Insisting on a traditional cooked breakfast and seeking out English food is one of the most popular things associated with Brits abroad, a new survey has revealed.
‘Brits abroad’ is a term used by the press to describe often shameful behaviour by UK holidaymakers, and as well as their reputation for craving sausage, egg and chips, there are many more characteristics to the stereotype, some of which are sure to amuse.
The 1,500-people survey, released today by UK package travel retailer Holiday Hypermarket, reveals that 92% of us are aware of the term ‘Brits abroad’ and a whopping 68% of us find the associated stereotypes to be fair.
And Brits spending hours hunting down teabags, tins of baked beans and other English home comforts was one of the most common traits, mentioned by more than 50% of those surveyed
The full list of characteristics most associated with a Brit abroad can be seen below:
Terrible sunburn (64.93%)
Drinking before 12pm (58.50%)
Not learning the language (54.45%)
Searching for hours for English food (53.15%)
Having a fry-up abroad (52.93%)
Packing tea bags (46.93%)
Socks and sandals (43.60%)
Reserving sun loungers with towels (35.50%)
Talking about the weather at home (33.41%)
Constantly checking the weather (23.28%)
Novelty towels (21.91%)
Buying items from beach sellers(17.35%)
Not sure / other characteristic (5.50%)
Holiday Hypermarket representative Craig Duncan comments, “It’s interesting to see what people associate with the term ‘Brits abroad’, especially as this survey was carried out in the UK. I wonder how this would compare with what our European neighbours think?”
The survey explores a wide range of opinions relating to package holidays abroad and revealed a number of intriguing and, sometimes comical, insights.
One in five of us have had a sunbed stolen. This must be why more than one in four of us are prepared to pay to reserve one in advance.
There are also plenty who don’t want to shell out for the privilege; one in four are prepared to get up early to reserve their prime sunbed spot by the pool.
And the pool is where we are happiest, with 38% of us preferring to hang out there, in comparison with 32% who prefer the beach (30% are unsure).
Overall, beach package holidays still rule the roost with 62% of us opting for this getaway type over others.
As far as families are concerned, there are a number of debates that continue to cause a stir across social media and beyond.
49% of people think it’s OK for parents to take their kids out of school for holidays, with 26% against the idea and 25% on the fence.
And when we’re on holiday, 65% of people think it’s unacceptable for kids to use mobiles or tablets at the dinner table. This has risen from 56% in 2015. So are we dialling down our tech more than ever, in favour of connecting with our families when on holiday?
While this may be true, interestingly, over 40% of parents part company with their children while on holiday, using the very accommodating kids’ clubs. Another topic for debate.
Duncan continues, “There are many debates surrounding holidays but one thing’s for sure; singles, couples and families all need downtime and are willing to spend more for a better experience. At the same time, if there are savings to be made, people will take holidays at times that are more convenient, which is understandable given the wider financial pressures of life.”
Of all the traits linked with Brits abroad, demanding English food and seeking out fried breakfasts is up there with all of them. Pass the ketchup!
Despite having been to Legoland Windsor at least a dozen times, I’ve never written about it on the blog before – apart from a short review of a trip we made their at Christmas one year. This hasn’t been intentional – we love visiting Legoland, hence so many return trips! So with our next trip coming up next month, I thought it was high time I wrote about it. It is, after all, a great Family Day Out.
However, rather than just writing about what you can see and do at Legoland Windsor (which many, many people have written about) I thought I might share a few tips I’ve picked up over the years – many of which will help you to plan your visit cost-effectively. Because an unplanned trip to Legoland (much like any large theme park) can be an expensive affair.
Find a deal on your entry tickets
In all the times we’ve visited Legoland (and we’ve been going for 15 years now!), I’ve only ever paid full price for a ticket ONCE – and that was an accident. For some reason, Legoland don’t do discounted “Family” tickets – so when we took Freddie for his birthday last year, and I forgot the voucher we had, I had to pay £200 for the four of us to get in. Unbeknownst to me, if we had stopped on the way and bought a £1 packet of Chocolate buttons (which had a voucher for free child entry on), I could have saved myself £100!! Needless to say, I was gutted.
