More Great Reasons To Travel.. (Like We Need Them!)

More Great Reasons To Travel.. (Like We Need Them!)

Luckily for me I feel well-travelled, I have visited more than 20 different countries, in more than 40 trips including Europe, Dominican Republic, Cuba,  Thailand, Sri Lanka & more… I have a few more planned this year alone. My daughter has visited 9 countries and she is 7, and obviously has more booked too. I know this is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the whole wide world we live in, but I have spoken to people lately that have never had the opportunity to leave their hometown in there whole lives, which made me feel very grateful. So In my opinion we are lucky to be able to get the opportunity to experience different ways of life, tasting different foods, meeting people of other cultures and religions.

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My Map.

Another advantage with traveling is that it gives you the experiences and skills which will be of great use in your life & career

Here are 3 advantages of travelling that you will use whilst away &  be able to put into practise on your return...

Communication and Social Skills

One important life skill is being able to communicate effectively. This is often seen or experienced when vacationing at countries where other languages other than English are spoken. Being in an environment like that encourages you to learn and improve your communication to get whatever you want/need.

Skills for Stress Management

Making round-the-world trips or having adventures to exotic places helps you to mingle with others, therefore eliminating any kind of stress you are presently going through. Being in another environment helps you to approach life’s issues differently from the way you would have behaved when at home, and with time, your skills for stress management builds up, which will definitely be brought into your life and career when you return.

Self-awareness And Management

One other advantage of traveling is that you have time to think and connect with yourself. It helps you to re-examine yourself and understand what you have for yourself as the goals in life, and this is why some people see it as a time of spiritual revival.

Some other benefits of traveling are problem solving, visualization, creative thinking, adaptability and ability to learn new languages, and to experience any of these, it is necessary to have an open mind when on the trip

Packing & Travelling With Kids..The Ultimate Guide….Are We There Yet?

Packing & Travelling With Kids..The Ultimate Guide….Are We There Yet?

When enduring a long journey with kids we tend to get a little stressed (Or I do anyway!)  so I have searched the web and put together a few of ideas on how to make the journey as pleasant as possible, and keep the  ‘Are We There Yet?’ questions to a minimum!

When holidaying with the kids, it’s essential to pack as lightly as possible. This way you’ll have spare hands to carry the suitcases, push the buggy and hold you’re little ones hand all at the same time!

Take clothing that is easy to wash and doesn’t get too creased. If you’re going somewhere with washing facilities, that’s great – you can keep your packing to a minimum. If not, it’s always worth taking some handwash with you just in case!

As any seasoned traveller with kids will tell you it’s also vital to make sure you pack various bits and bobs to entertain the children while on the road or in the air.

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When your flight’s been delayed or you’re stuck on the motorway you’ll be grateful you remembered some of  the following:

  • Paper pads and crayons
  • Mp3 Player
  • Books (including puzzle books)
  • Small toys
  • Electronic interactive gamesannoying for the adults but keeps children entertained for ages.
  • Travel games – Connect 4, draughts, Mastermind, etc.
  • Play dough – great on train journey

There are a couple other  cool ideas you could do to keep your kiddies entertained throughout.

  • Give them a Camera- (a child friendly one) this will give them time to take in their surroundings leaving you to do the same.
  • Be App-y – Thanks to toddler-friendly apps, there’s no need to cram the whole toy box into your hand luggage when travelling by plane
  • Encourage them to keep a travel journal- For the older children

For very long haul trips it’s a good idea to buy a few cheap ‘pocket money’ toys from the local toyshop before you leave. Wrap them up and pop them into your hold luggage so you can introduce a new ‘present’ for your child to open at intervals during the flight – hopefully the novelty of something to open and a new toy to play with will keep them entertained for a good portion of your flight!

