Kids Travel 2 Blog

Holiday First Aid

First Aid Kit Essentials.

Planning a trip with a little one in tow can be a challenging experience, especially if you’re travelling long distances, but the experiences and memories are well worth it. Planning ahead can help give you peace of mind before travelling, preparing a first aid kit before you set off can ensure your well prepared even if an accident does happen.

It's always a worry that there might be accident or illness while on holiday, the different temperature, cuisine and local insects all have the potential to affect all holidaymakers, especially children. The excitement of being somewhere new and trying different things can mean that kids are more likely to be running around, potentially leading to trips and bumps. A first aid kit filled with the essentials that you can keep close at hand ensure that you’ll be ready for every eventuality.

Plaster, Band Aid

 

Here is our list of First aid essentials:

  1. Infant painkillers in one dose sachets of painkillers containing paracetamol or ibuprofen are perfect for lowering a temperature of easing pain while on holiday
  2. Antiseptic is a must for helping to prevent infections
  3. Platers, gauze, sterile dressing and bandage tape for covering cuts or grazes
  4. A traditional glass thermometer will work but you may find a digital or forehead strip variety easier to use and read on children
  5. Antihistamine cream to sooth insect bikes
  6. Sunburn treatment such as calamine lotion
  7. Insect repellent and bite treatment
  8. Tweezers and scissors can help remove splinters and prepare dressings
  9. Ice or gel packs to use on bumps and bruises


If you’re travelling abroad via plane, you’ll need to consider airline restrictions. If the first aid kit will be stored in your hand luggage all liquids, including gels and creams will need to be in containers of no more than 100ml. 

Exemptions can be made for essential medical purposes but you will need supporting documentation from a medical professional for this to be allowed. Tweezers and small scissors that you would include in a first aid kit are typically NOT allowed through in hand luggage.As well as the essentials you’ll also need to ensure you’ve packed any prescription medicines that your child may need, including inhalers if they are asthmatic. Make sure you've planned ahead and have enough to last the whole holiday and a few days extra just in case. This should be done well before you leave as extra medication may require a check-up at the doctors.

Even if you’re checking in luggage it may be a good idea to take keep a first aid kit with you to deal with any mishaps or accidents while you’re travelling to your destination. Just the essentials:

  1. A small pack of wet wipes
  2. Pain killers
  3. Plasters
  4. Alcohol gel to keep hands clean, remember this must be less than 100 ml or it won't be allowed though security.

 

Travel Journals

Travel Journaling for Kids: How To Get Started

If you’re taking a trip with older children, you can almost guarantee there’s going to be some long periods where they’ll need some entertainment. Colouring books, puzzle games and smartphone apps can only go so far – sometimes children need something that’s going to demand their full attention when they’re waiting out an airport delay or sitting on a long train ride.

personalised travel journal

Travel journaling is a fantastic way to keep older kids happy during long journeys or waits – and it doesn’t take much to get started. Keeping a journal provides plenty of educational opportunities, and it gives them a great souvenir to take into school for ‘show and tell’ when they return to class. Here are our top tips to help your little ones get started with their own travel journal:

Buy or make the journal itself

There are a multitude of fantastic kids’ travel journals out there to buy – head to Amazon or Etsy to browse the collections. The Journey Journal by Etsy user ‘crackeddesigns’ is a great option and Sukie from notonthehighstreet has a personalised travel journal packed with cute illustrations.

The Journey Journal

Alternatively, you can make your own! All you’ll need is a notebook (make sure it’s a durable one so it can withstand all of the travel) and some pens or pencils. Many prefer to leave the notebooks totally blank to encourage their children to come up with their own content, but if your little one is struggling, you could write some prompts on the first page for them. 

The best prompts to use

Using questions as prompts helps keep little ones inspired and ensures they don’t miss anything out. Here are some of our favourites:

  • What is the date today?
  • Where are we today?
  • What did we do today?
  • What was your favourite / least favourite part of the day?
  • What did we eat today?
  • Did you learn something today?
  • What was the weather like?

Of course, there are a multitude of other things to write about, but these are just helpful prompts to get children started.

Other tips

Encourage your little ones to save little souvenirs that they can stick into their journal when they get some downtime, or when they return home. Travel or attraction tickets, receipts or napkins from restaurants, postcards, stamps and other small collectibles make great additions to any journal.

Pencil and Paper journal

You could also include a map of your destination in the front of the journal, and ask your child to mark off the places they’ve visited. This helps with their geography skills (especially if you’re travelling between countries or cities) and it might also help them to understand why they have to spend so long sitting on a train or waiting in an airport!

Pirates Village Majorca

Cool Themed Hotels That Are Perfect For Your Family Holiday

If you’re a parent to young children, you’ll know that holidays are all about the little ones. Forget fancy dinners and long days sightseeing – your family trips are now about water slides, sandcastles, theme parks and evening entertainment with a holiday park mascot. Why not take it one step further and book a themed hotel room that your kids will surely love? Here are our top five themed hotels and suites that are just perfect for your next holiday.

Pirates Village Majorca
If your kids would love an adventure on the high seas, they’ll adore Pirates Village, a hotel on the family-friendly island of Majorca. This entire hotel is themed like a pirate ship, with plenty of skull-and-crossbones motifs, treasure maps and even rigging hanging from the ceiling in the restaurant! There’s a weekly pirate show with stage fights, fireworks and lights, and the central location means there’s plenty to do if you want to get out of the hotel for a while. Self-catering and all-inclusive options are available.

Pirates Village Majorca


Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel – Orlando
If you’re pushing the boat out and going to Orlando for a Disney holiday, you simply must stay in this hotel, where all of the rooms are themed. The regular rooms have a Little Mermaid theme, the larger suites are based around The Lion King and there’s a Finding Nemo family suite which sleeps up to six people. The pools are themed, too, and the hotel regularly holds outdoor screenings of all your Disney favourites on an enormous screen.

Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel – Orlando

Alton Towers – England
Some families prefer to have a ‘staycation’ instead of going abroad, and Alton Towers offers the perfect UK destination. Their collection of themed hotel rooms has something for everyone – you’ll find rooms based around Postman Pat, Charlie and Lola, Mike the Knight, Sonic the Hedgehog, Tree Fu Tom and many other current kids’ favourites. Alternatively, opt for the Chocolate Room or the Sleepover Suite for a truly special occasion!

Alton Towers – England

Gulliver’s World – England
Gulliver’s World is another great UK destination for a family getaway, with plenty of themed rooms for little ones. The Princess Room is ideal for little girls who love to dress up, while the Western and Pirate Rooms are great for little boys and girls who seek a bit of action.

Gulliver’s World – England

Legoland Hotel – California
The Legoland Hotel in California features three different theme rooms: kingdom, pirate or adventure. There are giant Lego people on the walls, amazing LEGO cityscapes in the grounds of the hotel, and even a waterpark, aquarium and theme park on-site!

Legoland Hotel – California

frogs travelling with luggage

Forget ‘Are We Nearly There Yet?’ Now The Journey Is One Of The Best Bits Of The Holiday!

DisneyLife

Whilst millions of parents might feel anxious about travelling with their children during the big summer getaway, new research from DisneyLife suggests it no longer needs to be stressful. Six in ten parents feel that kids today love travelling, more than previous generations, thanks to fun digital entertainment. With entertainment on trips proving so successful, the nationwide research revealed that more than one in ten children have actually complained when a journey finally ended.

With parents mixing traditional and modern tactics – Games like I Spy (66%), singing songs (48%), watching movies and cartoons (35%), and reading books together (23%) – proved some of the most popular routes to keeping kids entertained. Another approach saw one in five parents finding success by telling endearing stories to keep their children entertained, engaged, and on their best behaviour whilst travelling. Top stories revealed by the research, included:

Telling kids to get ready to see a bear, whenever the family’s Sat Nav said 'bear left’ or ‘bear right’

Telling children to help by leaning forward when going up steep hills, as otherwise the car wouldn’t make it up:


Encouraging children to smile at the traffic lights to make them change quickerTraffic Light
The biggest cause for kids’ tears and tantrums during travels was revealed as
restlessness and boredom (57%) followed by lack of entertainment (41%). To relieve boredom, the most essential items recommended by parents on long journeys included books (45%), music (43%), toys (42%) and tablets (40%). However, with backseat boredom in check, the study revealed that it now takes almost an hour and a half before every parent’s dreaded question ‘are we nearly there yet?’ is asked.

Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings comments: “The key to stress-free travel with young children lies in planning, preparation and not applying the same rules as you would at home. Playing traditional games, singing songs together and letting them watch movies and cartoons are the most successful ways of keeping your little ones from getting bored. Along with having enough food, drink and toys to keep them occupied – and a realistic sense of how long the journey is likely to take – these activities will all help eliminate travel anxiety and get you and your family to your destination with the minimum disruption.”

With journeys now one of the best bits of the holiday, DisneyLife has asked behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings to reveal some of the top Travel Hacks for parents to use with their kids this summer.

 

Travel Hacks


1. Provide a surprise bag for each child with some small stocking-filler type gifts.
This will provide both a welcome distraction and make the journey go quicker, especially if they are allowed to open a small gift every half hour (or every hour on longer trips).

Teddy Bear
2. Let each child pack a travel bag
Limit them to 5 or 6 small items, or they’ll probably choose to take everything! And if it’s their choice, it will help avoid discussion around forgetting a special plaything.

3. Travel at night
Think about driving, flying or going by train to your destination at night when your little ones are much more likely to sleep for most of the journey.

4. Think streaming apps and portable entertainment devices
In fact anything electronic that will play games, music, e-books, TV and movies. Preferably with headphones for your own sanity! And if you’re travelling abroad, make sure you download any games/films before you set off. The research revealed that 40% of parents view tablets as essential when travelling with their children.

5. Singalong
This is a great way to keep the whole family entertained. You could have your own ‘car-aoke’!

6. Reuse your bean-bag trays
Losing bits of toys or dropping food in the back of the car can be a major cause of frustration when travelling with little ones. If you have any of those cushioned bean bag bed trays, they are great for both playing on and catching any stray toys or food before they fall on the floor.

7. Clean away game
You can buy – or make – containers that hang over the back of the front seats. Kids can be encouraged to throw any rubbish away in these, so that you don't end up with a mass
 of bags/cartons and food crumbs on the car floor. You can also buy special pocketed net toy bags, which if within easy reach, can be hung over the front seats to make a toy tidy and provide easy access to a new plaything.

Here are a great collection of car accessories, that are essential for any travelling family!!

Chiara Cipriani, Vice President and General Manager, DisneyLife EMEA, said: “The holidays are such an exciting time for all the family. This research has revealed that travelling to your destination – be it by plane, train or car – simply doesn’t have to be something families merely endure – it can be a holiday highlight, as long as you plan ahead with enough entertainment!”

The nationwide UK study of parents, conducted by DisneyLife to celebrate the launch of its latest TV campaign ‘Are we there yet?’ polled over 1,000 British parents about the behavior of their children when aged 10 and younger.

DisneyLife offers Disney’s biggest collection of entertainment, including movies, books, music and Disney Channel TV box sets, all in one digital membership service. Visit www.DisneyLife.com, the App Store or Google PlayTM for more information on DisneyLife or to sign up for a free one month trial and continue your membership for £9.99 a month after your free trial ends. There’s no annual contract so members may cancel at any time.

Sun Cream At The Beach

Protecting Your Skin

Keeping your children safe is high on the agenda but many parents often forget to protect themselves, from the sun. Rates of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer have doubled in the last twenty years, with 14,000 cases and over 2,200 deaths registered last year. Exposure to sunlight is attributed as a high risk factor with number of UK residents travelling abroad having doubled from 1980 to 1989.

The UK’s leading skin cancer charity, Melanoma UK, have provided their top five tips for staying protected in the sun:

Slip, slop, slap

An average body needs a full shot glass size of sun cream to covers themselves adequately, around 20 minutes before you go outside. Apply sun cream again after going into water and reapply every 2 hours.

Sun cream heart

Bin the base tan

The idea of a base tan protecting skin is a myth. The process of acquiring a tan damages the skin, with the skin turning a brown colour to protect itself. Short, sharp sessions on a sun bed can be up to 15 times stronger than the Mediterranean mid-day sun.

Avoid the lobster look

The early evening sun can still be dangerous, especially in countries with warmer climates. Sun cream should be applied again after showering or utilise an after sun that offers sun protection.

Woman in Sun hat



Getting those vitamins

You only need a brief period of exposure of around 10-15 minutes in the sun to give your body its daily dose of vitamin D.

Check yourself, before you wreck yourself

Keep a check on our skin and make regular checks, using pay day as a guide, if you notice anything unusual always seek medical advice.

Doctor Check Up 

 

 

For more information please check out the links below:

  • Melanoma UK http://www.melanomauk.org.uk
  • Link to ONS data: Click Here
  • In 2014, skin cancer was the second most common type of cancer diagnosed for 15 to 49 year olds.
  • Males are more likely to get skin cancer.
  • Male skin cancer rates have increased at a greater rate than for females over the twenty years from 1995.
Finding Dory

Where To Find Dory and Friends

Finding Dory, the hotly anticipated sequel to the beloved Finding Nemo, is released on 29th July but that doesn’t mean you can’t start getting in the mood for this eagerly awaited film. Set one year after the original, Finding Dory focuses on the forgetful blue tang’s hunt for her parents. With plenty of new friends but also some old ones too, this is set to be the kids film of summer 2016. Even in the UK you can go and meet this exotic gang of fish.

Blue Tangs

The star of the film is one of the most popular fish of all time and there are endless places to find them in the UK. Take a trip to The Deep in Hull where there is an incredible array of tropical fish. Not only will you see Dory, you will also be able to see plenty of other creatures from the film too.

Clownfish

The last film was all about Nemo, while he takes a slightly smaller role in the sequel many kids will still love to see him. Sea Life London has one of the most impressive marine collections in the UK and you are sure to see some playing among the coral.

