Top Tips for UK Travel on a Budget

Travelling is a wonderful way to see the world, explore new places and immerse yourself in a different culture. However, it can be expensive, particularly if you are a frequent traveller or you’re with the whole family.  Luckily, there are many ways in which you can cut costs and stick to your budget without compromising your travel adventures.

We just spent the Summer in the UK and we had a great time, but we definitely did find it expensive, despite staying with family!

Here are some top tips and ideas to help you make your money stretch further and ensure you have a memorable trip for all the right reasons! Perfect for a trip to the UK, or even for a staycation if you’re already living there!

top tips for uk travel on a budget

Be Flexible

It’s often possible to get much better deals by shopping around and experimenting with different dates and travel options. Whether it’s flights, accommodation or tourist attractions, you never know what deals you might uncover until you look.  Of course most people don’t have HUGE amounts of flexibility in their travel dates, but you’ll be surprised how much travelling one day earlier or later can make in your costs!

Top Tips for UK Travel on a Budget

Accommodation

Five-star hotels are without doubt the dream.  Lets reality check though, the chances are that they will be out of your budget. Instead, make sure to do plenty of research and shop around. As I’ve said before, deals can be found all over the place!  So, always make sure you are happy with your choice and price before booking anything.

Similarly, it may be a good idea to consider alternative accommodation options to your traditional hotel. There are B&Bs all over the country, camping is always a cheap option, and cheap caravan holidays don’t have to mean giving up all your favourite home comforts. Plus, an alternative method of accommodation could be a great way to pique the kids’ interest in your trip!

Transport

Taxis are appealing, but public transport is far cheaper and often a more efficient way to travel in the UK. For instance, if you are visiting London or staying in the capital, the public transport networks including the Underground and London buses are fantastic. Seriously, you don’t need car hire in London!

Conversely, if you are planning to do a tour of the country or will be visiting multiple places, a hire car could be a great way to save money on train or taxi fares while giving you the freedom to explore where you want, when you want.  Outside of London rail costs are often hire than hiring a car!

Eating Out

Takeout coffees, delicious brunches, late lunches and hearty dinners.  There are countless amazing places to eat and drink in the UK.  Before you know it, your food costs can really begin to rack up. If you are in self-catering accommodation during your trip to the UK, cut costs by eating in, at least some of the time!

When you’re eating out opt for more budget-friendly restaurants – especially if you are travelling with a large party.   Again, think ahead and look online for places doing discounts and offers.

Top Tips for UK Travel on a Budget

Attractions

This will entirely depend on what you’re planning, but there are always ways for the budget-savvy traveller to cut costs. Again, make sure to research before you travel. That way you can budget for the costs, such as entry fees.   Many big attractions have huge offers year round so look online for discount codes or where to get coupons.

There are endless of opportunities to get out and explore the great British countryside for free – who says you can’t experience the UK on a budget?

 
Obviously, not all of these ideas will work for everyone.   But I hope that they at least give you a little inspiration on how small changes can give you big savings!  UK travel on a budget is definitely possible, even with a family!

Planning a trip is one of the most exciting parts of the whole adventure, so make the most of it and get ready for the getaway of a lifetime!

I DO! 6 Honeymoon destinations newlyweds WANT to travel to

I DO! 6 Honeymoon destinations newlyweds WANT to travel to

Many brides to be will tell you that choosing their honeymoon destination is almost as difficult as the wedding venue!  Whether it’s a far flung beach in a stunning, tropical location, a city that’s full of culture and bright lights or maybe something that’s a little more budget friendly.

If you’re struggling for inspiration then don’t worry.  Check out these 6 top honeymoon destinations that newlyweds want to visit!

Seychelles

Seychelles is undoubtedly one of the ultimate honeymoon destinations.  I promise there’s no bias  because I live here!  If you are dreaming of white sandy beaches, ultimate luxury, and relaxation, then look no further!   Island hopping here is a must, as each island offers something unique!

If you’re looking for a little adventure during your stay, try Scuba Diving, or one of the many beautiful hikes across the islands.

