22 articles Articles posted in Travel

9 Reasons to Visit the Algarve

You probably already know that the Algarve region of Portugal is a hugely popular holiday destination with travellers from all over the world flocking to this area yearly. What you may not be quite so clear on is why, exactly, is it such a favourite with so many different types of travellers? It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the area enjoys year-round sunshine and average temperatures between 20ºC and 30ºC. The natural white sand beaches lapped by warm, crystal blue waters are also a possible factor, or it could be something to do with the many vibrant towns and cities waiting to welcome you.

If you’re still not convinced that the Algarve is the destination for you, here are nine more which might just persuade you to find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.

  1. Parque Natural de Ria Formosa

The Parque Natural de Ria Formosa is in the south and sits between the towns of Vale do Lobo and Manta Rota. Since 1987, it has been a protected area of 18,000 hectares of untouched marshlands, lagoons and lakes which are bursting with unique wildlife and rare birds as well as plants, trees and flowers. It’s a wonderful attraction for tourists which you can explore via a guided walk, a boat trip, a bike ride or even in a kayak.

  1. Vilamoura

The town and resort of Vilamoura is often referred to as ‘the Monaco of Portugal’ thanks to its sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere which is perfect for luxury getaways. The town is buzzing with energy, providing visitors with world-class restaurants, stylish bars, four excellent golf courses, beautiful beaches, exciting watersports, casino and, of course, the incredible marina which is home to jaw-dropping yachts. It’s also not unheard of to be able to indulge in a bit of celebrity spotting in this part of the Algarve. If you’re looking for a place to experience the best of the best, James Villas offer a wide range of luxury villas in Vilamoura.

  1. Faro

Faro is one of the most popular destinations for sun-worshippers as it’s renowned for the high levels of sunshine it experiences all year round. It’s also a great place to see some Moorish and colonial architecture and fascinating museums and historical buildings such as the Nossa Senhora da Assuncão Convent.

  1. Tavira

The picturesque town of Tavira is about 30km east from Faro and one of only a handful of towns which retains much of its original architecture. The whitewashed buildings and authentic roofs and chimneys are a beautiful sight to behold, and it is home to 28 churches and chapels, more than any other town in the Algarve. It also includes a Roman bridge which provides breath-taking views across the Gilão river. Make sure you take the time to sample the marzipan pastries, fig pastries, almond paste and caramel pastries from Tavira.

  1. Castro Marim

The town of Castro Marim has three beaches, all of which feature soft golden sands and warm turquoise waters. You’ll also find the river Guardania which is lined with banks of vegetable gardens and orchards as well as rolling hills of countryside and wildflowers.

  1. Carvoeiro

In the centre of the Algarve in the Lagoa region, you can find the coastal fishing village of Carvoeiro. It’s a very popular and lively hub for tourists for several reasons, but the main attractions are the wide variety of quality bars and restaurants, free live entertainment and the sheltered beach which is ideal for snorkelling.

  1. Monchique

The mountain village of Monchique is near Faro and is renowned for its natural thermal spa which has been drawing in visitors since the age of the Romans. The hot sulphur springs and baths amongst the woods of the Serra de Monchique mountain range.

  1. Praia de Odeceixe

If you’re looking for a quiet beach which offers fantastic surfing at any time of year, Praia de Odeceixe is the place to be. It’s a crescent-shaped and sheltered beach in the south which is rarely busy even in high season.

  1. Albufeira

Albufeira is one of the leading resorts in the Algarve which offers tourists everything they could ask for from a holiday destination. Although a peaceful fishing village by day there are plenty of bars and restaurants which create a vibrant nightlife. It is particularly well known for the beaches which include Oura, Gale, Vigia, Baleeira, Maria Luísa, Falésia and Olhos de Água. Albufeira is also home to some of the area’s best golf courses including Balaia Golf Village, Pine Cliffs and Salgados.