Octopus

Hank the grumpy octopus who’s missing a tentacle is Dory’s greatest ally in the new film. All he wants is a peaceful life of solitude but has to save the day first. Blue Reef Aquarium’s branch in Newquay has a beloved octopus who plays with a Mr Potato Head. Well worth a visit!

Beluga Whale

One of the newest character additions, Bailey has a flair for the dramatic. Beluga’s are extremely rare and we can’t find any aquariums in the UK that actually have them. However, they have been spotted in British waters. If you want the chance to see these majestic creatures, they were most recently spotted off the coast of Northumbria.

Sea Lion

Two more characters new to the film are Fluke and Rudder, a pair of sea lions who help Dory find her way. Some reviews are claiming these are the best supporting characters in the whole film and luckily they are plenty of places to visit them in the UK. At Woburn Safari Park you can actually go behind the scenes and meet these majestic creatures.

Spotted Eagle Ray

Mr Ray the jolliest, most exciting teacher makes a return too. In the film he moves a little too quickly but luckily you’ll always be able to see him in an aquarium. There are some aquariums that will let you touch a ray but the best spotted eagle rays are at Plymouth Aquarium, where they form a key part of the tropical display.

Will you be visiting any of these colourful characters before the film is released? Share your pictures with us.

Bradgate National  Park

Spectacular National Parks To Visit This Summer

This week is National Parks week! This week is the National Parks family's annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about Britain's breathing spaces. It runs from Monday 25 to Sunday 31 July 2016.

The theme for National Parks Week 2016 is adventure. With diverse landscapes, activities and events there's an adventure waiting at whatever scale suits you!

To celebrate this here are a few of our favourite parks from around the UK.

Richmond Park- The largest Royal Park in London (1,000 hectares/2,500 acres), and home to herds of Red and Fallow deer. This pastoral landscape of hills and woodlands set amongst ancient trees, with plants, animals and butterflies, offers a peaceful respite to visitors. The beautiful Isabella Plantation and Pembroke Lodge can also be found on site. For more information visit: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park

Sunset at Richmond Park London

St James Park – Every year millions of Londoners and tourists visit St James's Park, the oldest of the capital’s eight Royal Parks and covers 23 hectares (58 acres).

The park includes The Mall and Horse Guards Parade and is at the heart of ceremonial London, providing the setting for spectacular pageants including the annual Trooping the Colour.

The pelicans are fed every day at 14:30, and there are water birds, plus owls, woodpeckers and bats. There's a children’s playground, and deckchairs from April to September. Changing the Guard occurs daily in summer and alternate days for rest of year; The Queen's Lifeguard changes daily at Horse Guards Parade Ground.

For more information visit: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/st-jamess-park

St James Park London

Bradgate Park
- was first enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago!

Extending to 830 acres of publicly accessible countryside the Park has a wild and rugged aspect that you do not expect to find so close to the city with dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled old oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. If you do not fancy tramping over the hills, the lower part of the Park is easily accessible with a tarmac driveway running through the middle that is mainly traffic-free and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The River Lin runs through the Lower Park and is a popular spot to sit and picnic or just sit and watch the deer while children paddle in the shallows.

For more information visit: http://www.bradgatepark.org/

Bradgate Park Leicestershire

Swithland Wood
- is an attractive and atmospheric area of Ancient Woodland, covering 155 acres and rich in history and wildlife. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Swithland Wood is an important habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species.

Swithland Woods Leicestershire

Northumberland National Park - Get away from it all in the least populated of the UK’s National Parks. There are 700 miles of paths and trails to explore for the connoisseur outdoor enthusiast, or simply enjoy our enchanting wildlife and landscape, with all that nature has to offer. The locals will give you a warm welcome when you stop by for a hearty pint or slice of delicious cake. There is fun to be found in museums, at historic sites, houses and gardens across the National Park.

Our lack of light pollution means we officially have the darkest skies in England. In this Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park, you can stargaze at the Milky Way, just as Hadrian’s legionnaires did.

For more information visit: http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/cat/what-to-do/#sthash.NsmhfT8B.dpuf

Northumberland National Park

For more information on national parks week Please visit: http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/national-parks-week 

Travel Gadget Trunki

Five Gadgets That Make Travelling with Children Simple

 

Travelling with children is rewarding. Seeing them explore new cultures and experience new tastes and smells is wonderful. But it can also be extremely hard work. Constant checking and double checking, making sure they are fed and watered and keeping them entertained can mean a relaxing holiday is far from relaxing. However thanks to the wonders of technology, going away with little ones has been made infinitely easier.
Try these nifty little gadgets to make going away smoother, simpler and much more relaxing.

Ride on suitcase

Flying with children is one of the hardest parts of going on holiday. Aeroplanes are, by default, not comfortable. However many of the stresses can be eliminated thanks to the most innovative ride-on suitcase/in-flight bed. The ultimate travel companion for kids, the BedBox is a revelation and a saviour for parents all over. Seamlessly converting from a piece of great-looking hand luggage come ride on case to a handy inflight bed, the suitcase is perfect for children from 0 right up to six years old. Allowing kids to get a blissful night’s sleep and parents to get some rest before landing, the BedBox is great for parents and kids in equal measure.

JetKids BedBox

Toilet finding apps

When you’re in an unfamiliar place, finding the nearest public toilets can be a nightmare. Thankfully there are some great apps to make getting caught short a thing of the past. Toilet Finder is a great app that allows you to locate all the toilet facilities around you in an instant. Providing you with information such as how far away they are, how well they are rated, and whether they have wheelchair access, the app is a must for both domestic and international travel. The app is currently available on the iOS and Android stores.

Toilet Finding App

Wireless headphones

We all know that tablets and phones are perfect for keeping little ones entertained for hours. You can load them up with their favourite films, games and music. But sometimes you want a little respite from the Frozen soundtrack. These wireless headphones from LilGadgets are perfect for little ones as they come in a range of colours, are super comfortable over sensitive ears, and are wireless, meaning you won’t have to fight with wires constantly.

Wireless Headphones

Portable charger

As mentioned above, mobile devices are the perfect entertainment for kids. But playing games or watching a film for an hour and a half can drain batteries. Investing in a portable charger such as the EC Technology 2nd Gen Deluxe External Battery will make sure you don’t run into that problem. Small and compact, it holds an astonishing 22400mAh of power. You simply charge it up and plug your device in using its USB connection. And considering an iPad Air holds around 8600mAH of battery, and an iPhone holds 1,810mAH of battery power, the nifty little charger will keep your kids plugged in for hours. It also comes with a handy LED torch for when you can’t find your keys in your bag.

Portable Charger

 

Baby carrier

If your little one is still too young to walk, investing in a baby carrier is the best way to minimise tired tantrums but still explore all that your holiday destination has to offer. The Bebemon Music Baby Carrier with Built In Speakers is ideal for trips away as it folds down almost flat, yet still packs a powerful musical punch when it comes to keeping your baby entertained, or soothing them off into a blissful sleep. Coming complete with an audio jack, it can be connected to any audio device.

Baby Carrier

 

Have you tried any of the above? Let us know your tips for travelling with children.

 

Family Day Out At A National Park

The Formula To The Perfect Family Day Out

Family day out – planning for things to do for babies, toddlers, tweens and teens

With the school holidays on the horizon, families are set for six weeks of summer activities, attractions and fun days out together – but how do you craft the perfect day out?

Working with respected child psychologist Sarah Minder, North London shopping centre Brent Cross has compiled the ultimate guide for parents planning their family days out and activities. Should a good family day out be cheap or expensive? Should the kids be involved in the planning? Should it be things to do, or just one thing to do?

By grouping certain principles together, Brent Cross have created a formula that could help your family day out be something memorable, rather than a stress-filled outing.

Family Days Out – The Essentials

When planning a family day out with kids, a number of different methods and factors can be taken into account.

I for Involvement – It might seem like an idea designed to create a parental nightmare, but getting your kids involved in the planning stages is the first step to creating a great family day out. Spending some time together brainstorming ideas is the first step, being sure to include turn taking and taking everyone's needs into account as a great way of teaching compromise from the off.

This planning stage can help overcome differences in gender and age too. By working together as a family unit, you can choose an activity that works for all kids – boys and girls, toddlers to teens. This early planning helpfully leads into another key factor…

TA for Time Allocation – Even if it's just one child and one parent, time allocation is essential to ensure everyone has a good family day out. If the activity is all about the kids, a parent can feel drained. In a multi-child family, if everything is geared towards one age bracket or one gender, the other party can feel alienated and their enjoyment could turn to despondence. This counts for parents too – make sure that it's not a 'Kids Day Out', make sure you take steps to make it a family day out. For example, pick a good restaurant for adults that also serve food for kids…rather than the other way around!

TU for Teaming Up – Closely related to time allocation, teaming up is a great way of making the most of your family day out. Pair mother and son, daughter and dad and other variations to ensure everyone can have time together and, if necessary, time apart from each other too. This is especially important for older children who are striving for extra independence and responsibility and parents too. If the kids are of appropriate age, options for sibling together time – allowing the parents some respite – should never be actively discouraged. Equally if dealing with children that need a lot of supervision, parents can work together to create some solo time, ensuring that parents aren't just parenting outside – it's a proper family day out.

Cr for creativity – It's important not to be too rigid when you are on your family day out. A family day out is meant to be fun and occasionally some parents fall into a trap of turning things to do and activities into a 'mission', rather than leisure. Break up travelling time with fun games such as 'I spy', 20 questions and alike is a great way of keeping enthusiasm levels high in natural lulls that may occur on a family day out. Creativity can also involve diverting from the plan. You may have listed out your things to do beforehand, but if something unplanned suddenly appears – don't be afraid to redesign your family day out just because it was not in the schedule.

T for Tech (negative) – As everybody knows, kids with tech can lead to kids not talking…and it's true of parents too! Whether playing Angry Birds or checking work emails, engaging with tech likely means you're not engaging on your family day out. One of the best ways of managing this is to ensure that all members of the family agree a 'pact' to limit tech use on the day. That said, there can be tech benefits, as the next factor indicates…

C for capture – Don't hold back on photographs and films to capture your family day out. Not only do they create good memories, they add a sense of occasion to your activities, rather than feeling like 'just another day out.' Capturing images and video to document the day adds fun…and kids always make great content and enjoy being part of the production.

E for expense – Whether it's a free day out for the family, or some paid for things to do, expense can add an unnecessary burden to proceedings. Overspend and parents could find themselves exerting pressure on kids to enjoy themselves and if the kids aren't enjoying every minute, resentment can build on both sides. Equally, being overly stringent could lead to the day feeling restricted, or being viewed as a standard day out, rather than a fun family day out. The key here is balance, planning and setting expectations. Budget well, funny doesn't have to mean money and communicate, especially with older kids, to outline what is and is not in budget for the day to prevent disappointment or frivolity.

So with these factors outlined, Brent Cross have worked out the perfect formula for the perfect family day out;


PFDO = (I + TA) x (TU + CR) – (T/C)

E


While this is a good formula to follow in general, how does it apply to kids of all ages? We now show which bits of the equation you want to dial up and dial down depending on ages.

Babies – 0-18 months
It goes without saying that babies require less involvement in the planning stages, but there are some other aspects of the equation you should dial up and dial down – most notably time allocation and teaming up. A child of this age will spend most of their time in a buggy or pram, so will always need to be supervised…and time may need to be allocated for a nap too. This could provide parents with a chance to enjoy more adult time, both by going solo (one parent with the buggy of course!) and together.

At this tender age, the family day out doesn’t necessarily need to take into account concepts such as tech, creativity and expense. Put simply, the kids are too young to care!

Dial Up: Time Allowance (TA) and Teaming Up (TU).

Dial Down: Involvement (I), Creativity (Cr), Tech (T) and Expense (E).

Neutral: Capture (C).

Toddlers – 18 months – 5 years
Arguably the trickiest age to deal with, but the same lessons apply. The general equation should be followed, but with more emphasis on a few key elements.

At this age, creativity is key as the kids will get bored more easily than both younger and older groups. Time allowance is very important to this age group – spend too long doing one activity, especially if it's weighted towards a particular gender, you may find yourself dealing with a public tantrum.

As with the previous group, maturity – or lack thereof - will restrict the need to address costs, tech and pre-planning involvement.

Dial Up: Time Allowance (TA), Teaming Up (TU) and Creativity (Cr).

Dial Down: Involvement (I), Tech (T) and Expense (E)

Neutral: Capture (C)

Tweens – 6-11 years
This age group represents the sweet spot for the equation, as each element can be applied with ease. When it comes to nailing things to do, kids at this age can be consulted on the activity and will appreciate being part of it. Similarly, they are also responsive to image capture…but more likely to be distracted by phones and tablets, so the need to guard against negative tech usage increases. Many alterations can be made as you go up and down the age scale and gender variations should also be considered.

Dial Up/Dial Down/Neutral: As you were equation, as you were!

Teens (12-16)
At this age, there is a lot more dialling up than dialling down! More involvement is essential and shows a level of respect and accountability this age group will yearn for.

Time Allocation can be dialled down as the need for strict military planning can be lessened with this age group. More emphasis can be placed on Teaming Up, as siblings of similar ages can spend time together, but apart from parents. Despite these liberations, when family time is announced – the need to manage tech with this group heightens. It's not a family day out if half the family have their heads buried in a phone or tablet.

However, some tech leeway can be given in relation to capture. This age group live for sharable content…and they know how to use it! Making a teen 'official photographer' for the day is a great way of keeping them engaged, whilst also contributing to a great family day out.

Finally, expense can be dialled up. Kids of this age will know when too much or too little has been spent, but can also be placated with a separate budget. 'Pocket money', a pre-agreed amount paired with responsibility on how it's spent, is a great way of navigating this element.

