Local Christmas Trips With The Family

Christmas is coming and there are many places close to home I would like to take the family. This is my list of top five days out for the Christmas season.

Firstly, I live in North Wales, just 15 minutes from England which is really convenient as we can access beaches, cities, and scenic countryside pretty easily. This means there are plenty of places to visit during Christmas.

Number 1 – Chester Christmas Markets

Christmas markets always get me in the mood for this wonderful time of year. I would like to go further afield but as this is the closest one to me I will be going into Chester.

This is a quaint market that can get quite packed so I plan to go as early as possible as my son doesn’t like too many people around. When visiting any market you need an empty stomach to indulge on hog roast, sweets, and roasted chestnuts. There is also a gin bar which I will be visiting along with a quick stop for a hot chocolate.

The markets are great places for all of the family but take a moment to find out the best time to visit based on what type of atmosphere you like most.

Number 2 – Chester Zoo

15589796_10155693362437178_4099018396162456280_n

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo are fantastic for little ones, we went last year had a lovely time. The atmosphere is joyful, although it is usually very cold so a scarf and gloves are on the cards.

When you arrive just take the trail indicated and enjoy many animals, and flowers all lite up guiding you along the path. This is a fun place to explore especially for the children as they discover animals in a whole new light!

We went to the canteen for a hot dog and hot drink to warm us up before leaving, and this was okay although I would probably grab something on the way home next time.

Number 3 – Garden Centres

This may seem boring but even if you have no interest in gardening then this is the time to take a trip here. The garden centres near me have amazing trees decorated to perfection, which provide the best inspiration for your tree at home. I do find the price of many of the baubles high but you can always look and recreate within your budget.

Children, especially small ones, love seeing the lights and decorations surrounding them and the many Santa’s and Snowmen bring a smile to their faces.

It’s also nice to visit the onsite cafe and have a hot drink, cake or lunch surrounded by the festive decorations, this is a great time to think about what you might buy.

Number 4 – Ice Rink

I live quite close to an ice skating rink and don’t seem to visit it much and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to take a trip. I am not great at ice skating but I can stay up (well from what I remember I can), but it is great to give it a go.

It can be pricey but it is Christmas after all. The main expense is hiring the skates as I don’t go often even to purchase my own. Again, once the skating is done food is a must!

Number 5 – Chirk Castle

It’s time to learn about Christmas history at Chirk Castle. This year the castle are doing a make-believe Christmas that follows the stories of former children who lived in the castle.

As well as learning there are also glorious decorations in the State Rooms and a fairy-tale trail that tell stories of dragons and fairies. This is an amazing time to let your children discover and enjoy Christmas in a totally new way.

I will be visiting this castle during the festive season and will be sure to create a post all about our discoveries.

There we have it my little list of Christmas activities for 2018.

Thanks

 

Sophie

Time With Friends: Planning A Trip With The Girls

So, you and your girlfriends have decided to take a holiday for a week or two of fun, perhaps it’s to celebrate a big birthday, a hen’s getaway, or simply a vacay for some quality time together.

This will not be a trip for those craving historical architecture and old ruins; however, a girly getaway is the perfect time to indulge in some serious relaxation, sustainable shopping, and plenty of photo-taking for those lovely memories. The following are some things to check out and think about before your board your plane towards an adventure with your favorite people.

SKKP.PNG

A Time To Indulge (Why Not?)

After you and your friends have unpacked your summer wardrobe, popped your new sandals on, and freshened up; you’ll all need to find sustenance for your escape to start the right way. Unpack in one of your luxury apartments so that you can find an array of food and drink options on your dreamy getaway. It’s always worth planning the places you’ll want to frequent beforehand so that you don’t waste any time. If you want to go all out and enjoy an evening of pure elegance; find the latest restaurants and bars that are hitting the destination with a bang. If people are waxing lyrical online about a venue; it’s worth booking a table or booth in advance of you getting on the plane.

You can’t go on a girls trip without toasting your adventures with a cocktail (or two); so, whether you’re drinking a non-alcoholic mojito, or you fancy something a little stronger, you’ll want to find the best bars in town to sample their delights. Think about where you’ll enjoy incredible views as you sip your beverages, and find somewhere that have an imaginative menu when it comes to drink flavors and combinations, so you’ll be able to get snap happy and ensure that those back home are suitably jealous.