Step Back in Time and Experience the Wild West in Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona has an incredible amount of attractions that can keep you busy. One of the most popular attractions that you can visit whenever you come to our wonderful state is The Western Spirit. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has some of the most breathtaking pieces of art Arizona has to offer. And there are plenty more things to do in the area that can keep you occupied whenever you decide to visit The Western Spirit. Let’s take a look at some of the attractions that the museum and area offers and other amenities that you can find in the area.

Staying at The Best Hotel Around

For a truly memorable visit, you’ll want to make sure that you stay at one of the very best hotels in the Scottsdale area.

The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows offers an incredible experience that you will never forget. The Scottsdale resort and spa has some awesome amenities to ensure that your visit is as comfortable as possible. You can experience luxurious food, a spa service, fine dining, and more. The Andaz’s modern southwest design and a gorgeous view of the Camelback Mountains will infuse your soul with Southwest vibes.  This hotel is a must-visit whenever you come to Scottsdale to visit The Western Spirit.

The Saguaro Scottsdale is another quintessential Arizona hotel. This chic, trendy spot is a common destination for honeymoons, bachelor parties, and fun gatherings year round. With fun activities like paddleboard yoga, farmers markets, and summer parties, there’s always something to do.

The Western Spirit’s Attractions

One of the most important things that The Western Spirit does is to offer visitors an educational experience. Americans absolutely love western history and will do everything they can to experience it. The museum is meant to educate individuals on western culture from settler days and how that culture has evolved to where we are today. There are always new exhibitions being showcased here at The Western Spirit. Upcoming exhibitions include artist and author Will James, Photography by Barry M. Goldwater, and Paul Calle’s Life of western exploration. These are just a few examples of incredible attractions that you can find whenever you decide to visit The Western Spirit.

Other Attractions in Scottsdale

There are plenty of parks and national monuments that you can visit whenever you come to Scottsdale. Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, Taliesin West, and Hole in The Rock are just a few examples of natural attractions in the area. There are also plenty of places to stop and grab a bite to eat that will satisfy your hunger. True Food Kitchen, Pho King Kitchen Food Truck, and Caramba Mexican Food are some of the highest rated dining spots in the area. There is a variety of food and attractions in the area that will keep you entertained for your entire visit.

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

Many Americans are fascinated by western history. There are so many lessons to be learned from the past experiences of famous pioneers. Indian mythology provides a vast amount of information about a world that most of us have never experienced. Fortunately, The Western Spirit can provide you with an incredible experience that you will never forget. They say that some of the best lessons that we could ever learn come from history. Do yourself a favor and bring the entire family out to Scottsdale for a trip to The Western Spirit museum. Your will leave enlightened and entertained from the incredible attractions that Scottsdale has to offer.

 

Planning A Unique Family Vacation to Scottsdale

If you are looking for an ideal family vacation, then you should not look further than Scottsdale. Located in Arizona, Scottsdale stands out when it comes to relaxation. Surprisingly, this mid-sized city has the most spas per capita in the US.

Even if you’re not heading there for a spa treatment, this little factoid can tell you all you need to know about Scottsdale: it’s the perfect place to relax, kick back, and enjoy yourself. Whatever your ideal destination looks like, Scottsdale is it or not far from it. There is plenty to do, and it’s one of the most gorgeous natural spaces in which to do it.

What to Expect

On your visit to Scottsdale, you can expect a wide range of things. Scottsdale has an upscale reputation amongst US cities for its exceptional spas, luxurious golf courses, lavish lifestyle, beautiful scenery, pronounced culture, and excellent transportation system. These set the city apart from other possible destinations you might have in mind.

Scottsdale golf courses are among the most creative in the country. While in Arizona, you can enjoy the popular old sport in a luxurious golf course. The green design of courses and the perfect layout make these courses magnificent.

The culture and scenery of Scottsdale also make the place an ideal place to unwind after long and tedious months of schooling or working by your family. The numerous cultural attractions coupled with the beautiful scenery should make Scottsdale your preferred destination. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

Getting a place to stay and also getting around the city is easier. The numerous hotels and resorts offer a wide range of services that are sure to satisfy the diverse needs your family may have. There are several means of transportation available from private transportation services to free ones like buses and metro light rail. These make traveling easy and convenient.

