Parents Top Tips For Travelling Overseas

Confession time, I have never travelled overseas with Aria. The sheer thought of travelling abroad with a baby or toddler sends shockwaves of panic through me and makes me quite content with good old Barrybados (Barry Island for those of you who aren’t from around here).

Airport security freaks me out anyway, but trying to clear it with a baby and all of their crap? No thank you! Can you imagine the excess luggage charges for all their toys, nappies and possibly even formula, not forgetting the pushchair too! Looking after a overtired, hot and bothered toddler just doesn’t sound like a fun holiday to me, so I took to my fellow bloggers to find out just how they deal with overseas travel as a parent.

Hannah suggests that you take a list of key medical phrases in the local language, along with your families info. For example things like ‘He/she has a temperature’ ‘He/she fell and hurt his/her head’ You never know when your little one will have an accident and whilst they’ll most likely be totally fine you just don’t need the added stress of trying to translate at the hospital/clinic.

This advice ties in perfectly with a recent survey carried out by Holiday Autos which revealed that, despite many of us Brits travelling to Spain, the average holidaymaker knows just eight Spanish words. We sure know where our priorities lie, only 1 in 10 of us are capable of uttering ‘I have an upset stomach’ yet over a third can competently ask for a beer. Unfortunately 27% of us simply don’t bother to learn the language as we just assume that everyone speaks English. 

Beth is always sure to only drink bottled water as drinking tap water can upset little tummies – and she always take sickness and diarrhoea tablets just incase of a dodgy tum.

Nicola suggests ordering your sunscreen online via boots.com to pick up at the airport. That way you can take a full sized sunscreen and it doesn’t count towards your luggage weight, plus you’re already past security so the liquid size limits don’t matter. Same goes for nappies, formula and pouches/jars. Harriet takes this one step further and says that you can get Boots to deliver out to your hotel for a fee.

Sophia suggests that you make sure you use your hand luggage wisely. Pack the essentials you need for your little one and divide any liquids like milk between the family hand luggage. She says make sure you have an emergency kit of medicines; we took Calpol, teething liquid and powders etc in hand luggage just incase we had any unexpected illnesses on the flight! If you won’t use it on the plane, stick it in your suitcase so you have more room to pack toys and books to keep your little one entertained during the flight. Download their favourite TV programmes so you can watch them offline on aeroplane mode, the Netflix and BBC apps are particularly great for kids TV shows that you can download and keep your little one occupied during a restless flight.

One in ten have lost luggage on holiday and struggled to communicate with the necessary people, and so careful packing is a must. Maria suggests packing a change of clothes for everyone in your hand luggage, in case your main luggage is lost, and Kelly‘s biggest worry is losing the passports, so she suggests keeping a photocopy of them in a different place, just in case. Kelly also uses three suitcases and spreads their stuff across them all to ensure that they still have clothes if one goes missing; which it did on the way home from their last holiday, but as it had a mixture of all of their things in it, it didn’t feel quite so devastating.

Alex is sure to always pack plasters and talc. You just know your shoes will rub or someone will graze a knee. The talc is great at removing sand, drying after a swim, or helping with sweaty feet.

It seems that savvy packing and familiarising yourself with the local language are key to a more relaxed trip overseas with a baby or toddler. Two thirds of British adults are embarrassed that as a nation we make such little effort to learn foreign languages, so getting to grips with the local lingo really is a must, even if just to avoid the embarrassing situations shown in this video, as, despite 35% of us attempting to speak slower when trying to make themselves understood it really doesn’t help! 


“Having confidence leads to happier holidays — something which Holiday Autos believes in wholeheartedly, as we provide book and go car hire and we are committed to find the best car at the best price for everyone’s holidays.”

What are your top tips for holidaying overseas with a baby or toddler?

