Wanderlust – It’s time to warm to winter

It is un-Brrrrr-lievable how quick this year is going, we have chills just thinking about winter (which seems so far away in this hot weather… but winter is coming [ahem Game of Thrones fans]). And yes, winter can be fresh but there’s also so much more to it than just the weather – especially when travelling in South Africa. Now’s a great time to book a winter getaway – after all, the early bird gets the worm.

Think about exploring Cape Town…
A world-famous holiday destination for good reason. When winter arrives, the beaches might be less appealing but there’s still loads to do from amazing shopping to South Africa’s best dining and a host of live events. If that wasn’t enough our properties offer spacious accommodation in which to relax and get cosy – you won’t want to leave! Not to mention, Mount Sierra has an indoor splash pool, perfect for the warmer days when the kids want to play and there’s also great daily entertainment on offer.
CPT.png

Indulge in an aromatherapy full body massage, proven to help with several winter-related conditions, like dry skin, anxiety and insomnia or you can really heat things up with a hot stone treatment – the perfect winter warmer.

It’s no coincidence that winter and wine share the same first letters; farms in Durbanville and Stellenbosch will still be serving wine, so get your blood pumping with a glass or two of red and even better… most restaurants will be offering winter specials 😊. What’s more – you get to skip the summer holiday traffic – so what’s not to like?!

wine.png

Flights are cheaper at this time of year and it’s easier to book fantastic entertainment as most things are less busy. Why not shop to really look the part as you’ll be saving on so much during your winter getaway? Embrace the winter fun with your wardrobe too!

Something else to do – go snow hunting 😊! Some of us have never been in snow before or would like our friends or family to experience it. Book to stay at one of our properties [link] and you never know – you might just get lucky. Even a trip to Cape Town could see you enjoying snow-filled days in the impressive Tulbagh or Ceres scenery! Obviously, there are no guarantees when it comes to the weather, but you have to cast a line to have any chance of catching a fish 😉).

If taking a break in the outdoors is what you’re after
Make your winter “wanderful” with entertaining activities and magical moments wherever you choose to wander 😊. Consider a hot air balloon ride, going to a concert, doing a relaxing road trip to a nearby town or filling your days with laughs by making the most of our amazing outdoor activities and entertainment programmes.

Hot Air Balloon.png

Winter’s also the best time of year to go on game drives at South Africa’s amazing reserves, some of which are just a short drive from our properties on the KZN North Coast. The grass is shorter at the game reserves in winter so it’s easier to see further and there’s usually less water around too, so you know the animals will swamp any waterholes, dams or rivers which makes them easy to find. Plus, those late afternoon sundowners just can’t be beat!

safari.png

Look no further than our properties like Gethlane Lodge (Burgersfort), Qwantani (Sterkfontein Dam), Magalies Park (Hartbeespoort) or Hole in the Wall (Coffee Bay) for a taste of the great outdoors. Drinking a cup of coffee (or something else 😉) watching kids roast marshmallows on the fire is one of the priceless little things that makes winter so special – and this time of year is filled with “wanderful” activities that you can discover, especially at our unique properties 😊. Again, nearby activities will often come at a winter discount and the resorts are just as great as always.

If you haven’t tried them before, Gethlane Lodge is home to wildlife, has an amazing entertainment programme and magical sunsets, and lies just an hour’s drive from natural wonders including the Blyde River Canyon.

At Qwantani spectacular views over the vast dam and onto surrounding mountains are breathtaking in the clear winter weather! There’s also horse riding and great activities like Boma Braais which are perfect for the whole family to keep warm and experience the thrill of the outdoors.
Sunset.png

Magalies Park, less than an hour’s drive from the centre of Pretoria, is another winter “wanderland” thanks to its unbeatable facilities and service. In the superb surroundings, you can play golf, go fishing or have sundowners on a barge cruise! There’s also a spa onsite and loads of other attractions in the area.

For a taste of the sea, visit the unspoiled Wild Coast at Hole in the Wall near Coffee Bay. Here you might just be surprised by warm weather which is just perfect for horse riding or hitting the driving range on the beach, going for hikes and eating seafood at the resort’s famous braais. You’ll be following the sun by having a relaxing winter getaway at Hole in the Wall without even knowing it 😊.

Life’s lekker (amazing) at the sea…
Whale watching is also recommended in winter as is experiencing the world-famous Sardine Run on the KZN South Coast which our Margate properties are perfectly located for!

Did we mention that South Africa’s best waves happen in winter (really) and that’s why all the surfing competitions happen at this time of year 😊?! A great day out could be watching your first surfing competition with snacks or a GNT in hand or why not take some longboarding lessons yourself 😉?
Make your winter sparkle with spoils from Cazabella, the jewellery is perfect for those nights out on the town, going to the theatre or having dinner with someone special 😊.
fmother and daughter.png
Wander into the warmth of a happy, fun-filled holiday this winter – there’s so much to explore and do – and it’s the cheapest time to travel too 😊.

‘Til next time, it’s time to warm to winter!

Advertisements

Planning the perfect romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day…

It’s almost 14 February, the internationally-recognised day of LOVE. If you’ve planned a romantic getaway, even if it’s just to spoil yourself – good on you, you’re doing better than we are! For those of us that have left things a little late – don’t stress – here are some tips to have a memorable Valentine’s Day and how you can celebrate “Valentine’s Day” with the one you love.

coouples.png

Valentine’s Day is all about sharing and celebrating with those you love. It doesn’t have to be a hassle and it definitely shouldn’t break the bank 😊. If you’d like to book into one of our luxury resorts with our amazing First Group Valentine’s specials that include couple’s wellness treatments or magical touches like food platters and sparkling wine in your room – book now!
Here are a few great ideas if you are looking for other ways to ignite the spark this Valentine’s Day…

bed.png

If you’ve booked into one of our cool properties after Valentine’s Day for a Honeymoon for example, make sure you use the VIP room menu! What it is: A service where you can order amazing extras like romantic turndowns, rose petals in your room, sparkling wine and snack platters – basically you’ll live like a King and Queen. The great thing about the VIP room menu is you can order it all year roundfor special occasions. Yes, you read that right! So, here’s our second tip, maybe you can’t get away now, due to a lack of leave or for other reasons, so if you haven’t booked to go away over 14 February (or until our Valentine’s specials end), book now  for some other time this year and have an amazing belated Valentine’s getaway! We’d suggest surprising your partner or family with the booking confirmation over a scrummy pancake breakfast that you’ve cooked up on Valentine’s Day (or over a candlelit dinner the night before if you need some time off from cooking 😉) and it’s up to you if you want the destination to stay a surprise or not 😊. That way you won’t have to make any excuses why you didn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day – you made the effort, in time, and the surprise trip’s just going to happen a little later in the year 😉.

