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.

 

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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.

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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

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Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Before Mark and I were Married and lived in the Seychelles he took me to Warwick Castle. He had worked there when he was younger. We had a really great time there.

Flash forward a few years to when we had Arthur it was exactly the kind of place we were excited to show him when we visited the UK. We resisted the temptation on our previous trip as he was a little young to appreciate it.

This time around though, we knew he would absolutely love it. We had already taken him to Kenilworth Castle and he’d had a great time there.  I thought I’d share our experience with visiting Warwick Castle with our young kids!

Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

This year Warwick Castle had added a big medieval style glamping ground. While this was pretty exciting and is definitely something we will consider next time around, it did mean that the car park was now a long walk from the main entrance to the castle, not ideal with two young kids!!

We had managed to get vouchers for the park from some Cadbury’s chocolate. We (okay, mostly me) even ate a big bag of buttons on the way so we could have another one…..I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, I am truly a hero.

It was a good thing we did have those vouchers because I was pretty shocked when I saw the entrance fees!

The castle is owned by Madame Tussaud’s (also owners of big theme parks like Thorpe Park and Alton Towers) and they have made some big changes since we had last been there. It definitely had a theme park feel to the place now.  Whether that is a good or bad thing, overall I’m still not totally decided either way!!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

When it rains

We were pretty unfortunate with the weather as it started absolutely tipping it down not long after we arrived. Like everyone else we then headed inside the Great Hall and the rooms to take shelter from the rain. It was nice to walk around here, but didn’t appeal all that much to the boys. We had thought that Arthur would really like seeing all the suits of armour, but unfortunately he was really rather scared of them!!!  Freddie seemed to be enjoying it all though!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

I was a little concerned at this point that the day was going to be a wash out because there really isn’t all that much to do inside there, that would be suitable for the little ones!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Luckily for us, the rain did eventually ease up and we headed back outside. We took some lunch at one of the stalls as opposed to trying to get inside anywhere as it was packed!

Towers and Ramparts

After having a wonder around the grounds we decided we wanted to go up to the top so we left Freddie with Gran and started our trek.  In true bad blogger style I can’t remember the name of the walk that takes you around all the towers…..but the main thing to note about it, is that there are A LOT of steps.  Seriously, there are hundreds!  Its also really quite narrow and not a lot of railings on the internal steps.  Anything that was outside though felt secure with extra railings etc!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Now obviously thats because its a real Castle and health and safety was not top priority back in those days!  But, obviously its something to consider when deciding whether or not to try and take small kids up there!  Arthur, at 3, was not able to walk the whole way and definitely was getting restless on the busy steps.  The problem is that once you’ve started there aren’t really any ways out except the actual exit so that could be a bit disastrous if your kid decides to throw a bit of a wobbly!!  Luckily, no wobblies from Arthur this time but he definitely did need some help from Daddy at some points!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Aside from all that though, it was really nice to do that and there are some amazing views to be had!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Playgrounds

After that we decided to let Arthur and Freddie stretch their legs a bit and took him to a kids park, Pageant Playground.  It was great in there with lots of different slides and walkways for Arthur to go nuts on!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

We then wandered round to the other new feature at Warwick Castle which is the Horrible Histories Maze.  This was something that we all really enjoyed, as we ‘got lost in time’

Arthur was playing it cool a little (read: totally posing for our new camera!) but he really enjoyed running around in there, finding all the different areas.

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Let me tell you, this was definitely something all ages were enjoying!  There was no way we were going to leave without having collected all the stamps first!!!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Arthur clearly is no Mastermind but you didn’t have to be to enjoy the Maze!  It didn’t matter that he didn’t understand the history, he loved the whole experience of exploring the maze!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

I don’t mind admitting that I was totally down with taking the chance to turn it into a little photoshoot!!!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Shows and activities

There are loads of daily shows and activities at Warwick Castle, along with special events at different times of the year.  All the adults were excited about the Knights Tournament and really wanted to see the Trebuchet be fired.

With Arthur already showing that he wasn’t keen on Knights shows at Kenilworth Castle I didn’t have high hopes for Arthur being on board with this one.  Particularly since I knew it would be louder and flashier at Warwick Castle.  We tried our luck anyway but it didn’t take long for Arthur to get a little overwhelmed by it all.  Perhaps the long walk up the towers had not been such a good idea because he was totally exhausted.  I put him in the pushchair, left Freddie with everyone else and took him for a walk.  It wasn’t long before he was totally out (which is quite impressive for a boy that no longer naps!)