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A Family Staycation at The Vale Resort, South Wales

We’ve enjoyed staycations for quite a while now, usually travelling around 1-3 hours from home to enjoy a beautiful destination without enduring the stresses and hassles of flying. More recently I have decided to incorporate a few short stay staycations into our family trips, we live in such a beautiful part of the country it seems silly to travel too far away for a break, let’s be real, who really wants to be stuck in the car for hours on end with a two year old? Not me that’s for sure!

toddler pulling along peppa pig suitcase

For our most recent staycation we teamed up with The Vale Resort*, near Cardiff, South Wales for dinner, bed and breakfast. The Vale Resort is only half an hour away from us and is host to many a celeb, so I figured if it’s good enough for them then it is good enough for us, and so we went along on my birthday.

birthday celebrations at the vale resort near cardiff

We headed to The Vale Resort for our check in time of 3pm, upon checking in I was delighted to see that they left out birthday gifts and a card for me, this, along with several other little touches throughout our family room really made us feel special. They even left out an activity pack for Aria. The Vale Resort sure thought of everything.

review of the vale resort near cardiff south wales

With plenty to keep us entertained we decided to make the most of our comfortable surroundings and relax in our room before heading for dinner in the Vale Grill Restaurant. We had a wander around the beautiful grounds, which are home to a golf course and a castle. We decided that we wouldn’t take advantage of the spa and creche facilities as we were only there for a short while.

the vale resort grounds

The dinner was included in our package, and for this we could order three courses from a set menu, we also had the option to order from the full menu for an additional charge, but we were more than happy with the choices on the set menu so stuck to that. The food was delicious and the staff were superb and very friendly.

Following the meal we retired to our room to make the most of our lovely comfy bed, we had a brilliant night sleep and loved the thick black out blinds, although we did almost sleep through and miss breakfast because they make the room so dark! Breakfast was your standard buffet breakfast, busy buffets always make me anxious so Spencer picked mine for me while I sat at the table with Aria. Breakfast was served until 10am, and we were slightly disappointed that the pancake machine had been switched off when we went to use it at around two minutes to ten, that will teach us for sleeping in so late!

Watch my video to see our stay in more detail and for a tour of our lovely family room.

Find out more about The Vale Resort and book your break here.

*Disclosure -We received dinner, bed and breakfast at The Vale Resort in exchange for promotion*

Five Reasons Why It’s Great To Be From Wales!

Chances are if you’re on this blog you know that I am Welsh and proud, I love Wales, I love living in Wales and I love all things Welsh!

Whether you are interested in its history, stunning landscapes, world famous musical talents, or its gorgeous inhabitants (ok I may be a bit bias here…), Wales has so much to offer, and sometimes doesn’t quite get the recognition it deserves. The people of Wales are known to be fiercely proud of their home country, and with good reason! So here are just five of the many reasons why it’s great to call Wales your home.

Sporting History

We are quite proud of our sporting ability. While you have probably heard of Manchester United (even if you are less than knowledgeable on the subject of football), Cardiff is one of the most impressive sporting cities. The Millennium Stadium hosted football matches during the Olympics, and is home to football, rugby, and Moto X. As if that wasn’t enough, Cardiff has a cricket pavilion in the centre of town along with individual rugby and football stadiums.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Welsh capital of Cardiff is an incredible amount less than living in London. In fact, in 2014, Cardiff was ranked number one out of the UK’s 10 largest cities with the highest quality of life. Working in Wales’ capital provides a fantastic opportunity for all prospective employees. There are a lot of jobs in Cardiff available for any would-be job seeker. This makes it a pretty competitive place in the breadth of the entire country, and an ideal location for the many British youths, recently graduated, and looking to start their life in a new and beautiful spot.

Stunning Beaches

Because it is not widely regarded as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, you may not have heard about the beautiful beaches Wales has to offer. However, the coastline around the Gower has some of the most stunning beaches in the world. In particular, Swansea Bay is an amazing destination for all, and can be enjoyed alongside some world class hiking nearby.

Festivals

The Welsh are proud of their Celtic heritage, which includes hosting plenty of festivals. In fact, Wales is widely regarded as a cultural hub of festivals. Enjoy the Hay Festival if you are interested in culture, enjoy music, arts and performances at Green Man, and even underground electronica at Gottwood. There is so much diversity in Welshe festivals, it can go up against the entire world of culture. It even is home to a jazz festival, Brecon Jazz.

