Staycations and Safer Travel - 5 perfect UK weekender breaks


St Davids Cathedral

In collaboration with, but all views are my own

Like everyone else right now all I want to do is pack my bags and head off on a European road trip or book a flight to a far-flung destination! The past 18months have felt incredibly long, with ongoing restriction which has affected all of our lives in one way or another, periods of being unable to work or see family members, most of all doing our part to help keep ourselves and others safe and while things definitely feel like they are moving in the right direction, we still live with the possibility of sudden changes to travel windows which make booking a break overseas more complicated than ever before.  

I have seen people on the news get stranded in countries that have suddenly gone into lockdown or have put the UK (or visa versa) on to the amber or red list meaning more tests and quarantining before being able to head home. While these additional risks may be worth it for some, for others who cannot take more time off work or have children who have already missed a lot of school, this is not an ideal option. 

This is why 2021 is turning out to be the year of the Staycation, which is not only a positive for our own homegrown travel industry but it's also easier to monitor the current health risk as well as UK attractions and destinations having to follow Covid Safe Protocols. Also please remember that it's great to support local tourism but keep washing your hands, wearing a mask indoors and being sensible and on that note here are 5 destinations perfect for an adventure-filled staycation. 

Lake Windermere

1. Lake Windermere, Lake District

Lake Windermere is one of the most beautiful areas of the Lake District and is perfect for outdoor lovers as it's surrounded by nature, mountain hikes and quaint villages to explore. The area offers something for the whole family with plenty of space to run free (and socially distance), watersports and museums to take in along with plenty of breathtaking views. 

2. Isles of Scilly, Cornwall

The Isles of Scilly has got to be my favourite place in the UK and a place that feels truly exotic and away from the maddening crowd. Getting there can be quite tricky and expensive if you opt to take the Helicopter from mainland Cornwall, but I can promise you it's worth it as you will be rewarded with white sands and crystal clear uncrowded beaches. You can also take the Ferry or Fly from Lands End - we did a mixture of both when we visited the Isles in 2016

Isles of Scilly

3.  St Davids, West Wales

St Davids may be Britains smallest city but it offers plenty to see and do and is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Wales, with rugged coastlines a plenty, countryside walks and historical buildings to explore is a great place to get away from it all. Whether you are religious or not I do recommend visiting the imposing 12th-century Cathedral as well as the gothic ruins of The Bishops Palace and if you are feeling particularly adventurous then I recommend taking a boat to one of the wild offshore islands of Ramsey, Grassholm, Skomer or Skokholm.

4. Bristol, England

While Bristol City is a busier option than the other destinations on this list, it's perfect for those who are craving a creative cultural break without heading into London. We love Bristol as it offers plenty to do for all ages from kids to couples or solo travellers. Here are a few recommendations of free things to do in the city - Visit Spike Island art gallery and the MShed museum, take a stroll along the harbour alongside houseboat, street art and hip cafes, walk across Clifton Bridge for some incredible views or get a hit of the countryside at Ashton court and spot some wild deer at the same time. I have also written a post of 6 things to do with kids in Bristol so do check it out. 

Street Art Bristol
Enjoying the Street Art in Bristol

5. Isle of Wight, England

The Isle of Wight has been on our bucket list for a while now and is a great option when you feel the need to really want to get away as you need to take a 45minute ferry to get to the island but don't have the additional risk of quarantining that you may face if you opted for a European destination instead. The Isle of Wight is also perfect for those who love the outdoors and is also popular with stargazers. 

Over the past year, the UK Tourism board has introduced the "Good to go" scheme which has seen businesses including attractions, activity providers and accommodation to change the way they operate to make it safer for customers and staff by adhering to Government guidance on cleanliness and social distancing. Of course, there will always be a risk but a variety of steps have been put in to build confidence and reassurance during these times with health and safety at the forefront. 

Have you planned any getaways for this summer? 

Read More

How to stay connected while travelling




*This post contains affiliate links 

Staying connected while travelling around, whether that’s in the UK or further afield, has never been more important. Just because we’re away from home, it doesn’t mean we want to switch off entirely and we may need our mobiles on hand to keep in touch with those back home.

