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6 things you should do before going on holiday*




The sun is still shining and it looks like everyone is going off on holidays. Darcy and I are not going away till a few weeks time, but as I am a serial planning I have already gone through my checklist that I am sharing with you today

Is your passport in date?
We only tend to get our passports out if we are travelling or if we need it for proof of ID. It is best to check at least a few months in advance as some countries need your passport to be valid for a particular period of time.

Double check your documents?
Do you need a visa? have you printed off your boarding pass? It's best to be organised and keep everything in a folder together, along with important telephone numbers, making a note of your passport number in case you lose it etc. If you are travelling with children with different surnames to yours is a good idea to travel with their birth certificate or a letter from their Mum/Dad as proof that they are your child and you have permission to take them outside of the country.

Check to see if you need vaccinations
If you are planning on travelling outside the UK you may need to be vaccinated from life threatening diseases found in different parts of the world. You can find out what vaccination you might need by using the NHS fit for travel website.

Make sure you know your luggage allowance
There is nothing worse than being at the check in trying to remove contents from your suitcase to make sure you are not over your weight allowance and having no choice but to pay extra. Invest in a suitcase scale, you can find them in most shops. I got mine from Poundland and have had good use out of it, saving me pounds!
If you think you are going to need extra luggage pre book it in advance for a discounted price.

Get Travel Insurance
Have you brought your travel and health insurance? If not, tut tut. You may think you don't need insurance but it is better to be safe than sorry. I wouldn't travel without one and they are not actually that expensive.If you are planning on travelling more than once over a 12 month period. You would be best off getting a one off  year insurance plan rather than a single use as you can save money.

Sort out your travel money
Make sure you give yourself enough time to exchange your money, this way you can find the cheapest exchange rate and get it delivered to your home, if you don't want to travel with a lot of money on you. Get yourself a Prepaid card, which works as a pay as you go credit card. They can be purchaed from the Post Office or the bank. You load the amount you want on your card and can use it when you are out and about. It is also a great way to budget whilst you are away.

I hope you found my little check list helpful.Are you off on holiday this year?

The best family movies to watch on Netflix during the summer holidays*





With the summer holidays fast approaching I'm sure you have lots of fun days planned for the family. But I know there are going to be days when you just want to chill at home in front 4KTV Panasonic and your fan with a few snacks.
 
It's not always easy to find a movie that every family member will want to watch. So I've done the hard work for you and found some of the best family movies on Netflix.



 

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is officially Darcy's favourite film at the moment. So much so that she knows it word by word. It's rather cheesy and so badly acted and so badly made its enjoyable in way that you can make fun of it and making fun of it is enjoyable. Sharkboy is played by Taylor Lautner of Twilight frame if you find your self scratching your head like I did trying to work out where I knew him from.




Annie both the original and the remake are on Netflix. Another fun and warming musical film to sing or tap your toes along with. I'm sure you and all your family will be singing its
'Hard Knock Life' for days afterwards. I have to admit i prefer the original as it was one of the first musicals I remember watching as a kid.



 

Back to the future 1 - 3, you know you need to introduce your little one to classic films. And the Back to the future is a stone cold classic from the 80's, and the other 2 are highly entertaining.



 

Matilda one of the many Roald Dahl story brought to life in a charming way. You will laugh throughout the film and cheer Matilda on as she outsmart all the bad eggs. It's a delightfully funny film with an incredible cast including; Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson and Pam Ferris. Pam Ferris as The Trunchbull steals not just every scene she is in but the whole film. You can't help but boo her every time she is on the screen.



 

Despicable Me 2 Gru returns with his trusty minions for another hilarious film. If you loved number, Gru is recruited by the 'Anti Villain League' to stop an evil villain from unleashing a serum that turns anything into a weird monster-like purple maniac. Meanwhile, his adopted girls try to play matchmaker and find him a girlfriend. There was a lot of great content aimed specifically at adults too but kept lighthearted and still suitable for the kids.

What is your favourite film to watch with the family?

 

Sudocrem Play More Campaign & Giveaway

I don't know about you, but I have been making the most of weather. And being much more active with Darcy and spending more time outside. Sudocrem have recently launched their Playmore Challenge in a bid to get more children playing outside.


Sudocrem carried out research and found that children are spending around 45 hours a week in front of a screen and only 4 hours playing in the great outdoors. This year, they launched the campaign with the help of Chris Packham and carried out further research looking at the relationship between children and insects. They found that a staggering  9 out of 10 children (89%) were unable to recognise a butterfly even though there is an abundance of native British insects, with around 27,000 insect species calling the UK home. Moreover, 51% didn’t know what a Bumblebee looks like. And, surprisingly, 1 in 3 (29%) didn’t realise that bees make honey.

As part of the campaign, Sudocrem are also offering nurseries around the UK the chance to win support for play ground regeneration or a mural, which will be painted by award-winning artist, Joy Pirkle.
 
