Christmas Gift Guide for Little Wanderlusters and Travellers

So, the blogging world is a frenzied place with Christmas gift guides for one and all floating about. However, something that I haven’t seen so far is a Christmas gift guide for little wanderlusters like BattleKid. Gifts that will inspire travel among them or get them excited about forthcoming trips and holidays. Gifts that can be easily popped into their luggage to take with them on their travels.

christmas gift guide for little wanderlusters

Photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash

Luggage space can be at a premium for some wanderlust families, particularly if you are a family that travels with hand luggage only. That said, some of the gifts that I’ve chosen to feature can be enjoyed at home in the run up to a holiday to get the excitement juices following.

I, myself, have been on the hunt for little gifts for BattleKid that we can take with us when we travel. Things that won’t take up too much room and that might either brighten up our luggage, so it is easily identified on a luggage belt, or things that are educational and fun for BattleKid. And I think I’ve found a few gifts that tick those boxes, and which might be ideal for your budding wanderluster. I’ve included one or two things which we’ve already bought or received which I thought I should share with you.

Without further ado, here are my tops picks.

Christmas Gift Guide for Little Wanderlusters

A Personalised Luggage Tag from Bags Of Love.*

Bags of Love is a new website I have recently stumbled across which has a range of gifts that can be personalised with your own pictures. This online London store has everything from Blankets and Mugs for cosy winter nights in, to Suitcases and Luggage Tags for those that love to travel.Luggage tag from Bags of Love

I designed a luggage tag for BattleKid with his name and photo on it and my telephone number on it, in case his luggage ever gets lost. Both BattleDad and I are really impressed by this luggage and tag and both agree it will make identifying his luggage pretty easy. The personalised luggage tag costs just £14.00.

A Letter From Santa Direct.**

Why not get your little one a personalised letter from Santa, especially if they will be away on the big day. With Letter From Santa Direct, your little one can receive a letter from the big man that is fully personalised to them, including their age, an achievement they did during the year and what they most want for Christmas.

Order it before your journey and you can ensure they have a letter from Santa with them while they travel. They will also receive a text message from Santa on Christmas Day. You can also get an activity set to accompany the letter. A Letter from Santa costs just £4.99, and a Letter and Activity Set costs just £8.99. Order yours here.

A Personalised Jigsaw Puzzle from TinyMe.*

There are so many beautiful gifts available from TinyMe for little ones, but my favourite is the personalised jigsaws. Double-sided, there is a huge range of options to choose from and even better, it arrives flat, in its own felt pouch which will lie flat in a suitcase, or in a carry-on bag and doesn’t take up much space or weight at all.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

We received one for review recently and it is just perfect. We chose the alphabet jigsaw to help BattleKid to learn and recognise his letters and it will definitely be coming on our holidays with us next year.

Subscription to Little Passports.

I have been eyeing this up since I first noticed it on Facebook early last year. However, BattleKid was too young for it and I’ve had to bide my time until now. That said, if I want to subscribe for him, I need to do one year’s worth of the World Edition at a time in order to get them shipped to Portugal. But you lucky people in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Singapore and South Korea can subscribe monthly.little passports

Their Early Explorers subscriptions are ideal for those aged between 3 and 5, while the World or USA Editions are geared towards those between the ages of 6-10 and 7-12 respectively. There is also a Science Expeditions subscription available. Subscriptions start at £12 per month for the World Edition or £15 per month for the Little Explorers. However, if you opt for an annual subscription you can save some money. Ideal for learning about the destinations you might be going to or filling in the time between trips.

A Simply For Flying Flight Logbook

We have had a Simply For Flying Flight Logbook for BattleKid since just after his first ever flight and we’ve been documenting his fights ever since, and getting the captain’s signatures and message as well. On our last flight with British Airways back to Faro, the captain very kindly filled in his book. He also totalled up the air miles BattleKid has completed and it now stands at over 36,000 miles. I had no idea he’s done nearly 10,000 air miles for each of his years. He will have more next month when we visit Paris and so far, we have at least one set of flights booked for next year with another two more return trips possible. If only we could convert his completed air miles into miles we could offset against flights!simply for flying flight logbook

Either way I cannot recommend this gorgeous little book more as a lovely way to document your little wanderlusters flights and travels. It is the same size as a passport, so you can store it with them and easily hand it to the flight crew as you board the aircraft. I’ve reviewed it on the blog before and it costs just €14.95 which is about £13.20.

