Hi, we’re new! Lily and Lydia is an online publication for Christian women that was launched in July 2023. While we’re regularly adding new articles, please be patient with us as we build the site!

Hi, we’re new! Lily and Lydia is an online publication for Christian women that was launched in July 2023. While we’re regularly adding new articles, please be patient with us as we build the site!

The Travel Series: Scotland and Northern Ireland

Jul 15, 2023 | Featured, Life, Travel

The Travel Series is a series of as told to interviews about people’s travels around the US and the world to inspire and inform! Interviews may be edited for length and clarity.

The Travelers: Carrie and Jonathan Brownell and their kids ages 8-16.

The Destination: Scotland and Northern Ireland

The duration: 3 weeks

Did you stay in a hotel or an airbnb? (or similar)

We used VRBO to select our rentals.

How did you plan your itinerary?

First, I research out potential sites/activities and events and then I send the list to my husband who, being much more detail oriented than myself, plugs everything into his spreadsheets and maps it out by location so we can determine distances. We usually plan 3-4 activities a day and start with one as a priority. If we want to, we might spent all of our time that day at that first location. But if we find ourselves disinterested or the plan isn’t working well, we’ll move on to the next. This gives us plans to work around but we’re committed to making all things adaptable.

Screen Shot 2023 07 14 at 9.50.13 PM _The Travel Series is a series of as told to interviews about people's travels around the US and the world to inspire and inform!

Did you plan gaps into your itinerary, or schedule everything?

We tend to play in day trip lumps and we have something that we potentially could do every day. However, going in to any trip we also know that we will want to take a “down day” where we relax at the rental and just rest. We use our “down days” when we feel we most need them. We also plan a few indoor vs. outdoor activities to accommodate changes in weather so that we’re not caught flatfooted.

What was your “must do”?

On every trip with our family we try to have an animal experience of some sort. When we went to Hawaii we went to a seahorse farm. In going to Scotland we discovered Coos & Ewes, a highland cattle farm. That was something I was particularly excited about being able to do.

If relevant, how did you adjust your travel plans due to weather, delays, closures, etc?

Part of travel is being willing to do exactly that – travel. It’s knowing going into it that you can set plans and that you need to hold things loosely to be able to talk with that friendly stranger, linger over that meal, or allow yourself to sleep in on a morning after a previous day’s activity.

Screen Shot 2023 07 14 at 9.50.37 PM _The Travel Series is a series of as told to interviews about people's travels around the US and the world to inspire and inform!

What age ranges would you recommend for this travel adventure?

Our kids are 8 – 16 years old. That’s quite a gap to travel with and I know that the younger some kids are, the more some parents are nervous about traveling. We started traveling with our kids when they were quite young and so now even our 8 year old is a fairly expert traveler. Everyone knows they are going to be tired. Everyone knows there are times when they are going to be hungry. Everyone knows about airline delays, etc. I think ANY trip can be child friendly and you shouldn’t avoid travel strictly because of kids or their ages. Like in anything, they can be taught how to handle themselves well and sharing travels with children makes the experiences all the richer.

Screen Shot 2023 07 14 at 9.50.57 PM _The Travel Series is a series of as told to interviews about people's travels around the US and the world to inspire and inform!

What would you do differently the next time you travel?

We had a bad experience with our rental car agency because we rented from a lesser known entity. I would strongly encourage and recommend folks use well-known global agencies and not smaller outfits. What might look like a good deal on the surface probably isn’t.

What part of your trip would you do again?

Honestly I would do it all over again. If I were to point to something specific that we did this trip that I would absolutely want to do again is to keep an openness about talking with the locals. Chatting with people in their country is soul satisfying.

Screen Shot 2023 07 14 at 9.51.20 PM _The Travel Series is a series of as told to interviews about people's travels around the US and the world to inspire and inform!

Any other pro travel tips?

Pack light! When the kids were little we were buried under luggage just to get car & booster seats overseas. Now that they are older, we avoid checked luggage and travel strictly with backpacks. Buy compression packing bags to pack a few more clothing items but also to save space! We tend to take 4 total outfits a piece and utilize the laundry facilities in our rentals.

Carrie Brownell _The Travel Series is a series of as told to interviews about people's travels around the US and the world to inspire and inform!

Carrie Brownell and her family live in Northern Idaho. They are the creative team behind A Fine Quotation, a book loving art shop. You can find them at @afinequotation on Instagram or on their website at www.afinequotation.com.

All photos courtesy of Carrie and Jonathan Brownell.

1 Comment

  1. Sky

    I believe that children should experience as much of life as possible. I love that you have always traveled with your kids.

    Reply

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