Project: Wanderlust - ...following my heart all over the world
Alice Langley Travel loving 30-something now with a family in tow! Project: Wanderlust is all about seeing the world and have an adventure. Part travel-journal, part family travel guide - Alice blogs to record her memories and inspire other families to follow their wanderlust too. She is a girl on a traveling mission, and not even a husband and two small children are going to get in her way.
Mini breaks are ideal for exploring new cities or just getting a relaxing couple of days away, and with summer well on its way, it may be time to start planning your perfect mini getaway. But don’t worry about being short on time, with the right planning you’ll be able to see and do everything you want to – you’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in just 48 hours!
Choosing the perfect location
When going on a mini break, location is everything. Whether you’re going on an adventure holiday, relaxing spa break or a city break; location can make or break the trip. Consider what it is you’re looking for; instant sun perhaps? If so, a short trip to a European city may be in order; the smaller cities are ideal for mini breaks as you can take in everything they have to offer in a short amount of time.
If history is more your thing, then there is plenty on offer here in the UK. Staycations are becoming increasingly popular and it’s hard to argue with the reasons why. The UK is overflowing with history and heritage; did you know Dorset is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts over 96 miles of stunning coastline? Why not take to the southern coast and take in everything from dramatic coastal walks to vineyard tours or perhaps just park your towel on the beach and laze the day away.
The right accommodation
When planning your mini break, it’s important to choose the perfect place to call home whilst you’re visiting. Remember to consider everything you want to achieve from the outset, do you want to stay right in the heart of a city or perhaps be cosied up in Dorset Holiday Cottages from Lyme Bay Holidaysoverlooking the sea? Choosing the perfect accommodation will go a long way in creating your ideal break.
Planning is essential, and the more organised you are the more you will be able to do on a mini break, however you also need to be prepared to stray from the plan if necessary. Time is sacred on such a short trip, so if you plan to do something and it doesn’t work out or you aren’t enjoying it; abandon it and do something else!
Do the things you love
When you’re going away for a short trip, there is no time for doing things you don’t enjoy. Consider the things that you love and incorporate them into your trip. If you like sitting in a coffee shop watching the world go by, then you should do that. Similarly, if you’re a theatre fan why not research local shows before you travel and organise tickets, or perhaps research the best spots for surfing if you’re after an action-packed weekend away.
Do your research
Specifically, check out the local restaurants ahead of time. It happens all too often; it’s coming up to meal times, you’re frantically trying to find a nice restaurant but have no idea where to start. The best way to plan is to research before you leave home, find two or three well reviewed restaurants and check the menus out so that you already have places in mind when you get there. If you have time it is always a good idea to check the spot out during the day too, and book ahead if they’re popular!
Make the most of it
As mentioned previously, time is sacred on a mini break; so, the most important thing to keep in mind is to make the most of every second! Planning restaurants and activities ahead will relieve some of the pressure and allow you to enjoy your days away to the max, by giving you more time to take in everything your mini break has to offer.
It’s time to renew your passport, book a flight and pack your bags. You and your beau both deserve a romantic trip away with your other half, but often, an unfamiliar location brings the biggest dilemma — what to pack!
Brits love Reykjavik, and there has been an influx is holidays there. So, what’s stopping you from booking up?
From the snowy grounds to the beautiful night sky, you’ll encounter it al. As well as this, you might enjoy taking a relaxing spa day to another level by visiting the Blue Lagoon. There’s no denying that the climate in the Nordic country is extremely different to our own, so what should you wear?
If you’re not a fan of the cold, remember to take a super thick winter coat. Rock bright hues that will make you stand out against the snowy backdrop when venturing outside — such as the Golden Circle tour. Hiking boots are also essential on this trip, especially if you’re moving outside of the city centre.
Despite what you may think, you can dress as you would at home. Shop for some thermals that can be worn beneath your usual nightlife gear.
You’ll need to pack a winter coat too. Again, you want to opt for something bright that will make you the star of the show when in Reykjavik. Thermals and hiking boots are a must for external trips.
You don’t need your hiking books for evening drinks, you can wear heels! Remember that you can always keep warm with a faux fur coat — this is something that you can keep in the cloakroom!
This destination is an architectural haven and you’ll feel right at home taking selfies with other tourists. This city has so much to offer, so you better be booking those flights!
Style is everything in Riga, and you need to know what to wear. Whether you’re exploring the history of the local museums or partaking in fine dining, you need to look good.
It can get chilly in Riga, so you need to be prepared. If you’re heading out to the Old City for a romantic walk with your partner, opt for a simple tee and a neutral coloured jacket. Pair with jeans and boots and you’re sorted.