Dial Up: Involvement (I), Teaming Up (TU), Tech (T), Capture (C), Expense (E)

Dial Down: Time Allocation (TA), Creativity (Cr)

Things to do in North London / Brent Cross this summer holiday

So with the equation for the perfect family day out secured, where to go? Brent Cross has the following to offer this summer holiday:

The Beach at Brent Cross, London's largest urban beach will be open from 1st July until the 4th September. Tickets cost £3 or free with the PLUS app.
There are a range of rides and slides at The Beach at Brent Cross the whole family can enjoy; from the daring Thriller Coaster to the feel good Merry Go Round. For the first time, the Beach at Brent Cross will also be screening this years' sport highlights for sporting enthusiasts; from Wimbledon to all the Olympic action from Rio.
There will be a range of exciting performers visiting the beach; with Brazilian dancers, stilt walkers and fire artists.
BeWILDerwood Curious Treehouse Adventure Park Family Fun Bridge

BeWILDerwood The Curious Treehouse Adventure Park.

Minty’s Whizzy Windmill Garden Parade - Sat 16th Jul til 4th Sep. Having fun outside is a top priority at BeWILDerwood, the curious treehouse adventure park near Wroxham.

BeWILDerwood, the curious treehouse adventure park
With lots of awesome structures to explore and magical, mystical woodland areas to find and play within the boggy bogs and marvellous marshes, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.

And that’s not all, due to the success of last year’s event, Minty’s Whizzy Windmills, Minty (the smallest Crocklebog) is putting on a full Whizzy Windmill Garden Parade! Taking place every day, all summer long!

BeWILDerwood Curious Treehouse Adventure Park Girl In Tree House

Everybody is welcome to join in the witty and wondrous daily variety of creative and captivating activities, from art and craft making to storytelling and face painting and it’s all included in the ticket price! That’s right, there’s no extra charge for any of the fantastic events at BeWILDerwood.

BeWILDerwood Curious Treehouse Adventure Park, Face Painting
Better yet, if you want to avoid any queues at the gate you can book online to ensure speedy entry into the park. We advise that you do so, but booking is not essential!

BeWILDerwood is a wild and imaginative adventure park with magical treehouses and a hint of intriguing characters, bringing a curious difference to the Norfolk Broads. BeWILDerwood is located in woodland off the A1062 near Wroxham, situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Norfolk Broads.

For more information about BeWILDerwood and all the events in 2016 visit www.bewilderwood.co.uk or call 01692 633033

Photo credits: Bewilderwood & James Robinson

Top 10 DIY Family Activities for Rainy Days Featured on Kids Travel 2 Blog

Top 10 DIY Family Activities for Rainy Days

With the British weather proving to be as undecided as always, it’s good to have some fun games the whole family can do easily when it starts to pour or if you just fancy a creative day.

The ideas below are from Hape, a company who specialise in toys that are environmentally friendly and help children develop keys skills.

The 10 games are all free and easy to make at home, perfect for on the go parents!

Top 10 DIY Family Activities for Rainy Days
If you would like to know more about Hape please click here
Night Before The Holiday Top Tips.

The Night Before: Your Pre-Holiday Checklist

 

Going on holiday is something we all look forward to. A time to spend time with loved ones, relax and explore new cultures, holidays create unforgettable memories for the whole family. However getting ready for a holiday can become somewhat stressful – especially as it creeps ever closer. But in order to make the most of the time you have together, follow these simply tips to ensure your holiday goes swimmingly and you get a good night’s sleep the day before you jet off.

 

The Night Before Holiday. Top Tips And Tricks

 

Check all your holiday documents are together and pack them at the top of your hand luggage

The last thing you want to be doing is searching for a passport 10 minutes before you leave your house, so make sure you have all your documents together in a wallet before you go to bed. That way, you can minimise the stress the next day and ensure you’re in full ‘holiday mode’. By putting them at the top of your hand luggage, you’ll be on track to hand them over to the desk straight away, meaning you can head through security quickly and sit back and relax while waiting for your flight.

 

Make a list of the last-minute items you still need to pack.

You can be as prepared as you like, but there are some things that you just cannot pack until the morning. Items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and other toiletries are prime examples of this. Making a list of the things you need to pop into your suitcases before you leave will help to minimise the 3am wake ups.


Confirm which toys will be making the trip.

There’s nothing more heart-breaking – or frustrating – than having to explain that not every toy can go with you on holiday. However doing it the day before will help to minimise tantrums and avoid early morning meltdowns.


Double check the luggage allowance and weigh it.

Over packing and being stuck with hefty fines at the checkout desk can really kick your holiday off to a bad start. Luggage allowance can vary greatly between airlines, so it’s always worth double checking before you go – even if you have flown recently. Investing in a portable suitcase scale is wise as you can take it with you and weigh your cases on the way back too – perfect for families who like bringing back souvenirs and memorabilia.


Check what facilities your hotel offers.

You’ll probably have checked this when you booked, but it’s always worth checking again to put your mind at rest – particularly when travelling with babies or very small children. If there’s not a shop nearby that sells nappies for example, you may need to think about taking enough to last you – at least for a couple of days.
We appreciate that going on holiday, particularly abroad can be stressful, however by following these simple ‘night before’ steps, you can rest assured that you will be prepared for any eventuality, leaving you ready to make the most of your time away together.

Do you have any tips for families about to jet off?

 

Avoid a wasp disaster this summer kids travel 2 blog

HOW TO AVERT A WASP DISASTER! 5 TIPS TO SAVE YOUR SUMMER

One minute everything is idyllic. It's a wonderful summer day in the park, or round the barbecue... the food is spread out on the grass, the kids have got their ice creams, the drinks are poured - and then the screaming starts! YES, THE WASPS HAVE ARRIVED!

Suddenly the children start batting wildly round their heads, drinks are spilled, bowls are knocked over! Where did they suddenly appear from? What to do? Well, you might hit out with a rolled newspaper - but don't! Frantic hitting is a sure way to get the wasps angry and the children running scared.

Keep Wasps Away This Summer

 

HERE ARE 5 TIPS ON WHAT TO DO TO KEEP YOUR COOL.

1. First Things First
Set up a competition amongst the kids… whoever spots the first wasp will win an extra ice cream. it's really important to watch out for the FIRST WASP to arrive on the scene. This is known as the "Scout", and scouting is exactly what it does. It will find the food, assess the scene, and report back to Headquarters.
2. Keep calm
You need a strategy here. Once the first wasp has arrived, get the children to stand back, put caps on bottles, move really spill-able things away. Then calmly let the wasp choose something delicious to settle down on. Your aim is not to disturb the wasp, but to … trap it.
3. Take It Prisoner
Trap it … before it's gone off to get the other gate-crashers. Best method for trapping the first "Scout' wasp: let it settle on, then trap it with an upturned glass, and keep it there, weighing down the glass if necessary. (This sounds like a good Father's task to me). That way you don't kill the wasp - which may alert and anger others. It will probably nibble away calmly, and it's worth sacrificing one dish to stop fifty more arriving.
4. Keep Food Safe: our ‘Edible' Spray keeps the Wasps Away
Most important of all - keep the wasps away with a good repellent. Trouble is, most of them are full of harsh chemicals, some are toxic, and they all taste foul. That is why The Lemongrass Trading Company (www.lemongrasstrading.com) has had this brilliant and unique idea for a spray that's safe, edible and pure:
LEMONGRASS 100% NATURAL "EDIBLE" WASP SPRAY
All the ingredients we use are from edible plants, some absolutely delicious, like Lemongrass, so it is SAFE and PURE, with no added chemicals - and it doesn't spoil your food or drink (in fact, we think it adds a certain zest!).
5.Wasp Stings and Allergies
Stung? If the worst happens, try to pull out the visible ‘sting', soothe with an effective pain-easer like Wasp-Ese. Applying ice can help.

 

Allergic? A wasp allergy can be serious: if any one is susceptible, always pack a pre-loaded adrenaline syringe.

Now, have the greatest picnics, BBQs and outdoor drinks ever!

New ‘edible' Wasp Spray made from Lemongrass,with no added chemicals.So it's safe Lemongrass Sprayfor your family, your food, your drink - there are other Anti-Bug Sprays for Midges & Mosquitoes too.
Price £7.95 (
50ml )post free.

Click here:

http://www.lemongrasstrading.com/products/anti-wasp-spray

Fussy Eaters On Holiday Top Tips and Tricks

Managing Fussy Eaters on Holiday

 

Refusing to eat anything green, raw or anything with tomatoes in, is an all too common occurrence that parents the world over have to contend with once or twice. Many children go through phases of being fussy eaters. And although a nuisance at home, when going away on holiday, it can cause you to run into problems. If your little one is being somewhat less adventurous with food, follow these simple steps to make going away on holiday that much more pleasant.

Fussy Eaters On Holiday


Let them choose where you eat once or twice

Even if you have gone all-inclusive, the chances are there will be more than one restaurant on site. Giving your child the option to choose where you eat, either at lunchtime or at night, is a great way of helping them to feel like they are included and they’re not being punished for not eating certain foods. It also means that the whole family will be able to eat a good meal together at least once a day.


Let them see you enjoying your food

It’s no secret that children copy their parents, so if they see you enjoying your food, they are more likely to try it and enjoy it too.

Embrace buffets

Buffets are standard on holidays – particularly in hotel resorts. Offering a huge variety of foods from around the world, buffets are certain to cater for fussy little eaters. Buffets are also great for allowing kids to choose how much they put on their plate and getting them used to portion sizes.


Take some snacks with you

Taking snacks you know they like, such as cereal bars and dried fruit bags are perfect for warding off hunger pangs in-between meals. Although it may seem excessive, there’s nothing worse than a hungry child that can’t find anything to eat that they like.


Keep to a routine

Although on holiday it can seem lovely to ignore the rules of everyday life and be free and easy when it comes to mealtimes, if you have a fussy eater or two in tow, sticking to mealtime routines is often the best way to avoid arguments about food. Eating late at night will only result in children being tired, hungry and grumpy, meaning they are less likely to eat what is in front of them.


Don’t stress too much about it

We all want our children to be healthy and eat a varied diet, but sometimes – particularly on holiday – we have to be a little less strict to avoid ruining the time away together. As long as they are eating, going a little bit ‘slack’ won’t matter too much. Just make sure to focus more on the healthy foods they like to make up for the not so healthy items.

 

Exotic Holiday Destinations - KidsTravel2 Blog

Exotic holiday destinations that won’t break the bank

 

Travelling the world to far-flung destinations can seem scarily expensive but by picking the right spots, it can be done at penny-pinching prices. New research has revealed that couples can now jet off to holiday paradises including Thailand, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi for under £1,000.

 

Exotic Holiday Destinations That Wont break the bank


The money saving gurus at VoucherBox.co.uk have picked out long-haul destinations that can be ticked off the bucket list at a bargain price. For no more than £1,000, a couple flying from London Heathrow in the middle of June for one week can holiday in Malaysia, Delhi, South Africa, Thailand and Indonesia.

Further cheap destinations include Jordan, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Jetsetters can now travel and see the world without years of saving just by picking the right long-haul destinations. Researchers looked at the costs of a one-week holiday from Saturday, June 18, to Saturday, June 25 – with return flights from London Heathrow and a double hotel room at a four-star hotel included.

The best money-saving resort this year is Dubai, with research showing that a couple could holiday for one week in the hotspot, including flights and hotel for two, for only £718. That means it would cost £291 each for a return economy flight, and £136 for a week’s hotel stay.

Fellow United Arab Emirates destination Abu Dhabi is also a cheaper option, costing a total of £811 for a holiday in the sun – with flights priced at £303 each and a hotel room costing £205. If the kids are fans of swimming and adventure, Abu Dhabi

Yas Waterworld

 

Travelling even further afield, a week’s holiday to the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, can be done on a budget too with a low costing of £834 found. This includes return flights for two from London Heathrow at £720 and a double hotel room in the midst of the buzzing city for only£114.

If you’re looking to spice up your summer season this year, jet off to Delhi, in India, for £865 for two people – with flights for £644 for two people travelling and a double hotel room at £221. In comparison, staying within India but choosing a holiday to the west-coast city of Mumbai can still be done on the cheap, but coming in at just under £1,000 – in total, £944. 

The gateway of India Mumbai- KidsTravel2 blog

 

It seems that a number of South-East Asia favourites can also be holidayed on without worrying about money. A trip to the bustling city of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, will set you back only £914 – with flights available for £394 per person and a four-star hotel costing £153.

This is as well as the historic but modern city of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, and Hong Kong, in China. A visit to Kuala Lumpur will cost from £959 for two, whereas a week’s vacation in Hong Kong will put you back £970.


And if you’d prefer a spot of safari during the week, why not look to South Africa for some holiday inspiration. Johannesburg, the capital of the country, is within driving distance of the Pilanesberg National Park – and a week’s holiday within the city can cost only £869. In detail, this includes flights for £351 and a week’s double hotel room for only £167.

kruger national park


There’s even something for the most adventurous of people – how about a visit to Jordan, otherwise known as the “jewel of the Middle East”. A flight and week’s stay in Amman, the capital city, can cost only £937 for two people and gives you the perfect chance to see Petra, the famous city of carved tombs and one of the seven wonders of the world.

Shane Foster from VoucherBox.co.uk said: “The summer season is here and now is the perfect time to start booking your holiday, but this year, why not look a bit further afield and discover your adventurous side.

“Nowadays, more people are wanting to travel that bit further and see the world and by finding the right deals and places, it doesn’t have to be too expensive.

“There is a feeling that you have to spend months of saving to visit long-haul destinations but that isn’t the case.

“We hope that our customers take inspiration from our useful research and get the chance to go on a trip of a lifetime.”

Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly

Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly

 

A city break isn’t just for couples or groups of friends looking to explore new cultures and see some of the world’s greatest wonders. Families can enjoy all the best bits of cities just as much, safe in the knowledge that their little ones won’t come to harm. Here are five of the best European cities that are family-friendly.

