Budgeting to travel…

I’ve been reading quite a few blogs on families who manage to save more money by travelling than they do living in one place and I definatly see how this can work for them as I don’t believe travelling needs to be extravagant in any way shape or form however, for many of us it’s just not realistic especially if don’t make your money over the internet which would almost allow you to go where your heart desires. Personally, setting a budget to to be able to go anywhere works well as a family. This year I’ve decided to monitor and reduce the amount of money we, as a family spend on groceries because I believe we could realistically use the excess money we spend on food and takeaways and go on a nice weekend away at least every other month. This would benefit us more as a family than it would eating out every weekend. I will be including the issue of costs on my blog including accommodation prices, costs of food on weekends away and days out because this plays a big factor in entertaining our families and making sure our kids enjoy trips out!

 

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Top 5 places to see on the Greek island of Kos

Last year was my very first time visiting the island of Kos. I absolutely love how the Greek live life at such a slow pace. Quite a difference to how we live our lives in the UK. Here are some of the places we visited. Although we visited as a couple, this is a place i plan to take the kids here in the near future so here are some of the reasons to take your family on a holiday vacation.

Beach Locations

We booked our holiday through Thomsons Travel (TUI) and stayed at the Palazzo del Mare located in the sleepy town of Mari Mari. We arrived in mid-May with the weather at around 22 degrees celsius throughout the whole time we stayed. It did seem quite a lot warmer than this however luckily for us. We arrived in the late evening and all we wanted to do was eat and sleep. After breakfast on our first day we immediately headed to the beach and we greeted with an amazing view a stones throw away from the Hotel.

   

    

Marimari Beach- Kos

Boat Trips

Kos town offers many boat trips costing between £25-£30. Some boat companies offer half price or free for younger children.

Lido Water Park

Depending on where you are staying, Lido Water Park is a great place to take the children on your trip. Granted, if you choose to stay in a family hotel, the facilities would likely include swimming pools for children, however, if staying in an apartment, this is an amazing place to take the kids and keep them entertained all day long. Tickects cost around £22 per person. The park includes an interactive kids area, complex slides as well as waterfalls.

Lido Water Park

Village of Zia

Zia is a lovely village located on the mountainside. Aside from the beaches, this location is on on of the reasons I fell in love with he island of Kos. John and I were able to rent a ‘buggy’ near the hotel and this meant we were able to some of the island’s tourist attractions. Although a village, Zia has many visitors in the summer months. Families sell home made produce to tourists from food to skin products, olive oils, carpets and natural products produced by the Greek. We had an early dinner in a restaurant specializing in the most amazing lemonade I have ever had! The sunset views seem to attract so many people to this stunning location.

   

Zia

Explore Kos Town

Taking time out to enjoy a bus ride into the town is something to do with children. A bus trip into town costs around 2 Euros. Once in town, you can visit museums, walk along the harbour, explore the Greek Orthodox church in the town centre and have a lovely lunch! I was surprised about the amounts of cats we saw in Greece. Im not sure about the history of the island and the cats but I have never sen so many stray cats in one place!

View from our hotel Room Balcony

   

Greek orthodox Church- Kos Town Centre

We were able to rent a buggy for 2 days to get out of the hotel area and visit a few scenic routes. Buggy rental- 50-60 Euros for 2 days.

These a just a few of the many places we visited on our trip. Please share in the comment box below places you may have seen and visited in and around Kos that was of interest to you!

Thanks for reading!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensatori Ibiza

We recently visit the Sensatori Hotel Ibiza (TUI holidays) this past October half term. I was taken aback by the views and stunning location, from the hotel situated on a hill overlooking the turquoise beach in the sleepy resort of Cala Tarida. It would usually take a good few weeks of intense research and studying the hotel reviews, obsessing over YouTube videos and wondering what major factor might potentially ruin our stay and trying to locate the so called ‘perfect’ location for our family.

So, after weeks and weeks of searching for the perfect destination and trying to find the right price during half term, we finally decided on Sensatori Ibiza. I strongly believe in all-inclusive holidays particularly when you have young children. We have two very fussy children aged 4 and 7. My 4 year old has been a picky eater most of his little life and so I was not going to allow this to impact on our holiday. Needless to say with the variety of food available I was impressed by how many new foods he was willing to try!

