Our Big Family Road Trip: 3 weeks to go and no minibus to go in!


road trip


There’s a saying that the best laid plans of mice and men go astray.  I really hope this isn’t true.

There are only three weeks left before we are due to head off on our Big Family Road Trip around France and Italy.  Whilst the children are desperately trying to contain their excitement we are desperately trying to make sure we can still go.

Our minibus failed its MOT.

On several points.

You would expect repair to be simple, no?


It seems the garage which carries out the MOT (as not every garage does do them for 17 seater minibuses), doesn’t actually carry out the repairs themselves.   In fact, none of the garages we’ve  spoken to or dealt with will carry out all the work the bus needs in order to be declared roadworthy.  One garage can do one part of the work but not another, another will do a different part of the work but not the first. Another can do the first and fifth thing on the list but not second, third and fourth.

Who would have thought this could be so difficult to sort out?

The minibus has been making its way back and forth to several different garages and mechanics over the last couple of weeks.  We’re running out of time and still no closer to it being roadworthy. It’s also costing us a small fortune – much more than we had anticipated or budgeted for and this alone is causing us extra worry.  As a result, any money we had set aside for the trip is all but diminishing.  I just hope that my work continues to come in thick and fast, and that the properties we’ve rented do have Wi-Fi as promised!

When we had over a month until we were due to leave we felt relatively okay about it.  We were still able to remain positive that we had plenty of time to get the work done, get it through its MOT and through a full service to make sure it would get us through the 3,000 mile road trip we need it to.

Now, with just three weeks to go, we’re feeling apprehensive.  Even if the work is completed, can we relax and rely on the poor jalopy to make the journey?







2 thoughts on “Our Big Family Road Trip: 3 weeks to go and no minibus to go in!

  1. Hi,

    Just a heads up on the wifi in Italy. We travelled for a month with our homeschooled brood last year and we found that the availability of wifi was poor in many areas.

    Compared to even Spain it is not so great. It helps to make sure you have a 3G modem in your laptop and buy a sim card in Italy if you find the places you stay do not have very good wifi signal.Hopefully your accomodation will be better for wifi than ours was!

    Oh and make sure to stop off at Saturnia springs in Tuscany it is amazing to go and bathe in with the kids. Lovely warm water and good fun and free.

    Hope the bus gets fixed in time to go, it is a trip that is so worth taking and a real education in culture art and food:)

  2. I hope you were able to get the bus fixed and enjoy the trip with your family. I had actually never considered using a minibus for a big road trip like this. My friends and I want to do a big trip, and this would be a good way to make sure that we can all stay together in just one vehicle. We’ll definitely have to plan ahead and make sure that we get everything checked out and ready to go, but I think we’ll probably try to go with this plan.

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