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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

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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

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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
Fairy Travels

How to Explore Europe

Europe is a unique destination with a variety of cities and cultures. You may have recently realised that you live in or near Europe and that you haven’t yet explored all of the beautiful places that it has to offer. If this is the case, now is the perfect time to explore some of its sandy beaches, unique and historic structures, and diverse food. When you realise that Europe is filled with so many countries, you may be thinking about the best approach to take when starting your explorations. To help you out, this article is going to tell you how you can explore Europe so that you get the most out of your excursions.

aeroplane wings

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Choose Your Destinations

Seeing as there are so many destinations to choose from, that should be one of the first things you do when exploring Europe. Research the many places that there are to go and see which ones tickle your fancy the most. You can start by exploring some of the VacationRenter guides and seeing which destinations and activities are most appealing to you. You should also be open to the idea of visiting multiple destinations in one trip that may be neighboring or close enough to explore. The idea should be to get as much out of your trip as you can.

Look for Packages

When exploring Europe, you should look for packages, especially if you’re going with family. The goal should be to pay as little as possible and scout for discounts. You should be thinking about features which include activities, transportation, and accommodation. There is also the choice of choosing to create a package on your own, however, that could prove to be time-consuming. In addition, when looking for affordable packages, try going to the most affordable countries in Europe first such as Palma Majorca, Berlin, Rome, Italy, France, Malta, and Croatia to name a few.

Travel During Low Peak

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Pic Credit: Pixbay

Another way to explore Europe is by travelling during unpopular periods. This may not be ideal if you have kids that are still in school, but doing so could mean you save a lot of money and are able to cover more grounds. Apparently, from March to June and September to October are the best times to explore Europe. Depending on the country you‘re going to, it’s best to go when there aren’t major holidays like summer vacation, Christmas, Easter and New Year’s. It’s also best to book a month or two before travelling and also explore the possibility of doing short weekend trips as well if you live in Europe.

Do Your Research

When looking to explore Europe, it’s always a good idea to do your research ahead of time. Find out what activities and landmarks you want to see beforehand so that you’re able to plan your trip in the best way possible. Some of the best places to explore in Europe include Prague, Germany, Austria, London, Venice, Paris, and Rome.

Exploring Europe should be an enjoyable experience as there’s so much to see and learn. You’re bound to gain a fresh perspective on life with each destination you visit and it’s also something that family can experience alongside you. On that note, next time you’re visiting Europe, don’t forget to be open-minded, flexible and plan ahead.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

relexa Hotel Berlin – Family Travel Review

relexa Hotel Berlin – Our Review

Earlier in 2018 we visited the lovely city of Hamburg so I was very curious to see how similar or not Berlin was going to be.  Berlin was a very last minute decision for us. I unusually hadn’t done my months of research so in a panic booked the relexa Hotel mostly due it location. I like being central when travelling with kids. I peeked into Trip Advisor after booking and there were some mixed review so I was a tad nervous. I decided to go with it and off we went on a very early flight with the Grandparents in tow!

The Hotel

The relexa comprises 208 rooms decked out in a neutral colour scheme. The building itself it located down a quiet side street. There is a restaurant called Boulevard on site which serves a mix of international dishes as well as a bar and outdoor courtyard where you can eat or have a drink. Also on siste is relexa cooking which offers all kinds of cookery related demonstrations, classes and themed events. There is also a spa area with sauna, steam bath as well as a fitness and relaxation room.

The Location.

Brandenberg Gate

Brandenberg Gate Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

Inside the German Parliament buidling done

Inside the Parliament Building Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy blog

The relexa hotel commends a pretty impressive location in Berlin, and to my mind this is probably its biggest selling point. I can be a tad hard to please when it comes to location as I like central but quiet, walking distance within reason and a safe area. I’d prefer not to be totally reliant on public transport when travelling with kids. From the relexa hotel we could walk to all of the key attractions, it is situated between the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. You are literally minutes for Potsdamer Platz with its array of eateries and bars and to the far side you have the Berlin Zoo and the German Technical Museum. We walked to all of the attractions we had wanted to do,  Legoland Discovery Centre, the Parliament Building, the Berlin Wall, Aqua Dom and more!

Despite being in the midst of everything it was really quiet and felt very safe. Another huge plus was the Lidl just around the corner. I had forgotten sunscreen and was very handy to pop around for that plus a few goodies for the kids before bed.

The Room

hotel room

Junior Suite Pic Credit: relexa Hotel

We had a Junior Suite which was totally adequate for our needs. They located my parents next door which was great as the kids were in and out to visit Nana and Grandad. I understand the hotel is going through some renovation work. My parent’s room was a lot newer and the décor was really nice.

hot air ballon

VIew from hotel room Pic Creit: Mamma Fairy Blog

Ours while a lot bigger was a little tired looking but spotlessly clean and lovely size for the four of us. The separate sitting room is a big plus when travelling with kids as you can watch some TV and chill while they are in bed. The Junior Suite comes with a small complimentary mini bar too. Very much appreciated.

