Monday 29 May 2023

Hand Luggage Only Travel Tips.

Travelling with hand luggage only has become increasingly popular among families seeking convenience, flexibility, and a stress-free holiday experience and it is my favourite way to travel now. Packing light means never having to worry about missing bags on a flight, and having plenty of space in the car for a UK break (crucial when we already fill up all 7 seats in our car!). Prioritising items that work well from day to night and are versatile is important for both adults and children and we worked with Very to choose some items for Cora and I that are perfect for this

When travelling with limited luggage space, it's crucial to choose items that work well for both day and night. Both parents and children can benefit from packing multi-functional pieces that can be dressed up or down, allowing for maximum versatility. A few essential items for us include:

1) The Great White Dress

A white dress is a timeless and versatile piece that can be easily accessorized to create a variety of looks. Pair it with sandals and a sunhat for a day on the beach, then add a jacket and swap the beach bag for a bright statement bag for a nice dinner out in the evening. This versatile dress can be adapted to suit any occasion and is a holiday staple for Cora and I. Very have an extensive collection of white dresses in both the adults and child's section and you will find both the dresses we are wearing there.

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

2) A Jacket That Goes With Everything

Travelling light for us means choosing one jacket that will go with everything and a denim jacket is perfect for that. As the temperature drops in the evening we can cover up and keep warm. Opting for a neutral colour that can be paired with various outfits makes sense. These jackets are both from Very's own range and go well with shorts and t-shirts or a nice dress so are our holiday staple. Cora loves that we have matchy too (I am a bit jealous of her little frills)!

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

3) Stylish Footwear

We usually choose to travel in trainers and pack a pair of sandals as they are smaller and lighter to fit in our bag. For Cora and I, they need to be secure enough for adventures, comfy enough for every day wear and pretty enough to work in the evenings too. I went for some neutral coloured Teva sandals which go with everything and are supportive and Cora's colourful girl's shoes go with her bright taste and look nice in the evenings. Important tip before packing - make sure you wear your shoes in, or make sure they are comfy before you choose them!

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

You can find all the items Cora and I are wearing on the Very website. Let me know if you have any hand luggage only trips planned and what your essentials are! 

Very summer clothing, travel packing hacks

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Wednesday 24 May 2023

3 Days in Salou, Spain

Salou is an amazing holiday destination for families with children, and I recently visited with Dylan, Archie and some friends with children the same age (and of course Rex came along too). We spent most of our time at Port Aventura and Ferrari Land, two theme parks that are sure to keep children of all ages (and parents) entertained.

Salou with children

One of the best things about Salou is its proximity to the beach. We balanced the busy days in the theme parks with a quieter one at the local beach, which was only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel. The sand was soft and white and during the Easter holidays it was so quiet. The seafront and town were full of souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes and some beautiful fountains. It wasn't quite warm enough for sea swimming in my opinion but we all had a paddle.

Salou with children

Salou is definitely a tourist destination and there are so many hotels to choose from. Our hotel had a huge pool with some fun water slides and plenty of sun loungers for relaxing. The kids could spend hours swimming and playing, and we could easily keep an eye on them while enjoying the sun (or chasing a toddler around). There was also a playground, games room and mini soft play for younger children as well as entertainment during the days and evenings. I imagine it gets very busy in the summer months but during our stay it was quiet. The restaurant on site is a buffet so you can book the hotel as an all inclusive or with just breakfast like we did.

Salou with children

One of the things I appreciated most about Salou was how child-friendly the town is, even late in the evening. There were always families out and about, enjoying the many shops, cafes, and restaurants. We never felt unsafe or unwelcome, which made our trip that much more enjoyable. We ate out in the evenings and I can highly recommend The Guiness Tavern which did excellent food and catered well for vegetarians and vegans.

Of course, the highlight of our trip was visiting PortAventura and Ferrari Land. There were so many thrilling rides and attractions to explore, and we loved every minute of it. From the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to the interactive 4D experiences, there was something for everyone. Whilst the bigger kids went on the fastest rides and were being spun upside down, Rex and I could have a wander through Sesame Street Land and we even found some rides that he could go on (Some of them had no minimum height but you had to prove that your child could walk to go on them).

Salou with children

We also enjoyed exploring the different themed areas of the parks, like the Wild West and Mediterranea. The attention to detail was impressive, and we felt like we were transported to a different world. When we needed a break from the rides, there were plenty of snack stands to refuel and recharge and there were shops dotted around for buying souvenirs.

Salou with children

Ferrari Land boasts Red Force, a ride that goes from 0-180km in only 5 seconds and that Rex couldn't take his eyes off of. The park was open from 4pm-10pm during our visit and there are shows and exhibits as well as rides for all ages. Tickets are available that cover both parks and we chose a two day-two park ticket.