And remember: there is no wrath quite like that of a child whose parent has forgotten their favourite soft toy! If your child has a special toy they really like to have with them at night be sure to pack it – it will help them settle to sleep on long flights and comfort them in unfamiliar hotel beds. Some children also like to have familiar smells around them so you could pack a couple of pillowcases from home to use in the hotel, too.

Try these Games on the road:

I Spy: The classic.

Guess the Animal: Someone thinks of an animal, others ask questions about that animal – can it fly? is it wild? To which the person can only answer yes or no. Or the person describes the animal and everyone else has to guess what it is.

Spotter’s Badge: Everybody has to look out for a certain list of objects. The most common ones (blue signs on a motorway, silver cars) get 2 points, then the more infrequent (caravans, pylons) get 5 points etc..

The Alphabet Game: Think of an easy category (like names, or places or animals) and then find a word for every letter of the alphabet. For example, if it was names, the first person might say Anna, the second Bill, and so on.

Word Association: Be as free as you like. The first person says apple, second person says banana, third person says monkey, etc. You can also play a version where you have to try to work back to the first word.

Just A Minute: Just like the Radio 4 quiz game. Talk for one minute with no hesitation, deviation or repetition. Children are surprisingly good at this.

Sausages: One person has to answer people’s questions answering only with the word ‘sausages’. Everyone has to think of the silliest questions they can ask to try to make that person laugh or smile when they say it. If they do, they are no longer it, and the person who asked the question takes over.

The Pub Game: look for pub signs and see how long it takes you to collect 5 heads, 10 arms and 20 legs. To do this, you simply count the number of legs and arms depicted on the pub sign, or in the name: ie, the Queen’s Head; the Phoenix and Falcon (4 legs) etc.

The Number Plate Game: look at the nearest number plate for the first group of three letters. The first letter is the initial of the person’s name; the second is where they come from, and the third is the job they do..

The No ‘yeses’ or ‘nos’ Game: You ask one person questions to which they can answer anything except yes or no. If they say yes or no they are out and it’s someone else’s turn. (What’s your name? Anna. Are you sure?)


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Travelling with kids doesn’t need to be too stressful, here are some more useful tips:

  • For going absolutely anywhere, even on a short trip, you could keep a small bag (not a big changing bag) with essential bits at all times: a calpol sachet, a couple of wipes, a nappy, some kitchen towel, savlon, plasters and a plastic bag. If going by car, it can easily be left in your boot if not needed.
  • When you’re going on holiday, encourage your children to find out about where you’re going. Let everyone choose one activity or visit on the holiday.
  • Hang on to bits and pieces from the holiday as keepsakes: tickets, brochures, a couple of postcards etc. Might be good for your children to make something out of when they get home or Show & Tell at school or nursery.
  • If you’re going on holiday with another family, make sure you discuss the basics before you go – for example what everyone wants to do, whether you’ll all stick together each day or whether you’ll spend time doing things apart, what you’ll do for meals etc. You don’t want to fall out over a misunderstanding that could have been discussed beforehand.
  • For young children, even if they are generally good walkers, it’s often a good idea to still take a buggy.  It’s always useful for carrying your bags and is good if they need a rest or get tired in a restaurant.
  • If flying, check the latest restrictions on hand luggage before travelling. Regulations on carrying liquids etc can include baby foods, drinks and made up formula.
  • If going somewhere hot on holiday, make sure you children have enough drinks throughout the day. Children are particularly prone to dehydration and they often can’t tell if they are thirsty. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you should also make sure you’re well hydrated.


Off On Your Jollies?.. Here Are Some Top Travelling and Packing Tips To Remember!

Off On Your Jollies?.. Here Are Some Top Travelling and Packing Tips To Remember!

ILOVE travelling and my next trip is in just 3 weeks YAYY
……So I have been looking for ways to make the journey as easy as possible and to make sure I have done all the important  things as I usually forget one (Or Three) of the essentials leaving me to deal with a disaster abroad!
I have compiled a list of the ‘Must Do’s’ for all you fellow traveller’s out there.

