Kids Travel 2 Blog

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.

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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