Showing posts with label Malta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malta. Show all posts

How To Survive Travelling With Your Extended Family

I don't know how many families would be as crazy as mine, to travel to the other side of the world as a group of twenty to visit a tiny island for a festival. I'm not just talking about me and Thom, my sister and parents either. I'm talking the EXTENDED family. You know, cousins, grandparents, aunties and uncles, the works. That's pretty rare, right?! Well in my opinion, the impressive part isn't that we all made the trip over to Malta, it's that we had a fantastic week together and actually came back as a closer and stronger family (is that even possible?!). It might not be for every family, but if you're thinking of travelling with your extended family, here's my survival guide.


How To Have An Authentic Maltese Experience

No matter whether you decide to stay on the island of Malta or Gozo, there's no denying that Malta is a country unlike any other in Europe. It has a unique vibe that makes you feel more like you are visiting an undiscovered secret than one of the main European hotspots. It hasn't yet made it to the regular cycle of Europe favourites such as Paris, Italy and Spain, which means the crowds are smaller and everything is a little bit calmer. 

To get the absolute most out of your visit to Malta there are a few things that you need to add to your must do list to enjoy the most authentic Maltese experience.


Exploring Valletta & Malta's Mainland

During our visit to Malta we stayed on the island of Gozo, in the small town of Nadur where my Nannu grew up. We spent most of our week in Malta on Gozo, but we did make sure to take at least one day trip over to the mainland of Malta to explore the unique sights scattered around this tiny island country. There is so much to do on the main island of Malta that you definitely need more than one day to experience everything, but since one day was all we could afford we really made the most of it. 

Here are some of the top can't miss experiences on Malta. 


Celebrating A Local Maltese Festival

Festas are a massive part of Malteste culture and tradition. Held across both Malta and Gozo, festas are religious celebrations organized by the local parish and are an iconic part of the Maltese summer with massive fireworks, marching bands, parades and happy celebrations. They are such an important event to the locals of the village and they are just epic celebrations that everyone visiting Malta needs to experience at least once. 


The Blue Lagoon, Comino

In between the mainland of Malta and the island of Gozo you can find the tiny island of Comino. Only 3.5 square kilometres, the island is car-free and pretty much uninhibited with only one hotel and that's about all. Apart from being a paradise for snorkelers, divers and windsurfers, the main reason to visit Comino is to swim in it's beautiful Blue Lagoon. By far one of the best beaches in Malta and home to the most crystal clear water I have even seen or swam in, the Blue Lagoon is an absolute can't miss for anyone visiting Malta. 


A Guide To Gozo's Beaches

Although most people would consider Gozo as a secondary thought to the main island of Malta, for us it was our home base. My grandparents both come from different towns on the island of Gozo, so when we visit that's where we stay. Just because it's little, does not mean it's any less impressive. In fact, they are often less crowded offering you a more peaceful and relaxing trip to the beach. Some of the best beaches in Malta can be found on the island of Gozo, and we definitely tried to visit all of them as many of them as we could while we were there.

Check out all the best beaches you need to visit in Gozo.


Back To Malta

Snapping back to Europe, the next destination that I'm bringing you was definitely my favourite. We spent a full week in Malta with my whole extended family. Yep, my parents and sister, grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. All twenty of us, on the island of Gozo, together for a week. It kind of felt like we took over! Coordinting 20 people to go anywhere is a challenge, let alone on an international trip to the other side of the world with eight different itineraries across 15 different countries and three continents.

We had been talking about this trip for what felt like forever. When I was thirteen years old we made a similar journey to Gozo to experience and celebrate the festival of my Nannu's church. It was a big deal. But last year, 12 years after our original venture, we were back! This time with four extra grandchildren, a fiance and a girlfriend, it needed to be experienced again all together. I thought this trip would kind of be one of those things that people talk about forever but never really happens. But it did, it was such a great week!

At the time when we were figuring all this out I was working as a travel consultant, so you know that I was responsible for booking every single itinerary. Yep, eight different multi-country cross-continent itineraries. I made sure that every single person in my family got everything they wanted. An afternoon in London on a long lay-over, an aisle or window seat on a long haul journey, their luggage added to the booking, a cruise that hit five different countries that they wanted to see, a birthday cake for a birthday spent in the sky. It was a mission and a half and I really enjoyed it. It was probably the only part of that job that I did enjoy! They say that everything happens for a reason, and maybe those eight miserable months spent as a travel consultant was all for this - planning the perfect trip for all of my family members, no matter what their perfect trip was.

So over the next few weeks I'll take you on our expedition back to Malta.What we went for, what we did, and of course, how to survive and have the best time on an overseas journey with your whole family. It truly was an effort in coordination before we left, but once we got there it was such a beautiful and wonderful experience that I will cherish forever. I know that we are very lucky, there are not many whole families who would travel the way we did.

This trip will always be a dear memory that I will hold close to my heart, it will be very hard to replicate. 

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