Family Travel

Family Travel: 10 Sights you must see in Cambodia

Cambodia family holiday - loaded bikes are everywhere

This summer we took a family holiday to Cambodia. I’ll write about our experiences soon, but as an appetiser (a crispy fried spring roll, if you like), I’m going to tell you about some of the weirdest things we saw. The incongruities of life in Southeast Asia, compared to life as we know it in the UK were quite honestly mindblowing, and I want to remember those moments when we stood open-mouthed and stared, or simply got fits of the giggles together. Because those are the stand out moments you remember about your holidays, right? 10 Weird but Wonderful Cambodia …

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A Beach and Inflatable Play Park at Lee Valley

If you’re planning your diaries for the school summer holidays, you might want to include a visit to the Lee Valley White Water centre. Just 5 minutes from the M25 in Hertfordshire, this top notch white water sports centre was built for the Olympics, so it’s probably the best place in the UK for canoeing or rafting adventures. (You can see my white water experiences over on Space In Your Case). But the water isn’t the main reason you’ll want to go this summer. Unless you have older kids with a fancy for it. Lee Valley White Water have installed …

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5 Different New York Trips You Must Do in Your Lifetime

Try and visit the crown at the Statue of Liberty on one of your New York Trips

There isn’t just one New York. New York is not the trip of a lifetime. For my 50th birthday I took my family to celebrate in New York, and it was a real eye-opener. You see, I’d never been, and always wanted to. It’s iconic, one of those cities that just has to be done at some point in your life. But I came back realising that I haven’t yet ‘done’ New York. I haven’t even scratched the surface. And so already I’m planning my next trip. And my next. All of them will be different. The 5 New York …

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Travel: Are you Safe from Carbon Monoxide on Holiday?

I’ll never forget, shortly after I’d been camping for the first time with my young family, reading about a child who had died, sleeping in her tent, while her parents enjoyed a barbeque outside. We’d had a fun-filled weekend with good friends, packing our children off to bed, then sitting out by the fire drinking cider and tracking the stars. When you go on holiday with children there are all sorts of new dangers that you prepare for, but you never imagine that your kids might die in their sleep, because of a faulty appliance or log fire. That’s what …

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Travel: Embers Camping and Tips on Picking the Right Campsite for your Family

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go camping. We’re not brilliant campers – we don’t own fold-out tables or shelves; when it rains we seek refuge in the pub; and in the mornings we’re more keen to find a decent coffee shop than we are to boil a collapsible kettle (who even knew there was such a thing?)! But we do like to camp. As a family, there’s nothing more magical than snuggling up together under canvas, telling stories by torchlight, and waking up to the smell of (someone else’s) bacon sizzling over a log fire. Embers kindly …

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Travel: A Weekend in Guernsey

Just look at that view. Spectacular, isn’t it? This is Guernsey. The view in Guernsey You’ll see a lot of lanes like this one on the second largest of the Channel Islands, and most of them will lead to a similarly beautiful panorama. This is where I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend, because this is where my brother and sister-in-law live. Thirty-five years ago they holidayed on the island, never intending to make their home there. But my brother stumbled across a job vacancies board, and they’ve been there ever since. This weekend I visited on a rare …

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Why you should plan ahead when travelling with kids

Family travel tips - choose your beach well

How to plan a holiday with kids Planning a family holiday this summer? Sometimes the lure of a week away with the family can be enough to make you forget how challenging travelling with little ones can often be. There is nothing worse than getting to the airport and suddenly coming face to face with never ending queues, bored children and no changing facilities for your baby. A trip with the kids is exciting and incredibly rewarding but without planning ahead, the image of a great family holiday can seem like a distant memory when confronted with some of the struggles …

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Climbing the O2 Dome – what to expect when you climb the millenium dome

We’ve had a couple of big birthdays in our family recently. Just before Christmas, I made a big song and dance about turning 50. Ok, so really it was all an attempt to justify the complete wardrobe haul spending spree I went on. Call it mid-life crisis, if you will. I don’t care. Once you’re 50 it’s ok to stop caring what others think, right? Anyway, it was great, we celebrated in New York – well, mid-flight en-route to the Big Apple, to be exact, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, right. That would be me. Anyway, again… my brother and I …

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Big screen, or cosy movie night – why choose?