A Time To Unwind (You’ve been Busy)

If you need a massage and facial to recover properly from the night before, or you simply want to be pampered for relaxation purposes; luckily, the internet is a great way to discover where to go to indulge and what treatments are available for you and your friends. You could all book treatments before you leave for the airport so that you know you’re getting that mani/pedi within an hour of setting foot off your plane.

Spend a day together being totally pampered, or why not spread the treatments out over your stay, so that you can maintain your chilled-out mood. A muscle relaxing, massage is always a good shout right before a long haul flight, as it will help you to unwind and sleep on the airplane; so, why not book in for some Swedish magic the morning that you’re due to leave. A trip to the spa is the perfect way to relax throughout your trip, and it would be a lovely experience to end your vacay with.

 

Christmas Gifts For Those On The Go

With plenty of holidays already booked for 2019 this Christmas I have asked family for some items that can help prepare me for my travels.

Every year I always love to get a new pair of pyjamas and some slippers for the cold nights – this is a must Christmas gift. Although my Mum will probably still get me these I think other family members should invest in something a little more practical to save me the cost later on in 2019.

The Essentials

No matter where you are travelling and even if you are not you can’t go wrong with a nice gift set filled with lovely scents or treats.

soap and glory imageSource

Every year I get a gift set and I am happy with it, especially if it is from someone I don’t know too well because it’s a safe option.

Clothing

I am heading to Disneyland in April, and from experience I can say the weather isn’t the best so I would like a nice new coat to keep me warm. Although this is a practical gift, I’d still like it to be fashionable, and preferably red as many of my clothes are.

0ACD7F63-7998-4B7A-A776-52408C847152

If you are looking for a gift for someone who either loves to travel or has a lot of plans then it’s best to ask them what they need because the weather obviously varies and you don’t want to waste your money on items they do not need.

Suitcases or Bags

It can be nice to get a fresh bag or suitcase for you trip, for some reason I always feel like I am ready to go when I have a brand new carry case. This is an exceptionally good gift for someone going on their first adventure alone or with friends.

Again, it is important to remember what they are doing; if they are travelling around different countries a backpack is probably more suitable than a suitcase with wheels. You may also consider the length of time they are travelling for, or where they will be staying.

Novelty Gifts

These are gifts people may not want to take away with them but they are fun to receive on Christmas Day. One gift I would like to get is the scratch map I think it is a great idea and a challenge to see if you can scratch them all one day.

Another option is a cork globe I think these are great and can be eye-catching when entering a room. These can be put as a focus around the home and are perfect for starting conversations.

Food and Drink

For those who like to travel one thing that can take them back to their favourite place is food and drink. One idea is a hamper filled with cuisine from the land they love the most. Alternatively, you may buy some alcohol from the region or some special personalised glasses.

There are many things to buy for people who love a certain destination or that have travelled the world, it just a little thought and you’re sorted.

Taking Care Of Your Health When Travelling

Keeping your health under control can be testing at the best of times. However, those challenges are even greater when you’re away from familiar surroundings. Do not let this stop you.

Sovaca

We all know that travel can be great for the soul, but this is only possible when you pay attention to the health aspects. Here are 10 top tricks to ensure that your time away is as comfortable as it can be.