La Montagne Double.png

Other easy ways to make the day special are little outings or meals out. Our properties have great new menus, why not visit on the weekend of 16 and 17 February for a delicious meal with your loved ones? Another great idea is taking the day off on Thursday to go for a road trip somewhere you’ve been dying to visit for ages like a day visit to La Montagne for a pizza at our recently refurbished Italian restaurant if you live in KZN or you could even spend the day doing fun activities nearby (it’s mid-summer in South Africa so maybe cooler activities in the sea, at a river or even relaxing around a resort’s pool 😉).

spa.png

Lastly gifts go a long way – beautiful flowers and chocolates are always well received but what about gifts that your loved one would cherish for years to come or the prezzi of an ultra-relaxing massage (who doesn’t love those 😉?). Share the love with your kiddies, with a membership to the Fred First Club! It’s a great gift because they’d get a hamper of goodies that’s worth more than the membership costs, a FREE milkshake on their birthday at certain properties and they’d also get to enjoy Fred’s amazing entertainment and competitions all year long.

#MakeMagicalMemories this Valentine’s Day one way or another, you and your loved ones deserve them!

Please share whatever you do for Valentine’s Day with us on our social media using the hashtag #FirstForLove.

Til next time,

Happy holidaying – let’s share the love!

New Year’s Resolution – Travel More

With the silly season now over and some great new memories to hold onto, what’s 2019 got in store for us?

We hope you loved the delicious recipes that Chef Sam shared with you in our last blog, we certainly did… SCRUMMY! So, some of your friends and family have probably told you what their New Year’s resolution is for 2019. Maybe its to help out at a charity, empty clutter out of their home, see more of their friends or even eat more greens… Well, this is our suggestion for a great resolution: Travel more!

There’s something magical about visiting your favourite places or exploring new ones and you can do this with your favourite people or alone if you feel like some peace and quiet. You might not have heard this but medical studies have shown that people who travel more live longer… really! Before you say people that travel are the ones with money for medical care or good quality nutrition, these studies compared top earning people, some who chose to work throughout the year and others who took holidays and the people who chose to take a break somewhere cool generally live for 3 years longer! Crazy. It seems that a real break does more good for our health than we knew – and who likes getting sick or burnt-out anyway?!

family beach

Let’s plan for our healthy resolution. Are we going somewhere new or to an old trusty – our home away from home? Now’s the time to book to make it happen otherwise we might procrastinate and we all know that a week turns into a month and before you know it – the year is gone and you didn’t get to do the travelling you’d hoped for.

Travelling really is an investment. Think about it. Memories, rest and great health are all super valuable and lots of the happiest people are backpackers who don’t have loads of possessions or money in the bank. They love meeting new people from different cultures or backgrounds, experiencing new places and getting to know themselves better in all of these environments. If you were getting on in years, would you love to have albums filled with cool holiday pics or a photo of a better car? Will you really think back fondly about all the time spent at home watching TV?

couple

Let’s get this year right with a great holiday or two! Cut back on a couple of things and make those magical memories come to life! Are you going to try for a longer holiday or maybe a long weekend somewhere nearby? Maybe you can even fit in two long weekends away?

South Africa’s known for great weather but probably the best time of year across the country has to be autumn. Its warm and usually not windy, the days are normally filled with blue skies (perfect for outdoor activities and entertainment) and you can also explore with the benefit of less hustle and bustle by going out of peak season (getting better deals when eating out, cheaper accommodation and a whole lot more. For the best deals, you can join Vaczone where members get up to 50% off their main meal at 1000 restaurants across South Africa!!! As trying out local food is such a BIG part of travelling, these massive savings make it easier to travel for longer (and to eat out more 😉. Plus, all that money you didn’t use out of your holiday’s spending allowance can go towards your next amazing getaway – meaning another magical time away will be that much sooner!

white family

Places we love in autumn include Cape Town with less congestion on the roads than in December, it’s easier to get into great restaurants and the famous landmarks are all less busy (plus, the weather is just stunning 😊). Relax on Clifton’s famous beaches, shop at the V&A Waterfront or watch a Kirstenbosch Summer Concert before the end of March.

CT D.png

Next up on our dream list of must-visit places is the Garden Route. If you haven’t been before, this unspoilt stretch of South Africa’s coast is one of the most unique places on earth. Super conveniently located for a great time are Knysna Chalets and Knysna River Club which are within walking distance of great restaurants, the lagoon (of course!) and Knysna’s amazing activities like boat cruises, hiking and so much more.

If Bushveld is what you’re after, we recommend Gethlane Lodge and Waterberry Hill in Mpumalanga 😊. This time we’d suggest going a little later in the year for slightly cooler daytime temperatures, possibly June or August. Have fun watching wild animals, splashing around the pool or dining on some hearty meals. From Waterberry Hill, it’s just a short drive to get into Kruger National Park – another must-visit destination which you could tick off your bucket list, if you haven’t been before, thanks to this New Year’s Resolution 😊 and money you’ve saved through Vaczone.

safari

Make 2019 a year worth looking back on with big smiles thanks to one or two great holidays! Now’s the time to make it happen and it’s all up to you; no one else is gonna do it for you 😉.

Let us know which cool places you are hoping to visit in 2019 and don’t forget, holidays are the best medicine, maybe even better than eating your greens 😉!
‘Til next time,

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Super Festive Holiday Recipes

Before we get started on some scrumptious reading and even more supercalifragilisticexpialidocious recipes, which are just perfect for your upcoming holidays, we’ve got something really exciting to share! This holiday our First Group properties with restaurants are offering amazing entertainment and menus for Christmas Lunch, New Year’s Eve Dinner and Year-End Functions, ideal for making #MagicalMemories!

Take a look: https://bit.ly/2UaJXR6
first group banner.jpg

The festive season has finally arrived 😊 😊 😊.
For those of us that are lucky enough to get leave over the upcoming holidays, that means lots of time spent with family and friends, and loads of tasty food too.

