Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Travel

  1. Travel experts reveal the best way to have the perfect honeymoon

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    It feels like our wedding and honeymoon is so long ago now and planning your honeymoon is often as stressful as planning your wedding day, but it’s just been made a lot easier. The online travel agency Opodo.co.uk have just released their findings after a lengthy survey about how to enjoy the perfect honeymoon, and some of the results are quite a surprise. While most people look no further than the nearest beach when they’re dreaming of the ultimate honeymoon, it’s actually more about finding the best blend of activities that suit you as a couple. The trick is to work out exactly what kind of honeymoon you want, but to allow some room for flexibility so that you can take advantage of any unexpected experiences.

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    Your Family over the Royal Family

    How do people find their honeymoon ideas? That’s one of the main questions that’s been answered by the Opodo survey, and the results are quite unexpected. While perusing through wedding magazines accounts for 20% of the inspiration search, more people find the best advice from their circles of friends and family members, with just under half (48%) of honeymooning couples saying their best recommendations came from that source. Many use social media for inspiration, with 26% saying use ideas to plan their own wedding, which is why you should consider online travel agent Opodo.co.uk when choosing the perfect honeymoon, and take their advice when it comes to planning the ultimate in honeymoon experiences. Looking at famous couples was the least popular source of honeymoon inspiration, with just 6% of those surveyed saying that they found honeymoon inspiration from the Royal Family.

    Plan together

    If you take one piece of advice from the survey results released by Opodo, it’s that you should always plan your honeymoon and honeymoon activities together. While 42% of people said that the honeymoon should be all about focusing on your partner, more said that it was essential to plan your activities together (57%). What was more revealing is that three-quarters of couples surveyed said that the key to the perfect honeymoon was striking the right balance between relaxation and adventure, so follow the advice of that 75%, and you won’t go far wrong.

    Balance the romance with adventure

    The common mental image of the traditional honeymoon is simply lounging on the beach sipping cocktails, and while spending time on the beach remains a popular activity (69% stressed the importance of beach trips), it’s also important to consider other activities. Sightseeing and city-hopping are also some of the more popular activity options, with 64% of honeymooning couples naming it as a priority. However, don’t forget the adventure aspect as well, and if you’re an adrenaline couple you won’t go far wrong with a little watersports (35%) or adventure touring (31%) to really get the blood pumping. While your honeymoon should always include the romance and relaxation, it’s clear that most people also want a splash of adventure thrown in, so make your honeymoon wishlist perfect before you even pack your bags.

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    Thanks to this survey conducted by travel experts, and the timely release of the results, it’s never been easier to learn the secrets of the perfect honeymoon. Take your time to find the perfect location and the best activities to enjoy, and you’ll be looking back on your honeymoon and wondering when you can jet off to do it all over again.

  2. 7 Budget Friendly Travel Tips You Should Be Aware of

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    The weather has been grotty for the past few weeks so we are already thinking about holidays for the summer. Travelling around the world can be an exciting experience. Not only do you get to take a much-needed break from your typical weekly routine, but you also get to explore new cultures and experiences too. Of course, as wonderful as an adventure can be, it also comes with a few common concerns too.

    One of the biggest worries that people have about travel, is that it will be too expensive for them to maintain their budget and have a wonderful experience at the same time. The good news is that these budget-friendly travel tips could help to keep your spending on track without asking you to compromise on fun.

    1.     Travel at the Right Times

    The first thing you need to do when you want to travel for less is make sure that you get your timing right. The price of your flights will vary according to the day, month, and even time you choose to travel. With online apps, you can compare prices across months and days to determine when the cheapest days to fly are in your area. Usually, it's cheaper to travel on a Tuesday than it is on a Friday for instance.

    2.     Choose a Different Airport

    If you don't mind driving a little further to start your trip, then you might get a better deal from an airport that's further from your front door. Different airlines offer different routes and offers for their customers, which could mean that it works out a lot cheaper to begin your adventure with someone who you don't usually fly with. This could also be a great way to avoid delays and cancellations if you know your nearby airport is prone to problems.

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    3.     Avoid Baggage Fees

    If you're concerned about charges caused by excess baggage, try weighing your suitcases before you leave home. If your hand-luggage or your suitcase is slightly heavier than it should be, consider wearing some of the extra items you need instead of putting them in your case. For instance, make sure that you always wear your heaviest pair of shoes, jacket, jeans, cardigan, and anything else you're taking with you. You can always shed your layers when you're on the plane.

    4.     Look Beyond the Hotel

    In recent years, the way we travel has changed significantly. You don't necessarily have to over-spend on an expensive hotel to get the most out of your journey. Instead, sites like Airbnb allow you to stay at someone else's home instead, which can be a much cheaper option if you want to get around on a budget. There's always the option to consider hostels and sharing solutions too if you don't mind sleeping in a room with people you don't know. Eat Like the Locals

    5.     Fly Indirect

    Most travellers prefer to fly direct when they can, but if money is more important to you than time right now, it might be a good idea to consider a stop-over. There are plenty of flexible flights that allow you to save money by mixing and matching flights from one leg of your journey to another. Just make sure that you leave a cushion of time between your flights so that you don't end up missing your transport if you're hit by a delay.