The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch is one of the most popular hotel choices. It has a world-class golf course in the Gainey Ranch Golf Club. The luxurious Spa Avania offers an immersive and restorative experience. There are also activities like tennis and rock climbing. They also have plenty of activities to keep your kids busy while they learn about arts and crafts, Native Americans, or the various animals of the region. It’s also near boutique shopping spots that are great for spending an afternoon… or a whole weekend at. This Scottsdale Resort & Spa is an all-in-one example of everything Scottsdale has to offer. Click here to take a look at their website to see what else they can provide to make your trip even more relaxing.

Things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale offers plenty of activities that are likely to leave the entire family relaxed and enjoying the vacation. Here some other things you should do while in Scottsdale.

1. Art Walk

For years now, this has been a Thursday routine for locals and visitors alike in Scottsdale. This allows them to get the chance of viewing the art from the Southwest’s leading artists. The showcase is open every Thursday from 7 pm to 9 pm along Main Street and Marshall Way.

2. Grand Canyon

The eye-catching colors and the enormous Grand Canyon is really a bucket list attraction. Aside from its natural splendor, the unique fauna and flora make this attractive to visitors in the region of 5 million people annually. It can be an unforgettable experience for you and the whole family.

3. Sedona

The topography of this tourist attraction site makes it perfect for photography or just exploring. Journey around Native American ruins and hike the mesa. All these are likely to leave unforgettable memories for you and your family.

Scottsdale has been one of the principal tourist attraction cities in recent years. Its numerous sites and options for things to do while on vacation can not only make your family have fun but also make unforgettable memories.

Surviving an airport layover with kids

My number one rule has always been: when travelling with children always book direct flights. I know how much I dislike layovers as an adult, so I’ve always been dreading having a layover with my little Alfie who has much less patience than I have (and I set the bar quite low). However, there are some times when you can’t avoid layovers, even more, if you are flying long distances and on a budget.

I often travel for business with Aviation Spares and Repairs, a ground support equipment supplier, and from time to time I take Alfie with me, but they are always short haul flights which are perfect for both of us. It does help that he loves all things aviation related, so my extra knowledge about airports, aviation and ground support equipment helps keep him entertained.

I’ve always wanted to take him to Australia to visit my sister who moved there a few years ago. But when I was looking at flights, I couldn’t find any direct flights – I started to panic. How will we both survive an airport layover? Should I pick the cheapest ticket and wait for more than 10 hours at the airport? All these questions started to make me overthink. I took a deep breath and thought how on earth we were going to do this without any of us ending up screaming or crying. I might be a bit over dramatic – bear with me.

You might be in the same situation as I was, overthinking, over worrying, over everything. Don’t worry anymore, I’m writing this article because I was actually able to survive it with Alfie and it all worked well(ish). If I can do it, so can you! Keep on reading for some tips on how to survive an airport layover with children.P

Consider long layovers.

Layovers might not be the worst thing to consider. An article on the Mirror mentions that “having a stopover might break up the boredom and give the kids the chance to burn off some energy.”

After my own experience, I believe that having a layover is not the end of the world and sometimes the longer the better – it will give you plenty of time to rest, refresh and explore the airport, instead of having to run around trying to find the gate in a short period of time.

Research, research and a bit more research.

Before travelling, make sure you research about your layover airport: where are the changing rooms, play areas, charging stations, lounges and your gate location. Researching about these areas will not only save you time but will also prevent you from wandering around the airport clueless.

Stretch your legs.

After a short or long flight, I always feel like I need to walk around for a bit. Nobody likes being sat down for too long and a good stretch around the airport once you’ve landed will do wonders for everyone.

If you need a bit of a rest at the airport or time for yourselves, try to find an empty gate. This will give the little ones space to run around and play without disturbing anyone. An article on Skyscannerrecommends finding the airport chapel to get some quiet time or visiting the lounge to have some extra perks, such as food, snacks and sometimes shower facilities.

Make time for fun time.

