Travelling to Mauritius with kids – what to expect

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Christmas will soon be upon us, but with that comes the prospect of a New Year, turning our minds once again to holidays and getaways. You only need to pick up a copy of the Christmas edition of the Radio Times, and then turn to the middle section, to realise that once people have got Christmas out of the way, they need something to look forward to during the rest of the long, cold Winter’s Days.

With Brexit effecting the pound and the rate you get in Euros, more and more families are starting to look further afield when it comes to holidays, and Mauritius is one of those destinations that are becoming very popular due to the sandy beaches, amazing weather and laid back atmosphere, but it is also a very good destination if you are traveling with children.

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Mauritius is a French speaking island nation in the Indian Ocean off the Southeast coast of Africa.  It is a touch of heaven here on Earth, with white sandy beaches and the warm ocean and a landscape of lagoons, reefs, rainforests, waterfalls and exotic wildlife – Mauritius was the home of the Dodo! But if you thought that this sounded a little too much like paradise to think of taking the kids there, you would be wrong, it also has an array of exciting activities that make it the perfect holiday destination for families.

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Most of the bigger hotels have kids clubs and activities with dedicated staff, but if you like your family holidays to be more hands on, Mauritius is the perfect place to really enjoy that quality time. Dolphin watching activities are popular and totally enchanting, with dolphins loving the warm Mauritian waters, coming in to the bay to play in the morning sunshine.

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Dolphins are not the only animals you can enjoy in Mauritius. You can enjoy the opportunity to feed giraffes, to meet 100 year old tortoises and beautiful Macaws, there is even a pink pigeon that is very rare, but you might just be lucky. Then there is the chance to walk with lions, a once in a life time experience that allows you to really get close to nature.

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And then there are the museums. With Mauritius being the ancient home of the Dodo, the famous flightless bird that gave us the saying ‘as dead as a dodo’, a visit to the National History museum to see the bones of the poor thing is a must. There is also a navel museum that will keep any of your little pirates happy.

Beautiful scenery, great weather and fabulous beaches, Mauritius really does have it all…and a little bit more.

Why I’m glad we invested in a caravan in Wales

It was just over 5 years ago that we decided to buy our static caravan that is now based on a beautiful site in Snowdonia, Mid Wales.  As much as we loved holidaying abroad, we wanted Joe to be able to experience the freedom and enjoyment of spending time in the great outdoors. Both myself and Pete had spent a lot of time in Wales as children, and  we wanted Joe to have that joy of experiencing the natural environment, the rivers, stream, mountains and valleys that make Wales so breathtaking.

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The Camping and Caravanning Club have been looking at how we can get children away from their play stations, Nintendo’s, smart phones and technology, and give them the chance to be kids again, in the way that we did, before technology took over. As someone who tries to do this at least a couple of times a year, I can totally see the attraction of leaving the computer and mobile phones behind and enjoying some proper family time.

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Our caravan is set deep within a valley. WiFi is non existent, and phone reception is minimal, but there are so many other things to be doing, whatever the weather. There is a gorgeous stream (freezing cold!) that runs at the back of our caravan that currently has a rope swing over it. The mountains are there for climbing, with a lake at the top and spectacular views across the valley. A large field is great for games of football, or rounders, and there are lots of barbecues and opportunities to eat ‘al fresco’, when the sun is shining. My dad loves to stoke up the BBQ and to even prepare meals outside, peeling potatoes with a pocket knife, it’s like being in a boys own adventure. (You can find a guide to pocket knives at Pocket Knife Reviews if you are planning on going all Jamie Oliver too.) There are also real opportunities to enjoy nature, with birds of prey regularly flying through the valley, pheasants wandering freely, even an odd sheep taking a stroll through the camp. If you still need to access wifi, maybe for work purposes, then it may be worth investing in a caravan wifi booster to give you better coverage.

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If you want to explore, Wales is the perfect place, with market towns, the seaside and picturesque lakes all within a short drive. We spend sunshine days at Barmouth, enjoying the traditional Victorian seaside with fish and chips, ice creams and an eclectic range of shops to enjoy. Aberdovey is another favourite destination, with acres of white sand where Joe enjoys searching for shells and pebbles, or crabbing in the small pools.

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When we use our caravan we rarely use the television during the day, and sleep soundly without the sound of cars and the city. We all need that break from civilisation sometimes, and I think time in a caravan is a perfect way to enjoy this.

Things You Can Do in the North West For a Weekend Getaway

Staying in the UK for holidays is becoming more and more common. Going abroad can be expensive, especially with children. Despite the UK being a small little island, there is plenty to do. There are so many places that I know I have not visited before. One area I’d like to explore more is the north-west. There are a lot of places that I have not been before. So I just thought I’d share some of the things I know you can do, and things that I would like to do.

There is a lot of green space in the north-west. Just thinking about the lake district and all that is up there makes me want to get my hiking boots on. Maybe! The little villages like Ambleside, Windermere and Troutbeck, are just so beautiful. If you fancied a weekend away, the lake district would be a great option. There are lots of hiking and walking routes, as well as adventure and watersports. You could hire out a boat on one of the lakes and just take in the breathtaking scenery. It is perfect for families and couples alike.

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Staying in the UK for holidays is becoming more and more common. Going abroad can be expensive, especially with children. Despite the UK being a small little island, there is plenty to do. There are so many places that I know I have not visited before. One area I’d like to explore more is the north-west. There are a lot of places that I have not been before. So I just thought I’d share some of the things I know you can do, and things that I would like to do.

The big cities to visit are the likes of Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool. Manchester is a must for shopaholics. Between the city centre and the Trafford Centre, there is just about every shop you could ever want. So if you fancy lunch at Selfridges and then cocktails at http://thealchemist.uk.com/. Manchester might be a better trip for a couple to have a weekend away. Unless you’ve got a few football fans in the house and they want a tour of Old Trafford.

Blackpool has a huge range of things to do. It is perfect for taking the family away for a few days. There is an amazing zoo, a waterpark, Blackpool Tower and of course, the Pleasure Beach. You could spend more than a weekend there too as there is so much to do. Nickelodeon Land is an awesome place for the kids to visit, as well as the Marton Mere nature reserve. Blackpool pretty much has everything! There are parks to have picnics in, as well as some delicious restaurants. The http://whitetowerrestaurant.com/ is a must. You could even hit the beach on sunnier days.

Liverpool is another city that would work well for football fans. A tour of Anfield could be fun for your footie fans unless Goodison Park is more their team. Liverpool has amazing shopping too, alongside a variety of restaurants. Beatles fans will be in for a treat by going on the Beatles Experience tour. It sounds so amazing! There are plenty of other museums too. There is the World Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Walker Art Gallery. There is something for everyone.

There are so many places to explore in the north east; this has only just scraped the surface. Have you ever been to any of these places? I’d love to hear what you got up to and what you would recommend.