Casual is key too, but when it comes to dining, make sure you’re sporting a men’s blazer. But you must remember your hats, gloves and scarves for when you’re walking back to your hotel!
For visiting quaint cafes during the day, opt for a bold roller neck jumper and match with denim mom jeans, accompanied by some flat trainers and your favourite backpack.
Unsure on what to pack? For dinner, choose one of your occasion dressesand pair with some chunky heels and wear a faux fur panel jacket to stay on trend.
Everyone seems to be booking a trip here too. This could be classed as the most romantic location on our list — as the secluded city offers both historic culture but everything you need from modern indulgence.
You may need to plan in advance though. Will you be heading to the world’s most intact ancient theatre or taking a trip to an aviation museum? The choice is yours.
Just like the UK, the dreaded rainfall is likely to occur. So, you need to make sure to pack a waterproof jacket and some hiking boots for your holiday.
If you’re wearing your jeans, you need to have a nice shirt to go with it, and more so, a smart jumper. We recommend opting for some trainers in this city — you’ll nail the smart-casual look.
Pack a cute tee and pair with loose fitting mom jeans and flat trainers. Take a backpack to keep your belongings in and a jacket for when you get cold walking back to your hotel.
When you’re out and about, your outfit will bring in all of the attention. Remember to opt for a wedged boot too!
Motorway rest stops can be harsh on your pocket when on road trip, not to mention how little hearty, healthy food is on offer amongst a sea of salty fast food, so it’s often a good idea to pack a family road trip picnic before setting off and find a country park or scenic roadside stop for lunch along the way.
Not only will packing a family road trip picnic save you money, it will also encourage you to seek out somewhere to stop that is a little more exciting, and beautiful, that a concrete building filled with smelly toilets, Burger King and a few slot machines.
Family Road Trip Picnic Ideas
A punnet of cherry tomatoes are great for keeping the children quiet while we are getting the rest of the picnic ready, plus they are full of super anti-oxidants and help to keep you hydrated on a long trip. Cucumber sticks are also a must for us on a family road trip – and as they are relatively mess free they can be dished out as an in-car snack too.
Serving your food in its own casing removes the need for cutely/plates and therefore reduces the waste your need to pack up and take with you once the family road trip picnic is over.
We stole this idea from a mum a school a few years ago and never looked back. Freezing the yogurt tubes means they not only stay cold for the first part of the journey until you are ready to eat them, but you can also use you as ice packs to keep the rest of your food chilled. Genius!
What I love most about taking flapjacks on a long journey is the ritual of baking them with the children a day or two before we leave. Fill them full of dried fruit and nuts, pack them in a Tupperware and serve them as a special treat at the end of your family road trip picnic.
Sugary drinks are a no no for us when on a long journey as they make the children need the toilet 5 times more and 10 times quicker than water does! Caffeine has its place for those who need to stay awake, but I much prefer preventing the tidiness setting in by taking planned stops and keeping hydrated along the way instead. A refillable water bottle each is a must for us.
We also make sure we have wipes, travel trays, hand sanitizer and a picnic rug for our family road trip picnic – other than that all we need is a map, a destination and a large portion of adventure!
We spent Saturday at Wembley for the FA Cup Semi Final between Man City and Brighton and Hove Albion as guests of Emirates.
For a football loving family like us, this was a dream come true! Wembley, as always, was a set up fantastically for families with exciting fan parks, fast moving queues into the ground and helpful friendly staff high-fiving anyone that smiled in their direction.
But, do you know what, don’t take my word for it….here’s what S had to say about the day;
On Saturday the 6thof April I was lucky enough to experience the amazing semi-final of the FA cup between Brighton and Man City. We arrived by train and enjoyed watching people singing the Brighton anthems as we got closer to the stadium. When we got to Wembley we were entertained a lot. They had a fan park for each team, and out tickets got us in to the Brighton one. There were also two food trucks, Mummy let us have cheesy chips! When we got into the ground the players weren’t even warming up, so we had a drink watched the TV screen with facts and quizzes on. Where we were was a happy environment and everyone was singing. Then we went into the stands and are seats were so good we were right near the front! We really enjoyed singing all the songs. It was really cool to see the uproar when Man City scored in 3 minutes, and also when Kyle Walker went to head-but one of the Brighton players Jahanbaksh. All the Brighton fans were shouting when the ref only gave them both a yellow card. After that there were no more goals, but they both got close and Matt Ryan made an awesome save. When the game ended Man City were really happy but so were Brighton and they showed sportsmanship and clapped Man City. Then the Brighton fans went crazy for the Brighton team as they had played really well and got one of the best teams in the world to play against. When we were leaving it was so fun as I had learnt most of the Brighton anthems and was singing along. It was probably one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. Thank you for the tickets.
