{ad} family travel plans this year, and how we’re preparing!

I was just commenting to Andrew the other day about how I’ve managed this Winter without feeling too much of a pull to fit loads of trips in. Usually January hits and I’m all SHOW ME THE HOLIDAYS!!! I’m very enthusiastic when it comes to planning an escape. 😉 Whether it has been the milder weather at home, or just being totally content with my lot, I’ve been happy to just focus on a couple of breaks away this year. This time last year we’d been on four smaller trips, so I feel like we’re consolidating in 2019, and bringing out the big guns instead! #NYCbaby!

I’m partnering with Openreach on this post, to share a bit about how we choose our travel destinations, plan our trips, and use our Superfast Fibre Broadband to research potential places to visit. This is my third post with them, and it always comes very naturally to me to write these kinds of pieces as the whole digital world is such a prevalent part of our lifestyle nowadays. I think most of us are online at some point each day, and perhaps more so when we are holiday planning, or thinking forward to ways to fill up Summer and Easter breaks. I know I rely so heavily on a handful of websites and apps to quickly and efficiently find the best places to go and having Superfast Fibre Broadband connections that are stable and reliable is the first step in getting us on our way. So fast in fact that I had booked a flight the other morning before Andrew even had time to think about it. (Old habits die hard! 😉)

You can check out what Superfast Fibre Broadband speeds are available in your area by using their handy postcode tool here. It’s so worth researching, especially if you live in a home like ours where everyone always seems to need the internet for homework / work/ Easyjet (that’s just me!) and use multiple devices all at once.

the devil is in the detail…

Ain’t that the truth? Especially when it comes to a much longed for, and much saved for holiday! In recent years we’ve become more and more scrupulous about thoroughly researching our choices, and I’m always one hundred percent honest with you about how we find them, because few of us have the means to waste our hard earned pennies on something that is less than perfect.

Some ways that we plan in advance…

pin it…

I usually start with Pinterest as a first port of call.  I just find it a brilliant way to really get a feel for the types of places we might want to visit.  I have a hidden board called ‘Places to Go’ (I’ve hidden it from Andrew because I think that element of surprise is important in a marriage. Ha!  He never quite knows where he’ll end up next!)  and I add in images of the kinds of spots we might like.  You can find everything on there from full city guides to blog posts, or even just beautiful pictures of a certain place in a certain season too.  I know when we were choosing Easter to visit New York, it really helped me to get an idea of what the weather might be like, what there would be to do, and even to discover that we’re hitting it right on cherry blossom season (completely serendipitous for this girl who loves pink!)  It’s really a one stop shop for forming a great overview of somewhere you have in mind.

plan the little things…

Where will you eat?  What’s top on your ‘must do’ list?  I know there’s a certain amount of going with the flow on a holiday, and so many are based around NOT thinking about these kinds of things, but particularly with city breaks I think you need to utilise your time if possible.  We’re never too rigid with it, and children often have other ideas (it’s their holiday too after all!) but I do like to have a few things up my sleeve before we set off.  I’ve recently discovered Instagram’s Saved Pictures folder and have been following a few New York based accounts and saving down any spots that look interesting. Having Superfast Fibre Broadband has made this whole process so much easier as the increased speed makes for faster downloads. The Pretty Cities hashtags are brilliant for this, and I’ve come across so many independent restaurants, beautiful streets to check out, and family activity ideas too.  It’s just nice to know that they are there, and I can refer back when we are on the move, no doubt when someone is starving or needs a rest or a pick-me-up.

pick a place to stay…

It’s no secret that we are huge fans of sourcing homes and apartments to stay in while we’re travelling.  With three children it makes accommodation so much cheaper than hotels, but it also affords an opportunity to see a place from another perspective too.  You are often living like a local, and we’ve had so many brilliant conversations with our kids because of places we have been.  They also get so excited about playing hide and seek as soon as we get anywhere new! 😊

We use Airbnb to find accommodation, and my top tips for it are to use your filters to really narrow your search, and also to very carefully read the reviews on your chosen property.  All of them, don’t miss any out!  If anything seems amiss then move on.  Pictures can be very misleading, and if it seems too good to be true?  Well, sometimes it is!

That said, we’ve found some gems over the years, and have booked our place in Brooklyn via them this year too.  I’m excited to see it!What did we do before we had all these amazing ways to help inform our choices?  For all the negative press surrounding our digital generation, it’s in situations like this that I’m so glad we have a means of getting the very best out of our travel experiences. It feels like they make our money go further, and our holidays are fuller and more enjoyable for it. Having Superfast Fibre Broadband helps to make this possible, providing us with a more stable, reliable and faster connection for when we need to get the heads down and research done!

Here’s to fun and exciting travel in 2019!

Emma x

**Thanks so much to Openreach for working with us on this post and for helping us to plan our trips easily and speedily too! As ever, all thoughts, opinions, images and love of Pinterest browsing are entirely our own!**

1 Comment

  1. March 11, 2019 / 12:28 pm

    Hard to remember back before the Internet – used to be an atlas (yes!), a Rough Guide and a phrase book…. Not forgetting the wee currency converter card you used to get from the bank with your foreign money and travellers cheques!

    Now it’s all on your phone!

    Instagram, pinterest and Airbnb are my definite go-tos, along with finding a few local bloggers guide to the off the beaten track places.

    Google Street- view also my best friend!

    My husband no longer asks “So how did you even find this place?”!!

    Planning is part of the joy of a holiday for me…. Everyone else in the family happy to just turn up.

    When we are there I try to not over schedule, but just have a list if a few restaurants / coffee shops / ice cream shops, pretty streets/views in each area, then if we “happen” to stumble upon them it’s a bonus.

    Went back to NYC for our 25th wedding anniversary – I basically planned where I wanted to see each sunset!

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