Good morning and welcome to Monday Escapes. I hope you’ve enjoyed a wonderful weekend, I’ve spent it at home for the first time in over a month and I have to say its been rather nice not to have to rush around for a change!
Since I set up this blog two years ago we have enjoyed some wonderful experiences as a family and worked with some amazing travel brands. I have also met some incredibly talented, supportive and like-minded people who all share my passion – travelling as a family and inspiring other families to do the same.
What a fabulous way to start the weekend by launching a new holiday giveaway! I am absolutely delighted to team up with Bookings For You to give you the chance to win a week in an Italian villa with picturesque lake views of Lake Maggiore, worth up to £1,395.
Did you know you can sign your wannabe Andy Murray/Serena Williams up for FREE tennis sessions and receive a FREE tennis racket through a fabulous nationwide initiative called Tennis For Kids? Read on for more details…
Over the Easter bank holiday weekend we were kindly invited to review Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire, one of six holiday parks owned by Away Resorts. Here’s how we got on…
We were absolutely delighted when the lovely folk at Cornbury Music Festival invited us to party with them this summer. The icing on the cake was when they agreed to let us pass on the love by providing one family ticket with weekend camping passes and parking worth over £500 to giveaway! (I said they were lovely didn’t I?!)
Some of our most memorable family holidays have been road trips, both in our car and in my parents motorhome. We love how road trips allow us to be spontaneous, stopping at places that take our fancy and whizzing by places that don’t! This post shares our favourite family road trips, in the USA, UK and France.
Nothing quite beats escaping the tourist crowds and exploring a hidden gem. This article suggests 11 hidden travel destinations in Europe, where you can enjoy mixing with the locals, eating authentic food and experiencing unique adventures.
If you are looking for a luxurious holiday home to rent in Cornwall with family or friends check out this review.
It’s not surprising that the Algarve is a popular choice of destination for families, with its miles of beautiful beaches, endless choice of leisure activities, and friendly, welcoming locals. This Algarve family travel guide highlights the areas must see attractions, the best times to visit and shares some handpicked family friendly accommodation.
We are delighted to give our readers the chance to win a fabulous family break
If you are passionate about Italian food and wine, love learning new skills and exploring new places with a local guide read on!
Travelling with kids involves more consideration and careful planning than travelling as a couple… long gone are the days where my husband and I jumped in the car with only a rain jacket each! Here are my packing tips for life on the go with kids, I hope you find them useful.
If you are struggling to make the all important decision – where to spend your eagerly anticipated family summer holiday, then this article may just help you decide! We have teamed up with Verina Hotels Sifnos, a complex of Greek boutique hotels and villas in the western Cyclades Greece, to share with you why we feel the island of Sifnos is perfect for beach loving families.
At the end of the February half term holidays we were invited to review Brooks Country House, a newly renovated 22 bedroom Georgian manor house set between Hereford and Ross on Wye.
We are delighted to give our readers the chance to win a luxury family break at Ardencote, Warwick, a stunning four star hotel nestled in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside.
As a quintessentially English town, it’s not surprising Stratford-upon-Avon has lots of places to indulge in miniature sandwiches, tasty fruit scones and beautifully presented cakes. This article shares three of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea in the medieval riverside town.
Planning a family day out or holiday in Stratford-upon-Avon? This guide – 11 of the BEST things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon with kids – aims to make sure you and your kids have a memorable time when visiting the medieval town!
If you are looking for a quaint and quirky self catering cottage near Stratford-upon-Avon we can thoroughly recommend Brassknocker Cottage. A 17th-century stone cottage large enough to accommodate families of up to five people. Read on for our full review and photo tour.
This article shares honest family holiday reviews and destination recommendations by 24 family travel bloggers who have explored hidden gems in the UK and travelled the world with their kids and partners.
Last year we planned to go on a ski holiday to France and revisit our old home, Savannah, in the USA… Instead we went on a family water sports holiday in Greece and a cruise around the Mediterranean and Canaries! Clearly we are hopeless at sticking to plans, mainly because we find it so difficult to choose as we enjoy all types of holidays – from camping through to cruising and everything in between…
Looking for inspiration for your family travels in 2017? Here are a few of our UK adventures and holidays abroad we can thoroughly recommend from our personal experiences in 2016!
