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 sustainable living, saving money, lifestyle and travel. It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Travel

  1. 7 Wonderful Places to Visit in Romania in Winter

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    Now January is over, it is time to think about holidays! We have been looking at alternative destinations this year and we might just have discovered the ideal location! Romania, a country rich in history and natural beauty, offers some truly magical destinations for travellers during the winter months. There's something for everyone, from snow-covered medieval towns to frosty mountain peaks.

    LLP - Pin -7 Wonderful Places to Visit in Romania in Winter (1)

    Here are seven wonderful places you should consider visiting in Romania when the temperature drops.

    1. Sibiu – A Step Back in Time

    Sibiu is like a page out of a fairy tale, especially in winter when its roofs are blanketed with snow, and the Christmas market lights up the Grand Square. The former European Capital of Culture boasts well-preserved walls and towers, cobbled streets, and museums. Don't miss the iconic Bridge of Lies and the stunning views from the Council Tower.

    2. BraÈ™ov – Gateway to the Carpathians

    Nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Brașov is a perfect mix of natural beauty and medieval charm. The town's main attraction is the Black Church, which is a testament to Gothic architecture. Take a cable car up to Tampa Mountain for breathtaking views, or hit the nearby ski slopes of Poiana Brașov, a popular winter sports destination.

    3. The Ice Hotel at Bâlea Lake

    One of a Kind Experience For a truly unique experience, visit the Ice Hotel on Bâlea Lake. Accessible only by cable car during the winter, this hotel is rebuilt every year entirely out of ice from the glacial lake. Each room is individually designed and carved, offering guests a night in a real-life winter wonderland. During your stay, you can also enjoy ice-related activities, such as skating or sledding.

    4. PeleÈ™ Castle – A Royal Retreat

    PeleÈ™ Castle, set in the picturesque town of Sinaia, is a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance architecture. Once the summer residence of Romanian royalty, the castle is even more enchanting during the winter months. Explore its lavish rooms filled with art and armour, and walk through the snowy forested estate surrounding it.

    5. MaramureÈ™ – Where Traditions Thrive

    MaramureÈ™ is the place to go if you want to experience Romanian traditions that have stood the test of time. This region feels like a living museum with wooden churches and traditional villages. During winter, the landscape transforms into a serene, snowy paradise. Make sure to visit the Merry Cemetery in SăpânÈ›a, which is famous for its colourful tombstones and humorous epitaphs.

    6. Cluj-Napoca

    The Heart of Transylvania Cluj-Napoca, the unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania, is a vibrant city that doesn't lose its charm in winter. The city centre, with its mix of medieval, baroque, and modern architecture, becomes a picturesque scene straight out of a fairy tale when covered in snow. Don't miss the chance to visit the Gothic St. Michael's Church or the Banffy Palace, which houses the National Art Museum. The Christmas Market lights up the main square during winter, offering a cozy atmosphere in which to enjoy hot mulled wine and traditional Romanian treats.

    7. Poiana BraÈ™ov – A Skier's Paradise

    Nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, Poiana Brașov is Romania's most famous ski resort and a perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts. With its well-groomed slopes, modern facilities,

    and cozy chalets, it's an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced skiers. After a day on the slopes, you can unwind with a hot chocolate by the fireplace or enjoy the lively après-ski scene.

    Final words

    Winter in Romania is a season of incredible beauty and cultural richness. These destinations offer a glimpse into the country's diverse landscapes and historical treasures. Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Romania's winter wonders will surely make your trip unforgettable. Pack your warmest clothes and get ready for an extraordinary journey!


    Is it safe to drive in Romania in the winter?

    Driving in winter in Romania can be safe if you are prepared and cautious. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, and consider carrying chains if you're heading to mountainous areas. Always check the weather forecast before long drives, and avoid traveling during heavy snowfall or blizzards.

    Are tourist attractions open in Romania during winter?

    Many tourist attractions remain open during winter, but hours may be shorter, and some outdoor sites might be less accessible. It's best to check specific attractions' opening times and availability beforehand. Major cities like Bucharest offer plenty of indoor activities and sights that are enjoyable year-round.