In a BONUS EDITION of our blog, we’ve included professionally crafted recipes from Chef Sam Stone which are perfect for self-catering over the festive season! These recipes only have a few steps and they also don’t require fancy techniques or hard-to-find cooking utensils which means foolproof, delicious food for all of us to enjoy, yay!

If you’ll be having some kiddies around over the festive season, get them involved too. It could ignite their passion for cooking and will definitely save you some elbow grease 😉

Have a look through these Chef Stone recipes and once you’ve tried them all, let us know which one was your favourite! Also, please send us photos of the yummy food on social media – we can’t wait to see!!

Grilled Prawns & Egg Fried Rice
Egg Rice 1

Yield: 2 portions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Queen Prawns – de-veined, leave shell & head on | 16
Garlic Clove – sliced | 2
Fresh Ginger – finely chopped | 20g
Lemon Juice | 30ml
Lemon Zest – finely chopped | of 1 lemon
Butter | 100g
Smoked Paprika | to taste
Basmati Rice – boiled till tender | ½ cup (raw weight)
Egg – beaten | 1
White Onion – finely chopped | 120g
Red Pepper – finely chopped | 100g
Frozen Corn – boiled till tender | 50g
Soya Sauce | 1tbls
Oyster Sauce | 1tbls
Spring Onion – thinly sliced diagonally | 2
Salt | to taste

Technique

  1. Combine, butter, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small sauce pan. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, until butter has infused with aromatics – remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. For the prawns – marinade prawns in lemon garlic butter for 10 – 15 minutes. Place on the grill, basting frequently, only turn once – while continuing to baste with the butter. Remove from the heat once bright pink and meat is still moist and tender.
  3. For the rice – in a medium frying pan, sauté onions in a little butter until translucent – don’t let them caramelize as they will begin to sweeten.
  4. Add red peppers and corn, sauté for a further 5 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn the heat up slightly, add the beaten egg and stir with a fork to break up the coagulated egg. Make sure that there are no large clumps of scrambled egg.
  6. Lastly add cooked rice, soya sauce and oyster sauce – remove from the heat but continue to stir to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Taste and season if necessary – fold in sliced spring onions.

Spoon rice onto serving plates and top with buttery grilled prawns.

*Tip:  Add chopped Italian parsley to left over butter, drizzle over plated prawns to add extra flavor.

Mom’s Savory Muffins
bacon.png

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Self-Raising Flour – sifted | 2cups
Sundried Tomatoes – roughly chopped | 100g
Fresh Rosemary – roughly chopped | 2Tbls
Danish Feta – cut into cubes | 80g
Mature Cheddar – grated | 100g
Wholegrain Mustard | 1tsp
Salt | to taste
Ground Black Pepper | to taste
Melted Butter | 1Tbls
Milk | to form batter
Egg – beaten | 1

Technique

  1. Pre-heat oven to 1800
  2. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sundried tomatoes, feta, rosemary, mustard, salt and pepper – mix well.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, pour in butter, milk and egg.
  4. Mix until all ingredients are well integrated.
  5. Spoon into a greased muffin tray – bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.

*TIp: Alternative flavorings: sautéed spinach, olives, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed courgettes, variety of herbs, sweet corn, pan-fried bacon, ham.

Shellfish Paella
paella.png

Yield: 8 portions
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Queen Prawns – cleaned & de-shelled | 32
Half Shell Mussels – cleaned | 1kg
Baby Squid – cleaned | 500g
Scallops | 500g
Risotto Rice – rinsed | 2cups
Dry White Wine | 400ml
White Onion – finely chopped | 1
Garlic Clove – finely chopped | 2
Red Pepper – finely chopped | 150g
Frozen Peas | 150g
Saffron Threads | 1g
Fish Stock – heated | 1L
Diced Tin Tomatoes | 1tin
Saffron Threads | 1g

Technique

  1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, individually par-cook the prawns, mussels, baby squid and scallops – remove and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add a little butter – over a medium heat sauté onions, peppers and garlic until translucent. Season with a sufficient amount of salt.
  3. Add rice, coat in the butter and continuously stir – add the wine and saffron, simmer until completely absorbed into the rice.
  4. Add the tin of tomatoes, including the juice, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. You can add 1tsp of sugar if you don’t like the tartness of tomatoes.
  5. As the liquid starts to cook away, add one ladle at a time of fish stock – this process is done until the rice is al dente.
  6. Just before the rice has cooked completely, add the frozen peas and par-cooked shellfish – stir continuously to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately into serving bowls, finish off with roughly chopped Italian parsley.

*Tip: Simmer the shellfish shells in the pre-made fish stock to ensure an intense shellfish flavor imparts into your finished dish. This is called a double stock.

Red Velvet Ice Pops
beet popsicle.png

Yield: 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: Over Night

Ingredients

Water | 190ml
Good Quality Dark Chocolate – 70% cocoa, finely chopped | 30g
Cocoa Powder – sifted | 30ml
White Granulated Sugar | 360ml
Egg White – beaten lightly | 1
Plain Cream Cheese – at room temperature | 100g
Buttermilk | 380ml
Good Quality Beetroot Juice – reduced | 60ml (volume once reduced)

Technique

  1. Bring water to a light simmer, add chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar – stir continuously. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down to room temperature.
  2. Add cream cheese, buttermilk, beetroot juice and egg white – blend with a stick bender.
  3. Pass mixture through a fine sieve.
  4. Pour into ice cream popsicle moulds and place in the freezer.
  5. After 4 hours, stick an ice cream stick into the middle of the mixture in each mould.
  6. Freeze overnight.

*Tip: Churn mixture in an ice cream churner for a red velvet ice cream.

