Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Do you need a little help choosing your next holiday destination?

Written by Emma. Posted in Travel

Are you dreaming of holidays yet?  The weather is damp and winter is definitely here to stay for a few months. Are you procrastinating on where to head next in your desire to travel and to see the world.  We had our BIG holiday this year as we headed off to Disneyworld.  Next year we won’t have such grand plans but will still have a holiday in the sun.  As part of my Butlins ambassador role we have another short break planned for Bognor Regis, but I also need somewhere abroad where I can sup cocktails in the sunshine.

I am lucky to travel quite a bit and think nothing of jumping on a plane to head to Spain for a few days, I have done this with Lee for a couples break and also taken the teen for girly break.  However choosing where to go next is often tricky.  We might have a list of requirements including how long we want to be on a plane for or what type of location we want.  Managing everyone’s wish list can be tricky if you are the person choosing the next holiday.

Let’s face it a holiday is not cheap and is often one of the largest spends of the year (especially if like us you are a family of five, and the teen counts as an adult now) therefore you want to get it right.

Holiday Gems have made the process that little bit easier and can help you narrow the decision down with their new interactive tool. The new tool helps by asking a few key questions like what type of activities you look for on a holiday, how long you want to fly for and even how hot you want the destination to be.  I had a go and the ideal next trip suggested for me was Ibiza.

Now Ibiza sounds fun and gave me flashbacks of my late teens.  It is the destination I hit after finishing A Levels and before heading to University.  It was hedonistic and party capital.  I stayed in the busy, lively San Antonio where all the nightlife happens.   I was such fun!

However I know there is much more to Ibiza than late night clubs and sleeping hangovers off by the poolside.  I now appreciate that it has a quieter side, amazing shopping and a  rich history and beautiful church buildings to admire.

Why don’t you try the where should I go tool and see what delights might await you. I’d love to know what was recommended for you.

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Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Holiday Gems.

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Starting a holiday the easy way

Written by Emma. Posted in Travel

October half term is one where we like to get away.  It seems to be the final fling of summer before the clocks change, the nights draw in and the weather turns.  Usually it is a UK break where we head to Devon and enjoy crazy golf and seaside walks.  This year it was a little different we had the delights of PortAventura to come.  After Florida in the summer we thought we had done the rollercoasters for the year yet we were able to fit in some more!  This time we took on the tallest rollercoaster in Europe.  I shared this experience with Alice and all I kept saying was Alice this is high! However the post about PortAventura is coming soon when I have finished editing my video.

This post is about getting there or nearly not!

We had an early start as the flight was at 10.10 therefore we needed to be there at 8am and for us that meant a 5am set off time.  The alarm was set for 4am and we slept in our beds like excited school children with bags packed by the door.  My internal body clock is quite good for someone who loves their sleep as much as me and I glanced at the clock at 3.50am.  I laid there for a few minutes enjoying the calm thinking that the clock would soon raise everyone else from their slumber.  Travelling clothes were laid on the ends of beds and snacks were in the car.  Yet the alarm never sounded and instead I shook Lee awake! As he showered  at 4.25 his phone alarm went off he had actually set a second alarm which just about saved me being in a total grump with him but it would have been a rush.

Once on our way the kids chatted excitedly and they made plans.  The roads were quiet and I sat back and daydreamed about the sun on my face that I was looking forward to feeling.  Then the car came to a standstill and we realised that our journey would get more fraught.  Looking at the traffic reports we soon realised that we were down to one lane due to an accident.  Slowly we snaked through.  Normally by this point I would be a nervous wreck as normally we parked off site somewhere and had the additional stress of parking and then transferring across to the airport.  This time though we were travelling in style and we had a bit of buffer time.

We had Meet and greet parking at Gatwick from APH and we simply called them when we were half an hour away and they met us at the terminal and took care of all the parking.  We simply jumped into the lift and were soon where we wanted to be.  drinking a lovely mug of hot chocolate after quickly checking in.  We flew with Veuling who made check in very easy and quick.

This video shows exactly what the service includes:

I think we have been spoilt because the meet and greet was perfect. It got our mini break off to the best possible start and now I don’t ever plan to do off site parking that requires a transfer again.  This way we saved precious time and that is important when travelling with children.  It gave us time for a bit of early morning airport shopping where Chloe even managed to persuade her dad to buy her a Harrods handbag – he has never bought me such a beautiful handbag!


