26 articles Articles posted in Holidays

Thinking of Foreign Lands

Just recently, Husband and I have decided that we really need a holiday. It’s been over a decade since we’ve left the UK and the girls have never been away, so it’s definitely time to get packing! We’ve got a few ideas of where we’d like to go as a family, and I thought I’d share some of them with you:

Malta

I’ve been to Malta twice myself, before marriage and kids, and I think it’s basically the perfect short-haul destination for families. There are cities, beaches, historical relics, brilliant shops, restaurants, activities, and everything is family friendly.

Paris

Before Husband and I ever met, we actually both went to Paris at the exact same time without even knowing it, and it’s somewhere we’d both love to revisit. I think we could make a really great family break out of it, combining time in the city to see all of the sights, as well as a couple of days at Disneyland! Agoda is a great place to look for good deals on accommodation around Disneyland Paris.

Iceland

Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and there are SO many things I want to see there, from the Blue Lagoon to the rugged volcanic landscapes. Polar bear spotting and Northern Lights trips would be such an amazing experience for the girls and taking there somewhere which isn;t one of the ‘ordinary’ destinations really appeals.

Ibiza

I never made it to Ibiza in my clubbing days, but I’ve heard and read a lot about it as a family destination and it actually sounds perfect. There’s LOADS to do and apparently the northern side of the island is much quieter and more family-oriented. I’d still be tempted to watch sunrise at Cafe Del Mar, though 😉

Lake Garda

Another place which seems perfect for families is Lake Garda. There’s loads to do for families, like watersports and sightseeing, and there’s a real edge of luxury cool which would appeal to most grown ups. Mediterranean countries always have a real acceptance of kids in restaurants and public places too, which makes eating out as a family so much easier!

Where is your favourite place to go as a family? Do you have any destinations on your family bucket list? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear all about it.

Brilliant Family Holidays In Europe For The Adventurous

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If you’re from an active family, a quiet, relaxing resort holiday might not be your idea of fun. You probably prefer the call of the wild, getting your hands dirty and your feet wet to lazing on a sun-lounger or paddling tentatively in the sea. Here are just five family holidays around Europe which have an adventure at their heart and adrenaline as their fuel, but which are suitable for families of all ages.

Cycle Austria

The great thing about a cycling holiday is that it’s completely adaptable. Each family member can have a bike, or you can mix it up with kiddie saddles, trailers, and even tandems. There really is no better way to experience the stunning scenery than by bike, though. Around the mountains in Tyrol, Austria, there is something of a cycling holiday revolution going on. There are hilly, fast-paced routes, or more sedate and flatter trails for following, depending on what you fancy, and the scenery is nothing if not dramatic. Comfortable accommodation and other fun sights make this a great introduction to the world of adventure holidays.

Undertake an Arctic expedition

If you’re not scared of a bit of cold weather, the northernmost parts of Europe are amazing adventure holiday destinations. From husky sledding to whale watching, Santa Claus to the Northern Lights, there are active breaks for all the family, and you’re all guaranteed to fall in love. Kids love the snow, and there’s plenty of it up there for making snow angels and having snowball fights. The scenery is out of this world, and so is the adventure.

Explore the Highlands

If you want to stay a little closer to home, head up to Scotland for some great outdoor adventures. Ziplining through valleys and treetops, kayaking and sailing in monster-infested lochs, and abseiling through waterfalls are all the order of the holiday, so if your kids are little adrenaline junkies, this is the trip for you. And once they’re done scaring the life out of mum and dad, the landscape is great for a stroll, a picturesque bike ride, and a good meal in one of the traditional local pubs.

Canoe the Norwegian coast

If you’ve got yourself some water babies, why not explore the beautiful watery world of the Norwegian coast in summer? The fjords and valleys are green and fresh, full of wild flowers and incredible animals. You can kayak or canoe, or if you feel safer, stick to dry land and walk. There are even some great campsites, if you really want to be at one with nature.

Surf Cornwall

Sticking to closer to home again, Cornwall is a great compromise for outdoorsy kids and more indoor-loving parents. Get them booked into a surf school for the day at Newquay while you enjoy a coffee in one of the cute little cafes, or cycle the Camel Trail, before visiting idyllic little seaside villages such as Port Isaac, and feasting on the amazing fish and chips.

Adventure holidays are a great time to burn off steam and gather new experiences, and there are some amazing opportunities right on our doorstep in Europe.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Las Vegas

Mobile slot games are becoming more and more popular among men and women across the globe. They can be played anywhere and anytime. It is a possibility to not only spend a nice time but make some additional money. But how can one keep playing mobile slot games when going to a vacation with a family?