    Can tourists in Romania play the lottery?

    Yes, tourists in Romania can play lotteries, such as the Euromillions other national games. Tickets can be purchased from authorized retailers nationwide. Some of them can be found online at the Lottoland website.

    Will I experience any language barriers?

    While Romanian is the official language, many Romanians speak English, especially the younger population and those working in tourism and hospitality. Learning a few basic phrases in Romanian can be helpful and is always appreciated by the locals.

    What are the typical winter temperatures in Romania?

    Winter temperatures in Romania can vary but generally range from -10 °C to 5°C (14°F to 41°F). In the mountains, temperatures can drop even lower, so preparing for cold weather is important.

    Is Romania a budget-friendly winter destination?

    Romania is considered quite budget-friendly compared to other European countries. Accommodation, food, and entertainment often come at a lower cost, making it an attractive winter destination for travellers looking to stretch their funds further.

    LLP - Pin -7 Wonderful Places to Visit in Romania in Winter



  2. How to Baby and Toddler-Proof a Caravan: Making Your Home on Wheels Child-Friendly

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    Caravanning is a fantastic way to explore the world with your family, especially when you have little ones. However, ensuring the safety and comfort of your baby or toddler in a caravan requires some careful planning and modifications. In our latest blog post, we'll discuss how to baby and toddler-proof a caravan and share some tips on making it child-friendly. By taking these steps, you can embark on unforgettable family adventures while keeping your little explorers safe and happy.

    LLP - Pin - How to Baby and Toddler-Proof a Caravan

    Secure the Furniture

    Caravans often come with various pieces of furniture that can pose safety hazards to babies and toddlers. Start by securing any freestanding items such as tables and chairs. You can use furniture straps or brackets to anchor them to the floor or walls, preventing them from tipping over.

    Additionally, consider adding corner protectors to sharp edges and corners of furniture to reduce the risk of injuries. Babies and toddlers are prone to bumps and falls, so taking these precautions is essential.

    Install Safety Gates

    Safety gates are a must when traveling with young children in a caravan. Use them to block off staircases or entryways to areas that are not baby-proofed. It's crucial to select gates that are adjustable and designed for the specific width of your caravan's doorways or openings.

    Childproof the Kitchen

    The kitchen in your caravan can be a potential danger zone for curious toddlers. Here's how to childproof it:

    a. Cabinet Locks: Install cabinet locks or latches to prevent little hands from accessing sharp objects, chemicals, or breakable items.

    b. Oven and Stove Guards: Consider using oven and stove guards to keep your child from accidentally turning on the burners or touching hot surfaces.

    c. Fridge Locks: Use fridge locks to secure the refrigerator door. This prevents your child from opening it and accessing potentially harmful items.

    Secure Windows and Doors

    Caravan windows and doors should be secured to prevent accidents. Ensure that windows have locks or restrictors to prevent them from opening too wide. You can also install door handle covers or locks to keep little ones from wandering outside unsupervised.

    Childproof the Bathroom

    The bathroom is another area that requires special attention. Here's how to make it safer:

    a. Toilet Locks: Install toilet locks to prevent your toddler from playing in the toilet bowl or potentially falling in.

    b. Bathing Safety: Use non-slip bath mats and never leave your child unattended in the bathtub. Keep hot water at a safe temperature using a thermostat.

    c. Medicine Cabinet Locks: If your caravan has a medicine cabinet, secure it with locks or latches to keep medications out of reach.

    Electrical Safety

    Caravans are equipped with electrical outlets, appliances, and cords that can be enticing to curious little ones. Here's how to ensure electrical safety:

    a. Outlet Covers: Cover all electrical outlets with childproof outlet covers.

    b. Cord Management: Use cord organizers or clips to secure cords out of your child's reach, preventing them from pulling on appliances or tripping over cords.

    c. Unplug Appliances: When not in use, unplug small appliances and stow them safely away.

    Sleep Arrangements

    Creating a safe sleeping environment is crucial for your baby or toddler. If your caravan has a crib or bassinet attachment, ensure it meets safety standards and is properly secured. If not, consider using a portable travel crib or pack 'n play. Make sure the sleeping area is free from hazards, including loose bedding and toys.