Giving your children time to play will make this whole experience a lot more pleasant for all members of the family. Some airports have various play areas to keep the little ones entertained. For example, the Calgary International Airport has a pre-security and post-security play areas suitable for children up to 12 years old. While other airports have golf courses and IMAX theatres, such as the Hong Kong International airport.

Remember that technology is your friend. I always try to keep screen time to a minimum, however, when all else fails it’s okay to break the rules – don’t forget to download their favourite shows on your tablet, so they can watch it offline, as some airports only let you use free wi-fi for a short amount of time.

Keep your tummies happy.

Children and adults can get hangry and cranky whentheir tummies start rumbling. Prevent all the growl noises by being prepared with lots and lots of snacks. Try to have a good selection of food for everyone as it will be cheaper than airport food or in-flight food. However, if you feel like you want to sit down for a good meal, maybe check if there are any restaurants near the airport that you can walk to or take public transports to.

Pack all the essentials.

Besides snacks and games, some other essentials that you should pack in your carry-on should be wipes, change of clothing, toiletries, changing mat, their favourite cuddly toy and a first aid kit (with tablets for upset stomachs, plasters, antiseptic, etc).

A change of clothing is my favourite thing after flying. It’s perfect to freshen up and to recharge your batteries. Just clean your face, maybe splash some water and change into some fresh clothes – you’ll feel brand-new.

Explore the city.

If you have a long layover, why not enjoy a short tour around the city? Of course, you’ll have to do your research to figure out how far away the airport is from the city and how long it would take you to go there and come back.

Some airports offer free tours to passengers who have long layovers. For instance, Changi Airport Singapore offers free Singapore tours to passengers who have at least 5.5 hours to 24 hours to spare until connecting to their flight.

Relax.

In case you have a long layover and just want to take some time to rest and for the little one to nap, I’d recommend booking a hotel room in the airport or at a nearby hotel. This will give you the opportunity to take a shower and close your eyes worry-free.

Try to not let this experience stress you out as it won’t make any of it easier. Just relax and make the most of it. Being prepared and planning things ahead is my best advice. What are your own tips to get through an airport layover? Do you have any special games you play with your children at the airport?

This article was written by Hannah Tolson, a part-time freelance blogger, who enjoys writing about all things aviation and travel related. You’ll find her and Alfie strolling around airports naming different types ofground support equipment or at the beach enjoying a sunny day.

Travelling in the U.K. #ExploringCheshire

If there’s one thing that Husband and I have realised this summer it’s that we want to do more stuff as a family all year round. We put so much pressure on ourselves in the holidays to pack in the days out and activities that we’re all a bit burnt out and the holidays seem to disappear in the blink of an eye. We decided that if we did more stuff for the rest of the year, there wouldn’t be a big rush in the 6-week break and we could enjoy it all a bit more.

We’ve vowed to travel more within the UK and see more of our lovely isles, and one place we’d like to go is Cheshire. It’s a great county with so much to offer (and it helps that it’s home to a lot of players from our beloved Liverpool FC!), and the lovely folk at Laurus Homes have made a really interesting infographic to show some of the best parts of the area:

Cheshire

Here are some of the places we’d love to visit:

Blue Planet Aquarium Ellesmere Port

Blue Planet is the largest aquarium in the North West and you can view Europe’s largest collection of sharks through our captivating 71-metre underwater tunnel – you can even swim with them! It’s also home to over 100 living displays and thousands of marine creatures from around the world, so you’re bound to find something fun for the whole family!

Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival

These days, I’m a bit too much of a lightweight for the intense environments of most music festivals, but one which showcases the best jazz and blues sounds right up my alley!

McArthur Glen Cheshire Oaks

The only thing I love more than shopping is getting a massive bargain and this retail park in Cheshire is a designer outlet, home to shops which give massive discounts off of designer brands!

Where in Cheshire would you love to visit?

The Ultimate Summer Holiday Shopping List

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplashpacking, 

The holidays should be a time to de-stress and have fun. One way to make sure that’s a reality is to get on top of everything you’ll need for your summer vacation!

Read on for your ultimate summer shopping list that’ll ensure your holiday is one to remember for all the right reasons.