Barcelona

Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly Barcelona

The capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Barcelona is a colourful and vibrant city that eludes pleasure and entertainment. Offering everything that is most delightful about Mediterranean cities – months of endless sunshine, a relaxed pace, unbeatable food and the inimitable benefit of having a metropolitan city lining one of the most glorious beaches in the whole of Spain, Barcelona really is one of a kind. Eternally family-friendly, the city is packed with welcoming hotels and restaurants for those of all ages.

 

Reykjavik

 Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly Reykjavik

The Icelandic city is one of the safest in Europe. And as a consequence, it’s not unusual to find Icelandic babies sleeping in their prams outside shops in Reykjavik. Outside of the city centre, the once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as thermal hot springs – many with children's sections and the ever-stunning Northern Lights never fail to disappoint. Neither does the myriad of adventures with Icelandic horses, whale watching and hiking.

 

Munich

Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly Munich

The Bavarian capital is awash with everything little ones would need to be entertained. From the Toy Museum to the Deutsches Museum, one of the largest and oldest science museums in the world, you’ll find a plethora of child-focussed activities in Germany’s most eclectic and historical city. For Disney fans, the Neuschwanstein Castle will leave them in awe. The inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's home, the Castle is one of the city’s highlights.

 

Dubrovnik

Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly Dubrovnik

A walled city that overlooks the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and as such, is one of the world’s most glorious cities. The stunning city caters to all needs and interests, thanks to its unique culture and history and as well as the incredible activities on offer, such as kayaking, diving and incredible boat trips.

 

Rome

Five European Cities You Never Realised Were Family-Friendly Rome

The capital of ancient history, Rome is intriguing and striking in equal measure. Offering fantastic cuisine, glorious weather and a laid-back and friendly haven, Rome will leave even the youngest travellers feeling inspired. Kids love exploring the ancient ruins and learning about the history of the fantastic European country. But obviously not as much as they love sampling the gelato and pizza the city is most famous for.

 

A Family Guide to Anglesey

For more information: http://www.silverbay.co.uk

Top 10 Tips For Travelling Round London

Credit to: http://www.lastretchlimos.co.uk/

Stay Safe in the Sun this Summer

Stay Safe in the Sun this Summer

 

Thousands of Brits will be boarding planes in search of some sun over the summer months. Although it’s natural to want to get out into the sun, we all know that it carries certain dangers. So how can you make sure you stay safe in the sun this summer?

Stay Safe in the Sun this Summer

Always use sunscreen

The single most important tip of all is to make sure you use a good quality sunscreen. Protecting skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, it helps to prevent sunburn. Depending on what type of skin you have will depend on what sun factor you need, but children and babies should always have factor 50+ applied, as their skin is much more sensitive to burns. It’s widely recommended that you apply sunscreen half an hour before going into the sun, and make sure you reapply it regularly – especially after swimming.

Cover Up

Although sunscreen helps to protect the skin, the only way you can really make sure skin is protected is by covering it up. Light coloured clothes reflect the sun’s rays, meaning that even in hot weather you’ll stay cool. Seeking shade when on the beach and wearing a hat and sunglasses when out and about will help to protect sensitive heads and eyes and ward off sunstroke.

Drink Plenty of Water

Hot weather can dehydrate bodies very quickly – especially active children. Dehydration can lead to sunstroke when in hot climates, so it’s important to make sure you carry plenty of fluid with you when you go out and replenish the body’s supply regularly.

Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm

Stay Safe in the Sun this Summer

The sun always emits harmful rays, however between 11am and 3pm the sun is at its highest, and consequently, strongest. Avoiding direct sunlight during this period will help to protect you from the effects of the sun, such as sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration.

It’s nigh-on impossible to stay out of the sun at all times when on holiday, and the last thing we want to do is ruin your fun. However the dangers of prolonged sun exposure – particularly to fragile children’s skin – is well documented. With cases of skin cancer on the rise in Europe, making sure you follow these top tips will help to protect you and your family from the sun and help you live a long, healthy and happy life.

6 Child-Friendly Holiday Destinations You Never Thought Of!

 

6 Child-Friendly Holiday Destinations You Never Thought Of!

When it comes to choosing where to jet off to on a family holiday, the options can seem overwhelming. Often opting for well-known destinations such as mainland Spain, many families are missing out on some truly fantastic locations that offer just as much – if not more – than the traditional European destination. So if you’re looking for some inspiration for a getaway this summer, take a look at six of the most child-friendly destinations you may never have thought of.

Fiji

Families looking for a bit of R&R could do no better than the glorious island of Fiji. Floating in the South Pacific, unrivalled resorts are on hand to cater for the whole family. One of the most child-friendly places in the world, you can be sure that your children will be safe and secure exploring the area while you are left free to recharge your batteries on the magnificent beaches or with one of the many spa treatments offered by the hotel resorts.

Greek Islands

Greek islands

Thanks to party capitals like Malia and Zante, Greek islands are often rebuffed by families in favour of ‘safer’ choices. But with its dazzling array of beaches, crystal clear seas and unrivalled weather, families are looking to the Greek islands to offer something different. Rethymnon on Crete offers a real fun family break for kids young and old, and the islands of Corfu, Rhodes and Kos are awash with safe, family friendly resorts, while offering plenty to occupy young minds. For those looking for an altogether quieter escape, the island of Kefalonia provides a beautiful backdrop for more relaxing getaways.

Croatia

Once a hidden gem, Croatia is gaining a cult following for being one of the most stunning and unspoilt places in the world. The car-free island of Lopud has become a firm favourite with families thanks to its incredible beaches – such as Sunj bay – which comes complete with shallow water ideal for small children.

Tulum Mexico

Mexico

Once not considered a viable option for families due to non-direct flights, Mexico is now reaping the benefits of direct flights from the UK. Becoming increasingly popular with British families over the last couple years, the American influence in the popular resort of Cancun means that it now offers the fabulous service associated with its northern sister, together with child-friendly resorts, waterparks and tours of its heritage. Put that together with the stunning beaches and unique Caribbean climate, Mexico really is one of the finest destinations for families small and large.

Morocco

Morocco is one of the most exciting places in the world. Lively markets make for an interesting visit as tourists soak up the cultures of the unique country. Those looking for a bit of adventure should pay a visit to the Atlas Mountains in the village of Imlil; great for hiking, it’s around an hour and a quarter away from popular resort Marrakech. And if all that is not enough, there’s always camel rides galore to keep kids occupied.

Sri Lanka

The exotic country of Sri Lanka is the ideal choice for families looking for something that little bit different. Famous for its palm-lined beaches and picturesque views, it also offers great value for money. Food and drinks are incredibly cheap, giving the whole family the opportunity to taste some of the unique flavours that have put Sri Lankan cooking up there with the very best. Packed to the rafters with mystical temples and tea plantations, kids will love visiting and learning all about the culture, while the abundance of national parks will keep them entertained as they stare in awe at elephants and endangered species.

Blockbuster Movies for the Kids this Summer

Blockbuster Movies for the Kids this Summer

 

The summer holidays are a time for kids to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. However with the British weather being unreliable, thankfully Hollywood has a few tricks up its sleeve for parents to help keep the little ones entertained this summer. Much hyped animated adventures featuring kids’ favourite characters, eagerly awaited action sequels and one of the most anticipated films of the last decade are set to hit the big screen over the next few months. We take a look at some of the best flicks to hit the big screen, certain to ignite young ones’ imagination and demand their attention.

 

The Angry Birds Movie

Angry Birds The Movie

Arguably the most long awaited film of them all, is set to take the cinema world by storm over the next couple of months. Capturing the hearts of players everywhere when the game launched in 2009, the franchise has spawned several spin offs, merchandise galore and a television show. Following the birds as they try and steal their eggs back from the pigs, the film focuses on friendship and teamwork in order to get them through tough times.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Following 2014's reboot, follows the four most famous turtles of all time as they battle to save the world from yet another villain. Fun, fast and funny, TMNT is the latest in a long line of films, TV shows and comics featuring the foursome. Standing the test of time, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were originally coined in 1984, and have been a beacon of heroism for kids ever since.

 

Finding Dory 

Finding Dory

The sequel we have all been waiting for since Finding Nemo hit our screens in 2003. Starring Nemo’s forgetful friend, as well as Nemo and some other familiar faces, the film is a feel good story set to entertain kids and tug on parents’ heartstrings. Boasting an all-star cast, the Find Dory does what Disney does best, highlighting the importance of friends and family. Ideal for children of all ages, this one will entertain the whole family.

 

The BFG

Directed by Steven Spielberg, is based on Roald Dahl's much loved fantasy book. The story sees orphan Sophie befriend the BFG (The Big Friendly Giant), before they set off on an adventure to stop the not so friendly giants who eat children. Designed for kids in mind, the visuals are stunning and captivating, however smaller children might be frightened by the giants.

Suitcases In The Airport

How To Pack Hand Luggage Effectively

 

Choosing what to take away on a summer holiday (and what will actually fit in a suitcase) can be a tough process. Potentially more stressful is managing to squeeze everything needed into the regulated size of hand luggage for aeroplanes, especially if travelling with young children.

“The key is to start with a list of what you want to take and then start packing with what is really essential, followed by less important items” says Fay Watt, Managing Director of NatraSan.

Here, Fay shares her top hand luggage essentials to ensure stress-free packing and a smooth journey.

Aeroplane Cabin

Fully charged phone/tablet/kids tablet and headphones for everyone – this one is self-explanatory and the easiest form of entertainment.

Books and toys – If you’re travelling without children, a flight is a great time to catch up on your favourite novel. However, your chances are slim if travelling with young kids! Bring along a couple of their favourite books, a few toys – children have amazing imaginations for play – and perhaps colouring books or a puzzle.

Multipurpose sanitiser – Research has shown that the average tray table on a plane harbours nearly 20 times more bacteria than a toilet flush!* NatraSan’s 100ml Travel Buddy multipurpose spray is 100% natural and kills 99.9999% of germs and bacteria. The hypochlorous formula can be used to sanitise hands and plane tray tables safely as well as being a refreshing face spritz and first aid spray.

One spare outfit for everyone – if your hold luggage gets delayed or lost, at least you will all have a clean outfit to wear!

A multi-balm that can be used to hydrate your face and lips – the air conditioning on
planes can really dry your skin out. Equally, you can end up feeling a bit clammy too so baby wipes can help for a quick freshen up (as well as being useful for almost anything!).

Hard sweets or lollies – back in the day, sweets were handed out on take-off and landing. Nowadays, I always keep a packet of hard sweets handy to prevent ears popping. Lollies can be easier for young children to suck.

If travelling with children, remember that they usually get their own hand luggage allowance too so take full advantage of this, even if you have to carry it yourself!

 Natrasan Sanitiser

NatraSan costs £10.00 for 250ml and the Travel Buddy is £7.00 for 100ml. Available at www.natrasanuk.com  

Top 5 UK Attractions Kids Can Enjoy

Top 5 UK Attractions Kids Can Enjoy

 

Ah, summer holidays. Six weeks of careless fun and freedom, with no early morning get ups, no homework and no Monday mornings… unless of course you’re a parent faced with the prospect of keeping little balls of energy entertained all day long for a month and a half.

The Great British summer really spoils us for choice when it comes to days out and things to do. From theme parks to zoos and safaris, you might find six weeks isn’t really enough time to see it all! If you’re struggling to decide where to go, here’s our pick of top attractions…

Harry Potter Experience

The magical world of Harry Potter is loved by both children and adults alike. The Harry Potter Experience is an incredible studio tour, taking you and your little Wizards behind the scenes to see how the films were made. Take the time to explore some sets, get pictures in the Weasley’s flying car and enjoy some expert tuition in the art of wand craft. It is a truly spectacular experience that your children will remember long after the back to school blues set in in September.

Gulliver’s Kingdom

Step into the enchanted world of Gulliver’s Kingdom, which is packed with exciting rides and gigantic adventures. Set in rural Derbyshire, the views across the Peak District are unrivalled. This magical kingdom has plenty to offer for children aged two and up.

Longleat Safari Park

This is the largest safari drive through in the UK. As well as your chance to see the Serengeti in all its glory in rural Wiltshire, there’s also hundreds of other things to see and do. Main square provides children the opportunity to get up close and personal with a selection of animals and there are plenty of other activities that will entertain them for hours – not to mention the chance to see lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and elephants close up and in person. If want something a little more adult orientated the main house and gardens will provide a relaxing escape.

National Space Centre

With British astronaut, Tim Peake hitting the headlines there hasn’t been as much of a buzz about space travel in years. At The National Space Centre your children will have the chance to experience what it is like to blast off. There is also a huge array of space memorabilia to explore. The NSA is also home to the largest planetarium in the UK, where you can sit back and marvel at the stars.

Legoland

Are you children too young for Alton Towers but too old for Gulliver’s land? Don’t panic, Legoland is the perfect compromise. With exciting rides and Lego themed experiences, it makes for a fun day out for all the family. There’s a driving school, fire academy and castaway camp to keep the slightly older children happy too. Don’t miss Brickville, entirely dedicated to Lego’s younger incarnation Duplo.

Will you be taking your children on any of these fantastic days out? Share your favourite days out with us on our social media pages.

 

 

Image credit: www.dailymail.co.uk

Camping In The UK This Summer

Camping with Kids: What To Pack, Where to Go, What to Do

Holidays abroad aren't the only trips you can take with your kids – camping right here in the heart of the UK can be just as fun, and half as costly! Here are some tips and tricks if you’re planning a family camping trip, including what to pack, where to go and what to do.

What to pack

Obviously, you’ll be packing the tent, your clothes, toiletries, a first aid kit and all of the other camping essentials – but here are a few extras that will make your trip that little bit easier.

Comfortable sleeping pads. Children can have trouble sleeping when they’re not in their usual surroundings, so the best thing you could possibly do is to ensure their bed is as comfortable as possible with a foamy sleeping pad and pillow.