Coconut & Cardamom Crunchies
crunchie oats.png

Yield: 24
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Butter – softened | 220g
Bicarb Soda | 90g
Golden Syrup | 2tbls
Rolled Oats | 2cups
Desiccated Coconut | 1cup
Cardamom Seeds – finely crushed | 1tsp
Self-Raising Flour | 1cup
Castor Sugar | 1cup
Vanilla Essence | 1tsp

Technique

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160o
  2. Grease a baking tray with butter or spray and cook, then line with baking paper and grease again.
  3. Melt butter over a low heat in a small saucepan, add bicarb and golden syrup.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre.
  5. Pour melted butter mixture into the well of the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  6. Press crunchie mixture into baking tray ensuring the mixture is even.
  7. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and cut into portions while still warm. Allow to cool slightly before removing portions onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

*Tip: Filling Alternatives: banana & caramel, baked apple & cinnamon, peach & apricot

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs & Corn Bread
rib and corn.png

Yield: 4 portions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

BBQ Pork Ribs

Smoked Pork Ribs | 2 racks
BBQ Sauce | 2cups

Corn Bread

Butter | 250ml
White Sugar | 250ml
Eggs | 4
Cream Style Corn | 1can
Mature Cheddar – grated | 250ml
Cake Flour | 250ml
Polenta | 250ml
Baking Powder | 20ml
Salt | 2.5ml

Technique

  1. For the Ribs – marinade ribs in BBQ sauce for 20 – 30 minutes.
  2. Place in the oven, over a grill or braai, basting occasionally until ribs are cooked through.
  3. For the Bread – Pre-heat oven to 1600
  4. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time until well combined. Mix in cheese and corn until just mixed.
  6. Add sifted flour, polenta, baking powder and salt – fold together.
  7. Pour into bread or cake tin.
  8. Bake for +- 1 hour or until cake skewer comes out clean.

*Tip: Use leftover corn bread for a breakfast alternative, toasted & topped with generous amount of salted butter.

Warm Baked Pancakes
Pancakes.png

Yield: 4 portions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Pancakes | 8

Filling

Fresh Strawberries – cut into quarters | 200g
Blueberries | 120g
Icing Sugar – sifted | 4tbls
Dark Chocolate Spread | 8tsp

Crème Patisserie

Butter | 50g
Full Cream Milk | 600ml
White Granulated Sugar | 150ml
Egg Yolks | 4
Cake Flour – sifted | 75g

Topping

Flaked Almonds | to garnish

Technique

  1. Preheat the oven to 1600
  2. For the pancakes – use 1 tsp of chocolate spread per pancake, use the back of the teaspoon to spread over the one side evenly.
  3. In a mixing bowl, evenly combine berries and icing sugar – divide the mixture and spoon onto the chocolate side of the pancake.
  4. Roll the pancake and place into a greased baking dish – the pancakes must fit snug in the dish.
  5. For the crème patisserie – warm the milk and half the sugar in a medium-sized saucepan.
  6. Beat the egg and the rest of the sugar until light and fluffy using an electric beater.
  7. Add all the flour at once and mix well until lump free.
  8. Slowly pour the milk over the mixture while stirring – return it to the heat on low, until it thickens.
  9. Add the butter when you remove it from the heat, mix until dissolved and well incorporated.
  10. Pour over the pancakes and sprinkle with almond flakes, bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until pancakes have sufficiently warmed through enough to soften the fruit.

*Tip: Filling Alternatives- banana & caramel, baked apple & cinnamon, peach & apricot

Roast Chicken with Chickpea Stuffing
chicken

Yield: 8 portions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken – free-range | 1
Vegetable Oil | 2Tbls

Stuffing

Chickpeas – drained | ½ tin
Garlic Cloves – peeled & roughly chopped | 3 large
Lemon – zested & squeezed | 1 large
Red Onion – chopped finely | 120g
Red Chilli – deseeded & finely chopped | ½
Sage – roughly chopped | 2 Tbls
Rosa Tomatoes – halved | 50g
Extra Virgin Olive Oil | 2Tbls
Salt & Pepper | to taste

Technique

  1. Pre-heat oven to 1800
  2. In a mixing bowl add the chickpeas, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil – mash slightly using a fork until a rustic chunky mixture has formed.
  3. Add garlic, lemon zest, red onion, chilli, sage, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Mix well. The mixture will look a bit dry, however, the chickpeas will soak up the natural juices from the chicken while roasting.
  4. Stuff the chickpea mixture into the cavity of the chicken, secure with toothpicks or trimmed skewers.
  5. Rub chicken skin with vegetable oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Place in a suitable roasting tray and roast the pre-heated oven for approximately 75 – 90 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken.

*Tip: To check that your roast has cooked all the way through without hacking into your chicken, pierce the chicken between the breast and leg using a skewer (near to the bone) – if the juices run clear your roast is ready to remove from the oven.

Savory Anytime Waffles
waffle.png

Yield: 4 waffles
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Cake Flour – sifted | 1cup
Baking powder | 1tsp
Baking Soda | ½ tsp
Egg – beaten | 1
Buttermilk | 1cup
Salted Butter – melted | 30ml
Baby Spinach – shredded, rinsed & dried | 100g
White Sugar | 1tsp
Ground Black Pepper | to taste

Technique

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine buttermilk and butter.
  2. Mix flour, baby spinach, baking powder and baking soda separately.
  3. Add dry mixture into wet mixture – whisk until smooth and lump free.
  4. Pour a third of a cup onto a pre-heated waffle iron for 5 – 6 minutes.

*Tip: Use leftover corn bread for a breakfast alternative, toasted & topped with generous amount of salted butter.

Wow aren’t those recipes amazing!
Happy eating everyone and we hope that you have great holidays wherever you will be. Keep safe and we can’t wait to catch up with you early in the New Year!

P.S. We’re off to cook some crunchies for a festive road trip, see ya later! 😊

Go Big On Budget

Hello, happy travellers. It’s time to talk travel again (and it should never end)! This post is all about getting more for less – doesn’t that sound great? Well, here it goes…

How can we all enjoy great holidays that won’t break the bank?

1Play your cards right 😉
First of all, if you want to get the most out of your budget you need to travel smart! Don’t plan a trip somewhere that’s super expensive when you’re on a tight budget because the two simply don’t go together (as much as we wish they did!). More affordable places like South Africa’s Wild Coast, Mozambique, Poland and Ecuador are where you can find some of the best deals worldwide.

After all, going to a “value-for-money” destination doesn’t mean you won’t have an amazing holiday! Would you rather eat fresh prawns for a whole afternoon in Mozambique or buy an apple or sandwich in a super expensive city for the same price?!

2All-inclusive packages can also be great value so keep an eye out for the latest deals! Another way to get even more for less is to travel out of season. Some of the best weather falls outside of the holidays (yes really!) so you won’t be missing out, PLUS, there’s usually less traffic and tourists, which means better deals when you get there and it’s easier to book for attractions and meals out!

Budgeting up a storm
3 (2).png
Don’t sigh! We’re not talking about budgeting for boring things like servicing your car! This is money you’ll love spending – all we’re suggesting is planning around your holidays a little. Think about how many holidays you want to go on over the next year… Do you want one long trip or a few shorter ones? Once you’ve decided, then you can work out a budget for each trip to help you decide where to go and where your bucks will go furthest so you don’t miss out on anything special 😊.

