My 2018 Travel Bucket List

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I haven’t got to travel much this past year what with Olivia being so small but I am determined to change that next year. I’ve been to Rome, Paris and all across the UK in recent years but want to spread my wings a little bit in 2018, whether that is with my family, just Steve or with friends.

I have many friends who are regularly jetting off somewhere for a couple of days – travel is what they choose to spend their ‘fun’ money on and I’d much rather visit new places than have that takeaway every week or buy that magazine each week for a year when that could get me a cheap ticket somewhere. has been a great resource for giving me some ideas for my bucket list. I’ve still obviously got the few places I’ve always wanted to visit and they will remain on my bucket list for 2018 in the hope I finally manage them but I’ve also got a few more places I’d love to visit if I had the chance.


I would love to go back to Rome – we went as a family when Jack was tiny and he doesn’t really remember much of it. We managed to get quite a lot done in four days but I still feel as though there is so much more to see.


Steve and I have been saying we want to go here for years. One of my friends recently visited and I was so jealous.


Steve’s grandfather was Canadian and he has friends out there plus his cousin is moving there for two years next year so we’d love to go visit the country of his ancestors and also pop in to see family and friends too.


I’d love to take the family to Paris. I went with a blogger friend back in 2015 and totally didn’t get to do everything we wanted in the time we were there – and of course, Disneyland Paris is there so I’d love to take the kids!


This is one of the places we would love to visit for a top of the range beach holiday – it is simply beautiful.


I really want to explore Europe more and Spain has always fascinated me. We have Spanish friends and would love to visit where they came from.


My aunt lived in Greece in her twenties and always talks about Greece wistfully. Steve and I would love to visit and see what my aunt is raving about.


My great grandfather was from Australia and my Mum and I have always said that we were going to visit one day. It would cost a lot but this can always be a 2018 dream, right?

These are just a few places I would love to visit in 2018 – although I don’t think funds would allow for all of them, haha! What places are on your 2017 bucket list?


Keeping Children Happy When Travelling

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Travelling can be stressful at the best of the times but if you are taking your whole family along for the ride too, it can get even more stressful. It is so important to keep your children happy when travelling otherwise it can ruin the whole journey!

We haven’t yet travelled abroad with Olivia – the furthest we’ve got is Great Yarmouth! – but we have with Jack – to Italy in 2012. But you can travel both abroad and within the country, can’t you? Holiday Gems have asked me to share my top travel tips when travelling with children.

Pack A Bag Full Of Interesting Things

Books, card games, iPad. Whatever you know will keep your children happy, pack it. Jack was just a baby when we went to Rome so slept most of the travel time but on our long car journeys, it is very easy for him to get bored. We always ensure we have the iPad with us so he can watch movies or play games and we also pack some books, toys and card games so he can keep himself amused in the back with his sister and whoever else happens to be travelling with us (usually my mum).

Bring Some Snacks

Children are always hungry (well, they say they are) so it is important to make sure you have some snacks packed for your journey. Fruit, crisps, cooked meat – these are all perfect to put in your handbag and pull out when the inevitable ‘I’m hungry’ whine permeates your eardrums.

Think Ahead

If travelling abroad, make sure you think ahead – book seats together, check flight check in times and things you can do whilst waiting for your flight. The last thing you want is a bored child complaining before you have even got on the plane.

Consider Them

The final tip I have is to consider them – consider them in ALL aspects of your holiday. Make sure the place where you are going is somewhere they will be happy, consider their thoughts and feelings during the actual travelling process and make sure they are kept occupied and not bored.

These are my top travelling tips – what are yours? Have you checked out the top tips for flying with children on the Holiday Gems website?

Now we all love travelling and now you’ve got a chance to win a Trunki travel pillow. Just fill in the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is UK only and ends at 23.59pm on the 28th of September 2017. Good luck.