Salou with children

Overall, Salou is an excellent holiday destination for families with children, especially tweens. The proximity to the beach, the numerous hotels with great pools, and the child-friendly atmosphere of the town all make for a fantastic family vacation. With PortAventura and Ferrari Land right on your doorstep, theme park lovers are guaranteed an unforgettable time. If we had longer in Salou we would have loved to travel an hour up the coast for a day trip to Barcelona and to explore more of Catalunya.

Salou with children

We stayed in Hotel Jaime 1 and booked as a package. As the weather isn't guaranteed over Easter time the prices are cheaper than peak, so I paid around £500 in total for Myself and the three children which covered our flights, accommodation and breakfast for our 3 night stay. It was between 20 - 25 degrees during the day but dropped down in the evenings.

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Tuesday 9 May 2023

Our 3 Day Ibiza with Kids Itinerary

If you're planning a family holiday to Ibiza, you might be wondering how to make the most of your time on the island. I recently visited Ibiza with my three youngest (aged 1, 6 and 8 years old) and my sister and this is our itinerary;

We caught an evening flight to Ibiza and went straight to our hotel in Sant Antonio to sleep. We were travelling on a small budget so we stayed in the Hostal Anibal which was a basic 2 star hotel with clean rooms, a pool and a bar that served food and drink. It was £120 in total for three nights in a room and I would stay again. There are plenty of other options in this family friendly area if you have a bigger budget.

Day 1 : Sant Antonio

We were eager to start exploring the beautiful island of Ibiza. Our first day was spent in the charming area of Sant Antonio and the seafront was only a few minutes walk from our hotel. We decided to take a stroll along the front and discovered many parks that were perfect for the children to play in. It was around 21 degrees which felt so warm after the English weather, so we couldn't resist having a paddle in the sea and collecting shells along the beach.

For lunch, we chose a local restaurant where we could dine outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. There were playgrounds next to many of the restaurants so the children could play whilst they waited -something we really appreciated! We then browsed the shops and bought some souvenirs before heading back to our hotel for a swim in the pool and some quiet time.

In the evening, we made our way on foot to the sunset strip to watch the sun set. As most of the clubs and bars weren't open yet, there was plenty of space to sit with a picnic and watch the sun going down and the kids loved climbing in the rocks. I think in the height of the season this is an area you need to pay to enjoy as the decking is all used by the bars but over the Easter holidays you can bring your own food and drink and enjoy the views for free.

Day 2: Abandoned Festival Club and Ibiza Old Town

The next day, we decided to explore some of the historical and cultural aspects of the island. We drove to the abandoned festival club and were blown away by the graffiti art that covered the walls. The children were fascinated by the vibrant colours and designs. This wasn't the most toddler friendly area as the ground is uneven and there is lots of rubble, but the 6 and 8 year old just loved exploring. We took plenty of photos to remember this unique experience. It isn't easy to reach unless you have a hire car but is well worth the trip. We only saw one other family the whole time we were there.

Afterwards, we drove to Ibiza old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We admired the beautiful white streets that I always associate with Spain, and went up to the castle to take in the stunning views and see the canons. For lunch, we decided to try some tapas at a local restaurant but we headed further down from the castle as the prices got cheaper the further you went. There was a playground next to the place we chose so the children were happy to play and make new friends while we enjoyed our meal.

After returning to our hotel for a swim and rest again, we went to Sant Antonio beach with a picnic to watch the sunset and play football on the sand. The beach was pretty much deserted and the colours of the sky were incredible. This was possibly my favourite memory from our trip, the children were so happy, the views so beautiful and I felt really grateful for the experience.

Day 3: Hippy Market and Playa Den Bossa beach

On our last day in Ibiza, we knew we had to visit the famous Hippy market. It's full of vendors selling handmade goods, jewellery, clothing, and other unique items. It was a great place to buy souvenirs and soak up the atmosphere. We spent a couple of hours wandering around and browsing the stalls. The market only runs on a Wednesday so make sure you time it right and bring cash.

Afterwards, we headed to Playa den Bossa to swim in the Mediterranean sea and play on the beach. The kids loved building sandcastles and playing in the water. We did find it harder to get food in this area as many of the local hotels and bars aren't open yet but there were still some open restaurants and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. The sea is quite cold still in April, but we all had a swim.

We drove back to the airport in the early evening ready for a late flight back to the UK.

Overall, our holiday in Ibiza was an unforgettable experience. I feel like our itinerary gave us a great overview of the island, it suited all our ages and we managed to do it on a very low budget (other than flights, accommodation and food our only expenses were car hire and souvenirs. We ate out once per day but bought the rest of our food from the supermarkets and made picnics). Would you visit Ibiza with children?

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