Sent by R Martin
Based in Barnoldswick
Thank you for taking the time to visit my webpage, the one thing I love about being a Travel Counsellor is hearing peoples plans and dreams for their holiday. I really do want to hear every detail about your last trip, why you love going away and if you say you have a dog then I will want their name and a photo!
I have years of experience which I am happy to share, I can book everything from a city break to a trip around the world. Nothing is off limits. I truly care about your holiday.
I am a self-confessed Florida addict, we love the place! As a family we have travelled all over the world, I have a wealth of personal recommendations. Over the years we have done many family holidays and I have been lucky enough to visit some of the best hotels in the world as part of my job role. Wherever possible I will always seek to give you personal recommendations, the great part of using a travel counsellor is that we all know each other. If I haven't been, I will know someone on the end of the phone who will care as much as I do about making your holiday perfect.
One of my passions is making sure travel is easy for everyone, I will always go above and beyond to help make your holiday plans stress free and suitable to your needs. I myself have a spinal disability though I would say my particular expertise is travelling with autism and I will often share blogs and advice on this subject. I appreciate how hard it can be to make those first steps towards taking a child away with ASD and you will always reach me for friendly, practical advice.
Covid has made travel take a brief pause, it has tested the industry to its limits. I am proud to be a Travel Counsellor, I am proud of the consistent awards we were given, the high number of surveys we topped and most of all the care we gave to our clients. We came back stronger and I hope my customer testimonials will help back this up.
I provide a friendly, personal and trustworthy service that is 100% financially protected for peace of mind.
‘Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell’.
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.
07 December 2020
These places are literally the definition of a Merry Christmas! As Christmas draws near, I find myself watching cheesy Hallmark movies and just wishing I could transport myself into the festive little towns! I am hoping I am not alone; I have put together a list of my favourite American towns to visit during the festive season. So, grab a Hot Chocolate, put your feet up and transport yourself into a Festive Wonderland. 1. Vail, Colorado Vail is famous for its powdered slopes, cobblestone streets, and cozy lodges. At Christmastime, you can soak in the lights strewn all over town, take in the mountain views, and visit the Kris Kringle Market for a few holiday gifts. It is the perfect snow-covered Winter Wonderland. 2. North Pole, Alaska Can it really get more festive than visiting a snow-covered North Pole? This small town in Alaska shares the name of Old St. Nick's home and certainly lives up to it. They have even got a Christmas in Ice event that showcases ice sculpture artists from around the world. 3. Leavenworth, Washington Enter a winter wonderland by visiting the gorgeous Bavarian mountain village of Leavenworth, Washington. This small town is on our shortlist for a special trip in 2021. It is just like stepping into the most beautiful Christmas Movie. In addition to the stunning views that you could easily mistake for Europe, the town also hosts lighting ceremonies, sleigh rides, and even has its very own reindeer farm. What more could you need! 4. Woodstock, Vermont Next up is the second place on our shortlist, New England already holds a special place in our hearts and Woodstock does not disappoint. Imagine strolling down the idyllic main street, taking a wagon tour to see historic covered bridges, and visiting the Billings Farm for some fun Victorian era-inspired festivities. To top it all off, you have world class skiing and some of Americas most beautiful scenery. 5. Helen, Georgia Tourists flock to this Bavarian-like town every December to feel like they are right in a German Christmas village. I mean you could go to Germany but that would not fit into my list and it won’t have Target?! Visit Chistkindlmarkt, a traditional Christmas market, attend a lively Christmas parade, and have breakfast with Santa so your kids can tell the man in red what is on their lists. It really is a Christmas Dream. 6. Natchitoches, Louisana This small Louisiana town transforms into a Christmas destination each year with its Festival of Lights celebration. The banks of the Cane River are decorated with over 100 light displays and 300,000 individual lights that honor both the holiday and the town's Creole heritage. There are also carriage rides, home tours, and parades throughout the holiday season. This little town could easily be twinned with the Christmas Inn I posted a few days ago for the ultimate Christmas break. 7. Newport, Rhode Island While the cobblestone streets and quaint New England buildings are enough to get you into the holiday spirit, Newport is a great Christmas destination because of its historic mansions that are decked out for the season. Driving round American houses is a secret highlight of my holidays and these massive Gilded Age homes do not disappoint. Imagine gorgeous trees, lights, and the most elaborate decorations. They are available to tour during November and December. 8. Durango, Colorado You can never go wrong spending Christmas in a ski town. Durango, Colorado offers several ideal ski spots, but it will also deliver lots of holiday cheer. You can hop aboard the Polar Express or take a ride on the Cascade Canyon Train that brings you to cut down your own Christmas tree. 9. Nantucket, Massachusetts Usually people flock to Nantucket in the summer, but it's actually a great place to visit in Winter too. We had the most wonderful trip one year in November, the town was quaint and delightful, easily one of the highlights of our trip. Each year, the island community hosts a Christmas stroll along Main Street. You can enjoy mulled wine, carollers, and shop for gifts. Take in the hundreds of decorated Christmas trees that line the downtown streets. This could easily be incorporated into a roadtrip as we did. 10. Santa Claus, Indiana I simply had to finish with this one! Named after old St. Nicholas himself, there is no better place to spend the holidays than Santa Claus, Indiana. Each December, the town holds the Santa Claus Christmas Celebration that's full of festive events, lots of food, and great holiday shopping. You can also head over to the Santa Claus Museum & Village, and drive through the Santa's Land of Lights holiday light show.