A Subscription to the Hopster App*

The Hopster App is an app that helps children learn through the shows they love. It is a safe and educational learning environment that also has games and even HarperCollins books too. There are over 800 episodes of children’s TV shows to choose from including Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam, over 100 songs and nursery rhymes, curriculum-based games for learning and there are no ads EVER.hopster app for kids

You can use it on your pc, tablet or phone and the fact you can download your children’s favourite tv shows to your mobile device means they can still watch them while on the move. Great for little wanderlusters. There is a free 7-day trial so you can test it out, and then it costs just £3.99/month with the option of cancelling at any time. BattleKid has been enjoying this in the afternoons after kindergarten and has very quickly learned to navigate his way around the app.

LeapFrog Epic Tablet**

We bought a LeapFrog Epic for BattleKid as his leaving-the-UK present when we emigrated to Portugal earlier this year. We had been after something that was more suited to his age group than a normal tablet (although he has one for movies and TV shows).my sunday photo

The LeapFrog Epic is an Android tablet and is one which grows along with your child. What BattleDad and I love about the Epic is, not only is it Android -based (our preferred mobile platform), there are no in-game purchases or harmful adds, and we can put a timer on it too, therefore limiting BattleKid’s time on it. We’ve even downloaded some movies and TV shows onto it from our Amazon Prime account. There are lots of age-related games you can install, including educational ones and BattleKid loves having it for travelling, which just so happens to be the ONLY time he gets a tablet. The LeapFrog Epic is available from all good retailers including Amazon. It’s RRP is £119.99.

Price: £88.99
Was: £119.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you have found this Christmas gift guide for little wanderlusters useful.

Cath x

*We were kindly sent these items as part of this gift guide or for a separate review, although all thoughts and opinions of the products are my own.

**The links to these products contains affiliate links. That means that I receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link at no extra cost to you. This helps support my blog. Thank you.

Christmas Gift Guide for Little Wanderlusters

Christmas Gift Guide for Little Wanderlusters

 

 

Personalised Jigsaw Puzzles from TinyMe – Perfect for Little Wanderlusters

We were kindly given the chance to receive a personalised jigsaw puzzle from TinyMe for review. I had never come across TinyMe before, but once I checked out their website and the range of products they have to offer, I immediately said yes. We were offered a puzzle of our choice and I chose an intermediate level puzzle for BattleKid. The intermediate jigsaw puzzle from TinyMe is designed with 4 and 5-year olds in mind. As he is almost four, I thought it would be a good idea to get a puzzle that he could grow into. And if you like the sound of the intermediate personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe so far, I advise you to read on!

BattleKid enjoys puzzles and has a set of four with puzzles ranging from 12 to 24 pieces. He can easily do the 12 and 16-piece puzzles of the set, but still needs some help with the bigger ones. That said he still enjoys trying to fit the pieces together.

Personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe come doubled sided so there is twice the fun. They are made from premium quality materials and are printed in high resolution colour. They are also coated with a clear gloss for extra durability. And they come with a handy felt pouch which will make tidying up easier, and storage even easier.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

Creating personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe

Choosing your personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe couldn’t be easier. You first chose the age range suitable for your child, or children, from the four choices.

  • Beginner – 19 months+ is a 6-piece puzzle
  • Junior – 3 years+ is a 12-piece puzzle
  • Intermediate – 4 years+ is a 24-piece puzzle
  • Advanced – 5 years+ is a 48-piece puzzle.

Once you have chosen the degree of difficulty for your puzzle, you then move onto your choice of design and colour. There are 14 designs to choose from, and 6 colour choices. You can also choose between an A4 or an A3-sized puzzle. And you can preview your design before you commit to purchasing it.

I chose an intermediate puzzle from the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe for BattleKid. As he is quite good at recognising his numbers already, I chose the Alphabet puzzle to help him with learning and recognising his letters. I chose to have it in Bright Bolds, as I like bold and bright colours. I inserted his name into the website and was very happy with the design.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

What do I think of the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe?

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened our package. As the puzzle we received was A4, there was minimal packaging (which is always good in my books), and I was very happy when I opened the puzzle. The puzzle is made of really good quality materials and feels sturdy and durable. These are important properties to any children’s toys.