Well, when planning a family trip to Las Vegas, one should clearly understand that a number of hotels there is really huge. Therefore, it takes some time to find the best and most interesting one for both parties: parents who can enjoy gambling and children who will be entertained 24/7. With this being said, here are the 3 most popular casinos in hotels that are worth your attention due to their multiple family friendly amenities e.g. pools, theme parks, beaches, rooms with a kitchen, performances, gaming zones and so much more.

Circus Circus

Circus Circus is a hotel-casino, one of the largest entertaining places in Las Vegas that belongs to the MGM Mirage Corporation. It consists of multi storey tower blocks and a Motor Lodge villa not far from the casino that is connected to the hotel. It was one of the very first gambling places in the city that are targeted on family vacation – while parents are playing favourite slot machines or card games, kids are busy with everyday free performances, games, prizes and of course an awesome and mind-blowing theme park.

Nowadays, this kid-friendly hotel offers rest and entertainment in a unique and largest theme park in America, where the most popular attractions are located.

Mandalay Bay resort & Casino

Mandalay Bay resort is simply created for rest with children when visiting Las Vegas. It is situated on the south of Las Vegas and therefore, can boast of such attractions as a beach, amazing pool area that consists of a lazy river, a wave pool and a beach where one can suntan, swim and just enjoy the time in a family circle. Apart from exclusive pool areas that are located outside, you will come across a shark tank inside the hotel. Kids will definitely be impressed looking at various types of sharks, piranhas and dozens of other fish kinds. The hotel offers different kinds of entertainment even depending on a kid’s age and preferences. For instance, some can enjoy the time swimming, sunbathing and playing on the beach, others can go to various performances including Cirque du Soleil, etc. Meanwhile, parents can spend a great time gambling in a casino.

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Excalibur is considered to be one of the best family friendly places in Vegas. And the grounds for that are pretty simple- both parents and children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to have the most unforgettable and unbelievable time ever. Kids will 100% love the King Arthur-themed park, Fun Dungeon, carnival games, prizes and many other things inside the hotel. When going outside, you will be amazed at multiple pools, waterfalls and waterslides. What else could children wish for? Yet, this is not all Excalibur is ready to offer. After hours of games and swimming in pools, it is time to take kids to the medieval dinner show. They will see fighting knights, guards who protect the kingdom, try medieval cuisine etc.

Thanks To The Southern Hemisphere, It’s Always Summer Somewhere

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere  – the US, Europe, Russia – then you’re used to things getting cold in the winter, especially if you live in Canada. But while we suffer through the winter blues up north, there are a bunch of people having barbecues and partying down south.

The great news is that people who live in the north can put this fact to good use. Why spend months wallowing in misery in freezing temperatures, while half the planet is literally bathed in sunshine and enjoying warm, tropical weather?

Here are some southern hemisphere locations, from Australia to Brazil, that will get you and your kids craving a vacation before the end of March.

Check Out The Sunshine Coast, Australia

For the Australians, Christmas and New Year are a time to put on the sunscreen and head to some of the country’s magnificent beaches. Among them is the Sunshine Coast, an idyllic stretch of coastline running along Australia’s Eastern seaboard. Here, you’ll find big Pacific surf that’s had the chance to build up a lot of energy during its journey from the coast of South America.

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Pro tip: don’t go during the holiday season as the beaches will be full.

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If you’re fed up with the cold weather, consider packing your family’s bags and jetting off to the Ipanema Beach in Rio for one of the best winter sun holidays you can imagine. Here, the average temperature during December and January hovers around 38 C, making it one of the warmest places in the southern hemisphere. Carnivals run from February to March, and the streets are crammed full of party goers and people looking to have a good time.

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There’s plenty for the kids to do along the Ipanema beach too, with regular soccer games, barbecues and ice cream vendors. Beach access is free, and the vendors along the promenade sell everything you might need.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island might be claimed by Chile, but it’s also one of the most desolate places on Earth. Temperatures here during December to March usually start in the low 20s and rise from there.

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One of the most fascinating things about Easter Island is the human presence, despite its enormous distance from the coast of South America. Here there are more than 20,000 archaeological sites to explore, the most famous of which are the moai statues built by migrants who traveled from the mainland more than 2,200 years ago.

The island, though small, is also prime real estate for people who love adventure. The majority of the island is covered by the Parque Nacional Rapa Nui which has ample opportunity for family-friendly activities like cycling and horseback riding. There’s also a chance to go hiking up to the island’s main volcano as well as snorkeling in its fertile shores.