Seychelles is also a must visit for honeymooning couples with an interest in environmentalism.  There is a vast array endemic species to discover – many of which are endangered.  Eight national parks, six of which are marine parks, mean that there are many unspoiled and protected areas to explore.  There are also two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Vallee de Mai and Aldabra.  Many hotels, and resorts have their own environmental programmes, and actively encourage their guests to get involved.  The government is working hard on environmental issues too, plastic bags have been banned for more than a year, and plastic straws are also soon to be banned.

Niagara Falls

Everyone should see the beautiful and dramatic falls at least once in their lifetime.  So, why not incorporate it into your honeymoon?  The crashing, cascading and roaring water has attracted couples in love for centuries and it’s still ever popular.

There are plenty of places to stay around the area, each with an abundance of honeymoon and romance packages.  Check out Marriott on the Falls for a little inspiration.  While many people travel to distant lands with white sandy beaches, some prefer the magic of being close to nature whilst not leaving the city to far behind. Just don’t forget your rain coat!

Alaska

If you picture spending your honeymoon in a bikini and little else, then perhaps this one isn’t for you.  Alaska calls to couples of an adventurous spirit – for those who prefer their beaches icy cold and bracing!  Take your own guide across a beautiful ice capped mountain and a glacier or two!

With its abundance of wildlife at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, including humpback whales, bald eagles, puffins and even bears, Alaska is the honeymoon that just keeps on giving.  Just be sure to pack plenty of layers!

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

You might be thinking of Amsterdam’s famous coffee shop scene or of course it’s liberal Red Light District, but if you think that’s all Amsterdam has to offer then you’d be wrong.  Steeped in history with beautiful architecture this blissful city will swallow up honeymooners with it’s rustic and laid back charm.  Walk or cycle through the city’s historic streets, have a drink and a bite to eat at one of its many open air cafés and restaurants and enjoy 5* cuisine at the canal side.  One thing is certain – you’ll be back!

Cotswolds, England

If the idea of the romantic English countryside makes your heart flutter then a honeymoon to the Cotswolds is calling.  This breathtakingly rural area filled with rolling hills, charming Medieval villages, gorgeously thatched cottage roofs, not forgetting meadows as golden as the local stonework that will simply take your breath away.

With hotels and charming Bed and Breakfasts housed in 18th Century buildings you can experience the very best of what the English countryside has to offer.  From homemade jams, cheeses and preserves to idyllic country views and vistas that are straight out of Jane Austen novel.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Another destination for adventurers or those that want to see nature at it’s most beautiful.  Endless opportunities for trekking and hiking, bathing in hot, steamy springs and lagoons and of course, the ultimate in romance – the Northern Lights.

 

 

I hope that this gives you some inspiration if you are planning your honeymoon!  I’d love to know if there is anywhere you would add to this list?

A City Break In London With Kids Bucket List

So I recently wrote a post with a few ideas of places to take a short break in and around the UK with kids that are on our bucket list.  I thought I would follow that up with our bucket list of things to do with the family in London.

We have never ‘done’ London with kids, and it is definitely on our to do list.   Everything about London is pretty much the opposite of everything that my kids know in their lives* and so it will be so amazing to take them there and see their little minds be blown. *Seriously we went in an elevator when we were on Mahe over the Easter Holidays and they literally could not believe it when the doors opened and we were somewhere else.

So here are a few of the things on our London Bucket List.  Hopefully it will give you some taking a trip to London with kids.

The London Eye

The London Eye is a beautiful way to have fantastic views all across London.  When going with kids, you can beat the queues by booking fast track tickets. It’s a little more pricey but saves having to wait in lines with the kids! Trip Savvy has some more great tips for going on the London Eye with Small Kids

The Theatre

Going to see a show in London is something is a truly an iconic thing to do.  Of course, the classic would be to watch The Lion King. But, there are loads of different kid friendly shows on all over London like Room On The Broom and We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (two of the boys favourite books!).  Check out Discount London for tickets.

