It’s never too early to get your child on the road to success. Want to know how? Bingo. Yes, bingo. Help your kids practice observing, problem solving and improve their literacy and communication skills by engaging them in games of travel bingo this summer, wherever you’re heading. The best thing about travel bingo? Your kids will be having so much fun they won’t even realise they are learning.
Something this miraculous does however require a little bit of input and preparation from you dear parent; call it homework, if you will. Grab yourself some A4 paper – as many sheets as you have participating children, plus one for yourself – and mark out some spacious squares on the page, 4×4 usually does the trick. In these newly constructed squares, using your neatest and most legible cursive, write out things that you think you will encounter on your train, plane, or automobile journey.
The best things to include are sights and objects that you feel you may come across on your journey. Not only this, remember to keep things descriptive, as engaging your players is the name of the game. Don’t just say “a road sign”; say “a blue road sign”. This seemingly small detail engages the child on a more complex level, developing their critical thinking and perception skills as they gaze out of the window.
Healthy competition between contestants is also encouraged. After all it is a dog eat dog world out there and it often pays to have a competitive edge.
For a car journey; road signs, cars of a particular colour, types of animal, speed limit signs and police cars are good to include as they will be easy to see from the back seat and all have something specific about them that will work the brain of your youngster and have them keenly looking out the window for the next sight – this is also fantastic for reducing instances of car sickness, believe me!
On the train; bridges, level crossings and other trains are your go to space fillers. On the plane; stewardesses, pilots, other brands of plane and baggage handling cars are also good. The kids will be so distracted by all that is going on and the excitement surrounding it, that they won’t have time to worry about flying.
Get ready to enjoy stress free, fun journeys with your kids this summer, and watch them grow and learn with the best travel bingo in the business: yours.
For those of you with kids, especially young ones, the thought of a long journey whilst on your holidays may fill you with dread. The screaming, the kicking, the cries of “are we nearly there yet?!” as you leave the rental car parking lot. The thought of it can send a shiver down the spine of any mother or father. But fear not young parent; this writer may just have the solution for you. Bingo. Travel bingo. How can we play bingo games in the car whilst on a French A road? I hear you ask. It’s a system that is as simple as it is brilliant, capturing the essence of the traditional game, but in a way that breaks it down for kids and keeps them engaged and interested in their surroundings as you head towards your destination.
The first step is to print off bingo cards with images of typical sights you may see along any major route, maybe with a few specialties of the country you are visiting thrown in. Make your own or download pre-made ones – a simple ‘kids travel bingo’ image search in any well-known search engine should do the trick. Road signs, animals, churches, police cars, all these things and many more are possible candidates for a good travel bingo card.
You have the cards, you have the children, and the car is your bingo hall; you’re almost ready to go. The driver has to focus on the road, so the person in the passenger seat, whether it’s Mum or Dad, is the caller. They act as the official; calling out what they see that relates to the card, as the kids, crayon daubers in hand, smear their cards appropriately.
Speaking from experience, I can honestly say this is a great game for long car journeys. It engages the kids in light competition and encourages them to pay attention to their surroundings, taking in as much as possible whilst experiencing a foreign country. By taking their eyes off the iPad or the DS, cases of car sickness are drastically reduced too. A once dreaded journey is transformed into a family occasion which the kids feel fully part of. To mix it up even further, change the caller so that you are relying on one of the youngsters to call out the sights. You never know what they’ll spot that you missed. Their unique perspective will add a whole new slant to proceedings!
Try this out and let me know how you get on with travel bingo during your summer holidays. I think it’s a winner, hopefully the kids do too.
What are all inclusive holidays if they don’t include your car?
A holiday is all well and good for catching a tan, or doing things you wouldn’t normally do back home in your day to day routine. But sometimes rethinking the way you do these things is what often makes a holiday memorable.
As the world becomes increasingly smaller, cars have become somewhat overlooked when it comes to holiday making and it’s easy to see why. Around thirty thousand cars were on the roads of Britain in 2009, but the British roads are far from pleasurable.
Hiring a car makes all inclusive holidays a drive of a lifetime!
Fortunately there are places on earth that make driving feel like something from a dream, movie or computer game!
Nothing makes driving more enjoyable than good scenery. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford to take your car on holiday with you, prepare for driving like nothing you have ever experienced.
