People tend to travel for different reasons. It could be to immerse themselves in other cultures, to visit family, see a new country or perhaps just for a holiday. And then there are those who choose to travel for the food – or at least see it as a definite perk to their jaunt. But for those who want a mixture of everything, Hong Kong is definitely the place to go. It serves up a whole host of fantastic things to enjoy; from the history and culture to the cuisine and attractions within.

Attractions

 

Hong Kong doesn’t do half measures, and its attractions are by no means an anomaly to this. If you can get a hotel near Hong Kong Ocean Park then you’re in for a treat regarding what’s on your doorstep; there are roller coasters galore with the ability to take a break from the thrill to look at animals such as giant pandas, koalas and an array of marine mammals as well as hundreds more. There is a dedicated breeding centre within the complex to help with research in both captivity and the wild, and every payment made to enter gets donated towards the costs of running this vital centre. Disneyland also has its own spot in Hong Kong, and the cities offer amazing sights for you to see on a daily basis.

Picture Credit

 

Cuisine

 

The food in Hong Kong has had a lot of influence over the years. Although mainly based on Cantonese cuisine, it has a lot of British influence due to the Imperial reign up until 1997. As aforementioned, some people make their way over to this country for the food alone; and the variety certainly won’t disappoint you. There are recommendations online of quintessential dishes that must be tried, and it’s always good to take a step out of your comfort zone when considering what you’re going to choose. Don’t limit yourself when there’s so much choice!

 

City vs Country

 

Although Hong Kong is famously associated with the big skyscrapers that its cities have produced, it actually has a handful of parks which offer idyllic countryside views – some with beaches attached to them if they are nearing the coast. These can offer a great alternative to the hustle and bustle that city life provides, and while you’re somewhat out in the sticks, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to do there. There are nature tours available for you to go on which can take you anywhere from the forests to the seas where you are able to view whales and dolphins in their natural habitats. The great public transport links around the country make it easy for you to get from concrete to greenery in no time at all, so there’s no excuse not to indulge yourself in a bit of both worlds.

 

Before you go to Hong Kong, ensure that you have booked all of your accommodation in advance to get a good price deal. Tickets to attractions can be booked online before you arrive which can also save you money – but most of all, enjoy what’s around you in this beautiful country!

 

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If you previously loved travel, as many do, then a truly disappointing or boring vacation can sap away at that passion. You might think that you’ve lost that wanderlust or that you’ve experienced what travel has to offer. Of course, that’s not possible. There’s so much out there, that you will never truly be done with travel. You just have to change things up a little so you find the joy of it again.

Focus on the new

One of the problems that many ex-vacation lovers face is that they’re done with hotels, with beaches, and with lounging at the poolside. What might be relaxed bliss for some can become boring for others. Instead, start looking at finding authentic travel opportunities in your destination of choice. There are plenty of apps used by travel-lovers, spotting lesser known gems and exciting experiences you might otherwise miss.

Pamper yourself

Then again, the reason you might not be feeling your past enthusiasm is that taking care of yourself on holiday might have just become a new part of the routine. Especially if you’re travelling with others, like family members, it might just be doing the same things in a different location. Cooking, organising, making sure everyone has their sunscreen. Think about opting for luxury holiday options, spending a little more so that you can do a lot less, yourself.

Get your blood pumping

Sitting on your backside is going to wear thin after some time, no matter where you’re doing it. The sights are all the more beautiful when you work to see them, too. Active holidays are getting much more popular as people realise that trips like cycle challenges around the world offer them a much more comprehensive exploration of the area around them. It really gives you the feeling of adventure to not just see it all from a car window but to hike, climb, and pedal your way through the country.

Make dead time alive again

Dead time is an unfortunately mandatory part of many holidays. You’ll have it when you’re queuing at the airport, waiting for transport, for admission to a restaurant or attraction, and so on. Practicing mindfulness and a little people watching in a distant land can be a particularly interesting way to get face-to-face with the culture and the differences of everyday life in a new place, however.

Tell your story

It can become hard to really hold onto the positive moments and fun surprises of a vacation as you put a little distance between yourself and the events. For some, taking photographs can be a way to keep the memory fresh, to better remember the stories, and transport yourself back to the mindset you had at the time. Others prefer to blog, others write in their journals, others talk about it with their friends. If you tell the story, however, you’re much more likely to keep that emotional journey alive and to get much more enjoyment from your travels.

