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Chimptrips is a family travel and adventure blog. Jan does the writing and her husband oversees the technical side, and the 2 boys come along for the ride!
“I write about destinations we have visited, with itineraries and ideas on things to do and see”.
Chimptrips organise all the trips independently and always try to include lots of outdoor activities. Recent pursuits are cycling at the Grand Canyon, white-water rafting in Borneo and hiking in California.
As a family, the Chimptrips really enjoy nature and wildlife too. The main reason they went to Borneo last year was so that Jan could see orangutans, “a favourite since my childhood”.
Jan started by travelling to Europe during her university days but then ventured further afield to South-East Asia once she was working.
“I’ve never been a digital nomad, but work in education, so have been able to make the most of school holidays (though it’s not always the best or cheapest time). Some of my best travels have been to Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Argentina, and Egypt”.
Once they had the twins the couple wanted to take them on some more unconventional trips and they have been lucky enough to travel in Europe (Croatia, Spain, France), and more recently on a US road trip and visit Singapore and Borneo. The accommodation they stay in varies from campsites to eco-lodges and fancy hotels.
“As well as foreign travel, we travel locally in the UK, especially Wales, Devon, Dorset, and the Cotswolds. We are keen campers, but don’t seem to travel very light”.
Chimptrips almost happened by accident. The family had friends asking for details of the itineraries for the US and Asia visits and Jan had been wanting to write for a long time, so it seemed a natural progression to combine the two.
“Luckily, my husband works in IT, so he learnt how to set up a website and taught me. With hindsight, it wasn’t the best time to start travel blogging, but we both enjoy the challenge”.
The Chimptrips have been fortunate enough to be at home in Surrey ever since lockdown. The nature of their jobs has meant they have continued working throughout, with the kids doing homeschooling. Lockdown has made them realise how lucky they are to have a garden and places nearby that they can walk and cycle to.
“Even luckier that the boys aren’t toddlers. That would have been a nightmare!”
We asked Jan if they have been affected by the situation, “Well, it is not so easy to write about travel if you are not allowed to go anywhere!”
Chimptrips had booked to fly to Rome at Easter and then travel down by train to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Amalfi Coast. The idea was for them to combine a culture trip with some seaside activities and bring some of the boys’ school Roman lessons to life. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant it was all cancelled.
The Chimptrips summer plans have also been postponed. Having loved Borneo so much, they wanted to see more of Asia, so intended to travel around Thailand.
“I have been before, but knew the boys would love it, especially the beaches and elephants. These flights have recently been cancelled too, so it looks like we’ll be saving that adventure for a later date”.
As well as missing out on some fantastic trips, it has also impacted on Chimptrips blog content. The recent posts have all been focussed on local destinations, camping and active kids.
When it comes to the important subject of Ecotourism, Jan believes that the growth of eco-tourism is essential to protect some of the endangered species and their habitats. Chimptrips fulfilled a life-long dream of visiting Borneo last year and they were shocked at the extent of the palm oil plantations when travelling to the rainforest.
“Although you read about deforestation in the news, you can’t really comprehend the scale until you see it”.
Jan thinks that as with all tourism, we all need to ensure that any ecotourism is sustainable and not detrimental to the lives of the locals and the environment.
The Chimptrips do like to consider themselves responsible travellers. They try to spend money with the locals, by eating at hawkers’ markets or hiring locals as guides. Often they walk or cycle, rather than getting a car.
Chimptrips also support wildlife conservation centres. Last year they went to Turtle Island to see the conservation work in action there and visited the rehabilitation centres for orangutans and sun bears.
“We have now adopted an orangutan Archie (which unfortunately we don’t get to take home!)”.
During this time of uncertainty, Chimptrips advise others to check their travel insurance as apparently, some insurers don’t cover cancellations in a pandemic. They themselves usually book deals well in advance and these are often cheaper as they don’t include free cancellation, as unfortunately, they have found out at their expense.
As soon as they can, Chimptrips will be happily exploring the Gower Peninsular and climbing Snowdonia in Wales.
“We plan to stay in an eco-friendly treehouse and take the opportunity to ride on the world’s fastest zip wire. Norway is also extremely high on our bucket list”.