Maps, binoculars, compass and torches. What’s the point in camping if you can’t teach children a little more about the Great Outdoors? These small items can fit in a children’s backpack, and they can enhance the whole experience for little ones.

Clothes for all weather permutations. British weather is notoriously unpredictable – if you’re packing swimwear, you should also pack waterproofs just in case! If you’re packing wool jumpers and heavy coats, don’t forget to include a few light vests in case the weather picks up.

Where to go

The UK has an abundance of child-friendly camping sites – here are just a few:

Arthur’s Field is one of the most popular family camp sites in England. Situated in Treloan, Cornwall, there are plenty of exciting activities for children to get involved in, including feeding the animals on-site, camp-fire storytelling and art workshops.

Beddgelert camp site in the heart of Wales is situated right in the middle of a forest – but it’s just a five-minute walk to a local village with all the amenities you need. There’s a kid’s playground on site, as well as local attractions including Go Ape, the Welsh Highland Railway, and of course, Mount Snowdon.

Jerusalem Farm in Yorkshire is one for families who want to ‘rough it’. Children can learn about nature here, and there’s plenty of nature walks and cycle paths for the more active residents.

What to do

You've got no iPads, no television and no distractions – it sounds idyllic, but some parents break out into a cold sweat as they panic about keeping their little ones entertained without electricity! Here are a few suggestions:

A scavenger hunt is a typical camping activity that’s great for kids of all ages. Create a list beforehand (you can find many online) and send your little ones off (in groups of two, at least) to find leaves of a certain colour, rocks of a certain shape or special items like shells, seeds and pine cones.

Kids will love the thrill of cooking on a camp fire – it’s totally different from the microwave or oven at home! Ask for their help putting marshmallows onto skewers, but make sure you do the actual roasting yourself!

Start a ‘Camping Olympics’ competition. You could even get other families on the site involved! If you’re near a beach you’ll have an ideal space for the long jump, and a tug-o-war can be set up easily with just a piece of rope. Add in nature-themed events like skipping stones, or posing like a tree for the longest!

 

Top 5 Tip For Traveling As Single Parent: A Handy Guide

Top 5 Tip For Traveling As Single Parent: A Handy Guide

Travelling anywhere with children can be incredibly challenging – and doubly so if you’re a single parent. But as difficult as travel can be when there are little mouths to feed and small bladders to think about, taking your child abroad can be incredibly rewarding. From navigating the airport to keeping the little ones entertained throughout the entire trip, we've come up with a quick and easy guide to flying solo with children.

Make time.

At every point in your trip, from checking in at the airport to exploring and sightseeing when you reach your destination, you need to make sure you have enough time. Tantrums can occur at any time, and can easily eat twenty minutes from your schedule. Frequent toilet stops will also be a feature of your trip, especially if you’re travelling with a child that’s only just out of nappies and hasn't quite grasped the concept of ‘holding it in’! Leave plenty of time for all of your activities, rather than trying to do everything at the last minute.

Get the kids involved.

When it comes to public transport and airports, children can easily become bored and grumpy, especially if they feel they’re being dragged around with no real understanding of what’s going on. Try to get your little ones involved – ask them for help finding the gate number at the airport, or tell them that whoever spots the correct bus first gets to choose where they sit when they’re on the bus.

Keep snack packs to hand.

On the first day of your trip, make a pit-stop at a supermarket or local shop and stock up on snacks that will reasonably last you the entire holiday. Granola bars, crackers and pretzels make ideal snacks, and bags of seeds and nuts are also great (as long as your little one isn't allergic!). You should also stock up on fresh fruit each day, to avoid children becoming grumpy if they’re hungry before dinner.

Research child-friendly destinations beforehand.

Many hotels offer child-friendly facilities, and it’s worth doing your research to ensure you find one that caters to your needs. The same goes for local attractions – take the time before your trip to scope out the pushchair-friendly museums, or the botanical gardens where kids go free.

Tell everyone you have kids.

Okay, we don’t necessarily mean start telling strangers on the street that you’re on holiday with your children – but you should tell the team on your plane or train, and the staff in your hotel right from the off. They’ll most likely be able to offer an extra pair of hands (especially if you’re travelling with more than one child) and can suggest other child-friendly activities or places that you could visit.

 

Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

Train Journeys With Kids: Things To Consider

 

The summer holidays are almost here and that means families all over the UK are planning their getaways. With household budgets still stretched many families will stick to the UK for their holidays. While most will drive to their destination, this is nowhere near as exciting as getting the train. Smaller children especially will be excited about the prospect of a train journey – if you are more worried about corralling the kids on a public train, try these tips…

The Sandwich

Railway stations are exciting places for children but can also be very dangerous. You do not want them to wander off. Keeping them safe can be easily turned into a game. Mum and dad are the bread and your children will be the fillings. Since you never want a filling on the outside of the bread they always have to stay between the two slices.

Entertainment

You have to keep your children entertained while travelling but you also need to be considerate of other passengers. They will very quickly become bored if you try to play the quiet game but there are lots of fun games that won’t disturb other travellers. Activities like eye-spy, dot-to-dot and colouring will keep them entertained and not annoy other passengers.

Alternatively, you could take your tablet along and allow them play or watch their favourite shows. Don’t forget to take a charger and a pair of headphones. However, while tablets are a great way to entertain in short bursts, long periods of screen time can harm a child’s development so add in some other fun activities.

Food

Picky eaters and a limited food cart packed with crisps and sugary snacks don’t mix. Take a picnic along as you might do if you were travelling by car. Try cutting the kids’ sandwiches into train shapes or ass a theme to the picnic to tie in with the journey. A great way to maintain peace and make sure they eat their lunch!

Luggage

Pack children’s backpacks with everything they need for the journey. This gives them some added responsibility which most will really relish. If you have more than one child, splitting the activities and picnic between each bag will stop them arguing. There’s lots of fun, great quality

 

Bewilderwood Boat Trip

Bewilderwood May Half-Term Ideas

Curious Capers at BeWILDerwood this May Half Term 

Curious Crocklebog Costume Caper is running from Sat 28th May until Sun 5th June 

Mildred, the world’s most famous vegetarian Crocklebog, is searching for families to join her for the Curious Crocklebog Costume Caper this May Half Term at BeWILDerwood! 

Bewilderwood Forrest

Make yourself look as marvellous as Mildred and create some authentic Crocklebog attire! With a spatter of sparkle and a gallon of glitter you can make a Mildred-style costume at the BIG HAT craft tent. The Twiggle team will help you make all kinds of things, such as cuffs, collars, tails and tiaras to wear as you join the Boggles and Twiggles on a marvellous, noisy, musical jaunt after every interactive story at the fabulous storytelling stage! 

Bewilderwood Twiggle Houses

Everybody is welcome to join in and it’s all included in the ticket price! 

Born to BeWILD (Under 92cm) Free 
Almost WILD (92-105cm) £13.50 
BeWILD Now (over 105cm) £15.50 
Used to BeWILD (65 years+) £9.00 

That’s right, there’s no extra charge for any of the fantastic events at BeWILDerwood. 

Better yet, if you want to avoid any queues at the gate you can book online to ensure speedy entry into the park. We advise that you do so, but booking is not essential! 

Bewilderwood Crown

BeWILDerwood is a wild and imaginative adventure park with magical treehouses and a hint of intriguing characters, bringing a curious difference to the Norfolk Broads. BeWILDerwood is located in woodland off the A1062 near Wroxham, situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Norfolk Broads. 

For more information about BeWILDerwood and all the events in 2016 visit www.bewilderwood.co.uk or call 01692 633033 

Harry Potter Stuido Number 4 Privet Drive

Number Four, Privet Drive Opens It's Doors To Visitors!

 

For the first time ever, visitors will get the chance to step inside number four, Privet Drive and peer into the Dursleys’ living room as the exterior set is opened especially for the Studio Tour’s 15th anniversary celebrations of the film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

 

Letters In Number 4 Privet Drive

 

From Friday 27th May – Monday 6th June visitors will have the opportunity to walk through the front door and look into the Dursleys’ front room where hundreds of Harry’s Hogwarts letters created by MinaLima, the graphic designers for all eight Harry Potter films, will be suspended in the air as though they’ve flown through the fireplace as they did in the iconic scene from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The letter that started Harry’s adventure at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry featured so prominently in the film that an astonishing 10,000 of these envelopes were created for the first Harry Potter film and were even printed on extra lightweight paper so the owls could carry them.

 

Close Up Of The Letters At Number 4 Privet Drive

 

 

Fans will remember number four, Privet Drive as the Muggle home where Harry spent most of his childhood with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Cousin Dudley. During production, set decorators were tasked with filling the house with quirky pieces of furniture and had lots of fun sourcing the ugliest sofas, worst tiles and most unattractive curtains possible which will be on display in the dressed set.

 

The Flying Letters At Number 4 Privet Drive

 

Also on display for the first time in the Studio Tour will be the Dursleys’ costumes which proved to be a rich source of inspiration for Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky. She remembers them being the most fun to dress, creating clothes that appeared out of date and pretentious for Mr and Mrs Dursley, as well as hideous jumpers for young Dudley.

In addition to the opening of number four, Privet Drive, Warner. Bros Studio Tour London will be showcasing the equipment that was used to shoot Harry’s Hogwarts letters through the letterbox of number four, Privet Drive. The machine, which was specially created for the film by award winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson, will be on display in the Studio Tour during the feature between 27th May - 6th June

Tickets must be pre-booked at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk or by calling the Studio Tour’s Visitor Services Team on 0345 084 0900 and cannot be bought at the attraction.

Choosing Child Friendly Accomodation

Choosing Child-Friendly Accommodation

The success of a family holiday can hinge on the accommodation – after all, it’s where you’ll be recharging your batteries every night, and you’ll probably spend a fair amount of time eating there, too. So how can you ensure that you’ve chosen accommodation that is child-friendly? Here are a few tips:

Location, location, location

If you’re relying on public transport while on holiday, make sure your hotel is centrally located and within walking distance of a bus stop or train station that is well served. Alternatively, choose a hotel that is close to all the main attractions. If it’s located centrally, there’s more likely to be an array of food shops, cafes and restaurants nearby, too.

Kitchen facilities

Try to ensure you book a room that has its own small kitchen facility – even if it’s just a fridge and a microwave. You can prepare breakfast, snacks and milk in the comfort of your room, which will be of endless relief to parents with young children and their unpredictable appetites.

In-hotel entertainment

Many resorts offer a children’s entertainment programme that gives parents a little time to themselves during the day. Children will be well looked-after by qualified carers, with plenty of fun activities for them to enjoy. In these resorts, evening entertainment is also based around children, with dancing and party games – so Mum and Dad can enjoy a glass of wine in peace!

Wi-Fi

Not only is Wi-Fi great if you’re planning public transport routes or scoping out the local area, it’s ideal if you need to keep the little ones entertained for a few moments while you get dressed, prepare food or tidy up. Let your little ones play a game or watch a fun video while you take a few moments to yourself.

Ask about soundproofing

Getting children to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings can be hard enough – and it’s made even worse by heavy footsteps going past your door every ten minutes, or loud conversations coming from the next room. Check with the hotel that rooms are soundproofed beforehand to guarantee everyone a good night’s sleep.

Check the bathtub

Showers aren't usually appropriate for very small children, so you’ll need to check that your hotel has a bathtub ahead of time. There’s a trend for city centre hotels to save space and only install a shower cubicle, but it’s worth splashing out (no pun intended) on a slightly better room to ensure you can bathe your little ones rather than awkwardly showering each day.

Top 6 Tips For Packing Your Child's Suitcase

 

Going anywhere with children can be fairly stressful but going away on holiday has the potential to take pre-getaway worries to a whole new level. There are so many things you need to take and only so much time to pack them all. Naturally, your children will also have their own children’s luggage – use this check-list to be sure you've got everything you need before you jet off.

A Child’s Suitcase

Let your children choose their own kids suitcase that they love. From old favourites like Spider man to the latest Disney Princesses, choosing is part of the fun. If you’re about to fly somewhere, a ride along suitcase like the Trunkie or JetKids BedBox can make life much easier.

If you can't decide here is a handy guide to help you out. 

 

Make Lists

Organisation is the key to good packing. In the rush not to forget passports and chargers, it’s easy to forget other essentials like adaptors and insect repellent. Make a list in the weeks before your trip and tick off as you go. If you’re really frazzled, do a quick Google search for a ready-made list and print off.

Plastic Bags

Sort out all the outfits your child will need for the entire holiday. When you have all these together, place each outfit into a resealable plastic bag with a tumble dryer sheet. Not only is this an excellent way to organise, it also keeps the clothes smelling fresh and minimised the risk of over packing.

Your Bag

Undoubtedly there will be some items that have to go into your luggage because they simply won’t fit in your child’s. Try and use your bag for the most essential of items such as toiletries, with medications and a change of clothes kept in your hand luggage in case suitcases are lost.

Weight

Use your bathroom scales to weigh your child’s suitcase as you pack it. If there are any heavy items like big shoes or toys, wear them on the day or carry them onto the plane in hand luggage.

Souvenirs

When packing remember that you will probably come back with more than you went with. It is worth leaving a little extra space so any t-shirts or sweets that they buy themselves can be transported home.

Are you looking for the perfect suitcase for your children? Kids Travel 2 has a fantastic range of children’s suitcases including the JetKids BedBox which transforms into an in-flight bed.

 

Will My Suitcase Fit the Ryanair Cabin Baggage Rules?

We are asked quite a lot about whether our suitcases fit Ryanair Cabin Baggage allowance.  Ryanair are pretty strict with their guidelines – they even specify smaller sizes than the standard UK hand luggage guidelines drawn up by the Department for Transport:

Ryanair Cabin Baggage size:

Strictly one item of cabin baggage per passenger (excluding infants) weighing up to 10kg with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm is permitted. (handbag, briefcase, laptop, shop purchases, camera etc.) must be carried in your 1 permitted piece of cabin baggage.

