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Working Abroad: How To Use Your Travel-Bug To Your Advantage | AD

If you love travelling and exploring new places, finding a job that allows you to see the world at the same time as earning money might seem like a dream. However these days, the possibilities and opportunities available for working abroad are endless and your dreams don’t have to feel so out of reach. There’s a growing number of careers that allow and even encourage working abroad. 

tips for working abroad


One way to work and travel, without completely throwing yourself in at the deep end, is to apply for internships or work experience placements abroad. Internships are short-term commitments which can allow you to test the waters of certain career paths. Especially when working abroad and being away from home comforts, it’s even more important to make sure you are doing a job you really love. If you’re an intern, you are not committing to any kind of permanent job contract so if you absolutely hate the job role or being away from home.... There’s nothing saying you can’t just go home when you’re finished, and you’ll still have something fab to put on your CV. Depending on your skills and personal interests, there are a range of internships you could apply for. SLV Global is a company that offer a range of work experience placements relating to mental health, such as clinical psychology placements in Sri Lanka, Bali and India, which are all amazing places that would allow you to experience different cultures. SLV global are a great example of the ever-increasing opportunities abroad, offering more specific and health-related types of work experience, instead of going down the traditional teaching route.

Seasonal work…

Similar to internships, seasonal work allows you to experience working abroad, but on a short-term basis. Seasonal work is usually more specific to your personal interests rather than your long-term career plans. For example, if you’re an avid-skier, why not do a cooking course and host a chalet with your friend for the winter months? Seasonal work also allows you to be more picky with your destination, for example, if you’re interested in working a ski season you can decide which resort in the world you’d like to work in by applying to vacancies in those areas: Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland…?


Teaching could be seen as the more traditional approach to working abroad but it really doesn’t have to be. As well as teaching English in foreign countries, if you have knowledge of a second language, you could teach a wider range of subjects. There are even some immersive teaching opportunities which don’t require you to be able to speak a second language.


Do what I do! If you enjoy writing and travelling, why not combine the two and start a travel blog? You could use travel as a section of your blog or keep it as the sole focus. This idea would be best to start as a hobby and see where it takes you. You could blog about your favourite places, experiences, food etc…

If you’re a student and you think working abroad in the mental health and psychology sector is the next step you want to take, visit SLV Global to see the opportunities they have available: https://www.slv.global.

*This Post is sponsored but all opinions are my own


We recently went to Skiathos on a two week holiday, with the 2 children. We actually went there for a family wedding but decided to stay on for a second week as a family. When we were looking for holidays I have to say we found the island to be quite pricey, although it is difficult to say as we were going within half term which always bumps up the prices massively, so perhaps out of term time it could be completely different.

kids hotel skiathos

Although I have to say it is absolutely beautiful and worth every penny in my opinion. We will go back one day I am sure, it is quite unusual for me to say that as I love to explore new places but maybe in a few years time we will be back!

Thomas Cook Image

I will do a post all about Skiathos; what we got up to, how to get around etc another day, but for today I wanted to tell you all about where we stayed. We stayed at the Morfia Aparthotel which is in Troulos and booked with Thomas Cook. Most of the bridal party were able to book here, it was more on the budget side of the hotels available but honestly, we struck lucky. It was beautiful. It is a little family run hotel and well kept.

They are really set up as a typical greek hotel, basic but completely geared up for families.

We had a maisonette which essentially has like a little mezzanine, with 1 double bed upstairs and twin beds in the living area. We also had the travel cot put downstairs too. We had every intention of us sleeping upstairs and the children downstairs, but I have to be honest and say I didn't like the stairs. We had a kind of make shift stair gate we could have put up but the thought of rushing down them to tend to Alex in the night, to stop him disturbing Daisy filled me with dread so I ended up sleeping in the bed next to Daisy. Which actually was fine really. I missed Ben a little but we survived!

It had a little kitchenette but it was basic, we didn't need to use it at all though really, we pretty much just used the fridge for our water and milk etc, it was absolutely fine and exactly as we would expect in a  hotel.

The pool was perfect. There was a big pool which had gradual depth and then like a paddling pool area which was raised for the little ones. That was perfect for them to splash about in, deep enough for them to swim in but shallow enough to play safely. With it being raised though and up steps we had to be in it with them at all times, which of course we would do anyway. But Daisy is at the age where she could swim and as long as we were watching her would be fine on her own but we couldn't risk her being in there on her own. Which is absolutely fine but worth pointing out.

family friendly skiathos

There was a restaurant on site called Ratatouille and it is had a really good reputation in the area for being great food. We had a couple of good meals in there so it is worth going there, they also have a childrens menu which is a bonus.

But overall the pool area and bar are very clean and the attached restaurant is good. But it’s the staff that really make this place, friendly and welcoming, they always took the time to speak to us and the children. They really did make us feel welcome and content.


If you follow me on social media you will know that not so long ago I was busy planning (and then attending) a hen weekend. I booked a beautiful venue in Ludlow, which was is buried away in the Shropshire hills. Most of us are from Shropshire so with us going on a plane to Greece for the actual wedding it felt like a nice, easy thing to do for everyone. And not to mention how beautiful it looked there.

The Venue is called The Bringewood, Burrington and honestly it exceeded even my expectations. I was searching around on Airbnb and stumbled across it but I actually seeked out their website and booked it directly as I know what whopping fees they have to pay via that way and kindly they passed on the difference to us, so we paid far less than we would have had we have gone through Airbnb.

I will try to share a couple of photos with you so you can see how vast the venue was and how luxuriously decorated and kitted out it was, it is tricky though, it was a hen party after all and some photos shouldn't be fining themselves on here!

Hen Do Shrewsbury

Hen do shropshire

The Bringewood self catering apartments  are available for holidays, short breaks, weddings, group bookings, hen/stag parties and special occasions. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find somewhere that isn't against large groups of either females / males.

The venue is built up of various holiday let apartments that sleep between 2 and 4 guests, with the large group booking The Bringewood sleeping up to 22 guests in total (28 with sofa beds). We booked the whole venue exclusively and used a sofa bed too and at no point did we feel cramped, except maybe when we tried to cram too many bums into the hot tub (that we hired from somewhere else) late at night!! Each apartment has a large screen LED  TV and PlayStation 3 (not that we needed them!). The bedrooms also have luxury bed linen with hairdryer, hair straighteners,  radio, toiletries and a bath with shower or shower room. We were really spoiled!

What I absolutely loved about the setup of The Bringewood was that it was super easy for us to eat together with a commercial kitchen and a dining table which can seat up to 28 guests. The kitchen was an industrial style kitchen, kitted out with everything you should need! It was actually amazing! And the highlight for us was the bar! An actual bar! Completely stocked with glasses, ice machine, glass washer etc! We just took the supplies to fill it :)

I really hope to go back soon and was only thinking this week actually how lovely it would be to get a bloggers retreat going on there, I know a lot of people would love to stay there and well, it is always nice to see some fellow blogging friends.



We went to Berlin back in January, the week after new year for a long weekend with the children. I thought it may be a good idea to share what we got up to, in case you too are thinking of going there with your family. It is worth bearing in mind that we went when it was super cold, really bitter weather so we did have to make our plans around not letting our babies freeze! 

Berlin sights with kids

Alex is almost 2 and Daisy will be 4 in April just to give you an idea of their abilities and interests.

Berlin is only about an hour and a half flight for us from the UK so it was a perfect destination in terms of flight times. The transport system there (mainly the trains) is fantastic and as a whole the city was clean and felt safe with children.

So what did we get up to?

(1) Berlin Zoo

I had heard about the zoo long before we went and that in fact it is one of the top zoos in the world currently. This is not something I would usually consider on a city break but with children you have to do all that you can to keep them entertained and busy! We all really enjoyed it, there was loads to see and do including a petting zoo area, the biggest bird sanctuary I have ever seen, some huge penguins, a polar bear, Gorillas and the best play areas I think we have ever taken the children to. Daisy would have spent all day playing in there had it have been warm enough. She had a great time!

We just made sure we spent time in the indoors areas and thawed out a little with plenty of hot chocolates! The zoo was much bigger than I was expecting and we probably spent about 4-5 hours there, we could easily have spent much longer there had we not had been absolutely freezing by that point!

