Last year, with about two week’s notice, we were invited to fly to Orlando to spend time at Universal Resorts for 3 days. We had little time to prep, but it gave us a taste for Orlando and I would love to go back and experience more. I would definitely revisit Universal, I would like to see bits of Disneyland, the nearby beaches and national parks, experience more variety of food and take in the less obvious tourist attractions too. I would like to stay longer too!
Are planning or considering a trip to Orlando? Today I am collaborating with Travel Planners, who offer all-inclusive package holidays mainly to the US, and specialise in Florida and California. Here is the prep I would do if I went back again:
Views over the fields from our new house
One of the hardest things about moving is the leaving behind of memories connected to the house, and that is harder still when you have lost someone. Amongst the packing of real objects I struggled to find time and emotional energy to pack the memories…
My mum and dad have come to the new house. I have to explain that there is no gas or electricity. We’re inbetween their supply and ours. My Mum seems concerned, but not overly so. We stand together at the window and look out at the amazing view. Just as we did in the house I grew up in. She always told me views mattered most in houses, she loved seeing the hills.
We’ve been in our new home in the Peak District for 2 weeks now. Up until our exchange, the day before we moved, I was so paranoid about fraud or jinxing the sale, plus the twists and turns of our sale and purchase were so excruciating that I decided not to share here, or on my social media. I spent a lot of time googling other people’s experiences of moving to the country though, often at 3am, so I promised, when the time came I would start to write it all up.
Today is about the day we first clapped eyes on this house, as that seems a very good place to start.
As we drew up to our forever home I instantly said no, loudly and clearly. I reached out to touch the dashboard from the passenger seat, like a driving instructor trying to command an emergency stop. It was a subconscious gesture, as if I could place a hand and turn the car around like a superhero playing with toy cars. But I do not have superhuman powers, and it was too late; we were in the middle of the road indicating.
The lovely thing about family travel blogs is they can give you a fantastic insight into how a trip might actually pan out with a real live family. The tricky thing is that real live families can only visit so many places in a year before they have to lie down in a dark room and watch lots of box sets and get their travel mojo back. Believe me I have tried it, one year we did over 25 trips.
So while I get back to watching Homeland while packing for Spain, here are lots more sources of travel inspiration which I think my travel hungry readers and any brands or PRs dropping by might like to check out, I’m in there somewhere of course 😉
Decade birthdays can be real markers, a time to take stock and reflect before stepping into your next decade. I certainly felt reflective about turning 40, it was a gradual process, with some wobbles on the way, but when it arrived I felt calm, and a sense of relief and excitement. Of course it helped that I spent the day itself in stunning Menorca, a totally unspoilt Spanish island where you can’t help but relax…
It is easy to dismiss tours as a parent, I always wonder, will they work for my kids, will they get bored and cause havoc? Whereas pre kids I might have dismissed a city tour in favour of a bar, these days I’m really keen to know more about where I am, however, incessant talking and whinging from my lovely kids can sometimes impede my quest for knowledge.
Nowadays there are so many innovative ways to tour cities, which help kids and parents get the most out of it. After recently coming back from a solo press trip where I didn’t have to organise anything, I am reminded how much joy there is in letting someone else guide you on holiday. So today I thought I would share a few of my favourite ways of getting about, the ones that truly made the trip come alive and might just get you a bit of peace too.
Slow Travel Tips: Preparing to make the most of a short break
Today, I’m sharing some tips to make the most of it when you only have time for a short break.
A few weeks ago an invite slipped into my inbox, to join a group of ‘elite travel influencers’ for a conference in Menorca. I was already mentally there, drinking cocktails by the beach and getting super inspired about blogging, until I realised it coincided with my 40th birthday.
Summer clothes can be a challenge: trying to combine colours that suit you, with cooling fabrics and cuts that flatter in one garment is never easy. Add to that the pressure of revealing areas that have been hidden all Winter, the extra pounds you meant to lose and didn’t, and it can all feel very stressful.
I envy how easy it seems to dress in Summer for men, but I have learnt a very important clothes buying tip from Mr A – when you find something that really works, buy two, or even three. As I get older I am all about reducing the clothes I own to the ones that really work and having a ‘uniform’ so I don’t spend hours on getting dressed.
Here are 5 things that work for me in Summer.
We’re gearing up for a camp with Millets later this summer, at Gradbach in Staffordshire. I remember the area well from my Year 4 residential, and it is also near our new house. Millets have challenged us to create a #homefromhome while camping, which got me thinking about what makes a tent a home!
We’ve had a campervan and a caravan, but we lent our tent to someone years ago, and haven’t seen it since. So when a new tent arrived, thanks to Millets, the kids were begging to try it out and ended up spending most the weekend in it in the garden. I’ll share more when we camp in the summer, but first impressions are good, the Eurohike Rydal 600 is a six person tent with a removable room divider in the sleeping area, so good for both family camps and sleepovers. We love that it is tall enough to stand up in, with a big living area and a breathable, blackened sleeping compartment which let less light in, and lots of handy storage pockets.
Do you have trips you will always remember, the ones that changed you somehow? Mr A remembers my trip to Boston quite differently to me, for him it was the trip where I didn’t call for 3 days and he thought something terrible had happened to me. For me, it was my first long haul trip and a chance to immerse myself in living life like the locals as a friend and I camped on on the floor of another friend’s apartment. Our friend was living in the North End, a little Italy, doing city tours for foreign students, so we were given the most brilliant itinerary while in the city.