 

 

Trunkis on Ryanair?  No Problem

We recently travelled to Barcelona on Ryanair and my daughter took her Trunki on as hand luggage.  We even spoke to Trunki who confirmed that although the measurements are slightly over they have never heard of a Trunki being refused as hand luggage by Ryanair.   Trunki can also personally vouch for this as the team flew to Ibiza last year with Ryanair and they all had Trunkies. We would also like to introduce JetKids BedBox which is amazing if you are flying longer distances. 

If in doubt get a Ryanair approved size cabin bag

There’s something to be said for taking the worry out of travelling via Ryanair by choosing a bag that fits within their size guidelines and sticking with that.  We've shown you suitcases for children and our range of cabin luggage is a perfect one stop shop for both adults and kids.  It's really is worth checking out the selection if you’re going to be travelling Ryanair frequently.

How do Ryanair check the hand baggage size?

You’ll have to slot your suitcase, holdall or bag into one of Ryanair’s measuring cages.  If it fits you’re through and on.

What happens if my bag is bigger?

Ryanair will refuse extra/oversized cabin baggage at the boarding gate.  You can place it in the hold of the aircraft for a fee of £40/€40. If you are unsure, check at the Bag Drop desk before going through security.

Avoid this hassle by checking our top tips here:

1.  Battle of the bulge.  

Be aware that unless your suitcase is a rigid, hard case it is liable to bulge out of the specified dimensions so take care not to over fill it.  There is some lea way with the box and cage check but you don’t want to push your luck too far!

2.  Keep it light

Don’t forget about the weight allowance  and be sure to make sure you don’t exceed it.  You can always wear heavier or bulkier items that you want to take like jeans, jackets or boots.

3.  Share

If you’re travelling as a group and all want to take hand baggage then don’t double up on things you can share like toiletries and hair dryers.  If space is a premium you can always buy cheap items when you arrive at your destination

4.  Use your child’s allowance

Children under the age of 2 are classified as infants and do not qualify for a cabin baggage allowance.  Older children do so make the most of this by giving them their own trolley suitcase, holdall or rucksack to carry on.

5.  Use straps

If your luggage has straps, buckles and belts be sure to use them to hold things in place and keep your luggage within the guideline dimensions set by Ryanair – don’t overfill external pockets and pouches to push your baggage over the limits.

You can see our selection of Ryanair Cabin Baggage including suitcases, rucksacks on wheels and holdalls.  For details of what you are allowed to carry in your hand baggage if you have a baby or toddler see our article on Flying With Kids.

Robinson Crusoe - Meet the Gang!

Meet the gang! 

 

On the 6th May, the animated adventure Robinson Crusoe sails into cinemas. Set on a tiny, isolated island in the South Pacific, the film features an array of exotic animals. To help get you in the mood for the quirky adventure, we’ve found the best places in the UK to meet the gang first-hand! 

 

 

Macaws 

To meet a vibrant macaw like the character Tuesday, you’ll need to visit Birdworld in Surrey. They have a number of bird exhibits, and one of their largest aviaries is ‘Parrots in Flight’. The huge space allows the birds to fly freely and stretch their wings. Whilst there you can see a selection of parrot species, including macaws, cockatoos and parakeets. These colourful birds are known for putting on a comical display!  

Robinson Crusoe Macaw

 

Kingfishers  

Head to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve to spot colourful kingfishers in the Norfolk countryside. Did you know there are 87 different species of kingfisher in the world, but only one, Alcedo atthis, breeds in Europe? Pensthorpe Nature Reserve also offers animals adoption and conservation projects!  

 

Tapirs  

If you want to meet a sassy tapir like Rosie, then head to Chester Zoo. They’re currently in the midst of a £30m development aiming to recreate the islands of Southeast Asia (a tapir’s natural habitat).  These creatures have a very unique appearance and are distantly related to horses and rhinoceroses. They can be viewed in the zoo’s cattle house.  

Robinson Crusoe Tapir

 

Porcupines  

Dudley Zoo is the place to be if you want to visit some cheeky porcupines! Did you know they can live for up to 20 years? There also have no real threats due to their large population, and the sharp quills that cover their bodies can warn off predators.  

Robinson Crusoe Porcupine

 

Pangolins 

To see the only mammal in the world that has scales, visit ZSL London Zoo to say hello to the Pangolins! Their scales are made of keratin (the same protein found in our fingernails), meaning they have a strong defence and can roll into a ball to ward off threats. Sadly the species is under serious threat, so ZSL is working hard on their conservation.  

 

Goats 

To meet loveable goats like Scrubby, you can visit the Hackney City Farm, where Charlock and Clover live! Whilst there you can also see a range of other farmyard animals, as well as taking parts in conservation projects and pottery classes.  

 Robinson Crusoe Goat

 

Chameleon 

To visit these amazing reptiles, head to Bristol Zoo and watch them change colour before your eyes! Like the character Carmello, these creatures have amazing eyesight and can move their eyes independently of each other. That and their speedy reflexes making them great fly catchers.  

Robinson Crusoe Chameleon

Robinson Crusoe is in UK cinemas on the 6TH MAY. 

JetKids BedBox

Trunki vs BedBox

As far as Toddlers luggage is concerned, Trunki is the best that is out there. Kids love them, parents love them, they are a great way for tired tots to rest their feet. But what else is out there? It’s not hard to be number 1 when there is limited competition.

JetKids BedBox

KidsTravel2 would like to introduce JetKids’ Bed Box to the UK.  As the name suggests this amazing piece of luggage features an inbuilt bed so your tired tots can rest on the long flight to paradise.

Once in the air, and the seatbelt-sign has been switched off, you simply do 2 things; first get out the mattress (which is included and machine washable), second turn the lid around and you’re done. The BedBox is designed to be used during the cruise portion of the flight, and is easily stowed away before landing. Whilst it’s recommended for use on a window seat to avoid obstructing passengers and waking children up whenever someone needs to get by, it can be used on all seats. Besides it is universally known that a sleeping baby is better that a crying baby!

JetKids BedBox

In order to see which ride on offers everything you need, we have compared the key features of the 2 suitcases and left it for you to decide:

 

Trunki

Score

BedBox

Score

Dimensions

L 46 x W 21 x D 31 cm.

0

L 42 x W 20 x D 39 cm.

1

Capacity

18 Litres (approx)


0

20 Litres


1

Weight

1.7kg.

1

3kg which includes the mattress.

0

Max Ride On Weight

50kg which is quite substantial for such a small suitcase.


1

30- 35 kg recommended weight limit.


0

Material

Flexible plastic (2mm approx)

1

Rigid plastic slightly thicker (3mm)

1

Wheels

Fixed wheels which does not allow for easy turning.


0

Swivel wheels at the front allow for steering and gives fantastic maneuverability.


1

Ease of Opening

Opens like a normal suitcase (butterfly opening).


Great for packing.


Butterfly opening can be difficult during the flights.




0

Top opening which is ideal when flying.


Uses very little space


Fits neatly under the seat of the plane.


Easy to get into if needed.




1

Functionality and Design



Perfect for children to rest their feet when queuing in the airport.


Allows kids to take their favourite toys with them.


Great range of characters.





0

Perfect for children to rest their feet.


Unique bed feature allows children to sleep through the cruise part of the flight.


This is a great feature as tired children on long haul flights.





1

Longevity

Recommended age 3- 6 years old.


The playful designs are great but, definitely for younger kids






0

More mature feel.


Comes with a sheet of themed stickers that kids can use to “customise” their suitcase.


Bed is recommended for ages 0-4 years.


Ride on feature is recommended for  2-7 years.






1

Value for Money

Trunki offerers a variety of playful designs, that kids love.


Small and Light.


Not practical when in flight.


Cheap £35.99(approx).





0

Only 2 variations


Comes with sticker sheet.


Can be used twice as long as a trunki before kids grow out of it.


Includes a feature which is invaluable to families who love to travel.


Cost is higher £99.99.





1

Score

Trunki

3/10

BedBox

8/10

 

 

Both products are primarily used as ride on suitcases, which are perfect for kids to rest their feet. However BedBox really has the upper hand with its dual functionality, both as a bed and a suitcase the design of the BedBox was clearly built with traveling children in mind. While Trunki has some fantastic designs, that is simply not enough to warrant the hassle it takes to use once in the air.

To find out more about JetKids and BedBox click here

Keeping Kids Happy During The Flight.

Flying with kids can be a great way to spend time with them, but you have to prepare for it. Here are a few tips on how to keep them entertained, and how to deal with travel related sickness. Kids love to learn if you are willing to teach.

 

Entertainment.

Teach them about the destination.
  • This is a great way to get eat up time, get your child to become an expert on continents, countries and cities with Lonely Planet’s Amazing World Atlas app. It costs £1.91 but it’s worth it!
  • learn the language: teach your children to say “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye”. Again the technology is your friend with plenty of free language apps out there it’s great for all ages. Duolingo is a great app to start with.
  • Teach them about local foods, and encourage them to try new things.

 

Take photos

  • Children love to take photographs, so let them have their own camera. Some of  the best holiday photos come from a child’s eye view.

Music & Books

  • Load an mp3 player, iPod, or phone with your child’s favourite songs and audiobooks.
  • Remember to get child suitable headphones with low volume specifications to protect their ears.

 

Tablets, apps & electronic games

  • Electronics can be a real lifesaver when on the plane, you can download TV episodes, films and games to make time fly by.
  • Make sure any apps you download are available offline.

Tips if your child is a first time flyer.

  • Before you leave for the airport talk them through what will happen at the security line, including going through the scanner.
  • Talk to them about how to find their seat on the plane and when to wear a seatbelt.
  • Tell them about what will happen on takeoff and landing.
  • Give them a book about aeroplanes so they can learn more about the wonders of flying.

 

Dealing with travel sickness.


Motion sickness

  • Is common in children between 3 and 12 years old. There are a variety of treatments suitable for children that include: tables, diluting salts and wrist bands.

 

Dehydration

  • Flying causes dehydration and this happens faster in children and infants. This is due to the low humidity on planes.
  • While you can’t take more than 100ml through security you can buy healthy drinks in duty free, try to avoid fizzy drinks as they could add to travel sickness problems.
  • Water or fruit juice is usually a safe option.

Ear pressure

  • Ear pain on aeroplane is caused by a change of pressure in the Eustachian tube. Adults learn to equalise the pressure “popping” ears by yawning or swallowing.
  • You may want to avoid flying if your child has a cold as this will block the Eustachian tube and could make the flight uncomfortable for them.
  • You should always check with your doctor before flying if your child had a cold or ear infection.

What to do if you can’t avoid air travel.

  • Make sure that children drink plenty of water, as dehydration will make things worse for them and you. The swallowing motion when drinking will also “pop” children’s ears.
  • For younger kids dummies, or feeding during landing will also help equalise ear pressure.
  • Ensure children are upright when eating or feeding. Yawning is contagious, so you can always try yawning at your little ones.
  • Try to teach older children to yawn, swallow or sucking on a hard boiled sweet can help ease the pain on the ears during takeoff and landing.
  • Teach older children to hold their nose and blow to manually “pop” their ears.
  • Remember this can be painful so always be gentile.

 

In case your child gets lost. 
  • Airports can be confusing places for children and there is nothing worse than a lost child.
  • To reduce stress, consider a few things like a GPS tracker this can be worn either on their hand luggage, or as a bracelet or watch.
  • You can track the signal using your mobile phone.
  • For older children arrange a meeting point and provide them with the flight details so they will be able to ask for directions.

The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

This Easter, a huge surprise is in store for film fans as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London reveals the colossal efforts taken by producers, costume designers and the special effects teams to create Hogwarts’ famous groundskeeper – Rubeus Hagrid. The character who reveals the wizarding world to Harry Potter is celebrated during a special feature where lovers of the film series can understand what went into bringing this half-giant to life on screen.

 Hagrid's Hut

From March 25th to April 17th 2016, visitors to the Studio Tour will see the costumes worn by Harry’s gargantuan guardian and find out how they turned 6’1” Robbie Coltrane into the half-giant Hagrid. During production two costumes were created for Hagrid, one which was worn by Coltrane and the other which was made 25 per cent larger and used by 6‘10’’ England rugby star Martin Bayfield who appeared as Hagrid in scenes where he needed to be bigger than the setting around him.

Hagrid's Hut Close Up


In order to exaggerate Bayfield’s already significant frame, his suit was adapted to increase his size. As well as his complete costume, a deconstructed version will be featured at the Studio Tour showing the techniques used to create the gigantic character. As Bayfield had to wear the outfit for extended periods a special cooling system was incorporated to help him cope with the heat. Tubes were stitched into the fabric which had cold water running through them to bring down the temperature.
Hagrid's Hut Through A Window
As fans of the first film will remember, Hagrid wears an oversized coat made from moleskin. As the costume department wanted to stay true to the description, they cut imitation fur into mole shapes and sewed them together, each complete with tiny ears and tails.

Hagrid's Hut From The Outside


In addition to Hagrid costumes, film making experts from Nick Dudman’s team will be working in the Creature Effects department. One of the early encounters that Harry has with Hagrid is a trip to the vaults of Gringott’s and the team will be demonstrating techniques used to create the prosthetic masks worn by Goblins at Gringott’s bank. Made from silicon, each one was given a particular personality to ensure they all looked different.

 

Flying With Kids Part 1

If you are a parent flying can be stressful, not just for you but also for the little person flying with you. So here at Kids travel 2 we have answered a few of the common questions and included some tips and tricks to help you help your kids have a stress free flight.

First things first!

Q. Can my child fly?

A. This depends on the age of your child and the airline.  While some airlines allow children as young as 2 days old others won’t fly with infants younger than 2 weeks. You might also need to get a letter from your GP to prove your baby is fit to fly.