Berlin zoo review

(2) Sealife Berlin

The Aquarium is super easy to find, located right in the heart of the city, nearby the Alexanderplatz and the Berlin Cathedral. This gave us everything you would expect to find at a sealife centre, lots of fish and amazing underwater creatures to grab the attention of toddlers who need entertaining! It was pretty much what it says on the tin, but worthwhile, especially when it is so cold during the winter!

sealife berlin

(3) The Aquadom

This should perhaps be included in the above point but the Aquadom is worth its own category I think. Basically it is a 25 m tall cylindrical acrylic glass aquarium with a built-in transparent elevator which takes you up through it seeing all that lives in there. It is located at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin-Mitte, it is directly opposite the sealife centre. Again well worth a visit, I think perhaps our children were a little young to understand how exciting it really was but I enjoyed the experience too.

(4) Cafes

Daisy absolutely loves visiting cafes having hot chocolates, sandwiches and cake! Much the same as her Mum!!!! Their cafes are pretty geared up families so don't worry about taking children in them, they're all fairly friendly!

berlin with kids

(5) Bus tour

This made sightseeing much easier than it would have been on foot or other forms of transport. With the cold weather it meant we could stay on when we wanted to, having a rest and seeing the sights whilst staying warm but also being able to hop off when it was something we wanted to see, for example Checkpoint Charlie (Which actually really wasn't worth jumping off for!!!). Daisy loved having the headphones and skipping through the various languages, it kept her entertained and it was nice to be able to actually see Berlin a little. Alex tended to have a snooze while on the bus, which suited us perfectly!

bus tour in berlin with kids


I don't often do reviews on the places that we stay on our travels but am often asked where we stayed, the pros and cons and if we would recommend it, so i thought perhaps I should start doing mini reviews so you all know the low down of where we have been.

We went to Playa Blanca a few weeks ago (March) for 8 nights with the two children (Daisy, 3 and Alex, almost 2). We had got our flights booked last year but had left accommodation to fairly last minute, something we shouldn't really do. We had hoped to stay in a villa or an apartment but had left it too late and when we came to book on somewhere like Owners Direct they were 90% booked for our dates and we couldn't really afford what was left.

But sometimes things are just meant to be, we booked in to the Tropical Island Aparthotel (Has all the facilities of a big hotel but is made up of apartments) through Hotels.com and we are really pleased it worked out that way.

Tropical Island Playa Blanca Review

The hotel was bigger than we would usually go for, with lots of facilities we knew we just wouldn't use. However, being out of season meant that it was quiet around and there wasn't the hustle and bustle I come to expect at these larger resorts. Which for us was just what we were after. We like enough to keep the children entertained, so the big pools dotted around the grounds, the splash park and the mini playgrounds were just what we needed. There was enough to keep them busy at the times were around our accommodation.

The pools and grounds were clean and tidy and as far as I could see safe. The only worry I had was the children running by the pools but you'll have that where ever you go.

Hotel Review Tropical Island Lanzarote
Photo Credit: Loveholidays
onthebeach lanzarote
Photo Credit: Onthebeach

Our apartment was one bedroom with a sofa bed in the lounge area. We could have had a cot for Alex but decided to just put the extra mattress from the double sofa bed (Daisy only needed one mattress) on the floor in our bedroom and it worked out fine. We would just pop it away in the morning and it was out of everyone's way. Daisy was on the sofa bed and it was like a pop up metal framed bed, it was pretty high. We ended up putting it down to the floor and just not extending the legs, she probably would have been fine but the thought of her falling out of bed onto tiles just gave me the frights!

Our room was cleaned 6 out of the 8 days we were there and the towels and linen were tidied and changed as and when needed which was a relief, with kids that were filthy from having 8 hours at the beach every day our towels didn't stay clean all that long, no matter how long they were in the bath or how well they were scrubbed that sand sticks like glue!

We only used the restaurant on site once as we ended up eating out the majority of time, there were lots of beautiful restaurants down on the seafront so we chose to do that rather than use the buffet restaurant that was on site. We did use it on our first evening though when we first arrived and for the price it was really reasonable and there was plenty of choice, all seemingly freshly prepared too. There were a few other restaurants on the site but we never ventured into them, to be honest we only saw them open a few times but this may be because it was out of season and the demand just wasn't there.

They had a kids club within the grounds that I think we may actually have given a go one afternoon or morning, however the minimum age was 4 years old. You could put the children in under that age but you would have had to stay with them, which kind of defeats the object of them going in my mind. But I guess if the weather was dull then it would be something for you all to do.

The hotel was a 5 minute drive from Playa Blanca's centre, we had read that a car was easiest but there was a fairly safe walk if you wanted to try it. We did it once or twice and although it only took 20 minutes or so, I wouldn't have fancied dragging the 2 toddlers up and down the road at a night time after dinner.



We recently visited Prague for a few days without the children, so an adult only break! We won the break as part of a competition I entered through Icelolly.com and although I was a little anxious about leaving the babies behind, it did us some good and we really did get to see the city in all of its glory.

I thought I would share my top 5 things to do when in Prague for just a few days, so here goes:


When Ben suggested we did this I cringed, tours are not really my cup of tea, the idea of trudging along after someone who likes the sound of his own voice really din't appeal to me. However a friend of ours recently went and said she had done a tour and really recommended it. Sandemans do a free walking tour, so we had nothing to lose. We figured if we hated it then we would escape half way though, but in fact we really enjoyed it. We saw more of the city in those 3 hours than we would have on our own, they took us to places we may never have visited and we came back with lots of interesting information on the country we were visiting. We did tip our tour guide so it wasn't exactly free but it was worth every penny, we had a really good morning.

On our tour we managed to visit all of the following:

Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock
View of Charles Bridge
House of the Black Madonna & Museum of Cubism
Church of Our Lady before Týn
View of Prague Castle
Rudolfinum – Czech Philharmonic
Old New Synagogue & the Golem
Art Nouveau Municipal House
St. Nicolas’ Church

Prague chimney


Yes everyone you talk to will tell you avoid the top tourist spots for food and drink because you will pay a premium and you could get better quality food and drink elsewhere for much less money, especially if you are in to craft ales. And yes that  is true in our experience too. However, we sat in the square on our first night over looking the astronomical clock and it was just so entertaining watching the tourists hustling and bustling about and the street entertainers attempting to get all of the busy tourists attentions. Our food was actually good but we know we could have paid less elsewhere. It is nice for one meal though just to sit in the atmosphere around you. It is quieter in the evening than in the day but still busy.

5 Things You Must Do When Visiting Prague | Prague Top Tips


You will see above I am eating like a cake pastry type cone thing filled with ice cream, in Prague they are called a chimney and the day we got there we saw them everywhere! A trdelník is very popular among tourists in the Czech Republic, they come filled with ice cream or other fillings such as strudel and even beer! I stick to ice cream and chocolate with strawberries! And I am pleased to report it was delicious!

Beer tours prague


I am no beer drinker and wouldn't generally order a beer of any kind if I went to the pub. However, I know that Prague or the Czech Republic at least is renowned for its beer offering so we knew we had to get involved. Ben loves a good craft ale so was in his element and tried all the different kinds he had never seen before when he could. On a few occasions though we ordered a a sampler which is a board that comes with 5/ 6 different beers/ ales for you to try. And I actually really enjoyed giving them all a little try as well as Ben! And who knew, I actually quite liked beer afterall!

Prague at night


Slightly obvious but go and visit the castle. It isn't a castle like you would expect after years and years of amendments and add ons to it but there are several parts to the castle and its grounds, including some beautiful gardens that will give yous om beautiful views. A little warning is that it does get busy there, the entrance that our tour guide took us was busy and we had to que for some time however there are several entrances so I would recommend researching this first!

Its presence, along with the St. Vitus Cathedral (the pointy gothic towers you can see), can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. The centrepiece is the cathedral, which is right in the central courtyard. We took a tour and didn't get time to actually que to get in to the cathedral which was disappointing so I would recommend getting there early in the morning before all of the tours arrive or maybe head up there late on as it doesn't close until late most evenings anyway.

5 Things You Must Do When Visiting Prague | Prague Top Tips


If you have seen my latest travel post then you will already know that we took a free walking tour whilst in Prague for a weekend. I thought I would share our experience here and also talk about another tour that we purchased with them too; The Castle Tour.
Free walking tour prague

When we were looking at things to do in the city before we actually went Ben mentioned a walking tour to me and I admit my first reaction was an almighty cringe. It sounded like my worst nightmare. Being dragged about the city at someone elses pace being talked to for hours on end about history and religion and various other subjects that could become dull after the first hour or so.

But one of our friends had done tours like this before when in Prague and various other places and highly recommended them. Although she is a history teacher so would be far more interested in the details than I am, so I was still a little apprehensive but thought if it is free, what have we got to lose really? Ben agreed that if it was terrible we could leave at any point and make our excuses.