To make a nomination, go to the Sudocrem website and complete the nomination form. You have until 31st of August to vote!
 


Chris Packham from BBC Spring Watch is joining our campaign to provide more nurseries with support to improve their outdoor play areas. We’re also giving away “My Little Adventure Packs” with instructions on how to make your very own Bug Hotel, T shirts, caps and much more.

Outdoor play is important, says Chris Packham, “I was very fortunate when I was a child because I was encouraged to interact with the outdoors- looking under rocks and searching under logs and hedges to find creepy crawlies. If you just open your eyes, you’ll see that there is an incredible natural world out there waiting to be discovered”
 


To help you have fun outside with your kids Sudocrem have given me an amazing Play More Adventure Kit to giveaway to one lucky winner. Inside the pack you will find;

Play More t-shirt
Play More sun hat
Bug Pot
Frisbee
Butterfly Net
Magnifying glass
Trowel or fork
To enter, simply complete one or more of the entries on the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Making Memories At Chessington World Of Adventures


Recently we made the most of the amazing sunny weather and headed down to Chessington World Of Adventures.  

 As always, we travelled by public transport.  From Central London it is only a short 35 minutes train ride away. Once you arrive at Chessington South, it's a 10 - 15 minute walk; you can also get a taxi or do what we did and got the 71 bus which stops right outside the park.  
 I was especially excited to try out the new Tiger Rock Ride. Unfortunately, Darcy was just a bit too short to get on it. That did not put a downer on the day as we were spoilt for choice for what other rides we could go on which are perfect for younger children. 

We really made the most of the day and were able to get on 10 rides, and there were a few rides we didn't get a chance to get on. 

 First ride of the day was Sea Dragons which is based in the Land of the Dragons. I was excited to go on Griffin's Galleon. As it was not open on our last visit. 


We headed off to the Africa area where we rode  the Treetop Hoppers, Toadies Crazy Cars and watched The Gruffalo Groove, is the perfect way to sit down and rest your feet without the kids noticing. It is a song and dance adventure through the deep dark woods where you encounter the creatures from the famous book. There are also a few opportunities during the day to meet the actual Gruffalo himself. 


Adventure point is where Tiny Truckers is based. I took the chance to relax whilst Darcy took to the ride and drove us around. Then it was off to Adventure tree, where she chose to hoped on a giraffe.

Darcy loves nothing better than getting her face painted. This year alone she has been a tiger, butterfly, a tiger and now a kitty cat.

   
We finally got to go on The Gruffalo ride. We were lucky enough to be invited to the launch last year. However, Darcy's nerves got the better of her and she did not enjoy it at all. This time, however, she couldn't wait to get on it and she was excited to tell everyone what fun she had. 


Walking into Mexicana, Scorpion Express looks rather scary. However it is a very family friendly ride, with the various fire and water effects there are surprises at every turn. 


Tomb Blaster is a hidden gem and my favourite ride, which is in the Forbidden Kingdom. It is a fantastic shooting game similar to Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast at Disneyland Paris. You get to use laser guns to shoot mummies and scarab beetles.
  
This really brought out Darcy's competitive streak as she tried to out shoot me to get the highest score. So much so that we had to go on it three times, obviously Mummy still beat her!. 


We ended the day at Sea Lion Bay, were we got to learn all about Sea Lions with Ariel, including her diet and the threat she faces due to pollution. 

Tips and Hints 
I would recommend downloading the free Chessington World of Adventures app to your smart phone before you arrive at the park.  The app provides details of wait times, show times and more importantly, an interactive park map.  

If you are plus size like me, you check to see size restrictions for each ride. Just look out for the t-shirt icon if you are using the app. I am a size 24 and was able to fit on all the rides we went on.  

Get there early, definitely beat the crowds by getting there as early as possible. We waited no longer than 10 minutes for each ride. It got rather busy in the afternoon and of course the queues got longer. So try and go on the rides you really want to go on first. 

Use the toilets before you enter the park, they are based just before the entry gates  
Take a picnic, there are many areas where you can sit and enjoy a bite to eat, and it also gives you more money to spend on souvenirs.  

Buy an annual pass; if you are planning on visiting more than once a year then an annual pass is for you. Plus it comes with lots of perks including; 20% off food, shopping, fast track tickets and on their Safari and Azteca hotels. Having an annual card also means you do not need to queue to enter the park, just walk straight in and scan your card and you are in.  
 Buy a fast track ticket, if you hate waiting around a fast track ticket is for you. In addition  there are lots of deals to pick from to suit your taste in rides. 
 I would recommend Chessington for your next family day out and a perfect way to enjoy the experience is by staying at either of the on-site Chessington Safari or Azteca Hotels. 

I am a Chessington Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Chessington Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email press.office@chessington.co.uk