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Fairy Travels

Ensuing your car is winter ready

fixing a car

Pic Credit: Pixabay

We often joke in our house, wondering how many miles we do a year. We love to travel and we spend quite a bit of time in the car.  Therefore ensuring the health of our car is as important as our own health, after all the cargo is precious!!

One thing I will commend the Dada Fairy on is that he is very thorough and cautious about checking the car, you can never be too careful. I am by no means an expert and always talk to a professional, never taking any risks when it comes to the road worthiness of your vehicle, if its NCT or MOT get your certification for example in London from Iversons.

Some tips we have gleaned over the years of travel in all types of weather conditions and often all terrains:

  • Protect your paintwork, harsh weather conditions like ice, snow, grit and dirt can impact the paintwork so it is important to use a wax coating or similar to  form a protective layer
  • Inspect your car before setting off, always check tyres (brakes), and windscreen, and wipers before setting off and not forgetting ensuring all lights are working correctly.
  • Anti freeze, in harsh conditions antifreeze is an important component in protecting engines 
  • Fuel, in winter we would never travel with the bare minimum always ensure you have plenty in case of emergencies etc
  • Emergency kit, ensure your car is well stocked in case of unforeseen breakdown, safety kit should include a good first aid kit as well as hi-viz, triangle, cones, flash light and its not harm to stick in some energy bars. Just in case. Its important to be prepared.

I can’t stress how important it is to have your car serviced regularly. At this time of year makings sure your vehicle is able for the inevitable harsher conditions is so  important.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control.
Fairy Travels

Skiing with kids some tips and advice

I know lots of people think we are insane to take young kids skiing but with the right precautions we haven’t had any issues going on family ski trips. Actually dare I say it we gravitate towards winter holidays rather than sun holiday. We were in Canada last year and are off to Finland, more precisely Lapland in 3 weeks and counting. Having done this a number of times both pre and post kids I have set out some tips and advice below:

  • Preparation is key! Shop around for good quality durable ski wear it is worth spending money on this as they will really be put through their paces and will last a couple of seasons or be handed down between the kids too! While it doesn’t get particularly cold around these parts there have been days where the thermals have come in useful for the kids! One thing I am very strict on is kids ski helmet. A lot of research goes in to selecting top quality ones for us all. 
  • No helmet no ski rule: This one is strictly enforced so everybody knows not so much as a foot allowed on the slopes until the helmets are on.
  • Good socks:  You will thank me later, good socks are essential.
  • Layers: Layers and lots of them is what works for us as you will be in and out places and can adjust them as necessary.
  • Insurance: Call you insurance provider to see if you need an upgrade for winter activities many often do.
  • Skincare: Temperatures can get very low so make sure you moisturise, especially the delicate skin of younger kids. We favour the Eucerin Dry Skin Range and used it on our recent trip to Iceland.
  • Choose wisely: Resorts can vary so much so do your research to ensure it is kid friendly including providing cots, high chairs etc if needs be. Some resorts offer some child minding and clubs.
  • Manage Expectations: Pre kids you might have been able for hours on the slopes and lets faces it as much as they might enjoy skiing they will need more breaks and down time during the day. There is nothing worse than tired and grumpy kids on the slopes. 
  • Tech: Phones aren’t keen on the cold so keep them in inside pockets

Hopefully the above will be some help in getting you set up for your first or repeat ski trip.  Check back at the end of the month for trip reports on our upcoming Finland trip.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control

 

Fairy Travels

How to Plan an Unforgettable Family Road Trip

phone used as sat nav

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Road trips are romantic, fun-filled and exciting ways to travel and expose your children to new and interesting parts of the world – whether you stay in your country or you choose to cross some borders. They also require a certain level of planning in order to go off without a hitch, and its the purpose of this article to help you extract the best experience from your family road trip. From the vehicle itself to what you should pack and where you should go, weve got you covered when it comes to road trip planning.

The Car

The most essential component of your road trip is, of course, the car you choose to drive in. Some families already have the perfect vehicle at their disposal, while others prefer their traditional family car to stay home. If youre in the latter camp, youll be able to search for used cars to buy on finance online, securing yourself a great deal on the deal family wagon to take to the roads. Before you set off, do a comprehensive check of your vehicle, and make sure the oil and water is filled up for the kilometers youll soon be eating up.

