2020: The Year We Discovered Gems Much Closer to Home


2020 travel

What a year, hey? Who would have thought, as we cheered in the New Year, that all our travel plans would be quashed? My family travel blog, PackThePJs, has been really quiet this year. We managed a short break in Kent early in February and had several trips lined up – but all were cancelled. We’ve managed a few days out, but nothing significant. I realised that I was posting more and more ‘non-travel’ posts on a travel-focused blog, so I set up an ‘at home’ blog that I’m looking forward to building during 2021 and beyond. And of course, I can’t wait to start travelling again!

What positives can other travel bloggers take from 2020, both personally as well as blog-related? I asked a few …

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Personally – I’ve struggled a lot over the years being a mum and being hard on myself. But being in lockdown by myself with the boys made me realise I can do it and I can manage very well on my own. I didn’t realise the strength I have.

Travel blogging – I’m so used to going abroad but this year I’ve done more staycations and it’s made me appreciate the country I live in and has made me want to explore more.

Sam, Travels with my Boys

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The last nine months have made me look closely at my travel blogs and given me a much clearer direction that I want to take them in, focusing on areas that I have greater knowledge of, meaning I’m able to give the readers a better experience. In terms of personal, I can survive six months at home with seven children!

Mandi, East Anglia Family Fun

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2020 has taught me that we don’t necessarily need to travel far and wide to enjoy amazing experiences. There is so much to see on our own doorsteps, which has helped me define a local blog niche.

Angela, Exploring Dorset

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During these strange months, I’ve taken stock of my family travel blog and am overhauling it to streamline it and sort my structure out so that it is in better shape for if/when travel returns to normal. I have also started working on an Ireland travel blog and find my focus on that has been much better. I am able to learn from the mistakes I’ve made previously to ensure this new one can hit the ground running.

From a personal perspective, I spent time teaching my son to read in English before he started Portuguese primary school and the hour a day we did during the weeks has really paid off. We also did a staycation in Portugal at the end of the summer, choosing to visit places that had low Covid case numbers and we discovered some great places we might not have normally visited.

Catherine, Travel Around Ireland

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Some of my favourite holidays are where we get to explore with the kids, especially outdoors. 2020 taught me that there is plenty to discover right on our doorstep. We found woods that we’d never discovered, and I bought an Ordnance Survey map to show us how the River Thames twists and turns around us – so many great places to explore. This has made me appreciate so much more.

Jodie, Maidenhead Mum

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Even the simplest outing can be an adventure. It doesn’t have to be a long way from home or doing an adrenaline sport, getting out and finding a new hidden spot can be an adventure in its own way.

Suzanne, Meandering Wild

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After our trip to Disney was cancelled, we decided to do a Disney day at home which lead to me writing articles for Family Traveller online. I can now officially say I’m a travel writer! We have also recently bought a Camp-let trailer tent so we can do lots of fun family camping trips next year and enjoy staycations exploring the UK. I can’t wait to blog about our adventures next year!

Rowena, My Balancing Act

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2020 was positive for us in that it made us appreciate the beautiful part of Northern Ireland that we live in. So much so, we have put plans in for our own glamping site on our family farm. We always love meeting people on our travels, hoping that in 2021 we will be meeting people who are on their travels in our part of the world!

Lynne, Around The World in 18 Years

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2020 has really made me stop and think about the sort of travel we want to do. I’ve always been passionate about sustainable and responsible tourism and this break has given me the chance to consider how we can travel more intentionally. I want to make sure the places we benefit from our presence there, just as we benefit from being there.

Emma, Wanderlust and Wet Wipes

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My positive takeaways from this year is that trips out either locally or further away really are so important for mental health and happiness and that regardless of a pandemic, we can still manage trips out – exploring our local area and what is right on our doorstep. I have found so many beautiful local places that I never even knew existed.

Kelly, Small House Big Trips

Tracey is the Content Editor for Flea Enterprises. She also blogs at PackThePJs. Tracey writes mainly about family travel; from days out to road trips with her pet dogs, to cruises and long-haul tropical destinations. Her family consists of her husband Huw, a medical writer, Millie-Mae (14), Toby (12) and Izzy and Jack the spaniels.

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