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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Staying Safe as a Solo Traveller

Going away with family and friends can be fun, but there’s nothing like the freedom of solo travel. Exploring a new city on your own time, with no demands to alter the route or having to sit down for a break when you are ready to go.  Read on for more about staying safe as a solo traveller.

The idea of travelling solo can scare some people, but it isn’t necessarily dangerous.  It’s all about being prepared and knowing what to do if you get yourself in a difficult situation. Knowing the better destinations to visit and how to hold yourself when you are walking around. But be realistic, there will always be risks, even staying in your own country is no guarantee of safety.  Knowing and preparing for these risks is the best action to take.

 

Plan Ahead

Your journey begins before you board the plane. From the moment you start planning your solo travel, you want to be prepared. Start with your travel insurance, providing as much information on destinations and activities as you can.

Learn about the areas you are going to visit.  Read up on other travellers who have gone either solo or as a group. Find out areas to avoid or if there are certain times of day, or even year, that are considered unsafe.

Plan your initial route to your accommodation.  Then consider planning routes between your intended destinations.  This will save you some hassle on your trip and give you more time to explore.

Learn about the local customs and cultures, for instance, common clothing found in the area. When travelling, you want to be able to blend in, rather than accidently declare yourself a naïve tourist.  Or worse, culturally offend someone!  Learning some basics in the native language will also benefit you greatly. Being able to speak a few words will almost certainly help locals warm up to you more should you need help.  Being able to read a few words will really help you too.

Familiarise yourself with the types of scams you may find in the area, this will allow you to avoid them and walk away when you suspect something isn’t right. Although you should always be aware of your surroundings, rather than expecting to be picked for a con.

Check out this Foreign Travel Checklist for some more guidance from Gov.UK

staying safe as a solo traveller

Accommodation

When choosing your accommodation, try to choose somewhere that someone you know has used and had good experiences with. If this option is not available, find somewhere with good quality reviews across a number of trusted sites.

Consider quality and safety as well as budget. Hostels can be great fun, not to mention nice and cheap, but come with increased safety risks. There are plenty of hotels, boutique and chain offering cheaper rooms for solo travellers without compromising on safety and comfort.

For example, the Crash Pad rooms in a Nottingham city centre hotel – these rooms are designed to be stylish and comfortable, but for use of solo travellers only.

Time of arrival at your accommodation is important.  Arrive as early as you can in the day.  Not only will this help you find your location easier, but you’ll get a better feel for the surrounding area. If you come to find your accommodation isn’t going to be suitable, you’ve also left yourself some time to find alternative arrangements.

Never give away your accommodation while you’re travelling, close friends and family being the exception. Your base of operation is your area of safety and given this information away could cause you trouble in the future.

While You’re Travelling

Be a smart traveller and make sure you’re prepared for when you are travelling around. Keep the number of personal items to a minimum so you have less to worry about (and check!) and make sure they are kept hidden securely on your person at all times.

Keep spare cash or an alternative credit/debit card hidden away from your main purse or pocket. If you are caught out by a pickpocket, at least you won’t be stranded with no means to pay your way.

Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.  You don’t need to be suspicious of everyone but certainly be more reserved than you would be at home. You’ll want to keep a clear head, steering away from drink and drugs – this could impair your judgement and make you an easy victim. Never give away personal information and make sure that you stay in populated areas.

Make sure you are polite while travelling but know when to make a fuss. Should you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation you shouldn’t be afraid to alert those around you.

Anywhere you travel, make sure you do so with confidence, you don’t want to make yourself look like a nervous traveller or an easy target for scams.

Before heading away, you can also register your journey with your government and/or leave your journey details with friends and family. This way if there is any unrest in a destination country you will be advised and it’s easier to track where you might be.

When you’re sufficiently prepared, travelling alone can be an enjoyable experience where you can learn a lot about yourself.

Where will your next journey take you?

staying safe as a solo traveller

Picture Perfect Proposal Spots In Seychelles

Seychelles is without doubt famous for being a honeymoon destination.  I also love to show how great it is as a family location here on my blog.

Lets just say that with or without family, Seychelles is unquestionably a place to share with loved ones.

