Every month we’re going to be interviewing a mum or dad about their holiday experience with kids and get a sneaky peek into what they like to take away with them in their suitcase. This time it’s Antonio Sanchez…
My name is Antonio Sanchez, I’m 42 years old and have a 21-months-old baby-boy named Marcos that has changed the way we travel and enjoy our holidays. I’m married to Maria, a wonderful woman that is 37 years old and makes my life easier!
I manage a photography blog where I try to share the nicest pictures of the places where we travel, though since having to look after Marcos doesn´t allow me to spend as much time as I used to in the design ot the blog. You can have a look at http://tommyseries.blogspot.com
What is your favourite type of holiday to go on with kids?
I love travelling to the North of Spain and South of France. We own an appartment in the French-Pyrénées and frequently enjoy skiing in the region of the Hautes-Pyrénées. Though our baby has also visited the beach and enjoy Mediterranean Sea twice so far, since we love snow, mountains and wild nature, we usually focus our holidays towards that kind of tourism.
Are you going away this year?
Sure, we visited the French Pyrénées so far, where we stayed for three weeks during Xmas time skiing in La Mongie, a ski resort well known by those following the Tour de France, due to the famous Col du Tourmalet. We plan to spend a couple of weeks in the South of France, as we usually do, and our route will dedicate at least a trip from Hendaye to Toulouse, where we have some good friends. Since we visited some very nice places years ago, we want to spend some days in those places again, enjoying the same walks, but this time with our baby! Those places will probably be Hendaye, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Sare, Ainhoa, Pau and finally Toulouse. Many of these places are small villages, most of them part of Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques.
What’s your best / worst / funniest holiday experience?
Starting with my best experience, I must say that this last Xmas were special with our baby, since we thought he wouldn´t allow us enjoy ski and mountain walks, and then discovering that he allowed us and even made our holiday experience richer! Lots of laughs were shared and very good times, and even he made some good friends there, since my wife speaks very good French and she uses the language to speak with our baby.
And talking about the worst, I must speak about a travel we did from Madrid (Spain) to Barèges (France), an 8-hour trip we started on Friday to come back on Sunday. We had heard that some serious snowfalls were forecast for the French-Pyrénées and we wanted to ski powder during the weekend, so I took our car, right out from my office, went to pick up my wife at her office and start the trip, to discover that 300+ kilometers away she was ill, with fever and a terrible cold. She didn´t say anything about her cold because she wanted me to enjoy snow… I drove then all the trip on my own, non-stop, just to refill tank and when we arrived and I tried to park into the covered-parking, the car started to slip (01.00am, -10ºC, and light snow falling). I tried to use snow-chains but was useless since my fingers got frozen in minutes. We finally parked the car outside home and had to walk for a good 10 minutes up, carrying heavy luggage. That was from my point of view the worst experience when travelling.
Do you have a top travel tip to share about going away with kids?
Our best trick consists of a good portable DVD and a nice bunch of Pocoyo’s DVDs. Lots and lots of singing will do the rest and the best when the kid starts crying in the car. If all fails, we always stop in the nearest village (we love small villages of France) and spend the night in a hotel, enjoying the French culture that hides in every small village.
What’s your favourite game to play in the car with the children?
Wow, no doubt, singing. My wife loves singing and I love playing with words and rythms, so, a good time of the trip is spent singing in the car, and making Marcos share a laugh with us!
What 3 things would you most like to take away with you in your suitcase?
I love reading, photographs… I guess I would (and I always do!) take with me a bunch of books that get me in the travel-mood (maybe Jack Kerouac, Jan Morris, etc…) I would also of course take my Canon camera, with a whole pack of batteries and objectives that allow me to picture it all, and no doubt, lots of dreams about what I’m going to find in the place I’m travelling to and routes on my mind I would love to take.
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