Save it for when you’re there
4 bk.png
Something a LOT of travellers get wrong is wasting money on transport ☹. You can save by going to places with cheaper flights, by flying indirectly, buying a travel card for once you are there or even packing your walking shoes to skip paying for transport once you’ve arrived. Doing these things could save you thousands before your holiday even starts, giving you more to spend when you’re there 😊.  “I’ll have the seafood pla­tter thank you” 😉.

Delicious discounts
5.png
Another great way to travel for less is to go to places where you’ll get amazing discounts. They could be for things like being retired, being a local citizen or a citizen of a neighbouring country, because it’s out of season, etc. These discounts can be as big as 50% which makes a huge difference, so don’t miss out on this super easy way to save BIG! Also, shop around for specials once you’re on holiday… cheaper excursions or going to happy hour can’t hurt and working your magic to pay what locals pay is the name of the game 😉!

Cash Only
6 bk.png
Stick to a cash-only system – you will be doing yourself a favour! Spending money on your debit or credit card may be a bit easier, but does tend to make you overspend. Keeping cash on you can really help you stick to your budget. Only take the cash you need with you when you go out and make sure that is all you spend – allocate yourself a specific amount for each day and keep that cash on you. You never know – you may even end up saving some money!

Happy travels everyone. Hopefully travelling for less lets you go on even more or even longer holidays than before!

Perfect Places | Priceless Memories

On behalf of all travellers, I think it’s fair to say that we all love the world we live in (or large parts of it at least). Otherwise, we wouldn’t make the effort that we do to have the special travel experiences which we treasure so much. As with many things in life, the things that we could lose forever are normally the ones that we treasure most. Maybe travellers understand this feeling more than most.

Sadly, our world is one of those things – it is changing every day and although a lot of it is for the better – unfortunately, there are some great places that are changing forever for the worse. Before you get sad thinking about this, we hope that this blog shows you that there’s still time to view some of these incredible places before they change forever. Maybe you could even travel to them with your kids, nieces and nephews or grandkids… and if the journey sounds too strenuous or costly, possibly you could talk the next generation into going, so that your family gets to experience the wonder of these great sights before they have changed forever. By doing this you wouldn’t have missed out on some of the best things that planet earth has offered over past millennia. Interestingly, the most famous natural sites that we could think of are dotted all around the globe. This goes to show just how diverse our planet really is and that there are great things to do in every corner of the globe.

Swim in the Great Barrier Reef – Australia
1
We’ve all heard of this beautiful destination and for good reason.  It simply is a huge expanse of incredible sea life that offers unsurpassable snorkelling and scuba diving. Sadly, with the slow but steady rise of ocean levels around the world, large parts of this unbelievable reef are becoming just too deep to sustain the ecosystems as they currently are.

Why not make a once in a lifetime journey to see this wonderful part of the world and you’ll be blown away by how unspoiled it is, how diverse the sea life is and just how large it is – did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is almost 3 times the size of England?! The memories and photos from your trip there will last forever. The stories of your trip that you share with younger generations will inspire them to appreciate nature, and particularly the ocean, as much as you do… teaching them to understand just how amazing parts of it can be.

Our Package For You:
4 nights from R18 100 per person sharing

Valid 01 Feb – 31 March 2019
Subject to availability and currency fluctuations.

Included in your holiday:

  • Return airfare from Johannesburg to Cairns
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in Cairns
  • Cruise from Cairns to a luxury 3 level pontoon on the Outer Reef and enjoy a truly relaxing day in sumptuous surroundings.
  • Estimated Airport taxes

For more information, call 087 808 2000 or click here.

Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
2.png
Disclaimer 😉 this isn’t for everyone as climbing the extinct volcano which is called Mt. Kilimanjaro requires at least a moderate level of fitness. Why we’ve included it on this list is because even if we aren’t all fit enough to get to the top, we all know someone who is! 😊

It’s worth visiting Mt. Kilimanjaro now because the glacier found on top of it is slowly shrinking with each passing summer and it will probably be gone completely in the next century. Views from the top of this African landmark will always be awe-inspiring but part of the mountain’s magic has always been its snow and ice which climbers are welcomed by when they reach its highest sections. Let’s hold onto that part of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s history by getting someone to experience it who will, without doubt, remember being on top of a surprisingly cool Africa forever.

Our Package For You:
5 nights from R10 100 per person sharing

Valid 01 March – 20 April 2019
Subject to availability and currency fluctuations.

Included in your holiday:

  • Return airfare from Johannesburg
  • 5 nights’ accommodation in Arusha
  • Daily breakfast
  • Estimated Airport taxes

For more information, call 087 808 2000 or click here.

See Rhinos – South Africa
3.png
Many of us love animals. Their traits and habits, the way they might perceive the world or maybe even the way that they are so distanced from the hustle and bustle of modern life makes many people fascinated by them, especially the rare and unique ones which often pose no threat to us at all. Well, if there was an animal that was the poster child of the prehistoric era it surely would have to be the rhino. This mighty mammal has evolved over millions of years (it once was 5 metres tall and during the last Ice Age rhinos had a thick fur coat!) and thanks to conservation we can still enjoy watching the latest version today! HluhluweImfolozi Park in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the world’s second oldest game reserve, is one of the best places to view both black and white rhinos – sightings of white rhinos are even common there!

To see the rarest rhino of them all, travel to Indonesia to see the Javan rhino. Sadly, there are less than 80 specimens of this incredibly rare mammal left on earth but there is still time for them to be enjoyed. Whether you are in the mood for the beach or the bush, maybe it’s time to see a rhino first-hand?

Our Package For You:
2 nights from R5 950 per person sharing

Valid 16 January – 20 April 2019
Subject to availability and currency fluctuations.

Included in your holiday:

  • Return airfare from Lanseria to Durban
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in Durban
  • Daily breakfast
  • Return airport transfers
  • Full Day Hluhluwe Game Reserve Tour

For more information, call 087 808 2000 or click here.

Hike through the Amazon Rainforest – Brazil
4.png
Nature lovers will love the thought of hiking through the seemingly endless rainforest in Brazil which is known as the Amazon. Although the forest will always be there, many of the largest trees are being removed for timber and some sections of the world-famous forest are being cleared for cattle farming ☹ Today the Amazon rainforest is roughly half the size of Europe! Imagine the mind-blowing species of birds, mammals and insects that can be found in a forest that large.