I second everything she has said. The Brighton fans were amazing, singing their hearts out for 90 long minutes (especially as they were 1-0 down 85 of them). Gutted for them to not be in the final, but it was a pleasure to watch the sheer class and talent of Man City in the flesh. To think that we may be able to say ‘we were there’ at the semi final for the year they did the quadruple is something quite exciting.
Thanks for having us Emirates…you have made my little tribe very happy indeed!
The Emirates FA Cup Final between Man City and Watford will be played on May 18th2019 (ticket info available from each club’s website).
Reading plays such an important role in raising strong, confident children. If you are looking for books for your kickass daughter, or you’re birthday shopping for a child and looking for something inspiring – we’re here for you!
You Are Awesome (Book and Journal) – Matthew Syde
If you believe you can’t do something, the chances are you won’t try. But what if you really could get better at maths, or sport or exams? In fact, what if you could excel at anything you put your mind to?
You Are Awesome can help you do just that, inspiring and empowering young readers to find the confidence to realise their potential. The first children’s book from Timesjournalist, two-time Olympian and best-selling mindset author Matthew Syed, it uses examples of successful people from Mozart to Serena Williams to demonstrate that success really is earned rather than given, and that talent can be acquired. With hard work and determination, practice and self-belief, and, most importantly, a Growth Mindset, there’s no reason why anyone can’t achieve anything.
Practical, insightful and positive, this is the book to help children build resilience, embrace their mistakes and grow into successful, happy adults.
What Would She Do – Kay Woodward
Meet 25 of the world’s most powerful and inspirational women from sport, science, popular culture and politics from Cleopatra to Malala Yousafzai. Each beautifully illustrated profile is complete with a modern, relatable situation and a “What Would She Do?” response to help overcome everyday 21st century issues.
Create Your Own Happy – Penny Alexander
For increasingly independent thinkers and proactive young people, this book gives them a handle on their own emotional wellbeing to best equip them with confidence for the everyday challenges of life and school. They’ll learn about the inspiring and surprising science behind emotions along the way, carry out activities with family or independently, and most importantly, find ideas for expressing themselves!
This illustrated activity book empowers children to shape their lives, and the lives of others around them, by taking practical, positive steps towards their own happiness and positive self-esteem!
*New books for your kickass daughter contains affiliate links*
If you’re staying in the UK for a holiday this year, you’re probably wondering how to get there. By car is usually the most common option, with a plane coming second if there is one. But have you thought about trains? No? Then let us tell you why trains are the way to go on your next weekend away.
The biggest advantage of taking a train, rather than a car or a plane is the simple fact that it’s cheaper. While you can get flights throughout the year that are cheaper than other times, this only really happens at specific times of the year. However, with the train, you can get super off peak ticketsalmost daily. Whether that’s by travelling at a certain time of day or just booking a few days or weeks in advance, chances are you’ll get them much cheaper than on the day
Now, we can all say that possibly the worst part of being at an airport is the baggage check and reclaim process. Standing in line to get our bags in the hold, before waiting for ages to get them at the other end, it can all be a bit of a nightmare. However, this doesn’t happen when you travel by train. You just turn up with your luggage, put it in one of the allotted spaces on the train, and that’s it until you remove it yourself at the other end – simple.
Another thing about airports is the fact you can’t take your own food on the plane due to the restrictions. This can often end up costing you a small fortune while in the lounge, and in the sky. But, when you travel on a train you can take your own food and drink without any worries. You could even take a spare backpack filled with goodies to enjoy as you travel. However, you’ll usually find a trolley or somewhere to buy food if you happen to forget supplies or begin to run low.
The discussion around climate changeis huge at the moment, and travelling by train, it turns out, is much eco-friendlier than by plane or car. In fact, trains are one of the eco-friendliest ways to travel – aside from walking, but if you’re travelling across the country that could become a bit troublesome. This is because carbon emissions from this form of transport are much less deadly to the environment, due to them not being released directly into the upper atmosphere, unlike a plane. Also, because to this, the industry doesn’t experience fuel hikes like other transport, meaning the prices stay fairly low in comparison.
It’s that time of year again where we are all looking for the best Mother’s day gifts for travel lovers.