You can find discounts for Legoland (and other Merlin attractions) all over the place, from bus tickets to discount websites. Do a bit of research before you go – you’ll thank me when you see the regular entry prices!
Take your own packed lunch
Like the tickets tip, this probably goes for most theme parks these days. Taking a packed lunch / picnic with you can be a real money-saver. Packing copious drinks can also help you to save, though Legoland do have water station scattered around the park – as well as copious fizzy drink stands, obviously!
If you do take your own picnic, try to avoid taking a cool box or other bulky packaging that you’re then going to have to lug around the park all afternoon. Whilst you could theoretically send some unlucky soul back to the car with your lunch packaging, it’s a bit of a long walk – including having to walk up the hill to the entrance – so you might regret it!
Visit off-season for smaller queues
As I mentioned at the top of the post, we took a trip to Legoland’s “Meet Father Christmas” event a couple of years ago, in December. Whilst the main park closes in the winter time, events like this are an opportunity to see smaller areas of the park at a much lower price – and in a different setting to the usual summer crowds. We managed to ride on a bunch of rides that were more toddler-friendly (at least two “lands” were still open) and we got a trip to see the Big Man – and a gift – thrown in for the price!
Buy Lego from the Legoland Shop
I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive in a post about saving money, but buying Lego models from the shop can actually be a bit cheaper than buying them elsewhere – particularly if you are looking for rarer or more hard-to-find models. So if you do decide to take a trip to the park, consider checking out the shop rather than buying those gifts online beforehand.
Visit during a special event
Similarly to visiting during Christmas, you can get tickets to see Legoland for special events. For instance, we went to an event at Bonfire Night one year, where they played Star Wars music and had a variety of characters in the park. Tickets to that were much more cost-effective than the usual entry, and you got a lot more for your money.
Make the most of what the park has for free
Unlike a lot of theme parks, the majority of Legoland entry is included in your entrance tickets – so you won’t find yourself having to shell-out too much for extra rides or entry to certain places. There are lots of things going on in the park to enjoy for zero cost, especially during the busy summer months. Last time we went, they had a little theatre showing a play based on the Ninjago TV series, but there are plenty of things like this – including the hourly “big show” at the lighthouse water park area.
Buy your car park ticket in advance
Bit of a boring one to finish on, but it’ll save you money none-the-less. Getting your parking ticket in advance will save you a bit of money compared to buying it when you get there!
So those are my tips, gathered over the past few years – if I’ve missed any good ones, let me know in the comments!
Represent your love for cars by decking out your man cave with car-themed stuff! Make the most rad man cave ever.
When your dressing up a themed room, you cannot skip the details. Picking out the TV, pool table, and the rest of the bigger stuff is fun, but keep in mind the small stuff. That’s what will set your car-themed man cave apart from the rest.
When you have guests in your car-themed man cave, everything they come in contact with should be car-themed. You’ll probably offer them drinks, so make sure when they set their drink down, it’s on an awesome car-themed coaster. Keep moisture from condensating beers off your table!
Match the coasters to the rest of your decor by checking out this list of coasters for a car-themed man cave.
This classic dashboard look fits with any car-themed room, but it especially matches with a room that takes a classy approach to their car-themed man cave. They’re also black and white, so blending in with any interior design color design will be easy.
This nickel plate set is covered with black velvet on the bottom to ensure no scratches on your tables. Fit with MPH, oil levels, fuel tank monitor, and AMPS, you have the whole dashboard set, right from Amazon. For Amazon Prime members, you can get free 2-day shipping on these, and you can get Amazon promo codes here and here.
If you love Corvettes, you gotta have these Corvette Coasters. They’ll also match with a classic car-themed room.
Get this set of metal rimmed coasters that show the timeless Chevy Corvette. Each coaster has a cork bottom. They’re new, but they have a retro construction. These vintage inspired coasters are from the Corvette Museum in Kentucky.
Classic Car Coaster
Another throwback set, these Classic Car Coasters from Amazon display a simpler time and a history of innovation. Using black and red, these colors fit with many car-themed rooms that use the traditional black and red color scheme.
Reminisce on past times with old fashioned cars. They’re made with a non-slip hardboard backing, so you don’t have to worry about accidental spills.