Roaming with our mobiles has become easier over the years, with networks now forced to make their roaming policies clear and stick to certain rules. So, let’s take a look at the roaming rules while travelling in certain locations and what you need to be aware of before you set off.


Travelling in the UK if you’re with a UK mobile network should be relatively straightforward. Whichever of the four nations you’re in, you’re fine to use your mobile as you would in your own garden.

However, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in remote areas, it’s worth checking whether your network has good reception around there. If not – and if your handset is unlocked as many are these days – it might be worth buying a pay as you go (PAYG) SIM card from another network to ensure you can keep in touch.

London bridge


So far, Brexit hasn’t made mobile roaming more complicated and all four major mobile networks (O2, EE, Vodafone and Three) have kept their European roaming policies the same.

This means customers can use their mobiles while in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway without worrying about paying more than at home. It’s worth noting that mobile networks could change their minds about this arrangement, but it’s likely to be headline news if they do, so the best thing to do is just check before travelling.

Of course, Europe is far more than just the EU, so customers travelling to destinations outside the Union (or straying close to its edges) will want to see if those destinations are covered in their network’s inclusive roaming plans – or whether there is a roaming add-on that includes them.

All four major mobile networks (plus some smaller ones) have roaming plans. Perhaps the most well-known is Three’s Go Roam which covers 71 destinations.

Vodafone cover up to 81 destinations, EE has a roaming plan covering up to 53 destinations, while O2 customers can access up to 75 destinations on some plans. However, it’s important to check which destinations are available to which customers - PAYG mobile customers don’t always get the same perks, for example, or roaming may be a paid extra.

Phone europe


Travelling to the USA as a customer of one of the major mobile networks can mean that roaming is included - but it depends on the plan you’re on. As an example, Vodafone customers on their Unlimited Max plans get inclusive USA roaming, but basic pay monthly mobile customers don’t. At the time of writing, the USA is included in Three’s Go Roam, EE’s Roam Further pass and the O2 Roaming Bolt-On.

South Africa

South Africa is a country rarely included in UK mobile roaming plans. The exception is roaming as a Vodafone Unlimited Max customer, but that’s their most expensive plan and may not be right for everyone.

It’s still possible to use your UK mobile in South Africa, but extra charges will be added to your bill. For example, an EE customer will pay £1.88 per minute to make a call while Three mobile customers will pay £1.40.

There are better options for travellers to South Africa as long as your phone is unlocked – a local PAYG SIM (either bought on arrival or a prepaid one) or a prepaid global SIM card. As the name suggests, a global SIM card can be used in multiple countries, so for frequent travellers, it’ll be worth the extra costs.

Cape Town


Australia is a Go Roam destination with Three, and it’s included in EE’s Roam Further, the extra O2 Roaming Bolt-On and also available to Vodafone Unlimited Max customers. Beyond that, travellers can also get local SIMs and global SIMs that work in Australia and will work with unlocked phones.

Final thoughts

Travelling and getting online on our mobiles is a lot easier than it used to be, but we still need to remain vigilant about potential charges and changes in policies. The UK Government has legislated to ensure customers roaming abroad will find their extra bills capped at £45 per month, although this feature may be disabled if a customer buys a roaming bolt-on.

Our three top tips before travelling:

1. Check if the destination is included in your network’s roaming or a network that does include it
If it isn’t, consider a local SIM or a global SIM rather than international rates (you’ll need an unlocked phone)

2. Switch off any settings that may use data in the background

3. Finally, enjoy the freedom that 21st-century mobile roaming can bring!


Read More

Gifts to keep that wanderlust going


The Garth mountain

* Disclosure - This Post is unpaid & 100% my personal views. I was sent PR samples from Sussex Candles, Junior Reader and Gibsons 

While we are on the right track and things are slowly opening back up, with many of us in the UK venturing out on staycations and exploring this amazing island we live on, for many overseas travel is still tricky and comes with possible quarantines, restrictions, extra paperwork and extra cost so for now many are still staying put, which can be hard when you are a avid traveller. 