22 April 2019
Travelling with far too many children For today’s blog I am going to tackle the taboo of travelling as party of over 2+2, in partnership with my good friend 8shades of crazy (Not sure she was christened that but let’s just go with it!) I have 3 children and my lovely friend Kathryn has……8, and yes, they have a TV. We have done plenty of days out together and over the last few years we have braved two trips to Disneyland Paris. We have put together some of our top tips for travelling as a large group: 1. Use a travel agent, I happen to know a very good one! One of the main obstacles people find with a large group is the room configuration. A lot of rooms are made for 2+2 and if you don’t want to spend your holiday in a separate room to your partner it can prove tricky. This is where a travel agent is invaluable, I will help you find a suitable room arrangement to ensure you have the best holiday. 2. Plan, especially for a trip like Disneyland. You cannot plan too much, how do you plan to get to the airport, how will you get through the airport, who will sit with who on the flight/car and if you are doing a theme park, get a list of everyone’s must do rides so nobody misses out. Ensure everyone takes advantage of a toilet stop, otherwise you can end up going back and forth multiple times an hour! 3. Make a packing list! Can you share items between children to limit baggage weight? Take the list with you to make it easier to pack up on your final day. 4. Give each child their own bag for travelling, that they are responsible for. They get to learn how to self-manage and it makes the security checks quicker as you aren’t getting 11 iPad’s out in one go! 5. Take snacks to limit travel costs, when we self-drive we take a bag of snacks for everyone as this really reduces the cost of service stops. 6. Consider all-inclusive, although it costs more upfront it can seriously reduce your overall holiday spending and the stress of trying to get everyone’s order and a restaurant that will have a big enough table. 7. Give everyone a buddy, each child has a partner and when it comes to doing a headcount you can ask 'Have you got your buddy'? 8. For our final tip we asked the men, their input – leave the kids at home and pack beer in their place! And finally, from us, try get a photo of them all together, as when it came to writing this blog we realised we actually don't have one with all the children on! Oops!
14 April 2019
Today I am going to do a throwback to April 2017. I am a huge advocate of making travel accessible for those with hidden disabilities and for making everyone experience Disney at least once in their lifetime! A big thing other autism parents ask me is - Just how hard is it going to Florida? I wish I could tell you it is easy. The truth is it can be easy, it can also be really hard and that is what brings me to my love for Legoland. My son loves Lego, as do I. We are master builders in training, and we could not wait to visit. It was our third year in a row visiting Orlando so I naively assumed everything would be fine. We flew with Virgin from Manchester; we always fly with Virgin from Manchester. We had the same car, Town & Country with DVD players. We went at Easter. We booked an apartment; we never stay in an apartment and so began the downward spiral. Oh, and the Nutrigrain wrappers are different in Florida, oh those wrappers! A summary of how it was going - he wouldn't wear shoes, we hadn't slept, he wouldn't eat, and I had to buy my 8-year-old an emergency stroller because he wouldn't walk. I ended up with strep throat from the stress and I cried when I saw a woman looking at us with pity. Then came Legoland day, we had both been so looking forward to it and the day started well. He was excited and looking forward to it, you can see the joy on his face when we saw the giant sign. Now the theming at Legoland is AWESOME. Everything is Awesome. You sang that part didn't you.... Half way through the day he started to get tired and something upset him, someone invent that magic autism crystal ball already! I had seen on a few Autism blogs that they had a new 'sensory' room so off we went in search of it. Do not expect some all singing all dancing light show of a room, it wasn't. It was a small room attached to the medical facility, but I can tell you that they saved our holiday that day. The staff were amazing, they gave him a weighted blanket, ear defenders and a drink. They then played him some soothing music and brought me a drink while he slept for an hour. They didn't question or judge us, they simply understood. Autism and Lego go hand in hand for us, they work together like magic. We needed our visit to be one he remembered with happiness and they certainly ticked that box. They do the assistance pass scheme that most places offer now but they are seriously a step ahead when it comes to their understanding. They also call it ‘The Hero Pass’. I do believe they now also offer story boards, a fully equipped sensory room and more. In short, if you are planning a trip to Orlando then Legoland absolutely must be on that to do list. If you have managed to get this far and still have dreams of Orlando then please do get in touch, I will help you every step of the way. It isn't easy but oh my is it worth it