A Mini-Break in Bath to visit The Roman Baths

We started off half term with a trip to Bath, one of my favourite places in the UK. We haven’t really explored Bath with the children before so it was great to go on a city break and do things we wouldn’t usually do – with the main focus of our trip being to visit The Roman Baths, somewhere I hadn’t been since I was LP’s age.

We stayed at SACO Apartments on St James Parade overnight which was a great base to explore the city. They have parking, wifi and even a welcome pack to get you started – it was lovely to have milk, tea and breakfast staples ready and one less thing to worry about.

Continue reading “A Mini-Break in Bath to visit The Roman Baths”

Is Travel the Key to your Happiness?

*This is a collaborative post

Sitting here, with the grey weather outside the window, the heating on and feeling like there’s nothing to look forward to until the summer, I find myself starting to look for our summer holiday, thinking of those sunny days by the pool, lazing on the beach or exploring somewhere new. And it makes me happy.

So it’s no surprise that research from Booking.com, where they surveyed 17,000 people from 17 countries, has shown that going away on holiday gives us more of an emotional boost than other big life events – your own wedding day (49%), going on a date with your partner (51%), landing a new job (50%), getting engaged (45%) or even having a baby (29%). Like me, the majority of those surveyed – a whopping 77% – also look to book a holiday when they’re in need of a happiness boost or pick me up.

Continue reading “Is Travel the Key to your Happiness?”

Let your Brainwaves choose your Perfect Holiday with Explore #explorethemoment

*This is a collaborative post

It’s often hard to pick the perfect holiday, with so many countries, so many different holiday types and just so many options. Finding your dream holiday can be like finding a needle in a haystack but now, thanks to Explore, finding the perfect holiday can be so much easier.

I was invited to an Explore pop up stand in a local shopping centre so they could show me their latest technology designed to help everyone find the holidays of their dreams – often without realising it’s where they would really love to go.

Continue reading “Let your Brainwaves choose your Perfect Holiday with Explore #explorethemoment”

Travelling Towards Adventure in Jakarta and Indonesia

*This is a collaborative post

This summer we were due to go on our perfect family holiday. It was to be our first big adventure since having children and LP and Little Man’s inaugural trip on an aeroplane. I was so sad when the holiday operator let us down and we ended up having to cancel.

But despite all the heartbreak and stress before we went, we managed to find another holiday. It wasn’t what we’d hoped for. It was a week instead of two and it wasn’t what we’d planned. And despite it all, we had such an amazing time that it has made me think a little differently about travel.

IMG_1840

The Lure of Jakarta

As I researched my last holiday, I realised that there was so much of the world I’d never seen. I love city breaks but there are vibrant cities full of culture, shopping and excitement that I’ll never visit if I don’t rediscover my sense of adventure.

One such city is Jakarta in Indonesia. Reading this article about the city’s 170 shopping malls reignited my desire to see the place. The malls scream luxury. They are places to meet, eat and socialise as well as shopping. They are relaxed, air-conditioned environments where people feel safe.

Contrast this then with the other thing I love about Jakarta – the markets. This offers a completely different shopping experience. You can take in the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced side street where beautiful clothing is extremely cheap and you can mingle with the locals doing their daily shop. And of course I’d find time for the culture of the city, exploring temples, local coffee shops and art galleries.

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 17, 2011: Vendor sells vegetables at the Pasar Pramuka Market in Jakarta, Central Java, Indonesia.

After soaking up the Jakarta atmosphere, I’d want a base that was relaxing. You can book the Gran Melia Jakarta via Traveloka and be sure that the height of luxury awaits you after a hard day of shopping. I’d love to relax in the pool and plan the next part of my trip.

The Islands of Indonesia

When you think of Indonesian Islands, Bali is probably the place that springs to mind. Whilst it is undoubtedly a beautiful location, there are actually 17,000 islands in Indonesia. I’d like to explore some of the lesser known islands and find my own little deserted cove.

The beautiful nature of Komodo national park

I’ve always been fascinated by Sumatra and Borneo. They have some of the most diverse areas of rainforest in the world and I’d like the children to learn about the rainforest first hand. Can you imagine how amazing it would be for them to see orang-utans in the wild or volunteer at a sanctuary when they’re older?

Mother, baby and child orangutans from Sabah in Malaysian Borneo

At the moment my travel dreams are just that – dreams. But one day I hope to explore a more of the world with my little family. And Jakarta seems like a great place to start.

Keeping Children Entertained on a Plane

One thing I was nervous about when having our first holiday abroad was how the children would cope with the flight, having not really spent that much time confined to one place before – aside from our long car journeys to Cumbria, Cornwall and Scotland – which I guess are quite similar!

I packed the children’s bags the night before we left and filled them with things I thought the children might like, that might keep them occupied for a while and that we were allowed to take on a flight. Here’s what we took:

Magazines – the children love magazines and always come back to them after they’ve first read them, taking time to add the stickers, complete the activities and read the stories.

Sticker books – their favourite thing about magazines is the stickers so sticker books will always keep LP and Little Man entertained. There’s something about finding the right sticker for the right gap that keeps the children focused and makes them so proud of themselves afterwards.

IMG_2257

Colouring – Colouring keeps the children entertained for hours and a small packet of crayons or pencils is easy to pack.

IMG_1084

Small toy – We got both the children a new basic toy for the flight – LP had a My Little Pony and Little Man had a Transformers Mr Potato Head. They only cost about £5 each and the novelty of having a new toy just for holiday kept them quite excited.

Snacks/Drink – we packed their favourite snacks and their drinks bottle from home to give them something familiar. Plus, snacks and drinks always pass the time. Because of the liquid restrictions at airports we filled up the bottles at a drinks fountain once we were through security.

Tablets – As a last resort we packed their tablets and took the time restrictions off. If all else fails, the children always love playing on their ‘puters’ but as it turned out they were happy to sit, draw, read magazines and stick stickers in books. The in flight meals also kept them occupied for quite a while!

The children were also sent a suitcase of goodies from iCarHireInsurance perfect for any long journey. It included a sun shade – great for long car journeys, a tamagotchi that took me back to my childhood and bubbles – a lovely treat when you reach the destination! They’d also put together Car Bingo which would be awesome on any long journey!

IMG_0931

What is your must have activity to pack for long journeys? I know Hubby wants to invest in travel Spirograph and we’ll be stocking up on more ideas for our next adventure.

IMG_1083

Disclosure: We were sent a box of travel goodies as mentioned above to include in a post however all opinions are my own.