Why not go on a once in a life time trip to see mother nature in her full glory? Surely there is no place on earth where the air would be fresher 😉

Our Package For You:
5 nights from R16 100 per person sharing

Valid 01 Mach – 23 April 2019
Subject to availability and currency fluctuations.

Included in your holiday:

  • Return airfare from Johannesburg
  • 5 nights’ accommodation in Manaus
  • Daily breakfast
  • Meeting of the Waters with Lunch take in amazing views of the Amazon River
  • Estimated Airport taxes

For more information, call 087 808 2000 or click here.

Walk on the Ilulissat Glacier – Greenland
5.png
For those of us that are scared of spiders and snakes, a trip to Greenland might be more appealing! This pristine part of the world is known for unbelievable natural sights like hot springs, beautiful mammals and glaciers. Although Greenland gets very snowy most winters – unfortunately, snow is becoming harder to find in summer than ever before. Some people expect that summers in Greenland will become ice-free by 2050 ☹

Well, there’s still time to walk through this fresh, pristine country to take in its beautiful icy scenery. One of the highlights of a trip to Greenland would be to walk on its most famous glacier, the Ilulissat glacier. This glacier is so remarkable it has even earned UNESCO World Heritage status! So, are you in the mood for some fresh air and fun spent walking through the snow or over thick, slowly moving ice? Well now is the time.

Our Package For You:
5 nights from R23 600 per person sharing

Valid 12 February – 12 April 2019
Subject to availability and currency fluctuations.

Included in your holiday:

  • Return airfare from Johannesburg
  • 5 nights’ accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Daily breakfast
  • Inside the Glacier – the Ice Cave

For more information, call 087 808 2000 or click here.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed some of these ideas on how we can enjoy the planet that we live on as much as possible. Maybe some of you will add one of these trips to your bucket list and we hope that it turns out to be one of the best times of your life.

Have fun on your travels, there still are so many amazing places to visit – let’s make the most of it 😊

The Last Straw – Be the difference

We all love our planet. With this in mind, we at Off Beat Holiday Club have been doing all we can to make a difference. From recycling to sourcing water locally or even onsite, hiring locally and even using renewable energy at some of our properties, we’ve been making a difference! Look out for our biggest initiative to date – the #TheLastStraw campaign.  Most of our properties are only providing plastic straws on request while we source alternatives in a war against plastic while we champion this initiative and raise awareness about pollution, recycling and alternatives. This has already made a major impact!

turtle.png

Following our lead, are you ready to be the change you wish to see in the world? Not just at home but when you travel too (as we know you love to travel?!)

Getting away from the rush of everyday life (for most of us) and just taking some time for yourself is amazing. It’s time you will cherish, whether you’re with family, friends or are travelling alone. On top of having a great time, why not travel in a way that also makes the world a better place?

When it comes to travelling these days, almost everyone thinks about their impact on the world – which is super important! But how many of us also act responsibly, to do our bit which adds up?! We’ve come up with a few handy, convenient ways that you can be a more responsible traveller to join us in making a difference just like our #TheLastStraw initiative. Be the change!!!

First of all, what is a responsible traveller? It’s someone who travels in a sustainable way that benefits the country or area they’re visiting. To do this take note of the impact you’ll have and actively work towards travelling in a way that has the best possible impact. This includes wildlife, the environment, pollution, the local people and the economy, and your carbon footprint. Take a look at our helpful tips on being a more responsible traveller:

Start at home
Home Off
Yes, you can even make a difference before you leave for your trip!

  • Empty your fridge – a lot of our properties are self-catering, so don’t buy more new food at your destination than you need to! If you’re travelling by car, rather pack a coolbox and take everything with you. Now you can plan some of your meals ahead of time with what you have in the fridge. An added bonus, your fridge will use less power while you’re away and you won’t waste food. Maybe even turn it off to defrost, saving power and getting that chore out of the way 😉
  • Turn off your water & geyser – It’s a waste to leave your water on if no one is home because you might have slow leaks that you never notice. Also, why not give your geyser a break, saving you electricity in the process! Plus, if there are plumbing problems in your area while you’re away (like a major leak), an off geyser is less likely to get damaged than one that is running.
  • Unplug any appliances that don’t need to be on – Like your TV, decoder, oven, hairdryer/straightener, washing machine, lamps and anything else you can think of. Some appliances use up to 30% of their full consumption when left on standby! You can save loads of power by unplugging them.

Pick the right holiday destination
Many of our properties have initiatives to create a better environment for everyone – whether it’s through recycling, using boreholes to save water or even donating to local charities like children’s homes. Before you book your stay, find out what the resort does to be socially responsible. If every traveller did this, holiday destinations would be forced to do more good 😊

Support local
Support Local
Yes, we said it! You may be in the habit of buying products from brands you trust but going on holiday is all about experiencing everything that’s local or different – isn’t it? Supporting the local community has such a positive impact on the area you’re in, such as community well-being, creating jobs and increasing wages, entrepreneurship, and even environmental sustainability. So next time, think before you buy that Big Mac – and try something local! 😉

Educate yourself
Being a responsible traveller isn’t only about saving water and electricity! By learning about the cultures you will be coming across, you can be respectful of the locals to have a better social impact. Before you leave for your holiday, learn about any other culture you might be coming across, the food, acceptable clothing and the rules and values of the people you are visiting. Obviously, you can’t learn everything but knowing a little will help when choosing where to eat, shop, how to greet the locals, and even what to wear. You’ll also find out some great tips during your research on what’s worth doing which will make your trip even better 😊

Another thing – when taking photos of the locals, ask permission first. It’s the right thing to do and they might even pose for you. This will also help start conversations, giving you even more great memories to take home!

Keep it up at home
Recycle home 2After your holiday, you can even find out more about what you can do to protect the environment and people of the area you’ve just visited. Even if you can’t afford to donate money, make a difference by spreading the word about the initiatives you’ve learnt about. Spreading the word is half of the work!

Leave only footprints
When you travel, look after the environment like you’re at home – after all, this world is our home! Don’t litter, say no to plastic, recycle everything you can, and keep your waste to a minimum. Also, use a reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water. Plastic is killing our oceans and causing cancer.

Another way you can avoid leaving a carbon footprint is by using public transport or walking to areas that are close by. Use an electric car if you’re going to be driving around, they’re getting better and better.

We hope this blog helps you to make a difference when travelling. If you have any ideas that we’ve left out, please share them in the comments!

