6 articles Tag vacation

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.

Saving for a family holiday? Read this first!

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’re already dreaming about your summer holiday. It might be the first of many or it might just be the one family treat that you all look forward to every year. We all deserve a summer holiday but saving and paying for one isn’t always as straightforward as we might like. From being bamboozled with deals and last minute options to choosing the location and how you’ll get there, to having enough money to spend when you get there, and not forgetting the whole new wardrobe the kids seem to need and all the other bits and bobs that you’ll end up paying for too…

I thought holidays were supposed to be relaxing! Well, if you’re already pondering how you can save a little extra money before your family holiday, look no further. You’ll find 4 of the simplest ways you can put a little money aside in the lead up to your well deserved break.

Look at your energy supplier

It’s amazing how many of us still haven’t switched to a cheaper tariff! Whether you’re on domestic oil – for the latest oil prices check out emo oil – or gas an electricity, head online and see if you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere. Most energy providers do all the hard work for you and contact your current supplier too. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be able to put away just by switching. Try it now!

Stop your spending

No one deserves that new pair of shoes more than you, but if you’re saving for a family holiday then you need to kerb your spending a little. Try to avoid spending on additional purchases for about 2 months and you’ll notice a big difference in your bank balance. Things like takeaways, meals out, those jeans you really want or a new eyeshadow palette. Put them all on the backburner until after your holiday.

Learn to say no

It’s not easy to say no to the kids – especially when they’re being extra good. But learning to say no will certainly save you a bit of money. Saying no to those sweets or magazines that you usually treat them to, going out for tea – whether that’s at a fast food chain or a nice restaurant – even going out for the day. Instead of paying high prices for an afternoon at a theme park, look for places with free admission, or places of interest that ask for a donation rather than a fixed fee. They might not like it, but they’ll understand!

Don’t forget to set a budget

Make a list of everything you might need to save for. From the holiday itself, to the holiday clothes, toiletries, car hire, fuel money (if travelling in the UK), and anything else you can think of. Make a list and try to budget as best you can. You’ll find that you’re in more control when you’re heading around the clothes shops looking for holiday outfits!

Getting Prepared for Your Holiday

Now that the weather is getting warmer, many of us are finally starting to wind-down and think about our yearly holiday. The problem with holidays is that all the prep can be such a stress that it’s hard to unwind once we finally get to our destination, so I thought I’d share with you a few tips that can make your life easier while you’re preparing for your trip.

Order Medications Online

From regular prescription meds that we need to take every day, to basics like paracetamol and antihistamines, most if us take a few different medications on holiday with us each year. Using an online pharmacy like UK Meds to order everything you need well ahead of time can save you the stress of picking up prescriptions as everything you order will be delivered straight to your door.

Weigh Your Bags

Is there anything more annoying than getting to the airport, realising your bags are too heavy and you’re going to need to pay a hefty fee to take excess baggage on the plain with you? We highly recommend getting a suitcase scale and weighing them yourself before you go so that you can be double sure you’re not going to get stung for fees.

Online Check-In

I’m stilled awed by this one, but the ability to check-in online means less time waiting around in airports and going through all of that aggravation. Doing online check-in means that you can spend your time in the airport enjoying a pre-flight cocktail and perusing the duty-free at your leisure!

Buy it There

Often, we spend SO much time and money shopping before a holiday, when waiting to buy things when you’re there can be beneficial in many ways. Most places you’ll go will have a supermarket nearby (we saw someone online the other day saying they did a Lidl shop in Tenerife!), so you could buy toiletries, nappies, sun cream and other items. They’ll probably be cheaper than they are in the UK, and you’ll also save space and weight in your suitcases if you aren’t lugging these heavy, bulky items along with you. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your holiday cash into a Versapak money bag, just to make sure your money is safe when abroad.

Book in Advance

If you’re planning excursions and day trips while you’re away, there will be lots of things that you can book in advance, like water parks and coach trips. This will save you the bother of doing it while you’re there, can help to navigate a language barrier and means that any money you take with you will be for luxuries and treats!

5 Family Cruise Destinations

When Husband and I were planning our wedding, one of the options was to go on a cruise and get married while we were on board. Ultimately, we chose the Maldives, but I’ve wanted to go on a cruise ever since. What we’ve recently discovered is that family cruises are a great option for a family vacation, and there are loads of amazing destinations that you can choose from. Here’s our top five destinations for a family cruise:

Scandinavia

Husband and I are both big fans of Scandinavian society and their way of life, and the countries we’d visit on a Scandinavian cruise are incredibly interesting and beautiful. Cruises are a great way to see a lot, all on one trip and being able to go from county to country is really appealing. There’s also the opportunity to see the Northern Lights on some of the cruises, which is a real bucket list item for all of us.

Caribbean 

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to go on a cruise around the Caribbean?! Sun, crystal seas and  incredible stops at some of the most beautiful islands in the world. I’ve always wanted to go to Jamaica and all four of us are HUGE Bob Marley fans, so some cultural sight-seeing around the island would be another ultimate experience for us.

Mediterranean

Although Europe is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the UK, I still feel like I’ve seen relatively little of it. I’ve been to Malta twice and really love it, but I’d love to see a lot more of the Mediterranean, like Spain, Italy and Greece. One thing we love about Mediterranean culture is the way it’s very family oriented – kids aren’t expected to be “seen and not heard” like they are in other places and it’s not unusual to see families all out together and eating a meal at 10pm!