Clothes and safe shades for cool kids

Get the kids set for summer with some sunglasses that have a high Eye Protection Factor (EPF). Those that are rated 9 and 10 block out almost all UV radiation. Not only will they look super adorable and stylish, but their eyes will be protected from sun’s harsh rays.

It’s also good to make sure that you’re bringing the clothes your children will actually need to wear. Pack tons of shorts and T-shirts so the kids can be active and have fun, as well as protective swimwear. If you’re spending all day at the beach, rash guard swimsuits are perfect. They come in seriously cute and colorful designs, so what’s not to love?

Bags and suitcases

Determine what kind of luggage you’re going to need for your trip. If you’re catching a flight, perhaps the kids can have their own carry-on suitcases. Not only will it give them a little independence and responsibility, but it’s less you’ll have to carry around yourself! Kids having their own little bags with quick-access compartments will mean a more comfortable, stress-free trip for everyone. A definite win-win!

Clothes and summer accessories for mom and dad

It can’t be all about the kids, right? Mom and dad deserve to look and feel fabulous while on holidays! Online shopping can be the best option for parents with limited time to go out shopping for themselves.

If you want to score yourself a bargain, you can find them on PromoCodeWatch. There’s an array of coupons to all your favorite stores, and you can even set up alerts to email you when there’s a sale or a great deal going.

Camera

The summer holidays are all about making memories that will last a lifetime, and what better way to remember the good times than with photographs?

You’ll want to get a camera that’s waterproof and shockproof, especially if any of the little ones are budding photographers. There are many compact cameras on the market, so you can pop one in your bag and always have it ready to capture special family moments.

Sun cream

This one is definitely a must-have! If you’re going to be in the sun all day, you need to be smart and protect yourself and your family. Aim for a sunscreen with SPF 50, though 30 will do too, and apply it every few hours.

Don’t be left red-faced, literally, by forgetting this. Nothing will ruin your holiday more than everyone complaining about their uncomfortable sunburn.

The Three Basic Travel Insurance Plans

Are you buying travel insurance plans without understanding what you’re actually acquiring? Have you noticed whether or not you could have got a discounted price while traveling with your whole family? Well, if you answered yes to all those concerns, then you’ve come to the right post. This write-up is surely for you as I will certainly share 3 simple types of insurance coverage. You’ll be shocked how much you have skipped over.

First plan

At this point, the first insurance coverage which I am going to talk about is the typical single australia domestic travel insurance which is the most frequent plan. This particular deal is the one that you buy each and every time you go abroad, irrespective of pleasure or business. I’d recommend this offer if you’re only planning to travel annually as the premium will be inexpensive yet dependable – certainly the ideal choice.

Second plan

The second plan of travel insurance policy is the yearly single pass insurance deal. This particular deal will continuously provide protection over a specific number of journeys. The number of protection provided can be increased with a minor surge in the price tag. This particular offer is highly recommended to people who’re either working abroad or even studying as they need regular insurance coverage while traveling back and forth. It can also help to protect yourself from the problems in obtaining insurance coverage every time you travel.

Third Plan

The last offer is the multiple insurance policy. This particular deal is focused on categories of people or family unit traveling together abroad. The monthly payment made by each individual is a lot less costly in comparison to the other sorts of holiday insurance deals. So, if you’re traveling with friends or family in the near future, don’t hesitate further and buy this plan. Why cover more if you can pay a smaller amount and stretch your budget? Make sure to go for this deal while traveling with a group of people.

Conclusion

These are the 3 standard travel insurance plans which are usually acquired by tourists. You can find, obviously, many other different types of options which you can conveniently search on the internet. There’s even a plan known as a personal package deal. This particular travel insurance policy package means that you can personalize your own coverage in accordance with your preference and needs. On the other hand, it costs a lot more. Thus, I would strongly suggest you choose a pre-set deal closest to your choice.

You need to figure out what benefits you want to include and find an established company. You can find quote websites accessible that help you enter particular requirements such as age. Within a firm, there are various options. Figure out what features you will actually need. If you’re not carrying sports equipment or gear, for instance, you may need a smaller amount of insurance coverage. You may well be in a position to rent a few of the equipment while you arrive at your vacation spot.

