Why Cottages are the Ideal Holiday Accommodation for Families

If you are planning a family holiday with your children, choosing where to stay is an important part of making sure that your holiday is a stress-free, enjoyable experience for the whole family. Wherever you are visiting, there is likely going to be a choice of accommodation options – whether that be hotels, apartments, holiday houses and cottages or even camping facilities. If you’re traveling with the kids in tow, you’ll want to choose somewhere to stay that is both comfortable and convenient for your needs. I’ve put together some of the top reasons why cottages are the perfect accommodation choice for families. 

Home from Home

One of the biggest reasons that moms and dads are increasingly opting to stay in a holiday cottage such as those offered at various destinations from awaywiththekids.co.uk is that they provide a more ‘home from home’ experience. Rather than simply being limited to a hotel room or a small self-catering apartment, a holiday cottage gives you fully-functioning rooms to utilize, such as a kitchen, dining room, living room, and separate bedrooms. Many holiday cottages are also fully family-friendly and will have a range of features to help make the stay easy and convenient for families with small children. 

More Space

Another great reason to choose a holiday cottage over a hotel room when looking for family holiday accommodation is that you’ll get more space. Even the most well-behaved of children can start to feel a bit cooped up and smothered whilst staying in a hotel room for a week, so parents are increasingly turning to booking a cottage to stay in so that their little ones will have more room to play and have fun. Many holiday cottages both in the UK and abroad will have facilities such as gardens and perhaps even play areas where children can let off some steam. 

Better Deals

Many parents mistakenly believe that holiday cottages are always more expensive than hotel rooms or apartments, but this is not always the case. In fact, there are plenty of great deals on holiday cottages both in the UK and abroad, and you may even end up paying less for your stay than you would had you opted for an alternative form of accommodation. Some holiday cottages are also run by their individual owners rather than large chains and corporations, which can also mean better prices. 

Support Local Communities

Opting for a holiday cottage for your next family holiday will also give you a great opportunity to support the local community in the area which you are staying. Many holiday cottages are owned by local landlords who use the property as a way of income from a small business. Paying local landlords, rather than large hotel companies, can be a great way to support the local economy and businesses. 

If you’re planning a family holiday in the near future, there are many great reasons to choose a holiday cottage over other popular forms of accommodation. Cottages are great for families because they are comfortable and more spacious.

Lullaby Collection and Lyrics

Lullaby and goodnight, right? Lullabies are a great way to soothe your child but did you know that they help with language development and even reading skills?

But do you know the words to those lullabies to be able to sing your baby to sleep? Now you can stop resorting to made-up lyrics and the dreaded hum because I've compiled a list of some of my kids' favorite songs for me to sing to them with lyrics. 

(Note: Not all of these are traditional lullabies, but these are the ones that my little ones have been known to request night after night. Just click through to get to the lyrics.)

Which lullabies do you sing to your little ones? 

Tips For Parents: Helping Kids to Cope With Stress

As a parent, you’re probably familiar with stressful situations. Even getting the kids ready and out of the door each morning can be a trial. But stress is not just an issue that affects adults. Children are also faced with struggles and stresses. If your kids are approaching exam time or you’ve moved house, for example, this can take its toll. Here are some useful tips to help you and them cope.

Identifying the cause

Stress affects us all, and there are hundreds of different triggers. For adults, stress usually arises from work pressures, financial problems, or relationship worries. For children, stress may be caused by tests or finding schoolwork difficult, changes at home, or bullying. Falling out with friends or worrying about keeping up with trends can also trigger anxiety.

If your child seems stressed, try and talk to them and identify the cause. If you know what’s troubling them, you can try and find a solution. Often, there will be a quick fix. In other cases, it may be an ongoing issue, which you may have to monitor. Encourage your child to talk to you. If they won’t, try another member of the family. If you have teenagers who are struggling with their emotions, it may be beneficial to research therapists.

Taking time out

Children are under a lot of pressure today, and they tend to get tired and overwhelmed. If they’ve been studying all hours of the day, or they’ve had deadlines, time out could make all the difference. Sometimes, you need to take a break, clear your head, and have a few hours where you’re not thinking about assignments. If the holidays are approaching, you could consider booking a few days away or taking a vacation. Try and go for something relaxing or a trip they will find really fun. Book an outdoor adventure in Yosemite National Park, or spread your wings and experience a different country. Theme parks are always a winner for children. Check out blackpoolpleasurebeach.com if you fancy exploring the thrills and spills of a UK theme park break.

It’s also essential for kids to take the time to relax and unwind during term time. If they’re revising or they’re behind at school, working all hours could cause them to burn out. Try and encourage time management. This way, they will have time to study, as well as socialize.


Exercise is one of the best natural remedies for stress and anxiety. It causes your body to release happy hormones known as endorphins, and it distracts and clears your mind. You can also get rid of pent up aggression and frustration. Popular exercises for kids include team sports, swimming, and cycling. You’ll find some more suggestions at http://www.parenting.com/gallery/finding-the-right-team-sport-for-your-child.