China

A lot of people automatically think about cruises being on the open ocean, but river cruises are also an option and allow you to see the side of a country that a regular cruise wouldn’t let you see. China is a country I’ve always wanted to visit, and although the main cities seem fascinating, a river cruise would allow you to see the rural parts that you might not otherwise get to visit.

New York

America is quite a way away and when you’re not a fan of flying, going by cruise is a fantastic alternative. I’ve always wanted to visit New York and doubling it up with a cruise would be make it a really memorable trip!

Are you regular cruisers, or a complete newbie like us?Where are your ultimate cruise destinations? Is there anywhere you’d absolutely love to visit? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Making Holidays Simpler

As you’ll know if you read MTW regularly, we’ve yet to take the girls away on holiday. Having an elderly dog makes it basically impossible, but we’d love to take them away sooner rather than later and are lucky enough to live close to an airport which flies to some really great, family-friendly destinations. I’ve been doing some research on how to make family holidays easier to manage and thought I’d share some of them with you here:

Know the Lingo

I’m not suggesting that you get yourself fluent in the language of the place you’re travelling to, but having SOME knowledge of the language is really important. I find that, here in the UK, language education is woefully lacking and according to a survey conducted by Holiday Autos Car Hire, over a quarter of Brits don’t bother to learn ANY language before they go on holiday, and just under a quarter said that they only holiday in resorts where they know people speak English. It’s all well and goo d until you find yourself lost or in an emergency and completely unable to communicate, when knowing a bare minimum could really help.

Know The Etiquette

When I was 16, I went on holiday to Malta. I stayed in an area which wasn’t really full of holiday makers and I wondered why the locals looked disgusted with me when I left the flat in a bikini top! I was young and naive, failing to realise that this wasn’t really the done thing in a fiercely Catholic country, but had I bothered to read up first I’d have worked out that bikinis should be limited to beaches and touristy areas. This kind of knowledge is absolutely essential in some countries and could be the difference between staying safe and not.

Have Your Papers in Order

When Husband and I went to the Maldives, we didn’t realise until the last minute that we’d need to purchase a visa to stay there once we got to Male airport. All of our money was in travellers cheques and it was only by luck that we managed to change some up to enable us to get our visas. Knowing what paperwork you need to either gain entry, or in case you need healthcare, is vital.

Provisions?

When travelling with young kids, it’s essential to know what you can buy once you get there and what you need to take. Are things like nappies, wipes, formula milk and kid-friendly snacks readily available or do you need to pack these before you go? Getting to a foreign country and realising you can feed your kids or buy them nappies is a huge disaster!

Medications

If you don’t speak the native language, the prospect of finding medications like Calpol or Nurofen to give to your kids can be really daunting. From not knowing what to ask for to the potential of giving the wrong dose, it’s a minefield which can be easily avoided by packing your own. Take a First Aid kid along with paracetamol, antihistamines and anti-inflammatories and you’ll have most of your bases covered.

Do you have a holiday tip you’d like to share? Leave me a comment below!

Five Things to Do with Kids in the Canary Islands

volcanic-beaches-tenerifeOne of the things that I like about where we live is that we have a local airport. It’s not massive but it does fly to several European destinations and would make taking our Tots to Travel Canary Islands really simple. I’ve been doing some research about what we could do as a family if we were to travel to the islands and it seems like a great destination for families, so I thought I’d share some of my discoveries with you.

Volcano Explosions

If you’ve been to the Canaries, you’ll be well acquainted with the black sand beaches which are actually a result of volcanic activity, and there are actually places that you can go to observe the majesty of a volcanic explosion for yourself! Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote (where the Bond film Moonraker was shot) has an active volcano and geyser explosions can be seen happening there daily.

Exotic Animals

Oasis Park in La Lajita on Fuertaventura is packed with exotic wildlife from hippos to sea lions and is the perfect place to have a day out. There difference is, you won’t have to spend the day worrying about the English weather letting you down or needing to pack raincoats because you’ll be covered by the Spanish sunshine!

Underground Music

This one is a little out-there but is well worth taking in if you visit Lanzarote. Legendary architect Cesar Manrique converted an underground grotto at Los Jameos del Agua caves into a music hall and regular ‘visual music’ performances are given which are, by all accounts, a spectacular and unique experience for young and old alike.

Hiking

If your family likes a bit of a hike, then you should definitely take in the sights of Barranco de Guayadeque in Gran Canaria. This valley hasn’t changed in thousands of years, and it’s still one of Gran Canaria’s standout scenic spots. All grassy slopes dotted with palm trees and cacti, it’s so picturesque you’ll barely notice the mysterious doors in the cliff-side. They lead to hundreds of caves, which the native Guanches used as homes – you’ll spot their descendants who still live here today.

Siam Park

You can’t go to Tenerife without taking in a water park and Siam Park is the largest of them all. Inspired by Thai architecture, the park contains areas for relaxation, family fun and full-on adrenaline thrill rides, making it the perfect venue for the whole family to enjoy.

Are you a fan of the Canary Islands? Have you travelled to different islands and now have a favourite? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear all about it.