We all dream of the perfect family holiday. We have scrimped and saved all year to allow ourselves time out somewhere lovely for some quality time as a family. If you are like myself, you will have cherished memories of your own childhood holidays and want to ensure your children have amazing times when travelling  too. I find holiday cottages give us the best time as they give a feeling of space and relaxation like back home.


Of course it is easy these days to find holidays at the last minute. However, I have taken my Dad’s example and like to do some good planning in advance. This means talking with every family member about their dreams for their time away and looking at pictures online. If you read reviews you can also find out if the accommodation is really family-friendly or is just using that as a marketing tool. As part of my planning I also like to ensure I have looked into options for days out whatever the weather. Perhaps sadly but inevitably, I also check whether Wifi is available so the children can access their beloved screens and I can do a bit of work if necessary. Finally if you want some adult only time you can research kids clubs and so on. They  are not my cup of tea but each to their own. Talking of cups of tea, I also like to ensure a supermarket can deliver shopping ordered online in time for our arrival.


I always smile when I think of packing as my Dad wouldn’t let me or my Mum get involved in it due to our slightly chaotic approach.  Moving on, there are lots of things you should pack to save a whole load of hassle. These include things like sticking plasters, Calpol, sun protection, antibacterial handwash and any medication your family require. Always have plenty of baby wipes which every parent can tell you are worth their weight in gold for cleaning surfaces from restaurant tables to toilet seats. You will have your own ideas of what makes the perfect holiday wardrobe. I like to include some older clothes that I won’t worry about if they get covered with sand, sun tan lotion and food spillages. Always ensure you have a jumper or cardigan for everyone and a coat for rainier days.

Coping with long journeys

Children get bored easily and all the more so if they know they are going somewhere really exciting.  Firstly make sure you have regular stops for snacks and drinks and bring them from home as buying en route can be really pricey. Make a goodie bag up for each  child with books, games, activities, pens and treats. Again think about health and ensure you have travel sickness products to hand too.

Memory-making and the perfect family holiday

Since losing my parents, I have worked out that the only really important thing in life is making great memories. They are fun whilst they are happening and they sustain us in challenging times. So ensure you have some equipment to capture those memories whether that is a journal, scrapbook or camera.

Do you have any great tips for planning the perfect family holiday?

How To Plan The Perfect Family Holiday















Mum Muddling Through

Choosing your dream wedding venue is just one of the important decisions you have to make when you are planning your big day. I think it is a really vital one as it needs to reflect your individuality as a couple and it has to be suitable for the needs and comfort of your guests. Of course the views of the bride and groom may differ on what makes the perfect wedding venue. I thought I would share some tips on getting it right so everyone is happy. Once you have your wedding venue sorted, you can start building in all those smaller and special touches. Some venues like Cain Manor offer a wedding planner tool to help.

Your wedding venue criteria

It is important not to get carried away when choosing a wedding venue. Locations can look stunning or meet your quirky tastes but they also need to work for yourselves and your loved ones.  Will the venue you are looking at hold the number of guests you plan on having comfortably? Give some thought to any particular needs your guests will have particularly if they are elderly or disabled. How far will guests have to travel to get to your venue? Is that asking too much of them depending on the transport links of course? Have you set a budget for the venue? Wedding costs can mount up if you do not plan carefully and marriages starting with debt are stressful ones.


In our digital age, you can do an awful lot of research online rather than trawling around every venue on the plant. Do not just read venue websites which are very effective marketing tools. Look at blogs, Instagram and review sites to get a real feel for the venue. Once all this research is done, you should be able to come up with a shortlist of venues that you want to invest your time and money in checking out in greater details.


The ultimate way to get to know a venue is to visit. Have a pen and paper to hand as you explore to ensure you don’t forget anything when you get home to discuss matters. If it is OK with the venue, take photos that you can refer back to in the comfort of your own home. After your visit, send an email to the venue including a list of bullet points about your discussions to date. Keep returning to your important criteria as it is so easy to get overwhelmed or carried away. Once back home, compare the venues you have seen. They will all have pros and cons and you have to juggle what your heart and head are telling you.

Your dream wedding venue

It’s a lovely feeling when you are absolutely convinced of your dream wedding venue. Book early so your wedding  date does not get booked by another couple. Booking early means a year to 18 months in advance at least. It will often be a longer period for summer weddings and the most popular venues.

As I always advise, make sure your wedding meets the wishes of the bride and groom first and foremost. In an ideal world, you will only have one big day and you don’t want to spend a lifetime thinking you compromised too much and often for guests who may not necessarily remain in your life in the longer term.

Good Luck and all the best for a lovely wedding day.








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