Making Holiday Car Travel More Fun

If you are travelling a long way to an airport or to a holiday destination then it is possible that you will have to go in a car. If you have a journey that is more than an hour long, then it can sometimes get very tedious, if it is more than four hours it can be even worse. If you travel at a popular time, you can find that the roads will be really busy and this may make your journey a lot longer as you are queuing behind other cars. Therefore it can be a good idea to plan well for your car journey so that it can be a fun as possible.

Plan travel times carefully

It is worth thinking about exactly when you are going to travel. If you can, it can be wise to avoid the roads when they will be the busiest. Roads are always busy in the morning before people start work and in the evening when they are returning as well as locally busy when children are dropped off and picked up from school. You may therefore want to plan to avoid towns and cities at these times and try to be on the motorway then.

You will also find that certain days will be busier. For example it is always busy travelling away from London on a Friday evening and towards London on a Sunday evening and is probably the same for other large cities too. When school holidays start holiday travel increases too. So you will find that there will be more people travelling on Saturdays as this is often a changeover day for self-catering holidays. However, some people will get away on a Friday night when they finish work or on the last day of term, once their children have finished school. It can therefore be wise to avoid travelling on those days if you can.

Bring activities to do

Once in the car, you may like to be entertained. This might involve listening to an audio book, some music or the radio. If you have children with you they might like to watch a DVD or play on a mobile device. They may also enjoy playing travel chess or other travel games, cards or even drawing. However, do beware that children may be prone to car sickness if they are not looking out of the window. If this is the case then it can be a good idea to think of some different activities to play with them which involve looking outside, such as eye spy or looking out for certain colour cars, brands of lorry, spelling words from registration plates or spotting wildlife. There are plenty of ideas of car games that you could play with them, if you search online.

Plan interesting stops

It can really help to break up boredom on a car journey if you have some interesting stops. Service stations are practical but they are not that interesting and so looking for other places to go to might be better. You may find, for example, that there is a pretty town along the way that you can stop at for a picnic lunch or a play area that the children can go to for a while. There might even be a museum or something like that, which you can enjoy for a few hours. This can really help you to feel that you are on holiday as you are doing holiday type activities.

Even if there are not these opportunities on your journey, it is wise to stop every few hours. Have a walk around as you should be stretching your legs anyway and it will mean that the driver is less likely to feel overtired while driving which could lead to dangerous driving or even falling asleep at the wheel.

Consider staying over

If you are driving a really long distance then it could be worth planning an overnight stop to break up the journey. It can really help with the tiredness that is often experienced when driving long distances and it can also make the trip feel more fun. A stop in a hotel can be a good experience and you can get some great food as well and be fully rested for the next bout of driving. If there is more than one of you that can drive, then this can help as the driver will not get so tired. However, if you have children or others with you, then they may get tired and fancy a break themselves. They may be able to fall asleep in the car, but not everyone is able to do this easily.

Have plenty of food and drink and things to keep comfortable

It is well worth making sure that you have plenty of food and drink in the car, within easy reach to help keep you comfortable during the journey. If you have to stop in queues of traffic or just have a long journey t hen you may need some refreshment. Although a driver should not be eating and drinking while driving as it can be distracting, passengers may want to and the driver may be able to pull in for a few minutes so they can get some refreshments.

It is also good to think of other things that may be needed. You may need blankets or pillows to keep warm and comfortable. If there are children in the car, they may want to sleep and so having a pillow can be really good for them. Making sure that they can keep cool can also be helpful so if you do not have air conditioning in the car, a hand fan, could be a useful thing for them to have.

If children are young, they might also like to have a cuddly toy or comfort blanket if they like this sort of thing. This could help them to feel happier as well as helping them sleep if they want to nap.car journey photo

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Thinking of Going Abroad for the First Time? How to Choose Where to go.

Going abroad for the first time can be a great adventure, whether you do it as a child or as an adult. It is important though to pick the right destination as it will have a really big impact on your experience. Even if there is a particular place that you have always felt that you wanted to visit, it is worth thinking through different factors to ensure that it is the right place for your first trip abroad.

Travel time

It is wise to think about the travel time to start with. If you are going by ferry or plane for the first time, then you will not know how you might cope with that journey. Therefore it could be wise to plan a short journey to start with. You can do a journey like this for just an hour or a few hours, which could be a good way to test how well you get on with it compared with a cruise which could take weeks or a flight across the world which could take a day or so. If you have children this could be especially important as they may find travelling difficult as it is new and different for them. It may be worth considering using transport that you know that you can cope with, such as a train so that this is not going to be a problem for you.

Culture

It is worth thinking about whether the reason that you want to go abroad is to discover a new culture. This can be a great reason for going abroad but you need to make sure that if it something that you want to experience, that the place you choose, will be able to give you what you want. If you go to a large tourist area, then you will just meet people from all over the world and see buildings and activities which have been designed for tourists rather than anything typical of the area. It is therefore important to choose a location that will really allow you to see some of the typical culture of the country. This means that you will need to think about how to achieve this, so you will need a good understanding of the country before you visit so that you can do it.