There is a lovely smooth feeling to the surface and edges of each piece, and the gloss coating isn’t noticeable. Each piece is quite chunky, so should easily be managed by pre-schooler BattleKid. The pieces fit nicely into each other but aren’t too tight either. I’ll admit BattleKid hasn’t gotten his hands on this yet as it is going to be added to his Christmas gifts.

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme
Pen shown for perspective – nice big chunky pieces for pre-schooler hands

The colours are bright and vibrant, and the design is exactly as it was shown on the screen when I created it. The storage felt pouch has a Velcro closing and is ideal for storing the puzzle flat. This means it won’t take up as much storage space as a puzzle box. Nor will it take up much luggage room when we look to bring it on holidays with us.

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme
Bright, bold, vibrant colours

What I love about the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe

  • Easy to create and design.
  • Comes in four different age ranges depending on your child’s age and skill level.
  • Huge range of designs and colour combinations to choose from.
  • Colours are bright and vibrant.
  • Available in A3 and A4 sizes.
  • Easily stored flat in the felt pouch it comes in. No more puzzle boxes taking up room!
  • Ideal for travelling as it won’t take up much luggage space or weight either.
  • Made from high quality materials.
  • Chunky pieces feel smooth and sturdy.
  • Designed to stand the test of time with children.
  • A lovely gift for special occasions, a birthday or for Christmas.

What I don’t like about the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe

  • Nothing.

I am really impressed by the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe. They are well designed and will stand the test of time with children. The colours we chose are bright and vibrant, which for me, is a must in children’s toys and puzzles. They are also an ideal personalised gift for a special occasion such as a christening, or for birthdays and Christmas.

I love the fact that they don’t take up a lot of room, which is always a good thing when you live in a small home like we do since moving to Portugal. Puzzle boxes always need space and it’s a luxury for us these days. But the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe are designed to be stored flat in their felt pouch, which they come supplied with meaning less storage space.personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

I am always on the hunt for educational toys that we can take on our travels and these jigsaw puzzles are ideal as they don’t weigh much. As they are designed to be stored flat, they are perfect for popping inside a suitcase or cabin bag. We could have done with this on our recent trips to America and Bluestone. Also, both the Alphabet and Numbers puzzle are ideal as educational toys.

So, if you like the sound of the personalised jigsaw puzzles from TinyMe, then I urge you to check out their website. But be warned, you might make more than just one purchase. I’ve just ordered BattleKid some more items from their website. Don’t tell BattleDad. Or why not try winning yourself one with my giveaway.

The lovely people at TinyMe are offering one of my readers the chance to get their hands on a personalised intermediate puzzle. Simply follow the instructions on the widget below and best of luck!

An A4 Intermediate TINYME JigSaw Puzzle

Cath x

*We were kindly send an intermediate personalised jigsaw puzzle from TinyMe for the purpose of this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions about the product.

Competition Terms and Conditions:

  • Open to my UK and Republic of Ireland readers only.
  • Competition ends at 23.59GMT on 17th November 2017.
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • One winner will receive a code redeemable against an A4 intermediate jigsaw puzzle at www.tinyme.co.uk. The voucher code is valid until 31st December 2017.
  • The winner will be picked at random and notified within 5 days.

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

personalised jigsaw puzzles from tinyme

 

 

Best Holidays with Kids – Netherlands (Guest Post ft It’s Just A Phase)

Hello everyone and welcome to another guest post here on the blog while we drive miles and miles of the Pacific North West. This time I am bringing you a post from Ruth of It’s Just a Phase. Ruth is a former journalist turned parenting blogger based in Kildare. She is mum to Aidan and Sarah, and started blogging to feed her love for writing after leaving her journalism role to find a happier work/life balance. She writes about all things parenting including family travel, recipes and just the sheer madness of it all. Over to you, Ruth.

netherlands best holiday

 Summer 2017: A family holiday to The Netherlands

Did you miss us? We were off swanning around The Netherlands for the last while and now I have a serious case of the post holiday blues.

So when you hear about someone heading off to Holland on their holliers, a lot of people automatically think Amsterdam, tulips, Anne Frank’s gaff, canals, sex shows and stuff you smoke that you’re not allowed smoke here! Well, we saw none of that. I’m here to tell you that The Netherlands is one seriously great destination for a family holiday.

We had an amazing week that was packed with activity for the kids and chilled out evenings for myself and himself. So, let me fill you in.

We flew from Dublin to Eindhoven with Ryanair, which is in the North Brabant province. We booked well in advance and flew from a Tuesday to Tuesday to keep costs down. In fact the flight came in just over €300, which is pretty good for two adults and two children.

