Top travel tips for travelling to Scottish highlands – How to prepare for a perfect family staycation
Top travel tips for travelling to Scottish highlands- How to prepare for perfect family staycation- A long road trip and holidays with kids- Never easy ! But it can be made easy and fun for the complete family by just planning a bit ahead , and not stressing if things don’t go as planned.Check out the list of these essentials that helped to make our family trip stress free and enjoyable.
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A lovely, long, relaxing 4 night trip to the highlands is all we wanted for a short summer break to get out from the dull life of being in a pandemic struck world.
We were contemplating a staycation within England for a short and relaxing summer getaway.
Of course the destination wasn’t planned and left for the last minute, and also due to the covid restrictions on travel, the prices everywhere were soaring and we did not want to pay extravagantly high for a domestic trip.
Destination still undecided, browsing through airbnb ,we came across this lovely little cottage by the shores of Lake Linhe in scotland , and it just seemed perfect for our holiday.
A little further than what we had planned to travel, but it ticked most of our expectations .
The cottage was in a village of Onich in Fort Williams , in the highlands of scotland.
It was quite a long drive from our town , but we settled on this destination because it looked lovely, the weather looked fine and it seemed like a perfect place to relax with the family. The reviews also convinced us it is worth a visit.
Preparing for the road trip and stay in Scottish highlands
The location of the cottage was stunning, but away from the town and there were no superstores/ restaurants close to the cottage.
There was an option to drive down to towns of Glencoe or Fort Williams which are within 5-8 miles from the cottage , but being with a kid ,we wanted to be prepared in case we are too tired after a day out ,to leave again in the evenings for dinner , or leave early for breakfasts.
I planned a few quick meals I could assemble/ heat there with minimum effort (and not much cooking involved) and got a carton full of pantry along with me for the trip .
Listing here a few basic items that we carried with us for preparing the meals in our cottage.
Food items to pack, cook or eat for a holiday on a self catering break
Bread, eggs, milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt (greek and fruit for my daughter), cereals
Salt, pepper, chilli, and curry powder
Tinned – chickpeas, black beans, red beans, tomato paste
Onions, baby tomatoes, cooked beets, lemons, ginger garlic paste, wraps, a packet of rice ( A measured cup of rice in Ikea zip pouch bags for one meal)
Ready to eat meals from M&S- cheese and chicken pesto pasta, Dal, butter chicken, Coriander and garlic Naans
Snacks- Cookies, fruits,Nuts, juices.
Meals prepared during the holidays in highlands
These ingredients helped me prepare meals for 3/ 4 days
Breakfasts: Cereal,milk, toast and eggs (fried, scrambled and boiled),beans, tea and coffee.
Dinners : Tomatoes , chickpeas and beets salads, dal , chicken and naan, Pasta, Quesadillas with black beans, onions, cheese, Pizza on a wrap.
Food to carry for the long distance road trip
For the travel we carried cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, and ham and cheese sandwiches both ways, with fruits like banana, and oranges and snacks like crisps, cookies and drinks.
It was so convenient having everything with us, and never even once we had to bother about eating ,finding places to eat with a kid .
I did not use everything i carried, but none went waste because we carried all leftover stuff back.
Considerations while packing for a staycation
Few essentials that i packed for the journey and stay:
- Start preparing the list of things you might need from the day you finalise your travel, and keep ticking off the things you have added.
- Have activities , books, colours, sheets, books, writing pads, music, headphones, chargers and whatever your kids like , in a storage basket in the car, so that things are easily accessible to you and the kids.
- Lots of snacks/ fruits for the journey and stay.
- The cottage we booked had a garden so we carried a set of badminton rackets, a football, and planned a few outdoor activities to do while we were at the cottage and not heading out.
- We carried a beach mat, incase we wanted to just sit by the lake.
- Also carried a torch, just in case we felt a little adventurous and wanted to sneak out after dark for a walk.
You can always fill your pantry box with the variety of things you would like to eat . Few things that we considered while getting the pantry stuff for travelling:
- Planning meals ahead gives you an idea what ingredients you should carry.
- Make sure to look at the expiry dates for the ready to eat meals, and other dairy products you carry.
- Carrying tinned ingredients always is better, its easy to carry and no prior cooking/ chopping is needed
- Few basic spices like salt, pepper go a long way.
- If you prefer making indian food , it is not feasible to carry whole lot of spices , so just take curry powder, ginger garlic paste , lemons/ lime. Though you will not get the authentic taste but basic ingredients add so much flavour to the food , and who wants to cook all day on a holiday. These basic food ingredients can be added to your favourite tinned lentils or beans to make a quick lentils,chickpea curry, rajma, egg curry, paneer and teamed with steamed rice or ready to eat naans.
In the end one thing i realised is that when travelling with kids / toddlers you need to have lots of patience . Though it really helps to be organised and have a plan , but things plans can suddenly go for a toss. Don’t fret if the day does not go as planned ! It’s a holiday , just relax. That is what matters in the end !
Journey from England to Scottish Highlands- Two services where you should take a break
There are lot many services on the highway from UK to Scotland, however i would really like to recommend two family run motor services – Tebay services on M6 situated in Penrith
Cumbria CA10 3SB and Cairn Lodge on M75 situated in Lanarkshire ML11 0RJ.
Though you can always stop at regular services , these two services are on lovely locations, offer fresh cooked food, farm supplies and have farm shops on the locations too. These are nice places to take a break with the kids as there is lots of open space for kids to explore and these even have a small kids play area.
This preplanning helped us avoid any botheration during the journey and the stay. It doesn’t get any easier when you are travelling with the family , and especially with kids. Having planned your journey , your pit stops ,easy access to some basic food, snacks and activities to do with family/ kids made this holiday a lot more fun and stress free than many other holidays we ‘ve had.
We did a lot in these 4 days we spent in highlands. Check the details, what you can do, places to explore and eat and pictures of lovely Scottish highlands in my Post- Beautiful Scottish highlands- Onich, Fort Williams and Glen etive drive.
Tell me about your favourite experiences, the food you enjoyed, or your disappointments while you travelled . Are there any places that you want to recommend.Let me know all of this in the comments.I would love to read your stories, and experiences.Tag these using #frombowltosoul, @frombowltosoul
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