Documents and Policies

Depending on the level of ambition your road trip has assumed, youll need to secure a number of policies and documents before you set off. Youll, of course, want insurance that covers your trip, and the breakdown cover thatll provide peace-of-mind should the unthinkable happen. If youre crossing borders, youll almost certainly need some paperwork in order to do so; search online for what you’ll need to avoid any last-minute frantic searches or any long waits at border crossings. Travel insurance is also recommended if you are going further afield on your road trip.

Itinerary

camera

Pic Credit: Pixabay

If youre road tripping with your family, youll know that you shouldnt attempt any monster 10-hour drives for risk of causing bedlam in the back seats. Instead, take it slow and schedule regular stops in order for you all to stretch your legs, have some food and drink, and see the places that youre driving through. Make sure that youve booked ahead the hotels youre planning on staying in, and dont overstretch yourselves – road trips shouldnt be stressful, they should be liberating. Your children will quickly rebel if they feel the trip is no fun.

What to Pack

Aside from the essentials, your packing should largely take into account what youll be able to bring to entertain your kids. You might choose to download films onto an iPad, or to buy some CDs or audiobooks thatll be entertaining for all the family. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks so that the family is refreshed and well-fed throughout, and bring all the equipment you expect you might need for the places your visiting – be that beach stuff, warm winter clothing, or even a tent and stove for families who love to adventure in the great outdoors.

 

Family road trips are some of the most memorable holiday options available; make yours a success by fully considering the tips above.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

Golden Circle DIY drive with Lagoon Car Rental

We arrived in beautiful Iceland after a short 2 hour WOW air flight from Dublin on a Friday afternoon, grabbed our bags and quickly headed towards the meeting point to meet the rep from the car rental company.  Having carried out a lot of research we choose Lagoon Car Rental for our trip. Lagoon are a family owned business with offices at both  Keflavik airport and Reykjavik.  Some of the key factors which influenced our decision to go with Lagoon were firstly; their cars are all less than two years old, there was a huge selection of options and additional extras.  While getting value for money is important one thing I will never scrimp on is car safety.  That is even more important in a country where we are driving on a different side than we are accustomed allied to the fact the weather conditions in Iceland have the potential to be unpredictable.

The Car

lagoon car rental desk

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

We met the Lagoon Car Rentals in the arrivals hall of Keflavik airport and took the short trip in their mini bus to their desk just outside of the airport grounds.  We were lucky it was nice and quiet at the time being later in the afternoon so the entire process was quick and seamless and we were sitting in out Kia Sorrento in a very short space of time.  The kids loved the hot chocolate in the waiting area! We went for a 4*4 automatic and added on the 2 car seats and gps.   The vehicle itself was immaculate inside. We took our time going through the condition before signing off to take it away. This is something I would strongly urge anybody to do. I took a lot of pictures too in case of any disputes, of which thankfully there were none! And with that we hit the road for our hotel in Reykjavik.

We spent the first night relaxing at the hotel and get to bed early so that we could depart early for our Golden Circle tour. I had read loads and done a lot of research so I had it more or less planned out so that we could make the most of it.  We were truly blessed with the weather. While it was cold it was bright and crisp without a drop or rain or snow in sight! There is a saying in Iceland that if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes.  Iceland is prone to huge variations in the weather conditions even within the one day so my advice is to have the car well equipped.

We had changes of clothes, food, rain gear and walking gear.  Just in case! But that is the luxury of having a car you can just dump all in the boot!.

Golden Circle Stop 1- Thingvellir

car at thingvellier park

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

We departed Reykjavik bright and early. The sky was so clear and so blue, we were so excited. Stop one was Thingvellier National Park which is a UNESCO listed site which once housed the Icelandic Parliament. The kids were particularly excited to see the rift in the landscape cased by the separation of the 2 tectonic plates. Its quite remarkable to think where you are standing and what is going on in the ground beneath you!

We parked up and walked one of the trails, which is a little uneven so do bring good walking shoes. It wouldn’t be buggy or wheelchair friendly the particular section we choose so do plan your route in advance.   The entire landscape here is breath taking. I actually don’t thing any photos could even do it justice.  No matter which way you look its simply stunning. One thing I did notice was how crisp and fresh the air felt.

