Eid Escapes from the Middle East in under 5 hours

Eid is a time of celebration in the Middle East and is a public holiday across the region. Many expats use Eid as a chance to get away, especially when Eid is in the summer. Private sector workers tend to get three days public holiday while governmental workers get five days so it is the perfect chance to take a break and escape the Middle East summer. Here are the perfect Eid escapes all under five hours flight from the Middle East and reachable by a direct flight. Here my favourite Middle East bloggers and me tell you the perfect Eid escapes! Continue reading Eid Escapes from the Middle East in under 5 hours

An open letter to the Daily Telegraph – Why you SHOULD take your children on foreign holidays

Last week I read this article – the science why you shouldn’t take your children on foreign holidays! It really irked me on the first read but the more I have thought about it and on second read it has annoyed me even more! So I wanted to pen a response to why I think you should take your children on foreign holidays. But first I’m going to dissect why this article really irritated me. 

The title! The title states – the science behind why you shouldn’t take your child on foreign holidays! So what scientific research has been conducted to generate this article. NONE! This piece admittedly was written by Oliver James, a UK based child psychologist! However the evidence put forth in this article seems purely anecdotal with little empirical basis beyond his own family who took nine years of holidays to Cornwall before going to France! It seems his children hated France and therein lies the science why you shouldn’t take your children on foreign holidays! This is not science! I am sure there are many factors why this was the holiday his children didn’t like, not simply because it was the one foreign holiday they took! How can an trained, professional psychologist make such an outrageous claim with no empirical evidence to support it! 

For James, what children need is familiar and unadventurous holidays! This to him means repetition, reasonably warm and ice cream nearby! Why – because apparently until children hit near teens they are completely unequipped to deal with foreign travel! From my limited experience of travelling with my one year old and from experiences of people around me, I have only seen positive effects of travel! 

Admittedly not all of our travel experiences have been successful but without doubt our worst experience was a UK based holiday! Not because it was a ‘home’ holiday but because he accommodation was not what it billed to be! Does this mean I should tell people not to do uk travel – of course not that would be as absurd as James claim that foreign travel is bad for children! 

Now, surprisingly given the title of my article I am not advocating for only foreign travel. I actually thing that any travel, be it a day out with the family to a country park, or a 2 week holiday in the sun is beneficial to children and even more importantly the quality time families spend together! 

But for me, and I think many others, foreign travel with children is something they cherish! 

I recently wrote about why we have and we will continue to travel with our baby ! And I stand by them! I love travelling with out baby – in fact the whole ethos of our blog is inspiring other parents to travel with babies! Now do I believe travelling stays the same when you have babies – absolutely not! And it would be selfish to think it could but it can be adapted. We travel at a much slower pace! And in fact we love this new slower pace. 

We also as I am sure James will be happy to know, keep a structure to our travel days to make sure baby enjoys our travel too! We also make sure we plan activities and meals that we know our baby will love. It takes a bit more research but is well worth it! Also I want my daughter to grow up with a curious, accepting and flexible soul! Foreign travel can certaintly encourage this! 

If you are an expat like us, travel is the only way in which we can connect with and let our baby bond with family! 

I think all these reasons show why – if you want to, you should take foreign holidays with children and not feel guilty about it! 

So in future Daily Telegraph – if you are going to publish “scientific” articles make sure there is empirical, peer reviewed science actually in them! And perhaps accept that holidays, whether day trips at home, holidays in the U.K. and/or foreign travel can all be beneficial to children if you do them right! 

 Part of #marvmondays 

What you see on a Baltic Cruise and the surprises it brought us

Russia has always been high on my travel bucket list. I had always heard that visas could be problematic and as seasoned and avid cruisers we decided that a cruise to Russia was going to be a great option for us. So what do you see on a Baltic Cruise and is it worth doing?

Continue reading What you see on a Baltic Cruise and the surprises it brought us

What to Wear in Doha – Essential Guide

Whenever I’ve asked about life in Qatar probably the number one question I get asked is ‘Do You Have to Wear a Headscarf?’ The answer is no but I think the frequency of this questions shows that there are many misconceptions about what to wear in Doha. Now I will be the first person to admit that I am not a fashionista! These days I consider a fashion hit to be getting out the house without a stain on my clothes! However, I do like to think that I have got dressing for desert life down and am never disrespectful to my host culture. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a guide on what to wear in Doha – a practical perspective!

