Sent by Jayne Hall
Doncaster 11/15/2021 5:32:00 PM
Based in Doncaster
My name is Caroline and I'm a Travel Counsellor based in Doncaster, where I've lived for 12 years. I live with my fiance, a toddler, a baby, a dog and a tortoise. There's never a dull moment, and we are looking forward to going on more adventures together both in the UK and further afield.
Travel has always been a passion of mine, and despite having visited over 45 countries in pretty much all of the continents (except for Antarctic - that's still on my bucket list) including a year living in South Korea, there is still so much of the world I want to see! This is why I find it exciting planning tailormade and bespoke trips for people. As your Travel Counsellor, I can help you create the perfect itinerary for you, be that a city break, a week in the sun, a ski break, a luxury cruise, your wedding and/or honeymoon, or a round-the-world trip (or anything else, really there are no limits).
It doesn't just stop at flights and accommodation either. I can also arrange travel insurance, tours and excursions, transfers, overland travel, vehicle hire, airport parking and departure lounges. Having worked in the travel industry and in customer focused roles for most of my working life, you can expect a trustworthy, reliable and friendly service, and everything you book is fully financially protected.
I aim to be with you (not literally!) every step of the way, providing brilliant customer service from the planning stage right through to after you travel.
In the words of Dr Seuss:
"You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!"
So do get in touch to discuss the great places you want to visit and I will help you get on your way.
A brief introduction to the kinds of trips I can arrange and the service that comes with it.
I hope you enjoy reliving your travel memories with us as you watch our film, and when you’re ready to travel again I’ll be here for you.
Now more than ever, when booking travel, you need to make sure you have a trusted travel professional looking after you and your plans.
With 2021 just around the corner, we've come up with the 21 destinations that you should be considering for your travels next year.
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
16 October 2020
For me, long gone are the days when I filled a backpack to last me for three months and headed off to a new country with no itinerary, and no plans other than to get there safely. Oh no, these days my travel adventures look very different! With a 20 month old toddler and a six month old baby thrown into the mix, going on holiday is a whole new ballgame, from the initial planning through to the packing and logistics of it all. Here are the top tips which I found invaluable on my recent holiday to Turkey. I am pleased to report it isn’t actually that difficult to travel with two infants - honestly! PACKING AND ESSENTIALS Think about what items are essential at home that may be difficult to take away, and if there are any alternatives. Our six month old has recently started to be able to sit up with a bit of support and we found an inflatable baby seat invaluable. It cost a few quid and didn’t take up much room in the suitcase. We used this in our room, on the beach, on the balcony - in fact it came in handy everywhere! A pop-up sunshade was also very useful - flat and light so it was easy to transport and it protected the baby from the sun. And a UV/mosquito cover for the buggy was also a gem - particularly when they were snoozing while we were out and about. Also consider if you will be able to get out to buy essentials such as nappies when you are there, or if you need to take a supply for the whole holiday. We hired a car so knew that we just needed to pop into a supermarket for nappies, though not everyone will have this option. A quick internet search told us that nappies were easy to get hold of in Turkey, reasonably cheap and fairly decent so we only took a couple of days worth. Many UK airports have an airside Boots store, so you can order for collection if you don’t want nappies, wipes, formula etc to take up all your luggage allowance. Just ensure your collection day and time is before you will need to board your flight. TAKING INFANT EQUIPMENT ON THE PLANE Airlines will usually let you check in one or two items for each infant free of charge out of car seat and pushchair/buggy/stroller. Some also include a travel cot in this (check the airline’s policy before you fly - or ask me). If it’s unclear if your hotel has travel cots, contact them (or again get myself to) to clarify. We requested two prior to departure which they confirmed so we didn’t need to take them. The same applies with car seats - particularly if you are hiring a car. Usually you can rent one or you can take your own. We ended up taking the baby car seat and hiring one for the toddler. If you are taking a buggy/pushchair/stroller, usually this can be taken up to where you board the aircraft, where it is then put in the hold. Be aware that you may not get it back till you get to baggage claim at the other end, so make sure you have your stuff organised in a way that enables you to also carry/look after the small people! You will be surprised at the amount of people who haven’t thought about this! A baby carrier really helped with this so I had my hands free while I ‘wore’ the baby. DISTRACTIONS ON BOARD Take plenty of distractions - for the plane and for any long journeys such as getting to the airport or the transfer once there. You will know your child better than anyone and what will help get through a few hours - for us it was a combination of fiddly toys (with bits that cannot be removed and therefore not lost), books, a set of stacking cups, plenty of snacks (avoiding high sugar levels) and a tablet loaded with Peppa Pig. And the biggest gem - don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or saying and feel no guilt in what gets you to the other end! Toddlers and babies can and will cry - chances are many other passengers have been there before and are most likely not judging you. And even if they do judge