Choosing the Right Holiday for your Family

Picking the perfect holiday for your family should be an exciting activity but can quickly become a thankless task. You’ve got multiple people to please, all sorts of activities to organise and no real way of knowing whether everyone will love what you’ve chosen until you arrive. I know the stress of this all too well, so I’ve put together a handy list for you to use next time you need to choose the right holiday for your family. From camping to cruises, you’ll find something to suit everyone!

Choosing the right holiday for your family

Family cruises

Cruises are becoming more and more popular with families, and it’s easy to see why. You can stay on a ship that’s got everything from comfy rooms and luxury spas to huge waterslides and fun kids’ clubs – all while exploring different countries and cities. Many of the newer ships have great family-oriented facilities, as well as on-shore activities that appeal to children of all ages. And because the majority of the organising is done for you, you just need to pick your destinations and ship, and everything else is sorted by your cruise line.

If you’re after child-friendly cruises, be sure to pick a ship, cruise line and itinerary that meets your expectations and includes plenty of fun activities. One of the best things about cruises is the all-inclusive aspect: from evening entertainment to eating on-board, you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about budgets.

Cruise ship

Camping holidays

Camping holidays are great for families on a budget or for those wanting to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Nipping down to a caravan park or pitching a tent is quick and easy, making it perfect for short weekend breaks or half-term holidays. And because you can stay in the UK, you don’t need to worry about queues or delays at the airport! Most campsites and caravan parks come fitted out with fabulous facilities – think cinemas, spas and waterparks. Plus, it’s a great way to explore the British countryside and coastline, and get some much-needed fresh air. You can acquire huge tents for not much money now, so buying a tent is a good investment if you’re likely to camp a few times a year.

Camping
All-inclusive hotels

You might think that all-inclusive hotels are limited to couples and adults-only holidays, but there are plenty that cater for families, too. You can pick a destination and a resort then relax, knowing that everything you need has already been paid for. From food to activities, you don’t have to worry about hidden charges or budgeting for fun days out.

The majority of all-inclusive hotels have great facilities for children, including private beaches, water-sports lessons, swimming pools and kids’ clubs – meaning you’ve got time to escape to the spa or enjoy a swift cocktail! Before you book, watch out for any extras: sometimes you’ll need to pay surcharges for certain restaurants or equipment hire.

Watersports

Adventure escapes

If you’ve got older children, heading off on an adventure holiday is a great way to bring your family together. From hiking through the jungles of South America to horse-back safaris, you can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These holidays tend to be more expensive, but the memories you make are well worth it. There are even charity events you can sign up for: whether it’s raising money doing a long hike or helping to rebuild schools and homes in small villages.

Seaside getaways

Sometimes all you need for a great family holiday is to be by the sea with a bag of fish and chips, the smell of sea-salt in the air, and the waves sweeping across the sand. Spending time at the beach is a perfect way to enjoy some family time, without having to go abroad. For surfing and bodyboarding fun, the coasts of north Devon, Cornwall and south Wales are brilliant, while the southern edge of Devon provides picturesque coastal walks and gorgeous scenery. For a weekend getaway, there’s no better place to be.

Choosing the right holiday for your family is tough – there’s no point denying it! But put the right planning in and try something new, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Whether you take to the waters or hike around glorious terrain, you’ll create memories to treasure forever.

*This is a collaborative post

Planning a Trip to the Philippines

The relatively open door policy adopted by Philippines has made it one of the most easiest of countries to visit with hardly any barriers in place for entering tourists. Residents of over 150 countries, which have diplomatic relations with the country can enter Philippines and stay there for up to thirty days without having a visitor’s visa. The only condition being is that you should have proof of return passage and a passport with at least six months validity.

There are some exceptions to this rule for a few different nationalities which your Embassy or Consulate can verify in your home city. Customs allow you to bring in your personal belongings without paying duty as well as unlimited foreign exchange. However, when leaving the country you are forbidden to carry any currency in excess of USD 10,000 or equivalent. To make the most of your trip you will need to set aside at least two to three weeks for your Philippines holiday. Suggested itinerary,with top attractions, is described below….

Planning a trip to the Philippines

MANILA (two days)

Once you have arrived at the International Airport, the rest of the Philippines can be easily visited by budget airlines(as there are no road links), which fly to most of the popular places of this charming island country. Many travelers like to skip Manila in order to save time, but they are making a huge mistake. This metropolitan city is full of diverse culture, history and entertainment. The city’s museums, broad streets and shopping malls, make Manila a must all types of tourists.