One of the main reasons I would recommend this lovely hotel in particular is the stunning location. When we arrived, despite the countless videos we had both watched online, nothing would prepare us for the sea views whilst on the bus headed towards the hotel. We were greeted with champagne in the reception area. It was a sunny day averaging about 23 degrees. Coming from Ipswich UK this was practically summer for us! All the kids were keen to do was put on their swimming costumes and head out to the pools and the beach area which is around a 5 minute walk from the main hotel. I must repeat that the views in this place are so incredibly breathtaking. I would visit again simply to experience the beauty that lies in this location.

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General Service of the Hotel

I am one of those people always observant about service anywhere I go whether it be the local supermarket or restaurant/cafe where I live. The overall service at this hotel was good. Upon arrival our hotel telephone was not working. Staff came to have a look at the phone the following day. They may have not fixed the phone right there and then, however, I was glad that our query was attended to in good time. I have to give the hotel a thumbs up for attending to our query in a fair amount of time. Perhaps the fact that we did not need the phone and that our hotel was very close to reception had to do with it! Staff are incredibly friendly and very much obsessed with children! We had to keep an eye on our kids and the staff because they love children so much that they seem to constantly give out sweets every time we turned a corner…literally speaking! It was a lovely gesture but I’m very uptight about my children consuming large amounts of junk food. Overall I loved how the hotel staff treated our children as well as other small kids at the resort it all seemed very genuine.

Buffet /A la Carte Restaurant

The food was good overall. Many options for meat eaters and vegetarians available. I was impressed by the children’s’ ‘fussy-eaters section’ which included plain rices, pastas, sauces, plain grilled chicken and pizzas which included make your own pizzas for the little ones! This may be a small observation, however it shows just how mindful the hotel is of children and their awkward needs so definitely a 10 out of 10 for this one Sensatori, well done! Only parents of fussy eaters can appreciate this!

Hotel Room

We were give a room at the very top of the stairs. The hotel rooms look like apartments from the outside. Our hotel room overlooked a gorgeous view with palm trees and swim up rooms. The rooms are a little small but generally did not pose an issue for us. I had read many reviews complaining about the sizes of the rooms I am sure I had mentally prepared myself to be in a very small room. It didn’t make our stay unpleasant in any way. In saying so however, after one night sleep my husband and I instantly wished we had booked a separate room for the children because it can sometimes feel as if we are all on top of each other especially because we were visiting the area for a whole week. My son had a terrible cough from England that we hadn’t dealt with although a trip to the pharmacy on the s3cond day solved the problem. Had we been there longer, I would have insisted on the kids having their own bedrooms. I will however be mindful of this when booking the next holiday. It is significantly more expensive to book an extra room, however, I think as our kids get older, we will not have the option of all staying in one room. Entertainment-wise, the kids were able to watch familiar cartoons. My two love Mr Bean and watched copious episodes as well as Spanish versions of Peppa Pig despite the fact they cannot speak Spanish!

Swimming Pools

There are separate pools for adults and children. Bars are located at all pools. Our daughter made use of the all-inclusive by constantly ordering slush puppies for herself and her brother without our permission! Snacks are available all day at the pools and these include pizzas, croquettes, salads, sausages, pasta, ice-creams available on demand as well as a constant supply of alcohol for the adults!

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Kids Club

All parents will appreciate the small break you get from your children. When you’re together all day everyday it is nice to have some adult time. The hotel offers roughly 2 hours a day of a kids entertainment club where children can join in fun activities. In the evenings, a movie night is provided or other on alternative evenings, children’s entertainment. My 4 year old asked if we could stay in Ibiza and added that he would be happy to attend the kids club everyday instead of going to school! Snacks are sometimes provided for the kids and my own were always keen to return the following day. My husband and I took the opportunity to walk up the nearby cliff and do some filming with his new drone.

If your’e looking to venture out and explore, the next town along is San Jose which is a 10 minute bus journey from the hotel. The town of Calatarida is quiet one with one or two very small coffee shops and a cafe located a 10 minute walk up the hill from the main hotel. If your’e looking a slow relaxed holiday and a place to spend time with your loved ones then this is the place to book your next holiday!

 

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