Freddie on the other hand, was apparently totally mesmerised and loved the whole thing!!

The knights.  Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Should you visit Warwick Castle with Young Kids?

In an annoyingly non committal answer; it depends.

For our kids, Id say Kenilworth Castle  was a little more suitable for them.  But, that was mostly down to Arthur being overwhelmed by the noise, business and in your face-ness that came with Warwick Castle.  There were other kids Arthur’s age that were soaking in the atmosphere!

I think that picking your day weather wise is very important, as there really isn’t all that much to keep the little ones entertained in the wet.

From what I gather, there are vouchers available a lot of the time for Warwick Castle and I would definitely take advantage of that.  You can also save 30% by booking online which is great and saves potential wait time when you arrive!

Next time we are in the UK, Arthur will be 5 and Freddie 3 (oh my!) and I think that they will get a lot more out of the day then they did this time around.

All in all though we did have lots of fun at Warwick Castle and there are plenty of great memories for us and the boys from our trip there!

Visiting Warwick Castle with Young Kids

Have you been to Warwick Castle with young kids?  Would you recommend it?

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Healthy Holidays: How to keep your family from getting ill

Healthy Holidays: how to keep your family from getting ill

Going on family holidays is always a great way to spend time together. However, there’s always the potential for your happy holiday to go awry. If someone in the family falling ill at home is difficult, it’s miserable when it happens on holiday. A stomach bug or even just a cold can throw off your plans. When an adult doesn’t feel good, they might be able to soldier on. But when one of your little ones is poorly, you can’t take them out sightseeing. The best way to keep everyone feeling in rude health is to take preventative measures. Stay healthy as a family when you next go away with these tips.

Healthy holidays

Image source

 

Choose Your Destination Carefully

Staying healthy on your holiday starts long before you leave. When you’re deciding where to go, you should think about any health risks you might encounter. The first thing you should consider is whether there are any current risks you need to take into account. For example, you might be wary of going to countries with the Zika virus at the moment. You should weigh up the things that any of you might catch, from stomach bugs to more serious illnesses. If you want to play it safe, you might limit your potential destinations to only the safest of countries.

 

Preventative Medication and Vaccinations

If you’re going to a country that might pose some health risks, you should make sure you’re ready. It’s easy to prevent a large number of illnesses and disease with vaccinations. However, you usually need to get them at least a few weeks before you travel. There could be a few things you need vaccinations for, including hepatitis, yellow fever, and rabies. It’s also a good idea to have boosters for your usual vaccinations, such as polio and MMR. Sometimes you may need pills to take, such as for malaria. Fortunately, you can easily order malaria tablets online. It makes it much easier to get ready for your holiday.

 

Be Careful with Food and Water

A lot of people are wary of eating different food or even drinking water when they travel. They’re right to be careful, although much of the time you don’t need to worry. The most important thing to do is check just how careful you need to be. In some places, you shouldn’t be drinking the tap water, but in other locations it’s fine. You might need to be more careful about washing fruit before you eat it. It’s usually a good idea to be careful about eating street food. If your stomachs aren’t used to the local food, there’s a risk of tummy trouble.
Healthy holidays
Image source

 

Be Careful of the Heat

If you don’t usually live in a particularly warm country, you’re probably not used to the heat. It’s important to be aware of the risks and how to protect everyone. Children, and especially those under two, are particularly at risk. Heat-related illnesses like heat stroke can be dangerous, so it’s essential to watch out for warning signs. You need to make sure everyone spends plenty of time in the shade and drinks enough water. When you’re out in the sun, get everyone covered up with clothes and with sunscreen.

 

Know Where to Go for Medical Help

It’s always a good idea to know where to go for medical help. In an emergency or even just when someone’s feeling under the weather, you don’t want to be frantically googling. At the very least, you need to know the emergency number in case you need an ambulance. It’s also useful to know where the nearest pharmacy is and where you can find an English-speaking doctor. A few useful phrases in the local language couldn’t go amiss, either. Just knowing a few body parts and how to say that something hurts is useful.

 

Get Out and About

Staying healthy during your holiday isn’t just about avoiding illness. It’s also a good idea to make sure you keep up healthy habits. Even though your holiday is a great time to indulge, you still need some vegetables now and then. Although you could relax by the pool for your whole holiday, getting out to do some things is a good idea too. Try to do some active things during your time away, whether it’s going for a walk or getting in the pool. It will help you make the most of your holiday time.