    6.     Bring Your Own Snacks onto the Plane

    We all know how terrible airline food can be. While most travel experts are working on improving the meals that they offer their customers in the air, you still might find yourself craving a few snacks on the way to your destination. Unfortunately, the price of your favourite foods on an airplane can be overwhelming, and it doesn't save you much money to buy them from duty-free before you board either. As long as you're not bringing liquid foods like soup or yogurt, you should be able to bring your own snacks with you.

    7.     Eat Like the Locals

    Saving money on your travel expenses isn't just about making sure that you get the cheapest plane tickets. If you want to keep track of your budget, then it might be worth changing the way you eat abroad too. For instance, make sure that you check out local favourites for meals instead of relying on the biggest tourist destinations and fancy restaurants that might be close to your hotel. Eating like a local could be a great way to keep your expenses to a minimum, and make sure that you get the full experience of the place you're visiting too. 

  3. 40 things to do in your 40th year!

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    There "may be" a big birthday this year and while I am still feeling 19 in my head, I realise that as I hurtle towards being 40 there are some things I would like to have achieved / completed / indulged in* (*delete as necessary).

    So if you are looking for ideas for your own bucket list, take a look below and let me know what you would add!!

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    1. Go To Scotland
    2. Try Glamping for at least one night
    3. Visit a Castle
    4. Go To Italy
    5. Do a Mud Run
    6. Go to the London Dungeons
    7. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz / Claridges or somewhere like that
    8. Go to a West End Show with the girls
    9. Get a piercing
    10. Visit my Nan’s sister in Somerset
    11. Go to Cheddar Gorge
    12. Try Oysters
    13. Get a new hair style or colour.
    14. Learn something new
    15. Have a makeover and stop using the same techniques I have been doing for past 10 years.
    16. Go to a drive in movie
    17. Conquer my fear of heights by “attempting” Go Ape
    18. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
    19. Do something good for someone who doesn’t know who I am.
    20. Break my habit with sugar
    21. Be the fittest / healthiest I have ever been
    22. Buy (and drink) a really expensive bottle of champagne and don’t feel guilty about it
    23. Do an “escape” room challenge
    24. Do a digital detox for an entire weekend
    25. Travel First Class
    26. Master a cocktail
    27. Update my will
    28. Try a new drink and enjoy it at GONG in the Shard
    29. Book a day off to spend by myself
    30. Write a letter to my 50 year old self and save it in a time capsule
    31. Do an indoor skydive
    32. Go skating on an outdoor ice rink
    33. Dine in a Michelin star restaurant
    34. Buy fresh flowers more often and not always the same ones.
    35. Wear something bright and step away from always wearing black
    36. Go to a music festival …. Or at least watch live music somewhere new!
    37. Take the girls to their first concert
    38. Try Pilates
    39. Go paintballing
    40. Have a party with all of my favourite people

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  4. Short Trips Are Just The Ticket, When Travelling With Kids!

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    Just because you have young children doesn't mean that you shouldn’t go overseas on holiday. Yes, some parents are put off, especially because of the hassle of getting through the journey part of the break, before you get the actual fun part of the holiday itself, can be immense. However, going overseas with the kids really don't have to be a nightmare. In fact, there is one thing, in particular, to bear in mind that can make journeys abroad with the kids a lot more doable, and that is to shorten your trip as much as possible. 

    Do Pick Short Flights

    Speed is of the essence, as they say, and never has an adage been so true, as when you are travelling abroad with kids. That means for the most part short haul flights to places in the UK, or Europe is a much better choice than long haul ones.

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    Yes, you probably do want to take the kids to Orlando at some point or have a fabulous family holiday in Lapland. However, for their first couple of trips at least, make sure that you are on the plane for no longer than three hours at a time. As this will make it both easier for your little ones, and for you if the kids don't take to flying that well.

    Do Take Carry-On Luggage Only

    You can also make the whole journey time shorter by eschewing hold luggage and taking only carry-ons. Then when you get to your destination, you can get straight out of the airport and on to your accommodation. Meaning you won't have to navigate the wait for your luggage with a clutch of tired, hungry kids to look after. To help you get this right use tools like this cabin luggage comparison site. As they can help you pick the right size cabin luggage for the particular company you are flying with.

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    Just remember anything that makes the journey part of the break easier, means you will have more energy to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

    Don’t Go For Long Driving Holidays

    Now, I'm not saying that driving holidays are a bad thing. In fact,  they can be great value for money and fun for the whole family. However, there is a downside to them that you have to be aware of.  It is that to drive to a long distance destination, you will need to spend a long time in the car with the family, and I don't care how much you all get on, 10 hours and a ferry ride will test truly the best of us! This is without travel sickness and the inevitable "are we nearly there yet".

    So if you want to arrive unfrazzled and able to appreciate every single day of your holiday, go for shorter drives, something you can plan using sites like https://www.originalcottages.co.uk. Leaving the longer ones until the kids are a little older.

    After all, what use is a holiday if it's not relaxing for you as well as them?