  1. Get the necessary injections and take the right precautions. Travelling to foreign lands may put you at risk of various illnesses. Most of the information regarding which steps are required can be found online. In reality, though, it’s always best to visit your local GP in advance of the trip. Aside from the fact that it’s better to be safe than sorry, this will put your mind at ease before and during the trip.
  2. Take out travel insurance that covers medical bills. While it’s always better to prevent accidents rather than attend to the fallout, you should always be covered. We’ve all read the horror stories of people that have faced five-figure medical bills due to a lack of insurance. For your peace of mind as well as the physical health benefits, it’s best to get this in place now. It can be a single trip or an annual coverage.
  3. Attend to existing health problems by having the necessary medications. Whether it’s effective relief from IBS symptoms or migraine tablets, equipping yourself with these items is key. Otherwise, you could be left to try finding those items in another country while also facing the symptoms of discomfort. Besides, taking the products that you are familiar with ensures that you’ll bypass the threat of any side effects.
  4. Pack the right clothes and sun lotions to protect yourself against the sun and other weather features. If you’re heading to a beach, it’s vital to have water resistant materials too. Meanwhile, you may want to think about after sun and other blocking features. Without those protective products, you could land yourself in a very uncomfortable situation. Unless you wish to spend days in bed, you’ll want to give this aspect the attention it deserves.
  5. Stay in touch with people. Even if you are having the time of your life, it’s always nice to maintain the connection with loved ones. This can provide emotional comforts throughout your journey while also letting you stay up to date with development at home. Besides, it’s a mutually beneficial idea that lets them enjoy your journeys and adventures. Given the ease of using modern video tech, you’d be a fool not to take advantage.
  6. Remain hydrated at all times. While food and nutrition are important, it’s the hydration levels that will truly influence your overall comfort levels. If trekking or taking on adventure challenges, water filtering bottles are available. On a separate note, it’s better to choose bottled water over tap water in foreign countries. This is because the impurities can cause upset stomachs and other minor health conditions that you’d probably rather avoid.
  7. Pay attention to your choice of footwear. You’ll get through a lot of walking on holiday, even if it’s merely to explore the town. The wrong selection of footwear could cause major problems, including blisters and bleeding. Nobody wants to spend the majority of their vacation hobbling around due to highly preventable problems. While it may not be a permanent health concern, getting this aspect right counts for a lot.
  8. Make sure you sleep in a comfortable position. A bad night’s rest will cause a number of troubles. Again, while these may not lead to permanent issues, those backaches and other pains may stop you from enjoying your trip. Packing a travel pillow is very useful if flying economy. It may also prove to be an effective solution if your hotel or accommodation fails to provide the right materials for your stay.
  9. Be careful when picking your travel companions. Enjoying a close friendship with somebody doesn’t necessarily mean that they will make a good travel companion. In fact, holidays are known to be a source of causing friendship breakups. If you’re going to travel with a friend or loved one, be sure that you can stand each other for those extended periods. Alternatively, you may find that solo adventures are the way to go. Your mental health depends on it.
  10. Have the details of any conditions, from food allergies to details of illnesses, written down. Make sure they have been translated to the language of the place you are visiting. The harsh reality is that it takes just a single mishap to change your life forever. By having this info available, you’ll know that anyone you come into contact with understands your circumstances. This should keep you in far greater health.

A healthy holiday is a happy holiday. With the above steps under control, you won’t go far wrong.

Exploring Walt Disney Studios

Following on from our last post -on day two we plan to take a look around the Studios, which is the part I have enjoyed most in the past.

When entering the Studios I can remember walking down an indoor street that was filled with shops pretending to be in Hollywood. This really does set the scene for our imaginations though, as I definitely associate Disney films with fantasy, glitz, and glamour.

Heading out of the main entrance you come across the perfect picture opportunity with Walt and Mickey – smile for the camera. From here this time we plan to take a right and head straight to Monsters Inc. for more picture ops and if the timing is right a trip into the Animagique Theater. Before, entering Toon Studio.

Toon Studio

This is an area for the younger children on our little adventure, as they can take a ride on a magic carpet, discover the ocean on Crush’s Coaster, and explore Radiator Springs with Lightning McQueen and the gang.

Heading further into the Toon Studios I look forward to taking a trip on the Rataouille ride which will be fun for all as you discover what it is like to be in the film. From here we enter the land of Toy Story (one of our favourite animations). I can remember this area well because my son absolutely loved the Slinky Dog ride, although he probably won’t be that interested this time around, perhaps more interested in the next stop…

Production Courtyard

Home of The Hollywood Tower Hotel for those who like a little terror and the Studio Tram Tour, which seems to always of been a firm favourite.

It is here I like exploring the set designs and the materials used to make them, as I have a love for the Theatre and act in my spare time. From this point, we will stop for a bit to eat at the Cafe, before heading to Backlot.

Backlot

As well as some of the rides such as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster there’s also the Moteurs Action! This I do remember well because I thought it was fantastic, I just hope it wasn’t one of those times when you watch something as a child and think it’s amazing and as an adult, it’s actually pretty crap.