Activities

it is worth thinking hard about what sorts of activities you want to do while on holiday. It might be that you like to spend a lot of time relaxing and doing very little and so place with a pool might be suitable for that. You might like to visit theme parks and so you will need to be close to these. You might like an adventure holiday where you have all sorts of high adrenaline experiences or want to go and visit museums and art galleries. You might want to enjoy winter sports and go skiing or snowboarding. It is well worth thinking about what sorts of things you want to do as this will enable you to pick the best destination to suit those requirements.

Language

If you relish the idea of learning a new language or you speak a foreign language and want to practice it then this might be a big factor in where you decide to stay. However, it may be that you would rather be at a place where a lot of the people there will be able to speak English. There are many countries where they do and so this could mean that you want to choose an English speaking country or one where English is well understood. If you go to an area that is popular with British tourist, then they are likely to speak English anyway.

Coast/city/countryside

It is worth thinking about the specific type of area that you would like to stay in. Although picking coast, city or countryside is a bit broad, it should help you to focus. Some people do like a beach holiday where they can enjoy playing on the sand, the water sports and the breeze as well as possibly the sunshine as well. Others would prefer to be in a busy city where there is lots going on with shops, museums, art galleries, theatres, concert halls and things like this. Others prefer to get away from it all and be in a location where it is very peaceful in the middle of the countryside so that they can enjoy clear views and walks without shops and too many people. It is all down to personal taste, but if you are paying for a foreign holiday then you want to make sure that you get a type of holiday that you will really enjoy so that you get the very best value for money.

Weather

It is worth thinking hard about the weather. It is tempting to think that it will lovely being somewhere warm and sunny, but you will have to find a way to cope with the heat if you are not used to it. If you are on the coats and can go in the sea or a pool then this can keep you cool but if you are active, then it can get too hot to do much sometimes. Alternatively you might think that it could be good to go skiing and have it really cold. You will be able to wear layers of clothing to make sure that you feel warm enough but you may find that you feel uncomfortable in lots of bulky clothing or that you still feel cold even with lots of layers. Obviously these are extremes, but it is worth being careful and planning well.

So when you are planning a trip abroad it is worth thinking hard about exactly what you expect to get out of the holiday. Think about what you like in a holiday, what you want to experience and what will be right for your family and then you will be able to plan the perfect foreign holiday.plane photo

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Top Ideas for Family Day Trips

If you are going out for days as a family then this can be a lot of fun. Going to different places each day can be entertaining and it can be comfortable to be able to return to your own bed each night. However, it can sometimes be tiring and expensive and it is therefore worth planning things well before you start.

Use search engines to plan days out

It is wise to look carefully into each attraction that you plan to visit before you go. Take a look at their website and you should be able to find out all sorts of useful information. Firstly, you should think about the cost of going to the place and whether you feel it is good value for money and if it falls within your budget. Check how to get there and what the opening hours are. Look and see if there are any special events and activities that you might want to see or perhaps might want to avoid. Check the general information about the place to ensure that it fits with your expectations.

Consider travelling distance and amount of walking required

It is worth thinking about how long it will take you to get to places each day. If some places take a lot more travelling, then it could be wise to space those out with days when you do less. This will avoid you having to do all of your travelling in a block, which could be rather tiring. The same applies to walking. If some places have a lot more walking than others then split them up so that you do not have several days with lots of walking, making you too tired to enjoy other days out. It is good to do different types of activities next to each other. So if you are planning a zoo visit, several museums, several art galleries and a safari park then split them up so the museums are not on days next to each other etc and then you will have a more varied week Vary the activities

Weather

Think about the weather when you are planning the day to make sure that you are inside on appropriate days and outside on others. You may prefer to be inside when it is wet or you may prefer to be inside if it is too hot. Think about whether you can be flexible with where you go and when and plan for that. Also make sure that you have appropriate clothing for that weather such as sunblock and hats, umbrellas and macs or scarves and gloves!

Food

It is a good idea to think about food as well. It can be expensive to eat when you are out for the day, particularly if you are in a specific place like a museum. Therefore it might be wise to think about whether you should take food with you, if you can. It could save you a lot of money and allow you to ensure you have something that you like. If you have children, it can be tricky to find food that they will eat sometimes and so taking food for them can really help. Taking drinks can also be a good idea, warm drinks in a flask for cold days and cold drinks for hot days. If you follow a special diet, perhaps for health or ethical reasons, then it may be difficult to find food that suits you otherwise.

Extra Costs

make sure that you take into account any extra costs when planning the trip. You may include entry fee and travel costs, but in some places there will be extras as well. You may need to pay for certain activities and at some places there may be very little to do apart from the activities that you have to pay for. If it is not clear from the website or leaflet, whether you will have to pay extra for things, then get in touch with the place before you go, so that you do not have any nasty shocks when you arrive.

