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What I look for when booking a hotel for a holiday

*Collaborative post.

I like to pay extra attention when booking a hotel for a holiday. The last thing I need is to discover the hotel does not suit my needs after checking in.  That would be a holiday from hell. That is why I like to research the hotel we intend to stay especially now that I have kids. When it comes to hotels, I like them luxurious and comfortable. I want a home away from home. The hotel needs to feel like a hotel. It needs to look and feel better than my home, after all it is a holiday and should feel like one.

 

Hampton by Hilton Review image

 

Here are some of the things I look out for when booking a hotel for holiday –

 

Hotel Facilities

I always check the hotel facilities before booking a hotel. It is important to check the facilities you need are available before booking a hotel. I like to have an amazing room, room service, gym facilities, swimming pool, spa, restaurants and concierge. Room service is so important because sometimes we are just to tired or lazy to go down to the restaurant. So I like to have the option of eating in.

Having a spa in the hotel is also vert important. I like to sneak in a massage whilst on holiday. Having a massage with M is always on the cards too! We have been busy visiting cities in England this year. So far we have explored Essex, London, Birmingham and Blackpool this year, and we have many more cities to strike off our travel bucket list. Cornwall and Yorkshire are on our travel list. We are hoping to visit the both cities soon. I have my eye on a couples spa break in Yorkshire and I can’t wait for that to happen.

 

Location

The hotel location is very important. I like to stay in a decent area and I like the hotel to be reasonably close to the tourist attractions we will be visiting. Being fairly close to the airport is also important. I don’t like to spend hours commuting to and from the airport, so the closer the better really. However, the more central a hotel the more expensive it is, but it is a price we are willing to pay.

 

 

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Reviews

I make sure I read the hotel reviews online before booking. I like to read the good and bad comments to see if the hotel would suit our needs. The reviews with real pictures are also very useful. I don’t pay too much attention to the photoshopped pictures on the hotel’s websites. Sometimes, the pictures look nothing like the rooms in real life. I also check the hotel rating as that is another way of checking the quality of the hotel. The hotels we like to go for usually have a 4 or 5 star rating, especially when we go abroad.

 

Luggage Storage

Hotels with luggage storage are amazing. We like to make use of the luggage storage option when we have an evening or night flight. Sitting around in the airport for hours with kids is not wise. We rather explore the city for a few more hours after checking out so the luggage storage option is very important.

 

Free WIFI

I work from home and pretty much anywhere, so having free wifi is so important, especially when we go abroad. Free WIFI is an essential I won’t stay in a hotel where I have to pay for an internet connection. It is shocking that we still have many hotels charging expensive fees for WIFI.

 

What do you look out for when booking a hotel?

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How to plan a great weekend trip with kids

We love travelling and creating memories as a family. Which is why we try to explore our surroundings as much as we can, and travel internationally at least twice a year. So vacations and a weekend trip is always on the radar. We are yet to go anywhere this year for many reasons. However, travel is still on the cards. We just need to get organised and get a holiday booked (we are usually so last minute on travel related plans for many other reasons but we are getting better).

 

 

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We have been on a few trips within the country this year. Our first trip was to Birmingham for 2 nights for new year. Then we visited Chelmsford Essex in February for a weekend away. And we spent the spring break in London and Essex. We were there for 2 weeks exploring the cities, and it was a lot of fun. I am kind of a mini guru when it comes to planning a weekend trip with kids. My twins are 5 years old, and we have been travelling around and outside the country since there were babies. So I kind of know what to do when it comes to comes travelling with children.

 

Here are some of my tried and tested tips –

 

Plan your trip well in advance

I am a very organised person, which is why I like planning our trips before we go. I always have a packing list so I don’t leave anything behind. There is also another list; I usually call this list the itinerary list. This itinerary list contains our plans for the actual trip. So places we plan to visit, prices for attractions, alternative attractions, travel routes, and so on. That way I know what to expect and I prepare myself and the kids for it. Planning in advance also allows me space out our activities so we are not too shattered. This preparation usually helps our trip go really smoothly.