We booked in for the 9.30 tour, so an early start for us as we were staying just out of the city on a tram journey away. So much for a lie in when holidaying without the kids! We met outside Cartier by the main square in the old town and then met our guide for the day, Ian. Ian was a Brazilian who had been living in Prague for a number of years and he really did make the tour. He set the pace just right, fast moving, full of interesting facts, nothing too heavy and moving on from subject to subject to keep the interest alive. He was really quite funny (as in humorous) and a really likeable character.

We saw the following parts of the city:

Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock
View of Charles Bridge
House of the Black Madonna & Museum of Cubism
Church of Our Lady before Týn
View of Prague Castle
Rudolfinum – Czech Philharmonic
Old New Synagogue & the Golem
Art Nouveau Municipal House
St. Nicolas’ Church

It was a three hour tour and honestly it absolutely flew by. We really enjoyed it.

Sandemans New Europe Tours Review | Prague Free Walking Tour

Sandemans New Europe Tours Review | Prague Free Walking Tour

The tours are free and you may be wondering how they do this? Well it is expected that you pay them at the end with what you think the tour is worth, so in the form of a tip. Although us stiff upper lipped British may find this a little awkward it really was no problem and we paid exactly what we would have paid elsewhere for a paid trip, and it was well worth it.

We enjoyed it so much that we actually booked on to their Castle tour the following day. This is a tour that you pay for when booking but we did get a small discount because of already being booked on to another of their tours.

I have to be honest and this tour I didn't enjoy so much. Our guide was not like Ian had been the day previous. He was much slower paced, talked about every single thing is the tiniest detail and just didn't manage to keep my attention for very long. I have to say I found it a little frustrating. Just in that I wanted to get on and see more rather than standing around chatting about things that really didn't interest me very much. That may be a little unfair as some of the group really did seem to be interested so it would depend what kind of detail you wanted to go into and the type of personality you warm to. He was a nice guy but the engagement lacked somewhat. He also somehow managed to walk us about a mile up a hill away from the castle at the end to a brewery for no apparent reason, I would much rather him have left us in the areas of the castle so we continue to look around. It was a slightly odd ending and seemed to have no real schedule or plan.

 Although part of me does wonder that if we hadn't loved the day before so much and learnt so much about the city that we would have actually found his tour more interesting. I also think that this tour seemed to fall on to a Saturday and so the castle was busy, there was little movement around the grounds because of waiting for other people to move about and we couldn't even get into the cathedral which was disappointing. None of which was our tour guides fault. We didn't have a bad day but it just didn't compare to the day before.

Hayley x


Recently we were lucky enough to visit the brand new CBeebies Land Hotel as part of a press trip with Konfidence. I thought I would share with you our experience and what we thought of our stay.

CBeebies Land Hotel

We stayed in A Something Special room, which is a Mr Tumble themed room. There are a few options to choose from including just generic CBeebies Bug rooms. They all look pretty spectacular when you look at other peoples reviews and photos to be honest, so i wouldn't have minded which we got put in.

CBeebies Land Hotel Review

When we first walked into the hotel Daisy was so excited and if I am really honest, so was I. There was so much going on. It was really bright, colourful and noisy! There was like a mini village decorating the walls with shops, doorbells etc to interact with. Our favourite touch was the toddler sized tunnel entrance to the gift store! Our kids played in it for quite some time!!!

Every part of the hotel took into account that it was there for accommodating children, even down to the check in desk which had steps up to it so they could help check us in too! I saw an article in the Telegraph describing the place as Vegas for Kids, and they're not far from the truth! You really do need to lead any snobbery you may have or judgement of this kid of place in your car, you will have to go with the flow of it all be left a little over/ under whelmed, which ever way you want to look at it!

Our room was well kitted out. It had a travel cot, mini fridge, bottle warmer, 3 beds for children (including one that pulled out under the bunks in case you had any wobbly toddlers who may fall out of bed like us!), a step for the toilet, a toilet seat built in etc. The list goes on.  As you walk in to the bedroom, you have the kids area to the left in its own separate part of the room to the master bed. Which is refreshing!

The hotel is pricey, there is no denying that and no hiding it either. Would I pay the hefty price tag to go again? I am undecided. I thought it was brilliant, Daisy loved it and so did Alex. The hotel was fab and I think as time goes on and the staff settle into their roles etc and the parks all integrate with one another a little more then it will be seamless. But it is a lot of money at the end of the day and you could do a lot with just shy of £300 for one night!!

There is ongoing entertainment for the kids with live shows, characters walking about, an Ubercorn disco to name a few so you will never be bored. We were busy in the water park and the theme park (see post here for Cbbeebies Land) so didn't see to much of it but Daisy was pleased to meet Bing one morning and dance with Ubercorn at the disco for a while.

The Windmill Restaurant is where you would eat within the hotel. It was styled bright and colourful again, plenty to look at and one nice thing is that they don’t have a separate kids’ menu, each dish just comes in different sizes. For example you could all choose the same dish, have a small person size, adult size or a family sharing platter. Some of them have 10 different vegetables hidden in them. But if I am completely honest I was a little underwhelmed with the food, and I don't think we were alone. It was just a bit bland, I am all for being healthy but I do still think it could be tastier. Especially for what you pay. But we were not there for the food so I can overlook that.

I have pulled together a video of our time at the park. You can find it here...

Hayley x

Tempted By Eurocamp? | Le Brasilia France

It isn't the first time that we have done a holiday like this. We did something very similar back when I was pregnant with Alex, in Lake Garda. You can find that post here.

If we were to recommend a holiday we always go for the option where you have space. Space for a young family to run about, explore and well, be free. We sometimes opt for Villa holidays and other times we love this kind of camping holiday.

Tempted By Eurocamp? | La Brasilia France

This time we stayed with Eurocamp in one of their Aspect chalets. We opted for a two bedroom chalet which was plenty big enough but for sleep arrangements (with a baby who was dead set on waking up their older sister) we do wish that we had booked the 3 bedroom. Next time we will, for the small price difference it would have been worth it for us. We ended up with the travel cot plonked in the living area, which wasn't a massive problem, but it would have been better tucked away in their own bedroom.

The chalet is kitted out for everything you may need. We also were provided with not only the travel cot but also a bed guard for Daisy, a potty (not that we needed it), a high chair, a step for the toilet and also a baby bath. The bath actually was brilliant, it was big enough to sit in the shower tray and not only bath Alex but also Daisy (3 year old!). She was able to sit in it and wash away the sand from rummaging around on the beach all day.

You can see on the photo above that the decking area is also really spacious and what we loved most was that it was all enclosed. So they could roam about with us worrying they were going to fall down the steps or escape! It meant we could keep the sliding doors open any time we were back there.

Tempted By Eurocamp? | La Brasilia France

Not only was our chalet spotless (this isn't an ad by the way, I just want you to know how good it really was!) and well equipped but the park itself was beautiful. I actually think La Brasilia was the nicest campsite that I have ever stayed on. It somehow didn't look like a campsite, it seemed a bit too "fancy". You can see by the pool areas how nice it was, the spa looked beautiful (from the outside, I wasn't lucky enough to give it a go!) and the restaurants and shopped were great.

It was only when you went to the mini supermarket and the entertainment disco area that you were reminded it was a campsite. The supermarket and take away etc was not cheap but I think you expect that in this kind of establishment, like anywhere when you are holidaying really. We used to go to the hypermarket up the road and do some shopping for our lunches and a few evening meals and it actually worked out quite reasonable, we brought home a fair few euros for our next trip!

Tempted By Eurocamp? | La Brasilia France

Aspect Eurocamp

Aspect Eurocamp

We are now looking for next year, where we can go and when, we have got the bug for this kind of holiday and it suited us perfectly as a young family!

Hayley x

Why Cyprus is the Perfect Family Holiday Destination

It is no secret that I absolutely love Cyprus, we are due to go this August with family and I think this could be my 5th time possibly. I am not one to go back to the same place because there are just so many lovely places to go and explore in the world.

Why Cyprus is the Perfect Family Holiday Destination

But... For a family holiday it is just the perfect destination.

1 The Weather

We usually go late summer, September time and the weather is great. It is warm but not ridiculosly hot, so not too worrying for the babies. We are going this year in August which I think may be a little too hot but we shall see, and we know how to avoid peak sun times etc and how to protect them so we will be fine.

