Single Mum needing reassurance...

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by scotjimland, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I received this email from a single mum who is seeking advice about travelling alone in France and Italy ..

    Rather than give her only my opinion I thought it be better if you good people gave her some advice and reassurance ..

    I will reply to her email with a link to the thread and advise her to join Fun ..

    Thank you in advance for your replies :Smile:

    here is her message

     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  2. artona

    artona

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    Well Jim this is a hard one. You can't go telling someone its safe when it isn't. But then again its not any more unsafe than going into town at night.
     
  3. artona

    artona

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    ps, what sites do you go on that single mums contact you :Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  4. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Personally l think that the gassing stories are rubbish, so l would rule that one out. You are just as likely to be mugged in the UK as anywhere else, so reduce that risk as much as possible, and camp / park sensibly. If it doesn't feel right, move on. Not everybody out there is a robber, or mugger! The horror stories you hear, are probably just that, stories. Be sensible, be aware, but don't be put off. Go out and enjoy, with the children, its great! Don't let a few scaremongers put you off enjoying yourselves. l wish you well, and happy travels!
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    On the contrary; you can't go telling someone it isn't safe when it is. :Smile:

    You are a good person to ask Stew, you are well travelled, you fulltimed for a while.

    What is the worst thing you heard/saw/witnessed happen to someone touring Europe that was not covered by their insurance.
     
  6. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    WHY isn't it safe?
     
  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    All the usual stuff really I suppose. Don't use motorway aires; aires in small towns and villages should be fine; municipal sites are a good choice in season; the community of 'camping caristes' is pretty friendly. We have used aires and public car parks in winter when it is dark (as well as summer of course) without disturbance or problem.

    N.b. most campsites, especially municipales in France, and Italy will close on 30 Sept and not reopen until Easter - hence the need to use aires anyway if travelling over Autumn / Winter.

    Never stay anywhere you don't feel comfortable - move on. I would not pitch in an area where there were lots of itinerant East Europeans. Try and stop where there are other 'family' / 'mature' / single motorhomers - not on your own miles from anywhere.

    Gas attacks are, so far as we can tell from expert opinion, urban myths.

    Consider joining France Passion and the Italian equivalent (forget its name) then stay on farms, where there is a local family, and which are away from busy towns.

    Finally, either on Fun (or possibly the dark side) I have seen posts from single ladies asking if there could be a common interest group to travel together. There must be an opportunity here, even if it is just to agree occasional rendez-vous points during a trip.

    Enjoy it, and provided you ae sensible - all should be fine.

    Philip

    p.s. get Ringleader Jim's book which, I understand, contains a lot of advice on personal safety and awareness of your surroundings.
     
  8. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Just an idea - why not have a chat with some ex-pats? She may get a few nights stay for a nominal fee on land that they have?

    The ex-pats could rent her a part of their feild for a few nights i am sure - good way of making friends too!
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I am a single parent with four small children.

    >> I am a single parent with four small children.

    That sounds pretty dangerous to me. How on earth can she supervise 4 small children and supervise a motorhome on the move ?

    Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
     
  10. Peter James

    Peter James Read Only Funster

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    I read that statistically, the type of person most likely to be attacked or mugged is a male between the age of 18 and 25.

    I am sure there are very few people who would attack a single woman with children. Even criminals usually have some standards.
     
  11. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for your replies so far, hopefully Alison will be on to thank you and to explain to Brian how she manages with four kiddies in tow, but provided they all have secure seating.. I don't see how it's any different to driving a car with four kids..

    Good luck to her :Smile:
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Quite simple. Size.

    They are very confined in a car, always visible and within touching distance of the driver. Quite different in van. Much bigger distances are involved here. Huge stress for the driver.

    She doesn't have to explain to me or anyone else on FUN for that matter. I've done my bit of risk analysis and she can take note or not, it's her choice.

    She must be quite a person to cope single handed with four kids.

    I think she can improve her plan a lot by staying in the UK. Smaller distances. Closer to friends and family. If they are small kids then they'll hardly notice the difference. Go abroad when they are bigger.
     
  13. Spacerunner

    Spacerunner Read Only Funster

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    Not in my world they don't!
     
  14. Haaamster

    Haaamster Read Only Funster

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    What a great idea, maybe someone could extend it further and start a scheme supplying ex pats with food they miss from home for a free night stay.


    "Two bottle of Daddies and last weeks newspapers for a night stopover guvnor"
     
  15. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    I agree entirely with Brians observations Jim. My first thought when I read Jims initial post was what the hell is a single mother thinking of touring around foreign parts and unfamiliar territory in a mh/campervan with four small children in tow?

    Personally i'd see it as irresponsible.

    If she must do this....then as Brian says, stick to the UK, smaller distances and close to friends and family.
     
  16. violet

    violet Read Only Funster

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    Small children need space to run and play especially after a day's driving. From what I've seen aires are not places to run around, there are often vehicles moving about, people have barbecues out, and space can be tight. Again from our experience France Passion sites are not necessarily suitable for children, the parking areas can be near machinery, or the hosts homes and business premises. Were I travelling with 4 young children I would see municipal and other campsites and off season discount ASCI sites as being far more suitable.
    What m/h does Alison have. Does it have 4 fully belted front facing passenger seats suitable for children. If not and two of the seats are backward facing she will have difficulty seeing them unless she rigs up some sort of mirror arrangement. The point made about the distance from her that the children could be seated is very valid.
    I would think about this very carefully,
    Violet
     
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I know only what I posted in my first post, I don't know what kind of van she has, what seating arrangement it has or how old the kids are .. I suspect she may have an RV as the email was via the RV Fulltiming web site.. but that's only a guess.

    Regarding safety, I would say that France is generally safer than the UK, we have travelled extensively with children, during 2008 we spent nine months touring using aires exclusively.

    Many are indeed no better than a Tesco car park, but there are many that are very safe and suitable for kids.. however, I certainly wouldn't recommend wild camping either here or abroad with kids..

    It's good to hear others views, thanks again, I've no doubt you have all given her much food for thought ..
     
  18. artona

    artona

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    Probably the way I wrote my answer. I meant it to sound that it probably isn't any more dangerous than doing most other things in life.

    I guess it depends on the ages of the children. Europe is a big place and it would be important to know what to do in the case of an emergency. If for example all the children were really small what would she do if one got ill and needed treatment. Who would look after the others. I remember buying a speed boat once and taking my three little children out, it was just me and them. We all had life jackets on but as we took off over the waves I suddenly considered which of the three I would let drown if I could only save two. Nothing is too dangerous if you know the way out in the event of it going wrong

    stew
     
  19. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    She's hardly being irresponsible as she is thinking ahead and asking the right questions. Mostly that is all that is required to ensure your personal security.

    travelling alone with young kids is not as difficult as some might imagine and as long as the daily distances are very short its easily doable. . As for touching distance this does not matter, you won't be touching or turning and looking at the kids when you are driving so a mirror is always a good idea.

    Very young kids normally sleep throughout, as they get a little older if they are not asleep they are arguing or being sick.. This is when you will find it difficult on your own but its not a show stopper and she will know all this already. Touring in a modern motorhome with 4 kids will be hard work, but she will be used to looking after them anyway.

    in 1942 my Grandmother travelled from West Ham to Woodstock in Oxfordhire in a mixture of horsdrawn vehicle train and bus. She travelled with her 9 children, the oldest of which was 12. She then looked after them, in a strange town in one room 14ft by 10 for 3 years with a war on.
     
  20. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    With all due respect, 1942 was a world away from 2010!

    Cheers, Dave:thumb:
     

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