Your holiday in Marrakech has so far been uneventful. The weather is perfect, but little seems to impress you. Your car awaits you, as do the roads and scenery. You fill up your car, and throw an extra jerry can in the boot. The scenery soon changes and so does your mood. A drive through the High Atlas Mountains provides some of the best scenery on planet earth. It’s easy to forget you are driving when you lose yourself in the sculpted rock, desert and even snow!
Fun In China
National Highway 315 doesn’t sound like much when you call it by its official name. But, more commonly known as the ‘Silk Road’, this highway stretches through china and passes many of the famous landmarks and tourist destinations.
Other great places for taking nice long leisurely drives include ‘Furka Pass’, which winds its way through the Swiss Alps, and the Seward Highway which offers 125 miles of spectacular views. Both drives would probably be best enjoyed with the windows up, just to avoid icicles forming on the inside of your car.
For some, views alone aren’t enough to make a drive memorable. Speed limits are enforced in nearing all 1st world countries, and of course with good reason. There is one place however, where cars can be pushed to their limits with speed cameras nowhere to be seen. This isn’t a race track, this is the Autobahn, Germany.
Racers make their way to the super-fast highway to see just how fast their cars can go. There is no speed limit, so you needn’t worry about the police or hefty fines when driving here.
Although there are no limits on the Autobahn, it’s always important to keep your driving safe, and to consider the other drivers on the road.
At this time of year, cheap holidays seem a luxury even the decently paid can’t afford! Christmas has been and gone, just like last month’s wage, and yet again the bills are screaming to be paid.
It seems like ground hog day. Nothing seems to be changing and the winter blues are enough to have a clown feeling down. Many look to the skies with envy as the more fortunate jet away to a desert island somewhere, but the envy isn’t necessary.
With a few brief adjustments, and a little cutting back, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be heading off to your own little getaway in a few months.
Steps to affording cheap holidays this year!
- A great place to start saving that holiday money is on food shopping. Recent statistics have shown that just over half of the UK’s food is wasted. If this is an area you feel you could improve on, go for it! That’s a great way to save money, the world and even shed a few of those extra pounds. All you need to do is avoid over buying. Don’t be tempted by ‘BOGOF’ offers and if you don’t need it, don’t buy it! As simple as that!
- Whilst we are on the subject of food, you should probably monitor how much you spend on food at work. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of spending half of your months wage just on food without even realising. Instead you should prepare a hearty packed lunch and take that to work, and don’t take more money than you need with you, so you can’t be tempted to spend!
- Another great way to save a couple of extra pennies is to actually look at your bank statements. Many people merely look at how much money has gone in and out of their accounts, without caring to check where, when and what. You may still be paying a few extra pounds per month on insuring some electrical appliance you no longer have, or you may realise that you spend way too much in one particular area.
- You should work out exactly how much you spend per month on travel, and see if there is a cheaper alternative. In many cities worldwide, public transport is a much more cost efficient way to get from A to B.
If you follow these simple steps, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to afford a holiday in the not so distant future. Drastic changes won’t have to be made, and you can still live comfortably, whilst looking forward to a luxury above all others!
The Best Photography Tips For Those All inclusive Holidays
There is nothing worse than those post-holiday blues. As you slip back into your daily routine, the glowing memories of the relaxing time you have had away becomes all too distant. But alas, there is a remedy available to make those memories all the more tangible.
Even the most infrequent traveller knows that holidays can be expensive, especially in the case of all inclusive holidays. So it’s important that you make the same investment when it comes to taking your holiday photographs.
Obviously a camera is a great place to start. You don’t need the best camera on the market, nor do you need anything close, so don’t let anyone tell you that. Don’t take that the wrong way, of course the better the camera the higher the quality, but that is all you will achieve. Many believe it is the subject that makes a good photograph, not the camera, and they would be right in believing that.
One of the most important parts to holiday photography, and photography in general is having an eye for opportunity. Pay attention to your surroundings, and stop to take a moment to look around every now and then. You will be surprised by what amazing photo opportunities await you when you just open your eyes.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your photography. Play around with the angle of your camera. Don’t just stand there and take the picture, have a look around you and see where else you could take it from. Without putting yourself at risk, experiment by taking photos from places possibly unreachable by others. Following those steps will ensure your photo is unique, and not just another clichéd picture of the Eiffel Tower.