When researching attractions to visit during our cruise ship visit into Tenerife, there was one attraction that really stood out. When a couple of friends then recommended Siam Park, the Water Kingdom and I read on Trip Advisor that it has been voted the number one attraction in the world, the decision was made and tickets booked! Read on for our review of Siam Park, Water Kingdom, Tenerife…
Packing to go away on holiday with young kids can be daunting. There are countless essential items to remember and so many possible scenarios/nappy explosions to prepare for! Packing to go on a cruise requires more consideration than a regular family holiday as you have evening dress codes to adhere to plus varying temperatures to be aware of…
I worked onboard P&O Cruise ships for three years, first assisting and then managing the shore excursions department. I hope to share my insights into booking shore excursions verses sightseeing ashore independently.
If you are visiting Madeira for only one day there are five experiences that you absolutely CANNOT miss!
One thing that really struck me during my weekend in Costa Barcelona, is how we are now more likely to share a photo/status update on social media than pop a postcard in the post. Although I really miss posting and receiving handwritten notes, I do love the ability to update family and friends at home in real-time.
We used our Britax pushchair everyday for five years! It has been on countless walks, flights and survived being thrown onto baggage conveyor belts at airlines around the world. Last weekend we used it for the last time and I felt quite emotional. It has been part of so many amazing memories and I can’t bring myself to throw it away. Have you thrown your old pushchair away or are you keeping it as a rather large baby keepsake? Read on for a review of the Britax B-Motion 3 pushchair.
It is a well known fact that Barcelona is home to many family friendly attractions however, I’ll let you into a secret I discovered during my four days exploring the countryside and seaside towns surrounding the city…. Within a one hour radius of Barcelona there are many, equally fabulous, places to visit with kids!
I’m very aware that cruising with our boys is going to be slightly (ahem!) different to when we used to work onboard. In an effort to be fully prepared and make the most of our time onboard I have asked for tips from some of my fellow travel bloggers who have experienced cruising with their kids. If you are considering booking a family cruise you will also find these tips very handy…
For the last few years I promised my old friend and work colleague that we would visit him onboard his ship during a turnaround day in Southampton. Finally a few weeks ago we did it! In this article I share our photos of a tour around P&O Cruises Britannia.
Costa Barcelona has something to appeal to all ages and interests
Early Thursday morning I am flying out to spend four fabulous days discovering what Costa Barcelona has to offer for families and as you can imagine, I am VERY excited!
Last weekend we visited Puzzlewood, Perrygrove Railway, Dean Heritage Centre and the Forest of Dean Sculpture Park. It was an action packed weekend which involved treasure hunts, creating forest arts and crafts, tree top adventures and walking ferrets! We share our reviews and top tips for visiting the Forest of Dean here in our latest post…
Have you ever stayed in a place that just feels right? A place where you could imagine you and your family living? This weekend we were invited to discover what there is on offer to entertain families in the Forest of Dean. We stayed in an idyllic two bedroom cottage called Parish Mill located on the edge of the Forest of Dean in Longhope.
You cannot beat insider tips from mums in the know!
I share my dress code tips from working onboard ships
So far so good with the weather this summer in Britain, although whether the heatwave will last for any great deal of time remains to be seen. But, either way, it’s enough to give each of us the holiday buzz. The plummeting pound may have consigned many of us to staycations this summer, but many more have either been abroad already or will still be excitedly looking forward to getaways abroad.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon chasing my boys through the vibrant lavender fields at Cotswolds Lavender. If you have not been before I would definitely recommend a visit, although you will have to be quick as they are currently harvesting the crop to make essential lavender oils. The last day to visit is this Sunday, the 7th August. The farm will then close until next summer.
Hands up if you like the idea of taking your kids to a weekend music festival but are apprehensive that it could be a big expensive messy mistake? Honestly, you are not alone! For years I have admired photos on Facebook taken by friends who made festivals with kids look relaxing, effortless and fun!
Schools break up for the eagerly anticipated summer holidays next week and as with many other families we plan to go camping to enjoy time together outdoors. From experience we have found that preparing to camp with kids takes considerable time and effort. We share our top tips in this article.
Today for the first time we attended the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford. We had a thoroughly enjoyable day and can definitely foresee it becoming an annual family event. If you have tickets booked for tomorrow or plan to attend a future event check out our top tips below for a memorable family visit!