While treating Mum to a trip off of her bucket list may be top of the list, we all know that can be slightly out of reach price -wise; so here at Project: Wanderlust we have some more budget friendly ideas of Mother’s day gifts for travel lovers for y’all to work with.
Mother’s Day Gifts For Travel Lovers
Top of our list for Mother’s day gifts for travel lovers are these fantastic deckchairs from Cox & Cox. Imagine treating mum to her very own holiday right there in her own garden. Before we know it summer will have arrived and Mum can be sat out back with a glass of something cold – and, just by closing her eyes, she could be of any beach of her choosing.
I wouldn’t travel anywhere without my UGG Slippers, it’s like taking a little piece of home with me wherever I go!
After a long day of sightseeing Mum will be able slip her feet into these soft slippers and ease the aches of day – ready for round two and an evening of fun.
Personalised Map Print
We adore having our love of travel reflected in our home decor and have two of these great Personalised Map Prints with places special to us as a couple and a family featured – they make a fantastic gift.
Having this on our Mother’s day gifts for travel lovers was a no brainer – how about creating a collection of maps depicting the top three places on Mums bucket list.
Atlas Of Adventures
This is a must for all Mums with mini-adventurers still at home!
Page upon page of amazing ideas for adventures to be had around the world – and so wonderfully illustrated as well. This is requested weekly for bedtime reading at Project: Wanderlust HQ. This will be a much loved family choice, and perfect for a spot on this Mother’s day gifts for travel lovers.
Whatever you choose – I hope you have the most wonderful Mother’s Day.
*Mother’s day gifts for travel lovers is a partnered post
Essex has seen an explosion of trampoline parks popping up across the county over the past few years. They all offer a similar experience – however at the bigger indoor trampoline parks you will also find climbing walls and soft play areas are also on offer as part of the entry package. These activity parks are great for Rainy Day in Essex as they not only offer indoor fun to keep you all dry, they are also high energy so help to wear out the kids and see off the risk of cabin fever setting in.
Watch A Film At Everyman Cinema
Yes, there are other cinemas that could be visited on a rainy day in Essex – however this luxury cinema based in Chelmsford really does offer something extra fun for families when the weather isn’t being kind. Not only can you watch the latest releases from the comfort of your very own pre1booked comfy sofa, but you can indulge in delicious food platters, sumptuous ice cream sundaes and a cheeky G&T from the bar while the film is starting (all delivered to you in your seats).
Wrap Up & Brave The Rain
outdoor space is something the Essex is blessed with in abundance. On a bright summer’s day we all feel spoilt for choice when deciding where to spend the day – so why does that have to change when the rain starts to fall? Wrap up warm, pull on your wellies and go brave the weather. Loads of Essex outdoor sports have tea rooms on site – Hylands Park, Haninult Forest, Fairlop Waters, Hanningfield Reservoir, Weald Park and High Beech to name but a few! These are a great pick for heading outside on rainy days in Essex as you have somewhere to warm up afterwards (and a perfect excuse for hot chocolates all round once you have come in from the rain!)
Visit A Museum
Essex Museums are understated! Being in such easy commute of London means so many of us head into town for our museum fix, leaving the local offerings unloved. It shouldn’t be this way though – as so many of local museums has really interesting and interactive exibists that all the family would enjoy. Museums make great rainy days in Essex destinations – they are reasonably priced, educational and, of course, indoors! There is the Planaterim in Southend, Castle Park and Museum in Colchester, Chelmsford Museam
Stay Home & Play Games
Staying home for a family game day is sometimes the only option! Movies, hot chocolates and some good old fashioned family rivalry – the only question is, Wii U or Super Nintendo?!?
The dawn of Internet browsing and low-cost long haul flights has given us access to the rest of the world at affordable prices like never before, but does the appeal of cut-price sunshine overtake our sense of safety and planning?
While keeping safe from terrorism may be at the forefront of your mind when planning a holiday, there isn’t always sufficient respect given to the risk of natural disasters as well. Although the chances of a disaster striking while you’re on holiday may be relatively low, it is difficult to ignore the ever-present risk of something unpredictable happening.
Last year Mexico, named as one of the top 10 holiday destinations, was ravaged by two earthquakes just weeks apart, causing exponential infrastructural damage and the loss of over 360 lives.
Europe too now appears to be battling extreme and dangerous weather more often. In the summer, Greece suffered horrific wildfires, sadly killing over 70 people and resulting in the complete destruction of a tourist resort. And while holidaying in Majorca, a British couple lost their lives as torrential rain caused flash flooding which engulfed the town of Sant Lorenç.
Despite this, the number of British people taking a foreign holiday this year is set reach its highest level since 2011.
