Kelly Allen Writer

Cardiff family lifestyle, arts and culture blog.


6 Things To Avoid On Your Next Family Trip

Going on a trip with your family can be a very exciting time for everybody, but there are a few things you can do to make your trip better than any other you’ve ever been on. Knowing what to avoid before you go on your trip will be beneficial, so take a look at the following 6 things you should avoid on your next family trip:

6 Things To Avoid On Your Next Family Trip

Too Much Technology

Avoid taking too much technology on your next family trip. This is a vacation, so why would you want to have your heads stuck in a screen for the majority of the time you’re away? You should use this time to have a bit of a technology detox, especially the kids. The kids will need memories where they had a ton of fun just playing in the sea or the sand, and not getting lots of points on their favorite online game.


2. Arguments

Family trips require compromise. Avoid arguments by making sure you choose things everybody will want to do, and if you know somebody won’t want to, choose something they will enjoy later on. Diffuse family arguments quickly to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Knowing how to do this is essential when you have kids.

3. Rushing Around

You’re not going to be able to see the whole place you’re staying in one day. Avoid rushing around at all costs - kids will need more toilet breaks, and breaks in general than you. Allow plenty of freedom in your schedule so you can relax or visit somewhere you’ve spotted along the way. You should all feel the opposite of stressed and rushed on this trip.

4. Accommodation With One Sleeping Area

Accommodation with one sleeping area will usually make it much harder for everybody to sleep. Instead, choosing a place with separate sleeping areas will make all the difference and ensure you all get a good night’s sleep. Check out somewhere like Fairfield Inn & Suites at Waterloo Cedar Falls to get an idea of what you should be looking for. The more time you spend choosing your accommodation, the better time you’ll all have when sleeping, getting ready for the day, and winding down.

5. Connecting Flights

It’s always worth the extra money for direct flights when you’re traveling with kids. Trying to make it onto your connecting flights will be far too stressful when you have to make sure you’ve got your bags, been to the toilet, and grabbed any refreshments you need along the way.

6. Relying On Airlines For Entertainment

Never rely on an airline for entertainment. You might be able to cope, but your kids won’t. Take books and some small games with you so that you don’t have to deal with crying toddlers or bored teenagers. You could take a tablet with you, but make sure you don’t use it for the rest of the trip!

Make sure you avoid these things on your next family trip and you’ll all have a much better time!

5 Reasons Why I'm Craving #VanLife, and Why You Should Be Too!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

I constantly talk about running away with my little faimly and going to live in the woods, but lately the urge for isolation and peace and become an urge to travel with freedom and peace. I think things began to change for us when we went to Barcelona together as a family; I learnt how easy it was to travel with my clan, as well as how enjoyable it was!

We live a very free and easy life, and the more I learn about #vanlife the more I want a piece of it. I could easily hop into Warren's van with minimal belongings and music in my ears and drive off into the sunset with my gorgeous gang. It somehow reminds me of the 70's (even though I wasn't alive then), and I can imagine Queen and Bowie dancing in my ears as Warren drives towards the horizon. 

Can you imagine jsut how amazing it would be to live this life of freedom? I dream of it everyday, and the joys it would bring, and here's why...

5 Reasons Why I'm Craving #VanLife, and Why You Should Be Too!

1. Freedom

I don't think I can really say it in any other way, and I totally know I'm repeating myself, but.. FREEDOM! The freedom surrounding this lifestyle, taking us from the humdrum of life into a a world without limits, well that's exciting! 

2. Cost

If we could secure freelance work, well it would be a dream come true. No rent to pay, no huge gas and electric bills, no council tax... I mean, all you'd need to focus on is the van, everyone's health and food. Bliss.

3. A Van!

Surely it would be the perfect excuse to buy your dream van? Imagine heading to your nearest VW Camper Specialist and leaving with a gorgeous and functional van? Surely it would be a dream come true? I can just imagine a gorgeous vintage VW Van, with a green colour scheme - pure bliss!

4. I Could Be Me

I think the strain of normal life means we're always trying to 'fit in', and unfortunately I don't feel I fit in anywhere, except with my family. So being on the road would be great, because we'd always be doscivering new places, and I'd never feel like I do when life is still. I know I'm not alone in this kind of thinking, we're living in a mad world, perhaps all we need is to get out on the wide open road and breathe.