Before, leaving the Studios we will also take a stop at The Disney Animation Gallery where the younger children can meet some of the characters and also learn a thing or two about animation creation.

Then it’s off to the shops for some souvenirs before heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep before the journey home.

How Best To Afford Your Next Big Trip

If you constantly put off travelling for money-related reasons then it’s time to change that. Nobody should feel as if they can’t see the world because of financial restrictions. With the right planning, you can travel anywhere in the world. You might not be able to pull together the resources to go on a round-the-world trip today, but you can always make arrangements for the future. Let’s talk about how best to afford your next big trip. If you’re fiscally responsible then you could go on a fantastic trip sooner rather than later.

adventure-atlas-business-1051075Picture Source

Get your money together

The first step to affording your next big trip is to get your money together. Start by budgeting yourself and getting a little stricter in terms of your spending habits. By setting aside more savings, you’ll have more funding to explore the world. But the problem might be that you have scarce funds in your bank account on a monthly basis because you have too many bills to pay on a regular basis. That’s why the best way to afford your next big trip is to tidy up your personal finances. And we’re talking about more than foregoing luxury costs; we’re talking about spending your money more wisely on basic things too.

You could also consider getting financial support if you’re still struggling to save up enough money to fund your travels, even with a better budget. You could consider installment loans for bad credit if you have a low rating. Such loans are well-suited to people with a bad financial situation because they help you split the loan repayment into manageable installments. This could help you fund your trip in a way that doesn’t leave you worried about covering the costs in the future. Getting your money together is all about planning ahead, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you.

Visit somewhere close to home

Another great way to afford your next big trip is to plan a big trip close to home. You don’t have to go on a round-the-world adventure every year (you’d probably be broke if you did). But a “staycation”, as some people call it, doesn’t have to be a compromise. There might be plenty of absolutely wonderful places that you’ve never thought to visit closer to home. Get in the car with your friends or family and go on an adventure. Road tripping is exciting in itself, but this will be a much cheaper way to see new places than jetting off to some destination thousands of miles away. It might be your best option if you’re worried about the cost of a trip abroad.

computer-desk-electronics-374074Picture Source

Use price comparison websites

You could also make your next big trip more affordable by shopping around online for the best deals. Rather than simply jumping at the first flights or accommodation offers you find, you could use comparison sites to weigh up the many different options available to you. Depending on the time of year at which you travel and the airline you choose, you could very good deals on your flights. Of course, you can occasionally get amazing deals on last-minute flights if an airline is desperate to sell seats that haven’t been filled. The point is that you need to do the sufficient amount of research to make sure you’re getting the cheapest possible deal.

We’re off to Disneyland

So, I have been to Disneyland before but for some reason, I can hardly remember anything. This time I am determined to remember the trip so I am going to plan ahead.

DL

After getting inspiration from Fishbowl Life I decided the family have to go back to Disneyland, Paris that is, and we are going by coach! I know we are crazy and there are 10 of us going, but plenty of adults to take care of the little ones. On the other hand, there are a variety of age groups so we need to make sure all children are catered for.

Frontierland

As this is closest to the entrance our journey will probably start here – although I do like and can remember Main St so would spend a bit of time there. The Phantom Manor looks good so we will take a wander in there and be spooked!

There’s also Big Thunder Mountain that I’m sure my boy would like to go on and a photo op, which we love. Next to this area is the Indiana Jones ride – and we are travelling with some Indie lovers – this ride is on our list as we make our way to Adventureland.

Adventureland

The place for pirate lovers a couple of good rides and a tree house. This area also looks like it has plenty of places to eat so we will be stopping at Captain Jacks for some refreshments before heading to…

Fantasyland

By the looks of things, the small children will want to take Fantasyland, and this is where Peter Pan’s Flight is and I can remember loving this ride – even as a teenager! I’m imagining we will visit this area around lunchtime after we have had some food, this way we can ensure the little ones are occupied for most of the day – I know this is an odd thing to say when in Disneyland but it can be a lot of walking and waiting.

Discoveryland

This seems to have something for everyone, our main plan here is to take those who love Star Wars to Hyperspace Mountian, whilst the younger children try out Autopia. Then all of the family can try the Buzz Lightyear Laser Tag.