    Invest in Child-Friendly Gear

    To make your caravan more child-friendly, consider investing in child-specific gear:

    a. High Chair: A portable high chair is a convenient addition to your caravan. It provides a safe and comfortable spot for meals.

    b. Travel Booster Seat: For older toddlers, a travel booster seat can be a great way to keep them secure during mealtime.

    c. Portable Playpen: A portable playpen gives your child a safe space to play indoors or outdoors while you set up or pack up the caravan.

    d. Baby Monitor: A baby monitor allows you to keep an eye on your child while they nap or sleep in the caravan.

    Emergency and First Aid Kit

    Always keep a well-stocked first aid kit in your caravan, including essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and medications for common ailments. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the nearest medical facilities and emergency numbers at your destination.

    Child-Friendly Entertainment

    Long journeys in a caravan can be challenging for kids. Pack plenty of entertainment options to keep them occupied, such as books, toys, games, and electronic devices. Consider setting up a designated play area in the caravan to encourage creative play and keep them engaged during rest stops.

    Caravan Insurance: Protecting Your Family and Investment

    One often overlooked aspect of caravanning with children is having appropriate caravan insurance. Caravan insurance is crucial for safeguarding your family and your investment in the event of accidents, theft, or damage. Here are some key considerations:

    a. Comprehensive Cover: Ensure your caravan insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage, including protection against accidents, theft, fire, and damage.

    b. Liability Coverage: Liability coverage is essential, as it protects you in case of accidents that cause injury or property damage to others while you're on the road.

    c. Contents Insurance: If you carry valuable items or personal belongings in your caravan, consider contents insurance to protect them in case of theft or damage.

    d. Emergency Assistance: Look for a policy that includes emergency assistance coverage, which can be a lifesaver in case of breakdowns or accidents, especially when traveling with young children.

    e. Review the Policy: Carefully review your insurance policy to understand its terms, coverage limits, deductibles, and any exclusions. Ensure it aligns with your specific needs as a family caravanner.

    Traveling in a caravan with a baby or toddler can be a rewarding experience, allowing your family to bond and explore new places together. By taking the time to baby and toddler-proof your caravan and making it kid-friendly, you'll ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure for everyone. Remember that the key to successful caravanning with young children is preparation, vigilance, and flexibility, so you can relax and savor the moments spent on the road with your little ones.

  3. Otherworldly Destinations to explore

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    After the past couple of years, you could be forgiven for dreaming of a holiday, so while we are dreaming, have you thought where would go if you won the lottery? If suddenly, you had all the time and money to explore anywhere you could think of, where would you begin? We live in an amazing world! Annually, the world spends billions looking at the planets that make up our solar system to discover the unique and unusual formations that created their surfaces. In reality, many of us do not know about the unique anomalies that create the surface of our own planet. 

    You do not have to wait for civilian space travel to see these sites. With modern technology, we can travel around the world. We can literally cross the world within hours, and there are wonderful otherworldly sites all over the world.

    Hallerbos Forest, Belgium

    In the tiny country of Belgium, you will find the Hallerbos Forest. Each year in April, the forest bed blooms with a carpet of bluebells. In full bloom, it looks more like a painting than a real forest, and people travel to see it because it is said to look and feel magical. Deer and other animals are often seen in the forest and seem to have little fear of people as long as they stay on the provided paths. It is as if they know they are safe at that time, even from humans.

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    Gough’s Cave, Cheddar Gorge

    Here, you'll find lovely reflective pools. There are also unique formations of stalagmites and stalactites. The beauty of the rock formations and the sounds of the cave give it a mystical atmosphere. The cave is less than an hour's drive away from Bristol.

    _PIN - LLP - Outworldly destinations UK


    Faroe Islands                                                         

    Halfway between the UK and Iceland are 18 volcanic islands known as the Faroe Islands. These islands have been settled at least since the Viking’s days. They look as though they would belong to Scotland, but the Faroe Islands are actually the property of Denmark. Canoeing and hiking are just two of the favorite things to do on these beautiful islands of mountains, valleys, and the sea.