Continue reading What to Wear in Doha – Essential Guide

Speed dating bloggers event lowdown

Last week I attended the Arabian Travel Market. As part of this four day long event, on the last day a speed dating blogger event was held. This was my first speed dating blogger event, actually it was my first blogger event. I was really nervous before the event about what to take and what it would be like so I thought it would be worth writing down what I found out and what I think you need to know

Elevator Pitch

This is essential. Know what you are and what you can offer and be able to explain this as precisely as possible. The maximum time allotted per meeting is 5 minutes, though I found towards the end you had much less than this as people tried to talk to as many people as possible.

Business Cards

Remember to take them! I was the idiot that got distracted by her baby while packing and left her business cards on her bedside table. Make sure you have a plentiful supply but even more important remember to get other peoples.

Importance of Instagram

I am starting to understand the spectrum of uses for each of my social media channels. What I learnt at the speed dating bloggers event is that Instagram is king at these events. During my meetings, I was surprised that as I was talking how many people checked my instagram feed rather than my website as we chatted. If I were going to another speed dating bloggers event I would make sure that my top nine squares were really on brand and matched perfectly my elevator pitch. Luckily, just before my speed dating blogging event I had been to the Maldives so my Instagram feed was really on point. I would do this more deliberately next time.

Don’t feel like you have to be the right fit for everyone

I spoke to some really lovely people at the speed dating blogging event however not all would work well with my niche. While I love Rwanda for instance, going on a cultural tour of Rwanda with my one year old is not the right fit for me. There is no point wasting either of your time so make sure you are clear about who you are and what you can offer and don’t be afraid to say that you aren’t the right fit. However if you know someone who would be a good fit why not recommend them? The brand and the blogger will be pleased and who knows in the future you may get a referral back.

Network with bloggers as well as brands 

One of the most useful things for me at the event was speaking to other bloggers. An offhand comment by another blogger who is familiar with your site can make you rethink your blogger worth and help refine your brand. It is also great for sharing hints and tips. Therefore don’t only focus your attention at brands.

Follow Up

Don’t treat the end of the meeting as the end of the conversation. Email thank yous for meeting with you and reaffirm your brand and offer and continue the dialogue about future collaborations.

 

Have you ever attended a speed dating blogger event? What are your best hints and tips? 

 

Fearless Family Travel #4

Welcome to the Fearless Family Travel 4 link-up! April was a jammed packed month for us! Baby E turned one  – where did the time go! All of my husband’s family came to visit for the occasion which was lovely by meant our house was full to the rafters with nine adults and six children! We then set off of a trip of a lifetime to the Maldives. In honour of that trip I’ll be linking up my post of how to have a family friendly Maldives experience!


I was so pleased with the breadth and diversity of the posts which made it really hard to pick. I got Wanderlust for Cyprus, Milan and Lund but was really impressed with these useful posts –

Alongside our linky we also host the Fearless Family Travel Interview Series. This month we spoke to Rejecting Routine about their travel experiences so why not pop over and check out the interview aswell! If you would like to take part in this series please drop us a line!

So what is The Fearless Family Travel linky?

#fearlessfamtrav is the place to come and link up all your favourite family travel posts. From days out and holidays, city trips to beach breaks, top tips, accommodation and product reviews. If it’s about family travel then we want to hear about it!

So how can you join

– Link up one post a month– old or new

– Please link back to this page with the #fearlessfamtrav hashtag

– Posts must be about family travel but can be about anything from holidays – beach breaks to city breaks to days trips in your local area, reviews of accommodation or products related to family travel. Basically if there is a family travel connection then this is the place to link it up!

– Please share the linky love and comment on the host post and at least two others! Please add the #fearlessfamtrav hashtag to all comments!

– Tweet me your links @wandermustfam along with the #fearlessfamtrav hashtag and I will retweet to all our followers.

– Please follow me on all my social media channels as I’ll be sharing the posts on there too! I also have a #fearlessfamtrav Pinterest page so message me to be invited! Also starting this month we will be featuring our fave pics from Instagram using the #fearlessfamtrav hashtag so get tagging!

– The Fearless Family Travel will go live on the 1st of every month and stay live for the whole week ending on 7th.

We can’t wait to read your posts

 

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