Riding the Underground

While the underground might be a tedious part of a Londoners daily travel commute.  It would definitely be exciting for the kids to ride around on.  Hopping on and off different trains would be a total highlight for them.

a city break in london with kids bucket list

Museums

Museums make for great days out with the kids.  Most are free for under 18’s and some are free for everyone.  You can’t beat a free day out!

The boys are yet to go to a museum, we just don’t have anything like that here.  Well, we have a couple of museums but they are certainly not geared up around kids.

Freddie is totally dinosaur obsessed and so a trip to the Natural History Museum would be an absolute must for us.  I can not wait to see his face the day we take him there when he can see some real dinosaurs!

I would also love to take the boys to the Science Museum where there is loads of hands on interactive stuff for them to get involved with.

There are countless museums for all different things in London.  You’d be hard pushed not to find at least one you and the kids will love!

a city break in london with kids bucket list

Afternoon Tea

How very English!  It would definitely be cute to take the kids for afternoon tea.  There are loads of kid friendly places to choose from all offering yummy treats for kids and grown ups.

 

The Iconic Landmarks

Wandering around to visit Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Covent Garden would all be so much fun for the kids.  To give them a glimpse of the things that are so iconic about London.

city break in London with kids bucket list

There are so many ‘pop up’ activities in and around London all year too, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for fun, and often free, activities for kids in Museums, Parks and Theatres!

Is there anything you’d add to this list?  I’d love to hear some more ‘must visit’ places in London with kids.

 

Five Fun Ways to Stay in Shape

 

Do you find yourself doing the same thing when you’re working out?  Always going for a run, or always heading to the gym? Trying out a new activity that will help you stay in shape is a great way to get out of that rut! There are plenty of great activities for you to check out that won’t feel like exercise.   Today I’m giving you five fun ideas that will help you stay in shape.  No running required!!

five fun ways to stay in shape

Zumba 

If you have not heard of Zumba, where have you been? This fitness dance class that has been taking the world by storm in recent years.  If you who love to dance, Zumba is the perfect aerobic workout that incorporates body movements from flamenco, salsa and other dances. It’s designed to sculpt your body while burning fat at the same time.   You can find Zumba classes everywhere for all ages and levels of fitness.

 

Pole Dancing 

Pole dancing is another fun way to stay in shape that has become extremely popular in recent years. Trying it out with friends will help you leave any inhibitions at the door! This is not only a great way to stay in shape, but it will also help to boost your confidence. Pole dancing is fantastic for upper body strength as you will be lifting your body off the pole, toning your arms and legs as you do so.

 

Indoor Rock Climbing 

Another exciting activity that will help to build strength and balance is rock climbing.  The easiest, and safest way to try this is at an indoor rock climbing facility.  You’ll be using your leg, arm and ab muscles throughout the workout, and you can easily burn as many as 800 calories in an hour. If you fall in love with indoor rock climbing you can then challenge yourself outdoors.

 

At Home Workout Trainers 

If you love nothing better than watching your favourite soaps in front of the television at night, then getting a piece of gym equipment for your home is the perfect way to stay in shape.  If exercise is not usually your thing, you can distract yourself with the TV!  Time will fly by much faster while watching your favourite programmes! You can research which trainer to buy here .  You can get at home gym equipment for all kinds of different things, whether its cardio, strength training or toning!  Having equipment at home allows you to fit in some exercise around kids naps or bed times.

 

Roller-skating 

If you usually like to go out for a run but are looking to do something a little bit different, why not consider going roller-skating? A great bonus is that it’s easier on your joints while still building good lower body strength.

Taking Care of Your Family’s Health Overseas

Whether you are on holiday or planning to move to a new country, one thing you need to consider is the health implications for you and your family. There are several aspects to consider if you want to have a happy trip and avoid any medical problems when you leave your home country.

These issues can be broadly defined in three categories: care of ongoing health issues, first aid and minor conditions, and emergency provision. Health problems affect the whole trip for everyone, not just the person who is sick.

We invest so much time and money into travelling, the last thing anything wants is for it to be cut short.  So, managing potential health issues is a must.