From Sleeping Beauty to Ravens: The Finest Castles in Europe

Neuschwanstein CastlePhoto by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Wanderlust has the potential to grab us in many different ways, and for many different reasons. Sometimes, it can come from simply sitting at home watching a movie and feeling inspired to get out there and see things for yourself, sometimes it can be wanting to scratch that itch of hopping on a plane and seeing a new landscape, and sometimes it can just come down to the pursuit of learning more and finding out more about the past, whether distant or not so distant.

The UK itself boasts some pretty awesome historic attractions including, of course, castles, but look further afield and you’ll come across some of the most mind-blowing and romantic castles you could hope to imagine. Try to visit some of these; there’s no question that they will make for lasting memories.

Neuschwanstein Castle: Not Just Disney Inspiration

Neuschwanstein Castle is best known for being the inspiration behind the famous Sleeping Beauty castle. However, there’s way more to it than that. Other intriguing facts about this castle include the fact that it was never actually finished, with only 14 of the planned 200 rooms completed. While Walt Disney was clearly inspired by the castle, the style and the beauty of it was superficial, and for this reason it is one of those places to visit where you can look from the outside. In this respect, it’s a similar sight to how most people visit the likes of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Colosseum in Rome.

Exploring the stunning Bavarian countryside is a happy byproduct of a trip here. This area is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world, with stunning forest and wildlife, and is so often ignored compared to other parts of Germany, a country often pre-judged by travellers with certain stereotypes in their minds as to what Germans are like. Neuschwanstein castle shows once and for all that Germany is about far more than just bratwurst and beer and this castle. Created in part to pay homage to Wagner’s operas, as the New York Times wrote as far back as 1972, it is an awe-inspiring sight that highlights the incredible beauty that Germany has to offer as a tourist location.

Corvin Castle: Boasting Size and History

Some castles are fairly modern, with Neuschwanstein Castle actually a relatively recent one. However, Corvin Castle in Romania dates back to its formation as a 14th-century stone fortress. It even has a real drawbridge for you to cross in order to get over to the castle, which is pretty damn cool.

With no guided tours to force you to do one thing or another, Lonely Planet suggests you download an app to help you with a self-guided tour of the castle in order to get the most out of your visit. This will not only help you to enjoy the contrast between the historic sight and the modern day technology in the palm of your hand, but will also mean that switching to image apps like Instagram will be quick and easy, which is exactly what you’ll need when faced with such a wondrous sight. Happily, this clash of the modern and the old doesn’t have to end here.

A love of castles is of course not something that is just linked to visiting them. In recent times, castles have been brought smack-bang into pop culture. The Super Mario franchise (now having a bit of a comeback as Nintendo move towards mobile gaming) heavily featured castles as stages ever since the very first Super Mario instalment in 1985. Recently, the marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Windsor Castle also did plenty to help. Indeed, extending the clash between modern and medieval a little further, the Castle Builder II slot game available on Betway further shows how the castle is made relevant today. Such games can make you feel like Ioan of Hunedoara did when he decided to build Corvin Castle. And it’s not just royalty who’s after building castles either, with a farmer from Surrey trying to do exactly the same according to the Daily Mail.

The Tower of London: History and Superstition

Opt to visit the Tower of London and not only will you be visiting one of the most popular visitor destinations in London, with over 2 million visitors taking in the sights each year, but you will also have the opportunity to see if the Tower has a future depending on whether or not the ravens still choose to live here.

Sadly, as you may see, they have had their wings clipped so they aren’t going anywhere any time soon (perhaps those running the Tower were a little too frightened of superstition to chance them flying off!) but you can still take in some pretty incredible sights such as the United Kingdom’s crown jewels, the Norman part of the castle, and the famous Beefeaters who look after the Tower.

If you do visit the Tower of London, check out more London articles and guides to staying there and make sure you save up your money as this isn’t the cheapest of visitor attractions to head to. However, the chance to spend time in one of the stunning Norman creations of London that has such a history behind it (it was even a part of WW2 when German spies were interned there), shouldn’t be missed.