We hired a car for the week and stayed in an Airbnb property we rented. The house was actually in Belgium, just two kilometres over the border and it was huge. It had four big bedrooms, a massive living room, kitchen, utility and had things like a tree house, table tennis and a hammock to entertain the kids. Having been holed up in a tiny wooden house for a week in Spain last year, the house was a breath of fresh air. Both kids had their own bedroom, the garden was great and with electric gates, it was totally safe for Aidan (four) and Sarah (two).

The Netherlands, though densely populated, is a small country so you’re not too far away from any of the big cities really. We were less than an hour from Rotterdam and even closer to Antwerp and Brugge. However we stayed ‘local’ and never really ventured anywhere more than 45 minutes from our rental property.

Breda, a stunning city nearby, was our first port of call. Pre-children myself and himself visited this small city for the annual ginger festival and we totally fell in love with the charm of the place. It’s cobbled streets, big squares and beautiful architecture.

netherlands - best holidays
Breda

First up we visited a reptile house, where himself got to hold a snake, much to Aidan’s delight! We visited the city’s big park and playground, fed the ducks, walked cobbled streets through market stalls and sat out on the big square with a coffee and ice-cream for the kids. I even managed to sneak off and find some bargains in the sales!

One of the highlights of the week was our trip to the Efteling Theme Park, which I can only describe as a Dutch Disneyland. It was amazing. It was huge. It was the stuff of dreams for the kids and the adults had a ball too. Aidan went on a rollercoaster, we watched the most amazing 3D nature short film, went to a land of fairy tales, sat on toadstools, went on boats, ghost trains and were serenaded over our evening dinner. We were there all day and only got to see half of it. It’s massive. The entrance fee is pricey but it’s genuinely worth it. Efteling alone would make me want to return again next summer. It really is that good.

netherlands - best holidays
Efteling Theme Park

Another super experience was the Beekse Bergen Safari Park. We got to drive our hire car through the park. The kids were amazed to see giraffe, zebra and rhinos just rambling past the car. After the drive though we had access to the park for the rest of the day, it’s essentially like a zoo but the animals have much more space. There were obstacle courses and playgrounds dotted everywhere and we even had our lunch over looking the baboon enclosure. Sarah couldn’t quite believe they had their pink bums on show! My one tip if you are visiting the safari park is, bring your own lunch. The fare on offer inside is poor to say the least. If you’re in to deep fried frozen food you’ll be fine but if not a picnic is your best option.

netherlands - best holidays
Beekse Bergen Safari Park

Back in Belgium and just minutes from our house, we stumbled across a local amenity called De Mosten, run by local government. It was out of this world. There was a man made beach, two huge playgrounds, a restaurant, big Connect Four games all over, slides in the water, benches galore, green space, volleyball courts, tennis courts and basketball courts. It was so relaxing. The kids had so much to do they didn’t know what way to turn, and myself and himself got to do a lot of relaxing too.

netherlands - best holidays
De Mosten

In 2013, a Unicef report rated Dutch children the happiest in the world. According to researchers, Dutch kids are ahead of their peers in childhood well-being when compared with 29 of the world’s richest industrialised countries and I can really see why. There’s so much for kids to do. Aidan and Sarah were greeted with a smile and a pat on the head everywhere they went. The locals seem to have the work/life balance down to a tee. People are so friendly and so relaxed. It made for a dream holiday. If I were to pick one negative, I’d say eating out is expensive, the same as Ireland, if not a bit more. But a few drinks are cheap. Leffe, my favourite beer, is only €1 a bottle and wine is dirt cheap too.

I can safely say that I will never again do the package holiday thing with the kids. I just want to explore more of what the Netherlands has to offer. I would highly recommend it as a family holiday destination.

If you’d like to see my full review of our holiday head on over to It’s Just a Phase or feel free to get in touch if you have any queries. I’d be happy to help if I can.

Thank you so much to Ruth for sharing with us her best holiday with her kids so far. I don’t know about you, but after that glowing review the Netherlands has just winged it’s way onto my must-visit list of destinations.

If you’d like to read more from Ruth visit her blog, It’s Just a Phase. You also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

If anyone would like to contribute a guest post about their best and/or worst holidays with their kids to date, please send me an email to bm@battlemum.com.
netherlands best holiday netherlands best holiday