Ongoing health issues

An ongoing health issue includes any illness or problem affecting a family member’s health you are already aware of. Common examples include asthma, epilepsy, mental health conditions, genetic conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, and allergies. You need to check with your doctor as to any advice they have for travelling.

There are restrictions on certain drugs being carried through customs in different countries.  For instance, the opioid drug Tramadol is often prescribed for chronic pain conditions, but due to its addictive properties and the problems it has caused in some parts of the world, you can face problems entering certain countries with it. If you’re planning on taking any medication with you, check whether there are any restrictions where you are going.

Make sure you get enough to last for the whole trip and a little longer, in case you get delayed. Don’t run the risk of running out of vital treatments as allergy medicine, inhalers, or epinephrine auto injectors.  It is not always easy to get medication you need abroad, especially specific prescriptions.

Changes that could affect those with chronic health conditions

When planning your trip, be aware of how changes in climate, humidity, air quality, food, and sleep may affect anyone with a health condition. An asthmatic might find their breathing affected by a big city or at a higher altitude. People with diabetes need to be able to eat and drink at the right time to avoid a hypoglycemic fluctuation. The stress of travelling could have an adverse effect on someone with high blood pressure or heart problems. There could be aspects of the new environment that could trigger allergic responses. For those with mental health issues, the entire process can be stressful and bewildering.

All these complications can be managed. You just need to make plans to accommodate everyone’s needs.

First aid

When on board an aircraft or a ship, the staff will have access to all the first aid facilities you might need if someone falls ill or gets injured.  It’s wise to let them know of any pre-existing conditions.

Once you reach your destination, you will probably have access to a first aid kit where you’re staying. But if you’re exploring somewhere off the beaten track, you will need to have some essential supplies with you.  Either way, check before you go, it’s not worth the risk of being caught out!

The advice on what to take can vary from place to place. It is also often updated, as knowledge about the best action to take improves. Check what is recommended on authoritative websites, and cross reference with any advice on extras you might need.  Also check for any local flora and fauna to be aware of, for example, jellyfish, poisonous plants, or spiders.  You don’t need to scare yourself silly,  just be aware of the main hazards to look out for.

You may feel more confident using a first aid kit if you’ve completed a first aid course. Taking a course isn’t expensive, and quite apart from being useful when you’re away, it’s also a highly valuable life skill to have. Knowing what to do if someone stops breathing, or being able to spot the signs of serious illnesses like a stroke can quite literally save lives.

Emergency treatment

The last thing you want to worry about if someone needs health care abroad is medical bills! Before you go, you should take out travel insurance that covers you for accident and illness abroad. Check the policy carefully to make sure it covers you for everything you are likely to be doing, as there can be exclusion clauses in the small print that mean certain conditions or activities aren’t covered without being added on.  Make sure you disclose any pre-existing conditions!

Make sure you’ve had all the vaccinations and any other preventative treatments required for the country you are visiting.  This advice is easily found online.

It’s good planning to find out about the health facilities where you’ll be staying. It’s handy to know where the nearest doctor or hospital is to you. The chances are slim that you will ever need this information, but just in case you do, it can save a lot of time and stress if you know what number to ring, or where you can obtain medical help.

 

If you’ve read through all this and are now thinking it sounds like you’d be safer staying at home, relax. The point of being prepared is to insure yourself against anything going wrong; it doesn’t mean that any of these problems will arise! By taking steps to be prepared for what could happen, and prevent as many problems as possible, you will have a much safer and happier trip. There’s no need to worry about what might happen because it probably won’t. Just the same as if you are at home, the key is to take the actions required to make the chances even more remote that health issues will have an impact.

Short Breaks With Kids in and around the UK

We are coming up to our next UK Trip and we are getting super excited about our visit.

As the boys are getting older we feel like we can adventure more and more and visit new places.  We have already booked a short trip to France where we will be doing Disneyland and then heading down South for my Sister in law’s wedding.