Manila, Philippines

THE CORDILLERA RICE TERRACES (two days)

A nine hour road trip, over treacherous mountain roads, high into the Cordillera mountains, where even the Spanish colonists feared to enter, will bring you to this special UNESCO world heritage site. Walking over tricky hiking trails you will discover the unique terraces of rice fields, carved out of the mountain, dating back to 500 years.

SIARGAO (two days)

Long kept as a secret, Siargao opened its doors to the outside world only in the seventies. This Pacific Ocean coastline town is known to have some of the most challenging surfing spots in the world. Cloud 9, as it is named after, boasts of a reputation of having powerful waves and rocky bottom backsides. Numerous resorts and hotels can be found here, which take visitors to the outlying popular destinations on conducted tours.

PALAWAN (four to six days)

This 260 mile piece of paradise, runs along the archipelago’s western flank and is often referred to as the best island in the world. The capital Puerto Princesa is famous for its local craft beer and a variety of food delicacies. A short distance away from the city is the underground river – one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Here you will come upon an archipelago of over 40 stunning limestone islands, where one can hike up to the edge of the cliffs or simply go island hopping. At the extreme northern end of Palawan lies Coron, with its gorgeous beaches and lagoons and the site of a World War II wreck.

BOHOL (two days)

The once laid back and sleepy island of Bohol has today earned a reputation of leading travel destination due to the presence of the Chocolate Hills. The karst limestone which gave these hills their origin are full of deep gorges and valleys, ideal for rappelling and ziplining. Bohol can be easily accessed from the Tagbilaran airport in Cebu or by ferry from the same place. Once you have found your stay in any of the island’s many resorts, take time out to go to Panglao to catch a glimpse, if you are lucky, of the dancing spinner dolphins in the Bohol sea.

DAVAO (two days)

The city of Davao, acts as the gateway point to the three major island groups, which constitute the majority of the Philippines. This major metropolis, is situated on a relatively unspoilt marine and forest habitat. As it affords easy access to both the mountains and the sea, Davao has become a topmost adventure sport destination today. The added attractions here are some animal conservation centres such as, Philippines Eagle Center and Monfort Bat Sanctuary, which are well worth a visit.

PAMPANGA

The cultural hotbed of Pampanga, lies to the north of Manila and showcases the colonial way of life of the Spaniards who once ruled here. Everything from the unique architecture to the food flavor and culture has a mix of Latin in it. The place tops in culinary eats as on the bucket list of food lovers who want to taste the best of the Kapampangan food.

BORACAY

It is said that most people, on return, have left their heart in the beautiful island of Boracay. The experiences here are so unique that visitors have fallen love with the place. Travelers have compared the island and the beaches with best in the world, and not surprisingly Boracay has always stolen the show.

The now unforgettable sunsets and miles of powdery stretches of white sand have made Boracay legendary. To get away from the hordes of tourists, a visit to Alta Vista de Boracay is highly recommended. From here one can have a commanding 360 degree view of the whole island. Thrill seekers can opt for diving from the cliffs on Magic island, which caters to both first timers and professionals alike.

The Philippines has a whole lot of other attractions, but make sure you don’t lose out on the ones mentioned above. Enjoy what this paradise country has to offer and do all what you have not done before.

Boracay, Philippines


*This is a collaborative post.

Tips on Getting Some Sleep if your Flight is Delayed Overnight

If you are waiting for a delayed flight and it is night time, then you may want to get some sleep. However, sleeping in an airport is not at all easy due to the noise, light and discomfort. However, if you do need some sleep in these less than desirable conditions while you are waiting for your flight, there are things that you can do to help. Below are some suggestions which might be of some use…

Tips on Getting Some Sleep if your Flight is Delayed Overnight. Image of inside airport at night

Book into a hotel

The obvious solution would be to book into a hotel. Obviously this would only work if you knew that the flight was definitely not coming in for a certain amount of time. You would also need there to be a free hotel room nearby and one that you could afford. Sometimes an airline may pay for accommodation if the delay is their fault and for a long time, so it is worth asking before you book up a room as they may have specific terms with regards to reimbursing you. However, most of the time people will try to get some sleep in the airport.