So I thought I would put together a few fun things that are helping to inspire that wanderlust feeling for both adults and children, while we still navigate this new normal. 

Wild Swimming Guide

Wild swimming has seen a massive boom in the past 18months, everyone is trying it out, which is fantastic! I was given this beautifully illustrated Wild Swimming guide from a friend for Christmas and while it's not very big it has all the essential information you need to get started safely and your purchase also supports an independent creative artists. 

wild swimming

Sussex Special Candles

I love how Sussex Special Candles have paired together the emotive senses that special places hold to us with scent from the beauty and nature of Sussex County. The idea behind the Sussex Special collection is to capture the spirit of this wonderful English county through capturing the essence of dewy morning meadows, forest walks, salty coastal towns and vibrant modern cities. The candles are all handmade in England using 100% Soy and their scents include Hurst Meadows, Borde Hill Gardens, Ashdown Forest and Brighton Essence. 

Sussex Special Candles

The Junior Travelling Reader 

The Junior Travelling reader is a fantastic subscription (or one-off) box that inspired both a love of travel and reading for children age 9-12yrs old. We have recently had the chance to review their "Wales" box which not only had the fantastic paperback copy of The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr but also a few other goodies such as a letter from the author, bookmarks, poster, postcards, local travel information and delicious Wickedly Welsh chocolate and pin badge. Together we are currently making our way through the book (it's a great on-going bedtime story) and my youngest has already asked if we can buy the Edinburgh inspired box.

Junior travelling reader

Stylish Travel Prints by The Travel Edit

One photo can capture thousands of memories and who doesn't love a very stylish print to hang in their home? I love the simple but stunning prints The Travel Edit has put together and they are going on my personal "birthday list" for my home and best of all is each purchase supports a small UK business. 


Ethical Summer Flip Flops by Ocean Refresh

Nothing screams beach and summer travels than flip flops! While many of us won't be jetting off to far-flung seaside locations this year it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the many beautiful beaches in the UK while also supporting an ethical and sustainable brand. Ocean Refresh are created from plastic waste removed from our oceans and coastlines with each pair of flip flops being made from up to 24 plastic bottles, are 100% vegan, 100% recyclable, as well as being anti bacterial and anti abrasive while being super lightweight and comfy all at the same time. 

Ocean Refresh

London Underground Inspired boardgames by Gibsons

One of things I have really missed over the past 18 months is my monthly trips to London, this has been the longest time in over a decade that I've not visited the Capital City. So I was really excited to see that Gibsons has a whole range of fun board games and puzzles inspired by The London Underground from card games to Family board games and varying levels of jigsaw puzzles means that there is something for everyone and these also make the perfect birthday gift. 

Ride the rails

Lodestars Anthology

I love Lodestars anthologies which is a sort of magazine meets travel coffee table book for those who seek offbeat hidden gems and personal accounts of different countries, packed with stunning photography, personal essays and insightful articles. Each edition focuses on one country at a time, I have the Swedish and Australian edition and the Wales one is on my list. Its produced in Bristol by a small independent press and it's honestly one of the best travel journals around which makes for a perfect gift for a friend or yourself. 

Lodestars Anthology

Read More

5 Tips for Self Care You Should Incorporate


healthy food

*Contains Affiliate links

The subject of health and wellness is at the forefront of almost every conversation today. Now more than ever, businesses, educational institutions, governments, and the general public are placing a greater emphasis on the mental and physical health of others.

If you feel like there is room for improvement there, you’re not alone. The truth is, there are things we all should be doing more or less of to help us feel better about ourselves and live healthier lives. Self-care is an important part of this journey and involves putting your health and wellbeing above all else. It can be easy to make this a second or third priority, especially if you are working hard or taking care of your family.

The first step is to set realistic goals for yourself. How do you want to feel about yourself? How many pounds do you want to lose? Do you want to travel somewhere? Land a new job? Move to a new city? It’s important to set these expectations for yourself and do what you can to meet them — but remember, don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t see the changes you’d like to see right away. As long as you are working towards them, everyone grows at their own pace.