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Access to the park is currently around $10. The only airline with service to the island is LAN Chile, which flies from the Mataveri International Airport. Staying on the island costs between $100 and $200 per person per night.

 

Exploring The British Isles: Ultimate Staycation Destinations

If you’ve been reading any lifestyle news at all lately, you will know that staycations are on the rise. More and more people are shunning expensive holidays abroad in favour of staying on their home ground. But it’s not simply a ploy to save money on your yearly break. Many of us underestimate the beauty and fun that our own country can provide, on the same level that we appreciate visiting other cultures. After all, sometimes it can be quite rewarding to get back in touch with your own culture again. But what if you fancy doing a ‘semi-staycation’? This is the kind of holiday where you still stay on home turf in terms of the British Isles, but the destination is more than just a couple of hours drive away. Here are our top picks for a staycation that’s far away enough to feel like a holiday – but still easy to get to.

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Glasgow

When most people think of Scotland, they think of Edinburgh. After all, it’s said to be the cultural capital (as well as the actual capital) of the country. Huge events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival draw massive crowds year in, year out. But, if you want a more authentic Scottish experience, why not give Glasgow a try? It’s a much more cultural place than people think, full of quirky eateries, great museums and of course, lots of distilleries. The Kelvingrove Gallery is a must-visit and the stunning Loch Lomond is just a short drive away. If you’re based in the South of England, the only problem is getting to Glasgow. But don’t automatically think you need to take the car or train. You can compare cheap flights to find a plane that will take you there from a nearby airport. It’s much easier when you have young children, and potentially cheaper too!

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Dublin

If you’re looking for a lively, vibrant staycation, look no further than the Irish city of Dublin. Easily accessible by either plane or ferry, it’s a great option for a weekend break – but there’s so much to do, you could easily stay for a week! The busy district of Temple Bar is a must see, with many pubs open until the early hours all playing traditional Irish folk music. But, if you are hoping to get a good night’s sleep, it’s best to stay slightly further out of the city centre – there are plenty of rentals available at reasonable prices. If you’re up for a bit of general silliness, take the kids to the National Leprechaun Museum – yes, it really exists! Children are also permitted to the world famous Guinness Storehouse – but they’ll have to make do with a soft drink!

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The Isle of Wight

If you’re looking to get off the mainland for a beach-focused holiday, look no further than the Isle of Wight. The largest British island is situated just off the South coast, a mere two hours away from London. As well as beautiful beaches and generally good weather during the summer season, the Isle of Wight is also known as the ‘Dinosaur Island’ due it’s rich fossil heritage. So, if your children are fascinated by prehistoric history, get them on the famous Dinosaur Trail. There is also an adventure park with gardens and plenty of other outdoor activities, ranging from golf to extreme water sports!

Awesome Things To Do In Cambodia With Kids

At first glance, Cambodia might not seem like the most obvious holiday destination for families with kids. Once you delve deeper, it becomes apparent that there is a whole host of cool activities for both adults and children. The tourism scene is at an all-time high at the moment, so it’s become a lot safer to travel there. From temples to trains, there are so many opportunities to inspire your child’s (and your own) sense of adventure, here are just a few ideas.

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Temples

Cambodia’s temples, such as world famous Angkor Wat at Siem Reap, are beautiful and mysterious constructions that will awaken a child’s imagination. Visitors are encouraged to be respectful of the monuments but also to get hands on – many temples allow children to climb and scramble, and play hide and seek.

Floating Villages

For those who don’t suffer with seasickness, take a boat tour around a traditional floating village that line all of Cambodia’s waterways. See how native Cambodians lead their lives and experience the sights and smells and the water markets. Children will love to spot the differences in their own way of life with the lives of the natives.

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Dolphin Watching

Cambodia is rich in wildlife, both on land and in the water. It isn’t every day that kids get to see real life dolphins in the wild. A cruise along the River Mekong through the jungles is a sure-fire way to get them excited. Click here for more information on the Meekong River cruise.

Landmine Museum

For older children, a day trip to the Landmine Museum at Siem Reap is an immersive and interesting way to learn about the history of the people of Cambodia and their struggles. It tells the stories of locals who had to clear landmines after the conflict, and the people who cared for the injured. A very educational day out.

Elephant Rides

What child wouldn’t love a ride on the back of an elephant? Once they’ve had a go, they’ll definitely want another. These experiences are available all over the country, and most hotels will be happy to book them for you.

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Bamboo Train

Near Battambang is a disused French railway that people now use as a sort of train system to move personal belongings, and for locals to ferry tourists around. Platforms made out of bamboo are loaded with goods and people, and a small motorbike engine is used to power it along the tracks. It makes for a very exhilarating experience for anyone who is brave enough to give it a go.