Somewhere within all of this we also need to catch a parade and meet some of the characters, obviously Mickey.

In the evening we are considering visiting Mickey’s Cafe for dinner but we are not too sure yet – we are finding that all of these restaurants need to be booked well in advance and as we are going at Easter the park will be busy.

We are there for two days and on day 2 we plan to visit Walt Disney Studios – I remember personally preferring this area to Disneyland Park. But, I will share this in a different post.

If you have been or have any tips for meal plans please let us know 🙂

 

Do Bali The Right Way

Considering Bali is such a little island in comparison to some, you might not think that there’s much to see or do there. If this is how you’re thinking, then boy are you wrong about Bali.

It’s not all about the obvious beaches and temples that you’ll be able to find around pretty much every single corner. It’s about the rich culture, the amazing food, the nightlife, the happy people… our list could go on. So many people head to Bali and spend their days on the beach, by the pool, or just wondering around the streets. But if you want to do it the right way, you’re going to have to dive headfirst into what Bali has to offer you. It’s not expensive to do so, and the memories you’re going to be able to make in return will be far more worth it. So, if you’re planning a trip there, or perhaps you have one booked at the minute, then this is the article for you. Have a read on to find out more!

kuta-277350_1920Image Source

The Things To Watch Out For

 

We don’t want to seem as though we’re starting this article off a bit negative, because that definitely isn’t our intention. But if you want to do Bali the right way, you need to know the things that you’ve got to watch out for. You wouldn’t believe the amount of tourists that head to Bali each year and find themselves caught out because they weren’t prepared. So, not to sound like the Mom here, but sunscreen is essential. Bali can be quite a cloudy country, but the sun comes out quicker than it went in. So, just because the sun is in for a few minutes and out for a few, it can be easy to think you won’t get burnt. A lot of the time it is just crazily sunny, and the heat from the sun is so intense that you’ll be running for the sea. So, even if you think you don’t burn easily, take a high factor sunscreen… because it will burn you. You’re around 8 degrees from the equator, which means the sun’s intensity is so strong. The amount of people you see walking around looking like a lobster is rather amusing.. .until you become that lobster! Hydrate plenty as well. It is such a humid country, and the power of the sun burning your skin makes the sweat more than you would like to. Even at night time, the humidity is high enough to leave you walking around uncomfortably warm, so always have a bottle of water with you.


The second warning is the taxies. They will try and charge you an absolute fortune if you go with the wrong type of taxi. The only taxis you can trust is the private drivers that work with the hotel you’re staying at, or a company called Bluebird taxis. There’s lots of them, but there’s also lots of fakes. Some cars will be blue and say Bluebiro on them, or Bluetaxi group. Those are the ones that will take you miles out of the way just to charge you a fortune, and won’t even have a meter. Always take your time to find a proper Bluebird taxi, they’ll also have their website on the side of the taxi. Get in any other, and you’ll be paying up to 5x more than you should be doing!

The Things To Do

It was only right to start by giving you a few words of warning because we promise you that not knowing both of them could ruin your holiday. There are a few more other warnings to be had, which can be found here. But, let’s move on to the good side of things, the things that you’re going to be able to do when you’re there. One thing we think you should do is have a little practice on a scooter in your home country, and get yourself an international driver’s license. Renting a scooter is one of the best ways to see Bali, and one of the coolest things you can do. But the roads are manic, so you need your practice before you even enter the country! Scooter or no scooter, you have to visit some of the iconic sights, and they involve the temples. Tanah lot at sunset, or Uluwatu temple, is one of the most incredible views you will have. It’s peaceful, tranquil, and just so mesmerising to see such beautiful temples with the backdrop of the sun setting. If you head to Ubud, Campuhan Ridge Walk is also a great thing for you to do. Go early morning and it won’t be too hot, but the views will still be incredible. Learning how to surf is also a must. The lessons are so cheap, and you get a good few hours in the ocean trying to learn. Whether you do or not is no problem, it’s so much fun to try!