With Proposal announcements becoming a bigger and bigger show, Seychelles can provide the ultimate in beautiful backdrops.

All of these places, unless stated are free to access.  I’m aiming to suggest some places that are perhaps a little less obvious, or a bit out of the ordinary!

So lets check out some of the best spots to propose in Seychelles to give you some inspiration!

Picture Perfect Proposal Spots In Seychelles

Step 1 – Get the ring

Okay, so this might seem obvious but if your looking for the picture perfect proposal, than you need the picture perfect ring to match!  Check out F.hinds for inspiration for all budgets.

Step 2 – Book your flights

There are numerous ways of getting to Seychelles, you can even fly direct with British Airways to the Seychelles now! I wrote a post for them all about Romantic Holidays in Seychelles if you’d like to check it out!

Step 3 – Pick your Picture Perfect Proposal Spot

At the old fire tower

The old fire tower is on Praslin.  As the name suggests, it is an out of action fire tower.  People would be based up here to look out across the island for fires!

This one is a bit of a hike but I promise it is SO worth it if your fit and healthy!

It’s one of the highest reachable points on the island and you are rewarded with this view.  Also the fire tower itself isn’t the MOST stable of structures so if you don’t want to risk the climb up it the view is still beautiful! The picture below is from the first floor of the tower, you can actually go up again….I decided against it, but mostly because the kids were with us and they wanted to climb up too!!

Best accessed from the Vallee de Mai car park.  Come out of the car park and turn right.  Walk a little up hill until you see a mud track off up to the right.  It will probably have a metal bar across it but that’s only to stop vehicles going up, walkers are allowed!

I’d recommend this as a morning visit for the best views.

 

Picture Perfect Proposal Spots In Seychelles

 

Sunset Rocks

On Praslin the best place for sunset is, looking out from Anse Kerlan towards Cousin and Cousine islands.

 

Picture Perfect Proposal Spots In Seychelles

On Mahe the best place is at Beau Vallon.  We just stayed at the H Resort which is on Beau Vallon and I can’t recommend it enough!

La Digue has to be looking out from Snack Bellevue.  Quite a walk but you can arrange transportation as there is a road that takes you all the way to the top.  A great little restaurant, that serves amazing creole food.

Picture Perfect Places to Propose in Seychelles

I could go on endlessly here, there really is countless places to watch the most stunning sunsets here in Seychelles.

On The Water

Let your budget and your imagination determine this one!  You could go all out and hire a fully staffed and catered yacht, or you could keep it super simple and hire a Kayak or a couple of paddle boards.

Both super romantic, and both definitely very special.

 

On a Hike

There are some amazing hikes to do in Seychelles, most notably on Mahe, Praslin, and Silhouette islands.  If hiking is your thing, or even if it isn’t; you’ll be sure to get some of the best panoramic views of Seychelles when you go hiking here and if that isn’t a beautiful spot to propose I don’t know what is!

To name but a few

  • Anse Major Trail (Mahe) is a gem and at the end you get beautiful Anse Major which apart from via the trail is only accessible by boat, pretty much guaranteeing you a quiet beach!
  • Anse Kerlan to Anse Georgette or Anse Lazio (Praslin) this is a BEAUTIFUL walk and has really stunning views. These start at the same place, go left for Anse Georgette and right for Anse Lazio.  Both beaches are often featured in the top beaches in the world and for good reason!

picture perfect proposal spots in seychelles

 

  • Silhouette Island isn’t really an option for a day trip but if you are staying there (the Hilton Labriz is amazing, I can totally recommend it!) it offers some fantastic trails for all abilities. *The* trail to do for experienced hikers is the hike to Grand Barbe. But perhaps the most picturesque is the trail to Anse Mondon.

 

At a Waterfall

I think this could possibly win all romance points.  Tropical island, secluded waterfall?! The waterfall near Port Glaud on Mahe is BEAUTIFUL!  Take a little picnic and spend an afternoon lazing around in the cool water.  I’d recommend getting a guide as the path is not marked out. They are unofficial but you’ll find them near the church on the road.  They have lots of information and are really friendly!  You can then make your own way back if you choose.

picture perfect proposal spots in seychelles

So there are a few ideas for inspiration!  I’d love to know if you have got engaged here and where it happened!!  Can’t beat a lovely proposal story!

