'home zone' and had some adventures!
We love to explore and we try to get out at least every other week in our trusty (and a little bit rusty) camper. But our eldest starts school this September so we thought we would go all out and venture a bit further afield before such a big change in our lives. And so it was under a Sardinian sky that we sampled some coasts, castles and culture this May.
If you are interested in taking a break with young children and are looking for somewhere wild, exciting, friendly and fun then READ ON for a snapshot look at our latest adventure and some top tips for travelling with small storytellers!
OUR TOP TEN TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH SMALL STORYTELLERS IN SARDINIA
1. Always carry a scarf - aside from serving as an all important hat under the hot sun, or a blanket when it gets a little chilly, you just never know when you'll need an impromptu rope to cross shark infested sea, a flag for your sand-built boat or a tail for a stranded mermaid ;)
2. Use AirBnB if you aren't in a van! We loved our little house down in the countryside of South Sardinia - we were a two minute drive/ twenty minute bike ride from the sea and we lived in a little house owned by an elderly Sardinian couple. They didn't speak English so we all spent a lot of time exchanging huge smiles and entertaining all with our attempts at Italian! (The children loved the baskets of blood oranges and fresh ricotta that were left on the table!) The place we stayed was in Tuerredda, near Chia.
3. Try out an Agriturismo as part of your stay - there's no better way to feel part of a place than to live with the local people. We stuffed ourselves silly with delicious home-cooked meals and were even lucky enough to visit when a litter of kittens had just been born so you can imagine the joy in that department :) We stayed the lovely Fattoria Simbiligu.
4. Prepare for rain and plan adventures accordingly! Fortunately, our girls are used to being exposed to all sorts of weather so they weren't too concerned when we had several days of rain. The jet-steam was unluckily over us but we didn't let that ruin our fun! Don't hide away and let the weather ruin your day
5. Hire bikes when possible! It slows the pace down and turns the travel into an adventure all of its own! Prepare for it to be a bit muddy though if it's been raining for a few days as mentioned above! Plus - take some cable ties and a bike repair kit if you plan to do this - our back derailleur snapped off on our bike but luckily we found a washed up cable tie on the beach to fix it!
(Incidentally, the beaches in Sardinia are pristine - the currents must take a lot of sea litter past the island but we saw lots of local people picking up plastic. It was nice to visit a country that clearly cared about its wild places.)
6. Eat pizza, icecream and seafood! Lots of it! Every single Sardinian we met was super friendly so don't be shy about eating out in restaurants! They are really helpful and very very child-orientated so the little ones were totally spoiled (and kissed a lot)! We recommend trying fish ravioli if you get a chance and when we cooked at home (which we did a lot to keep the costs down - note: Sardinia is expensive) we really loved the Fregola! Head to a marina if the kids are hungry and it's not quite 'Sardinian eating time'! And the best bread to buy for picnics is focaccia - the kids couldn't get enough of it!
7. Get a really good beach tent. These things are really worth the investment. Ours is a Terra Nation and, although expensive, it's worth every penny! It has windows that you can untie to enjoy a breeze through, a door to pin up when you want to get changed and - most importantly - the whole family can fit in it!
Perfect for long hot days on the beach and so quick to put up and down. We tried not to look too smug as everyone else wrestled with those unwieldy pop up beach tents...!
8. Don't forget your mosquito repellent!
9. Visit Bosa and Alghero for some exciting exploration of wonky alleys and medieval streets!
10. Try out the most helpful line - "Posso avere..." which means "Please may I have...(point)" and was definitely our favourite phrase! We also downloaded Google Translate which proved invaluable!
We had such a brilliant time and we'd really recommend Sardinia to anyone seeking sun, sand and the smell of adventure! Storynory saw us through all the car journeys without a hitch (Sardinia is about as big as Wales so the longest journeys we had were along mountain roads) and the country was just incredible! Our route took us from Olbia to Baunei (where we stayed in a gorgeous little apartment called 'El Nido Romantico' and visited donkeys and Nuraghic sites on the plateau), to Chia then Su Nuraxi, Bosa, Aleghero and finally back to Olbia.
If you are thinking of doing something similar then get in touch via the website! We're very happy to talk more about it all!
Happy travelling ;)