Tips:

  • As a general rule each infant has to be accompanied by an adult. 2 Kids = 2 Adults.
  • Check that your travel insurance covers newborns and infants.
  • Check that your baby can be vaccinated if you are flying to exotic locations; babies under 2 months can’t take malaria tablets.
  • Children under 6 months can’t be vaccinated against yellow fever.  
  • Don’t forget your little one will need their own passport! Passports normally cost £46 and take 3 weeks to arrive.


Q. Will my child need their own seat?

A. There are a few different answers to this but here is a general guide

* Babies must fit the airline’s bassinet restrictions

** Check with your airline to see if your car seat/carrycot/harness or bassinet fits the requires specifications.

 

Q. What can I take on the plane?

A. Each airline has different allowances so always check before flying. As a general guide

Infants up to 2 years traveling on your lap or in a bassinet, you can take one bag full of the things that you little one will need during the flight.

You might also be able to take:

  • One fully collapsible push chair
  • One car seat
  • A small fully collapsible push chair can be wheeled to the aircraft door, then stowed in the hold (check with your airline).

Children over 2 that have their own seat have the same luggage and checked luggage as you do.

With this in mind here are a few essential items every parent will need.

  • Nappies – at least one for each hour of the flight and some extra just in case of a delay.
  • A disposable changing mat or a travel mat, plus some wet wipes and nappy sacks.
  • Blankets to help comfort your baby or if the plane is cold.
  • Some spare clothes in case of spills.
  • Expressed milk or formula, boiled water in a baby or baby food for the journey. This may be over 100 ml although airport security could ask you to open or taste this as a security measure.
  • Lastly your child’s favourite toy for comfort if they are nervous or tired.

Here are a few holiday essentials you will need for kids of all ages.

  • Child pain relief.
  • Hand sanitiser.
  • Teething gel.
  • Thermometer.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Factor 50+ sunblock.
  • Rehydration powder.
  • Soluble anti-sickness relief.
  • Bite and sting relief, calamine lotion.
  • Microwaveable sterilisation bags or pre-sterilised bottles.

Herschel Supply Co. Kids Collection

Kids Travels 2 are proud to introduce:

At Kids Travel 2 we’re always looking for great brands and products for the young traveller. However, they shouldn’t just look good... They should stand out from the crowd, be practical and finally, easy to wear and use whether your young traveller is going to school, out for a day trip or discovering the world!

So when we were given the opportunity to view products by The Herschel Supply Co. we made our way to the very trendy Shoreditch area of London and behind an unassuming grey door we walked off the London streets and into a world of timeless design....

What we loved when we viewed the Kids Collection from Herschel, wasn’t just the great colours, bright patterns and cute sizes but the fine regard for detail which is the trademark of their adult bag collection and the ethos behind this very cool Canadian brand.

And so, just in time for this Christmas we are proud to be introducing to you a very cool, very smart selection of backpacks from Herschel’s Heritage Kids Collection.

We’ve chosen 3 backpacks that are great for little travellers aged 7 and under, and we think they’ll definitely be the winning gift under the Christmas tree this year!

1. The Heritage Gold Spots On Black Backpack. Here’s to wishing we we're all a foot shorter (and cuter!)

 

 2. The Heritage Blue With Silver Reflective Embellishments. Perfect for your little cool dudes.

 

3. The Heritage Black With Tan. A mini replica of the best selling adults Heritage backpack. This universal classic style backpack is great for both girls and boys.

 

Click here to view the Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Kids Collection 

5 Inspired Half Term Ideas Oct 2015 - London

Here at Kids Travel 2 we have many parents wanting to be inspired about travel ideas for Half term. Here are a few ideas for traveling in London. 

London is an exciting place for both adults and kids, before going we recommend looking at getting a London day pass it will make your entry cheaper and faster, with the pass offering fast track privileges on some of London biggest attractions! Check this video out!

More info at www.londonpass.com

 

1. Theme Park - Shrek’s Adventure

Opened in July 2015 a unique walk and ride attraction for the whole family. Step into the kingdom of Far Far Away and enjoy a brand new madcap Shrek adventure where amazing DreamWorks animation, captivating story-telling and a good dose of Donkey’s cheekiness awaits.

The adventure begins when you board a magical 4D ‘DreamWorks Tours’ bus. With Donkey as your mischievous tour guide, calamity, chaos and endless fun are the name of the game.

Be part of the 10 live fairy-tale themed shows where you can visit Shrek’s swamp, find your fortune in the crystal ball, get lost in the Mirror maze and reveal your inner Ogre when needed!

Don't miss the new Shrek Adventure! London, an indoor walk-and-ride attraction inspired by the hit DreamWorks film.

Shrek's Adventure - close to other leading attractions in the area: the London Eye, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Dungeon.

This OGRE SIZED experience lasts for apprximately 75 minutes.

Suitable Ages – 6-12 years old. Younger kids are allowed.

More info at www.shreksadventure.com

2. Outdoors - Richmond Park 

The largest Royal Park in London (1,000 hectares/2,500 acres), and home to herds of Red and Fallow deer. This pastoral landscape of hills and woodlands set amongst ancient trees, with plants, animals and butterflies, offers a peaceful respite to visitors. The beautiful Isabella Plantation and Pembroke Lodge can also be found on site.

More info at: www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park

 

3. Back to Nature - London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo has been educating and inspiring visitors since opening to the public in 1847. With over 750 incredible species, exciting and innovative exhibits it’s a great day out in the capital for all ages.

Set in leafy Regent's Park amid heritage-listed buildings and beautiful gardens, ZSL London Zoo is an oasis in the heart of the capital. With over 750 amazing animal species to discover, as well as live shows and fantastic, immersive exhibits, this is an unmissable attraction.

Visitors can go in with the spiders in the zoo’s BUGS exhibit, and experience Europe’s only walk through spider enclosure.  Head down to England’s largest penguin pool at Penguin Beach and watch the Humboldt penguins dive, swim, frolic and feed, or step Into Africa and observe the elegance and grace of the giraffes from the viewing platform.

Move through lush forested pathways when Gorilla Kingdom brings the African rainforest to the heart of London. And younger visitors can explore Animal Adventure, home to meerkats, llamas and aardvarks in an immersive animal experience, designed for children, by children.  

Your ticket helps secure a future for endangered animals by directly contributing to ZSL’s Conservation programmes. 

Note: Children aged 3 + will be charged on entrance fee for London Zoo.

More info visit www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo

 

4. Historical / Educational - Natural History Museum 

London has a wealth of museums ranging from books to dinosaurs to cars and trains. These are great venues that both you and the kids can enjoy. The Natural History Museum has hundreds of exciting, interactive exhibits in one of London’s most beautiful landmark buildings.

Highlights include the popular Dinosaurs gallery, Mammals display with the unforgettable model blue whale and the spectacular Central Hall, home to the Museum’s iconic Diplodocus skeleton. Don’t miss the state-of-the-art Darwin Centre Cocoon where, on a self-guided tour, you can see hundreds of fascinating specimen and look into laboratories where scientists are at work.

If this sounds like something you and the kids would enjoy you will love the price. Admission is free however there may be charges for some temporary exhibits. The museum is open daily from 10.00 - 17.50. Last admission is at 17.30.

More info at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit.html

 

and one for the rainy day…

5. Kid Zania Westfield London  

Let your kids explore a child-size city at Westfield London, where they can try out more than 60 real life role-play activities, from banking and acting to fighting crime as a police officer.

Each of KidZania London’s immersive experiences is crafted to teach kids essential life skills including financial literacy and independence, so there’s plenty to learn as they explore the attraction.

Many of the activities are run by high street names, such as Innocent Drinks, where the little ones can have a go at smoothie making; H&M, where they can learn about fashion and design; and Renault, which lets them have a go at changing tyres on a scale version of a Formula E racing car. There is even a British Airways terminal with an aircraft that’s home to an Aviation Academy and Cabin Crew Training.

More info at KID ZANIA

 

 

HAPPY TRAVELING

KIDS TRAVEL 2 

Babymoon

 

On our second anniversary in May this year my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby. Whilst the baby was in no way unplanned, it was still a surprise because it happened so quickly and as a result our plans to travel internationally towards the end of the year and create those final travel memories as just the two of us before we begun our family went straight out the window.

So here I find myself, 25 weeks pregnant with bump sitting in a sea view room over looking the South Devon coast. We've literally squeezed in this last weekend away before baby is born. It hasn't been a beautifully planned or timed babymoon. We booked it just yesterday evening when we rocked up to a reasonable, clean and comfy b&b in Bournemouth after a morning of meetings in Arundel and an afternoon meeting my husband's best friends new arrival. We started out from the Midlands on Thursday morning after my midwives appointment. We travelled to Crawley in West Sussex for a meeting with SkipHop to view their range of products for Baby and mum - we plan to launch a travelling with baby range next year. Then late afternoon we pressed onto to Brighton to meet Bill Brown, the company behind our best selling children's sleepover roll up mattress before rocking up to the Comfort Inn in Arundel early evening which we had again only booked the night before!

Our conversations along the journey have inevitably touched upon what travel we might be able to do and not do with baby. The truth is we have no clue. Whilst my husband is confident we'll travel to Europe at least twice next year when baby is 3 months and and later when baby is about 7 months, I'm not so sure because in truth I have no idea about travelling and what facilities are necessary when kids are in tow! 

So here I am mid afternoon having arrived at our 4* luxury spa hotel, relaxing in our babymoon sea view room at Thurleston Hotel reading through the guest information. I've just come accross 2 leaflets which inform me that the hotel caters for children. "Isn't this an adult only hotel?" I ask my husband a little confused. Pulling me out onto the balcony he shows me the children's play area outside the hotel. Then I remembered, as we walked into reception there were fishing nets for rock pooling alongside buckets and spades... It never crossed my mind that the paraphernalia was for kids! 

As for the guest information... Well that offers a baby listening service and packed lunches for days out which is great I can only imagine when you have children. 

And so for this baby moon I'm off to explore everything that's great for kids to do in and around Thurleston Hotel and maybe next year we'll be back with our 7 month old in tow feeling confident that this lovely spa hotel has everything we need to look after and entertain our new addition!

Magical Journey's Start Here

The children are back into school routines and it may seem like the summer holidays are a distant memory. Not to worry though, the half term holidays will soon be here.

Here at Kids Travel 2 our aim is to make traveling with children easier and with that in mind we're proud to launch our Disney & Marvel ranges by Samsonite & American Tourister. Both world class luggage brands have collaborated with Disney & Marvel to create high quality luggage for youngsters who travel.

The ranges have everything from suitcases, cabin luggage, backpacks to travel wash kit bags all designed for kids on the move.

We have the full collection in stock now so you can concentrate on planning that magical half term holiday!

If you have any questions email us at info@kidstravel2.com or give a call Monday-Friday 9am to 6pm and our team will be happy to help answer any queries or just give advice on what products are suitable for your trip.

Happy Travelling!

The Team @ Kids Travel 2

 

Hi From Kids Travel 2

In April this year my wife and I took the KidsTravel2.com baton from previous owners Mark & Judith Groves. As expectant parents, we're excited about making life travelling with kids easier. Kids Travel 2 has been built into a great business, however, in 9 years since the original launch of KidsTravel2.com, there has been lots of changes in how we shop online. Whether you are browsing on pc, laptop, mobile or tablets, we want your experience to be easy. After all as parents you have better things to do than worrying about where to find the best travel products for your kids. 

It's taken 6 months to rebuild the site, get our warehouse up and running and meet our suppliers. Finally, we want to take a moment to say "Hi" to our blog readers...

So "Hi" and thank you for your ongoing support.

We are delighted to be working with a number of world class brands. In particular  Samsonite, American Tourister and Skip Hop. We will be stocking their entire range of travel luggage for kids so watch out for new and exclusive products.

We also have number of new exciting brands which we will be announcing in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, we would love to hear from you as parents. The blog is a great place for you to share your advice, tips and tricks when travelling with kids. Feel free to contact us with your stories, recommendations and travel ideas as well as the funny stories you may have to tell that are part and parcel of travel with kids.

Happy travelling!

Dips & Parisha

5 Best Toddler Suitcases

We’re often asked what the best suitcase is for a toddler.   In my experience of selling suitcases for children since 2006 there are certain winning criteria to look out for when choosing your case.  If you can get these right you’re off to a good start.  Here’s what we recommend you look out for followed by our top picks of suitcases for toddlers.

Tip 1.  Looking Good 

First up it’s got to look good  to really grab your child’s interest.  Particularly true if you want your child to help out with towing the case.  Make sure you pick a case with real wow factor.

Tip 2.  Does it do the job?

There’s no point having a good looking suitcase if all you can fit in it is a pair of socks and a book.   If you’re after a proper suitcase with room for clothes for a week then make sure you check the capacity.  If it’s a fun case to play with or you just need room for a change of clothes for an overnight stay then you can compromise on the capacity.

Tip 3.  Remember that quality really does matter…

Personally I’d rather buy a suitcase that is robust enough to withstand the knocks and bangs of travelling with a toddler than have to keep forking out for a new one each time you go away anywhere.  Choose a hard suitcase made of ABS or sturdy PU if you want to protect belongings.  If you’re choosing a case made of polyester make sure its heavy duty material.  If you can, check out the zips, buckles and fastenings – are they good quality and likely to last?

Tip 4 … and size

Size matters if you’re flying and want a cabin bag.  Have you checked your airline’s cabin bag guidelines (you can do that here) and does your case fit?  Remember wheels and handles are included as part of the airline size restrictions.

Find these tips useful?  We have plenty more tips here on choosing the right suitcase for your child but for now here is our round up of the 5 best toddler suitcases….

