Monday, 18 September 2017

Lapland UK is it worth it?

The boys still talk about their visit to Lapland UK it was so magical from start to finish.  I get that it’s expensive, but I think overall it’s worth it.  It’s like no other Christmas experience we have done, all the staff are bubbly and in character, the costumes are incredible and there was never a half-hearted elf in sight.  The attention to detail is what makes Lapland UK worth visiting, the set designs, the (artificial) snow, the wonderful atmosphere and the feeling of real magic in the air!  I think rather than book lots of cheaper mediocre grotto’s save up for the main event!


I reviewed Lapland UK last year on my main blog you can read my post Lapland UK an experience like no other I was very fortunate that it was a complimentary visit for my family.  I haven’t booked for this year, it would cost us £400 but the price isn’t the main factor putting me off it’s because the boys have really started to question the existence of Father Christmas.  I am just so glad we have those memories and we made it to Lapland UK in time. 


Naturally I would have loved to have taken them to Lapland itself but the boys genuinely believed we went there, they told all their friends how amazing it was!  You would really think you are somewhere else with the snow on the ground, they have transformed the location it really is enchanting to see.  My two were mesmerised from the moment they stepped out of the car that cold November morning.  My youngest even fell a bit in love that day with Pixie Mixie the owner of the sweet shop.  Yes, hearts were lost, imaginations captured and we all had a lovely warm feeling that you can’t put a price on!


The format looks the same for 2017 as we experienced in 2016.  The activities were delightful, children will feel like they are really contributing helping Father Christmas by making some toys.  The amount of free time in the elves village was perfect for us, we managed to do everything we wanted, eldest especially liked the ice skating rink even though I was a bit more nervous!  We posted a letter, bought some sweets, met the huskies and watched some magic tricks.  You pack so much into your short visit you feel like you have been there so much longer.


The gift from Father Christmas was a gorgeous husky soft toy.  So, would I spend £400? yes if my boys were slightly younger I would have been back in a flash, the energy of the staff, the quality of the experience and the memories you will make are priceless.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Travel Plans for 2018: Italy

I have mentioned our travel plans as a family before and luckily I did manage to tick something off the list for 2017 with our visit to PortAventura and a tour of the Barcelona football ground.  Sadly, I still haven’t been to Disneyland Paris but seeing as I pitched it to hubbie as an either OR I still feel happy with my lot! 

I have however realised my plans for 2018 are a little unrealistic given the extent of the renovation work we are doing and the cost involved.  There is no chance of saving up for a long-haul holiday in the available timeframe, but I have persuaded hubbie to let me go to Italy instead!!!  It’s a slow gradual wear him out to agree to a holiday process and he looks like he might be relenting!  I saw him write a blog post about new adventures in Italy so I took that as a sign of encouragement and once I get an idea in my head I am like a dog with a bone and not one to let it go!


I turn 40 next year, seriously like how did that happen!  Surely it gives me holiday rights for that year though and Italy is one place I have wanted to visit for YEARS!  Although I think as I have got older my plans for what I want to do when I get there have changed.  


Now I want to stay close to Lake Garda the largest lake in Italy, it’s so beautiful looking there and a bit more removed from the hustle and bustle of the cities, surrounded by lemon trees and olive groves what’s not to love.  Although I am keen to visit Verona I think as I am a romantic at heart and love the story of Romeo and Juliet which is based there.  Gardaland is also nearby and the boys enjoy visiting new theme parks although some of the rides look a bit too thrill seeking for me!  

I want to hire a speed boat to go on the lake my boys will think that's amazing!  They can take supervised turns steering and we can take in more of the scenic location.  


As a base Malcesine looks perfect with its medieval origins and lots of history!  A castle to see and a cable car to travel to the top of Mount Baldo – although I don’t know if I feel brave enough for that yet, looking at the images its quite a steep climb and I am not a fan of cable cars at the best of times!  I like my feet more firmly on the ground so if I miss the summit so be it, I might just go walking in the hills instead.  Although if I could conquer my nerves it looks worth the trip to the top for the incredible views.  The only thing with Malcesine is that Venice is a considerable distance, too far for my boys to do there and back in a day really! Never mind it might be an excuse to come back to Italy again (sssh! just don't tell hubbie, as its hard enough negotiating one holiday at a time out of the reluctant traveller!).

Have you been to Italy, what would you recommend seeing?

Saturday, 9 September 2017

My Travel Essentials

When going on holiday I find it helps to make a checklist of everything we need to pack and prepare ready to go away.  If I don’t write a list I worry I will forget some important detail.


Preparations

It’s best not to leave everything till the last minute!

Consider applying for a European Health Insurance Card this is completely free to do but does not replace having travel insurance it just means you have access to state provided healthcare if you need it.

Buy a guidebook so you can structure your trip, making plans about the types of things you would like to see and do.  If I am honest though I tend to do most of my research online as I find review sites to be more objective and up-to-date.



Think about security at home.  Panasonic Home Security cameras are worthwhile researching if you’re worried about your house whilst your away.  Footage from the camera is streamed to your smartphone so you can make sure everything is as it should be.  You don’t want to make life easier for burglars, make them think twice about targeting your house. 

Keeping your home safe should be one of your biggest priorities when considering travelling.  Alongside investing in a home security camera make sure there are no tell-tale signs you are away, don’t let your post build up or talk about your holiday on social media.

It’s worth checking for the latest travel advice at your chosen holiday destination before setting off, the countries are listed alphabetically so you can quickly find useful information regarding possible dangers from disease, crime or the weather (as is the case in the Caribbean now with the dreadful storms).


What to pack


We tend to remember the clothes we need to take but it’s the extra items that often get forgotten.  Things like a universal adaptor plug so you can charge your laptop and phone, ear plugs for a peaceful flight, a padlock to keep your luggage secure and perhaps Sea-Band products if your prone to travel sickness.  

I would recommend buying a portable suitcase weight scales which you can pick up quite inexpensively, that way you can be reassured your packed cases are within the airline limits so you don’t have any additional charges.  Ideal also for return journeys when you may have picked up some extra purchases and want to double check the weight is still okay.

Thank you for reading and wishing you all happy holidays!