Days out · Holiday

Orlando, Florida; where to visit which isn’t Disney/Universal theme parks?!?

It is my 10th wedding anniversary this year and my husband and I decided to take a trip to America, without the children! Our first proper holiday without them since our honeymoon!

We have booked 10 days staying in the Hilton Double Tree, International Drive, Orlando (I will be reviewing this hotel after our trip so check back!). We are taking the children to Disney next year so I am not interested in going there this time and as much as I love Harry Potter I have decided the cost of Universal Studios outweights my need to see Diagon Alley and Hogsmead. So, I asked some of my blogging friends where they suggest and the results were:

  • Discovery Cove; we have booked this for the day of our anniversary. Swimming with dolphins, tropical fish, fresh water animals…an all day water experience. As recommended by Samantha  


Photo from Laura  

  • Gatorland, get upclose to gators and has loads of amazing photo opportunities. As suggested by Nicola  

Photo supplied by Tracey

We also had suggestions of some restaurants to visit:

  • Laura also recommended we make sure we go to Cheesecake Factory and also have the cookie skillet dessert at the outback steak house as it’s amazing!!! 
  • Jon suggests we go to The Village Inn opposite the Hilton Doubletree. BEST PIES IN ALL OF AMERICA!!
  • Raglan Road in downtown Disney is great fun. Dinner at the Ritz Carleton near Seaworld is amazing. Ask for the terrace. Suggested by Kate of http://www.modernmum.net/

Does any one have any further suggestions we need to visit?!?

Days out · Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh

Avoid These Family Summer Holiday Disasters

Holiday are important, right? We save up for them and look forward to them all year. They get us through that awful day in the office when we have so much work we can’t even think about getting home on time. Or when the kids are up at 3 am and won’t stop crying. That is why we need to do the best we can to avoid any holiday disasters. Nobody wants that special vacation time ruined.

So read on to find out the sort of thing that can sabotage your break, and how to avoid them.

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Lost luggage

How long does it take for you to pack the suitcases for all the family, including all the shopping, ironing and washing that need to be done? Ages probably, that is why when your cases go missing between checking in at the airport and boarding the plane, it can be nothing short of a disaster. Especially if you have very young children that need special items like milk formula and nappies.

But what can you do to avoid this?
Well, first of all, a lot of this issue is out of your hands as it’s the airline that misplaces your bags. But you can make it easier for them by labelling your luggage very clearly with your name, address and the location that you are flying too.

Then at least you have a fighting chance of someone seeing it if it ends up on the wrong conveyor belt.

It’s also a great idea to pack essential items like, medications, baby stuff, and anything else that you cannot do without into your hand luggage, which you keep with you at all times. Then at least if the rest goes walkies you will have the bear basics to survive.

Kids are bored 

Another disaster you can have on holiday is that you get there and love it, but the kids are bored out of their minds. This never bodes well, as you are unlikely to get the rest you have been looking forward to and deserve if you are constantly having to come up with new ways of entertaining your brood.

So before you book, check out what is on offer at the location you are considering in terms of activities and day trips. Remember the perfect break is something like these summer adventures for kids, rather than a trial of patience for you!

Hotel isn’t as expected

Something else that can be a real holiday disaster is when you arrive at your destination, and your accommodation is nothing like you expected. Maybe your room is sub par, or the whole resort is more like a building site that a relaxing oasis that you were promised?

But what can you do? Well, first of all, don’t be afraid of complaining. Complain to your hotel and get them to change your room. Then make an appointment to see your holiday rep the next day and insist they do something about this.

You can also mostly prevent the issues of this nature by checking independent reviews on sites like Trip Advisor before you book. To see what thing are like before you part with your money.

 

Days out · Holiday · Life · Live, love, laugh

Perfect Planning For The Family Trip Of A Lifetime


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Traveling with inquisitive kids is a real treat. The innocent way they approach new sights, sounds, and experiences adds a whole new level to a holiday that an adult just can’t experience without them. Every adult has a dream holiday destination in mind. Many people wait until the last kid moves out to head to the four corners of the world to explore. 

But these days, more and more people are taking their children to exciting and exotic destinations to give them the adventure of a lifetime. The theory is that kids who are exposed to interesting new sights and cultures at a young age will grow up to be more inquisitive, adventurous, and it’s a great self-esteem builder. Don’t want for the kids to move out before you head off for your holiday of a lifetime – take them with you.
Decide on a budget

Granted, it’s cheaper to travel as two adults alone, without kids in tow. But at least they’re cheaper than extra adults, right? Before you get your heart set on a destination, you’re going to want some idea of a budget. How are your savings looking? Is a loan viable? Homeowners with a bad credit history are now able to get poor credit loans, which are perfect for a little bit more money to pay for the family holiday of a lifetime. Otherwise, people with stronger credit histories might be able to purchase a fantastic adventure holiday for a small deposit and finance. There are many options available, so be sure to do your research before you set your heart on your destination.


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Beach or adventure?

What sort of holiday do you all desire? Is a city break your dream holiday? Would you prefer a road trip, a relaxing beach trip, or an adventure through the wilderness? The beauty of adventure holidays, including road trips, is that they can be super engaging for children of any ages. The educational aspects of these types of holidays are part of what is making them increasingly attractive to families in recent years. 

City breaks tend to be packed with beautiful sights, and interesting museums and shops, but can often be stressful for families. The busy streets and stress of navigating can make it less popular with families. Choosing the type of holiday that you’ll all enjoy is essential before you start looking properly.

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Sound the kids out

This is their holiday too, so their input is essential. What sort of holiday do they want to do? What are some of their current aspirations? Do they dream of riding on an elephant, zip-lining, visiting a space centre, or seeing lions in the wild? The family holiday of a lifetime should include things that every family member wants to do – even the tiniest toddler. 
Dates vs destination?

Depending on your budget and school holidays, you might find that you are required to compromise on some aspects of your trip. Are you able to travel during school terms? This is obviously one of the best ways to keep travel and accommodation costs low. Otherwise, are you willing to compromise on the destination or the length of the trip to keep travel costs down? 

If the dates you’ve chosen are fixed, it can seriously hike the price up. The flexibility of a week on either side could really help you to find cheaper flights and accommodation, even outside of term time.


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Get packing

Traveling as adults is straightforward – passports and visas are basically all we need, almost everything else we can source at the airport or our destinations. When traveling with children, it’s a whole other kettle of fish, especially for long haul flights. Taking provisions is essential, not just for their comfort, but for your sanity too. Food, entertainment, comfort blankets, pillows – basically the kitchen sink – are imperative. 
Get organised

Do you need a visa or visa waiver? Do your children need one too? Does your travel insurance cover the children, or do they need to be added too? Does the accommodation you’ve booked accept children? Are there any safety concerns for your destination that need to be accounted for? Are yours and your children’s vaccinations and boosters up to date? Getting organised well in advance avoids the mad rush that comes before traveling. Knowledge about your destination and any of its nuances will also help to put your mind at ease about traveling with children. Organisation is everything.
Taking children on the holiday of a lifetime can be stressful, but incredibly rewarding, educational, and inspiring. Have you ever taken your children somewhere a little bit obscure? 

Leave a comment and let us know!