Although you may not need the best camera in the world, it is recommended that you invest in a reasonable sized memory card (or lots of film if you prefer film cameras). The disappointment that you feel when you find out your best photo has been ruined by blur or a non-photogenic relative is devastating. This is why you should always take more photos than you need. That way you only need to spend a little time sorting through them at the end of the day, and nearly every photo you keep will be perfect!
So there you have it! Following these basic steps should ensure you have some beautiful photographs by the end of your holiday, no matter what the camera!
For years, low cost holidays to Bulgaria have been on most Brits’ minds, and with good reason. Very little has changed in Bulgaria over the past few years, which I consider a good thing. Bulgaria is the perfect holiday destination for everyone, whether you’ll be needing a cold winter retreat, or a hot summer one.
Borovets is a snowy resort in the east of Bulgaria, where fans of winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing can hit the slopes all day long. As well as those energy drainers, Borovets also has a vast selection of pubs, if you fancy relaxing with a beer in the evening. At the foot of the Pirin Mountains, you will find Bansko, yet another winter tourist resort. Here you will find even more skis and slopes waiting for you. For more winter adventures, I would also recommend looking into Pamporovo and Vitosha so you can find the ideal winter resorts depending on your preferences and abilities to ski/snowboard.
Family Low Cost Holidays to Bulgaria
It’s completely understandable that not everyone wants to spend their year’s savings on a trip to some place that vaguely resembles the inside of their freezer. With this in mind, I would like to ensure you Bulgaria may still be the place for you.
In 2009, 8.9 million tourists visited Bulgaria, and it’s fair to say, not all of those went for snowball fights and warm beverages. Sunny beach is a resort that needs little introduction. A fair distance away from the mountains of snow, Sunny Beach is the polar opposite. The warm Black Sea strokes the golden sands gently as the scorching sun replenishes everyone’s vitamin D reserves.
Plenty of fun waits for your arrival on Sunny Beach. Children will be treated like royalty, and cared for by resort childcare staff. They will have the opportunity to unleash their creativity as they build sandcastles on the children’s beach, ride Bulgaria’s friendliest ponies over the golden sands, show off their moves in the discos and cool down and end the day with a nice refreshing ice cream.
Unfortunately those activities are exclusive to the kids, but don’t worry, there’s so much more for you to do!
How does feeling the cool breeze brush through your hair as you soar high above the Black Sea sound? Arrange a Para-sailing experience direct from your resort, or if you are afraid of heights, attempt to stay on your feet as you water ski at high speeds. For a more relaxed adventure, try your hand at Yachting or simply take a leisurely swim amongst the Bulgarian marine life.
Wherever you stay, Bulgaria will not disappoint.
Who said low cost holidays have to be boring? Now more than ever, holidays offer far more for their money, due to the economic climate. That makes now the perfect time to ask for those well-deserved days off work, pack your suitcase and plan your journey to Scotland.
Low cost holidays to Scotland
Scotland sits at the top of the United Kingdom, and boasts landscapes that can be compared to very few other places in the world. If like myself you’re situated within the UK, getting to Scotland couldn’t be easier. Fill the tank in your car, visit the nearest coach station or jump on a train. You could even fly for a really easy journey.
The chances are you’ll want to visit the capitol of Scotland at some point, so why not start your adventure off at the heart of Scotland, Edinburgh. The main attraction in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle by far. Edinburgh castle is an ancient fortress that is perched on top of Castle Rock, and overlooks the whole of Edinburgh. Known as the most popular paid visitor attraction in Scotland, it’s easy to believe that the castle has something for everyone. Learn about the history of the castle, or simply stop for a bite to eat and a nice cup of tea. Either way, you’re sure to be engulfed by the magic of the building, and won’t want to leave. Every day but Sunday, a single shot is fired from a cannon on the north side of the castle at exactly 1PM.
Although it’s impossible to deny Edinburgh Castle is an amazing attraction, the best attraction in Scotland in my opinion is Ben Nevis.
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, and challenges adventurers and climbers of all abilities. People travel from far and wide to tackle the 4409Ft tall mountain, most using the less challenging ‘Donkey Path’ but a few choose to climb the famous 700m cliffs. Imagine the sense of achievement and adrenaline rushing through your body as you reach the peak of the tallest mountain in the country. While the climate on the mountain is far from welcoming, the likelihood of you feeling it to its full extent is little, as you’re sure to break a sweat no matter what path you take.