2 Flight Time

The flight time is between 4-5 hours depending on air speed, but it isn’t too long. Not as far as you could go for the weather. There aren’t really many other places you can fly to from the UK and get sun in that short time and feel like you are miles away (which of course you are).

3 Getting About

Quite often when we go on holiday with children we aren't too bothered about going far and travelling about. But Cyprus is super easy to navigate. For starters they drive on the same side of the road as us here in the UK. Road signs are the same or very similar too and the roads are easy to drive on, most of it is dual carriage way or at least big long A roads. Super duper easy. We have hired cars a few times and just nipped around here, there and everywhere. And it was so cheap too. I am sure we paid less than £130 for two weeks possibly.

4 Local Culture

I love a bit of a culture, experiencing new things, new foods and meeting new people. Cyprus is the most friendly country I have ever visited. They ADORE children, they love families and are so accommodating. We never feel like we are being a nuisance or being a pain or are in the way. It is so friendly. I also can be a little intimidated in some countries (I think it is the really blonde hair I have as a child, it was a big of a magnet to some people!) and very protective of myself and my children, but I never feel like that here.

5 Beauty

Cyprus is beautiful. I don't need to say anything else I don't think!

6 Accommodation

There are so many options for you to stay in when you go to Cyrpus. We have stayed in big complex style hotels that have just about everything you would ever need, apartments for self catering and my absolute favourite choice now a days, a villa. I did a post all about Villas here where I go into detail why that is the perfect option for you. We tend to book our villas through Owners Direct but there are plenty of options out there. I think you could possibly even find somewhere on Airbnb but I have never tried it outside of the UK myself.

Why Cyprus is the Perfect Family Holiday Destination

Why Cyprus is the Perfect Family Holiday Destination

Villa Holidays

Top Tips for Long Car Journeys with Children

Quiet Time in the Canaries* #Unexpectedcanaries

When I was pregnant with Daisy Ben and I took a last minute holiday to Fuerteventura to get some quiet time before our lives changed completely. We actually went out of season in January for some winter sun and although it wasn't really sunbathing weather it was comfortable enough to walk and sit around, especially for my round bellied self!

Fuerteventura was beautiful, the sand dunes went on for miles and miles and were so nice to walk through and watch the windsurfers flying by, a little windy but so untouched and natural. It is the oldest island in the Canaries and we found it to have a really rustic feel to it.

When we were there we watched the ferry leave the harbour a few times heading over to Lanzarote and on one of our last days we decided to take a trip ourselves. It was a short trip but really worth it to see another of the islands. Lanzarote felt a little more touristy but was still so beautiful as you can see in the photos below. The port especially was amazing, it looked newly built and felt a fairly wealthy area of the island. We had some delicious lunch there and just watched the world go by a little while enjoying the sunshine for the afternoon. Shame I couldn't join Ben with the seafood paella and cerveza though! Lanzarote is famous for its volcanoes and sadly we didn't see any sign of them due to our fleeting visit so maybe one day we will get to see them. 

I would love to explore more of the islands and actually I would love to return to both of the islands mentioned above with the children, they appear to be really family friendly. The islands are all so varied and offer different surroundings and experiences, the map below goes into a little more detail. I was surprised to see islands on there that I hadn't even heard of so I am going to look further into them. 

We always look all over for our holidays including some of the popular companies such as Thomson but also more niche agents such as Inntravel, they specialise in holidays with the lesser known paths which help to make your holiday a bit more unique and a little off the beaten track which is what we love, even if we have lost that a little bit since having children. 

Which canary island?

Travel plans 2017

It will come as no surprise to you that as a family we love to travel and get out there. It doesn't have to be abroad to anywhere fancy, to me travel could be to a local beach for the weekend for camping. To me it's getting away from the norm, the daily grinds of routine and home life. I love my home life don't get me wrong but I just think you get to spend quality time together when you're away and sharing those experiences and making memories is something I want to do more and more of. 

Both my husband and I both have the same outlook, lets go more, let's get away as often as we can. Responsibilities and finance permitting, it's always money huh! 

So for this year we are aiming to get away at least every 3 months, Ben thinks monthly is realistic but I'm not so sure. Obviously in the summer we will be doing our camping trips again so we should be going more often then but in these chilly months I'm not so sure. 

We have started the year well and have some plans already. So this month we are off to Snowdonia in a cottage with friends for Ben's birthday pressie and then next month Ben and I are off to London to do something we've not done in a really long time, go to a see show and we'll go away for the night just the two of us. 

In the summer we have a big family holiday booked in to go to Cyprus, staying in villas again, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Villa life is the best way to do a summer holiday in my opinion with children. I did a post on it here

We have lots of exciting ideas and plans we want to look into so watch this space! I am actually really intrigued by ski holidays, having never been on a snowy holiday before I'm really excited to look into it, possibly for the end of the year or next year. 

For now some of my favourite travel memories from last year...






Ty Garth, Porthmadog Snowdonia: Trying Out Airbnb

For Ben's birthday I arranged a getaway with our friends to a cottage in Snowdonia, North Wales. The idea was that we could have some time at the coast but also we would be in the perfect location for either walking or mountain biking for Ben and his friends. We visit North Wales fairly often for these reasons but also camping in the summer, it's not too far from us and we can be in the area in just over an hour and a half. Even though it's so close it is still nice to stay over once in a while.

I've looked on Airbnb quite a few times but never booked anything, not sure why really but this time I found what looked like a perfect house for us to stay in. We are quite a large group of 8 adults and the babies so to find somewhere that didn't resemble a bunk barn and that was in such a beautiful spot meant it got booked pretty sharpish! 

The house looked out over the Porthmadog estuary and the rugged mountains of Snowdonia, the view was out of this world. You could see the view from most rooms as the house was built of a lot of glass. We will be visiting again purely for this reason! I could have sat in one of the lounges and stared out all day, but obviously we got out and about to the beach and caves to make the most of our short trip! 

It was really easy to book through Airbnb, I'll be doing it again without hesitating. This post isn't sponsored in any way but I though I would share our experience with you in case you had contemplated it at all. 

We try to get away as often as we can, away from the daily grinds of housework, work, chores and well routine I guess so I'll be scouring the site I'm sure trying to get some more trips booked in for the rest of the year. 




Hayley xx

Do Holidays Really Change When You become Parents?
10:27:00 The little things... 0 Comments

Of course the answer to that is yes.

For starters you have extra bodies to accommodate and well that changes a lot of things; how much it costs, where you want to go, the needs you have when you are there, how you tolerate the weather, the flight time etc.

Pre Daisy and Alex we would simply scroll through the internet and find a holiday, book it and go. Now we have to think a little more about it. And when we are there we have to think about them, are they cool enough, eaten enough, drinking enough water, are they bored? Where as before I guess we were a little more care free and just went with the flow a little.

But I am not saying holidays have changed for the worst. They are just different now. We have different memories from our family holidays so far, things we may not have done pre-babies.

Some of my new favourite past times:

  • Building Sandcastles and burying toys and feet endless times on the beach
  • Chasing Daisy around the beach and in the sea (or the other way around!)
  • Watching Daisy mix with other children around the pool and beach
  • Ice creams on the beach become a lengthy past time, not a simple snack! And they are messy activities too!
  • Finding caves and rock pools (Cornwall is great for this!) and seeing what we can find in them, or in Daisy's case swimming! 
  • Writing in the sand and drawing pictures
  • Photography - Before I had children I didn't have much of an interest in this but since I love seeing what I can capture. The same goes for videography

Hayley x

How Do You Choose A Holiday For Your Family?

16:00:00 The little things... 0 Comments

There used to a time when you could just stick a pin in a world map, chuck some belongings in a case and head to anywhere your heart desired. Once you have a young family your choice of holiday destination will depend on various factors such as how far you can travel without having a meltdown (you or the kids!), how hot or cold it will be, entertainment options, food choices etc. The list goes on. You are in no way stopped going to anywhere you wish but you do have to think about it a little more and I guess you need to think that it may not quite be the same as it may have been pre-children.

The below points to think about will lead you to decide on what type of holiday may be best for you; self-catering, all inclusive, villa etc. For me it would completely depend on where you were going and the amenities available. They all have their pros and cons; will you want to do any cooking? Will you need the extra space that usually comes with self-catering?

The Weather
Before you make your destination choose look up the weather for that time of year. Will it be too hot for young children? Too cold? You want to be able to enjoy your holiday without panicking 24/7 if your baby is going to overheat. If you have your heart on a country then look up the best time of year to go that will suit your family’s needs. 

