Given that no matter how much we travel, it's always going to be something we don't do all too often - we're bound to make mistakes, do things wrong and generally regret some of the choices we make. I'm no exception, though with each journey we take as a family we learn a thousand new things, there is so much we realise that we haven't quite worked out yet and actually, are still getting massively wrong. Just last month we ventured off to Turkey and I already know a dozen things that I'd do differently if we had our time over, but there's a dozen more that I learnt from our trip last year to Spain. With children especially they're ever changing and always growing meaning that while you can plan every last detail till your hearts content - you can't always predict what will happen and how things will end up.


We've lived here now for long enough to know a little bit about DIY, or so you would think. In truth we probably know about as much as we did when we first moved in and held our first paintbrush - utterly clueless and completely winging it. But that's all the fun of decorating, right? Making mistakes and hoping you learn something along the way. Maybe we're an exception and most people do get it right after one or two shots, but we're still here years down the line trying to get our house exactly how we want it. I thought I'd share with you the tips and some advice I wish I'd knew when we started out all those years ago.


With the summer holidays here for most people (or about to begin for the lucky ones who got an extra week of school) it can be seriously hard keeping everyone entertained 24/7. Whilst it's perfectly acceptable to sit around and do nothing, I could happily do it all day, my boys would not take as much enjoyment from it as I would - they need to be kept busy. Funds are unlimited so not everyday can be a day out and we all have things we have to get done at home too, so I've put together a list of 27 things you can do this summer with your little ones that wont break the bank.


The terrible twos aren't a myth, if you've escaped them then just count yourself lucky though I'm sure the threenager or the what-the-fuck fours will most definitely haunt you instead, it's so rare anyone gets away unscathed by their toddlers. You may even be in the elite category that ends up dealing with all three and if you've found yourself there then I salute you because I am well in truly in the midst of a classic terrible two-er. His name is Patrick and he likes to yo-yo between the loving, cuddly and carefree boy he's always been to then the feisty, temperamental and quite frankly emotionally unstable state he's grown to enjoy showing off. The peak times to relish this aspect of his personality appear to be during public outings, particularly if the setting is a calm or tranquil one OR at bed time - because who doesn't love a meltdown when you should have been asleep an hour ago?


Life has been manic, for the past month everything has been non-stop and just as we're starting to swing back into our normal routine over the next week or so, Noah will break up from school and the holidays will begin, oh the joy! I am excited to have him home, I truly am but I don't feel as though I've had a minute to even blink lately as everything has been so full on. Between holidays, broken cars, school trips, inset and sports days, I've not really known whether we're coming or going and feel like I've got 101 plates being spun at any time. It's mentally exhausting and I'm definitely being a bit of a jack of all trades.


When you're looking to go abroad as a family it's so important that everyone is catered for, from the kids, right the way through from babies to teenagers and then the adults too. You all want to come back feeling like you've enjoyed yourself and actually had a break which is something that isn't entirely easy when you have smalls in your family. Under 5's aren't exactly easy normally, so chucking them into unfamiliar surroundings is always a big risk but if you're like us and enjoy your holidays in the sunshine - then it's one worth taking. My boys need to be busy, they're on the go 24/7 and I worried if they'd be a little restless on our latest trip to the Phoakia Beach Resort in Turkey, thankfully I couldn't have been more wrong as Mark Warner seem to have family holidays down to a tee.


A flight with a toddler is never going to be a walk in the park because let's face it, even a walk in the park isn't always that pleasant with a little one in tow is it? Patrick is no exception, he's wild, independent and the very last thing on his to-do list is to sit still for almost five hours on a flight. Which just so happens to be exactly what we needed him to do a couple of weeks ago and I'll be honest and admit I was nervous, this isn't our first time travelling with our babes on a flight, far from it - Noah is a seasoned flyer. But our wild child is another kettle of fish and I knew it would be a constant battle of wills, which it was. Looking back at both the departing and returning flights, I know what worked and what really didn't and if I can help one person have a slightly smoother journey then my tips will have served well.


As a family we generally try to keep our trips away from home, overnight, minimal. That is unless we're heading off on holiday of course, because in truth it can be really hard when you have small children. When you're used to spreading out across a house and all having your individual space, the thought of being holed up in one small hotel room hasn't hugely appealed to me. But with a flight departing from Manchester I didn't really want to risk driving up the same day as I just knew traffic wouldn't be on our side. We opted for a Travelodge, mainly because I roughly knew what to expect, we'd stayed in them before and my main priority was a good night sleep which I was pretty confident we could get there.


Where oh where do I begin with our Mark Warner break? There is so much to talk about that I'm going to be dividing the posts up over the next few weeks, with this being a general round up of our thoughts on the entire trip. If you're here looking for the in-depth reviews of the childcare, facilities, hotel or food then stick around and hold tight as I want to give them the detail they deserve. So, cast your minds back to March when we were selected to be Mark Warner ambassadors, it was a huge deal for me as we're so passionate about travel and showing our boys as much of the world as we can - we were delighted. Even more so when we realised we'd be headed to the brand new resort in Foca, Turkey, only opening a mere month before we made our trip, I knew it was going to be something special. And that it was.


When I found out that we had been selected as Mark Warner Ambassadors this year, I knew that travel was on the cards, but more importantly, travel with a toddler. Patrick has just turned two and whilst he is fiercely independent, there wasn't a cat in hells chance I would be visiting another continent without a suitable pushchair for him to travel in. As much as I'm sure he'd protest that he doesn't need to sit in one. I researched long and hard on which pushchair would be best, we have a fair number of previous flights under our belt so I had pretty specific expectations in mind for what I wanted, after all if we were in Turkey and suddenly realised that the stroller wasn't working for us, there wouldn't be much we could do about it. You could say my standards were set a little too high, so I was wary nothing would match up.