Fairy Travels

Top 10 reasons for traveling with kids

Top 10 reasons for traveling with kids

child fishing in Norway against a snowy backdrop as sun sets

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Trip: Tromso

Traveling with kids can be an enriching and rewarding experience that not only creates lasting memories but also offers numerous developmental and educational benefits. While it might seem daunting at first, the advantages of embarking on adventures with your little ones far outweigh any challenges. So far my 8 and 11 year old have been to 33 countries and counting, they really do love to travel like their parents!

From fostering family bonding to promoting cultural awareness, here’s why traveling with kids is such a great idea.

  • Quality Family Time: In today’s fast-paced world, spending quality time together can be a challenge. Traveling provides a unique opportunity to bond as a family away from the distractions of daily life. Sharing new experiences, navigating unfamiliar surroundings, and overcoming challenges as a unit can strengthen family ties and create lasting connections.
  • Educational Opportunities: Travel exposes children to new cultures, languages, histories, and environments. It’s a hands-on learning experience that goes beyond what they can learn from books or screens. Whether it’s exploring a museum, tasting local cuisine, or immersing in a different way of life, kids gain valuable insights that can’t be replicated in a classroom.

    kids standing at the Amman Citadel in sunset

    Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog Trip: Jordan

  • Cultural Awareness: Exposing children to diverse cultures from a young age fosters open-mindedness, empathy, and an appreciation for differences. Interacting with people from different backgrounds encourages kids to develop a broader perspective on the world and helps break down stereotypes.
  • Adaptability and Problem-Solving Skills: Traveling often involves navigating unexpected situations. From flight delays to language barriers, kids learn to adapt to changing circumstances and develop problem-solving skills. These experiences teach them flexibility, patience, and how to stay composed in the face of challenges.
  • Building Confidence: Traveling encourages kids to step out of their comfort zones. Whether it’s trying new foods or engaging with locals, each successful encounter boosts their self-confidence. Overcoming obstacles during travel empowers children to believe in their abilities.
  • Creating Lasting Memories: Memories of shared adventures have the power to strengthen family bonds for a lifetime. Children cherish the moments spent exploring new places with their parents and siblings. These memories often become stories that are passed down through generations. One such trip for us was definitely Tromso, it captured our hearts in a way we never expected.
  • Expanding Horizons: Exposure to different landscapes, architecture, and lifestyles broadens a child’s perspective. It ignites a curiosity about the world, inspiring them to ask questions and seek knowledge about unfamiliar places.

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Mamma Musings

Tips for visiting Malaga with kids

Tips for visiting Malaga with kids

Malaga is a city we visited many times before we had kids however shamefully we have not been back since. This summer we aim to remedy that. Malaga is the perfect place to base yourself in Southern Spain.  It is a really family friendly location with lots to see and do as well as good food, good wines and really friendly people. It is also very close to another vibrant Spanish city – Marbella. Spain is one of those holiday designation that keeps drawing you back in, from its temperate climate to its food to its warm and welcoming local people, you really cannot go wrong with a family holiday in Spain.

When to visit Malaga 

Aerial view Malaga

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Malaga can be visited year round which also very much adds to  its appeal. The warmest months are July and August with temperatures creeping up over 30. They are also the busiest months with tourists. Pre kids and having to work out holidays around school terms we loved September, it was quieter in terms of tourist numbers and temps in the mid 20s were ideal for us. We travelled so much pre kids and now with kids one thing we are prepared to spend on is our accommodation. There is nothing nicer than after a long day of sightseeing to come back to accommodation to relax or maybe have a drink around the pool, you will be spoilt for choice with all the beautiful fincas in Malaga that are available.

Getting around Malaga

The first consideration when we land to a new destination is how to get from the airport to your accommodation. Malaga airport is a busy airport being the gateway to a lot of the Costa del Sol however there are a multitude of options when leaving the airport and at a very reasonable price.  The train runs every 20ish minutes until almost 1am. There is also a bus service which runs until midnight again the frequency is  around every 20 minutes.  Like most airports you also have the usual transport app’s like Uber, there are also dedicated taxis outside or if like us with kids after a long flight we often book a private transfer just so we know and we aren’t trying to find bus/ train etc with tired and grumpy kids.

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Fairy Travels

5 Tips for Tallinn with kids

5 Tips for Tallinn with kids

I was so excited to visit Tallinn, I was fascinated by the Medieval architecture and the fairy tale like streets.  However I hadn’t seen many posts on tips for Tallinn with kids so I vowed to do this post when I get back to help other families visit this stunning city.  Below are my top tips for getting the most out of your trip to Tallinn with kids.