The Travel
Children are actually pretty resilient when it comes to flying, they don’t tend to have the annoyance and fear that some of us grown-ups can be instilled with. More often than not they will cope with the journey and surprise you with their patience. However you have to think if you struggle on say a 4 hour flight then think about how a child may feel being contained in a small space with a short attention span. If you feel you can entertain them then be brave and go for it.

We have flown a few times with our young children from as young as 3 months old and never had any issues, we just go armed with lots of snacks and new things to look at – books, toys etc. 

Food Choices
Sadly all the exciting stuff that drew us to a country like exotic foods, challenging the local lingo etc. has to be considered. Will you be able to offer your toddler foods that they will be happy with? Babies are obviously fairly easy if they are either being breastfed or bottle fed as long as there is equipment such as kettles available. You can get some simple sterilising bags now of any gear you need to take, so easy and cheap.

Personally we have stuck to Europe with our little ones just because we know what to expect when it comes to all of the above. We always travel either early or late summer mainly due to cost but also the temperatures are low enough to make the most out of the days and not worry about the children too much when it comes to sun protection. 

There will be a time in the future when we can become more adventurous and spontaneous with our destinations but we have just accepted that for now we need to plan a little more! 

Hayley x

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch (Viva Hotels) Review

(Before I start we paid for this holiday with our own pennies, this is not a collaboration)

If I am completely honest then I have to say we tend to shy away from big hotels, all inclusive with big block upon block of rooms. Nothing snobbish just that we prefer small hotels that are a little more set within the local area and by lots of local places to dine at and wander around.

Now you'll know if you have children how sometimes you have to compromise and change your expectations at times for an easy life. Going out of season we were unsure what Menorca would be like both in terms of restaurants etc being open or the weather being warm and so we edged to the convenience of a bigger hotel where there would be plenty to do for Daisy if the weather wasn't wonderful, if the town was quiet or if we needed somewhere easy to eat at.

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

We came across the Viva Menorca when we were scrolling through the usual Thomas Cook, Thomson etc sites and decided to go for it last minute. We flew out there within a few days, it was a last minute break before I returned to work after maternity leave. We decided to book it through Hotels.com in the end as self catering as the big package deals were all AI.

When we arrived we noticed it was pretty quiet, going in October meant that most children were in school so the island in general was fairly quiet. There were quite a few families there though, enough to entertain a toddler anyway and enough for the hotel to still be providing entertainment etc. What really drew us to this hotel over others were the pool facilities. There was a large pool (and I mean large), a little paddling pool (which we didn't use as Daisy prefers to actually swim) and a splash pool with slides etc which is where we spent most of the time when at the hotel.

We actually spent most of our time down the road at the Marina eating where there were lots of lovely restaurants and bars and in the day we pretty much camped out at the beach. The beach was beautiful, like in a little bay so the water was calm and shallow and the sand really powdery and white. It was perfect for a toddler to race around on, dig sandcastles and swim in the sea (with supervision of course!).

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

We ate at the hotel only the once in the evening so it would be unfair to rate them on that really. Although the one meal we did have was fine, it was just a buffet offering and there was plenty there and it all seemed fresh. I struggle with a buffet style meal though as I just seem to wander around aimlessly and can't seem to string a meal together somehow! The food in the children's area looked really good, lots of variety and was good to see something other than just chips and fish fingers! The restaurant was nice and big and looked clean. It was expensive though to eat there if you aren't all inclusive but I think they are set up for the majority of guests to be AI so we expected it.

We did eat at the snack bar twice though and were really impressed with the food, all nice and fresh and tasty. The toddler approved too. It was nice to see other things other than just burgers being offered.

The hotel was in a great location in Cala'n Bosch for the town and marina with it being just a ten minute walk away (nice and flat) and there was a supermarket over the road too.

Overall the hotel was good, just what we expected and gave us plenty to do for the week. It was a good base to have. I am not sure I would have enjoyed it quite so much as an all inclusive guest simply because I would have liked an Al' a Carte restaurant too. But we may be back one day :)

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

Viva Menorca & Cala' n Bosch

Hayley x

Where To Start When Planning a Wedding Abroad
16:30:00 The little things... 0 Comments

I am asked quite often about our wedding and what it was like to get married abroad so thought I would write all about it in case any of you were hoping to do the same. Also because I just love re-living it time and time again!

Married abroad, lindos weddings

Married abroad, lindos weddings

We always knew we would would get married abroad but it was just a case of when and where. The Caribbean had always been a thought but to get our family and close friends over there on long haul flights was just a little too much to ask but also we wanted something that didn't just feel like we were just at the beach for the day either. I felt like we wanted a little more authenticity or culture.

We looked at different countries and places but Greece really stood out for us after we had been a few times and loved it. When we came across Lindos we knew it would be perfect for us!

We were really lucky and stumbled across Lindos Weddings, a wedding planning company run by a British couple but who lived out in Lindos. We booked our wedding date, chapel and venue without actually seeing them for real! It was always our plan to see these places for the first time on the wedding day with our family and friends, it was risky but with Lindos Weddings putting us at ease and seeing the photos etc it just made it more exciting! However, about six months before the wedding we were looking for a last minute holiday and a last minute cheap deal to Lindos popped up - so off we went!

Before confirming numbers I recommend you send out Save the Date invites to get an idea of how many people would actually be coming. When we sent out invites we really didn't expect anything more than our direct family mums, dads and sisters and brothers to be able to come, we appreciated that it was expensive to go on a holiday and that asking people to attend was a big ask, but we just had the thought that it was what we wanted and we didn't want a huge wedding so we would be thankful for those that could come and join us. We were really surprised with the RSVPS that we got! We had pretty much 40 people attend, almost everyone that we had invited! It was really touching to know that so many people would be joining us in Greece for our special day. It was probably double the amount of guests that we had anticipated.

Married abroad, lindos weddings

Married abroad, lindos weddings

Planning the wedding was easier than I ever imagined, I had a few stressful moments but they were all small issues in the grand scheme of things. But the big things like the venue - we chose a quaint, tiny little chapel over looking the bay (Agios Demtrios) rather than one of the more busy places on the island, the reception and dancing venue were really easy decisions. We saw them and knew it was just what we wanted. Small, pretty and well just what we wanted.

Having the wedding planners made it stress free. However I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea and some people would want far more control. If that is the case then perhaps a wedding abroad wouldn't be for you. I chose all the little touches that I wanted, music, speeches, food choices etc but a lot was unseen until the day. This is still far more decisions that you would make with perhaps a travel company such as Thomas Cook.

The wedding planners did most things for us, they sent us lots of photos and literature to look through and we were also able to do our own research and send over any ideas we had. It was so easy because they did all the hard work for us.

At the time of looking at photographers we came across some gorgeous photos on facebook, when we asked Lindos Weddings if he was on their list of suppliers he actually wasn't at the time but they were completely happy for us to use him as they knew him and his photos are out of this world! He now is their recommended photographer and I can see why. This was the best decision we made other than to get married there in the first place.

Hayley x

Is Beautiful Verona Suitable for Toddlers?

As part of our trip in Italy late last year we travelled from Lake Garda on the train to the cosmoplitan city of Verona. If you haven't caught my previous posts you can find them here and here.

We absolutly loved Italy and Verona was no exception.

We visited on a bit of a gloomy day but that didn't take anything away from the beauty of the city.

We were lucky that Daisy was happy to be in her carrier for most of the day and actually napped for a good part of it so we were able to explore freely and well in peace kind of! Without the carrier it wouldn't have been quite so easy as the main shopping streets are busy and you can do a fair bit of walking to see some of the outskirts of the city down by the river.

One place you have to visit is Casa di Giulietta, which you will no doubt know as the House Of Juliet. You will have read or at least watched Romeo and Juliet and well this is the balcony that features in the film. If I am completely honest it wasn't all that exciting but somewhere I would have been disappointed to not have seen if we had missed it!

The other top tourist spot was The Arena. We paid to enter and well again it wasn't all that exciting, I expect it to be far more enjoyable in an evening watching some spectacular show though! It was an amazing piece or architecture from the outside though, did you know it is older than the Coliseum?

Other than that we wandered along the River Adige and took in the beautiful sights and architecture. We also sat in one of the famous squares had a nice coffee, gelato and people watched.

Here are a few of our photos from our trip;

Hayley xx

How To Master A Flight With Young Children

So about 18 months ago I published a post all about flying with a baby and some top tips. Recently my blog has gone through a bit of a make over and I have been focusing quite heavily on all things travel and photography, although I will always continue to discuss and vent about all things "mum" too.