What more appropriate in a car-themed man cave than tire coasters? The Tire Coaster Set found at Summit Racing Equipment (promo codes here, here) are a cool way to keep up the theme.
These coasters do so much for a car-themed room because you’re using a literal part of a vehicle. Tire coasters will definitely stand out in any car lovers den.
The wheels are chrome-plated and wrapped in actual rubber. No scuffs from the shiny metal used in the tiny rims. Get a set of 3 that are perfectly sized for most glasses.
Yellow Tire Tread Coasters
Here’s something with a bit more pop! The Yellow Tire Tread Coasters are a spirited way to create a car-themed man cave. This particular set is from Zazzle, which is good news – they usually offer promo codes for anywhere from 20% – 40% off, or sometimes other discounts will pop up.
Maybe you’re not into the whole red and black color scheme that you usually see in these types of themed room. These refreshing bright yellow coasters are a start in another direction for a car-themed man cave.
They’re made with high-gloss plastic and a cork back that’ll stay in place when guests set down their drink. Appropriate for hot and cold drinks, place these on your table for your friends.
For something handcrafted, these Jeep Coasters are something you won’t see anywhere else. Jeep fans have something special for them!
These cute cartoon Jeep coasters are very artistic and made for the guy who wants his man cave to look different than anyone else’s. The woodsy texture sports an outdoorsy car guy style. Add a pine scented candle to the room, and you’re getting there!
Each coaster is handmade on Etsy from sanded, rustic wood and decorated with acrylic paint. Wood used is oak, birch, natural, and maple. You can also grab Etsy promo codes here and here.
Volkswagen Wood Coaster
Here’s another coaster made from more natural materials. The Volkswagen Coasters, also handmade on Etsy, let people know your feelings about the car company.
These laser engraved drink coasters are so neat and purposely unfinished. It gives a rustic look to the space while still finished with a high gloss to for smoothness. It’s uncomplicated, yet so on point!
Route 66 Coasters
The Route 66 sign is an iconic symbol of driving. That’s what makes these Route 66 Coasters from Wayfair (codes here and here) perfect for a car-themed man cave.
If you love driving out on the open road, celebrate that feeling with a coaster that wishes you “Happy Trails.” Traveling by car holds a unique way of seeing the sights and there’s nothing like a solid road trip with loved ones.
The subtle browns and tans go well in a man cave that is more subdued or pastoral.
Another piece of imagery you see associated with cars is the flame. Red hot flames on a black background make the Flame Thrower Coasters an excellent way to complete a car-themed man cave.
These coasters are striking and go well on top of any surface.
Honor the excitement and freedom of cars with wild flame coastes. Pull the whole look together with these slick coasters. Get these on Etsy.
Given a vintage look, these coasters take the classic American stop sign and give it an entirely new feel. They’re made of cork, so they’re super light.
Pick which of these 10 coasters for a car-themed man cave go best with your digs and make drink condensation on your man cave table a thing of the past. Every piece is important for your themed room, so make sure every item counts!
As a parent, it’s sometimes a struggle to find new and exciting things to do with your kids. Whether it’s a quiet Sunday afternoon where you desperately want an excuse to get out of the house, or a half-term holiday where you’re trying to watch the pennies, finding something fun (and free!) to do can sometimes be tough.
Sure, you can go for walks, or head to the local park – but finding something that will keep both your kids AND you entertained for a few hours can often be a rarity. Even more so if you don’t want to spend much money.
Well, I think I might have found the ultimate, free, fun activity to keep all of you occupied – and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find this in any of the usual “Top 10” lists.
We’ve been doing the activity in question for about 5 or 6 years now, though my wife has been a proponent for longer – taking place as it does (at least in our case) in Reigate, where she grew up. It combines the health benefits of a long walk with the irresistible charm of hunting/finding/collecting, that so many kids (and grown-ups!) love.
My kids utterly love it – to the extent that they badger us to do it again almost as soon as it’s over. In fact, I remarked to my wife last weekend (while we were partaking in said activity) that it was genuinely the happiest I have ever seen my oldest son – more-so than any screen, present, day-out or treat has ever made him.
So what is this magical activity in question, and how can you get involved? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s…
Golf Ball hunting.
