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

First of all, it’s Disneyland Paris 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!

Getting Around in Sicily – Taormina

Visiting a new place can sometimes be daunting and if you only have a week you have to find your way around quickly. Here are some tips on doing just that, as well as lessons learned from our last trip away.

D7438D34-5102-4982-B102-2C120AED5990.jpeg

If you have read my previous posts you will know that my latest trip was to Sicily, where we enjoyed a week-long honeymoon. It is a fabulous place but the first day seems to always be spent finding your bearings.

Obviously, we did some research before we left but this was mainly on what was nearby such as the beaches and how far we were from Savoca (The Godfather Tour) – very touristy I know!

In hindsight, the research we should have been doing was looking at public transport options. Instead, we paid for a bus to the main town of Taormina, when there was a cable car directly opposite our hotel. This would have saved us some money and also provided us with many more culinary options.

This got me thinking about all of the ways to find out about the public transport systems:

76544BA1-BF73-4F22-96D6-C872FA6C7423

  1. The most obvious – take to the internet, although sometimes the timetables can be rather confusing, also some places don’t keep to a strick timetable.
  2. Ask the receptionist at the hotel, they can be very knowledgeable and may also have a timetable.
  3. When you arrive locate the nearest bus stop or alternative transportation methods and way up time differences and prices before committing.

Although saving money and time is great, I did enjoy the bus journey as we went to places we didn’t know about and got to hop on and hop off to discover new areas that were unexpected.

 

On the hunt: for the perfect bra

I don’t know about you but I find it difficult to find a bra that fits well. Either the wire hurts me or the cup size is not quite right.

Whilst on the hunt for my perfect bra and size I came across Hunkemoller whose bras are very comfy. I chose a black balcony style bra that has removable straps and costs £22.50 to purchase.

Firstly the box the bra arrived in was pretty with a lovely message, however, a little tissue paper instead of a plastic bag would have given it a little extra touch.

B0EB8640-138E-40C0-8DD7-AAC321D1BDB3.jpeg

The product itself is made well with fabric that is not too flimsy and the bra fastener is in silver with three hook options.

6CAD08DA-FA05-4B18-80D4-32DA804647C5

8BD7B65F-F0F5-40F3-A673-A6959CC13EB4.jpeg

Wearing the bra is a comfortable experience and I am pleased to say that the 32D fit very well 🙂

I wore the item on a weekend when I was active around the house and doing the food shop, and on a weekday at my office desk and on both occasions it held me in place and was very lightweight.

The straps are also removable so I thought I would test this out too and the cups stayed in place much better than many other strapless bras I have tried, although not for longer than an hour, then was a slight slide. The elastic helped keep the bra in place, and that was with the straps too.

Overall, I am happy with this product and would happily purchase from the website.

 

Grand Hotel Mazzarò Sea Palace

Located in the centre of a cove with a private beach this is a fabulous place to stay and relax when in Sicily.

The Hotel

From the front of the hotel, you would not know that a beach is hidden at its rear. The driveway is steep, although the steps leading to the reception are not too bad. Upon entry to the hotel, you are greeted by friendly staff who are happy to assist.

If your room is not ready, guests are directed to the ground floor where a marble and seating bar area awaits. The decor is stunningly beautiful and put me at ease when it comes to cleanliness.

Marble Bar

The large doors provide a sneak peak of the beachfront and outdoor seating area. Once outside the staircase is hidden by a circular wall which leads to the beach. One at the edge of the beach white and grey sunbeds make you instantly want to simply chill out.

Before stepping foot on the sand and choosing your sunbed the lifeguards hurry over to place your towels down and prepare your parasol. Once you are ready a bartender is there waiting to take your drinks order, and food if you are hungry and don’t mind spending 20EUROS on a burger.

Sunbeds

The beach is a key feature at this hotel as it can be seen from the room balconies and heard as you relax in bed, this provides the perfect tranquil environment. The rooms themselves are clean and fresh with white bed linen and a marble bathroom.

Hotel Balcony

My favourite thing about the service was the turn down when you arrive from an evening out to your pajamas folded neatly at the end of the bed, slippers by the side, and throw cushions in their hiding place. Oh, and sweets on the bed!

The location of the hotel is great too, just seconds from the cable cars that lead to Taormina and seconds from bus services. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants around in case you just don’t feel like heading into the main shopping town.

This hotel is a brilliant place to stay and the most relaxing place I have been. Perfect for a honeymoon or just a getaway as a couple.

Why Sicily was the Perfect Honeymoon Spot

When searching for a honeymoon location many choose exotic locations, where couples in the brochure are walking along a beach hand-in-hand as the sunsets behind them. Not us…

We wanted to find somewhere that met my need for history and my now husbands need for sunshine and the beach. That’s when we decided on Sicily and what a great decision that turned out to be.

The Landscape

CoastlineSovaca

The landscape was romantic, made up of rugged hills and towns that tell a story just from the views. The winding roads that lead to hidden towns can be scary when on a bus but provide the most breathtaking views.

The Cuisine

Cuisine.PNG

It’s not just the landscape but the cuisine is delicious offering freshly prepared meals, warm ciabatta, and breadsticks. Occasionally, we would also receive lemon sorbet which I really enjoyed.

Going out for an evening meal is more of an experience, taking a seat outside of a quaint restaurant and eating a meal by candlelight this is the perfect place for a couple on their honeymoon, or partake in some people watching!

The Location

Location

When arriving at the hotel we felt extremely grateful to be met by such amazing scenery, from the balcony of our room we could see the beach and the cove which or hotel was nestled in.

From the hotel, it was a 30-second walk to the bus stop or cable car that takes you straight into the main town of Taormina; this is where we would head to in the evening for our meal and drinks and the shops are open until approximately 10pm meaning there was no need to shop during the daytime. This left more time for relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, or attractions nearby.

We have been back for 5 days and we are missing it already, would love to go back and experience this amazing place with the rest of the family. Such a relaxing atmosphere and plenty to enjoy.