You could spend hours here, looking at the old stone ruins and walking the trails but we were on a tight enough time scale so departed after maybe 2 hours and a hot cup of coffee!

Mamma F Top Tip– Parking needs to be paid for in the visitors centre as apparently they read the registration on the way out. Loads of toilets and coffee shop there so well worth a quick stop.

After a quick coffee and rest of the legs we headed back to the car to get to our next stop – Fontana Thermal Spa.

Golden Circle Stop 2 – Fontana Thermal Spa

Fontana SPA

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Fontana is ideally located about half way along our Golden Circle route.   It serves as the ideal spot for some lunch and a total relax in their geothermal baths.  We opted for the buffet lunch upon arrival and it was so good. The food was tasty, fresh and plentiful with something for everybody. However I cannot forget the bread. In fact im drooling right now thinking of it.  It was incredible. It is baked underground for 24 hours in the hot black sand.   It is no exaggeration to say it was quite possibly the tastiest bread I have ever eaten. (Quite the accolade for a bread loving Irish family!)

Lunch eaten and we headed to the changing room to get ready for our dip in the geo thermal pools. One thing to bear in mind is that you must shower before you go to the pools and not doing so is viewed as being very disrespectful by the locals.  The changing rooms have lockers and plenty space to get organised.  The layout and setting of the pools is really lovely. There are a number of pools each with different temperatures. Onsite there are also sauna and steam room and for the brave amongst us you can take a dip in the ice cold lake. Its apparently very good for the body and heart to alternate the temperature but im quite happy to take somebody else’s word for this!!

 

fontana geothermal spa

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

We met a lovely couple here who were doing a similar trip to us but in the reverse direction and advised us of a lovely farm with home made ice cream just before our next stop. He mentioned salted caramel ice cream and I was sold! We dried off and hit the road again for Geysir via the ice cream stop!)

Mamma F Top Tip – have lunch at Fontana and follow up with home made ice cream at Efstidalur II, you will not be disappointed. So so so tasty and the setting is lovely looking out over the farm.

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Fairy Travels

WOW air – from Dublin to Iceland from €49.99!

Since I was a kid I have been fascinated with Iceland, I can’t quite say what specifically it was that interested me but the curiosity to visit has been there for some time. I’m very excited to say I finally ticked this item off the Mamma Fairy bucket list.  Getting to Iceland is remarkably easy with WOW air offering 2 flights a day from Dublin during peak times and with prices starting from €49.99 each….as I told the Dada Fairy “sure we would be mad not too!!”.

WOW air – History

WOW air aircraft on tarmac

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Keflavik Airport

Most people have heard of WOW air and know their striking purple livery but who are they?!!  They seem to have exploded on to the aviation scene as a solid budget airline.  Curious to know more myself I did a little digging…..WOW air is an Icelandic airline who operate out of Keflavik airport. They were founded in 2011 and the airline made its inaugural flight in 2012.  Flights commenced from Dublin in June 2015 when WOW began expanding into North American and Canada connecting parts of Europe via Iceland.

The man behind the airline is a well known Icelandic businessman and financier called Skúli Mogensen.

I understand that as of 2018 WOW air operates to 36 destinations from Europe, North American to the Middle East. Quite remarkable for an airline which is still really in its infancy having only commenced in 2012. According to media report, they have a fleet of 20 and carry over a million passengers a year.

Our WOW air flight

boarding WOW air flight

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Dublin Airport

We departed Dublin on the 11.45 flight on a cool crisp Friday morning. Timing wise this flight is perfect. My pair love their sleep and the earlier option while it would have provided us with more time in Iceland in reality would probably have just meant id have a grumpy pair on my hands by 3pm. Boarding was efficient, we departed on time and the services on board couldn’t be faulted.

I do have to give a specific mention to the pilot on our outbound flight as my kids are still talking about him.  Before the cabin crew ran through the safety demonstration he urged the passengers to watch and pay attention or else he would be out to ask questions!! Now my 6 year thought this was just the funniest thing ever! Throughout the flight he was engaging, witty and set a great tone for the holiday. Similarly the cabin crew were friendly and efficient and seemed to genuinely wanted to make the flight as pleasant as possible for those on board.