To help get you started, here are 5 healthy lifestyle tips that are perfect for you to incorporate, such as boosting self-confidence, exercising regularly, and diet changes to help you feel better about yourself. Let’s get started!

Boost Your Self-Confidence

If you’re feeling down, there could be many reasons. Maybe your significant other just broke up with you, or perhaps you lost your job. Everyone could use a self-confidence boost every now and then.

There are many ways to help boost your self-confidence. Studies show that dressing up every day helps you feel better about yourself. This could involve dressing up in your favourite lingerie and reminding yourself of the good looks you have to offer, or wearing business attire while out and about.

Ultimately, your self-confidence relies on your thoughts and how you choose to view yourself and the situations around you. But before anything else, you must accept yourself for who you are. Only then will you feel comfortable and confident enough to grow into the person you want to be.
Eat well-balanced meals

I don't subscribe to any diets and I believe in all sizes are valid! However, there is a connection between our food and our mood so making small changes, not for weight purpose but for self-care and mental health is a positive step forward. What you put into your body can determine how you feel overall, how your skin looks, how your hair grows, etc. You want to be eating meals that are rich in vitamins and nutrients and cutting out foods that could increase your blood pressure and glucose levels. Lowering your intake of processed foods is also important, as they have little nutrients and oftentimes contain chemicals.

The most common types of foods that experts suggest you remove from your daily diet include:

Sugars such as candies and juices
Processed or prepackaged foods
Anything that is fried

Instead, try eating more whole grains that have better quality carbs than refined grains like potatoes. Whole grains are rich in fibre, which helps keep you feeling full while boosting your metabolic rate. You should also opt for more fruit and vegetables as a healthier snacking alternative, which can help you resist the urge to eat more unhealthy snacks like potato chips.


Try to Practice Physical Activity Every Day

The more you move, the better you and your body will feel. There are many reasons why people may want to exercise more as there are so many benefits associated with daily physical activity, including:

Boosts mood
Lowers stress
Improves heart health
Strengthens body

As you can see, everyone should be aiming to practice physical activity daily. It’s an important first step in ensuring your overall mental and physical health are in good shape. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that individuals between the age of 18-64 should practice about 150 minutes of physical activity each week. This could be something as simple as taking a walk around the neighbourhood or a local park, and then slowly increasing your activity to include jogs, weight lifting, etc. You want to make sure you are getting your heart rate up a bit, as cardiovascular activity is an important aspect to ensuring your heart is healthy.

Consider supplements

It's worth staying on top of things like your Iron and Vitamin D levels, I've had very low iron before and it really affected by overall wellbeing, but some iron tablets from my GP it sorted out the issue very quickly. I also use rescue remedy daily, which is homoeopathic and helps me with any additional anxiety and stress. If there is a certain aspect of your life you want to improve such as sleep or stress reduction there are lots of options out there such as Nature Happiness which uses natural ingredients to help people live a happier, more productive life.

self care

Read More

6 Outdoor date ideas in Cardiff


Cardiff coffee

*AD Written in collaboration with Get Blogged

I often feel that Cardiff is overlooked when it comes to places to visit or spend the day in the UK, but the Welsh capital has a lot to offer and is the perfect place for a coffee date with a friend, a romantic stroll with a partner or a refreshing solo date with yourself (I'm all about exploring on my own). No matter what kind of social plans you have, at the moment things are still hard and staying outdoors is the safest option especially when it comes to being able to socially distance and there are without doubt bonuses to that as you get to enjoy the fresh air, reconnect with nature and your friends or partner and discover some of the best places in Cardiff.

We are all at different stages in how we are dealing with the pandemic and lifting of restrictions, some of us are still not ready to meet indoors or go to the pub so I hope this offers you a few more ideas for outdoor dates and socialising in the Welsh Capital. Meeting up with friends oro getting back on the Cardiff dating scene can really help our mental health as talking, laughing and making connections is intergral to our overall wellbeing and is something many of us have lacked over the past 18 months but it's still finding a balance that works. 