1. Trunki

Why we like them:

  • Show a child a Trunki and they’ll be off – riding it, pulling it, opening it – playing with it.  This just speaks for itself
  • As well as their fab quirky appeal they are robust & hard wearing
  • Good capacity and lightweight (see our video in this feature here on cabin baggage versus checked luggage where we look at what you can get in a Trunki)
  • Cabin friendly

Take a closer look at the Trunki range >>

 

2.  Samsonite Sammies

 

Why we like them:

  • Samsonite are good quality suitcase manufacturers – this is a real suitcase, not a toy
  • If you’re after visual appeal the Samsonite Sammies funny face range have definately got it
  • Bags of space for a week’s holiday and more
  • Fab range of co-ordinating Samsonite Sammie rucksacks for day trips etc

 

3.  Capt’n Sharky Pirate Suitcase

Why we like it:

  • Fabulous attention to detail – chunky shark zipper pulls, nautical stripes & traditional silky red lining
  • Superb quality from German manufacturer Spiegelburg
  • A proper little boy’s trolley suitcase – just like mum and dad!
  • Cabin friendly

 

 4.  Skip Hip Trolley Suitcases

Why we like them:

  • Funky modern designs which appeal to parents and children alike
  • Lightweight with good capacity
  • Useful shoulder strap for carrying when your young traveller tires of wheeling the case
  • Great selection of co-ordinating rucksacks, lunch bags & safety reins to team up with

Take a closer look at the Skip Hop range >>

 

5.  Luggo

Why we like it:

  • Luggo definately has that stand out wow factor
  • Lots of quirky features that kids love like flashing wheels (no batteries required) & useful internal dividing sections for storing pens etc
  • Very versatile – it’s a rucksack and a trolley case in one – love how the backpack straps retract into the back of the bag as you extend the trolley handle

Phew!  Don’t forget if you’re in a quandry or not sure which case is the best for the child you have in mind we’re happy to help and advise.  Just get in touch – that’s what we’re here for!

 

 

Free Kids Travel Activity – I Spy in the Car

With the Easter holidays fast approaching and day trips or longer undoubtedly planned with the kids we thought you might find this free downloadable car activity useful.  Our son loves playing this whenever we are in the car so we often pull these together for him.

 

Will My Suitcase Fit EasyJet Cabin Rules?

When Easyjet changed it’s guaranteed cabin bag size to 50cm x 40 x 20 it caused some anxiety, I think the confusion arose over the word guaranteed.

You can still take bags up to 56cm x 45 x 25 but on a full flight you may be told it has to go in the hold.

Many people were concerned that they would be asked to pay for this but it will be done free of charge- the only cost to the passenger is the extra time waiting for baggage retrieval.

When we travelled to Portugal on a full flight we were fine and no one questioned or even looked at our hand luggage.

I had a long conversation with a very worried Mother who had bought one of our Vaude Bags for her young daughter which was 1 cm too high. She was really anxious that it would be taken away from her daughter at the gate which would have caused much distress! Particularly as it was stuffed full of things to occupy her on the journey.

They called on their return and said it had been absolutely fine- Phew!! Since then Vaude have reduced the size of the bags by 2 cm- so no problem

We have a large choice of cabin bags for children and adults alike- from the ever popular CabinZero Bag.

To our lovely Samsonite Jazz Range as well as a great choice of Roxy Bags all of which comply with these regulations.

                                                     

Choosing the Family Holiday - How do you do it?

When the children were little choosing the family holiday seemed simple as their needs took priority over everyone else’s.  Or that is how it seemed!!

It was clear the facilities that they needed and they topped the list when choosing a hotel/cottage/ resort and even country. With so many companies aimed at catering for Tots you are now well served with lots of helpful advice and properties checked for safety and facilities. All inclusives often have the option of child care if yours are happy to go.

As the kids have got older I have found it harder rather than easier. As an active family I need to ensure there are activities for my husband as well as the kids but at the same time make sure that any activities offered are also suitable for them.

Researching the perfect holiday can be a time-consuming task, and finding a holiday that will satisfy the whole family  can be challenging. Kids and parents often have entirely different ideas when it comes to their holiday ‘wish list’ and even the strongest of relationships can be tested when it comes to deciding where to spend those well earned weeks away from the office!

I have spent many a happy hour working my way through websites looking for the perfect place at the right price. Here again AI are great and there seem to be options for all budgets. For me it is just a case of avoiding those with endless animators trying to get us to join in!

One particular advantage with 3 kids is endless food on tap at all times of the day no worries about the expense of the food at the pool bar or the ridiculously small portions. Those that miss breakfast can just join in for the mid morning snack or in some cases lunch!!

Purist would argue it is not real travel but each family to its own.

There is now another option designed to help which I came across from Neilson. They have an app called Pack it up Pack it in and I thought it was quite good.

 

You simply pop the holiday ‘elements’ you feel most suit you and your family into your virtual suitcase – choosing from tennis rackets, kids’ clubs and bikinis to skis, sailing, spas and more. Using this information, Neilson will help you select the perfect beach or winter sports holiday destination together with flights, hotel and activities to suit your needs by calibrating your preferences. Decision making done, now all you need to do is pack!

And talking of packing don’t forget here at Kidstravel2 we have a fantastic range of kids (and adults) luggage perfect for whatever type of break you choose.

Great activity holidays for the whole family.

With Christmas over my thoughts turn to holidays.

 As a family we have always had a passion for sports and activity holidays and always made a point of finding a place where we could all be entertained. We tried beach holidays and found my husband would go crazy after the first day of inactivity. It was invariably too hot or not hot enough for the kids so then they got bored!!

Perversely the kids hated the idea of getting up early to be dragged off (their words) to visit something or somewhere. It became clear then that we needed to find places where there was lots on offer for the whole family.

 With this in mind I was interested to read about a company called Health and Fitness travel who offer a wide range of activity holidays for Families. They have outlined below some of their suggestions for sporting and activity holidays which cater for the whole family

 Best for Sport with Swimming: Thailand Thanyapura  

 

Escape to tropical Thailand for a luxury activity holiday where there’s guaranteed fun for all the family. Keep the kids active in the children’s Tree Club, and watch them excel in the sport they love with a variety of training camps and activities. After a tough day of running, swimming, tennis, rugby and circuit training, scoop up the kids and hear all about their wonderful day with new friends. Great for an all-round family fitness holiday, improve your swimming technique with lessons from the qualified instructors in the 50m Olympic swimming pool, before heading to the beach for a family game of volleyball.

 Best for Horse Riding: Portugal The Oitavos Horse Riding  

 

Learn to ride on a healthy family activity holiday in Portugal, boasting an Equestrian Centre with 230 stables, complete with an outdoor and indoor riding school. With professional instructors, all levels can enjoy lessons on this healthy break, so while the kids are learning the basics you can ride off with the experts. There are also large areas for hacking, enabling beginners to get more used to their surroundings while those more advanced can enjoy a leisurely ride around. After a morning ride, sample some of the other activities on offer, from tennis to biking and golf to surfing, on your healthy family holiday.

 

Best for Tennis: Antigua Carlisle Bay  

 

Escape to the Caribbean for a fun-filled family sports holiday where everyone can improve their tennis technique on one of nine available courts. Whether you’re a budding beginner or an expert on the court, enjoy six private tennis lessons with a professional instructor on this healthy break and while the children are busy at the kids club, unleash your competitive side in the hotel’s round robins competition. After a morning playing tennis, add a splash of variety to your tennis holiday and head to the water to enjoy complimentary water sports, ranging from windsurfing to snorkelling and water skiing to paddle boarding.

 

Best for Surfing: Morocco Paradis Plage 

 

Ride the waves in Morocco on a family water sports holiday where everyone can hit the water and learn to surf. Whether your family have never surfed before or are experienced water babies, there are lessons available for all ages and abilities so that everyone can get the most out of this active break. While the kids try their hand at sports and arts activities with the kids club, mix up your healthy holiday with a beachside yoga class or beach circuit training. Make time for family holiday fun with mountain biking, paddle boarding and kayaking before unwinding at the luxury spa.

 

Best for Multi-Activity: St Lucia The BodyHoliday WellFit Families  

Enjoy action-packed days in the Caribbean on a five star all-inclusive luxury family holiday where all the family can enjoy a host of activities. Raise the stakes and compete against each other in the parent vs children competitions, including volleyball and beach-a-thons, or cook up a storm together in the healthy family cooking classes. With activities ranging from snorkelling to scuba diving, windsurfing to water skiing and cycling to sailing; everyone will be able to try something new and find an activity they enjoy on this family active holiday.

 

Best for Golf: Cyprus Aphrodite Hills 

Discover this award-winning holiday in Portugal, where there’s loads to do for all the family, including learning to play golf. Experienced players can head straight for the 18 hole championship golf course, while those less experienced can learn everything about golf from the three PGA instructors at the academy. With lessons available for all ages and abilities, you can enjoy group sessions with the whole family on this activity holiday, or one-to-one lessons for something more private. After a day on the course and the little ones at the kids club, make the most of this luxury spa retreat and unwind with a choice of holistic treatments.

 

Best for Skiing: Switzerland The Alpina Gstaad 

 

Hit the slopes in Switzerland on a luxury skiing holiday and enjoy new ways to keep the family fit and healthy. Whether the kids are beginners or experienced slope sliders, there are on-site instructors available to help them improve, and while they’re learning a new skill mum and dad can have fun flying down the mountains. For alternative ways to enjoy the scenery on this wellness holiday, get the family together and go rock climbing or hiking. Once the children are at the kids club, head to one of the group classes with activities ranging from Tai Chi to Pilates.

 

 Best for Football: St Vincent Buccament Bay  

 

Pack your boots and jet off to the Caribbean for an active family holiday that includes a Liverpool Football Club soccer school, available all year round. Featuring master classes from professionals (with John Barnes and Ronnie Whelan having previously visited) the whole family can enjoy personalised training sessions and group matches to keep active on this healthy sports holiday.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, let the kids enjoy a kick about while you indulge in the holistic spa therapies, including bath rituals and ESPA body massages to help aid relaxation.

 

 

Best for Land & Water Sports: Bali: Grand Mirage 

 

The perfect destination for a fun-filled activity holiday, it doesn’t get much better than Bali for a family friendly healthy escape. With an idyllic beach front setting and wide array of water sports available, hit the beach and try out your water skills with paddle boating, boogie boarding, kayaking and windsurfing. Keep active on dry land with activities from tennis to basketball and billiards to archery for a fitness holiday everyone can participate in. While your mini-me hunts for treasure and plays mini soccer at the Bamboo kids club, enhance your well-being with daily group yoga classes and lifestyle classes from cooking to painting.

 

Best for Mountain Biking & Windsurfing: Portugal:  Martinhal Luxury Beach Resort 

 

Discover the best of Portugal with mountain biking and windsurfing on an active family adventure holiday, suitable for all ages. Make the most of this healthy retreat’s award-winning and highly popular windsurfing academy, with lessons available for all ages and abilities. Meanwhile, with a varied selection of TREK bikes, keen mountain bikers of all sizes can kick up the dust, allowing you to reach new heights as a family and explore your beautiful surroundings in style. After an active day, indulge in the luxury spa treatments while the children have fun at one of the seven kids clubs and five sports academies.

 

For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com/family-holidays or call 0203 397 8891

 

 

 

 

About Health and Fitness Travel

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

 

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience. For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com

 

 http://www.healthandfitnesstravel.com/about-us/

Back to School

I cannot believe I am writing this when it feels like the holidays have barely begun but ‘Back to School Fever’ is upon us again!

What are your top tips for easing back into school after a, hopefully relaxing, summer?

It seems to me that whether teenager or toddler getting those sleep patterns back is the biggest thing! Slowly reintroducing set bedtime routines and gently preparing our offspring for the year ahead can be a major challenge- I might start now !!!

We like to think you will all be thinking of ditching last years bag and investing in a brand new one for the coming year.

We’ve tried to stock a wide range of backpacks  for kid of all ages and would love you to come and browse.

I am especially happy with our new Roxy range for that discerning teenager who is sometimes a little forgotten.

 But we haven’t neglected the little ones and I have just restocked our Skip Hop range which all the kids love.

So whatever you are looking for visit the website but in the meantime enjoy the summer.

Happy Holidays!

One week, one CabinZero Bag

If you follow my twitter and Facebook feeds you will know that I am a notorious over packer!! I scour the internet for packing tips that I can share but so far have not followed myself!

On our recent family holiday to Portugal I decided I had to practice what I preach and travel with hand luggage alone- scary!!

First thing was to choose the bag, we have a big selection of cabin bags on the website but I finally went with a Hot Pink CabinZero bag.

This was mainly due to the soft sides as I felt I could more easily stuff things in- purely psychological I know! Also it has lots of pockets for things like passports etc. We were travelling with Easyjet so I could not take a handbag as well. (But did pack a small one inside)

The next was to decide what I really needed to take rather than what I wanted to take i.e. the entire contents of my summer wardrobe to give me lots of choice! This necessitated working out what I thought we would be doing.

Realistically we eat in the apartment at least half the time on a holiday- I like the shopping for ingredients and the lazy vibe to the evening. This does not need dressing up for and if I wear the same thing 2 nights in a row well the fashion police will never know.

Eating out is casual so keep to a couple of pairs of casual trousers with tops that can be worn with both (This was excessive- I could have got away with one pair plus the pair I travelled in) – but shoes, how many to take?? Solved that one by buying a nice pair of slipper shoes to go with anything, practical but feminine.

During the day we would be playing golf and tennis plus some walking. This was the challenge!! Sports clothes are ok as they are quite lightweight and I checked that we could wash if necessary. Golf tops and tennis tops are interchangeable so no problem there. The issue was footwear. Solved by wearing trainers on the plane and checked that you could hire golf shoes at the course, far cheaper than the cost of a hold bag. Similarly with equipment, all was available to hire/borrow at the hotel.

Finally I weaned myself off taking my own hairdryer- why do I always to this when there is usually a perfectly good one provided! Also conceded that my hair could survive on week of being washed with hotel shampoo and that Countries with sun have a huge supply of suntan lotions often at better prices, so why pack a heavy toilet bag.

The last thing to go in was the Kindle! No holiday with hand luggage can be achieved without an e-reader especially for a voracious reader like myself.

So how did I manage? Absolutely fine and I came back with things I had not worn!! So for all you over packers out there it can be done!!

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