So, there you have it: three magical castles that will make you realise that sometimes, fairy tales have absolutely nothing on reality on this planet we live in!

My Top Three Dream Holidays

Rural JapanImage via reddit,com/u/singxpat

When Husband and I were planning our wedding, we decided very quickly that we wanted a destination wedding, where the surroundings were special and different. We ended up getting married on a tiny island in the Maldives, barefoot on white sand, with the azure blue ocean lapping at our toes, but while we were doing our research we also came up with a few other ideas which we very nearly opted for. Although we don’t need to do the wedding bit again, some of the places we looked at are still places we’d like to visit, so I thought I’d share them with you today:

Costa Rica

The option which probably came the closest second to the Maldives was a treetop wedding in the rainforest canopy in Costa Rica. The thought of getting married while Howler Monkeys and tropical birds watched on from the trees was absolutely phenomenal, but the whole thing ended up being a little out of our budget, so going back with the girls to experience the landscape and wildlife is still really high on our list.

Tanzania safari

Another amazing option was to go on safari and have our wedding out there (can you tell we’re animal lovers?!). The opportunity to see big game in their natural habitat is getting less and less every day with the threat of extinction taking so many of our beloved species, so it’s something we’d love to do sooner rather than later. Obviously, we’d have the girls with us this time (Sausage was born two years after we got married) so being able to share such a profound experience with them would be incredible.

Tour of Japan

Safari holidays are great, but sometimes you want to experience more of a human jungle, which is where a trip to Japan comes in. All four of us love Japanese culture and food and although we’d love to visit the obvious places in Japan, like Tokyo, we’d also love to see the rural, unusual places on a tour or Japan. We watch a lot of Studio Ghibli films in our house, many of which are set in rural Japan, so seeing it first hand would be a dream come true.

What are your dream destinations? How about a Bermuda cruise trip with Celebrity? Was there somewhere you wish you’d got married but didn’t? Where would you go if you could do it all over again? Do leave me a comment below.

Anywhere But Here…

I’m not going to lie, between the relentlessly horrible weather (we’re currently on day 4 of being snowed into our village) and the looming spectre of Brexit, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about places I’d love to live which aren’t here. My lack of foreign languages and massive pot of money to enable us to do so means we’re pretty limited, but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming. Here’s a few of the places we’d love to go:

France

Husband actually lived in France in his youth, in a fairly remote Alsace town, and although I’d rather go somewhere warmer and more southern, France is a really appealing prospect. I think the girls would love the culture, and there are some amazing IB schools in France that they could attend where I think their education would probably be even better than here. France is also only a drive away if we ever need to get back to England quickly.

Iceland

Okay, so I know it’s really not an improvement in terms of weather, but I really love Iceland and the pragmatism which seems to be at the core of their culture. It’s a beautifully rugged country and the more I read about it, the more I’d like to go there – maybe for good!

Vancouver Island, Canada

I’ve had a bit of an obsession with Vancouver Island after reading about it a few years ago, and I think I’d move there in a heartbeat if I had an opportunity. Unfortunately, so would thousands of other people and I think it’s pretty expensive and hard to get visas for these days, although that does show you what a great place it is. The landscape is incredible and the way of life there just seems like something we’d really love. Also; who doesn’t love Justin Trudeau?!

New Zealand

New Zealand is another place that we have a bit of a family obsession with and somewhere we’d happily relocate to. It’s one of those incredible countries where you get the best of it all  – hot beaches, snowy mountains and temperate areas which feel pretty much like home. The wildlife in New Zealand would be fascinating for the girls, especially Sausage who’s had a lifelong dream of becoming a marine biologist.

South Korea

This one might seem odd, and the proximity to NORTH Korea doesn’t fill me with joy, but I’ve seen a lot of programmes about South Korea recently and as well as it being a beautiful country, the way of life seems really nice, too…although I must admit, a large part of the draw is the food!

Where would you go if money were no object?

For more info on the International school in Paris, follow the link.