Activity ideas for UK holidays

You might be saving up for that dream holiday in the Maldives, or maybe you just think it’s completely out of your budget and you’ll never be able to afford it. Either way, sometimes it’s nice to just have a short holiday in the UK in order to have a break on a budget. Below are three activities you can do to add a bit of interest to your British-bound break.

Head to the beach

It is often said that you are never more than 70 miles from the coast in the UK, so a beach break could be just the thing to help you unwind. You could go for a day trip or opt for a longer stay, either way there are a whole host of things to keep you occupied at the beach. From building sandcastles and digging the obligatory massive hole to a plethora of water-based activities to suit any budget. Skimboards are fairly cheap and can offer hours of fun as you and your family attempt to time your run just right to meet the incoming tide. Be careful though, try and skim on water that is too shallow and you’ll end up finding out exactly what a British beach tastes like. If you are on the South West coast you could even opt for surfing lessons and hire out a wetsuit and board for the week.

sprocker dog enjoying the beach

Go for a walk

It may seem like a simple activity, but most people end up spending a large proportion of their day sat down. At a desk all day working, in the car driving backwards and forwards, and in front of the TV in the evenings. Going for a nice stroll along the cliff tops or into the countryside could be the breath of fresh air you needed to reset. You could even choose to head into the wild and spend a whole week walking and camping through the wilderness. Reading up on some of the top tips when cross country walking could help to give you an idea of what to expect and whether it could be the right break for you.

The white cliffs of Dover

Museums and Wildlife parks

Wherever you choose to holiday in the UK, whether that be on the coast, in a city, or out amongst nature, you are sure to never be too far from a museum. From the usual history and art museums of London to the more specialised offerings such as the tank museum in Dorset, there is a museum for every interest and niche. There is also an abundance of wildlife parks. You could head to a safari or nature reserve, or head to one of the many sanctuaries. Whatever your favourite animal, you’re bound to be able to go and see it up close and personal somewhere in the UK.

penguin at colchester zoo

There you have it, a few ideas for activities you can do on your UK based holidays that will ensure that everyone is kept happy and busy, just don’t forget to leave time to relax in the evenings with your beverage of choice.

Post written in collaboration with Collette Lower. Images my own.

Reasons to travel (rather than sitting at home!)

People travel for many reasons, each with their own little motivation. Be it the need for relaxation, discovering different cultures to see friends, chances are everyone has something. The list goes on and on, and generally, not many people need much convincing to go travelling. However, there are times when one would rather just sit down and do nothing at home, lazing about the whole day without doing anything productive. As dismal as it may sound, it’s a safe bet to say that the large majority of people have been in that situation before. Work and the responsibilities of everyday life get to you, and all that’s on your mind is shutting down for a while. Nothing to be ashamed of, but is it the best thing to do? You could sit and do nothing at home, or travel somewhere else and then do nothing. An enticing proposition, is it not? Without further ado, let’s look at some reasons to travel around rather than sit at home and stare at the TV.

image via pexels

Wanderlust

The world spans far and wide, but life is short. Many people have that insatiable sense of wanderlust which just cannot be quenched by sitting around at home or checking out holiday destinations online. They need the real thing, the feeling of being in a new place with new people, new weather, new shops and suspicious looking foods with ingredients in languages other than their own. The call of the unknown, slowly exploring every nook and cranny of an otherwise alien to you location. It’s something that cannot be explained in words, only experienced.

With a purpose

Some people travel to different countries to help others. People usually go to less well-off countries to support the locals there. Volunteers from all over the world travel to places like India and Africa to try and make a difference in whatever way they can. Be it by helping homeless children get off the street or helping the local wildlife thrive. It is something everyone should consider at least once and if you really do not want to or cannot then the next best option still stands. Donating to or participating in charity adventures such as No Birds Bash involves both helping others and travelling making it a perfect fit in this scenario.