Keep your family happy and healthy while you’re on holiday by being prepared. You’ll all have a great time, hopefully without any illness.
Do you have any other tips that you would include to make sure you have healthy holidays?
Healthy Holidays

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Momaboard family trip planning service

I am writing today to tell you all about Momaboard and to share some exciting news too (well I think its exciting anyway!).

Momaboard family trip planning service

What is Momaboard?

Momaboard is a family trip planning service.   What makes them special is that they have utilised the power of local Mamas and crowned them ‘Mombassadors’!!  You choose where you want to go and the Mombassador for that city will plan an itinerary for you!  Using all her local knowledge of all the best places to go with the kids and where to avoid

 

Why do YOU need Momaboard?

Okay, we all know that it’s not cheap to go on holiday, so you want to know that when you are dishing out the money that you are going to get the best!!  That’s where Momaboard comes in.  You choose where you want to go, and the Mombassador for that area will plan your trip for you!

 

What’s included in a trip itinerary?

EACH MOMABOARD ITINERARY CONTAINS:

Things You Know You Need

  •  Accommodations
  • Restaurants
  • Transportation
  • Age-Appropriate Activities
  • Doctors & Hospitals

Things We Know You Need

  •  Money Saving Tips & Discounts
  • Insider Tips & Cultural Nuances
  • New & Seasonal Events
  • Babysitting Recommendations
  • Mobile & PDF
Here is a link to a sample itinerary if you want to check it out

Lists

Don’t want a full trip itinerary?  Well how about a custom list for your trip instead?  You can get a custom list for:
  • Restaurants: The best eateries suited to your family’s tastes, budget and ages of your kids
  • Activities: The most family – friendly activities based on your interests, locations and ages of your kids

What does it cost?

Okay so, this sounds great doesn’t it!?  Think how much time and stress you have saved by having someone else plan your family trip for you!  But, I know what you’re thinking; how much is this going to cost me?

Well, I think you will be pleasantly surprised that a custom travel itinerary starts at the great price of $50/£35 and comes with a 100% money back guarantee if you are not totally satisfied with your itinerary!!!

The travel lists start at ¢15/£10

You can take 10% off any of these prices to any destination when you enter discount code ‘Chantelle’

 

 

So moving on to the exciting news.  I am really happy to say that I am now the Mombassador for the Seychelles.  So if you are planning a family vacation here anytime soon you can use me to create an amazing itinerary for you to ensure you get the absolute most out of your time here!!   If you use the discount code ‘Chantelle’ I’ll take 10% off the cost of your itinerary for you too!!  Click the link below to get started!

 

Momaboard Mombassador

 

So why don’t you let Momaboard help you plan your next family vacation today?   There are Mombassadors in over 55 destinations!

Not sure where to go?  Check out the best travel destinations for families in September 2016 

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UK Trip Summer 2016

We have been back for a couple of weeks now and our UK trip already feels like a long time ago.

 

Jet lag has now worn off (We are seriously missing the jet lag induced 8am lie ins from the kids!)  and we are getting used to it being just the 4 of us in our house!

 

Mark is back at work and next week Arthur will be back at school (he will be doing full days now but perhaps thats for another post!).  Its been a while since I’ve had both boys by myself and I had definitely forgotten how much hard work that is!

 

I want to take the time to write about lots of different parts of our trip as separate posts as there really is so much to share!  We certainly squeezed a lot into our 6 weeks!

So look out for posts about our time in

Leamington Spa with Mark’s family

UK Trip Summer 2016

 

our trip down to Plymouth  (and Freddie’s first birthday!)

UK Trip Summer 2016

and a week away at a beautiful cottage in Cornwall with my family.

UK Trip summer 2016

We really had such an amazing time, it was great to catch up with everyone and to see the boys experience so many things that they don’t get to back here in Seychelles.  We were so lucky to be able to spend 6 weeks there.  It meant we got about 3 weeks with each of our families, which was a really good amount of time for everyone to have with the boys (because lets be honest, its them that people really want to see!!)

I have a couple thousand (eeeeek) pictures to go through before these posts get done.  We got a new camera and so we were even more snap happy than usual!  So I have lots to be getting on with!

I do love going through all the pictures though so its not a chore!  Its like living the trip all over again!

 

 

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