Souvenirs

When you go to any place there will be souvenirs to buy. These are often directed right at children and so you may need to be prepared for this. You can either be prepared to pay out for them or you can warn the children beforehand that they will not be getting any souvenirs from the gift shop. It can be hard to avoid the shop as many places are set up so that you have to walk through it before you exit.

Consider some days at home

It can be worth also considering whether you might like some days at home. You may want to have a day where you no longer need to travel and so you can just relax. You will not have to get up early to get somewhere or have to walk around all day. It might be nice to just stay at home or go out in your very local area instead.

Choosing the right type of place to visit can also have an impact on how good the day is. You might decide to go to a city, the country, the coast or to a stately home, wildlife park, farm, art gallery, museum or pottery. Consider what will appeal to you and the family as well as any others going with you. You may be going out with friends or other family members and so they may have different interests to you and so you will need to consider this as well. Adults tend to behave better than children in the sense that if they get bored, they can find a way to entertain themselves, whereas children are very much less able to do this. So if you do have children going with you then think of their needs first as otherwise you could end up having a day where the children are constantly moaning, which will not be fun for anyone.

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Top Things to do on a Bank Holiday

When bank holidays arrive, we all want to make the most of that day off. In the UK we get them at Easter and Christmas, when we traditionally spend time with family. However, when it comes to the May and August ones, we are more likely to want to spend it doing something else. There are lots of options of course, but with one day or a long weekend, if you have the weekend before off too, it does not give you that much time.

A weekend break

It can be really good to go away for the weekend and get away from home and any stresses that you have there. However, many people do the same thing and this means that it could be extremely busy traffic wise and it could be expensive to stay anywhere. It could be that you find you spend a lot of time in the car and travelling and this might make the situation more stressful than if you do not go away at all. It all depends on your attitude towards traffic. Of course, you could choose to use public transport instead and this could be a less stressful option.

A staycation

Staying at home can be a good option for some people. If you work outside of the home, then being able to relax at home when you have the chance can be very welcome. You can catch on sleep and watch TV shows and generally just relax without the worry of having to go anywhere. You may have jobs that you want to get done at home as well and although this may not be so relaxing, it can be a chance to just get rid of those things that are niggling at you, perhaps painting a room, doing some repairs or something like that.

Local attractions

It can be fun to stay local and visit attractions that you have near to you. You might like to visit local art galleries or museums, go to local shops or nature reserves. You might have fun walks that you ca do or just enjoy the local town. We often ignore the attractions that we have locally or we visit them once or twice and not again. Therefore it can be a lot of fun to revisit those places and enjoy t hem all over again.

Museums and art galleries

Some people really enjoy going to museums and art galleries and may find them educational or inspirational. These are normally open on bank holidays and they be fun places to go to. Whether you have children with you or not, they can be interesting places to go to. You may have some locally or you may have to travel some distance to go to some, but either way they can be a lot of fun.

Wildlife reserves, parks and zoos

These can be great places to watch cute and interesting animals and learn more about them. They often involve interesting walks as well. It can be a great thing to do with children but actually can be fin for adults as well. Often these types of places can have special activities on when they know they are likely to get lots of visitors. There might be trails or quizzes or other things to do which can make them even more fun, if you decide that you want to take part.

Go to the Beach

A day trip to a local beach can be great fun at any time and bank holiday will give you the chance to go when you would normally be at work. The beach can be a lot of fun, with sand to play on or lie on, the sea to go in, lots of fun shops and other activities to do. You can choose a place with lots of tourist activities to get involved with or somewhere quiet where there are very few shops but less people.

Shopping

These days most main shops will be open on a bank holiday, apart from Easter Sunday when they legally have to close. This means that it can be a great opportunity to catch up with some shopping or just have some fun browsing the shops. The shops might be a bit quieter than a Saturday as some people will choose to do other activities so it might allow you to be able to spend more time browsing and less time queuing.

Lunch Out

A bank holiday can be a great opportunity to have a break from cooking and eat lunch out somewhere. With no rush to get back to work or anything like that, it can be a lovely opportunity to just relax and enjoy some good food. As most bank holidays fall when the weather is warm, you could go somewhere that you can eat outside and enjoy the sunshine. You may even decide to drive to a country pub and have a lovely walk either before or after, perhaps to work up an appetite or to burn off some of the food!

Afternoon Tea

There is a growth in popularity for afternoon tea and there are many lovely places that you can go to enjoy it. Whether you choose to go with family or friends you will be bound to have a lovely time with some tasty treats. You will find that hotels will often offer afternoon tea as well as tearooms and cafes. If you are not keen on having everything you could just have a cream tea as these tend to be available all across the country these days, not just in Devon and Cornwall.

Go to the Pub

Pubs are not as popular as they used to be but there is still a selection of pubs and wine bars around. They will appeal to different types of people depending on whether you want something sophisticated or if you are looking for something family friendly. There are likely to still be plenty to pick from in your local area. It can be great to just sit inside or outside a pub, enjoy some drinks and maybe food as well and have a great chat. You could meet friends or family as well if you wish.

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