    List of other leading attractions to the “Weird but Wonderful”

    18th- century Painshill Park Grotto in Surrey

    Just a short train ride from London, this 18th-century gardens park is a fairy-tail grotto covered in hundreds of thousands of crystals! This is truly a unique site. Where else would it be seen anywhere in the world?

    Fingal’s Cave, Island of Staffa, Scotland

    Located on the uninhabited island of Staffa is Fingal’s Cave. It is made of hexagonal columns of basaltic rock. It is a strange but beautiful sight. The quiet of the empty island and the beauty of the cave is eerie. If the sea is mild you can pass it by boat but it is not impossible to reach the cave on foot.

    The Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire

    Created several hundreds of years ago, these stacked rock formations seem to defy gravity. Each formation has its own name such as The Eagle and The Dancing Bear.

    “Dinosaur Egg Beach”, Porth Naven

    The landscape of this beach has become very popular due to the unusual deposits of boulder deposits there. The rocks look like smooth eggs that range from the size of a hen’s egg to three feet or more in length. They form a stunning scene that looks very much like you would expect a dinosaur nest to resemble. The area has become so popular that the stones are now legally protected by the National Trust.

    The Isle of Lewis, Callanish prehistoric stone circle

    This mysterious stone circle is said to be over 5,000 years old. There are many legends that surround them. Some folks believe they were used as an astronomical calendar. Others believe folklore that they were petrified giants that were turned to stone when they refused to turn to Christianity. They are a sight to behold.

     When you think about the vast UK, the differences in climate, customs, and histories of people, it is easy to understand why exploring the UK would be like exploring otherworldly places.  When you discover the treasures hidden in the earth, sun-baked soils, rain-soaked forests, and the sea, you can understand why one culture has nothing in common with its sister country. Yet, we are one planet. We are one world. We must fix all of the illnesses of the planet, or we all fail.

  4. How to camp at home

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    If you are an avid camper, the restrictions of movement because of the pandemic must be a real pain. You miss the sun, the wild abandon of fellow campers, the fresh breeze in the forests, the excitement of taking a road trip, and the anticipation of the beautiful sceneries that await you.

    LLP - Camping

    That does not mean you cannot have some fun in your home. With just a little imagination, you can camp at home, in your living room or your backyard, and re-live some of your camping experiences.

    Gather your gear

    What kind of gear would you normally have with you if you went camping in the wild?

    Prepare cooking gear, entertainment kits, and other survival kits. The best way to integrate some important parts of the house (such as toilet) into the camping adventure would be to ward off areas that you do not need. You can use strings or ropes to create some sort of a perimeter around your camping 'site'.

    No tent? No problem!

    You would need a tent when you go camping in the wild but you can improvise if you are camping at home. Your bed sheets or blankets can work just fine here. You do not even need poles or pegs to prop them up. Just tie the ends to bits of furniture for support and create your fort within minutes. Then start decorating to give it a personal touch.

    Go electronic free

    To make it seem more realistic, you will need to switch off your devices. The idea here is to mimic normal camping in the wild. For entertainment, focus on creative stuff such as board games or card games. This would also be a great time to bond with your kids over good stories.

    Encourage them to be creative and innovative in their entertainment options. A good book would also come in handy depending on how long you want to spend camping. Bring a lantern with you and switch off electric power inside the room.

    Pack on the snacks

    A camping escapade would not be complete without good food and snacks, especially if you are doing it with your kids. Use a gas stove to roast marshmallows outside your 'tent'. Download good camping recipes and try them out.

    An excuse to try out new gear

    If you are a beginner camper, it's advisable to try out your new gear at home first. This could save you a lot of time and stress at the actual camping ground. If you have a large backyard, this would be the best place to set up camp.

    No campfire? No problem!

    Due to safety reasons, you might not be able to make a campfire in your living room. You can improvise though. There are many ways to do it, depending on what is available to you. If you have a chimney, you can run a fire directly on the wood stove using dry wood. Coal, charcoal, and briquette can also work great. And you can roast some marshmallows right on top of them!

    How to camp at home