Tools for Stay At Home Mums Running a Business

Juggling family life while running a business from home can often feel like you need to be in ten places at once. However, running a home based business gives parents the opportunity to develop a career and earn money that fits in with life with children. Although it is not always easy, ‘mumpreneurs’ can gain the work/life balance they want. If you are struggling to keep up with the demands of running a business while looking after children or want to know more about time-saving ways to get tasks done, this is the advice you need.

Tools for Stay At Home Mums Running a Business

tools for stay at home mums running a business

Scheduling Tools

Giving a structure to your day will help you be more in control of all the tasks you need to do, rather than feeling overwhelmed by them. Have a set time where you make calls or answer emails, use the two-hour window you have in the afternoons to work on your projects, and know the times where you have activities with your children. If your children are at school, plan when to do the tasks for your business in advance, as that will help you stick to a schedule and meet goals.

Time Saving Tools

Time-saving tools to help you run a business are something that all work at home mums benefit from. Use scheduling software or interactive calendars to organise your appointments as well as noting children’s activities. It is impossible to remember everything so be sure to use what is available to you.

Save time by using fun, easy to use tools to market your business. Let’s say you want to make a promotional coupon for your business, design a flyer or work out an email template. Choose platforms that are user-friendly to save you time and the headache of working out how it all works.

Marketing a business takes time and effort, but if you use social media, then there are countless tools where you can schedule posts across a variety of platforms in advance. This saves you time logging in and writing posts, as it can all be managed from one place.

People Power

When you are a parent working from home, you have to put on many different hats during your day. Breakfast maker, email writer, school runner, house cleaner, accountant and more. If you find the business side of things is getting busy, don’t be afraid to ask for help now and then. Ask you, partner, to take over some of the household duties, or get a friend to watch your kids while you meet a client. It is also a good idea to read advice from other successful mothers who run a business from home, and see what you can apply to your own.

There its also the option of virtual assistants.  You can hire people online to do all sorts of tasks from your business that you don’t have time to do!

 

Running a business from home while being a stay at home parent is one of the most rewarding and difficult of challenges. Put the right tools in place to help you get it right, and you can enjoy the work/life balance that brings the most benefits to you and your family.

Setting Kids Up For Adult Life

Despite perhaps never wanting your kids to grow up and to leave you, at some point, they probably will!  If they can go out into the world independently you know you’ve done a good job!

We are consciously and unconsciously setting kids up for adult life every day.  Here are a few thoughts on how we can consciously prepare kids for ‘the big world out there!’

Setting kids up for adult life

Social Skills

Perhaps the most important skills our kids develop are those connected to socialising. From the moment a baby learns to attract our attention, or share a toy in a nursery, they’re fine-tuning skills in getting what they want, or in relinquishing what they want, as dictated by civilised human society.  It’s a complex task, and quite amazing that it takes place over so short a time. However, to get our kids ahead of the curve, you’ll need to be proactive.

The best way to get children ready for the social pressures of adult life is to introduce them to social situations frequently. Allow them to hold the floor in family conversations. You can start introducing them into ‘grown up’ social interactions too, like paying the bill at a restaurant, or buying the food at the store. As with everything they do, children learn through exposure and get great ego and confidence boosts from performing new tasks well.

Handling Money

As a kid money means nothing, but unfortunately as we get older it means more than perhaps we would like it too!  So having a handle on it is one of the most important stages of being fully trusted as a young adult. Exposing kids to the workings of the financial world, the value of certain everyday items and the banking and budgeting systems will stand them in good stead to manage their money later in life.

A good example of this early learning help would be to give your child a small allowance.  Then they may choose to spend or save for something bigger. Allowing them to mismanage the cash they have in order for them to form their own ideas as to the value of money is certainly no bad thing either. Setting up junior bank accounts can be a big help too.  I remember doing this with my Mum and Dad and loved how grown up it made me feel!

Style

A sense of style may seem unimportant but I think it can really help with a kids identity.  It’s amazing how some kids are so stubborn about things they will or won’t wear from such a young age.  As much as we might want to fight it, it’s their way of showing the world who they are!