Coming home again we opted for the 12 o’clock afternoon flight which again is perfect timing. No crazy early starts! Similarly we left on time despite Keflavik airport being incredibly busy that morning.

On board 

We had the xl leg room seats on both flights and I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for this.  I’m not tall, the Dada Fairy is and he was very impressed with the comfort of the extra leg room. Our flight over didn’t have the USB chargers however our flight home did. The certainly was not an issue for a short flight perhaps if you were en route to the US you might need to charge your devices particularly if you were travelling with kids. We didn’t sample the food offering on either leg but there looked to be the useful fare at usual airline prices.  Again for a short flight we usually don’t bother.

On board the aircraft the purple theme remains with the seats and floor covering.  The aircraft on the flight home to Dublin had some hilarious slogans for the call bells which when you are six years old is pretty funny.

Child friendly 

WOW air aircraft on runway

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Dublin Airport

My kids are very used to travelling despite their young age therefore an airline who are child friendly is something that would be very important to us. No matter how used to flying kids are they still could be prone to tantrums, sore ears, being upset etc.  I have to say from start to finish the cabin crew and ground staff were fantastic, helped with buggy, getting them settled and getting on the aircraft early to get them settled with little or no queuing. Sometimes I feel there is a perception that budget airlines may be less child friendly or even welcoming of kids. Hand on heart I can’t say this wasn’t the case with WOW air.

In fact we were so impressed not just with WOW air but also with Iceland (yes I have left a piece of my heart there – lots of posts on our adventures there in progress) that we are intending to use them for our long haul trip to Chicago in April.

Our next Adventure – Chicago

We have been fortunate enough to have been invited to experience Chicago as a family friendly destination and what better way of doing it that combining it with a long lay over in Iceland.  I hope on that trip to completely dispel the myth of taking kids on budget flights.  Funny enough my pair were the only kids on the aircraft both ways.

WOW air offer flights to some US and Canadian cities from €99 so that’s some serious value combining that with a trip to the land of fire and ice what more could you want.  I also read recently that WOW will commence flights to Orlando in December this year, making the elusive trip to Disney that little bit more affordable.

The ability to add the layover to the US flight tickets is an impressive add on.  Having spent time in Iceland I can highly recommend making a stop over. I am currently drafting posts on our adventures there.  We spent a day driving the Golden Circle which was in a word….breathtaking. Sneak peak below but do check back for full post which ill link below when it completed.

 

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Thingvellir Park

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Gullfoss – Golden Circle

geysir

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Location: Geysir – Golden Circle

Note: Thanks to WOW air for the support on this trip, all words my own and I retain full editorial control over the content above as all opinions and views are mine or the boys where appropriate.

 

Cuddle Fairy
Fairy Travels

Holidays and Family celebrations – perfect combination

glasses on restaurant table

Pic Credit: Pixabay

This is a big year in the Mamma Fairy house, my parents are 40 years married and my husbands grandparents 60 years married. Added to that 2 big birthdays (ill be in trouble if I reveal their ages!) and a family wedding, not the wedding itself rather a family get together in advance.  What we really wanted to find was large group accommodation  where we could all be together but yet have our own space. Somewhere not too far away and somewhere that had the option of different activities for the range of age groups that would be attending.

conservatory

The conservatory at Charnwood Forest Estate Pic Credit: www.partyhouses.co.uk

Due to the age range we would also need somewhere child friendly and accessible friendly and if at all possible pet friendly!  I know this sounds like a seriously tall order and a  mission impossible. However no task too daunting for a travel obsessive like myself and…..(drum roll please…..)…..we found partyhouses.co.uk.

Party Houses have a range of properties available to rent catering from 12 people up to 80 plus thus making them ideal for family celebrations right up to corporate events or perhaps even weddings. For me the huge benefit is they are spacious properties allowing us to all be under the one roof yet have the luxury of some privacy. I have fallen completely in love with Charnwood Forest Estate. Have a nosey, you will not be disappointed. It is situated on  over 13 acres of land in the East Midlands. With 17 bedroom it can accommodate 48 guests, (the bedrooms – wow). For some added luxury there is an indoor spa pool, treatment suite, spa garden, and a hot tub. The sounds absolutely ideal.