Barmouth Bay Holiday Park is owned and operated by Away Resorts. The company, which prides itself on offering great British holidays, owns five holiday parks all located in stunning locations – Whitecliff Bay in the Isle of Wight, Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire, Mill Rythe in Hampshire, Mersea Island in Essex and Barmouth Bay in Snowdonia, West Wales. We were delighted when the lovely people at Away Resorts invited us to review Barmouth Bay Holiday Park.
Barbados is one of the most popular and longest-established islands in the Caribbean. It is a food lovers paradise and a perfect choice for families too. Visitors can expect turquoise blue Caribbean sea on the west coast and Atlantic surf on the east coast.
Postman Pat, Mr Bloom, Mr Tumble, the Octonauts, the ZingZillas, Upsy Daisy and the Numtums – Surely for a two-year old these are the coolest characters to celebrate your birthday with?! My youngest son certainly thought so when he celebrated his 2nd birthday with all of his favourite CBeebies characters at Alton Towers Resort a couple of weeks ago!
FUN, RELAXING & EASY are not words commonly used to describe a family holiday but this is exactly how I would describe our stay with Mark Warner!
I have divided my top tips for a Mark Warner summer holiday into two sections – booking tips and practical tips. I hope you find them useful for making the most of your family holiday!
It is a new concept to our family holiday childcare. Apart from one brief experience whilst on holiday in Antigua we have always kept both boys with us whilst on holiday, occasionally taking it in turns to have some time out. My husband and I were therefore apprehensive about using the childcare at Mark Warner’s Lakitira Beach Resort.
Wychwood Festival you ROCK! We have had an incredible time today! If you are planning on attending the event check out our Wychwood Festival review and our top tips for a memorable weekend.
Berkeley Castle has been on my wish list of places to visit with my sons for a while, I was therefore delighted to be invited to the popular family attraction to review and host a family pass giveaway. The castle was completed in the late 12th century and has been the home to the Berkeley family ever since. It is the oldest inhabited castle in England, set in a staggering 6,000 acres of rural estate.
As soon as I opened the email from Traverse Events describing the eagerly anticipated ‘Sunday Experiences’ I signed up for the white water rafting at the Cardiff International White Water Centre. There were two reasons for this – Firstly to make the most of being child-free for the weekend (whoop!) and take part in an activity I could not yet enjoy with my two and five-year old sons. Secondly…
This is the third article in the series ‘Tips from a Flight Attendant’ featuring tips for preventing travel sickness. Sarah has assisted many passengers combat travel sickness during her five years working as a flight attendant and she kindly shares her experience with us in this article.
Over the last few years my husband and I have become experts at carefully navigating our way around our front room floor without disturbing complex train tracks. Both of our boys are train mad and therefore we jumped at the opportunity to review the Staffordshire based attraction knowing they would enjoy the family fun at Thomas Land!
Antigua is located in the Eastern side of the Leeward Islands. The unique selling point of the island is that it has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Although I visited many beaches during my frequent stops in Antigua whilst working on the cruise ships and more recently during our family holiday, I cannot (unfortunately) vouch for all 365!
Thoughts of a Caribbean holiday conjure up images of swaying palm trees, powder white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and steel drum music. Whilst these images are perfectly accurate and indeed the main draw of the region, the 7000 islands…
If you have visited Tortola whilst on a cruise do not make the same mistake that I did, in thinking that you have ‘done’ the British Virgin Islands… I had visited Tortola every fortnight for three cruise seasons when working onboard cruise ships however, during a familiarisation trip with the BVI tourist board, I quickly realised that I had barely scratched the surface of what the region has to offer during my time at sea….
Copenhagen is a fabulous city break destination for families. The city is more compact than other major European city break destinations such as Paris, it is also very child friendly with many family attractions.
So the carefree days of travelling with just hand luggage and a passport may now be over however, there are lots of unmissable holidays when you have children. This article will highlight the holidays you can look forward to as a new parent.
A summary of the experiences my husband and I enjoyed before having children. The carefree days with no worries of baby nap times…
Invest time and money in buying and packing the right kit, consider your baby’s routine and pack your sense of humour!
This article will list travel kit which has proven invaluable during holidays away with our boys and also provide travel tips to ensure fun memorable family holidays!