Would you buy your holiday from Amazon?

Travel bath mat. Chopping board. Squirrel-proof bird feeder. Slipper socks. Reward charts. Even a few books. That’s just a selection of the things I’ve bought from Amazon over the past month or two.

When I stop to think about it, I’m always mildly alarmed by the way the online giant is taking over when it comes to shopping (and wondering what bizarre profile they’ve built up of me in the process). But god it’s useful.

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So would I book a hotel through Amazon as well? Well, it seems that’s about the only area of my life which isn’t currently covered.

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A new ski wardrobe for the toddler and me?

On grey, dreary days, when my brain is crying out for sunshine, a snowy destination seems an odd thing to be dreaming about. But the more I ponder a ski trip with Minnie next year, the more tempted I am.

After just a couple of lessons in Lapland, I really caught the ski bug and while pregnancy and a baby put paid to me practising any more, a family-friendly beginner’s ski holiday is high on my list for 2015.

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Back then I cobbled together a ski wardrobe using thermal layers, waterproof trousers and a discount ski jacket (bright pink, in case I got lost), it needs an update. Minnie, needless to say, has long grown out of any snow suits too. Continue reading

Thursday Travel Treat: Japan

Japan might not be the first winter destination that springs to mind, but my visit in January 2007 was amazing – clear blue skies, few tourists and so much to see, even in Kyoto and Tokyo alone. So that’s today’s #thursdaytraveltreat on Instagram.

Temples and a glimpse of a geisha in Gion, discovering quirky Harajuku and exploring Tokyo with a local on a free Greeter walk, incredible sushi and mysterious snacks where we were never quite sure what we were going to get. I loved it.

Today's #thursdaytraveltreat comes from #Japan - not the first winter destination to spring to mind but my #january trip had fantastic clear #bluesky as we explored. The #goldenpavilion #temple, #kinkaju-ji in #kyoto is stunning with its #reflection in the #lake #nofilter #latergram

And while speeding between cities on the bullet train and seeing Tokyo’s futuristic skyline is part of the experience, it’s the history and culture I remember best. I could gaze for hours at Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto’s golden pavilion temple, reflected in the water.

As ever, do join in with the hashtag on Instagram or Twitter, and link below in the comments.

 

MummyTravels has been nominated for the UK Blog Awards 2015. If you enjoy reading (or just have two minutes to kill), please vote for me in the Travel and Lifestyle categories. Thank you!

I can see the clouds!

Part of being a parent is helping your child discover the things they’re passionate about (today: paper crowns, stickers, elephants and running). But part is being able to share your interests and loves with them.

For me, that’s travel. For my car-obsessed husband, that’s the chance to introduce her to all things automotive. Including convertibles.

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Sitting in a Mini (which Minnie dubbed the minion car, a la Despicable Me), I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head as the roof unfolded, her little mouth a perfect O of surprise and delight.

Mouse hat firmly on her head, tucked up snug and warm in the front (airbag turned off), who cares if it’s November when you can see the clouds from your seat? Sometimes, toddler logic is unbeatable.

 

MummyTravels has been nominated for the UK Blog Awards 2015. If you enjoy reading (or just have two minutes to kill), please vote for me in the Travel and Lifestyle categories. Thank you!

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Walking and water parks: the new Canary Islands

Regular readers know I’m a fan of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote especially. From the vineyards of La Geria to Tenerife’s green north, the volcanoes of Timanfaya and Teide, the reputation of sunburned Brits eating all-day breakfasts is distinctly out of date.

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Admittedly you can still find that if you try, but you’re more likely to come across five-star family-friendly hotels, marinas with designer shops, gorgeous sand dunes (black and gold) and traditional culture, including the impressive carnival at Santa Cruz.

So after a day speaking to tourist boards and independent tour operators today, I wasn’t surprised to find some interesting news for both Tenerife and Gran Canaria, somewhere I’ve not yet visited but on the list as a possible holiday destination for next year.

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