 

Book child-friendly accommodation

When booking a hotel for our trips, we ensure we pick a child-friendly accommodation. So spacious rooms with beds for the kids is a must. A hotel with good internet connection, restaurant, room service and concierge to help with the luggage. I also like great customer service, which is why I make sure to check Trip Advisor’s website for reviews. That way we don’t get any nasty surprises.

 

Involve the kids

I make sure to get the kids involved in our trips. They know well in a advance where we are going and we plan to do there. I also get them involved in packing before the trip and activities while holidaying. I find that getting them involved gets them all excited and keeps them well behaved.

 

 

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Have snacks and entertainment ready

I never leave the house for hours with the kids without snacks. Having snacks and some form of entertainment while out and about with children definitely helps. My crossbody bag comes in really handy for popping little snacks in, especially when we are on the move. They definitely make our trips go

 

Stick to the routine

We try to stick to our routine as much as possible when holidaying. Sometimes it is not possible at all to do so, but we try our best. Routines are so important with young children, and they help them behave better. Which is why we try to stick to ours when on holiday. Children thrive on a routine, so it is important to implement this even when on vacation.

 

Do you have any tips for planning a great weekend trip with kids? Please share your tried and tested tips in the comments section below.

 

 

Guide to Holiday Packing

*I was recently commissioned by Simply Beach to give my thoughts on the following topic.

 

Holiday packing can be very stressful, but good planning makes it a lot easier. I like to take my time when packing for a holiday. I usually pack for 3, so I have to make sure I pack all the important stuff. Packing for kids can be tricky as they usually need extra clothing, snacks, toiletries and entertainment. Forgetting a pair of pyjamas or shoes can mess up the entire holiday, which is why I make use these tips when holiday packing –

 

Road trip Picture

 

Set the scene

When it comes to packing for a holiday, I like to set the scene. In other to pack quickly and properly, I take note of the number of days we are going away. Next I lay down all the clothes and shoes I will be taking for each person. That way I can quickly see if any important item is missing. Laying all the items down also allows me see if I have packed more or less than we need for the trip.

 

Pack for the type of holiday you are going to have

When it comes to packing for a holiday, I pack for the trip depending on the sort of holiday we are going to have. Lighter pieces and accessories for a summery weather or warmer clothing for a chilly weather. If we are visiting a warmer city like Dubai for example, I make sure we have our sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, swimsuits, sandals and other light clothing packed and ready to go. It makes sense to check the weather forecast for the city you will be visiting so you have a good idea of how the weather would be like during your holiday.

I am hoping we have a summer vacation this year, and I have my eye on some stunning designer swim and beachwear by Simply Beach. The brand stocks some lovely looking swimwear. I currently have my eye on a couple of pieces on the website and can see myself grabbing them soon. If you are after fabulous designer swimsuits and beachwear, you need to check out Simply Beach. I bet you would be spoilt for choice.

 

Swimwear Essentials Picture

 

 

Have a theme

I always like to pack with a theme in mind. That way I ensure we can mix and match various pieces and accessories together. It is like having a capsule suitcase with you on holiday. Having a theme saves you packing more items, which save your packing space and washing when you get back.

 

Crossbody bag

Go with at least 1 crossbody bag. This will free up your hands for when you need it, especially with little ones. It also helps you secure your valuable when out and about in a foreign place. Crossbody bags are a lot more practical than shoulder bags while on holiday. Also, make sure you get rid of any recipes in your purse that you won’t be needing on your holiday. You can also keep bank cards and other valuables at home while going on vacation. That way you keep your purse contents low, and easy to carry in your crossbody bag.

 

Bag them up and steam clean

Keep your underwear separate in lingerie bags and shoes in shoe bags to keep your box neat and organised. You can steam clean any rumpled clothing in the bathroom whole having a shower. Just hang them in the bathroom for a few minutes while showering. The steam will get rid of the creases.

 

 

Put some clothes and underwear in your hand luggage

You should put some clothes, underwear and other essentials in your hand luggage incase your suitcase goes missing. Good to have a change of clothes just incase, you never know.

 

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any holiday packing tips to share?

 

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