Why are families choosing to venture further afield when holiday planning?

If you’re thinking about jetting off somewhere unique and exotic this year, you’re not alone. Many of us are now choosing to go further afield when holiday planning but why is this? What has made a large proportion of us want to pack up and travel long distances for an adventure?

Why are families choosing to venture further afield when holiday planningWell, there are several reasons, including:

Excellent family-friendly accommodation

When you first became parents you might think your days of going on holiday were over –after all, leaving the house becomes a mission in itself. Luckily, this phase quickly passes and you soon realise that it’s possible to go almost anywhere in the world with kids in tow – especially as companies like Tots Too offer a range of luxury family holidays which really are worth travelling to. Countries that might have once seemed too far away or daunting to visit with youngsters have now become not only much more accessible but actually preferable holiday destinations thanks to the array of family-friendly resorts and package deals available.

Many countries are cheap to visit

While many long-haul flights can be costly, it is possible to grab a bargain if you get an early bird discount or keep your eyes peeled for offers. What’s more, aside from travel costs, many people are becoming more adventurous as countries further afield tend to be cheap to explore. Take Thailand, for instance. Food and accommodation is cheap there and it’s easy to see the country without breaking the bank. The same applies to many Asian countries meaning you don’t have to spend years working hard and saving cash just to have an adequate amount of spending money.

The pound is strong against the Euro

Back in the day, many families used to holiday in the UK. Britain’s coastlines were a haven for people longing for some fun in the sun but now many Brits are heading elsewhere in the Eurozone. Why? Well, it might just have something to do with the fact that the pound has just hit a more than seven-year high against the Euro. Sterling has recently risen one per cent to hit €1.40 for the first time since December 2007 meaning UK holidaymakers will have just over 15 per cent spending power compared to a year ago. This is good news for anyone with a sense of adventure as now is the perfect time to visit countries like France, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Better transportation

These days, there are many different airlines, train/bus companies, taxi firms and other forms of transportation to choose from, meaning people can compare and contrast prices to find something within their budget. What’s more, with low-cost airlines flying to many destinations worldwide, people are more inclined to get out of the UK and explore somewhere new. Sure, many of the cheap flights offered are short-haul and within the Eurozone, but with companies like Ryanair offering an extensive route map it gives budding travellers more of an option than a few decades ago.

Travelling is fun, exciting and an excellent way to learn about the world, so why not get thinking about your next adventure?

* This is a collaborative post.

What makes Sydney so dreamy?

What makes Sydney so dreamy

There are a lot of wonderful places around the globe and some of them stick in our memories more than others. Some we simply like some we don’t but there are also the ones we love; the ones that given the opportunity we would never leave; the ones where we could see ourselves living happily ever after…

One of those places for me is Sydney.

So why is Sydney so dreamy you might ask?

Well… there is the outstanding architecture, weather to die for, good food and even better drinks, 100s of great pubs with live music and so on and so on… but once you actually look behind the obvious, there are few hidden reasons which make Sydney one of the kind.

Jogging along Port Jackson Bay

Jogging along Port Jackson Bay

Wide sidewalks with stunning views of the harbour and the sea breeze wafting over you. This is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day. You are still seeing and feeling the city, but at the same time you are in sync with nature. There is something magical about that. It is a deep soul stirring moment that is quite hard to describe. The best time for a jog is just before sunset, when the “white sails” of Opera House are changing its colours and the whole city is slowly lighting up ready for the night.

Coastal walk form Coogee to Bondi Beach

Coastal walk form Coogee to Bondi Beach

One of the most wonderful things about Sydney is its location. Living there you really have no need for holidays. All you have to do is to start walking… The Coastal walk form Coogee to Bondi Beach takes about 2 hours; during this time you can see some beautiful nature, feel the warm sand under your feet, admire the sharp cliffs but you can also see this magnificent city with a whole new perspective. Far away from the noise of the city centre, from our busy lives and daily troubles… this walk can give you power and inner peace and should you make it to Bondi Beach you can admire surfers battling the force of nature.

Sydney Mardi Gras

Sydney Mardi Gras

In general Mardi Gras refers to events during Carnival, but the Sydney Mardi Gras is a bit different. The Sydney Mardi Gras celebrates gay rights. The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is one of a kind, not only is the organization perfect but the atmosphere is truly wonderful’ you can really feel the love. This festival really underlines the character of the people of this city, their open-mindedness, tolerance and love of good times!

I love Sydney

*This post is my entry into “A Tale of three Cities” competition run by Accor

A guide to safe driving with your cat or dog

A guide to safe driving with your cat or dog

By Lionel Thain

Even if you don’t make regular car journeys with your pet, you never know when you might need to transport them somewhere. Meanwhile, if you do drive with your pet in the back (or front!) seat regularly, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. Follow these tips to keep your cat or dog happy on the road.

Make them comfortable

If you’re planning a long journey get them used to being in a car by taking them on shorter trips beforehand. Bring along their favourite toy or blanket to help them feel more at home in unusual surroundings.

Restrain your pet

In most cases it’s important to restrain your pet for the safety of everyone travelling in the car. Their movements can prove a distraction to the driver. Small dogs and cats should be in a suitable container, while larger dogs can wear specially designed dog seatbelts. While some owners will feel comfortable letting their dogs travel loosely in the car, it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re planning on travelling abroad that in some European countries this is actually illegal.

As with the previous tip, make sure they’re accustomed to their container or restraint before setting off for your journey.

Have your vet on speed dial

Add your vet’s phone number to your mobile in case you need to contact them in an emergency. If you’re travelling a long distance find out beforehand where the nearest vet will be.

Make sure your pet is healthy

To avoid causing undue distress, you shouldn’t travel with an ill or injured pet (unless the illness or injury is minor, or you are taking them to the vet for treatment). Heavily pregnant pets that are likely to give birth during the journey or those that have given birth in the past 48 should also be spared the demands of a car journey.

Feed and water them

Feed your pet a light meal a couple of hours before the journey – it won’t want to travel on a full, heavy stomach. You should ensure that your pet has continual access to water. Bring food or snacks with you if your journey is a long one – just remember to keep meals light.

Keep them cool

The vehicle, and any container your pet might be in, must be kept well ventilated to stop your pet from becoming overheated. Long haired dogs, those with breathing problem and snub-nosed dogs are all at higher risk of heatstroke.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from overheating – their panting will become heavier and faster, they will become visibly agitated, and they will produce more saliva than normal – you must act immediately to allow them to recover quickly. Take it to a shaded area, give it plenty of water to drink, and cool it by spraying it with cold water.

It’s never a good idea to leave your pets unattended in a car, but under no circumstances should you ever leave one in a car in high temperatures or direct sunlight. Even a few minutes in temperatures above 25C / 77F can present a health risk.

Traveling with pets

Take breaks

If at all possible you should take breaks. Dogs can be taken for short walks, while cats will enjoy the opportunity to move around the car freely even if they can’t be let out. Use this time to give your pet some much needed comfort and attention.

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Written by Lionel Thain of online competition site MyOffers. Visit them at MyOffers.co.uk for a chance to win petrol, insurance and even cars.

*Post in collaboration with MyOffers.