So I thought I would put together a few suggestions for outdoor dates in Cardiff 

1. Wander around Bute Park

Bute Park is the green lung of Cardiff and with over 130 acres to explore, you can easily spend a few hours here, take a blanket and have a picnic with Cardiff Castle as your backdrop. There is also a lovely Cafe called the secret garden which lies right next to the River Taff and does a mean brownie. 

Bute Park

2. Take a Water Taxi or SUP to Cardiff Bay

One of the nicest ways to see the city is from the water and once you have finished your stroll around Bute Park you can head to the riverside dock within the park and take the Water Taxi to Cardiff Bay. The trip is around 25 minutes and you pass some beautiful scenery and who doesn't like being on the water? PLus Cardiff Bay is packed with cafes and small boutique shops. Another option if your more adventourous is to paddle board along the River Taff to Cardiff Bay or visa versa, you need to go with either a organised group or have a launch pass which is fairly easy to assertain but it's something I have done and 100% recommend. 

Cardiff SUP

3. Hire a Next Bike 

Cardiff is a great city to explore by bike, firstly there are lots of dedicated bike lanes and also there is a National Cycle route along the Taff Trail running all the way from Cardiff Bay to the Brecon Beacons. If you hire a Next Bike from one of their central locations such as in front of the National Museum, you could go for a lovely ride through Bute Park to Llandaff to enjoy a nice slice of cake and to visit the impressive Llandaff Cathedral 

4. Visit Cardiff Castle

The Castle lies right in the centre of Cardiff so it's hard not to spot it when spending the day in the city. If you're local to Cardiff you can get a castle key which allows free entry for 3yrs otherwise you need to pay an admission charge although you do get access to the Norman Keep, Castle Apartments, Wartime Shelters and Firing Line museum as well as there is a Cafe and shop on-site and it's a place I personally recommend as it's so steeped in history and culture it makes for an insightful date. 

Penarth Pier

5. Take in the sea air at the Victorian Penarth Pier

The Victorian Era Pier in Penarth is the perfect spot for watching the sunset and perhaps even grabbing an ice cream or cocktail depending on your mood. The pier offers uninterrupted views of the Bristol Channel and you can see right over to Weston Super-mare. If the tide is out you can also go down to the pebble beach and skim some stone if you fancy.

6. Take a step back in time at St Fagan's Outdoor Museum 

St Fagans National Museum of History is like no other museum I have been too as it's an open-air museum that chronicles the history, life, culture and architecture in Wales and offers something for everyone. My kids love the farmyard with the pigs and free-range chickens, while I love to explore the Castle and Italian gardens. There is plenty of space here to have a picnic and enjoy a few hours surrounded by some beautiful historical buildings. 

I hope this post helps with a little inspiration when your deciding on where to meet up with friends, family or your feeling ready to get back out there are use a Cardiff dating site to meet other like-minded people, next time your in Cardiff

Cardiff Castle

Read More

Why life insurance was the first thing I bought after becoming a parent



* AD This post is written in collaboration with Responsival

I've always been a free spirit and before becoming a parent I really didn't think much about the future, all I wanted to do was travel as much as possible and experience as much of this beautiful world as I could. I spent 2yrs backpacking and working across Europe, I was carefree and without much of a plan and while I'm still like that now nothing made me realise more how important my life was until I had kids. 

I suddenly felt a weight of responsibility that I had never had before, to make sure they would be looked after should anything happen to me. When I  became a parent I had settled down a little more, had a reliable income although I was actually in the process of going freelance and self-employed but I had very limited savings and while I had a wealth of travel memories and experiences I didn't have much in the form of financial gains for my kids. 

So for the first time in my life, I found myself researching for life insurance for parents as I simply wanted some security that my kids would be left a lump sum of money that would get them through school, maybe purchase their first car or help with University and take the pressure off and give them a good start and while it can be a bit morbid to talk about our own mortality it's also a very important one to have discussions about especially as none of us can predict the future. 

welsh waterfall

After becoming a parent I realise how much having children costs and who would pay for these costs if something happened to me? I couldn't expect their grandparents to not only take on the child care but also the costs such as food, clothing, birthdays, sports, activities etc but life insurance can also help to pay off other things such as debts and mortgages. 