5. Home Education 

This one is soooooo my favourite on the list. Can you imagine the learning that would happen if we were on the road? We'd be learning so much about all the different places we'd visit, we'd meet new people, make new friends, and every single day would be an adventure. If you home educate, could you see it working fro mthe comfort of your very own van?

I'm so addicted to this idea, I think it would be a perfect way to celebrate Warren's degree in a few years. We'd probably go for a few months to test the waters, but I totally get why you'd do it forever. There's nothing not to love about #vanlife, and one day we're going to be living it!

Would you like to try out #vanlife? Comment below!




Review: Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre at New Theatre, Cardiff.

Jane Eyre. A man lifting a woman up in the air.
*Thanks to New Theatre for tickets to this performance.

I seem to be attending quite a lot of ballet performances of late, but this still makes me no expert at all. I am learning, slowly, and I hope that my reviews in this genre are helpful to newbie ballet goers, or even just a way of seeing each concept differently, from fresh eyes and an honest tongue.

I've been waiting to see Jane Eyre for a while now, and I was so excited to be able to pop to New Theatre (Did I tell you we live in Cardiff now so we can WALK to most of the theatres?! I know!) to see Northern Ballet's take on this classic tale.

Beyond the Border Festival 2018: 25th Birthday Barnstormer!

Molly in the sunshine with a butterfly face paint.

This year Beyond the Border is back and it's going to be a good one! On 9th and 10th June 2018, Beyond the Border will take over the grounds at St Donat's Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan. The festival will provide storytelling, adventure, entertainment, food, drink and oh-so much more! The festival is focused on the art of storytelling,

We were there last time, and it was probably one of the loveliest festivals  I've ever been too; it's intimate and their main focus is on words, so I'm obviously a fan! With the likes of Joanne Harris attending, I for one will be there bright and early on Saturday 9th June to get stuck right into the world of stories.

How to Manage Your First Holiday With the Kids!

George and Molly on a sandy beach.
*This is a collaborative post.

Summer is just around the corner, and it gets me feeling all warm inside. As much as I love to be spontaneous, sometimes we all need a bit of careful planning to see us through to the other side. Especially when it comes to packing the kids up and jetting off on holiday. So what are some of my best tips for making it as stress-free as possible? Sit back as it’s about time to find out. 


Kinetic Theatre Arts: 5 Years On...

A black stage with a giant five in lights upon it.
*Thanks to Kinetic for tickets to see the performance. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

I'm a massive fan of Kinetic Theatre Arts, so I was really excited to be invited to their '5 Years On...' celebration at City Hall, Cardiff. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I brushed off a few smarter-than-usual clothes and met Nanny Kim ready for the fun night ahead!

We arrived at City Hall ahead of the event and grabbed a drink before finding our seats. City Hall is mesmerising, with super high ceilings and beautiful decor, it's a truly breathtaking venue. I loved how they'd set up the room, with a pretty large stage, lots of seating and a glitzy '5' to the side of the stage.


Build a Better Future for Yourself and Your Family.

Everyone wants their family to have a solid and stable future. You might not have much say over what your kids do when they leave home, but you can make sure they have the skills and attitude to make it in the world. More importantly, perhaps, you can work to make them happier and healthier while they're still at home. Creating a better future for yourself helps to make a better future for your family too. Working on yourself improves things for everyone, and there are lots of options available to you if you want to make it happen.

Create Financial Stability

Money worries can easily dominate your thoughts much of the time. You can worry that you don't have enough, whether that means you might struggle to pay the bills this month or you're not sure if you're saving enough for the future. Before making future plans, financial stability needs to be your first goal. Of course, this is easier said than done. There are two main things you need to aim for: a regular income, and reducing your expenditure. If your income isn't so regular, being able to save for a rainy day is an important skill. If you can comfortably cover your expenses every month, more regular saving is your next step.


Buy a Home

For some people, owning a home might seem like an impossibility. But renting can often feel very unstable. You never know when you might need to move home next. If you're able to start saving money, saving for a home is one of the things you can do to improve your future. Paying off a mortgage might not be easy, and it doesn't mean that your home is never at risk, but you're secure as long as you can make your payments. When you've paid off your mortgage, you have a home for the rest of your life or a valuable asset that you can sell or borrow against, or even leave to your kids.
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