Travel safely and we look forward to planning many memorable holidays with you.

Eat like the locals

Travelling’s all about treating your senses! Seeing amazing things that you don’t get at home, smelling the sea or mountain air or maybe a forest you’re busy exploring, and feeling the warm sun on your skin.

Well, a trip around South Africa’s most unique destinations isn’t complete without “eating local.” This lets you eat fresh, seasonal produce that the region specialises in! You can also try out recipes which the area is famous for (that just aren’t as good at home – just saying 😉). It would be a huge shame not to experience the “taste of a place” by eating what you normally have at home, don’t you think? A change really is as good as a holiday – so we’ve done a little research of our own on some fab holiday eating for you – let us know what you think…

Western Cape

Undeniably South Africa’s food capital (normally boasting 8 or 9 of the country’s top 10 restaurants!!!) there’s too much to choose between when it comes to dining in the Western Cape. Whether you’re going to Cape Town, somewhere along the West or South Coast or you’re travelling to the Winelands – great food awaits!

  • Fresh Seafood – Don’t miss the fresh snoek, hake, tuna and even swordfish that are brought into places like Hout Bay on a daily basis. Buy straight from the fishermen or try out Fish on the Rocks.
  • Karoo Lamb – One of the world’s greatest lamb producing areas, the Karoo, lies only a couple hour’s drive from the Mother City. Why not braai some ultra-tender loin chops at one of our properties? We can recommend Son of a Butcher for fresh lamb – look them up!
  • Delicious Fruit – A foodie’s favourite in the Western Cape is strawberry picking. Choose just the biggest and best strawberries to eat fresh, put in drinks or make amazing desserts and sauces with, while you walk around the amazing scenery! The best time to go is between September and January and you can always have a glass of chilled white wine to cool down afterwards 😊. Other great local fruits to enjoy are the Western Cape’s apples, guavas and of course grapes. Sound tasty?!

Mpumalanga

Whether you’re staying at Gethlane Game Lodge or Waterberry Hill, there’s so much to look forward to around the Lowveld when it comes to tasty food!

  • World’s Best Clementines – Drive around farming areas in Mpumalanga, like Hazyview, and you’ll be wowed by sprawling banana, orange and nut plantations… but the fruit that takes the cake – their clementines. As big as a large grapefruit, sweet and juicy, you just can’t eat enough of these when you’re in the Lowveld!
  • Pancakes – Places like Harrie’s Pancakes in Graskop serve THE perfect pancake. You can choose between tasty and creative fillings like “cinnamon sugar and apple raisin pie,” “cinnamon sugar and milk tart custard” or even “tomato lamb bredie with basil pesto.” Yum!
  • Biltong – All corners of South Africa will claim to make the best biltong and we have to agree that you can get great biltong everywhere! If you stay at Qwantani or Midlands Saddle & Trout, however, or you’re driving through Volksrust for any reason, make a trip to the Snowy Biltong Shop to try incredible smoked droëwors, thin and crunchy chilli-bites and skinless droëwors. They also have some of the best homemade rusks, koeksisters and melktart in the country!

KwaZulu-Natal

With so many cultures in KZN, there’s definitely something for everyone when it comes to cuisine. Have a look at these dishes worth trying from the berg to the beach…

  • Fresh Drakensberg Trout – Healthy and delicious, nothing beats a trout freshly caught from a clear mountain stream! This dish has been popular in England for centuries and the British settlers who introduced trout into KZN’s rivers definitely were onto something great!
  • Dombolo – In the Zulu culture these delicious dumplings are eaten often, and if you haven’t had them before, now’s the time. They go perfectly with hearty stews, ideal for this time of year!
  • Bunny Chow – Also sure to keep you warm is the famous (and infamous) bunny chow which can be found on most streets in Durban! There’s a wide range of fillings to choose between and you can go from mild, like a butter chicken curry, to extra hot, depending on how much spice you can handle.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this culinary trip around some of South Africa. Please tag us on photos of you trying new foods on your next holiday!

Also, look out for our next food blog (bonus edition) later this year – it’ll include recipes from our Group’s head chef 😊.

Until next time, always eat as the locals do!!!

Kiddies Paradise

If you’re after a mind-blowing family holiday or you want to go somewhere your children (or the children of people you usually travel with) will be kept very busy, then this blog definitely is for you! We’ve searched far and wide to find some of the most kid-friendly resorts in South Africa and the United Kingdom which are so great that everyone will have a magical time. In South Africa’s winter, you’ll be spoilt with sunny days, and in the United Kingdom’s summer too! So, get ready to rediscover your inner child in great sunny weather!

These resorts are very child-friendly and they have loads of kiddies activities on offer to keep the little ones busy all day long – so you can relax unless you are having too much fun by joining in yourself! An added bonus is that the kiddies will also be ready (and keen) for bed at the end of the day after running around so much – giving you a break from babysitting if that’s something you do often. So… here’s our list of places that are great for family fun at any time of the year.

Brockwood Hall – Whicham Valley, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Brockwood.png
Summer in Cumbria is magical. Think warm sunny days, great forests for exploring, picturesque lakes for paddling on and a whole load of kiddies having incredible holidays in these special surroundings! 😊 Brockwood Hall really is one of the best places to go in Cumbria thanks to its ultra-comfortable accommodation with so much for kiddies to do. Staying in your own private lodge (some even have private hot tubs/Jacuzzis) in this amazing countryside setting, kids can swim in the heated indoor pool, run around the playground, hire bicycles, go on a lake cruise, horse riding or even ziplining! What more could you ask for in such a beautiful valley?!

Magalies Park – Hartbeespoort, North West
Magalies.png
Head to beautiful Hartbeespoort in their super sunny winter to discover one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets – Magalies Park. Here, lucky guests get to enjoy the resort’s wonderful splash zone, heated swimming pools, Jacuzzis, amazing staff and take part in canoeing or go on fun barge cruises along the river. If that wasn’t enough there’s also adventure golf, a trampoline, paintball, tennis, great daily entertainment in the amazing Fred First Kid’s Club and much more (PHEW, we need to take a breath!!). Plus, all of this takes place on a lush golfing and nature estate which has great views of nearby mountains and the impressive river – heaven on earth!