you, let them. You will never see these people again so what does it matter? Just concentrate on getting to the other side. APPROPRIATE ACCOMMODATION Something I’d never needed to consider before babies came along, but Is your accommodation suitable for your little ones? For example, does it have adequate provisions to keep them entertained? Is there a play park, a kid’s club or a children’s swimming pool? And are there safety provisions in place? If your little one likes to divebomb into water like ours tries to, then maybe a room with a swim up pool isn’t appropriate, and if you have a balcony is it safe for a curious toddler who likes to climb everything? You are there to relax too at the end of the day and constantly keeping hold of a wriggling toddler to avoid them causing themselves harm is neither practical nor fun. So a bit of research before you go pays off here. Speak to your agent, ask for recommendations, and look at reviews from parents of similar aged children. These will all help you find the right stay for you. COMMUNICATION IS KEY If you are travelling with your partner or another adult, discuss with them beforehand how you will manage certain scenarios, such as when one of you needs the toilet, or when it comes to eating, on the plane. We had this conversation beforehand and therefore managed these scenarios quite well - for example, we asked for our food to be served at different times. Of course, there were a couple of sticky moments where both babies decided to cry at the same time when Mr Caroline was otherwise occupied; and this is where the tip about forgetting what other people think really came into use! The main thing is, kids are kids, babies are babies and whatever will happen will happen. Travelling with tots does bring its challenges, but it is certainly not impossible and we got through the journey and holiday unscathed, simply down to a little bit of forethought and preparation. These are just a few tips (there are many) which will hopefully come in useful for when you are travelling with an infant (or two!). I’d be interested to hear your experiences so do get in touch, and if you have any other pieces of advice which haven’t been covered here I would love to hear about them!
30 January 2020
Between Christmas and New Year. Myself, Mr Caroline and the baby went on a three night city break to Prague. This destination was chosen mainly because the Christmas markets were still on, and we weren’t able to get away before the big day itself. Now, travelling with a nearly 11 month old is interesting! At that point she had been walking for about six weeks and – naturally - that is all she wanted to do. Of course, when you are on a plane the need to be safely strapped in doesn’t really resonate with a miniature human, so we had a small battle of wills to get her to sit nicely, but got there eventually (food and milk may have been used as bribery). As we plan to take her and the next baby, who will make his or her grand arrival in just a few short months, on a much longer haul trip later this year, we felt we needed to survive this trip to prove that travelling with a baby is easy and fine and completely doable etc etc. And you know what? It actually was fine. We haven’t run away screaming from the idea of travelling with children, resigning ourselves to holidays in Skegness and Cleethorpes (not that there is anything wrong with these destinations). The only real difficulty we had - other than the crowds and navigating the pushchair through masses of people - was a distinct lack of baby friendly facilities. Restaurants just didn’t seem to have baby changing areas, and when out in public spaces, we struggled to find suitable places to get our little pride and joy cleaned up. Prague itself really is a beautiful city. Gothic structures and cobbled streets are in abundance. The Old Town Square was one of the main focal points for us as not only was it beautiful, it also held one of the biggest Christmas markets in Prague where stalls were lined up with gifts, festive food and warming drinks. While the bars and restaurants around the square were relatively pricey compared to other areas of the city, the street stalls enabled us to top up our energy levels for minimal cost while engaging in festive cheer. And of course there were other markets set up around the city, equally beautiful but perhaps not on such a grand scale. The main highlight of the trip for us was a lunchtime river cruise. What better way to see sights of the city from the Vltava River itself on the Grand Bohemia, a long, glass roofed vessel? The cruise took in sights such as the Prague Castle, the National Theatre, the uniquely shaped Dancing House and the infamous Charles Bridge. All whilst dining on a fine selection of local foodstuffs accompanied by a musician playing gentle melodies. The baby even managed to find her sea legs and was quite happy toddling round the upper viewing deck while us grown ups took in the sights. When it came to eating, there was plenty of choice. One gem we stumbled upon was the Imperial Café in the New Town, decorated with its original 1914 tiling and mosaic ceiling. We were extremely lucky to get a table – it is actually recommended to book a week in advance and while we were dining we did notice several groups being turned away. I guess they must have liked to look of us! Or, probably more likely, we happened to just turn up at the right time. Either way, we were not disappointed. The food was delicious, from a very tasty French onion soup for starters, to wild boar with almond dumplings as the main, and the most delectable warmed chocolate pudding for desert, my mouth is watering now as I think about it! As city breaks go, it was lovely to get away, especially as a taster of what travelling with a baby is like. Prague has a lot to offer, and I know we only really scratched the surface while we were there. It would be interesting to visit in summer months when there will be a completely different feel to the city. Looks like we may just need to go back…
Doncaster 11/15/2021 5:32:00 PM
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