Family holidays are a chance to make memories with your family that you will cherish for the rest of your life. However, holidays with kids can sometimes be challenging or stressful, and the same goes for staycations.
But don't worry – we've got you covered with our 5 top tips for taking a successful staycation with your kids.
Get them involved in planning
When it comes to taking a holiday with kids, one of the ways that you can get them excited and onboard is to let them help plan. Get them involved in small capacities with the planning by talking to them about where you're going and what fun things there are to do there. Show them some photos and let them choose one thing they'd each do.
You could create an itinerary and let them help you make a countdown of the days or weeks leading up to when you leave. Things like this help your kids get excited about visiting somewhere new and will hopefully help negate any tantrums while you;re gone.
Make the journey fun
Keeping kids from getting restless during a long journey is a struggle most parents know all too well. However, there are some fun things you can do during the trip to make your life a little easier.
One thing to do is create car boxes for your kids that can house all they might need to keep them occupied on the journey. For example, snacks and water never go amiss, as well as simple toys and magazines. You want to make sure you're not giving them anything that can create too much mess or a safety hazard, but still giving them enough entertainment to avoid the dreaded ‘are we there yet?' every 50ft.
Be prepared for anything
You never know what might happen while you are on holiday, so it's best to always be prepared. If your children have any allergies, make sure you take plenty of allergy medication on your trip with you, as well as any medication they take, if any. You should always be extra careful when dining out, too, as you might not be 100% sure what ingredients are used in certain dishes if you're not visiting chain restaurants. The last thing you want is for your trip to be derailed by an emergency visit to the hospital.
Speaking of hospitals, while you won't need travel insurance for a staycation within the UK, it would still be a good idea to invest in children';s health insurance to ensure that if anything goes wrong while you're away, you have someone to call for advice or, in the worst-case scenario, the option to take your child to a private doctor as soon as possible,
Pack an emergency kit
When we say an emergency kit, we're not talking plaster and bandage – well, maybe a few, just in case! No, we mean more of a kid-friendly survival kit for those long days out when kids are bound to get messy and fussy.
In this kit, you'll want to keep items like some wet wipes and tissues, some snacks and water, maybe a change of clothes and a few small, easy to carry entertainment items that you can pass over to your kids when they start to fuss. These could be the difference between a smiling child and a screaming one!
Choose a child-friend location
This one might seem obvious, but if you're going on a staycation with kids – make sure you choose somewhere that has plenty for kids to do! If you pick a destination that has nothing for kids to do or nowhere you can take them for day trips, then you're most likely going to end up with fussy kids and annoyed parents.
The UK has a lot of really amazing family-friendly holiday destinations with tonnes for families to do that suit all ages, from babies and toddlers right through to parents and grandparents. So, take some time to do a little bit of research before you book, and pick a place that suits everyone.
So, there you have it – our top 5 tips for taking a successful staycation with kids. Take them on board, and you'll be on the way to a stress-free family staycation in no time.
Location: Scotland, UK
Seeing Scotland Without the NC500
This year has given people the opportunity to experience and enjoy what is right on their doorstep. Thanks to varying restrictions on travel and ever-changing quarantining rules, it could be said that 2021 is the year of the summer staycation. Many parts of Scotland are popular with tourists and are likely to enjoy lots of visitors this year. The North Coast 500 route has risen hugely in prevalence over the last few years.
This year, many locals and travel experts predict bedlam as the summer season will see th... filled with campervans and day-trippers. If you want to see Scotland without getting caught in the tourist trap -; here are some top places to add to your list!
Dumfries and Galloway
One of the most beautiful parts of Scotland is sadly overlooked before it lies on the road that links the North of England to the Central Belt. Many people look over Dumfries and Galloway as they are concentrating on heading up the road to Glasgow. If you take the time to divert from the motorway, you will find a beautiful landscape punctuated with pretty towns and villages like Dumfries, Castle Douglas, and Kirkcudbright. Many beautiful coastal areas are worth exploring too.
When people think of the North of Scotland, they naturally tend to consider places like Inverness and the Highlands. Aberdeenshire, to the East, is unfairly over-characterised by the city of Aberdeen itself. The region of Aberdeenshire covers some 2.5k square miles of countryside, even taking in a sizable slice of the Cairngorms National Park. This is the perfect place if you want a weekends Munro-bagging. Aberdeenshires towns are well checking out as well. A place like Bridge of Don offers loads for a weekend away with Aberdeen right on your doorstep.
Similarly to how Dumfries and Galloway is one of those places that you simply drive past on the way to a bigger city, St Abbs is a small hamlet that is criminally overlooked by tourists heading to the likes of North Berwick or Edinburgh, further along, the coast. You could be forgiven for thinking that St Abbs was Cornish, based on photos alone. The twisty road that leads down to the small jetty definitely gives an impression of somewhere closer to St Ives rather than Scotland. Nonetheless, it is a very pretty town and worth seeing, if you want to expand your horizons on the places on offer in Scotland.