image via pexels

For fun

If you are travelling somewhere in your spare time and you are not having fun while doing so, you should try to realise why that was. After all, travelling itself is not an unfun thing, other than the lack of legroom on the plane it’s usually a blast. Maybe it was a one-off trip which turned out to be bland and the location which you had your expectations set so high for turned out to be not much different than several other places you’ve seen. If that happens, do not get discouraged, the world holds more different types of settings and opportunities for adventure than there are ants in your backyard. Getting put off from travelling for a while by a single trip is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, and if you ever hit that moment then just remember, that you travel for fun first and foremost. Do not be afraid to go to more exotic locations, somewhere across the world completely different from your usual place of residence. This does not mean you have to go and live in the jungle for a month, but countries far from the west such as Japan, have such staggeringly different cultures that you can explore the world anew. Be it amidst a busy metropolis like Tokyo or in a tranquil countryside like Kyōgoku. There’s something for everyone.

Post written in collaboration with Jay Donnelly.

Seeing the world while helping others

Seeing the world while helping others – there’s a thought!

A lot of the time when we travel, we do so for our own pleasure. Whether we are jetting off on holiday or are heading off on an adventure of a lifetime, often it’s for our own enjoyment that we are travelling. While that is all well and good, there is another kind of travel that it is worth considering undertaking – travelling to help others.

Have you ever considered doing some exploring that will allow you to help other people (or animals)? Studies have shown that travelling to help others is one of the best ways to travel, as well as one of the most popular. Many travellers choose to travel in a way that allows them to help those less fortunate than them because they find that the work they do is totally and completely rewarding, and enhances their time abroad.

Does the concept of seeing the world and helping other people out at the same time appeal to you? If the answer is yes, then you may be interested in taking advantage of one of the ideas below.

Do a TEFL program

Are you an excellent teacher? Do you have patience and understanding? Then perhaps doing a TEFL project – AKA Teaching English as a Foreign Language – could be ideal for you. The fact is that when it comes to travelling abroad and helping others at the same time, teaching English as a foreign language could be the ideal way to do that, especially if you are someone who loves to teach and is understanding and patient. (For anyone wanting a future career in teaching, this is definitely the ideal way to travel and do your bit for the world.)

Raise money for charity

Not born to be a teacher? How about opting to raise money for charity instead? The fantastic thing about choosing to raise money for charity is the fact that there are so many different things that you can do, from undertaking a sponsored skydive to looking into charity walks, there are various options to choose from. How about, as you travel around the world, you find a new way to raise money in each country that you visit, and then donate it to a local charity of your choice? Just think how much money you could raise.

Join a conservation project

Do you care about animals in a big way? Then the perfect way to give something back while travelling could be to join a conservation project. Whether that means helping sea turtles in Fiji, orangutans in Borneo, or big cats in Costa Rica, it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you are able to see the world while giving something back to it, and a conservation project could be the perfect way to do that.

Travel is a vital part of life; it’s something that every single one of us should aspire to do. However, so is helping others, which is why combining the two can be a great idea, and a fantastic way to make more of your time seeing the world.

Post written in collaboration with Beth Turner.

The City of Love: 10 things to do in Paris

10 things to do in Paris

10 things to do in Paris

Paris is the epitome of every love story, a place of romantic proposals, fantastic food and watching the sunset from the Eiffel Tower. It is somewhere many of us have on our bucket list to visit and some point in our lives. The magical and romantic reputation of this city is hard to match by any other. But what is there actually to see and do in the city of love? Let’s take a look…

Eiffel Tower

1. The Eiffel Tower

Constructed between 1887-89, this is the tallest human-made structure in Paris. It has become the city of Paris’ icon and is the home of thousands of proposals each year.

Notre Dame

2. Notre Dame Cathedral

Unlike the Disney film, you won’t find Quasimodo in here! This medieval Catholic church is stunning and is a great example of gothic architecture.

Musee Louvre

3. Musee du Louvre

You may have heard of this museum, as it is the most popular in Paris. In 2016 it was the world’s most visited Museum. It is the home of the most famous painting in the world: the Mona Lisa. It would be worth booking cheap flights to Paris just to see this stunning piece of artwork.

Arc de Triomphe

4. Arc De Triomphe

One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the Arc De Triomphe was built in 1806 and remains an architectural marvel for visitors from across the world.

