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4 cruises around the British Isles

When you think of a cruise, the first things to come to mind are usually European cities of culture, blue Caribbean oceans or Balearic islands.

What many people don’t realise is that there are some incredible options available much closer to home.

The British Isles boast a staggering number of beautiful and unusual destinations, particularly along the coast. Many of these are off-limits to the enormous passenger ships which are normally associated with cruises. ‘Boutique’ cruises are a fantastic holiday option for those wanting to avoid the crowds and experience what our home isles have to offer; here are four exciting examples.

  • London to London

Departing from Tower Bridge, London, there is a cruise by Silversea, which will take you all the way around Britain and Ireland before returning you to where you started. A 12 day cruise enables you to enjoy an array of experiences, from a traditional Cornish pub lunch in Falmouth to Balmoral Castle in Aberdeen or a trip from Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway.

  • Birds and Blooms of Britain

If you’re somebody with an appreciation for nature, you could take a springtime voyage with Noble Caledonia from Plymouth to the Isles of Scilly, Lundy, Skomer, Llandudno, Peel, Holy Loch and Fairlie. With excursions into the Abbey Gardens of the Island of Tresco and the Botanical Gardens of the Cowal Peninsula, any green-fingered passengers will be happy. Not to mention the puffins, guillemots and razorbills around Lundy and Skomer for the birdwatchers on board.

  • The Scenic Route

If you’re heading to Dublin but don’t fancy taking a flight, Le Boreal is a 264 passenger mega-yacht which boasts interiors designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, as well as serving the finest French cuisine. Departing from London and stopping off in Dover, it takes in the glorious views of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and the historic coves of the Scilly Isles. Before it arrives in Dublin, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Glengarriff and Kinsale over the course of a seven night journey.

  • A Royal Voyage

If opulence and exclusivity appeal, you could get on board the Hebridean Princess.The ship holds only 50 passengers, and the Queen herself chartered the vessel in 2006 for a holiday to celebrate her 80th birthday. Departing from Oban, the cruise explores the Outer Isles and visits lochs, islands and remote mainland sites and allows you to be surrounded by luxury.

Sources
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/small-ship-cruises-to-explore-the-british-isles-and-beyond/

3 top tips to prepare your kids for independent travel

It’s one thing to travel with your children or grandchildren and help them realise an appreciation for seeing the world. To prepare them to navigate that world on their own and to take control of their own adventures, is another thing entirely, but it’s not impossible.

Let them take the reins when you plan your next trip – With your years of experience and being a parent or guardian, it’s easy to assume that you’re better off taking care of all the planning yourself. You know what you like, you know where to look and you know how to make it cost effective – you’re the one footing the bill, after all. The chances are, though, that the only reason you are adept at the process is because you’ve done it before, so give them some first-hand experience and the opportunity to learn for themselves.

– Give them a helping hand, of course, show them where to find airfares and different accommodation options. Let them browse Airbnb for holiday rentals and experiences.
– Above all, keep an open mind; they’ll likely have different search criteria and priorities to you, so you never know what little gems they’ll unearth

Give them responsibilities once you arrive – Getting the trip booked is just the beginning. You can write as detailed an itinerary as you like but the map is not the territory and the real experience is found on the ground. You’ll instinctively want to take control of organisation and logistics but getting the kids involved can be an extremely valuable experience. Let them choose the route you take and suggest that they ask for directions from a local if you get a bit lost. Get them to buy the train tickets – if you’re feeling really brave maybe even let them look after your room key! The sense of responsibility will make them feel like they’re contributing and if something doesn’t go quite to plan, that can be a learning experience too…

When things go wrong, stay calm – If everything has gone smoothly on a trip then you probably haven’t left your hotel room. More often than not you’re going to run into awkward situations at least once. Something as simple as missing a bus, particularly in warmer climes where the bus stop might be lacking in shade, can lead to frustration.

– You may feel inclined to panic or shield your children from it entirely, pretending that everything is going along as expected. Your best bet really is to be honest and stay calm. Learning to ‘go with the flow’ and accepting that sometimes plans need to change is essential to successful and happy travelling.
– Sometimes a spanner in the works can be a great thing; you may have missed the last bus to the museum but if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have found that local tavern with the paella you’ll
never forget. Those statues have been there for hundreds of years – we’re sure they’ll wait until tomorrow.

   Sources:  https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/how-to-teach-your-child-to-travel-independently/

5 top travel tips to make your holiday easier

Holidays can be expensive, that’s for sure. Getting everything organised for your trip can be quite a challenge, too. So we’ve compiled these simple tips to save you money and allow you to enjoy your time away to the full.

Scanning travel docs
It’s a good idea to scan your travel details, passports and insurance information then email them to yourself. That way, if the worst happens and they get lost or are stolen, it will make it much easier to get your documents replaced by embassies or travel companies if you can produced your scanned copies.

Paying with your card, not currency
Gone are the days when you had to get your currency before you travelled. So why not avoid the stress of queuing at the bureau de change and make the decision to pay mainly by card while abroad. It will take one thing off your To Do list and paying with a card is usually cheaper than changing money at the airport anyway. You can always use the ATMs abroad for some extra cash and paying by card is safer and more convenient.

Avoid ‘squanderlust’ at the airport
The shops and cafes in departure lounges know they’ve got a captive audience but do try and resist the temptation to go on a spending frenzy as you while away the time before your flight. Research shows that a third of Britons admit to blowing any leftover cash at the airport once a holiday ends. So take time to consider whether you really need a pair of overpriced gold flip flops. Is that bottle of bizarrely coloured liqueur truly an amazing offer or is it going to languish at the back of your drinks cabinet once you get home?

Book in advance
Pre-book as much as you can before you go to save time and money. Not only can you get excited at planning all your excursions in advance, it is much cheaper and you can enjoy a sense of satisfaction as you bypass all the queues. Hiring a car is usually cheaper if you do it in advance, so take advantage of all the comparison websites online to find the best deal.

Pay it forward
You’ll have seen the charity collections at the airports for unwanted currency. With 86% of Britons admitting to having leftover change, it’s a nice gesture to donate any change that’s just going to gather dust at home, before leaving the country. Figures show people have an average £36 of leftover currency. Of course, you could save it for your next trip, provided of course you’ll remember where you put it, but if you’ve enjoyed your well-earned break, why not pay it forward?
Sources
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/family-holidays/visa-family-travel-tips/travel-hacks-to-make-your-holidays-easier