When it comes to island life, Scotland is unrivalled in its offering. Many of the islands are famous and well known to visitors who come to see places like Skye, Arran, Orkney and Mull. These places are popular but barely scratch the surface of whats on offer. The small island of Coll lies within Argyll and Bute, some 6km off the West Coast of Mull. Only 195 people live on Coll, but there is an extensive RSPB reserve that protects the native wildlife, such as the rare corncrake.
We hope that the places we have described above have inspired you to discover more of whats on offer in Scotland.
It has come to the huge relief of many of us to learn that many restrictions across the UK have been relaxed, and we can now enjoy a fairly normal summer with our families. We dont need to detail how tough the last year has been for those of us who have balanced home working with homeschooling and all the other stresses that came with that. Today, we will hit a more positive note on how you can enjoy a family holiday closer to home this summer!
UK Travel Opportunities
We have so many wonderful places to visit here in the UK. Taking the kids on a plane abroad can be both stressful and expensive, and one of the best tips we can give for a family break is to try somewhere in the UK. While we all book holidays searching for sun, places like the English South Coast offer beaches just as good as those youd find in Spain or the South of France. Be sure to check out some of the guides on the best places to visit this year.
Activities as a Family
The last year might have caused some stresses and strains as a family. Everyone was in the same boat, and we all had different ways of dealing with the difficulties that came with the lockdown. Try to plan some other things you can do as a family to enjoy yourselves together. This might include booking a day out with bikes or another activity. Doing activities together can improve the bond you all share as a family in the long term.
Booking the Right Place
One of the best things you can do to enjoy a family holiday is to book a resort where everything you need is on-site in one place. This means you dont have to spend too much of your holiday travelling from your accommodation to the places you want to visit, and it also gives you the chance to enjoy some time to yourself, while the kids can have fun elsewhere in the resort. The Belfry Hotel in Sutton Coldfield is a perfect example of where you can enjoy this type of trip with everything that both adults and kids could want to enjoy a family holiday together.
Time for Yourself
While it is important to spend time together as a family, we also want to reiterate the importance of recharging your own batteries when you go on holiday. A lot has been written about the effects of going on holiday and coming home even more exhausted than before you even left. If you can share the care of your kids with your partner or another family member, make sure you get the odd bit of time to yourself over the course of your trip. It will go a long way to helping you recharge and make the very most of your trip.
We hope this article has gone some way to show you the value of enjoying a trip away with your family this summer.
Germany is a country that has many things to offer, from rich culture and interesting history to amazing and drink and scenic views. If you are considering taking a trip once the world is a little more back to normal, here are 3 amazing road trips you can take in Germany and some things to remember for when you do.
The Fairy-tale Road
Start in Hanau and end in Bremerhaven
This particular route is one of Germanys most famous tourist routes and has an impressive 60 stops along its 439-mile stretch. This trip takes you to amazing cities, towns, and hamlets spanning 4 states, all of which are associated with the works Grimms Fairytales by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, giving the road the name >Fairytale Road.
If you drive nonstop, the journey takes roughly 12 and a half hours. However, we highly recommend stretching the journey out and staying in some of the cities along the way. This is going to give you plenty of time to absorb the culture and visit some of the amazing sights as you go, making for a truly unforgettable fairy-tale experience.
The Wine Route
Start in Schweigen-Rechtenbach and end in Bockenheim an der Weinstrasse
Are you a wine connoisseur? Why not take a road trip through the heart of the Palatinate regions vine-planted hills and experience one of Germanys oldest and prettiest touring routes? In fact, this area is the countrys largest wine-growing area, with a lovely climate that is perfect for almonds, figs, lemons, and even kiwi fruit to thrive. Not to mention the scattering of picturesque, half-timbered villages and castles.
The journey along the route itself takes only 6 hours to drive, so it can be completed in under a day as part of a larger road trip. Though there are so many amazing this to do alone this route, it may be worth considering an overnight stay, or two, along the journey!
Start in Munich and end in Frankfurt
Southern Germany is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the country. Munich, or example has one of the beautiful views of the Alps there is. Only a short drive later, youll come across Linderhof Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle, two of Germanys most famous landmarks. Lake Constance will also be on your route, as will Europa Park, Baden Baden (where you can ride a hot air balloon) and the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz museums.
This journey also takes around 5-6 hours to drive end to end. However, with so many amazing things to do and see along the way, we recommend taking some time to stay overnight in some of these locations to truly immerse yourself in the culture.
Some things to remember
While road trips are fun and fairly easy to take, there are certain things you need to be aware of to keep yourself right. So, here are a few things to remember:
You need to budget properly and consider the costs of travelling in Europe that you might not have thought about, such as travel to Germany for you and your car, any accommodations, food and drinks and activities.
Check out the new laws and regulations around driving in Europe as these have now changed slightly due to Britain leaving the EU. In some countries, you might need an International Driving Permit (IDP). These are very cheap, £5.50, and can be bought from the Post Office>.
Theres likely going to be a language barrier, as you are not always going to speak the language of the country youre visiting, just like not every person you meet on your trip is going to speak English.
There will be cultural things to consider when youre abroad so that you can ensure youre respectful.
Germany is a beautiful country with so much to offer. If you have a chance to take a road trip to Germany, we highly recommend the ones above. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and plan your next big road trip today.