1 – Get the Tallinn Card

We have used city attraction type cards in many countries around the world.  The Tallinn Card is available on-line or in person over in Tallinn and can be purchased for different durations such as 24, 48 or 72 hours.  The card itself covers free or discounted entrance into over 50 attractions. Tallinn isn’t a big city and very walkable, so we could plan our attractions easily. I asked the kids if they had a favourite attraction and between them listed their top 3 – Kiek in de Kök (I totally agree, spectacular) , Seaplane Museum and Proto Invention Factory (very cool …. so  much so we went twice!) all of which had free entry with the Tallinn Card.   Another huge plus of the Tallinn Card is that it grants you unlimited free public transport on Tallinn’s buses, Trams and Trolleys. To give you an idea of the price a 48 hour card is €51 for an adult and €26 for a child.  This is definitely one of our top tips for Tallinn with kids.

2 – Get lost in the medieval streets

The first thing you will notice in Tallinn is how stunningly beautiful the streets are, its impossible not to be awed.  The first morning we just wandered meandering around the quaint streets. The town hall square is really lovely as it the area around St Catherine Passage. I honestly felt like I was in an old movie, so beautiful and captivating.

 

3 – Sample a Medieval feast 

Dotted around the main square are little quaint medieval pubs like III Draakon and Olde Hansa.  Its a really cool experience, the staff are in traditional outfits and act our their roles really well. The food is served by candlelight making it really atmospheric.

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Fairy Travels

5 Tips for Jordan with kids

Tips for Jordan with kids 

If travelling to Jordan with kids is on your agenda we have compiled tips and advice based on our recent trip to Jordan. I have lots of queries via our Instagram on our trip and it has taken me way longer to write this article but life has been busy with work and my kids play and compete in a lot of sport so time just run away on me!

  • The Jordan Pass 

Jordan with kids Jerash

Jordan with kids Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

I had read a lot and I mean a lot while planning and researching this trip and the Jordan Pass was a no brainer it covers entry into over 40 of the key sites including Jerash, Wadi Rum Petra and also by purchasing the pass the 40Jd visa fee is waived. Kids under 12 go free anyway to the tourist sites in Jordan so you don’t have to buy a pass for kids however you do need to pay the 40jd visa fee. It’s comes via email which you can store on your phone, however we printed them out as I heard reviews of people have difficulty when scanning on the phone and also saves you having to hand over your phone every time.  In theory you are meant to also show your passport or a copy of it but we were never asked in any site but did have it copied and printed again just to save having to hand it over every time we wanted to enter one of the attractions.

  • Arriving into Jordan 

Jordan with kids Citadel Amman

Jordan with kids – Amman Citadel Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

I find when travelling with young kids you need to be flexible and I feel anyway take it at a slower pace. Jordan has 2 airports one in Amman, its capital and the other in Aqaba in the south of the country.  Its certainly worth considering your key attractions and factoring the airport around that for example, Aqaba is closer to Petra and Wadi Rum where as Amman is closer to the Dead Sea, Jerash, Baptism Site, Madaba. The distance from Amman to Petra is over 4 hours each way.

Another thing to note is do be prepared to queue at visa desks, it took us quite a while to get through so I was glad I had snacks for the kids.  Also be sure to fill in the tourist form before you arrive to get your QR code. Its all online and quick to fill in.

Visas took so long that when we landed to the belt they had moved our luggage over to a holding/ storage area which nobody had told us. We have an old suitcase with a distinctive colour which one of the kids spotted quickly. In addition we did have a tile in it so we knew at the very least it had made it to Amman.

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Fairy Travels

Tips for skiing with kids

Tips for skiing with kids 

Getting your kids ready for their first lesson on the slopes is exciting but you might be thinking about getting a thousand things or doing a thousand things that you probably don’t need to or you might be forgetting something important. We love winter holiday with our kid having been to Tromso and Lapland in recent years.   Here’s our concise, handy guide on tips for skiing with kids with thanks to Maison Sport.

