Welcome to Family Fridays at TPG UK
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When The Points Guy decided to expand our content across the pond to meet the needs of those in the UK who want to travel more for less, it was only natural that family travel be a part of that expansion. In the UK, families take an average of four trips per year — and two of those are international. We have generous parental leave policies, creating a perfect opportunity for family travel to start as soon as your baby can get his or her passport.
Most UK parents, however, are tied to travelling outside of term-time, making it harder to stretch travel budgets and seemingly impossible to find a great deal. That’s where TPG UK comes in. But before we dive into Family Fridays, here’s a little bit about me and why I’ll be leading the family travel charge for TPG UK.
My name is Kathleen, and I’m a mum of two young boys who turn 2 and 4 this summer. We live in London and love a good holiday (who doesn’t?). I moved to London for law school in the noughties and have done the student thing, the City solicitor thing, the maternity leave thing and now the mum and freelancer thing. Through all of these roles, one thing has remained consistent — my love of good travel deals and finding ways to maximise my travel regardless of the phase of life while helping others to do the same.
I’m an American by birth but have been in the UK so long that the Home Office issued me a British passport. Then I married a Norwegian. As a result, our two boys have three nationalities, so we spend a lot of time in the air flying to see friends and family who live near, far and everywhere in between.
I flew with my first son at 5 weeks old to Norway to meet my husband’s family, and then at 8 weeks old to Portland, Maine, to meet my side of the family. My husband and I used overlapping Shared Parental Leave to take two around-the-world trips with our kids. When voluntary redundancy became an option after my second maternity leave, I decided it was time to take the plunge and finally translate my stories from Instagram into print.
For the past six months, I have been a writer for The Points Guy in the US and learned from some of the best in family travel, including Summer Hull aka Mommy Points, who now runs TPG Family. Since starting with TPG Family, I have traveled alone with my boys to Ethiopia and the Seychelles, sharing our stories and tips along the way.
But now, I write about family travel in the UK while awaiting the next term break so I can travel again with my boys. I’ve learned how to maximise holiday days, air miles, convert those Tesco Club Card vouchers into Avios, use British Airways Companion Vouchers and book trips while taking into account the unforgiving British school calendar when my oldest starts reception in the autumn.
Tune in here on Fridays to find family-travel tips and tricks. Some upcoming articles will cover family-travel product reviews, tricks for overcoming jetlag, family packing lists, advice for flying with kids, the best reward programs for families, surviving airports with kids and the best destinations for children of every age.
We had our first family-travel-themed event on Thursday, featuring Sophie Stanbury, Greg Stanton (aka The London Dad) and Remi Sade, who each gave their travel tips. Several people mentioned to me that although we four had different family styles and set ups, our feelings around travel were the same. We talked about the breaking of routine, stepping outside of your comfort zone and teaching your children about the world — whether that’s out of a backpack in South East Asia, a car in the Cotswolds or at a hotel in the Seychelles. And the highlight for most parents was learning that Tesco Club Card points can easily change into free flights. Luckily, our Beginner’s Guide covers a lot of this.
And it’s not too late to meet the team and be a part of TPG UK from the very beginning. Come out on Saturday, 27 April in Covent Garden to celebrate the launch of TPG UK and say hello to the team.
Stay tuned each Friday for UK-specific family-travel advice to help you maximise your holidays. Of course, we’d also love to hear your suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover as we build up the site with information for families who love to travel in the UK and beyond.
Featured photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen / The Points Guy.
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