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Romantic Holidays: Top Locations You Should Consider

So, you want to book a romantic holiday with your loved one this year? Well, you still have more than enough time to make the arrangements if you’re quick. The issue is that most people have no idea where they should travel. With that in mind, there are some destinations mentioned in this post you might like to consider. Every place listed here today is guaranteed to provide you with a romantic experience. So, you just need to perform some more research into each of them after leaving this page. Best of all? You might even get some excellent last minute deals if you look in the right places.

Paris – France

Known as the city of love, Paris is always a top choice for happy couples who want a romantic experience. You just need to stay in the middle of the city to get the most from your trip. You can visit sights like the Eiffel Tower and take lots of memorable photographs. You will also find many upmarket restaurants and bars at the location. Booking river cruises and more is possible. Also, you have to remember that France produces some of the most fantastic wine in the world. So, you’re probably going to drink a lot of alcohol during your stay. Just make sure you check out the best attractions online to ensure you don’t overlook anything important.

Los Cabos – Mexico

Mexico is a pretty romantic destination across the board. However, you often have to travel to the southernmost points for the best experiences. The fact that there are many wedding planning companies in Cabo should tell you something about the area. Thousands of couples travel there from the UK and the US every single year. You’ll encounter pristine white sands and clear blue waters all along the coastline. You could spend your days snorkeling or scuba diving if that appeals to you. You will also find lots of unique restaurants that serve a variety of different authentic cuisines. Just make sure you don’t forget to take a camera.

Agadir – Morocco

Morocco is a rather poor Muslim country on the northwestern side of Africa. Many people overlook the destination because they have preconceptions about the residents. However, there are many misunderstanding about the people of Morocco. They are always welcoming to travelers, and the country is safer than most visitors imagine. Agadir is a French coastal resort that’s popular with people in Europe. Prices are always reasonable, and there are lots of interesting archeological sites. So, take the time to research Morocco and see if it’s a suitable location for your romantic break.

At least one of the suggestions from this article should appeal to you. Just make sure you involved your partner in the decision-making process for the best results. Also, don’t feel scared about visiting places like Morocco because of what you might have heard on the TV. It’s a stunning and exciting place where your money will stretch further than you might imagine. The local cuisine is also delicious.


Top 7 Places in Mexico You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Do you love traveling to new places and destinations that offer you unique experiences? Travel is not just about visiting a certain place, but about discovering a new culture, traditions, history and meeting people that would help you to grow and learn things that you have never known. If you are planning to pick your travel shoes and get off to some destination you can head to Mexico.

One of the reasons why you should travel to Mexico is because it is affordable. However, more than affordability it provides you with a variety of cuisine, history and culture that is hard to find anywhere else with some of the best rental homes in Mexico to suit every budget and style.

The pleasant weather in Mexico adds to the overall experience. If you are heading to Mexico here are some of the top 7 places that must be on your list.

Photo Credit | Louise Joy at

Playa del Carmen

If you are on a quest for clean beaches and crystal blue waters look no further than Playa del Carmen. This place is a great holiday destination that will surprise and excite you and provide you with the best holiday experience. Nestled along the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa del Carmen provides you with a European destination-like experience right here in Mexico. You can have some great time at El Zocalo, the main area. You can also have some great meals at La Quinta Avenida where you will find some great eateries. Don’t miss out attractions like Xel-Ha, Xcaret and Rio Secreto when you are in Playa del Carmen.


If you prefer beaches, golf and nightlife Cancun should be on your list. This place provides you with a great landscape that ensures that you get the best holiday experience. It is also voted as one of the best affordable destinations in Mexico and therefore you can have more fun here without hurting your budget. Do some jet skiing and parasailing here with your loved ones and indulge in some great Mexican dishes and enjoy the parties that go on all night long. Also, when you are in Cancun you have to visit Chichen Itza, one of the important Mayan archaeological sites in the world.

San Miguel de Allende

Walking down the cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende and watching those beautiful and colorful buildings has its own pleasure and excitement. If you are a photographer or if you are planning to escape the commotion of the world this is the right place to be in. These narrow alleys are more than 500 years old and they still retain the historic significance and offer a window into the past. While this city was struck down by multiple wars, but San Miguel de Allende is a must-visit city when you are in Mexico. Don’t miss to explore the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel Church when you are here.