Clothing

Keep in mind your kids will probably fall quite a few times before getting the hang of it, so it’s important to make sure their attire is appropriate so as to avoid snow getting inside their clothes. Here are our tips for clothing:

  • One-piece ski suit is better than a two-piece outfit. We’ve all experienced it, even as adults, it can happen that when you fall your jacket can ride up and some snow gets inside. Especially for young kids, 6 and under it’s better for them to wear a one-piece suit rather than a two-piece suit.
  • Mittens are better than gloves. Especially for younger boys and girls, mittens tend to be better not only because they keep their hands warmer, but also it’s easier to grip the ski poles. As a plus, the wrist straps will make sure they won’t lose their mittens even if they take them off.

    skiing with kids

    Tips for skiing with kids

  • Ski masks under the helmet. A ski mask protects head, ears, neck and face if needed. Again it’s practical because it doesn’t leave many gaps for snow or cold to get through.
  • Layer Up.  Layers will make sure your kids stay warm during their lessons. Typically you’ll want at least three layers –  thermal layer, a fleece layer, and a waterproof insulating layer.
  • Don’t buy too many things. Keep in mind that next year your kids will have probably outgrown all their clothes so don’t go crazy buying too many things, especially if you only ski once or twice a year. Better yet, if you have other friends with kids, you can always borrow a few things!
  • Ski Socks. It’s worth investing in a couple of sets of ski socks, much better than using normal or sport socks. They’ll only need to wear one set, don’t send them out in two layers of socks.

Equipment

How cute is it seeing all the little kids with their little skis on or on their mini boards? Making sure they feel comfortable in their equipment is key for them to have a good time during their lesson.

  • Get them used to it. As soon as you have your equipment, make sure they are comfortable in it, especially the boots. Have them walk around, bend their knees, make a couple of movements they would do during their lesson in order to make sure everything feels good to them and nothing is too tight or hurts them.
  • Rent. As with clothes, what fits right this year, will probably be too small next year. Especially when it comes to equipment which is definitely more expensive than clothes, it’s always better to rent it.
  • Goggles. It is important your kids have goggles to protect their eyes from the glare and keep them warmer. A tip with goggles, try and keep the foam and inside of the goggles dry as the goggle can steam up if they get wet.

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Fairy Travels

Tips for visiting New York with kids

Tips for visiting New York with kids 

New York skyline

Pic Credit: Pixabay

New York is one of those cities I will never tire of visiting, I am lucky to have visited over 10 times and even more lucky to have spent time living and working there. However despite many requests from the kids who are 10 and 7 now we have never taken them. 2023 will be the year we change that. We are considering combining it with a return trip to Canada.

With that in mind, I have spent the last few weeks doing some research on tips for visiting New York with kids so I thought I would share the learnings as it might help other families thinking of doing the same trip.

1- Attraction Passes 

I don’t think this even needs telling but there is a myriad of things to do in New York from thrill seeking type attractions, to walking tours, to dizzying heights type tours to leisurely strolls around art galleries.  New York really is the city that never sleeps.  We always left wanting more there is simply so much to do and with that the cost does creep up and especially if travelling as a family. My top tip here is to consider getting the New York City Tourist Pass it covers over 90 attractions and you can get a pass from 1 to up to 10 days. Another good option is the New York Explorer Pass which is a smart card that you can purchase in order to gain discounted cash-free entry into 3, 5, 7, or 10 of New York’s top attractions. In many ways a “make your own NYC tourist pass” option, the New York Explorer pass is a flexible way to see some of New York’s greatest sights over a long or short period of time at a discounted price. You actually don’t need to determine the exact sights that you plan to visit ahead of time, you need only decide upon how many you want to see.

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Mamma Reviews

Gift ideas for women

Sometimes it can be tough to pick gifts for the woman in your life, so I thought why not compile a list of honest recommendations of what women really want, from the practical to the luxurious we have compiled some recommendations below.

Lingerie

Pic Credit: Identitylingerie.com

I know you are thinking this is a high risk option!! Trust me on this, I found found the perfect offering with sizing that makes the decision a whole lot easier.   I bring you Identity Lingerie. These are a small family run company making beautiful yet practical nightwear and underwear.  The products are ethically made and environmentally friendly another mega plus in my book. In terms of sizing the products come in size s – xxl, by way of example 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 34AA, 34A, 34B represents a small so a lot easier to choose sizes.

I love good nightwear, it really is my treat to myself and I was lucky enough to be sent some of the nightwear product so I can hand on heart attest to the quality of the fabric and workmanship.  They are super comfy. I have the Japanese Silk in Navy and I adore them. The fit is excellent as is the quality and they have been washed multiple times are still perfect. I see they are 40% off at the moment making them £59.90 which in my mind is excellent value for what you get. Pic opposite from the webpage as im pretty sure nobody wants to see me in my pjs!

I really think its hard to go wrong with some good quality nightwear. Its a splurge item many of us put to the bottom of our list but something that’s luxurious that we would all really appreciate. I think anyway. Do check out Identity Lingerie, speaking from experience and being fortunate enough to have some of their beautiful products you wont be disappointed.