There are still certain places in which the holiday market is declining though. Holidaymakers are being put off locations perceived to have a high terrorism risk. In a survey carried out by Silver Travel Advisor, 63% of respondents said that they would not take a holiday where there have been terrorist attacks.
That sais, findings by ABTA’s Holiday Trends Report 2018 found that destinations like Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia were significantly up on bookings this summer, despite Tunisia having suffered a lone terrorist attack that killed 38 people, including 30 British tourists, at the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel just three years ago. So it would appear that people’s memories are short when it comes to looking at holidays.
Sectors connected to the travel industry, such as insurance, recognise that there is still a thirst for ‘off the beaten track’ travel and are adapting their products to ensure that they offer a wide choice of covers to enable travellers to protect themselves against crisis’ and disasters.
For example, Insure4Retirement, a specialist Over 50s Home and Travel insurance provider, in partnership with Just Travel Cover, offer a Crisis Response Servicewith their Ready2Go Gold travel policy with a dedicated phone number which gives travellers access to immediate assistance and an unrivalled set of skills if disaster strikes while they are abroad.
The service is provided by S-RM who has a team of crisis response consultants made up of former military, law enforcement and intelligence agency personnel, strategically positioned around the world to provide assistance during a crisis.
We live in a connected age where reports of disaster and terrorist attack are no longer the occasional news they once were, We now live through these distorts and have a perceived increased risk of being involved in them. However, tourism is a resilient industry and one that many nations rely almost entirely to boost their economy. There may always be a lull in visitor numbers following an event, but the travel industry knows that the desire to travel will always outweigh the risks.
But ensuring you have adequate planning and cover in place can help minimise those risk and provide peace of mind and assistance in a world full of surprises.Partnered Post – These are brief product descriptions only. Please refer to the policy documentation paying particular attention to the terms and conditions, exclusions, warranties, subjectivities, excesses and any endorsements.
Partnered Post – These are brief product descriptions only. Please refer to the policy documentation paying particular attention to the terms and conditions, exclusions, warranties, subjectivities, excesses and any endorsements.
There is no better way of learning how to do something than just getting stuck straight in – and that was certainly the way I learnt how to have a top family road trip. So, after many, MANY, family road trips within the UK and abroad I thought I’d collect my thoughts and share my top family road trip tips with y’all.
Top Family Road Trip Tips
Plan Ahead When Choosing Your Car
First on my list of top family road trip tips is planning ahead when choosing your car. It easy to let nerves take over and choose the smallest car possible when driving abroad but will all your luggage fit it? Or maybe your dream of driving an RV across America – but will you still be able to go into the smaller cities with such a large vehicle.
Most car hire companies offer a handy guide on their websites informing you of how many people and suitcases each car can comfortably manage to help with this.
Pack A Map And Guidebook
Sat- Navs are a fantastic invention and are often invaluable when travelling long-distance on a road trip. However a sat-nav doesn’t really give you much info on what is around you on the route. Having a map and guidebook that cover the area you are travelling through will allow you to make impromptu stops along the way and discover much more than the mainstream tourist attractions on offer.
Listen To The Local Radio
Tuning your radio into a local station is a really fun way of feeling like a part of the furniture when traveling. You can get a great feel for a place by listening to their local DJs and often will hear about events in the area you may not have otherwise known about. In non-English speaking areas its also an easy way to help immerse yourself in the language.
Plan Your Stops
Having a point to aim for on a long journey gives you a focus. I always try and stop every 3-3.5 hours on a long drive to keep myself alert and refreshed.
We also try and get away from service stations and find a town nearby to the route for lunch/ a chance to stretch out legs. This way you can utilise your traveling days in a way that lets you see more of the country you are in,and you get to meet some fantastic locals along the way!
Have A Contingency Plan
As with every part of life, family road trips can take an unplanned turn when you least expect it. One of my biggest top family road trip tips is to ensure you have a back up plan. Planning for the unexpected when travelling is really important – from ensuring you have printed out your documents incase you lose your devices to having back up finances or using a service such as Cash Lady if you were to need additional money – it’s vital you look at your choices before you set off on your travels.
Open Your Eyes
Not always easy if you are driving, but great for the passengers. Look at the local scenery, spot the local wildlife and take it all in. This may be the only time you travel on that certain road your whole life, make the most of it.
If we have all been stuck looking at our devices on long trips we’d have missed Dolphins swimming alongside us on Route 1 in California, and the sign to Tybee Island in Georgia that led us to having one of the most memorable, albeit impromptu, lunches of our whole life.
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, enjoy it!!!