Yep, you read that right. Hunting for golf balls.
Okay, I should probably explain a bit more, shouldn’t I?
My wife grew up in Reigate, Surrey, very near to the Heath – a heath which plays host to the Reigate Heath Golf Club. A swanky club which (crucially) is entirely open to the public, due to it being placed on public land.
So every time we go to visit my Mother-in-Law, we go for a walk on the heath – either to walk off a big lunch, or to enjoy the weather, or to walk a dog. But whatever the reason, we end up hunting for golf balls while we walk. And we usually find quite a few.
Well, I saw “a few” – that’s a bit of an understatement. Last weekend, over the course of 2 days, we found 153 balls. A new record, I might add.
I should probably clarify at this stage, we’re not picking up balls that belong to the golfers who happen to be playing that day. No, these balls have been hit into bushes, over roads, down rabbit holes or any number of other places.
I don’t know if golfers are getting lazier or we’re getting more well-practised, but a good weekend will often see us finding upwards of a hundred balls, all of which we stick in a bag, wash, sort and then either give away to friends/charity shops or (very occasionally) sell on eBay.
When we first started doing it properly, the kids would mostly enjoy the thrill of us finding them, being (as they were) not very attentive or involved. But as they’ve gotten older, they take more and more enjoyment from finding the balls themselves. In fact, last weekend saw Robert finding at least 40 of our haul entirely by himself. And boy oh boy, was he loving that.
Obviously not everyone has access to a nearby golf course – and even if you do, this probably isn’t for everyone. But if you DO find yourself near a course on public land, I’d recommend giving it a go. You never know – you might love it!
And even if you don’t find any, you’ve had a pleasant walk out of the deal.
Just stay away from Reigate, okay? That’s my turf…
Following up from the ground-breaking 2001 BBC documentary series ‘Blue Planet’, Blue Planet 2 was one of 2017’s most talked-about pieces of television. Whether it was the stunning underwater filming, the shocking ecological messages or David Attenborough’s amazing narration, anybody who saw the series will remember what a stunning piece of work it was.
Here’s the “prequel” film created for the show, to get you in the mood:
Blue Planet II : The Prequel - YouTube
Featuring 7, hour-long episodes (including a ten minute ‘making of’ segment, showing some of the behind the scenes magic that made the show) the series follows-on from its 2001 predecessor to visit seas and oceans all over the globe, exploring the lives of the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit them.
The series took a whopping four years to film and create, and involved 125 separate expeditions to almost 40 different countries. Apparently, the crew spent an amazing 6,000 hours filming underwater!
As a long-time fan of the Cbeebies show ‘Octonauts’, a number of the more unusual creatures were already familiar to my family and I, from the amazing jumping Blennies to the Humboldt squid, and not forgetting the amazing deep-sea Siphonophore
If you weren’t lucky enough to see the show when it originally aired – or perhaps you want to relive it all again – I’ve got some good news for you! Thanks to the lovely people at BGO slots, who are clearly fans of good quality television, I’ve got 2 copies of the Blue Planet 2 DVD to give away!
It couldn’t be easier to enter, either! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning one of them is write a comment below, telling me what your favourite moment from the show was. And if you’ve not yet seen the show, watch the trailer above and tell me what you’d LIKE to see. Simple!
In one week’s time (April 19th 2018) I will randomly pick 2 entrants to win the DVDs. So get commenting…
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you’ll be aware that Thunderbirds have had a bit of a resurgence. No longer confined to their (literal) puppet-masters, our favourite rescue organisation are now fully-CGI and better than ever before.
The first two series of the newly-digital show have been firm favourites in our household – we’ve not quite got to Blue Peter / Tracey Island levels of toy ownership yet, but it’s getting close. So my boys were very excited to hear that series 3 will be beaming it’s way onto screens here in the UK this weekend – March 31st to be precise.
To celebrate the latest series going to air, I’ve been given three FAB Thunderbirds Are Go rucksacks to give away – and who doesn’t love a nice rucksack, eh?!
It’s very easy to enter, too – all you need to do is fill in your details in the form below and hit the button – simple!
The competition is open for one week, so get entering. And don’t forget: Thunderbirds Are Go, Season 3 Part 1, is available to watch on CITV and ITV now!