In light of the recent re-jiggle I thought I would do another post about flying with toddlers and babies, an updated version if you like. Since the last post I wrote we have taken Daisy a few more times on flights and so I may be able to offer a few more tips too.

  • Make sure you take a change of clothes for them (or as many as you can in your hand luggage)- One time when Daisy was around 6 months old we had only just left home and she vomited everywhere. I would have had to root around in our suitcases if I hadn't packed a spare sleepsuit with us for travel. Or I dread to think what I would have done had it have happened on the flight! Especially having to share a seat with her all the way, delightful.  

  • Take plenty of snacks and food. You can take as many snacks and pouches etc with you as you see fit when travelling with a baby/ toddler. Be prepared to try some random bits at security if asked though, although I have never had to do this myself I have heard about people being made to. You are allowed to take baby milk, water and food on board if it is for your babies use for the duration of the flight, and it CAN be over 100ml. Baby food and milk is exempt from the 100 ml liquid rules. This includes; sterilised water, breast/powdered/ cartoned milk of all kinds, and baby food of all consistencies and packaging. 

  • Take Calpol with you. Again you CAN travel with baby's medicine no problem. Luckily I didn't need this but always good to have with you. 

  • Take lots of interesting things to play with and look at. I usually go to the pound shop before we are due to go and pick up some random little things as mini presents for the flight bag. I do this because if they are things she hasn't seen before they tend to keep her attention longer! Books are always a winner with us!

  • When booking a flight try to look at times if possible. In the past we would have just hopped on the cheapest flight going but now we do try to make them as appropriate as possible.
  • You will in most cases be able to take your pram/ stroller right up to the gate so you don't have to lug baby around the airport and your hand luggage etc. If your stroller is in the aircraft hold, then you will generally collect it at the baggage belt, where you collect your suitcases.

Daisy (so far) is a brilliant traveller and we hardly hear a peep from her, although now she is well into toddlerhood she is a little more unpredictable!

We have had a incident on the way back from Cyprus on the descent where she started to scream and scream. I had never heard her cry like that before, it was actually really disturbing and made me feel quite upset! It had to be her ears. She was drinking her bottle as we started going down - which is what had been recommended to me before we had flown. The sucking makes their ears pop as it does ours! But her little ears were having none of it this time, a dummy wouldn't work, eating wouldn't work. She was just inconsolable. I guess what I am trying to say is just because you had a good flight once doesn't mean it will always be easy, so be prepared for all eventualities! The only thing I found to soothe her slightly was to cover her ears with my hands and hold her as tightly as I could into my chest, lots of cuddles. 

Apparently crying does actually help relieve the pain, but it's not exactly soothing for you and your fellow passengers.

Hayley x

Sunny Days in St. Ives Cornwall

As a child my sister and I would often holiday in Cornwall with our parents and more often than not our cousins too. I remember those times being full of beach days, body boarding, sticky ice creams and scrounging seagulls. One actually stole my cousins ice cream out of her hand once when in St Ives!

Anyway, with fond memories and knowing how beautiful it is down there I always knew I wanted us to have some fun down there too.

When Daisy was just a few months old we went down to stay in Cornwall for a week in the Padstow area (kind of) and we did a few visits around there including The Eden Project and loved it. With Alex only being tiny we decided now would be another good time to do the long drive down for a British summer holiday! 

This time we stayed in the St Ives area in the St Ives Bay Holiday Park. We almost booked a private apartment but chose the park in the end due to the facilities available to wear Daisy out and its location, right on the beach. I would highly recommend it and maybe one day we will return. The park is fab purely because it has private access to a beautiful sandy beach, the only issue being clambering back up the sand dunes to get out with children and all their gear is not fun!

It was a really central park with some great places around it, St Ives town is 5 miles away, with Falmouth 21 miles, Newquay 25, and lands End 19.

 I did a post here all about some little top tips for caravan holidays! 

We didn't do much when we were down there except pretty much camp out on the beach. The weather was so good that there really was very little need to do much else. Carbis bay and Godrevy were some of our favourites. 

If we could guarantee the warmer weather then I have no doubt sunny Cornwall would see us more often, sitting on those beautiful beaches could quite easily outdo many of the beaches we've seen abroad.

The only thing I would suggest with St Ives is that if you can go out of peak season then I would. I would love to go back around autumn time when the streets of St Ives town is quieter, it was tricky to manoeuvre with the children and really enjoy it in the summer. 

Hayley x

Visiting Venice as a young family

Venice is pretty spectacular. That's not the kind of word I tend to use very often but it just seems to fit in this instance. 

Venice with kids is perhaps not the same kind of romantic trip as it might be as a couple, but it can still be enjoyed with little ones and it's still just as amazing.  

If we are honest it is fairly unlikely Daisy will ever remember her trip to Venice, she was just under 2 years old after all. But she had a great time while we were there and we captured some memories for her to look back on. 

We found ourselves just walking about taking it all in but did end up on the main square a few times. We aren't made of money and so the idea of a coffee in Piazza San Marco wasn't too appealing, as much as I would have loved to have sat and watched everyone scurrying past while having an Aperol. It just wouldn't have been worth it with a toddler to have to chase about. But we did spend quite a lot of time say in the square and wandering about. Daisy had a little boogy to the orchestra outside one of the cafes, chased the pigeons around the square and sat on the step to enjoy a gelato in the square. She may not remember those moments but as parents we will. 

We didn't visit the museums and do much of the "adult" type visits because Daisy just wouldn't have been interested. But if I'm honest I was happy to just roam about and explore the city. We hopped on water taxis from one side to the other and just enjoyed the time rambling about stopping for a coffee, gelato or pizza en route! 

We had Daisy in her carrier most of the time as I really would not recommend a pushchair in Venice. The grounds uneven, it's busy and there are lots of obstacles to tackle and I can't imagine it would be pleasant trying to do that with a buggy! I did a review here all about how we used it on our travels. 

Venice is a bit of a maze, albeit a very pretty one that makes you feel like you're in a story rather than real life. It’s fairly small, and even if you do get lost, you will soon find signs on the walls pointing to the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, or Ferrovia (train station) which helps you to guide yourself.  
We did just two days in Venice before heading to the lakes and we stayed outside of the main city in a hotel, mainly because hotels within the canals are crazy money and secondly we wanted to be by the train station for our transport links.

One day I would love to return for the weekend and just take it much slower, eat more food, drink more coffee and Aperol (I was pregnant with Alex when we were there last!)  and ideally stay in the city to see how different it is when you experience it that way.

Hayley X

Is Lake Garda suitable for a young family?

Italy is somewhere that was always on my wish list of places I would love to go one day, it didn't really matter where as it all looks so beautiful. 

Ben and I decided to go last year and visit a few places while we were there to make the most of it. We would fly to Venice, move on to Lake Garda and see a few towns there and then do a trip to Verona before heading back to Venice. 

As excited as I was for the trip I did feel a little apprehensive of what it would be like with a toddler in tow. Daisy would have been around 20 months old so not always the easiest time for her to travel. I wondered how she would be in Venice where she couldn't just run free when ever she fancied, how would she take the train journeys between places and how would we entertain her? Never mind feed her when she was just turning into the worlds fussiest eater! We really didn't need to worry Lake Garda is a lovely destination for children of all ages. There is plenty to do with a little planning and most things are accessible. We didn't get to sit and enjoy the cafe patios with an Aperol Spritz quite as much as we would if we were there as just a couple but we still had a fantastic holiday and had plenty of gelatos! 

I will go into detail about Venice on a separate post, this one will be all about Lake Garda. 

Is Lake Garda suitable for a young family?

We got one of the high speed trains to the Lake from Venice and although I am not a big fan of train journeys back home these are a different experience altogether. They run to the minute, aren't late, are clean and comfortable. As well as being speedy of course! The train journey was around 2 hours long and with a bit of help from Peppa pig it went smoothly. 

We stayed in Peschiera del Garda which is a town in the Verona province and stayed at a campsite called Camping Bella Italia. The town is set within the walls of an island fortress surrounded by quaint canals. Hidden behind the town walls you'll find the pedestrianised centre with cobbled streets and plenty of pavement cafés and restaurants. It's a quiet, pretty town that won't take you long to wander around but with give you a nice sense of being in Italy. 

We stayed in a Canvas Holidays lodge but there are lots of options on this site. It is based right on the front of the lake and had all the amenities you would need like restaurants, supermarkets, pool etc. We first started considering the camping option because it was something completely different from our few nights in Venice and also is so much more affordable than a hotel. You also get that degree of independence too, which is always good when you have a small child that needs space to tear around in!