Booking that has definitely made me realise that there is so much in and around the UK that is accessible to us when we visit that we really need to take advantage of during our visits.  So I thought Id write down a few different things as a mini travel bucket list of short breaks with kids on our next few visits to the UK.

Short breaks with kids in and around the UK

Scotland

Mark and I have NEVER been to Scotland which seems crazy to us both.  We are totally desperate to go and explore such a beautiful part of the world.

short breaks with kids in and around the uk

I want to explore Edinburgh which just looks like the most picture perfect city in the world with so much history and culture and then head out to highlands where there seems to be endless adventures waiting.  CairnGorm Mountain looks amazing, especially the funicular railway.  I know the boys would love that, trains are of course a big novelty to my little island boys seeing as there are no trains here.  VisitScotland has a great itinerary for the highlands with kids

 

The Channel Islands

Geographically in-between the UK and France, The Channel islands are neither British or French. They may be small but they are steeped in history.  Guernsey is the closest to the UK and the Bailiwick* of Guernsey also covers  the islands of Alderney and Sark.  There is also of course Jersey which is it’s own Bailiwick.

I think we would make Guernsey our base and then head off to explore other islands from there.  You can reach Guernsey with Condor Ferries

short breaks with kids in and around the uk

Castle Cornet is definitely going to be a must for us.  The boys love castles and this is a whole island castle!!

Lots of little islands also means lots of coastline to explore which is definitely something Arthur and Freddie love.  The Channel islands have some seriously beautiful beaches, which means a lot coming from us!

*If you’re wondering what this word means it’s basically the ‘division of or district’…..I’d never heard of it either until I started reading more about the Channel Islands!

 

The Lake District

A walking holiday is something that really appeals to me with kids.  In the UK the Lake District is the obvious choice.  Apart from being absolutely beautiful, there are huge amounts of activities for kids of all ages – A definite bonus when the novelty of walking wears off for the kids!  The Lake District National Park website has huge amounts of information on what’s going ideas.  I love that they have a dedicated section to people walking with pushchairs too.

short breaks with kids in and around the uk

You Can Make Your Dreams Come True

It’s something a lot of people dream about, moving to paradise islands like the Seychelles.  But how many of them are prepared to do the work? To put in the effort to make that dream a reality? If you truly long for a change in lifestyle, you need to work towards your goal, not just hope you’ll win the lottery one day! It’s a big move, but if it’s what you want for your life, then the effort you put in to make your dreams come true will be well worth it.

 

What are you going to do?

If you could just fly overseas and spend your days doing whatever you wanted, then everyone would be doing it! You need to have a plan for what you’re going to do when you relocate. Then work towards getting a job lined up or setting yourself up as a freelancer. You’ll need to make sure you understand the visa requirements and the employment legislation before looking for a job. There are great websites and services available that can help you sort these technicalities out.  Some of these sites can also help you out with job hunting too.

make your dreams come true

Financing your move

You’ll need to raise some capital to ensure you have enough money to cover the relocation and setting yourself up. That might mean working for a few more years in your current job.  If you’re thinking about freelancing, say as a writer or running your own business, it’s better to start work on the project before you move, so you haven’t got everything going on at once. It’s also better to be established and bringing in work before you move, so you have a level of security. The great thing about working from home is that you can live almost anywhere you like thanks to the internet. That means it’s perfectly feasible to set your business up in one country and transfer to another with minimal disruption.

The transition period

Once you’ve committed yourself to a move, you need to be dedicated to achieving your savings goals and getting ready for your new job. If you’re going freelance, you need to get the business going before you move.  Getting your business up and running while still working is NOT going to be easy.  You could look at moving to a part-time position or more flexible working hours. This will allow you time to build up your new client list. Have a look at employment opportunities near you that could offer you the flexibility and free time you need, for example check out websites such as www Walmart com careers to find a suitable role.

Living your dream life is something that can come true, providing you are serious about making the change and putting the work in to achieve your goals. If you have the ambition and determination, you too could one day be making your dreams come true on the sun-kissed beaches of a tropical paradise.make your dreams come true