It would also make a great location for a relaxed hen party or corporate team building day or night away. What I really like is that via the site you can book additional activities such as in house treatments, chauffeurs, cocktail making or even musician or entertainer hire.  The beauty of this is that you can tailor the offering to really meet the needs of the guests which can be a very important consideration when you have a group as diverse as ours.

I know people think im crazy taking on the task of organising such a mammoth gathering of getting a wide of family members together all under one roof!  We lost the main man of our household in late 2015 and since that point we have vowed to mark all the celebrations and milestone the family members reach. We have been determined to keep his wish and this for sure is what he would have done and thoroughly loved.

Family was at the heart of everything he was about and he was the backbone of our house, the glue that held us together. In the spirit of the man who was our world we will and always will maintain his wish for us to celebrate all that’s good about life. After all….”Life is not measure by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control
Fairy Travels

Planning a Family Vacation to Asia

Taiwan night market

Pic Credit: Unsplash

Many people in the world assume that once you have children, your days of exciting international travel are over. No more hiking through lush rainforests, no more snorkeling over lively coral reefs, no more sliding down cascading waterfalls. The time for adventure is over once you have a family and instead it is time to settle down and stay within the comforts of your home, looking after the little ones. But does this really have to be the case?

Of course not! The world is filled with destinations that cater to everyone, including nomadic backpackers, romantic honeymooners, and even loving families who are in search of an adventure. Asia specifically does not discriminate against travelers with young children, and you’ll find exciting cities and beaches all throughout the continent that the entire family will enjoy. Check out what each of these countries in Asia has to offer when it comes to family-friendly getaways.

Indonesia

The island of Bali is the best spot in all of Indonesia for a family vacation. This island is safe, clean, and the locals are extremely friendly to tourists and newcomers. The tropical climate and stunning beaches make it easy to spend the entire day on the beach building sandcastles, or in the water with some snorkeling gear. The island is well-known for having tons of options for family-friendly accommodations, and lots of hotels and resorts even offer events and activities for their younger guests.

For a day away from the beach, head to the Waterbom Bali waterpark. Your children will get the chance to interact with other kids and teens from all over the world, just by waiting in line to go down the huge water slide. Parents love relaxing along the lazy river, and there are plenty of food options for the whole family to enjoy. If your kids are interested in learning about the wildlife of the island (and around the world), look no further than Bali Safari Marine Park. It will feel like you’re spending a day out on safari in Africa, and also give you and the kids a chance to learn about the indigenous land and sea creatures of Bali.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Sky line

Pic Credit: Unslpash

A trip to Hong Kong can mean many different things. Lots of travellers come here for the exciting nightlife scene, but many don’t know that Hong Kong offers a completely different vibe for family travellers. Take the kids to Hong Kong Disneyland, where they can experience a cultural twist on their favorite Disney movies and characters. Even if you have been to another Disney theme park somewhere else in the world, this is a must-see attraction for families, and it won’t feel like any other Disney experience you have had in the past. 

If your kids are open to spending time out on the water, take a ride on the famous Star Ferry. This historic form of transportation has been around since the late 1800’s, and carries a whopping 26 million passengers annually. Some of the best views of the island can be seen from the deck of the ferry. Other family-friendly spots are the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Park, and the site of the Big Buddha. You should also spend a day perusing the “Toy Streets”, an area completely dedicated to traditional and modern toys of the city.

The Philippines

There are hundreds of islands throughout the Philippines that are perfect for an exciting family vacay, but one of the best of these is Boracay. There is definitely a party vibe on certain parts of the island, but if you steer clear of these areas you won’t regret bringing your family here. There are activities for everyone of all ages, especially for older children who want nothing more than an adventure. The island is known for its amazing parasailing, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and zip-lining.You can easily spend a day or two hopping between islands, hanging out on beaches with sand like powdered sugar and crystal clear waters.

Puerto Princesa in Palawan is another great family destination in the Philippines. Here you can travel through one of the longest underground rivers in the world – the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park – or just spend your days hanging out on the stunning beaches of Honda Bay. Planning your Philippines trip can be overwhelming, since there are so many family-oriented destinations to choose from. You can simplify things by checking out one of the many Philippines vacation packages available to travellers.