Moulin Rouge

5. Moulin Rouge

You may remember the film based on this fabulous place starring Nicole Kidman, but the Moulin Rouge in real life is the birthplace of the can-can. It is the home of seductive dance and cabaret and is held in high esteem by many. It still holds shows regularly, so why not take a look if you are in the area?

Luxembourg Gardens

6. Luxembourg Gardens

Covering an impressive 23 acres of land and spanning the space which meets at Luxembourg palace, the gardens have become a popular tourist attraction amongst holidaymakers and houses the Medici Fountain, which was built in 1620.

River Seine

7. River Seine

The river Seine flows through the city of Paris like blood through veins. It is truly the heart of the city, and you can take tours along the river while looking at the beautiful town of Paris.

Sainte-Chapelle

8. Sainte-Chapelle

If you enjoy Gothic architecture, then this is the ideal place for you to visit. It began construction in 1238 and was the residence of the French monarchy up until the 14th Century. If you are a history buff, this place will blow you away!

Musee D'Orsay

9. Musee d’Orsay

The Musee d’Orsay is one who holds mainly French art, furniture, and photography. It contains the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world. Adorning its walls are artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, and Manet. It is located on the left bank of the river Seine and is an impressive place to visit.

Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre

10. Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre

Translated into English as ‘Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris,’ this Roman Catholic Church is certainly a sight to behold. It is located at the highest point of the city, and this domed building allows for an impressive view over Paris.

If you like this kind of post, why not check out 8 Things to do in Queensland, New Zealand.

Post written in collaboration with July Marson.

Things to remember when travelling abroad

Things to remember when travelling abroad

We Brits love to travel abroad. The Telegraph states on its travel section that the “British passion for travel is the biggest in twenty years.” But lets face it, while travelling is fun and exciting, it is also stressful. So to help you fellow travellers along the way, we have compiled some top tips for going abroad.

Waiting at the airport

The first hurdle of going on holiday is packing. It sounds simple you just put what you need for the duration of your trip in your suitcase or rucksack and off you go. Yet most people end up either not packing the right things or over packing and lugging extra weight around. Skyscanner came up with a top ten list of what not to pack on one of its travel posts. The article covered things such as packing clothes that aren’t appropriate for the country’s climate you’re travelling to and taking with you tech gadgets you don’t need.

Girl holding camera

The next step is to plan your journey. Spontaneity is great and leads to exciting new adventures but it is always best to have an idea of what you are going to do in the upcoming days otherwise the holiday can become expensive. Reader’s Digest detail some of the most common mistakes such as losing passports, not buying a service plan for mobile phones, forgetting to call your credit card company and failing to get medical insurance.

Girl sitting on suitcase

Many hours and opportunities can be wasted while you decide with your friends or family what you are going to do. Planning can also make sure that everybody gets to do something they want. Remember everybody has a different idea of what they would like to do on holiday, so be sure to consult your travel partners so that everyone feels involved.

One part of the journey travellers don’t think about but can end up being the most stressful is getting to the airport. There are many tips for making the process of getting onto your plane easier and stress free. Airport parking is often one of those services that can be forgotten, which can cost people more money than it should. Nowadays, all leading airports across the world have a variety of parking options available. For instance, at London’s famous Gatwick Airport, Parking4Less states that there are four options available to people, which are categorised as long and short stay, on-airport hotel and summer special car parking. Options like short stay give people a cheaper form of parking if they are only leaving their vehicle for a couple of days. Such provisions, if booked in advance, can save people a significant amount of money in the long run.

However, if you do leave your car at the airport or at a hotel, it’s also important you’re careful what you leave in it, and if it is visible to others. The worst thing you can do is to leave things so that passers by can see them – try to leave all your belongings out of sight or in the hotel.

While travelling USA Today recommends putting your money in different places so that you minimise the risk of losing it all.

Travelling abroad is one of the best ways to spend your time. With a little bit of planning and preparation your trip can be trouble and stress free.

Written by Amber Walsh. Images via Pixabay.