It might be difficult for you to pronounce the name of this Mexican city, but make sure you add it to your list of top places to visit in Mexico. This city receives a lot of tourism and that is mainly because it offers a lot more to the visitors. You can explore the vibrant traditional markets, old colonial streets, some trendy eateries and some great Mexican cuisine that will leave you speechless. The city also has rich history and culture which attracts a lot of people from all over the world. You can explore the Alameda de Leon garden area, Catedral de Oaxaca also popularly known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and the immensely popular Monte Alban, a pre-Hispanic city that was the ancient capital of the Zapotecs.

Mexico City

Founded in 1325, Mexico City is one of the largest cities in Mexico and offers you a plethora of options when you are traveling. If you want to live in the urban environment this is a safe and affordable place to be in. You can explore the best food you can find in Mexico at various restaurants and eateries and also do some shopping when you are free. The Museo Nacional de Antropologia offers you a great insight into the world of Mexico before the Columbian era. You can also visit other attractions like Templo Mayor, Palacio de Bellas  Artes, Teotihuacan, Catedral Metropolitana, Bosque de Chapultepec and the most popular El Angel de la Independencia.


Music is an integral part of the Mexican culture and therefore you cannot miss out when you are visiting Mexico. Guadalajara is the largest and the capital city of Jalisco and offers you the best Mexican cuisine and music you can experience.  Some of the best mariachi bands are here to add more fun to your night life. Enjoy the tequila and some of the authentic Mexican cuisines here to ensure that you have every bite and flavor of Mexico. The city also provides a glimpse of the old cultural ideas and modern values that you will find across Mexico these days.

Cabo San Lucas

Relax is the word that defines the environment of Cabo San Lucas. This city was once the hub of Hollywood elites and you will still some celebrities enjoying their time here. Cabo San Lucas is known for its laid-back atmosphere where you can explore the beaches and spend quality time with your loved ones. Enjoy some deluxe villas at some of the world-class resorts and sprawling golf courses and watch the sun go down as you chomp up some great Mexican food and celebrate the moments of your life.

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Why I Wish I Had Travelled More Before Children

Would you believe I didn’t go abroad until after I had Jack? Crazy isn’t it? I’ve been thinking back on this recently and one of the things I wish I had done more of before having children is travelling. I’d had plenty of opportunities but I had never taken any of them up. A school trip to Asia, trekking in Nepal with friends – I never took advantage of any of these opportunities and I bitterly regret that. That isn’t to say that I can’t go travelling with my children; of course I can – but the stuff I can do now is much more limited.

One of my friends brothers went trekking in Nepal and a few countries close to it when I was younger and it always looked so amazing to me – I really should have taken the opportunity when I had the chance. I’ve also seen plenty of travel shows on the TV talking about what a lovely beautiful country it is and how trekking gives you the opportunity to really see what it has to offer. The country has such a natural beauty and is full of diversity – why wouldn’t anyone want to trek through the beautiful mountains or perhaps even participate in a bungee jump?

Ashim D’Silva

Trekking in Nepal is an amazing opportunity to experience  the country and also get to know the Nepalese culture and their traditions. You can trek through snow, through forests and fields of plants and flowers. The Himalayas are so incredibly astounding and to be up close and personal would be amazing. I’d love to take advantage of one of the Nepal Hiking Team’s packages and get up close and personal with everything the country has to offer. Whilst it isn’t quite possible right now with Olivia being quite small still, this is definitely a holiday or vacation to put on the back burner, put on the bucket list for when the timing is right for our family.

I’ve had so many great travel opportunities in the past and really haven’t taken advantage of them at all – perhaps it is time I stop saying no and start saying yes more often! I’ve already missed out on so much, I don’t want to miss out on any more.

Have you ever been trekking in the Himalayas? Is this something you would consider?