It seems very strange to think we’ve already reached the final month of 2016. Surely it was only yesterday that we moved to Devon and I decided to start logging all the little and large things happening in our lives in this monthly roundup.
I know for a fact that I’ve said ‘things have been busy’ in the majority of my Tin Box Traveller Diaries and I’m guessing that’s why 2016 seems to have passed in a blur.
So, not wanting to break from an established theme…November was another super busy month. Here’s what we got up to at home, away and on the blog
- The first piece of travel in November was a solo trip for me to London for World Travel Market. It’s the premier event for the travel industry where I got to chat with lots of tourism brands about future collaborations. There was also wine with some of brilliant family travel bloggers I know. A great couple of days in London!
- Just 24 hours later the whole Tin Box Family was off to South Wales for a press trip organised by Visit Swansea Bay. I’ve written a few posts about our trip, but here’s a summary to get you started.
- Then to finish off the month, I made another solo trip. This time it was to Bristol for an awards bash in my other guise as a PR Account Manager with Briscoe French. We picked up three awards with clients, which made up for the fact this is now the third year running that I’ve visited the city without seeing much of it. I’ll be back Bristol!
- My folks spent the whole of November on the cruise of a lifetime from Singapore to Australia and New Zealand. They will be landing back in the UK any moment and I can’t wait to hear all about it.
- Talking of people ‘leaving me’, we found out Mr Tin Box will be working away from home a lot during the next few months. Chopping and changing roles is one of the many joys of being in the Royal Navy. We’re hoping we can see him some weekends and are looking forward to the Spring when we will have him back around more. The good news is he’ll be home for Christmas!
- In other news, we had our first ever parents evenings at Tin Box Tot and Baby’s nursery in November. It was lovely to hear they are both doing well and haven’t been too badly affected by our ‘nomadic’ lifestyle! I feel sorry for the nursery team having to unpick all the stories the girls must tell about what we’ve been up to.
- Oh, and we’ve got to start seriously thinking about where we’d like Tin Box Tot to go to school next September. The application pack came through a couple of weeks ago. Again, the Royal Navy may have something to say about that…
- We took advantage of a few unseasonably sunny and warm days to visit beaches local to us in Devon. Among them were old favourites of ours like Strete Gate and Blackpool Sands, but we also ventured further afield to discover Mill Bay and Bantham beaches for the first time. A can recommend them all.
- Our trip to Swansea Bay was packed full of mini-adventures including a walk at Rhossili Bay, a visit to the Gower Heritage Centre and a guided tour of Oystermouth Castle.
- I took the girls to Exeter on the train to visit one of our favourite free attractions in the city – the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
- We started working our way through some of the magical Christmas events happening in Devon, ticking off the Winter Wonderland at Hannahs and Candlelit Dartmouth.
You can see pictures from all our adventures at a glance on my Instagram account.
- I was chosen to be among 100 top travel bloggers to take part in a speed networking event at World Travel Market. It was full on but a great way to meet a large number of tourism companies in an hour and a half. Since then I have been continuing to chat with contacts I made at the exhibition and hope to fill out our travel plans for 2017. Watch this space!
- Mid-month I got some more fantastic news that I’d been highlighted as one of the top 20 family travel bloggers of 2016 by Holiday Lettings (a Trip Advisor company). This is quite frankly amazing. I feel slightly out of place, but very grateful that someone thinks what I’m doing is worth reading.
- As I mentioned earlier, we were invited to Swansea Bay to experience some autumn adventures. I’ve written about everything we got up to during the long weekend, our wonderful holiday cottage and some beaches you might like to check out if you’re in the area.
- Coming up in the next few months, we’ve been invited to some award-winning UK resorts and holiday parks: Bosinver Farm, Oakdown Holiday Park and the St Ives Holiday Village run by John Fowler Holidays. I’m very much looking forward to visiting all of these places.
- The Monday Escapes travel linky I run with Sarah at Extraordinary Chaos, Karen at Mini Travellers and Lisa at Travel Loving Family has teamed up with Lonely Planet to offer a prize to the writer of our favourite blog post each fortnight.
- Over on YouTube I’ve shared a vlog about our our trip to Swansea Bay.
- Thanks to a lot of travel and a winter bug, I published less than I had intended in November. Here’s some of what I did manage to write: 17 magical Christmas events in Devon 2016, Discovering the Lost Gardens of Heligan with children, 7 outdoor children’s activities at Saltram, and Baby Jogger City Tour review – a great travel stroller.
- Having said that my number of posts was down, I still had a really successful month in terms of visits to the website. I think a lot of this is thanks to good timing as my most popular blog post of the month was 17 magical Christmas events in Devon 2016.
- Over on Twitter, I broke the 7,000 follower mark and I saw a lot of growth on Facebook and Instagram too. Thanks so much if you do follow me on any of my social media.
- As well as chatting away on Tin Box Traveller, I was also mentioned in the Britmums Travel round-up about family cruising and a Trips100 post about how to host a linky.
As ever, thank you so much for reading! I love hearing what people think about my blog so feel free to leave a comment below or browse around. You can also find me on Bloglovin’, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and LinkedIn.