 

We had a view of the hot air balloon directly infront of us and the Berlin TV tower just off to the right. The kids loved watching that balloon up and down. None of us had the nerve to actually go up on it!

The Facilities

The breakfast was very good and really set us up for the day. While it was busy it was replenished quickly and we always got a table. The selection was great with plenty for adults and the kids to choose from. We escaped one of the nights while the grandparents baby sat and had dinner in the hotel and drinks in the cocktail bar (my mouth is still watering for the Gin Fizz cocktails). The food was amazing. So fresh and tasty. Id go back for the food alone. This was totally unexpected as you really never know  with hotel food.

The outdoor courtyard was a lovely way to have a coffee or beer before retiring to the room in the evening after a busy day sightseeing.

We didn’t get a chance to try the Spa but there is always next time!

The Verdict

As I said above if location is top of your agenda you will have this here. Everything is so close and easily walkable even with the kids. The food was really good with great selection for adults and kids. The hotel is ideal for families and the rooms are a good size for a city hotel. WiFi was free and perfectly adequate for us. The staff were efficient not overly friendly but that fine with me! We have resolved to come back as three days really wants enough to see all this eclectic city has to offer. When we do come back we will be coming back here without a doubt. I usually like to try new places if we return to a city but this property suited us perfectly and lets face it why fit something that not broken!!

Mamma Fairy Insider tips

  • If budget permits go for the Junior Suite – lots of space, complimentary mini bar and bottled water replenished each day
  • Book the breakfast, you will be well feed for the day ahead
  • The parliament building is about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Its free in but you need to book in advance, its 100% worth it and even the kids loved it.
  • We had a late flight departing Berlin so decided to wile aware a few hours a t the nearby German Technical museum. I can say hand on heart this is quite possible one of the best museums I have every visited. Incredible, really incredible. We were a party of ages 3 to 60+ and everybody enjoyed. The kids didn’t want to leave and that’s after spending 5 hours. Do it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
  • Don’t bother with the paid upgraded wifi – the free one is totally fine.
  • Ask for a renovated room and one facing the city. The view of the TV Tower at night time is lovely

 

For best rates book direct via the hotel website .

 

Note: We received a media rate for our staty but we were not asked or expected to write this review.

 

Fairy Travels

Lough Erne Resort – Our family stay

Lough Erne Resort – Our Review

Hotel Exterior

Pic Credit: Lough Erne Resort

The June bank holiday weekend was our wedding anniversary. It is the one occasion I really like to mark or celebrate. We were invited to Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh for the night and how could I possibly refuse a stay in five star luxury hotel?! With kids in tow we departed for Lough Erne via Donegal (!) for the Sunday night of the bank holiday.  I’ll admit from the outset expectations were high, hotel of the year 2017, home to the 2013 G8 summit, five star and award winning chef!!! Could this hotel live up?!!

The location

The hotel is located just outside  Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, very easy to locate and well sign posted. You enter the hotel via a long driveway which I think forms part of the golf course.  When the entrance comes into view its impossible not to be wowed, its really stunning and the setting on the lake really adds to the charm.  We could see the swans on the lake which really excited the kids.

The room

hotel room

Pic Credit: Lough Erne Resort

Check in was smooth and dealt with efficiently and friendly by a lovely lady named Susan or Sandra  I think.  Helpful without being imposing exactly the way I like it.  The kids received swim bags with colouring book and crayons in it which was a really nice touch.  Our home for the night was a beautiful 2 bedroom lodge over looking the lake. It was huge!! We had a separate living space with kitchenette, two full sized ensuite bedroom and a breathtaking view of the lake. I could very easily wile away hours staring at that view. The lake is so calm and serene. Its also part of the golf course and the boys loved watching the golf buggies up and down the course. There were lots of lovely little touches the sawm teddy on the bed for the kids, the little slippers.  My pair felt like total VIP’s.

The Food

bar interior

Pic Credit: Lough Erne Resort

We had dinner in the Blaney Bar that evening. The first thing I noticed was the great kids menu.  My pair happily devoured the steak and chips.  The setting is really nice over looking the lake. The vibe is nice and relaxed which is important when eating out with kids. Both the Dada Fairy and I also opted for steak and chips and there was clean plates all round. Service was very good. Special mention to Lauren who was brilliant, attentive, friendly and unobtrusive.  The staff in the bar definitely add to the charm and appeal, all the staff we encountered were so welcoming especially with the kids. Big thumbs up for the wine and chilled glasses too!