I was actually quite shocked in a good way at how reasonable life insurance was, my first life insurance was a 5yr term at around £6 per month, I was around 26 at the time I took it out, fit, healthy and non-smoker meant I got a really good deal. Once my initial term ended I shopped around again for another life insurance, which I've now taken out for 10yrs at £7 a month and despite trying to have as little out-goings as possible it's one of the things that gives me the most reassurance than anything else I have done since becoming a parent. If you feel a bit overwhelmed or don't know where to start - here is a really handy unbiased guide to life insurance for parents

If you read my blog regularly you will know I love to travel and explore locally and further afield with my kids, we love trying new things out and enjoy hiking, bouldering, SUP, surfing etc and making the most out of this one precious life and I do feel more assured know I am covered which means they are covered if anything should happen to me, allowing us all to enjoy the present to the fullest. 

Have you made any changes since becoming a parent or had experience of taking out life insurance? Would love to hear about your experience or tips in the comments below.

trig point

Read More

5 Tips for Organising Kids' Wardrobes


No comments

*Contains affiliate links 

Organising a child’s wardrobe is something that may seem small and unnecessary but can really help save you time, money, reduce stress and help keep your kid's space tidy. Clothes are often the first thing that ends up on the floor or the bed and making sure they have a spot for everything will keep the clutter to a minimum. Not only that, but it will get them in the habit of putting things where they should be, which they will carry for the rest of their lives. If you think that’s an impossible task, don’t be afraid. Here are a few tips you can follow to organize your kids’ wardrobe.

Take Inventory of What they Have

Having two boys I do this fairly often as I reuse all my eldest son's clothes for my youngest. You should start by looking at what they have and what they don’t need anymore. This could allow you to clear the wardrobe, but also check what they may need at the moment. Give away anything that is still salvageable.

If there are some things that they need, then make sure that you shop wisely. Here, we would suggest that you look at discount codes on kids' clothes and toys if you want to keep costs to a minimum.

One thing you should also do is have a system for hand-me-downs. If you have children of different ages, think about keeping the best pieces when the older ones grow out of them and have a clear spot where these will be stored.

Make Sure that they Can Reach Everything

One of the things you want to make sure of is that they can reach everything. This way, they will not only be able to reach the stuff they need when they need them but put things back where they belong as well.

If you’re going to be using storage boxes, use the upper ones for things that they rarely wear. These could be perfect for seasonal clothes, for instance. The lower boxes can be for socks and underwear. You can choose to have a spot for shoes as well, but that could be a hassle if the shoes get dirty and you have carpeting around the house.

bedroom storage

Add a Laundry Basket

If your children’s room doesn’t have a laundry basket, you need to get one immediately. If you don’t, then you’ll have to expect dirty clothes to either end up in some corner or a drawer. Or they may get mixed up with clean clothes, which will all translate into more work for you.

Don’t expect your children to be responsible enough to use a laundry basket at first. Get them in the habit early and make them pick up their clothes if they don’t use the basket. It will soon become second nature to them.

Divide the Drawers

People often think of dividing the wardrobe, but what about drawers? Drawer systems can be a great way to keep things organized, but you don’t want things to get jumbled up in there. If you have limited storage space and you want to keep drawers well organized, consider adding a few boxes in each. If they’re using a drawer for socks and underwear, it will help keep both separate and easier to find.

Organise Clothes Per Day

If you want to take things to the next level and your children are responsible enough to dress themselves, a nice touch would be to add days of the week organizer in their closet. It will make things easier for both of you and allow you to save a lot of time in the mornings.

As you can see, keeping your kids’ wardrobes organized doesn’t have to be so difficult after all. Make sure that they do their part but give them the tools to keep everything in order as well.

kids bedroom

Read More
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...