Gethlane Lodge – Burgersfort, Mpumalanga
Gethlane
If going to the Bushveld is your thing, get over to Gethlane Lodge to enjoy their amazing game farm and resort which is one of the best children’s attractions in South Africa 😊 In this warm part of the world, kiddies get to enjoy long, sunny days spent floating around any of their many swimming pools or going down the water slides! Other great activities are game walks (you see more game in winter because the grass is shorter and leaves have fallen off the trees), relaxing in a Jacuzzi, having fun family times in their boma or in the amazing games room, and the list goes on. Most of all there is unmissable daily entertainment which will keep the whole family amused for hours. We think this resort is great because it allows you to get away from the city AND kids don’t have to miss out on having fun.

Bushman’s Nek Berg & Trout Resort – Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal
Bushmans.png
There’s something special for little kiddies about running around in the mountains. Maybe it’s the fresh air, relaxing atmosphere and big spaces that gets them going or it could be the unique things that they can only enjoy when they are there that gets them excited. Well, Bushman’s Nek Berg & Trout Resort offers so much for kids to do (all in the beautiful Southern Drakensberg surroundings) including horse riding, swimming in a rock-hewn pool, taking part in quizzes and competitions, trout fishing and more! This resort must be one of the most peaceful places for adults to unwind too 😉

Midlands Saddle & Trout – Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal
midlands.png
As its name goes, Midlands Saddle & Trout is more than amazing for horse riding and trout fishing 😊 The resort, tucked away in the beautiful Midlands surroundings, has magical rides on offer for guests of any ability. These go from a slow stroll around the peaceful resort to a long outride across the countryside! There’s also so much more for the little ones to enjoy, like adventure golf, a games room, the animal farm, tractor rides and we could go on and on! Great farm stalls, boutique shops, game farms and restaurants nearby also give the kiddies an endless selection of fun things to do – which they will love 😉

La Côte d’Azur – Margate, KwaZulu-Natal
La Cote.png
Maybe the most popular family holiday of all is a trip to the beach and La Côte d’Azur is one of the best destinations in South Africa, especially for children. It has stunning sea views, games that kids can play on the Blue Flag beach in front of the resort, an entertainment programme that seems to never end, a beautiful heated swimming pool and loads more! What’s also great about staying at La Côte d’Azur is that the nearby attractions are amazing at all times of the year. The Lake Eland Game Reserve, for example, can’t be missed (it has the longest zipline tour in Africa and a coffee shop with unbeatable views 😊). Spend some restful days lounging around the resort’s pool while you watch a throng of happy kiddies swamping the great entertainment team – just the way holidays should be 😉

We hope you try out some of these great resorts where you can enjoy a balance between fun and relaxing. After all, happy kiddies make for happy parents and grandparents – so going to these family-friendly destinations is a win-win for everyone!

Have enjoyable travels and please remember to share your holiday photos or stories with us on social media – seeing them is the highlight of our work week, every week!

Weird but wonderful things to pack

Hi Happy Travellers,

As you know, travelling is a journey… Not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along.

Travelling’s about taking the scenic route, it’s about the adventures of getting to your destination and it’s also about just being yourself once you’re there. Travel is about the amazing things that you can do once you arrive at your accommodation too, like days spent on beautiful beaches nearby, or hikes through cool forests that you’ve never seen before, having picnics at wonderful new places, seeing the sights that you’ve always wanted to, all because you decided to leave home to feel (and be) more yourself than ever before!

To help you on this fun journey, we’ve put together a list of 5 weird but wonderful things to pack so you don’t have that experience… “Just wish I had just packed X, Y and Z for this trip. They would have made things so much better – why didn’t I” which could really dampen your holiday.

Off & Rainbow Main Image.png

Of course, part of going on holiday is about getting away from your normal routine which also means you can’t have all your favourite things with you. But “making a plan” to use what you have is fun, it’s what travelling’s all about – to make the most of everything you have with you at the amazing places you travel to. That’s part of the magic of going on holiday, it makes us appreciate the little (but very special) things that we do have so much more.

So, here’s 5 strange or unusual things worth packing that could come in handy for your drive or flight, at your accommodation or on daily outings from there 😊 We’ve made sure these things are small so you can still travel light (we would never want to take that away from you 😉). Hopefully, some of these items will save the day, even if it’s in an unexpected make-a-plan kind of way!

Earplugs
earplugs other
Some of us use these every night to get to sleep more easily but for the rest of us…
Earplugs are a great thing to take with on your holidays! You can use them while travelling (to sleep, if someone is snoring loudly on your plane, if it’s too noisy or even if you don’t like the music that someone else is playing in the car 😉. They can also help if there’s a noisy lawnmower nearby, while you’re trying to read! They’re also great to stop water from going in your ears when swimming, whether it’s at the pool, in a river you’ve hiked to or in the waves.

Adaptors
Adaptors
Maybe you always take an adaptor with you on holiday but most people don’t! This isn’t just for at your accommodation – do you know there are car chargers that can charge 2 or more phones or other devices at once?! So, you don’t need to swap one charger between different phones, your GPS or even your camera while driving because, with the right adaptors, you can charge them all at once! 😊 After all, you can never have enough plug points – especially on holiday!

Antihistamine
SNEEZING OFF RAIN.png
This tip is for people who don’t have allergies and don’t normally travel with antihistamine! When you travel, you come across new plants and animals which could make you feel stuffy or have an allergic reaction, even if it’s never happened before. Another time that antihistamine can literally be a lifesaver, is when eating seafood. Some fish, when they grow older, start to build up histamine, and it’s common for people (who aren’t normally allergic to seafood) to have a strong allergic reaction to just that piece of fish! P.S. Google it if you don’t believe us 😉!

Bin bags or a laundry bag
Bags.png
Again, maybe you do travel with these, but not everyone does! They’re great for collecting things like seashells or pinecones which you can use to decorate your home with when you get back. Bin bags are also great if it rains as a lightweight poncho – especially for camping, picnicking or if you’re at an outdoor concert. You can also use bin bags or a laundry bag to keep your dirty and clean clothes apart which helps on holiday and when you get home too!

Clothes Pegs
PEGS.png
In true make-a-plan fashion, these aren’t just for doing your laundry! Clothes pegs come in handy for loads of things like closing packets or bags, hanging up a cloth or towel to block light or stop the wind, hanging up art that a kiddie has just drawn on holiday (to make your accommodation feel even more like home), to use as a bookmark and we could go on and on…

Well, we hope these ideas help you to have even more comfortable and enjoyable travels in future! We wish you happy packing and even happier times on your next holiday!

Don’t forget, it’s all about the journey. Bye ‘til next time.