If you’re sick of spending time in hotels, restaurants, or lounging on the beach, then try something new. Cycle the countryside. Splurge on a little luxury. Focus on the new and getting out of your comfort zone. Even options that don’t immediately jump out at you can be more fulfilling if just for the novelty factor.

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London is a fantastic city. It caterings for the young and old, the cultured and the trendy.  It celebrates a rich history than seems to span eternity, and has a nightlife that never sleeps.

I could give you reason after reason to visit London and ideas of places to stay and sights to see.  However this clever guide from HouseTrip is a much clever resource to explore the city by internet.  It showcases all the hot spots in London, identifies places off the beaten track and inspires you to see more of our capital city.

Where to Stay In London Guide by HouseTrip.com

HT Guide Image

This guide create a fabulous impression of our beautiful city.  My top tips are to head to Southbank and embrace the weekend on the River Thames.  You can hear live bands, sample a whole host of foods, hunt for a bargain in the book sale and discover hidden treats at the waters edge.

Cricket Lovers need to head up to Maida Vale to the home of Lords, and shoppers who are lucky enough to not be on a budget should take their credit cards to Knightsbridge.

If the sunny is shining, go for a wander through Hyde Park, stopping to see the iconic Diana’s playground and rest for a moment watching the world go by.

There is no better way to see London than to visit as if you live there.  The tourist spots are great but there is so much more to see and do, and the HouseTrip guide shows you just where to go.

Mayfair

The summer holidays can be so expensive and as we approach the half way point (keep going ladies), most purse strings are starting to feel a bit tight!

My kids love being outdoors, and leaping around on activities that often can be costly for a family of four.  So I spend a fair bit of time trying to find free activities to keep the fun level high without breaking the bank.

Going on a fairy hunt.

Don’t tell any of their friends, but my older twins still like leaping around the woods looking for evidence of fairies.  They credit their enthusiam on helping the little one find fairy gardens, houses and tea parties, but I know they still love it.

It is easy, grab a pen and pencil and head to your nearest wood and look for fairies.  They are real.

fairy house

Image courtsey of Shutterstock

Little nooks and crannies in tree trunks are where these special creatures live, disused acorns are their boats for crossing puddles when their wings are wet, broken egg shells are their play areas, and flowers their umbrellas.  All you need is imagination.

Libby - sue  Free activities

Finding a fairy!

Draw and write their ideas and take a picnic and you have a full day out without spending a penny.

Food Fun.

This is one of my kids favourite, although be warned – it destroys your kitchen!

Let them loose on your left over ingredients in the cupboard and allow them to create their own treats.

Don’t expect them to be edible – but do expect lots of giggles and mess!

We have successfully made rock hard buns, and marshmellow mayhem.

Set up a beauty salon

Grab your old make up and polishes and get the kids to give each other makeovers – you can even be a customer at the salon (have plenty of polish remover and wipes!).

Get ready to see an 80’s comeback in your living room.

(Probably won’t look like the image – but one can hope!)

Free Activities

Go Camping (at home)

You have heard of a staycation?  Well, this one comes with a room to stay in.  Kids love camping with home comforts, so get the tent out, pump up their airbeds and let them play house.  We stack teddies on ours, eat picnics on the grass and sleep under the stars.  All with the option of coming back inside if we get chilly!

camping Libby free activity

The Water Park,

I won’t lie – this is my least favourite, and the kids most favourite.

Set them the task of turning your garden into a water park and let them run wild.  Obstacle courses through the sprinkler, hose-pipe down the slide, potions in the paddling pool.

It is chaos, wet, washing hell, but they love it!

And it doesnt cost a penny!!!

(Unless you need therapy in later years to cope with the flashbacks!)

 

Any more ideas – let me know!

 

Cheese & Bacon Pasta Bake

Ingredients

500g Pasta – any that you find that is cheap

600 mls of Milk

Lump of butter

4 tablespoons of flour

250g of cheese

Handful of blue cheese if you have any in the cupboard

Teaspoon of mixed herbs

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

4 pieces of bacon  – cooked and diced 

Cook the pasta whilst frying the bacon.

To make the sauce, melt the butter, then add the flour stirring all the while.

Add in the bacon and the majority of the cheese.

Mix again.

Add the pasta in a large baking dish and spread out evenly.

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and blue cheese if using.

Bake at 180 for 20-30 minutes.

Eat whilst it is hot!

For other thrifty mouth water recipes, have a look at…

Missie Lizzies mouth watering salted caramel salt nut crunch and her cider apple fritters.

You have to try Aly’s leftover chocolate porridge cake and if you want more pasta, check out Cass’s Macaroni Cheese.