When you pack, make it the responsibility of one person, or make sure the divisions are absolutely clear – that way you won’t arrive at your destination with six bikinis but no knickers!

It’s a really good idea to keep a box to store all the small and essential items you take away with you – things such as medicines,  toothbrushes and paste, shampoo, etc.

It simplifies the packing process especially if it includes items that can’t be packed until the last moment (i.e.toothbrushes).

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As soon as you’ve washed and ironed holiday clothes put them away in the suitcase so that the family can’t get at them.

Stuff all shoes with socks.

Roll your clothes – they won’t get so creased.

If it’s likely to be cold, think in terms of layers, rather than everyone having one thick coat or jacket

If you can, pack your swimming stuff in your hand luggage if you’re going to a hotel. That way, you can go swimming if your rooms aren’t ready without having to rummage through suitcases.

Don’t forget hot weather essentials, such as sun hats and sunglasses.

For little ones and toddlers make sure you keep back a pair of pants to carry in hand luggage just in case of little accidents en route 

Toiletries & medicines

Hang on to those freebie hotel toiletries – very useful for short holidays. They’ll save you a fair bit of money and space in the suitcase.

Make sure you pack toiletries in a zip-up bag; the lids can pop off with the cabin pressure. 

Put your toiletries, perfume and bulk of your make-up in your suitcase as it may be confiscated if you put it in your hand baggage. Equally, sharp objects such as tweezers or nail scissors must be packed in your hold luggage.

Some medicine essentials include: plasters; digital thermometer (more accurate in a hot climate); insect repellent; re-hydration salts and diarrhea medicines; antiseptic cream for insect bites; antiseptic wipes; calpol; paracetamol

Other useful bits & bobs

Good quality sealable plastic bags. Useful if things spill or get dirty.

Clothes pegs come in handy for all sorts of things, such as creating darker curtains if necessary.

Some soap flakes or travel wash – useful if you run out of clean undies and you need to wash some in the sink!

Nail clippers – nails grow much faster in a warm climate, and short nails make it harder to scratch insect bites.

If you’re hiring a car abroad, don’t forget to take car sunshade and a child view mirror with you if you want one.

And finally…

It might be easier to actually buy some things abroad rather than take them with you: cheap towels; inflatable boats; toiletries etc. Also, remember to check your hand baggage size before you go. Each passenger can take on one piece of hand baggage but it mustn’t be any bigger than length of 56 cm, width of 45 cm and depth of 25 cm. Write your name and address on a sheet of paper and put it in your luggage. If the label comes off, it’s a fail-safe

The Important Stuff: Passports, health & travel Insurance and home security

passport_homeIt’s important to check all your important documents and book any insurance needed well in advance of you setting off on your jollies.

Check all your passports are valid and make a slightly reduced photocopy of your passport photo page and either get it laminated or put it in a small plastic wallet. This is accepted as an ID in the States.

Don’t forget to book travel insurance – be aware that travel insurance doesn’t always cover children with asthma or other conditions.

Check for this to make sure you purchase adequate cover. You’ll also need an EHIC card for each member of the family to cover you abroad – should a medical emergency occur.

It’s also a good idea to email yourself (or a friend) a copy of all the important information – airline numbers, credit card phone numbers, passport and driving licence numbers. That way if your documents and/or wallet is lost or stolen, all you need to do is log onto your email account to access all your details.

Keep your bag and money safe when you’re sleeping on a train or in a main ferry lounge.

Things to do before leaving home

  • Cancel newspapers
  • Cancel milk
  • Reprogramme heating
  • Empty fridge
  • Tell neighbours
  • Give out keys if necessary
  • Water plants
  • Sort out animals
  • Change fax paper
  • Do all washing
  • Empty the bins
  • Leave any contact numbers
  • Switch off gas, etc
  • Make sure bills are paid
  • Check all doors and windows are locked