Edinburgh Castle and ‘The Ben’ are just two of the amazing sights that await you in Scotland, so what are you waiting for, get out there and explore!
Whether you finish off that time consuming, and quite frankly, cash consuming Christmas shopping, or book cheap holidays for all the family to escape from it all, only one place has everything you need this Christmas. The Trafford Centre is within a forty five minute drive of ten percent of the UK’s population, which makes it an extremely popular shopping destination all year round.
Wrapping Up Christmas At The Trafford Centre
Yet again we have reached that time of year where the children are counting down the hours ‘till Christmas morning, and parents are counting down the days ‘till the next pay day. The Trafford Centre is the ideal place to ease the strain and stress of the festive period, and as I mentioned earlier, not too far away for many people.
Many people decide to start their shopping with the huge Selfridges store, which is one of the many entrances into the heart of the Mall. Here you can pick up anything from an affordable winter jumper from the Primark range, to a ridiculously priced Cartier watch costing more than most people’s houses. Sometimes it’s best to visit this shop last, to ensure you have some money left for all the other shops!
Once you have dragged yourself away from the irresistible luxuries of Selfridges you will find yourself spoilt for choice in the main part of the mall. If there’s a shop you need to visit this Christmas, the chances are, you’ll find it in The Trafford Centre. Countless clothing and fashion shops line the sides of The Trafford Centre, as well as specialist shops of all types, from sport to gaming. Live brass bands and other acts perform in various areas often raising money for charities and other good causes. This creates a great atmosphere, especially at Christmas.
At Christmas, The Trafford Centre isn’t just about shopping. It’s a great place to entertain your family and to just relax and enjoy the festive mood. At the entrance of Selfridges you will find an ice rink between November the 1st of November and the 6th of January. Here you can try your chances on the ice, and impress your friends and family as you attempt moves Torvill & Dean wouldn’t dream of trying! All this, whilst on certain days, brass bands serenade you with Christmas classics. A short distance away, you can find the festive food stalls. These are open from the 22nd of December to the 6th of January and offer a great range of festive snacks and drinks. Indulge in a nice warm mug of mulled wine, and enjoy some freshly roasted meats before or after a good session of shopping.
What is not to love about the Caribbean? The sun is always shining, and the weather is sweet. Very few places will have a winter like Jamaica this year, which in my opinion gives you every reason to spend that well-earned rainy day fund on all inclusive holidays to the charismatic island.
Take your family on a holiday they’ll never forget this Christmas. Take them to a place where everyone’s needs are catered for, a place where locals have more character than anyone you will ever meet, and a place you will never want to leave.
No matter what resort you choose, you are never too far from one of Jamaica’s white beaches. The sun Bounces of Jamaica’s beaches all year round, just as the refreshing blue Caribbean Sea does. Make the most of being able to absorb that well needed vitamin D whilst hotel staff entertain the little ones, and prepare an astounding selection of food and refreshments ready for whenever you feel like eating.
Be sure to stock up on sunscreen and stay in the shade whilst in Jamaica. Although we may be very nearly into December, the chances of getting sunstroke and sun burn are still high, as the sun rarely rests in Jamaica.
Like in all good holiday resorts, you won’t struggle to find activities for you and the family, day or night. Don’t be surprised if upon arrival, you are approached and have offers of adventures and excursions thrown your way. Take boat trips out into the Caribbean Sea to have an up close and personal encounter with some of the native Marine life. If that isn’t quite enough, scuba diving trips can also be arranged so you can feel at one with the sea and all the life it homes.
Jamaica is home to countless fine examples of the best beaches in the world. One beach in particular is known famously by its ‘Seven Mile Beach’ title. While the beach only actually reaches around four miles along the coast, that is still a whole lot of beach waiting to be discovered. Breath taking scenery and natural landscapes can be found all over Jamaica, so I highly advise booking at least one of many tours available from most hotels to ensure you get the whole experience.
Depending on the time of year, all kinds of events and celebrations can be found on this lively little island. February the 6th marks the beginning of Bob Marley week, where his life is celebrated in all its glory, starting on his birthday. Here you can attend concerts under the sun (and stars), sing your favourite Marley songs on Karaoke in front of a crowd or even just pay a visit to the Marley Museum in Kingston.
No matter what time of year you decide to travel, you can be sure of one thing. There’s always an adventure waiting for you in sunny Jamaica.