Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Updating Jack's Holiday Wardrobe

This June, my little family is being treated to a holiday in the Isle of Wight. We are going to a caravan park and my parents have paid for all of the accommodation and the ferry. We only have to pay for petrol (as we are doing the driving), half the food and of course, our spending money.

Jack is extremely lucky as not only has he been saving his money as usual into his savings account - but we decided a certain amount of it could be taken away in June as his spending money. Not much of course as he is only three but enough for him to get little things if he wants. My Dad has also been saving all of his silvers and coppers and got it changed up for a £20 note the other day for Jack to have on holiday.

With all this talk about money for holiday, I realised that we are definitely going to need to buy some new items for holiday. Much as I would love for him to still fit in some of them as they are just too cute, sadly his summer clothes from 2014 are all too small for him now which means a shopping trip is definitely in order.

I've been taking a look on my go-to site Melijoe for some items that we could take along with us. With swimming predominantly in my mind, I focused on something for Jack to wear in the sea or the pool and found these... 

Both Jack and Steve LOVE superheroes so I can't resist these - in fact, perhaps I should see if they have them for adult males too!

Since we are going on holiday, I will probably be picking up a handful of items that don't matter too much if they get wrecked - after all, three year olds with ice cream aren't known to be the cleanest of occasions nor once they've played on a sandy beach. But it would be nice to buy some items that he can wear throughout his holiday and then be used afterwards. 

The problem with me is that once I start looking for clothes for Jack...I don't stop. I have to put the credit card away, otherwise I would probably end up buying everything.

What are your go to items when it comes to a holiday wardrobe?

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You have the opportunity to win a £20 ASOS voucher, courtesy of Optimax. So what do you need to do to be in with a chance of winning? Just fill in the Rafflecopter below, making sure to complete at least the mandatory entry. This is a UK only giveaway, all entries will be moderated and verified and any multiple entries will be disqualified. This giveaway ends on the 30th of April at 23.59pm
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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Just Miniatures Hamper

Despite me mentioning yesterday that we rarely drink anymore, we do like to make sure we have some alcohol in for certain occasions such as birthdays , Christmas and New Years. When I was contacted about trying out a hamper from Just Miniatures, I said yes as I knew it would be very handy for such occasions - and we have such a big family that someone is bound to love one of the inclusions.

With a choice selection of whiskey, gin, vodka and three liquers, there is something for everyone in this hamper. Smirnoff and Jagermeister would be my choices and whilst I'm not a fan of the others, there are definitely people in the immediate family who would be more than happy to oblige on such an occasion.

The miniatures came in a gorgeous wicker basket, just big enough to fit them in. It felt like a treasure trove rustling through it to see what it contained. Although these are miniatures, they can definitely last a long time if you only bring them out on special occasions.

I've only had a chance to bring out the Smirnoff so far but I am certainly impressed with this hamper - it is a perfect gift for someone who enjoys a little tipple but is undecided on their favourite. I've already got plans for Christmas gifts!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Budget-Savvy Travel Tips You Need to Know

Traveling doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are several ways to keep costs down and enjoyment high. From scoring deals on hotels rooms through websites like Hipmunk to getting free upgrades, read on for top tips for budget travel.

1. Don’t simply grab the first hotel room you find at the right price. Take into consideration how close the hotel is to the major areas you want to visit. A great price can be ruined by a long trek to attractions. 

2. Ideally, you should purchase your airline tickets two months before your trip. You’ll get the best price if you book on a Tuesday, too. If you’re not quite ready to pick a destination, signup for airline newsletters. You’ll be alerted to special offers and deals, which may help you make your decision.

3. Pick up your rental car early in the morning. If you’ve booked the smallest, cheapest car, you have a better chance of getting a free upgrade early in the morning because many people won’t have returned their cars from the day before.

4. Book your cruise either super early or very late. By booking six to twelve months in advance, you’ll snag the best price, because supply is high and demand is low. However, if you’re just a few weeks away from vacation and you haven’t booked a cruise yet, you may get a decent deal because empty rooms need to be filled in.

5. Depending on how many people you’re traveling with, getting a vacation rental instead of a hotel room may be a better deal. While the rental may cost $200 or more per night, if you’re splitting the cost between several people, it could work out in your favor.

6. When visiting a major city, don’t bother renting a car. Instead, make like the locals do and use public transportation. Learn popular routes and pricing systems ahead of time so that you don’t waste too much time figuring out how to get where you need to go.

7. Head to a museum or two. Most museums are free, or at least have free time slots, even if they typically have a suggested donation amount or admission price. If you’re planning a vacation primarily to explore new museums, you may want to schedule your trip around those freebie days.

8. Visit national parks and state parks. Not only are national parks gorgeous and rich with opportunities to hike, bike, and picnic, but they’re also affordable. You don’t have to book a hotel inside the national park; instead, simply visit for a day and pay the car fee, which will likely be low.

9. Pack lightly so that you don’t get hit with an unexpected baggage fee at the airport.

10. In town for a destination wedding, birthday, or your honeymoon? Don’t be shy about spreading the word. A lot of travel vendors will give you add-ons and upgrades if they know you’re celebrating a special occasion.

Being a budget traveler doesn’t mean skimping on things that are important. It means finding the most cost-effective, smartest way to do all of the things you have your heart set on.


This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a complete travel platform that allows you to do everything from comparing charter flights and train rides, to finding the best resort hotels and Airbnb rentals.
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