The Locations To Stay

Pretty much every location that you’ll stay in Bali is going to beautiful, and you’ll have a different experience everywhere you go. If you head to Ubud, it might be full of tourists, but it is somewhat calmer than Kuta and Seminyak. In either locations, you can find luxury villas in Bali that will give you the ultimate experience of relaxation that the country should give you overall. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t actually have to spend much on accommodation either. Our advice would be to book your flights and accommodation separately. You could then spend a few nights in Kuta, a few in Seminyak, a few in Uluwatu, and a few in Ubud. That way you’ll be having the ultimate Bali experience, and experiencing luxury accommodation all over!

Experience The Culture

Finally, really try and immerse yourself in the culture, because we promise it is so rich. The main religion in Bali is Hindu, and what a beautiful religion it is. You’ll find small offerings outside pretty much every shop, inside every private driver car, and offering stands outside most bigger shops and buildings. You’ll also learn that although the people don’t have much, they’re ever so happy. It’s good to take some time to learn about the culture, the religion, and the way of life if you want the true Bali experience.

Is There A Perfect Season To Travel?

Travelling can be done at any time, but a lot of people opt for a summer holiday, taking them to warmer climates (if you live in the UK), although there’s plenty to see and do in winter too.

According to a survey by Slater and Gordon that asked 2,000 members of the British public when they prefer to travel, 56% of them opted for summer sun. Although, there are plenty of places to enjoy a snowy or festive holiday as winter rolls in…

Exploring the Winter Landscape of Europe

For a winter getaway in Europe, the Alps are at the top of the list from large resorts like Zermatt in Switzerland to smaller ones such as St Anton in Austria, there’s plenty of snowy landscapes to choose from.

These destinations offer amazing backdrops and plenty of history. As well as fun for all with differing levels of ski slopes and instructors available it can be the perfect family holiday, and you will make the most incredible memories.

After a day on the slopes, you can expect some amazing apres and night-time entertainment. If you travel to Zermatt take to Pollux Bar or Papa Caesar – for great bars and social hours. If travelling with a family then a warm hot chocolate and a festive film may be on the cards.

It seems that one of the main reasons we don’t travel in winter is due to safety worries, apparently, 58% of people surveyed said winter travel made them more concerned about their safety. This is understandable if you plan to travel to cooler climates but reading safety notes and planning ahead to ensure the right gear is packed should reduce any risk of an accident. Alternatively, travelling somewhere for a peaceful scenic holiday or for some festive fun is also an option.

Festivities Across The Pond

The most obvious winter getaway in America would be New York, with amazing shopping opportunities, over the top decorations, and much more it is a winter wonderland. Although this seems to be a lot of people’s idea of a perfect destination there are plenty of other options like Detroit, where you will experience a light extravaganza on the ultimate road trip. Or if you are looking to meet Father Christmas in a totally different wat then head to Newport Beach where you will find a boat parade filled with lights.

Not looking for a Christmas escape? Then visit Utah in January where you can enjoy a glimpse of the Sundance Film Festival. Or head to Washington D.C. and head to the museums to learn some American history and take in some culture.

There’s plenty to do and see in the winter too, so don’t stay indoors watching film, after film, make your own story and explore the world. But, no matter where winter takes you make sure you stay safe with these tips:

Your seasonal travels infographic_Travelling further afield (2)

The Honeymoon 2018 Look

As my summer holiday in 2018 has come to an end, as the school holidays are just beginning (unlucky), I thought I’d do something a little different on my blog and share my summer styles.

Sicily was incredible and you can read all about it in my recent posts, but one aspect I didn’t mention was the outfit choices I made. Here are the outfits I put together, on a very limited budget I might add!

Obviously yellow is a key statement colour this season, and whilst this is in my day to day attire it doesn’t feature much in my honeymoon outfits. This is because I love red and I was the bride so I wanted to incorporate white throughout.

I love a hat and red jumpsuit

2C1ECD9F-462E-4F71-803C-12B47316728B

It’s a white skirt, this means either white or no knickers!

5F806AEB-AAE7-42CE-A61F-DC0D5AEAFDD8

Love my floral bikini from https://www.bouxavenue.com/

668CD1A0-3CA1-42CE-A24C-275DB9C3F2E0

My treat from me to me, Gucci sunglasses 😍😍

5098AD86-AD37-42DB-81B8-6E283A129E13

There are many more outfits, including white laced shorts and more red T’s but I did not take enough pictures!

I cannot wait to go shopping again for more UK summer things, including a new rain coat!