I’d usually start a review like this by pointing out that I’m “not much of a gamer”, or some other excuse to hide my lack of proficiency in matters of gaming. But thankfully, the game I’ve been asked to review this time is VERY different to your average console title – and i’m happy to report it’s RIGHT in my wheel house.
To set the scene a little, I’ve been playing console games for about 20+ years now. My first ever gaming console was a Sega Master System, and fast forwarding to today we have a Nintendo Wii, a PlayStation 4 and a couple of PS Vita’s in the house. But apart from being rather adept at Mario Kart Wii, I’m not really one for console gaming these days.
What I DO play, however, are a few Smartphone games – mainly on my long commute to and from London each day for work. You don’t even want to know what my high-score is on Candy Crush Saga. But I enjoy these skill-based games quite a bit, and the competitive aspect of it adds to the fun.
So when I found out about Frantics from the lovely PR people who are promoting it – and who kindly sent me a copy to test – I realised it was right up my street.
If you’re not familiar with this type of game (I’ve only really discovered them in the past 6 months myself), Frantics is a console-based game that allows players to use their Smartphone as a controller. Why is that any better than using the console’s own controller, I hear you ask? Well, for starters most players already have them – so each player can have their own without the need to buy more controllers for your console. Also: the screen on your smartphone (along with the camera) allow the game’s smartphone app to feed far more into the game than a traditional controller might.
Frantics itself is a perfect example of this kind of game, and uses the abilities it offers up really nice. Here’s a quick explanation of what the game involves:
In a nutshell, you and up to 3 players can play against each other in a series of fun challenges which are picked from a collection of over a dozen mini-games. As you go through the rounds, you earn Crowns and collect coins which help you to gain ground in the “grand finale” challenge.
The mini-games are often fairly familiar concepts, though they’re animated so beautifully that you’ll be hard-pushed to not be impressed by them. Our favourites include “Chair-riots”, where your characters ride on office wheely-chairs in a life-size, 3D version of the Olympic sport of Curling. Another favourite is “Big-Top Hoppity Hop”, where you ride space hoppers and try to knock your competitors into spikes to eject them from the game.
You control your character using the motion-sensors in your smartphone, along with various buttons which appear in the games. So in one race you might be tilting your phone left and right to steer, whilst another game might see you sabotaging other players with a giant button on your controller.
Where the game gets REALLY fun, though, is the added information you get given throughout the game. For instance, various players get picked for a “secret mission” mid-way through the rounds – and have to complete the mission away from the prying eyes of the other players. One such mission might be to complete a certain objective in the next round, or another would be to guess who is going to win more points and gain points for yourself in the process.
The story of the game is presented by a sly old Fox with a very suave accent, who commentates on your progress as well as offering you tips and information about which other players might be picking on you more than others.
My boys both howled with delight while playing this weekend, and have asked if we can play again on an hourly basis ever since. They seemed to especially enjoy the secretive nature of the information they were getting about other players, as well as the obvious competitive nature of the challenges.
The game itself was very simple to setup – apart from downloading the game from the PlayStation store, we simply installed the (free) Frantics app on all of our smartphones and opened them up. Because we’re all using the same wi-fi network, it recognised the console straight away, and we were playing in mere minutes.
The game normally retails for around £15, and I’d definitely say it’s well worth the money. You can play the game in standard mode many, many times without repeating the same collection of mini-games, or you could customise tournaments yourself – so the combinations are endless. You can also choose to practise individual games outside of the tournament, and the in-game tutorials were simple enough for our 6 year-old to find it all straightforward.
It’s definitely one we’ll be playing a lot over the next few months!
Don’t leave it to the last minute this Mother’s Day! To save you the hassle of panicked last minute shopping, we’ve teamed up with Discount Supplements UK to bring you this huge Mother’s Day bundle for the special woman in your life! Ranging from herbal teas, soaps, facial moisturisers and of course, shampoo and conditioner!
Looking for a little something to keep your evenings busy whilst February’s still being cold and miserable? We’ve teamed up with Paddy Power Slots to bring you this competition to win a copy of Idris Elba’s latest blockbuster The Dark Tower on DVD!