Use earplugs or noise cancelling headphones

Airports are really noisy and this could stop you from getting to sleep. The best way to block the noise is to use good earplugs, or you may prefer to use noise cancelling headphones. If you do have some headphones, you can use them to listen to music, or something on your mobile device, and this will enable you to relax and hopefully sleep. It should help to block out any noise distractions.

Use an eyemask or hat

The light can be a problem as well. Even with your eyes shut it can still feel bright through your eyelids and make it hard to nap. It can therefore be good to cover your eyes with an eye mask or, if you do not have one, pull a hood down over them or just cover over with a scarf or something like that.

Make a pillow from jumper, coat or bag

Most of us will sleep with a pillow and therefore having one could make a big difference to whether we are able to fall asleep. Some people travel with them, but if you do not then you can roll up some clothing or see if you can use your bag instead.

Find a comfortable chair or place on the floor

Getting comfy can be tricky and you will need to think about whether you can get comfortable on the chair or whether you want to try lying on the floor. This will very much depend on you and what you find comfortable. It may be possible to lie across several chairs depending on how busy it is and how the chairs are designed.

Man sleeping on chair with earphones in

Make sure your bags are secure

It is worth making sure that your bags are secure. Not only is this a sensible practice, but it could help you to feel more relaxed knowing that they are safe. If you are worried that they might be stolen or interfered with, then it might stop you from being able to relax enough to fall asleep. Some people padlock their luggage, but securing it with your body can be a sensible thing to do as well. This will stop anyone taking it and mean they cannot put anything inside it.

Ask someone to wake you

You may also be worried that you might not wake up in time for your flight. If this is the case, then ask a staff member or someone waiting for the same flight if they could wake you up when you need to get ready for the flight. Of course you could set the alarm on your mobile, which is the easiest option, but with all the other noises – and the ear plugs or headphones on to drown that out – you may not hear it. This way you will be able to go into a deep sleep, knowing that you will wake up at the necessary time rather than having a restless sleep as you keep checking to see whether it is time for the flight or not.

Girl sleeping with headphones on

We all have different sleep routines, but it is difficult to imagine that any of us sleep in conditions like this normally. Therefore it will be hard to apply our sleep routines to this. However, do try to make it as like your normal sleep as you possibly can. Perhaps cover yourself over with something, make a pillow and things like that. If you use meditation to listen to certain music, see whether you can find that on your mobile device to use. It is important to try to relax before you sleep, so think of things that you can do which will help and therefore go to sleep.

*This is a collaborative post.

My Favourite Holiday Memories

I love thinking back to old holidays, reminising about my favourite moments and the funny times. An old photo, comment from a friend or even just a random memory popping into my head brings a smile to my face; holidays are often so full of moments to be treasured!

My Favourite Holiday Memories title with beach background

My first ever holiday (I think!) was a trip abroad to Majorca with my parents. I don’t remember a single thing about it to be honest, except that my mum was heavily pregnant with my brother at the time and I am pretty sure lied to be allowed on the plane! I remember seeing photos of her lounging on a sun bed and one of me wearing sunglasses on the beach. I looked so happy in the photos; so even though I was too young to actually remember any of it, I clearly had a good time!

My first proper holiday without my parents, aside from residential school trips in the UK and France, was to Tenerife with a friend when I was 16. I fell in love with it and it instantly felt like ‘home’. I was so drawn to it that I returned a couple of years later to live for a short time, working as a bar rep. There were loads of amazing, fun memories from those days, as I am sure you can imagine! I would love to return one day; perhaps to the otherside of the island though, as it is more family- friendly. www.holidaygems.co.uk have some fab deals if you are tempted by this idea too!

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#TBT Tenerife days

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Some of my funniest, and fondest, memories are actually of holidays closer to home though. There were girly weekends away with one of my favourite people in the whole world, which we still often giggle about now – years later. Or the Scotland trip we went on with my mum. And not to forget of course, the wonderful family holidays I have taken Squiggle to as well.

A photo of Squiggle and her mum on the beach playing in the sea

I can’t pick a single favourite holiday; I loved each one in different ways and for very different reasons. Each one holds lovely memories of precious moments with people I love, randomness and laughter! That’s why I love holidays so much!!!

What are your favourite holiday moments? Tell me in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

#Blogtober 2016 – Day 27: Place I would Most Like To Visit

Ooh, now this one is easy; I have written about places I would like to visit already, in the About Us section. Check it out to find out my answer!

#Blogtober16