There is another restaurant on site – The Catalina, which I understand is Northern Ireland’s first 3 AA Rosette Hotel Restaurant. We didn’t eat dinner there but did have breakfast there which was as you would expect really good.  Again the staff are a big selling point here. Service is attentive without being over done.  Great breakfast selection there was plenty selection for both the adults and the kids.

The Facilities

infinity pool

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Unfortunately having only had one night we didn’t get enough time to experience the activities on offer but I did hear from another guest that the pool really was amazing.  There really is lots for families to do onsite you can take an hour-long cruise down the Lough in the region’s famous Water Taxis or head off to nearby Marble Arch Caves – one of the world’s leading Geoparks.

On site there are beautiful walks around the stunning surroundings of Lough Erne on the famous Collop Walk. It goes without saying aspiring junior golfers can practice their skills on the Mini Himalayas putting green or take part in a Junior golf camp. There’s also a host of other family-friendly activities such as fishing, arts and crafts, and a dedicated games room, Ernie’s Den to keep kids occupied and parents relaxed.

I really need to come back to experience the facilities on offer 😉

The Verdict

I was a little worried that as a five star hotel my boisterous pair might seem like  unwelcome guests amongst other patrons and staff! Absolutely not from the minute we checked in the kids were made feel like special guests.  The lodge was fantastic with so much space and the kitchenette while we didn’t use it I can see how helpful it would be if you were staying a couple of nights. We really thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Everything from the setting to the food to the room (s) was wow, spotlessly clean and welcoming.  If I was to start being really picky, the wifi in our lodge wasn’t picking up the signal well however lets be honest you don’t visit a five star resort for its wifi!

I can say hand on heart we will be back.

The cost

For best rate always book direct with the hotel.  For this summer the ‘Fermanagh Family Fun’ package is available which includes complimentary access to the Infinity Pool (children’s swimming daily 8am-11am & 4.30pm–5.30pm), jacuzzi and sauna at The Thai Spa plus an indulgent breakfast each morning by Noel McMeel and his culinary team. It’s available midweek (Sunday to Thursday) from the discounted price of £310 /£280 / £269 per night, based on two adults and two children under 12  based on 2/3/4 night stays and is available 1st July – 31st August.

 

Note: We were provided with a complimentary stay however all views are my own or the kids. I was not asked or expected to write this review.

 

 

 

Fairy Travels

Good Reasons to Go on a German Adventure

Berlin TV Tower

Berlin TV Tower

Have you ever thought about going on holiday to Germany? If not, you definitely should. Why? There are so many reasons from the friendly locals to the fantastic beer and the beautiful, which combine to make Germany a   destination for people of all ages, sexes and tastes.

Not convinced? Check out these very compelling reasons to start thinking about a German adventure right now…

River Rhine Cruises are so Relaxing

If you’ve been working too hard of late and you’re looking for a little relaxation, you’ll find all of the peace and serenity you can handle on board a cruise ship sailing along the River Rhine. You’ll see delightful old castles, lush green vineyards, happy people and pretty landscapes aplenty along the way and you’ll find yourself wishing that you could stay there forever.

The Courtyard Cologne is so Swanky

Wherever you go in Germany, especially in the big cities, you will find no end of high-end hotels that offer fine local food and drinks, luxuriously relaxing hotel rooms,  quality gym facilities and much more besides. A good example of this is the Courtyard Cologne, which is also keenly priced, but there are many more. So, whether you’re traveling with the family, heading off for a romantic weekend break, or going solo, you’ll never have to worry about the accommodation.

Oktoberfest is a Blast

Berlin Beer Fest toast

Beer Fest

In many places, Germany is probably best known for its Oktoberfest festival, with many people timing their holiday to coincide with it, and there is a good reason for that – it’s fabulous fun. Not only will you get to sample some of the best beers in the world if you attend, but there’ll be amazing sausages to tempt you around every corner, lots of people getting together and having fun, and of course, plenty of traditional Germanic celebrations for you to take part in and get to know the local culture a bit better.

The Berlin Festival is a Cultural Highlight

If you’re a movie buff, you don’t have to fly all the way to Hollywood to get your fill – the Berlin Film Festival or The Berlinale, to give it its proper name, is a hugely prestigious and extremely glamorous celebration of all things cinema. Concentrating on true art and innovation, it is far more interesting than the Oscars and with no less than 400 films to choose from in a single festival, you’re certain to find something you like.

Berlin is Buzzing

The city of Berlin is without a doubt one of the most vibrant, energetic cities on the planet. Buzzing with life, art and culture, it’s impossible to be bored when you’re in Berlin. From the notorious KitKat Club to the C/O Gallery and the extremely moving Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, you’ll laugh, cry, wonder and have your mind boggled, but mostly you’ll have a very memorable time there.