Singapore

Singapore is considered to be one of the best countries in Asia for family tourism, and here’s why. The entire country is culturally diverse, so no matter where you go your children will have the opportunity to learn about a brand new way of life. The people are friendly and have colorful personalities, so treat Singapore like the ultimate classroom for your children. One of the most popular tourist sites for travelling families is Sentosa, which is literally a tropical island dedicated to a wide range of outdoor activities and amusement parks. You can choose to stay on the island for a few days or plan a day trip, but many people find that one day is not long enough to experience Sentosa to the fullest.

Japan

Last but certainly not least, Japan is another great option for a culturally eye-opening experience in Asia. You and the family will get a true taste of Japanese culture just by walking the streets of Tokyo. One of the best sites here is the Tokyo Sky Tree – the tallest tower in all of Japan. Gather the entire family here for some amazing photos (even consider sending them out as Christmas cards for all of your close friends and family members to enjoy). Other attractions near or in Tokyo are Asakusa, the Imperial Palace District, and Shinjuku. For young kids, be sure to check out the Tokyo Disney theme park. You can spend just one day here, or book a room in one of the many hotels in the area for a few days of fun, hanging out with your favorite Disney princes and princesses.

Fairy Travels

The “Off the beaten track” bucket list

camera

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I met my now husband when we were (very) young teenagers and at that time we spoke about our bucket list travel destinations.  I’m thankful he loves to travel as much as me and we have been able to tick many items off that bucket list including recently Niagara Falls and as part of our honeymoon a show at the Sydney Opera House.  Next weekend we will hopefully tick another item off that list being a trip to Iceland. The icing on the cake would be to view the Northern Lights. I’m not getting my hopes up but it would be a dream come true.

This got me thinking, while many of us travel obsessives share common bucket list items like Niagara Falls or seeing the Northern Lights, what other less traditional, more obscure or “off the beaten track” bucket list items do other people have.  I decided to reach out to my fellow bloggers and see if they had any usual or obscure bucket list items.

Obscure bucket list items

First up Kate from Hitchens’ Kitchen volunteered in Africa. Herself and her dad fund raised and taught science in Ghana.  I have the utmost admiration for people who so selflessly give them time like this to others.

Next up Emma from Emma Reed wanted to get married on a beach location not expecting it to be a reality however she ended up making her dream a reality which is really lovely and not doubt incredibly memorable.

I love Terri from The Strawberry Fountain idea of 30 before 30, loving some of the items on her list she accomplished from driving an Aston Martin (mega jealous) to surving the longest zipline in the UK. Sorry Terri I just couldn’t do it. I love this idea (not the zipline!) while im a little bit post the 30 before 30 maybe I could start a 40 before 40?! Now there is an idea…..

For anybody like me who wiles away hours day dreaming about far flung destination click here for some inspiration. I’m super excited about Iceland this weekend and ill be sure to report back on whether or not I ticked the Northern Lights off my bucket list…..keep everything crossed for me…..

 

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control.

 

Fairy Travels

4 tips for road trips with kids

We travelled loads before having kids and since they were born we continue to travel albeit slightly differently. You might have seen our previous post on tips for flying with kids, I thought id set out some tips for travelling by road with kids.  Recently we had a discussion about how many miles a year we do with them and at a guess we think it would easily top 10,000 and that’s not including the school runs, the activities etc.

1- Snacks

Regardless of the method of travel we always have plenty snacks on hand. My pair are reasonably fussy eaters and can be a little prone to car sickness so im very careful about what snacks they have on the road.

What works for my pair is rice cakes, anything too heavy or sweet can lead to them feeling sick but rice cakes seem to be a winner.  Oldest loves the Kelkin rice cake bars and the youngest loves the yogurt covered mini rice cakes. They are also very handy snacks for out and about and lunch boxes.

 

2- Netflix

Downloadable Netflix was a revelation on our trip to Niagra Falls last year. I found it really great for passing the last hour or so of long car journeys when the boredom and tiredness start creeping in. The great thing is you don’t need wifi to be able to watch just download before you go.  The current favourites in our house are:

  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Story Bots
  • Harvey Street Kids
  • Horrid Henry

The download  is active for a day or so and they you just have to connect to wifi to renew it.  I love it!