The list of benefits to living your life in the beautiful country of Wales could go on and on, with each resident of Wales having their own personal reason for loving this amazing country. You should come and see for yourself!

*Written In collaboration with Mary J*

Butlin’s Just For Tots Week Minehead 2017

As part of our ambassador role for Butlin’s we recently went along to their Minehead resort for a Just For Tots week*. We went last year when Aria was just one and not yet walking and I couldn’t wait to go again now that she is older, crazier and walking.

We stayed in the beautiful West Lakes Village again, you can see my review from last year or view this year’s chalet in my fancy video. The chalets and the location are stunning, as much as we love the fun hub of Butlin’s it is so nice to escape to the peaceful chalet and surrounding area for a break. These chalets come with housekeeping as standard so you can truly relax. They even load the dishwasher each day so that you don’t have to.

There is so much to do on a Just For Tots break at Butlin’s, so much that we didn’t get to do all of it. Our favourite things to do were to sit in the pavilion and take in the various shows (favourites being Teletubbies and The Skyline Gang), wander around the fair ground, play on the slot machines and join the singing and dancing sessions. You can see more of what we got up to in this short video.

Butlin’s Just For Tots truly was magical for us, Aria came away a different child. Her confidence came on leaps and bounds while we were there, she was playing independently and making new friends, saying hiya to children in the park, even chasing one little girl around and kissing her goodbye. Aria is usually very shy and keeps herself to herself, to see her come along so much in such a short space of time was incredible.

Spending money wise we spent less than £50. All we bought was a treat one day which was milkshakes for Spencer and I and a chocolate egg for Aria, rainbow the dog for Aria’s souvenir and we spent £20 on a fairy makeover. We could have easily came away without spending a penny. We had the premium dining plan which included a delicious choice of foods for breakfast and dinner. We snook out a few pastries and pieces of fruit from the breakfast for snacks and made sandwiches for our lunches. We bought a multi-pack of water and drinks for Aria and took plenty out with us each day. Be warned though, it is very commercialised so you do have to be prepared to either spend a lot of money or say no a lot.

Would I recommend a Just For Tots break at Butlin’s?Absolutely. Aria loved it, and so did we. Though parents be warned, you may want to book a relaxing break the following week to get over it. It is full on.

A blog review of Butlin's Just For Tots in Minehead West Lake Village Chalet

Aria loved it so much she didn’t want to go home.

*Disclosure – we are Butlin’s ambassadors and received a break and the dining plan in exchange for promotion* 

The Uncultured Brit

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I’m not very cultured, though it seems that not many of us Brits are. Did you know that more than one in ten Brits have fibbed in a bid to make themselves seem more cultured?  A new study shows that popular fibs include claiming to have visited a place they have never been to, enjoyed a book they’ve never read, or eaten food they secretly can’t stand! It’s all very bizarre isn’t it?

I’m not very cultured, but I’m not ashamed of that fact either. I do what I like, or at least what I can afford of what I like! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been abroad a few times but I don’t think drinking vodka shots in places like Kavos and Magaluf really count towards culture. There I am back in 2004, being anything but cultured, in Kavos, Greece.

The uncultured Brit - drunk on an 18-30s holiday

However, I do quite enjoy avocado and quinoa and I LOVE dark chocolate so I’m not a complete loss, unlike some of our fellow Brits who even fib about enjoying those yummy foods!

Don’t get me wrong, I have, at times, uttered the words “I wish I liked that” but I’m not going to eat something that I don’t enjoy in a bid to make myself seem more cultured, neither am I going to fib about going somewhere that I haven’t for that very same reason. At the end of the day, I’m just a Valleys girl who loves to spend time with family and friends, loves taking photos, loves drinking pints and dreams of one day, going on a Caribbean Cruise so that I can do all of those things while visiting several different countries and only having the stress of packing once.

infographic regarding uncultured Brits

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