Stress is an increasingly worrying problem for parents. Children today are under a lot of pressure, and it’s beneficial to understand the causes of stress in kids. Try and talk to your child, and encourage them to use coping mechanisms. Help them manage their time, encourage openness, and make an effort to do fun things together. Get active, embrace the outdoors, and make time for relaxation.

Cleaning Tips to Make Your House Tidy in Minutes Plus a Shark® Rotator® Powered Lift-Away™ Speed Review

With three kiddos running around making messes, my house is never clean for very long. Matt will come home from work, look around, and sigh because he thinks I haven't cleaned at all. 

Our normal mess consists of whatever snack the kids were eating crumbled into the carpet, cereal under the couch cushions, and dirt that's tracked in all over the hardwood floor. I sweep, vacuum, and mop every day but it seems like as soon as I step into the kitchen to start working on supper, these house-destroying elves take over or a tornado comes sweeping through or something - and the house is a disaster again.

To make the daily cleaning ritual a little easier (and not so hard on my back) I've found a few things that work great to tidy up the house before Matt gets home without having to spend all day cleaning.

Clean Less Frequently

I know what you're thinking: this is a post about cleaning tips and I'm telling you to clean less often. There's a method to my madness, though! My mom is one of those people that scrub her floor on her hands and knees every day, and she has her whole cleaning ritual that makes me tired just thinking about it. It just isn't necessary to clean every little thing in your house every day.

What do I do? I break it up. On Mondays and Thursdays, I focus on laundry - specifically, folding the laundry. It's my most daunting task since it seems like there's always a load running, so I let it pile up and take two days out of my week to sit down with my favorite show on and catch up on folding. That way, I'm not having to spend an hour in the laundry room every day, plus I've made it into almost a reward for myself. 

That chocolate stain is definitely NOT from me dropping a Reese's when season 3 had a cliffhanger...

Delegate Chores

We have a "You made the mess, you clean it up" rule around here that is designed to teach the kids responsibility - but it really does help me out, too. When the kids are done playing with a toy, they know to put it away. After a meal, they clean their plates and carry them to the sink. 

We've also been working on giving each child chores that I know they can handle. The ten-year-old helps wash dishes and starts laundry, the five-year-old will take laundry out of the washer and put it in the dryer, and the three-year-old loves to put the silverware away after we finish washing dishes. 

The trick is to make chores less like work and more like "helping mom so she doesn't have a breakdown." Really, though, I've turned housework into part of everyday life so it isn't like being punished. I'm teaching them life skills that they'll need when they leave the nest.

Have the Right Tools

This is probably my best tip of all. When you're cleaning, there's no need to break out extra cleaning tools just to get the job done. My old routine included using a broom, a vacuum, a mop, and a duster. Then, I would have to pull the couches out just to make sure I was able to get all the crumbs out from under there too. By the time I had the house clean, I was exhausted.

I recently had the chance to work with Shark® to review their Rotator® Powered Lift-Away™ Speed and this versatile vacuum definitely makes cleaning a lot easier.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed™ is a versatile vacuum providing uninterrupted floor to ceiling cleaning. Easily clean under furniture, above the floor, and all those other hard to reach places around your home.

  • "Never Loses Suction" Technology
  • Powered Motorized Brush in all Modes
  • Bare floor cleaning with Dust-Away™ Hard Floor Attachment
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology®
  • Rotator Technology With Enhanced Swivel Steering
  • Advanced Swivel Steering
  • LED Lights on Floor Nozzle to Illuminate Work Area
I love that this vacuum can do the work of all of my cleaning tools!

Things I love about the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed:

  • Powerful suction. In comparison to my other vacuum, the Shark is a total powerhouse. I was able to get dirt and dust that I didn't even know was trapped in the carpet, not to mention it picked up the bigger pieces like random Cheetos without breaking and scattering them.
  • Lightweight. The vacuum I reviewed was lighter than my old vacuum, weighing in at about ten pounds. This makes it easier for me to use every day and means the ten-year-old can help me out with the cleaning too.
  • Straight from carpet to hardwood. I love that all I have to do is flip a switch on the handle to go straight from carpet to the hardwood floors. No changing attachments or grabbing the broom; It works just as well on the wood floors as it does the rugs.

What I would like to see improved:

Really, I only have one complaint about the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed vacuum, and that is that the hose doesn't seem nearly long enough. If it was extended by about six inches, this would be the perfect vacuum. I'm short - about 5'2" so if i detach the wand to clean cobwebs or under the beds, the entire vacuum falls over unless it's right beside me. 

Where to find your own Shark® Rotator® Powered Lift-Away Speed™:

Visit Shark's website to compare models and learn more.

What are your favorite ways to cut corners to make your cleaning easier?