Bachfest Leipzig is Beautiful

This wonderful annual event which celebrates the life and music of the much-loved baroque composer Johan Sebastian Bach is a great way to get some culture into your life. Even if you aren’t particularly into classical music, you will not fail to be moved by the combination of the music and the beautiful historic surroundings of Thomaskirche church where the event is held, The final performance of Mass in B Minor will blow you away guaranteed.


Germany really is the place to be!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

7 Activities to Ensure You Get the Most out of Your Family Holiday

aircraft wing

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Planning your summer holidays and wondering what to do to keep the kids entertained? Here are some tips and tricks to keep them happy, and keep you from tearing your hair out.

Be prepared

If this is your child’s first adventure on a plane or ferry, hype them up to the experience by injecting fun into what they can expect. There are new noises, sensations, and even rules to get to grips with when navigating ferry ports and seaports. Why not turn passport control and security checks into a game or, at the very least, a point of reward for best behaviour when you’ve passed through?

Everything edible

Okay, maybe not everything is edible, but knowing what treats are in store might be one way to build excitement for the kids about where you are going. Whether it’s the almost-familiar patatas bravas in Spain and keftedes in Greece, or slightly different spätzle in Germany and gołąbki in Poland, there is something that will appeal to both those who prefer the comfort of home-cooking, and those who are willing to try something new.

Plan a virtual tour

There’s nothing quite like planning an itinerary of where you are going, and what better way to keep the kids interested than to let them plan for themselves? Whether it’s kid-friendly theme parks or interactive museums, showing pictures and videos of all the places you might get to see is bound to make them even more excited for their holiday.

A few words?

Why not add a little something educational to your holiday preparations in a fun way so your kids don’t really know they are learning? From a few words in the language of the place you are going to a fun history lesson of the culture of the country, there are so many ways to grab their attention and teach them something at the same time. Better yet, learning a language with companies like Listen & Learn, FluentU or Babbel means you can bring some of your travels and memories back with you, continuing lessons even after you’re home!

Autonomy

While we are on the subject of languages and learning, what better way to prepare your children for their first trip overseas than to teach them a few new words? Basic greetings and polite pleases and thank yous will go a long way to building their confidence, as well as delighting waiting staff and friendly locals with their efforts.

Making memories

How about getting your kids to create their own holiday mementos? Disposable cameras are cheap, or a kid-proof tablet will capture any photos they choose to take. And when you are all back in rainy England with still weeks of the holiday to get through—or even worse, are back and work and school—a little scrapbooking with those holiday photos will help build those memories, and enthusiasm for planning the next one!

Peace of mind

Pack the essentials that you’d take on a day trip and remember shops the world over will likely stock most things you can get at home. Figure out all the things you want to see and do as well. Your kids will enjoy themselves a lot more if you are just as excited to be there. Relax, breathe, and take your time; this is your holiday as well!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

Fairy Travels

The Allure of the Algarve – summer holiday planning

How beautiful was the weather this weekend? You can really feel the Summer vibe on the way.  I often find when the weather is good my mind starts to wander to holidays! The weather was so lovely all weekend it prompted our very regular family discussion of where to next next.

While we love city breaks and action packed holidays, for the last couple of years we take my parents on a total chill out holiday.  Think, sun, beautiful beaches, good food and good wine. Whats not to love?.  We quite literally stumbled on a beautiful town in the Algarve called Alvor and have been making a family trip every year since.  We range in age from 6 to 60 plus and the beauty of the Algarve for us  is that there is something for everybody.

If its nightlife your after its there, you want good wines as you chill listening to the ocean its there too and probably most importantly there is plenty for younger members of our holiday party to do too.  I work full time, have two young kids ( a husband :-)) and blog by night so for me what I love about our now annual family trip is total relaxation. Lying on the beach, reading a book as I keep one ear out listening to the kids laugh and play.

For my parents they love all inclusive, that’s one price for pretty much all your food and drink and you don’t have to worry much after that.  For them that’s the relaxing part of the holiday.  If you are considering booking all inclusive Holiday Gems has cheap all inclusive deals. 

I’m going to let the pictures do the talking now! How breath taking are these view in Alvor? We usually go in the October school holiday break and while busy its not crazy busy.  Also the temperatures are lovely and warm with out being too hot for my blue eyed blonde haired fair skinned duo.  They burn so easily I have to be mega careful about applying sun cream.

sea view

Pic Credit: @mammafairyblog

beach scene

Pic Credit: @mammafairyblog

 

pool with view over looking the sea

Pic Credit: @mammafairyblog

 

Take me there right now.  This place has really cemented itself in history in our family anyway! Alvor we will see you for the fourth time later this year and every one us for 6 to 60+ share in the excitement.

 

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