  Which is better, do you think? The surround sound and big screen epic experience of the cinema, and a big night out? Or cosying up on a comfy sofa with your family and plate of your favourite food? I’ll admit that as I’ve got older, and now we have kids, I do love a Saturday night on the sofa, snuggling up together after home-cooked fajitas. The perfect TV dinner, the perfect company, and a great family movie. But there’s something about the atmosphere of the cinema that really makes a film, and delivers a more memorable evening. Such a …

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Why cheesy holidays are good for your soul

Family travel tips - find a good water park

A long time ago, I used to write in the voice of my child. A bizarre concept, I admit, but it made me laugh, and preserved my memories. It made other people laugh too. Either that or they all commented because they were building their own fledgling blogs, just as I was, and needed the visits! I like to think it was the former. Anyway, I was cleaning up my draft posts – organising the loft, as it were – and I came across this. I think she was around 6 years old. It made me smile. So indulge me, …

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Travel: how to reduce the pain of coming home from a holiday.

Is there anything worse than the blues you get when you come home from a holiday? You’ve had a week of sun, or excitement, with great friends, or much-needed down time with your family. And then you get home. And you’re left with just a huge pile of washing, a dead pot plant, and a cold shower. If you’ve travelled long-haul it’s even worse. You’ve had to attempt sleep sitting up, with someone else practically in your lap, and the person behind using your seat back to haul his not insignificant ass up and down all night long. Beauty sleep, …

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Wicked: an Alternative to the Panto at Christmas

When my kids were young they loved a pantomime at Christmas. It’s the slapstick, the limerick nature of it all, the cheesy jokes, and the audience participation – it never fails with younger kids. But Maddie is now 12, and though she still wants a special trip to the theatre at Christmas time, she has outgrown the panto, seen the Snowman, and is not yet old enough to really appreciate a full ballet production of the Nutcracker. So we went to see Wicked. It has exactly the right amount of fairytale and costume excess to fit the bill of a …

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Kidzania London review

A review of Kidzania London, where the kids are in charge of learning about real life on the job.

If you have children, Kidzania must be on your radar. Mine had been begging to go for a while, so over the half term holidays we booked in, and I have to tell you, they were really excited, especially my eldest, who was looking forward to the independence of forging her way in a mock-up of the real world. Billed as a ‘real-life role play experience,’ Kidzania offers children the opportunity to get a feel for what it might be like to take on over 60 different workplace roles, earning money in return for tasks completed. Here’s what to expect …

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Meet Meerkats: Fall in Love (review of Paradise Wildlife Park)

The meet the meerkats experience at Paradise Wildlife park is a very special treat

Have you ever been this close to a meerkat? I snapped this picture over the half term holidays at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, and I wasn’t using my zoom lens. I was actually sitting on the stump right next to these two guys as they got up close and personal after their feed. Aren’t they adorable? The Bug has long been a fan of meerkats. My self-professed ‘next David Atteborough’ boy loves anything about animals and nature, and whilst he might struggle to remember what 7 x 6 is, the space in his brain reserved for creature trivia is …

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Skydiving without Fear

I swore I'd never go skydiving, but an indoor skydiving session with my kids almost saw me signing up for the real deal! Here's what we thought of iFly at Milton Keynes

Indoor Skydiving with iFly I swore I would never go skydiving. We’re pretty adventurous in our family, and between us we’re up for most things. But jumping out of a plane? No. Not for me. My daughter claims she would, and also thinks that bungee jumping is something everyone should try. (Also not happening in my lifetime). My son is the most sedate amongst us, and probably won’t be testing my parental panic meter with daredevil activities any time soon, but with a husband who’s planning to throw himself off a mountain for his 50th birthday, it’s fair to say …

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