There are so many amazing options for kids fashion these days.  So whether your little one wants to dress just like you, loves what you choose for them, or will only step out in an outfit they’ve fully chosen themselves, it’s all developing their sense of style.

There are certain things that are definite staples in any kids wardrobe from investing in a cool Woolrich jacket, awesome summer sandals, super funky leggings and I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love a good old pair of welly boots!

 

Technology

This is definitely a touchy subject!  I certainly don’t want to try and make any judgements on the way any parents utilise technology with their kids.  There are those who flat out refuse kids the use of TV, smartphones or tablets.  There are some that allow their kids to play on them all day.  It’s probably safe to say most parents sit somewhere in the middle of that.  It’s all good!!

If you worry about how much screen time your kids are having, setting time limits may be a good idea.  Whether that’s through setting an alarm, or showing them the clock (maybe a good way to start teaching time!?)

 

Hygiene

Personal hygiene definitely does not come natural to kids!  It’s something that we’ve definitely got to teach them.

It starts relatively simply when they are little, it’s easy to make bath time fun!  But then teeth come in and that can definitely be trickier to persuade kids to do!

Things definitely step up when you need to start introducing deodorant to your less than sweet smelling pre-teen.  Vital conversations about periods and all the other body changes are SO important for both boys and girls.  Normalising all of these things early on will hopefully help take embarrassment out of it later on.

All of these things are all about establishing healthy patterns of behaviour. While it may be a little awkward for us, normalising all of these things early on will hopefully help take embarrassment out of it later on for them.

Hygiene knowledge prevents infections, promotes self-care as a psychological good, and means that your grown-up child will never miss out on a job for looking or smelly scruffy. It’ll be written into their DNA to be smart and well-washed when it’s important to be such.

 

Alternative Adventure Activities for the Whole Family

With the summer holidays fast-approaching, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep the kids entertained during the break while also making the most of your time together as a family.

Whatever age your kids are, whether they are tiny ones or teens, high-energy activities are a sure-fire way of keeping them busy – and tiring them out! If you’re looking for some inspiring and alternative adventure activities, take a look at these ideas.

alternative adventure activities for the whole family

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a high-adrenaline activity that is fun for the whole family. As well as offering excellent health benefits, climbing and bouldering involves plenty of teamwork.   This means every family member can enjoy showing each other the ropes.

Many climbing centres offer group sessions, with tutors teaching people from the age of four upwards.  Classes are generally tailored to ability, meaning everyone can enjoy learning at their own pace.

Zip Wires

There’s nothing like flying down a zip wire. If you have older kids, this is an exhilarating way to spend a day.

Make this activity even more entertaining by timing each family member to see who makes it to the bottom fastest, with the winner getting a treat. This is sure to keep everyone amused and keep the excitement going all day. A lot of adventure centres have minimum age restrictions, so it’s worth checking ahead first.

I’m actually heading to Go Ape this summer for my Sister in Law’s hen party, but I know Arthur and Freddie (and Mark!) will absolutely love it there too.  They have different courses for all ages which is really cool.

alternative adventure ideas for the whole family

Scootering 

If you don’t have any adventure centres nearby, why not try jumping on a scooter and heading off to the park? Whizzing around on a scooter is great fun, you can take them everywhere, and, better still, they won’t break the bank.

They are available for all ages, too, with brands such as Skatehut offering scooters for toddlers, so you can all can hop on and choose where to go. Scooters tend to be lightweight, collapsable or foldable, so you can carry them around when little legs start to tire.

My boys absolutely love their toddler scooter and my parents have just bought Arthur a ‘big boy’ scooter for his birthday next month!

Cycling

See the countryside on two wheels by heading out on a bike. Depending on the age of your kids, you could either try some thrilling mountain biking or for little ones there are cycling centres that specialise in bikes with child carriers.

We loved the camel trail when we were down in Cornwall the last time we were in the UK.  It’s a beautiful route and it’s lovely and flat too so it’s perfect for all ages.  There’s a rather fantastic vineyard on route too, which I can highly recommend a stop at, we took the kids and they were totally fine with that!

alternative adventure ideas for the whole family