It was perfect for families as lots to do including things like bike hire and a kids club. We actually did hire bikes on one of our last days here which was great fun! Something we hadn't done before so it was memory I will keep forever. 
I should note that we travelled in October and so it was out of season and the park was half empty, I am unsure if I would love it quite so much if it was really busy and hot. Although both Ben and I both said how nice it would have been to swim in the lakes if it had been warm enough, maybe something for the future. 
From Peschiera we were able to get the boat or bus from the centre of town to a few places such as Sirmione and Lazise. It was a great location for travelling about. The transport there is punctual and easy so there is no excuse not to see more of the Lake. They were completely child friendly too so you don't need to worry about that. We did find though due to the nature of cobbled streets and tight little alleys and hills to walk up that the child carrier was much easier to use than a pushchair! 
We also had a day trip out to Verona which was just beautiful. I will share those photos separately too. 
So I will let the photos do the talking now...

We would certainly travel to Italy again with our children and travel about to see as much as possible. We found October to be a great time to go as it was warm and dry most days but not uncomfortable to walk around in, it was just right for Daisy.

If you have any further questions please feel free to ask,

Hayley xx

Please do not copy photographs without our permission

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Travel: Camping Pods with a toddler & baby in Ta-ly-Bont Wales

As a family we love camping and trying out new places, although we do tend to frequently visit the Barmouth area of Wales as it isn't too far away and there are some beautiful, vast beaches there to run on and where the dog can burn off some steam too.

We usually camp in a tent but with Alex being just two weeks old at the time I was a little anxious about having him in a tent. I had a scout around online and managed to find these pods for just £35 a night and on one of our favourite stretches of coastline,Tal-y-bont. On Tyddyn Goronwy Camping Park.

They are set on a field just back from the busier parks, around 10 pods and a few pitches the other end of the field for tents etc. The facilities are limited, just a simple shower and toilet block which I should say were immaculate and clean. It probably helped that you have to have a pin code to get into them, they were just what you need with a young family. There was no shop but we weren't far from the huge Sunny Sands resort which is on the beach front so we just used the fish & chips shop and mini market there if we needed anything.

Set between sea and mountain views and not far from Snowdonia, the roomy, clean and affordable pods at Tyddyn Goronwy are big enough for a family, insulated and secure (you are given keys), with electricity.

Inside the pods there was just a heater, lighting, carpet and electrical sockets. Oh and a TV up on the wall with a DVD player, which we didn't use. So you still need to take your sleeping things, airbed etc with you. I know you can find pods with all of those things in but for the price of these we had more than we needed, they were really good value. No hassle of putting up a tent, nice and warm, quiet and also super sturdy! 

The beach is around a 10 minute walk down the lane past the other caravan sites, although we drove down with all our beach things and children! We could have managed the walk easily though if we really wanted to.

The beach down there is really clean, open and goes as far as your eyes can see. It really is big so even in the peaks of summer you never feel that you are on top of other families.

It is just a short drive down to Barmouth if you fancied finding a few more amenities or if it was a rainy day and you fancied something else to do!

You can find the pods here.

Find video of our stay here too:

Hayley xxx
Thursday, 4 August 2016

St. Ives 2016 Holiday VLOG

If you have seen our latest post all about some top tips for having a caravan holiday with a toddler then you will already know we have not long holidayed in St Ives.

This is our latest video blog, a little montage of our trip.

I will be sharing lots of photos soon over on the travel page of the blog.

Hayley xxx
Saturday, 30 July 2016

Caravan holidays with a toddler hacks

As a family (especially before babies) we have always loved to travel and any disposable income naturally leant itself to holidays and weekends away. Obviously when children come along travel needs and desires change, you want things to be as easy and stress free as possible, if that even exists of course. But we give it a good go! 

Travelling with toddlers and tots is all about give and take. So with a little organisation, preparation and patience you can all enjoy the break. Daisy has been abroad a few times already and actually she didn't make things too tricky but we know with another baby thrown in the mix that it could well be more difficult and so we decided to have our summer week away in the UK, that and we haven't got him a passport! 

We've often holidayed here so it's nothing new to us, you can find posts on Bluestone and Center Parcs here as well as many other places in the travel tab at the top of the page. This time we stayed in a static caravan on St Ives Bay Holiday Park

I thought I would share a few little tips that we picked up from our stay;

Tub baths - The one big thing that made me unsure about this type of holiday was that caravans don't tend to come with baths and my babies are used to having a good wash in one. Although Daisy likes a shower it depends on how it is to if she will actually wash in one!!

We take a large storage box with all of our groceries, handy items like in bin bags and loo rolls in for easy packing, this doubles as a bath!! I could bath Alex in it properly but Daisy is just able to sit in it and be washed, perfect for getting the sand out of areas that we would have struggled in the shower with!

Own bedding - This applies where ever we go. If we can then we take Daisy's pillow and quilt with us. That way she has her familiar things with her and you know she's comfortable. 

Choosing the right venue- when booking a holiday we now have to make sure it's toddler friendly, gone are the days of ensuring a location is central to lots of swanky restaurants as a priority but instead hunting for swings and slides, swimming pools, grass to run on, child friendly cafe and take away and somewhere you can get places with them walking.

Toddler entertainment - Get yourself to Poundland or the supermarkets before you leave for beach toys, buckets etc as you will really pay a premium when at the coast!

Cleanings Bits & Bobs - I have holidayed like this plenty of times as a child myself but never had the responsibility of going with my own family until now. My mum made sure we took bin bags, tea towels, dish clothes, washing up liquid etc as none of this is supplied. I took a few packets of anti- bacterial wipes too as they're so quick and easy for wiping things down. 

We recently stayed in St Ives Bay Holiday Park which had all of the facilities you would need with a toddler that doesn't stop, needs entertaining and needs wearing out! Perhaps wouldn't have been our first choice of accommodation a few years ago as a couple with no children but how times change!!! Or at least you're forced into making practical decisions anyway!! Anything that helps give you a quieter life!

Hayley xxx

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Holidaying with a baby/ toddler: Villa Life

We have been on holiday and decided to stay in a villa a few times now, last year was the first time we took Daisy and it was by far the best idea we had. The style of accommodation that best suits your plans is one of the major decisions you have to make when planning any trip abroad, this is even more important when you have a mini human to take along with you too! 

I am sure you can imagine that once the travelling nightmares are over then it is pretty much home away from home, you can make yourself comfortable, have your own space and take things at your own leisure and pace rather than putting in plans around the facilities at the hotel, feeding times etc.

It is the way we would would 100% choose to take our holiday now if it was an option. We have since stayed in hotels and things, and well that is nice too but we do find villa life so much easier with a child, and well potentially two very soon. (The baby is not potential, he is definitely en route within the next few weeks, but I am unsure if we will get a holiday this year or not!).

We went to Cyprus with Daisy when she was just about one year old. There were so many factors that made this holiday so relaxed and that were contributed to by the fact we had our own little home for the week:

  • Space - And plenty of it! There was enough room to put her down for a nap, get shade, feed her, give her a good nights sleep and spread out our baby/ toddler paraphernalia! 
  • Avoid the heat - We could avoid the peak heat times, so in an afternoon Daisy could snooze away for a few hours in the bedroom or living room where it was nice and cool and we could sit right outside her door and enjoy the sunshine! You would be very lucky to be able to do this in a hotel! 
  • Food and drink options - Well we used to go to the supermarket every couple of days, which is actually one of my favourite things to do anyway on holiday! We could lunch at the villa, have breakfast every morning so there was no rushing about and we could even have had evening meals if we chose to. We actually only ate in a few times in the evening but with two children we may do it far more! Of course not only is it convenient with a child, especially when at the weaning phase but it actually works out much cheaper to eat at home when you can! 
  • You have the pool to yourself! I don't think I need to go into too much detail here! 
  • The majority of villas we found have all the mod-cons you would need from that may not necessarily get at a hotel or that you would have to pay extra for anyway; Wi-Fi to air conditioning and like I already mentioned,your own private pool. No more quarrels over sun loungers and disturbed relaxation (except for having a child to look after of course!!) and the best position guaranteed.You simply just follow the sun around the garden! 
  • A car - of course you don't have to opt to have a car and you could always get one if you stayed in a hotel too but with a car you can also use it as a base to discover the area, site-see when you fancy it and get to know the place you have travelled to.It allows you to travel to these places without being tied to organised trips and public transport, which lets face it isn't all that pleasant with a baby in tow!!