Disclosure:  We were given complimentary parking for the purpose of this post.

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Fun in the sun – my top Disneyworld memories from week one.

Written by Emma. Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

I have been more than a little absent online but we have been having the best family holiday ever!  Week one is now complete of the big Disney holiday.  We can throughly recommend this fab on site resort, Caribbean Beach Resort.  The facilities and site are brilliant, we have been staying in Jamacia and cannot fault our room.  The magic bands have worked brilliantly and means that we can be cashless throughout all of Disneyworld.  The weather is very hot but thankfully not stormy.  There has only been one storm in the past week and we happened to be changing before go back to the Magic kingdom for the evening and therefore it did not affect us in the slightest.

Highlights so far, with full posts to follow.

1. Missing our inter connecting flight from Newark was not the greatest start, but we were quickly put onto the next flight.  The customer service was great and the transport to Caribbean beach resort effortless and quick.

2. Erin’s make over at Bippity Boppity Boutique was a magical experience.  Well worth the money – but I advise take your own dress like we did and then have the hair, nails and make up package.  A blog post will follow.

3. Favourite roller coaster moment includes some very funny poses by Sam and Lee which will be shared and Dylan screaming the whole way ‘make it stop’ Oh how I wished we could have filmed it – if you remember the viral clip of the boy screaming Janice when in  the roller coaster chair that clip was nothing in comparison!!!

4. The Frozen parade at Hollywood studios is a must have for Frozen fans of all ages and when it snows little ones cannot believe their eyes.

5. The 3pm parade at the Magic Kingdom is princess heaven and we screamed out to Anna and Elsa and they both turned and blew kisses to Erin was made her day.

6. The best character dining has been at the Floridian Hotel at Cinderella’s happy ever after ball.  The step sisters made it our favourite meal.  Anastasia spotted Dylan – announced he was cute and she wanted to marry him and from that moment on she kept coming back to him.  She had him up to dance, kept kissing him with her ruby red lipstick and generally chasing him about.  For those that know how quiet and reserved my Dyl is it was so funny.  He came alive and loved it, laughing and giggling and taking part throughout.  It was lovely to see him so involved.

7.The disney dining plan is great and we haven’t been able to eat everything on offer, so much so that Lee and the children have popped to Downtown Disney to fill up on sweets and use up the snack credits as we need to use them up by today.

8. Using wifi and the disney app in the parks has meant we are able to get our fast passes easily and know what the wait times are on each ride before heading over to either wait or get straight on a ride.  I am amazed just how gutsy Erin is and she has been on every ride that she can.  She loves everything on offer.

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180 days till Disneyworld, book your dining reservations.

Written by Emma. Posted in family, online life

The talk has turned to summer holidays it seems.  I have heard friends discussing their summer plans and that makes me more than a little excited!  With the wind and rain showing no relent it is not surprising that we are dreaming of feeling the sun on our skin.

This summer we have Disneyworld booked for a family holiday.  We are doing one week on site and one week on a luxury villa.

When holidaying at Disneyworld and staying onsite in a disneyworld hotel the 180 days until the holiday starts is a big date to have in your diaries.  Why?  Disney guests can prebook restaurants including character meals booking is known as ADR’s Advanced Dining Reservations.  Doing it this early means that you can secure meals at the most popular venues.  I did ours last week the day they became available and I am thrilled that we have got all our choices, including Disney’s new Be Our Guest restaurant which is with Beauty and the Beast.   In addition to ADR’s you can pre book other attractions and for us this means a princess makeover.  Erin will be having the court package which includes having her make up and hair done in a style she chooses.  She will wear her Snow White dress.  The day promises to be magical as we will be having dinner with the princesses at Arkerhus  afterwards.  After all Erin has been through with her DDH this promises to be the ultimate trip.

The big two are not missing out on the treat front as they both want to swim with the Dolphins at discovery cove.  That is not yet booked but is on my to do list!

To book meals it is so easy.  If you sign up on the Disneyworld website and link up your booking details you can book the meals from the comfort of your sofa.  To book the make over you need to ring Disney.  Even making the phonecall was magical as I spoke to a Fairy Godmother who took all Erin’s details ready to make it extra special for her.

If you are doing Disney make sure you have that 180 date highlighted someone!

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