Street Markets

The street markets of Cambodia are bustling hubs of the cities. There is so much to entertain here, from skewered fried spiders to crazy fruit and vegetables. The markets at Phnom Penh are particularly famous for the huge range of things to see and eat.

Just remember, it gets really hot in Cambodia, so a hotel with a pool and shade is recommended so that you can retire in the midday sun and cool off.

Getting Married Abroad – Where to Choose

As most of the Mum’s the Word readers know, Husband and I got married abroad. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, we decided that a wedding in the UK wasn’t for us and we flew off to the Maldives to take our vows on a sandy beach in the middle of the Indian Ocean. We did a lot of research before we finally decided on the destination for our wedding and had to turn down a lot of other amazing options in the process, so I thought I’d share with you the other options that we had on our list.

A Carribean Cruise

The closest runner-up on our list was taking a cruise and actually getting married on the ship! Most cruise liners offer the opportunity to get married on board (Planet Cruise even have wedding chapels on their ships!) and it means that you can combine your wedding and honeymoon with everything that a cruise has to offer.

Getting Married on a Cruise Ship

Costa Rica

Husband and I are both nature lovers and there are companies which offer wedding packages where you’re actually married in the canopy of the rainforest. Imagine, instead of a choir or chapel bells, getting married amongst the cries of howler monkies!

Las Vegas

Let’s face it, Las Vegas is THE classic destination for a wedding with a chapel on every corner and any number of Elvis impersonators waiting to officiate for you! My cousin got married in Vegas and it looked absolutely incredible.

Gretna Green

If you’re going to elope, Gretna Green has to at LEAST be considered for a moment, with over 1500 couples choosing this as their place to elope to. It makes an amazing story to tell your friends and relatives and the anvil makes for a truly memorable photograph! Ultimately, Husband and I decided that we wanted a bit of sun at the same time which is why Gretna got bumped down the list.

Sri Lanka

Husband and I actually stopped in Sri Lanka on our way to the Maldives but only for a layover, however it was a serious contender for our choice. Many people who choose Sri Lanka do so because of the opportunity to have an elephant at your wedding and while it makes for an incredible set of photos, ultimate it wasn’t for us.

Did you have a destination wedding? Did you choose to get married on a cruise ship? I’d love to hear all about your special day and where in the world you chose to do it.

How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller (video)

Paper Fortune Teller
Sausage and Burrito Baby are lucky to have an amazing relationship with my mother-in-law, who really is a truly awesome Nan to them both. They love spending time at Nanny’s house, not least of all because she has loads of toys and craft stuff set up for them to use. Sausage often sits there for hours with Nanny’s selections of paper, pens, glue, tape and other bits, happily making wonderful creations which she gives to us as gifts. One thing she LOVES to make is a paper fortune teller, something that I also loved when I was a kid too, although she can’t seem to remember how to fold them herself, so that responsibility always falls to me.

On Saturday, we went to MIL’s for the afternoon as we so often do, and Sausage wanted to make a fortune teller and I decided to get her to record me making one so that she could watch the video next time and make it for yourself, but it gave me the idea to share it here! I hope you find it useful…

How to make a paper fortune teller

Sausage uses a whole load of different “fortunes” on hers; for instance, one of these ones she used as a “which Pokemon trainer would you be”! It gives kids more hours of fun that you’d ever think a single sheet of paper could, allows them to be creative and is just a really sweet, simple little activity which can be done anywhere AND reduces screen time.

They’re also really good for helping with spelling; sometimes, instead of writing a colour on the outside, Sausage will do a blob of the corresponding colour which means that she has to remember the spelling of the word every time she does a fortune. Simple enough, you might think, but making them use colours like “turquoise” can really take it up a notch!

Do your little people know how to make fortune tellers? Is it something you’ve passed down to them from your own childhood? What do yours write inside their fortune tellers? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

How to Save Money on Summer Activities For The Kids

Filling the long six week summer holiday can be difficult. You don’t want to spend a fortune, but you want to make some good memories and do stuff, so the kids don’t get bored. Check out my recommendations on how to save money while still doing some cool activities.

 

Paid activities

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Of course, there are at least one or two paid events that you might want to take the kids on during the summer like Legoland Windsor or Alton Towers. A good way of keeping the cost of the activities down is to find a discount code from companies like Groupon. This helps the day become a bit more affordable. It’s worth having a bit of a dig around on the internet as you can even get a Groupon discount code. So you can get a discount, off your discount and save even more money!