3 – Making sure car roadworthy

fixing car

Pic Credit: Pixabay

This goes without saying and is paramount in my book. Starting with ensuring the car seats are fitted properly. The RSA regularly do check it fits road shows in local carpark so worth getting it done. The Dada Fairy is incredibly safety conscious and rightly so, he will check the seat before departing as well as the usual, oil level, petrol and very important that the tyres are roadworthy.

Places like Calmac Tyres sell good quality tyres at reasonable prices. Don’t forget other aspects of car maintenance too such as the lights, brakes, oil and regular servicing. Neither myself nor the Dada Fairy know much about cars so we ensure we visit the experts  like Calmac to make sure our car is in the best possible shape for transporting our precious cargo.  Safety cannot be compromised so always build in sufficient time before commencing your journey. Allied to this is making sure the garage you use is reputable, is appropriately approved/ certified and uses quality parts. If in doubt don’t be afraid to ask that question of them.

An additional consideration of course it to keep all emergency numbers to hand including also insurance details for example the general accident contact number.

4 – Planning 

Maybe its inbuilt in me but I have to plan! I do my research in advance and plan for example, where we will stop for lunch or where we could a toilet stop or even or very long journeys we plan were to stop at for example a picnic area or playground. I also make use of the AA roadwatch web page to check for traffic updates. It just makes it that bit easy and saves the inevitable time wasting searching for somewhere and usually in our house an argument when the gang are tired and hungry. Never a good combination!!

If anybody has anymore tips to add do add them in the comments.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control. All words (and miles) are my own.

 

Fairy Travels

4 Top Ideas For A Family Getaway

camera

Pic Credit: Pixabay

When planning a family getaway, it’s important to keep everybody happy so consider your options and ask each and every member before going ahead and cementing plans. Since this will be a family holiday, it’ll likely be taking place during a holiday season of some sort – over the summer, during Easter, or over the festive period for example. So, some of your choices are already decided for you somewhat, as summer usually means heading to the beach for summer activity fun while the winter dictates staying cosy, warm, and getting into the Christmas spirit. Whenever your getaway may be, try to strike a healthy mix between fun and excitement (for the kids) and relaxation and chill time (for you).  

City Centre Fun

City holidays always appeal to me and next on our city bucket list is London.  Recently we have been to Berlin and Hamburg. London is brimming with activities to keep you and your family entertained, so begin concocting an itinerary and booking tickets and making reservations as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. London musical tickets should be purchased in plenty of time as many West End shows sell out extremely quickly during peak holiday times when kids have broken up from school. Some of the most popular musicals for kids include The Lion King, Aladdin, and Wicked – telling the untold tale of The Witches of Oz. As long as you book in advance, you should be able to come by some great accommodation deals, so browse through sites such as Airbnb, Trivago,  or my favourite booking.com, and even Hostelworld to find a basic but private room.

To The Beach

fun on beach

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Beach days can be nostalgic for you, filled with an abundance of sun, sea, and ice cream, and thoroughly good fun for your kids. So, where’s the catch? Well, providing you know how to be safe around the sun, then there isn’t one but you must be sure to pack up waterproof sun cream, bottled water, a windbreak, and a large parasol so to keep the sun off your skin during the hottest part of the day (between 12 – 3pm). 

Camping

Camping is traditionally good fun for all the family, and what’s more, you needn’t leave your pooch at home. You have a multitude of options when you come to shape your travel plans as you can pack up your car with your tent and cooking equipment, and then drive to your destination, hire a campervan for the duration of your trip, or leave home with backpacks filled with all the items you need and a sturdy pair of walking boots on foot. The last option is the least child-friendly as it requires walking over a long distance, so the former options might be the most appropriate, especially if you’re children are under the age of about 12.

Theme Parks

Theme parks and adventure parks never seem to disappoint, but before booking your accommodation to stay onsite, ensure that you’ve visited a funfair or similar recently so that you know your kids won’t be too scared to aboard the variety of roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and log flumes found there. Consider crossing the channel to visit Disneyland Paris and spending time meeting the likes of Goofy, Pluto, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Tigger, Winnie-the-Pooh, and the Seven Dwarfs.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post