This has made me feel all nostalgic now and craving a bit of sunshine, but we will have to see what the year has in store for us first!

Lots of love,
Hayley xx
Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Our first Center Parcs break: Whinfell Forest March 2016

Last week we decided to take a break and have a little holiday at Center Parcs, we decided on Whinfell Forest, Cumbria. There are various locations to choose from all over the UK but my husband thought he would tie in some walking up mountains so the Lake District was the right choice on this occasion! We really fancied going to Longleat to start with but mainly to visit the safari park that is close by, sadly that wasn't open until Easter so maybe next time.

I will share a few photos later in the week but for now I thought I would share a little video I have put together of our stay!

We were really impressed with the parc and the facilities they offer. Having visited Bluestone before and loving it, we wondered how it would compare or if it would be similar. They have their similarities but on the whole Center Parcs is much larger (or this site was!), but we loved both so hopefully one day will return. You can find some of our Bluestone posts here and here.

The accommodation was a similar style of modern lodges in the forest with everything you would need for a young family.

The facilities are great for all of the family, with activities such as the soft play (in most restaurants!). the tots zone, mini golf, the huge swimming pool, high ropes etc there was always something for us to do. Sadly we didn't get to do everything we wanted to do, we missed out things such as the bowling and going on the boats as we just ran out of time!

I do wonder how busy it would be in the peak of summer and how manic some of the areas such as the play parks and soft play would be, with school age children tearing around the toddlers but I am sure it would be just as good!


Hayley xxx
Thursday, 22 October 2015

Taking the LittleLife Adventurer on our travels

We recently (well back in the spring) purchased the LittleLife Adventurer baby/ toddler carrier from GoOutdoors and I thought I would share our thoughts on it with you. Just to clarify that I have in no way been subsidised for this review and we bought the carrier with our own pennies!

We have used it quite a bit over the summer, taking the dog for a walk, camping, on the beach etc. And it has been perfect.

We recently went on a holiday to Italy where we started with a few days in Venice and then moved on to lake Garda where we did some more travelling about seeing beautiful parts of the lake and even went on to Verona for the day. Before we went it was recommended that we ditch the pushchair for Venice and opt for our baby carrier. First of all we were unsure of the rules on taking baby baggage on a flight, but it turns out you can take two pieces - so a pushchair and a car seat or in our case this time the carrier and buggy.

We were so glad we were given this tip because Venice with a buggy could have been a bit of a nightmare, all of those cobbles, uneven streets and steps over tiny bridges, never mind getting on and off the water taxis and all of the tourists ankles we could have chopped off! The baby carrier was so much easier.

I have put together a little video to show you around the carrier and to show you some of our travels with the adventurer:

I honestly would give this carrier a 4.5/5! The only thing that stops me giving that massive 5 is that its quite tall, I am only 5 foot 4 and when I have tried it on I have felt quite swamped by it! Luckily my husband tends to wear ours and finds it fine to use and light. Daisy is 18 months old now and so not so light in herself! His shoulders did ache when we left Venice the 2nd day but only for a few hours, and exactly as you would expect lugging a lump around all day!

We would highly recommend this carrier!

Lots of love,
Hayley & Daisy

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Braving that first holiday abroad with a baby: Flying

Firstly I am not sure if Daisy still counts as a baby, or maybe she has moved onto being a toddler? What ever, it doesn't matter anyway, the same principles will apply I am sure.

Those of you that follow my YouTube channel or instagram will know earlier in the summer we went to Cyprus for a few weeks and this was Daisys first trip abroad on an aeroplane! I am sure you will have seen all of the holiday photo spam! I thought I would write a little about our holiday and maybe a few little tips that i will use in future but also that may be useful to someone else who is thinking about or who is taking their little one with them on holiday soon.

So for the flight:

  • Make sure you take a change of clothes for them - we had only just left home and Daisy was sick everywhere. I'd have had to root around in our suitcases if I hadn't packed a spare sleepsuit with us for travel. Or I dread to think what I would have done had it have happened on the flight! Especially having to share a seat with her all the way, yuck! 
  • Take lots of snacks and food. You can take as many snacks and pouches etc with you as you see fit when travelling with a baby/ toddler. Be prepared to try some random bits at security if asked though! I was lucky enough not to have to on this trip, although I wouldn't have minded too much to be honest. I am not sure I would have fancied trying my breast milk or even formula though had I have taken any of that!! I actually took two bottles of milk through with me, a couple of Ellas Kitchen pouches, lots of Organix snacks like Raisins and carrot sticks and her beaker of water too. You are allowed to take baby milk and food on board, if it is for your babies use for the duration of the flight, and it CAN be over 100ml. Baby food and milk is exempt from the 100 ml liquid rules. This includes; sterilised water, breast/powdered/ cartoned milk of all kinds, and baby food of all consistencies and packaging. 
  • Take Calpol with you. Again you can travel with baby's medicine no problem. Luckily I didn't need this but always good to have with you. In future I will take the little sachets though, I was panicking constantly about smashing the bottle! 
  • Take lots of interesting things to play with and look at. I went to the pound shop before we left and got some random little things for Daisy as mini presents in her flight bag. It was more so they were things she hadn't seen before and so kept her attention longer! Books are always a winner with us!
  • When booking a flight try to look at times if possible. In the past we would have just hopped on the cheapest flight going but this time we really had to look into flights. I wanted to make it as easy for her as I possibly could! 
  • You will in most cases be able to take your pram/ stroller right up to the gate so you don't have to lug baby around the airport and your hand luggage etc. If your stroller is in the aircraft hold, then you will generally collect it at the baggage belt, where you collect your suitcases.
Daisy was a brilliant traveller going and we hardly heard a peep from her. She slept a little and then just grazed her way through snacks, played with her toys and chatted to us and fellow passengers. On the way back on the descent she started to scream and scream. I had never heard her cry like that before, it was actually really disturbing and made me feel so upset! It had to be her ears. She was drinking her bottle as we started going down - which is what had been recommended to me before we had flown. The sucking makes their ears pop as it does ours! But her little ears were having none of it this time, a dummy wouldn't work, eating wouldn't work. She was just inconsolable. I guess what I am trying to say is just because you had a good flight once doesn't mean it will be plains sailing again, so be prepared for that! The only thing I found to soothe her slightly was to cover her ears with my hands and hold her as tightly as I could into my chest, lots of cuddles. 

Apparently crying does actually help relieve the pain, but it's not exactly soothing for you and your fellow passengers. 

Hope this helps :)

Hayley & Daisy xx

Monday, 13 July 2015

Travelling as part of my job: 36 hours in Paris

Those of you that know me or have been following me a while will know for my everyday job, I have to travel. A part of it that I enjoyed a few years ago and a part of it that I now find difficult, for the obvious reason I have a little Daisy at home.

Here you can see 36 hours in Paris..


Lots of love,

Hayley xxx
Thursday, 25 June 2015

Sorry for going AWOL.. Holiday abroad with baby

Well I have been a bit AWOL this past week or so and that is because we were on our hols!

I should be back in action from this week and caught up hopefully.

In the mean time, here is what we have been up to...

Lots of love,

Hayley & Daisy xxx
Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Our very first Vlog: All about Bluestone

Just incase you missed it I gave Vlogging a little go!

I'm not sure it's something I'll do a lot of but I did quite enjoy it and enjoyed the challenge! And where best to start other than on our little Bluestone holiday.

I would love it if you gave it a little thumbs up :) It may just persuade me to do a few more!

Lots of love,

Hayley & Daisy xxx

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Our 1st family holiday #3 Padstow & The Eden Project

Here goes... the last post of our family holiday and probably the most picture heavy!

It's making me quite sad actually writing this, our holiday was a lifetime ago now :(

First up Padstow. I have been here before with my family when I was a child, and you see it a lot on the tele. To be honest I was disappointed, it didn't live up to what I was expecting this time. I was expecting it to be bigger and probably more high end than it was. i wonder if it would be different in peak times?

It wasn't as quaint as I remembered either. Rick Stein has definitely got the monopoly here, everything has his name on!

And then the Eden Project. I wasn't sure what to expect here but I had a lovely day, and Daisy really enjoyed it too! 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

Friday, 30 May 2014

Happy two year wedding anniversary (photo post)

Seeing as it's our two year wedding anniversary today I though I would share a photo post. I've already blogged about our wedding day in Lindos, if you missed it you can catch up here.

Post 1 
Post 2
Post 3

Happy two years wedding anniversary to my best friend xx

I own the copyright to all photographs 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx


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