Free activities

You can arrange activities outside of the house that cost very little or that are entirely free. Take the kids to your local museum, park or library. There are often free activities at the local library like book clubs for kids or craft days. Once you have visited the museum, you can use it as inspiration for home projects on what the kids have seen.

If it is a sunny day, why not combine these activities with a picnic made at home? You can even feed the ducks in the park if there are any leftovers.

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Home activities

You won’t want to go out and about every day, in fact sometimes it’s nice just to chill at home during the summer holidays. You could have a duvet day, where everyone stays in their Pajamas and watches movies. If you want to make, it super relaxing, why not build a fort to watch the movies in?

Another cool home activity that you can do with just a bit of organization is a scavenger hunt. Set up a list of thing that the kids need to find, collect and bring back to you. Make sure they are from all over the house and garden. If you have more than one child, you can get them to work as a team or pit them against each other in a race. Make sure you pick things that are safe, that the kids do have to search through cupboards for and are at their height level.

Or you could have a creative day. Pick a topic like a certain flower or animal. Then get the kids to research it using the internet. Then set up some different craft activities to do based on their research. They can draw a picture, make a model out of paper clay or Fimo and then make a scene out of pipe cleaners and other crafty bits.

Another thing that you can do at home in the summer that costs a minimal amount is to have a water fight. You can get Super Soakers and water balloons or just use the hose and buckets that you have lying around the house. The kids will love it as it will give them a chance to cool off in the summer sun.

Treat Your Family To One Of These Awesome Holidays

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We all need to treat ourselves sometimes! And if your family has been through a particularly difficult time recently, you deserve a treat even more. What’s the best treat that every family member will enjoy? A holiday!It can be worth saving up some money and enjoying a big family holiday every couple of years. It’s the perfect time to bond and recharge your batteries. So which are the best holidays for family treats? Here are some you should consider.

Cruises

Cruises are fantastic as they are often all-inclusive. Once you are on board, you can eat and drink as much as you like without worrying about racking up a huge bill. Not only that, though, but there are also lots of activities to take part on on board. Most cruise ships will have a pool onboard as well as other cool facilities, like modern gyms and theatres. There are often kids clubs that hold competitions and shows for the children. And don’t just assume you’ll be on the ship the entire time; you’ll also be stopping off in different ports. You’ll be able to get off at each one for a day of sightseeing. Cruises have the reputation of being very expensive, but they don’t always have to be. Take a look online for some cruise deals.

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Safari

Are your kids fascinated with animals? If so, they’ll love going on a safari. Africa is the place to be for safaris, many of which are found in Kenya. You will need to book through a tour company, and they will provide you with your accommodation. A couple of days of your holiday will be set aside for the safari. You’ll be driven around the countryside so that you can see all the wildlife. Keep an eye out for giraffes, elephants and rhinos! Don’t forget your camera; you’ll certainly get lots of amazing photos for your holiday album. There will be plenty of other activities to take part in while on your holiday. Most hotels will have maps of local walking routes, and some might even organise snorkelling and kayaking trips for children.

Beach Holiday

What better way to relax than chilling out on a sandy beach?! You and your partner can soak up the rays while the kids spend some time building sandcastles and paddling in the sea. There are loads of European beach destinations that offer great deals. You’ll also find many cheap flights, especially if you travel during off-peak times. And don’t be worried about getting bored; there is always more to do than just chilling on the beach. Many beach destinations are surrounded by beautiful countryside which is perfect for gentle hikes. You will also be close to charming towns which the kids will love exploring.

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Theme Park Holiday

Kids love whooshing down roller coasters so how about treating them to a theme park holiday? One of the best places to go for a fun-packed holiday with lots of theme parks is Orlando in Florida. This is the location of Disney World, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios Florida and so much more! You could easily spend every day of your holiday in your theme park. And if you ever get bored of all the theme parks, there are also plenty of water parks to keep the kids entertained. For an educational day out, take the family to the Kennedy Space Center.

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Adventure Holidays

If you are an active family, consider booking an adventure holiday. The types of adventures you do will depend on the country you visit. If you all love horse riding, you could head to the southern states in the USA to stay on a cattle ranch. There are many that offer cowboy style holidays. The kids will be delighted at all the horse riding and be able to help out on the farm. There are also lots of family orientated activities in South Africa. You can try kayaking and snorkelling off the country’s coastline. Australia is another country that is ideal for family fun. The kids can go out in the ocean and learn to surf. If you rent a car, you will be able to drive into the bush to explore. You don’t have to travel too far if you don’t have to, though. For lots of fantastic walking opportunities, head up to Scandinavia. If you want to try some skiing, the Alps is the place to be.

So next time your family deserve a treat, think about booking one of these awesome holidays.