Family Travel Times

Family Travel Times: March 2014

Friday, 21 March 2014

An Amazing Time At clueQuest! (by all of us!)

We were lucky enough to spend a fantastic afternoon at clueQuest, near Liverpool Street, in London, where we became secret agents and managed to save the world! Here is what we thought...

Robert: clueQuest was BRILLIANT. You start by getting locked in a room then you have one hour to get out and save the world. You have to use codes, maps, machines, Lego, computers, cards and lots more. Every single object had something to do with the challenge, from if there was a code on a chair or a memory stick in a cupboard. You are allowed to get about codes from mission control to help you escape the series of rooms, (although the average is 20, we used a lot more than that!) The fastest ever anyone ever escaped was in 47 minutes and that group didn't have any clues.
My favourite bits were opening the padlocks, finding new objects that really helped and when everything clicked into place.

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

It can be simple to save a life (please read this)

Our blog is about travel and usually contains stories of our adventures, whether in the UK or abroad. This post, however, is not about us. It's about a different kind of travelling, with a different aim, to save lives.

Saturday marks World Water Day. That may not mean much to many of us. After all, we can simply turn on a tap and have a drink or reach for the shower dial when we want to get clean. Yet if we move away from our comfort zone, it's a completely different story. Millions of people die every year from unsafe water and sanitation. It is literally (and that is not a word I use lightly) a matter of life and death.

Back in 1998, Fiona Jeffery felt that it was time she used her position as an influencer in the travel and tourism world to give something back. She was then the director of World Travel Market, the leading travel industry exhibition, and was keen to find a cause which would, as she says, tick several boxes.

"I always had an environmental focus," she told me. " But I wanted to find something which was also global in reach and impacted children and families."

She soon discovered water - or the lack of it. Diseases connected to dirty water and poor sanitation, she found, were the biggest killers of children aged under five. In fact, they killed more children than HIV, malaria and measles combined. Not only that, but just £1 could deliver clean water to a child for 10 years.
Fiona, her children and some of the beneficiaries of Just A Drop

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Friday, 7 March 2014

What can you learn on holiday?

Holidays are wonderful (although the build-up isn't always so great!). I love spending time with my family, travelling to new places and learning, yes, I said learning about new things.

I didn't grow up thinking that holidays were just about relaxing. Instead they were exciting, full of anything from castles and museums to lakes and mountains. We went fishing with little nets in Devon and to the magnificent Cologne Cathedral in Germany. We learnt about steering a canal boat and opening locks in Wales, and visited historic chateaux in the Loire Valley in France. Holiday time was incredibly enriching.

Of course we weren't on the go all the time. My parents were careful to make sure that we had lots of time to read, or swim or just chill. But we didn't do that all the time.

And, when I stop to think about it, the holidays I had as a child and loved, are similar to the ones we now have with our children. We travel somewhere and we shop and eat and have fun, but we also discover local museums (like At Science in Bristol, which was fantastic) and stately homes.
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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Barcelona - a city with so much to see and do (by Ella)

Ella eating Spanish paella
Our first guest post, by Beverlie, was a hit! Now I'm delighted to have our second, and we are keeping in the family as it is by my gorgeous niece, Ella, who is 14. She was lucky enough to visit Barcelona.

Over to Ella:

I was lucky enough to visit Barcelona which is an amazing city, with so much to see and do. Here are my recommendations.

The Sagrada Familia is probably the best known thing in Barcelona. Gaudi’s ambitious – and incomplete, but beautiful – Church is an amazing sight, whether you explore the inside or enjoy the beauty of the outside.

La Rambla
La Rambla is another brilliant thing you find in Barcelona. A wide pedestrian street, with street performers, stalls selling birds and other animals, flowers everywhere and stunning – but crazy – buildings surrounding you, the road is one you must walk down, if you ever find yourself in Barcelona - although I was warned a thousand times to look out for pickpockets! The mosaic in the centre of the street is also something that is impossible to miss.
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