The film is based on the hit literary series by Stephen King, and follows The Gunslinger as he battles with his enemy, The Man in Black to defend The Dark Tower, which holds everything in the Universe together. The film is directed by Danish director Nikolaj Arcel and also stars Matthew McConaughey, Claudia Kim and Vikings star (and now director) Katheryn Winnick. Good luck!
All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is fill in the short form below – that’s it!
I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of a movie fan – anybody who has seen our over-sized Blu-ray shelf can probably testify that I like to enjoy a good film (and several bad ones too) more than once.
I like all types of films – from sci-fi to drama and everything in between. But I’d never really been very AFFECTED by the films I watched – films are entertainment, plain and simple, so I rarely got very emotional about films.
All that changed the moment I became a parent, of course – and I suspect a lot of you experienced the same thing. Now I can barely watch an advert for nappies without feeling like I might burst into tears!
Never has this been more obvious than last night, when Sara and I watched the 2016 film ‘Lion’ for the first time. We’ve had it on the shelf for about 4 months, but having heard Chris Evans interviewing Nicole Kidman about it last year (and interview where both parties ended up in tears, live on the radio) I was a little bit wary about diving in.
If you’ve not seen it, here’s the trailer to give you a taste of what to expect:
Lion Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Dev Patel Movie - YouTube
And boy oh boy, was I right. I won’t spoil the film for you, but needless to say the story of a boy who gets separated from his mother and then tries to find her again later in life… it contains all the ingredients for an attack of the waterworks.
All of which got me thinking about other films that I’ve seen as a parent which had an effect on me. I asked around on Facebook and Twitter for other people’s suggestions, many of which I’m sharing below. So if you’re feeling like you need to reconnect with your inner parent, or just in the mood for a good clear-out of the old tear-ducts, stick one of the following on the TV and grab the tissues…
I’ve included a trailer for each suggestion, so that you can get a preview of what you’re letting yourselves in for…
1. Paddington 2
Obviously the first Paddington is just as good a movie, but it’s the Aunt Lucy storyline in the recent sequel that really tugs at the parental heart-strings…
PADDINGTON 2 - Full US Trailer - YouTube
2. Toy Story 3
All of the Toy Story films have been emotional for one reason or another, but the last 20 minutes of third have me in tears every time – particularly the scene with the toys being passed on…
Toy Story 3: Trailer - YouTube
3. Jack & Sarah
Probably one of the lesser-known films on the list, you might have missed this one. Richard E Grant plays a newly-widowed father – which pretty much sets the emotional tone for the film… By the way, this trailer does it no justice at all!
Jack And Sarah Trailer 1995 - YouTube
I don’t know what goes on over at the Pixar studios, as they seem to have the magic formula when it comes to creating movies with heart. I’ve not seen this one yet, but everyone I know who has reported back that it’s a real tear-jerker by the end…
Yet another animated entry on the list – what is it about these kids movies that have us adults reaching for the tissues? The reunion at the end of the movie is a particularly heart-warming moment.
Tangled - Official Trailer 2 - YouTube
6. Inside Out
This is another suggestion from friends that I’ve not actually seen myself, so I shall be adding it to my waiting list. I’m assured it’d make even the most stony-faced parent cry though, particularly if your kids are entering the teenage years…
Inside Out Official Trailer #2 (2015) - Disney Pixar Movie HD - YouTube
One of my favourite movies of the past few years, Boyhood contains a whole host of storylines that could leave you moist around the eyes, but the ending in particular always gets me.
Boyhood - International Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD - YouTube
8. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Not only is this a brilliantly heart-warming tale, it’s also hilariously funny and far less well-known that it deserves to be. The finale in particular will get you every time.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Sam Neill, Rhys Darby Movie HD - YouTube
9. The Impossible
I guess a film that centres around a tsunami was always going to be an emotional one, but the break-up of the main family adds an extra parental twist of the kleenex, right the way through the film
The Impossible NEW TRAILER (2012) Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts Movie HD - YouTube
Last year’s much-loved Wolverine finale is fairly unique in its inclusion on the list, given that it doesn’t actually feature any parents in the main roles – or not in the traditional sense at least. But boy oh boy…