If buying lingerie or PJ’s isn’t your thing what about a beautiful robe from Irish brand Zzzana the robes are super luxurious  and made from eco friendly organic bamboo.

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Mamma Musings

Ways To Teach Kids About Money – And Why It Matters

Pic Credit: Pixabay

One of the best ways to teach kids about money, it’s value and relevance in everyday life, is to include them in daily money activities, starting as early as possible.

Children often have a hard time understanding money, including the concept of earning it and paying for things. Our modern, cashless society makes money even more abstract. 

Make it Fun

Playing games with or about money makes learning lots of fun, and few kids dislike games. You could go for familiar board games such as Monopoly or introduce them to online games with money as the theme.

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Fairy Travels

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Review

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Review 

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

I always knew I wanted to spend my significant birthday somewhere special, however I had long wish list…seaview, warm weather, nice food and good wines, luxurious but with activities for the kids and a bonus would be a new country for us on our 100 country quest.  A very tall order or so I thought!!

While researching I came across Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, it ticked all boxed for us so that was our mind made up.

We flew out with Aer Lingus on a 7am flight which actually wasn’t as bad as I feared after hearing all the media coverage about long queues. We flew home with Ryanair  on the late flight and I  have to say Dubrovnik airport was dream – so efficient.

We were at the hotel by 1 o’clock which was lovely and early giving us plenty time to get our bearings and familiarise ourselves with the resort. We used the hotels transfer service both ways (Korkyra) which was excellent, the vehicle was spotless, luxurious and air conditioned which was very welcomed as we landed to a fabulous 30 degrees. The driver both times was courteous and professional – definitely recommend.

The hotel were fantastic and facilitated us with an early check in which we really did appreciate. We were taken to our two bed residence in a golf buggy which the kids found super exciting.

The Resort

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik review

How stunning is this view – Sun Gardens Dubrovnik Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is located in Orašac, which 11 km from Dubrovnik city centre and approximately 30 minutes drive from the airport. The resort commands a prime location on the sea front with an unobstructed view over the sea and the ideal vantage point to capture that world famous Dubrovnik sunset. The resort has its own marina and direct access to the sea.

Getting to the UNESCO walled town of Dubrovnik is easy via boat from the hotel, the hotels bus transfer or by Uber.

  • Restaurants

You will be completely spoiled for choice in terms of eating and drinking at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik and for us 3 nights was simply not enough to experience all this wonderful resort has to offer, the perfect excuse to return!

La Pasta 

The first night we arrived we ate at La Pasta and it was a thumbs up for us all. The boys had pizza and both adults had the seafood  risotto. The menu is varied and this is probably the most reasonably priced restaurant on site.

We loved the relaxed atmosphere, the view and the staff were great with kids.

The Market

The setting of this restaurant is magical, we did book in advance and got the best table at the edge looking over the Adriatic. It really was the stuff of dreams sitting out on the terrace here. The kids menu was good and both adults had seafood dishes.

The Market specialises in seafood cuisine.

The staff here were also excellent with the kids and special mention to the lovely waiter who went out of his way to get an Italian coffee for us at a different establishment on site. Super service and a super setting!  The view here really is the highlight, it was bright when we arrived so we stayed to watch the sunset, a memory I will treasure forever.

 

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Fairy Travels

Best Snorkelling Spots in the Canary Islands

Best Snorkelling Spots in the Canary Islands

Looking for the best snorkelling spots in the Canary Islands?? The Chinijo Archipelago offers incredible opportunities for both experienced and novice divers and snorkelers. The archipelago, north of Lanzarote, is formed by the island of La Graciosa, and the islets of Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este, and Roque del Oeste, and is the largest marine reserve in Europe. La Graciosa is the arrival port for the Chinijo Archipelago.

Protected area

Best Snorkelling Spots in the Canary Islands

La Cocina LaGrociosa

The rocky sea beds in this part of the Canary Islands are ideal for divers. There are caves, crevices, arches, labyrinths, and tunnels. The flora and fauna on show is incredible. If diving seems a step too far, because of the enormous quantities of fish much can be seen a few metres away from the beach simply with a snorkel and mask.

More than 700 species

The Marine Reserve is home to an abundance of flora and fauna with some rare species present. Divers can see great swathes of marine plants and numerous types of colorful algae. There is incredible wildlife with Canarian lobster, comb groupers, dusky groupers, barracudas, moray eels, amberjacks, and shoals of grunts amongst the range of species on show.

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