If you’d asked me this time last year if I’d ever consider a cruise I’d have laughed and said yes, in 30 years. I had this misconception that cruises were for the older generation and not something we’d consider – with or without a toddler in tow. Over the past year quite a few people in my life have sailed the seas to various destinations. My Aunt, Uncle and Cousins (in their 20s) took a cruise around the Mediterranean and my good friend Laura took her two young sons on a Caribbean cruise. Laura’s family had such a good time that their own perceptions of cruising totally changed and they’ve since booked another!     Hearing how much of a good time my friends and family had upon the sea piqued my interest, you already know I love to travel and I began to think snubbing cabin life was a…

View Post
Share:

Last year we inadvertently started a bit of a tradition, an annual pilgrimage to Nottingham to visit family and have a pumpkin experience. Last week saw us carry that on with a 4 day trip to stay with Matts’ brother and girlfriend. As you’ll see our pumpkin experience at Maxies Farm was rather windswept, thanks to the approach of Storm Brian. It was wonderful & helped me tick another item off our Autumn to-do list. Once we’d had our fill of the ocherous gourds we headed ‘home’ for a delicious vodka pasta – it was my first time trying the dish and won’t be my last!     Whilst we were in Nottingham we also visited a stately home, perused John Lewis and sampled other delights not found in Northern Ireland, like Krispy Kreme and Aldi. It was a thoroughly ordinary four days, in some ways, but exciting and refreshing…

View Post
Share:

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been keeping track of our spending and chatting with the team at Mumsnet & Avios to see how small changes to our spending could equate to amazing travel opportunities. If you’ve read my blog for a while you know we love to travel as a family. Like most people, we’re always looking for ways to save money and plan our next getaway. Now that Luisa is two the cost is going up so we’re having to be savvier when booking days out and trips away.     The Avios Travel Rewards Programme turns everyday spending into great value travel rewards. By using the Avios eStore you can Avios on your day to day purchases which you can then spend on flights, hotels, car hire and much more. I’ll be totally transparent here – when I started tracking my spending to see how many Avios we could…

View Post
Share:

*We received complimentary entry to Tayto Park in exchange for this blog post. Recently we made the trip down south to Ashbourne, Co. Meath so we could visit Tayto Park a glorious fusion between zoo and theme park. There are over 100 different attractions and it really has something for the whole family. You can get to Tayto Park in just 90 minutes from Belfast so it’s definitely something to put on the summer bucket-list if you’re local to me!     For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to be from the island of Ireland Tayto is actually a really popular brand of crisps, far superior to Walkers if you ask me! The story of its founder is amazing so if you fancy some extra reading here’s a piece on Mr Ray Cole. Anyway, back to Tayto Park before I make myself hungry talking about crisps. This is the second…

View Post
Share:

Over the last few years, I’ve heard amazing things about Bluestone, a luxury family friendly holiday resort in South Wales with an emphasis on outdoor fun. Bluestone is nestled in the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire, a stunning part of the world full of forests and beaches. I’ve heard Bluestone’s praises sung both by fellow bloggers and from several family friends who make the trip there each year. Back in November, we were offered the opportunity to plan a trip to Bluestone to review the resort and share our experience. To say I was happy is a major understatement, I couldn’t wait! We booked our stay for May, the week of Luisa’s second birthday.     Getting There We opted to fly into Bristol from Belfast International Airport as the flight times into Cardiff didn’t suit and would have cut our trip short at both ends. Bristol Airport is actually only…

View Post
Share:

You already know we love to travel, I firmly believe that it’s good for the soul and you shouldn’t let having kids hold you back. Show them the world instead of buying them all the stuff, at least that’s my motto. Luisa is one seriously well travelled toddler and we’ve learnt a lot on our various adventures. My packing is now pretty streamlined, Matt knows all the best airport car parking companies and we’ve got ‘go to’ activities and snacks for the flight.       I spoke to some other bloggers who’ve shared a little bit of their wisdom to make overseas travel with kids run smoothly. Laura makes a really great point about being relaxed on the journey, “Remember that the journey is just a small portion of the holiday – it’s nearly always worth it. So don’t be afraid, jump on the plane for 17 hours and remember…

View Post
Share:

Summer has got to be my favourite time of year. Everything is brighter, there seems to be an optimisim and sense of adventure in the air. Even if you’re not going abroad there are so many opportunities to make an ordinary day a bit more exciting. We love to picnic outside, take more trips to the park, host family BBQs, visit the beach, even go camping. The last thing you want, especially during the summer, are pesky bugs and viruses coming along and ruining the fun. Of course with young kids these things are par for the course but you can take steps to reduce the chances of a sicky household. We’ve teamed up with Milton, who have over 100 years of experience in keeping homes clean and safe, to bring you these tips to help keep your family safe this summer.   Obviously the starting point for keeping your family…

View Post
Share:

You all know by now I live for the thrill of jetting off to new shores. You’ll rarely find me without some kind of trip booked whether it’s a grand transatlantic adventure or a staycation. Organising a trip when you have kids to consider can be a bit of a headache though. You need to make sure the destination is going to be both safe and fun for them. It can be tempting to walk into a high street travel agent and grab one of their packages but that’s not really my style.     For me personally the holiday starts before it’s been booked. I love to research different countries and airlines, I genuinely enjoy clicking around looking for a good deal and reading reviews. Sometimes I do wish it was easier, not everyone typing away on Trip Advisor has the same ideas or standards as you and a…

View Post
Share:

A lot of families find that a holiday abroad is out of reach for many reasons. It can be expensive to fly with your kids and package holiday don’t often consider those of us who have 3 or more children. Some families have children with special needs and a trip abroad can present logistical challenges. As we are just a three travelling is pretty straight forward for us – Luisa isn’t two until mid May so we’re still getting bargain flights and she copes very well in busy airports. As a family we’ve been on a lot of trips already including Crete, Scotland, all over England and America.     I have to admit though, since Luisa has gotten older travel has become a bit more difficult. In the newborn days we flew monthly from our home in Edinburgh to our parents in Belfast. We never over packed – often just…

View Post
Share: