10 Best Cities To Visit In Europe For Couples

Europe boasts an array of enchanting cities that promise unforgettable experiences for couples. From the romantic streets of Paris, where the iconic Eiffel Tower stands tall, to the historical charm of London with its Tower of London, these cities create an ideal backdrop for love and adventure. Venice's dreamy canals and Santorini's stunning sunsets add a touch of magic, while Prague's fairytale castles and Barcelona's vibrant culture provide diverse romantic getaways. Vienna's elegance, Bruges' quaintness, Florence's artistry, and Budapest's history offer something unique for every couple. Europe's best cities guarantee cherished moments and a journey filled with love and romance.

1. Paris


There is no city more synonymous with romance than Paris, the "City of Love." The French capital exudes an aura of elegance, charm, and sophistication that captivates couples from around the world. The iconic Eiffel Tower stands tall against the Parisian skyline, providing the perfect backdrop for romantic strolls along the Seine River or cosy picnics in lush parks like the Jardin des Tuileries. Couples can share intimate moments at world-class restaurants, savouring delectable cuisine and fine wine. Art lovers can immerse themselves in the Louvre, exploring the artistic treasures of the world, including the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa. Paris promises an enchanting experience, making it a top choice for couples

2. London

London is undeniably one of the best cities to visit in Europe for couples. The city's perfect blend of history, culture, and modernity creates an enchanting atmosphere for romantic getaways. Couples can explore iconic landmarks like the Tower of London, where centuries of history unfold. Take a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park or along the River Thames and stop for a romantic dinner at one of the city's charming restaurants. With its world-class museums, vibrant neighbourhoods, and endless entertainment options, London offers an unforgettable experience that will leave couples with cherished memories to last a lifetime.

3. Venice

Venice, the floating city of Italy, is a magical destination that seems plucked straight from a fairy tale. The intricate network of canals, adorned with charming gondolas, creates an unparalleled romantic atmosphere. Couples can wander hand-in-hand through narrow, cobblestone streets, discovering hidden squares and quaint cafes. Witnessing the sunset over the Grand Canal is a breathtaking experience, evoking feelings of love and wonder. The city's architectural marvels, such as the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica, add to its allure. Venice is a city where love takes centre stage, making it a haven for couples seeking a dreamy and unforgettable escape.

4. Santorini

Nestled in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is a picturesque Greek island renowned for its stunning sunsets and breathtaking views. The pristine white-washed buildings perched on cliffs overlooking the azure waters create a mesmerizing backdrop for romance. Couples can explore charming villages like Oia, known for its narrow streets and blue-domed churches. Whether it's eating delectable Mediterranean cuisine or taking a private cruise around the island, Santorini provides an unparalleled experience for couples in search of paradise.

5. Prague


Prague, often referred to as the "City of a Hundred Spires," exudes an old-world charm that is nothing short of enchanting. The city's majestic castles, including the iconic Prague Castle, dominate the skyline, adding a touch of fairy tale magic to the ambience. Couples can stroll across the picturesque Charles Bridge, lined with baroque statues, as they enjoy the breathtaking views of the Vltava River. Exploring the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, couples will find hidden gems like cosy cafes and charming art galleries. Prague's romantic setting makes it an ideal destination for couples seeking a fairytale-like experience.

6. Barcelona

Barcelona is a vibrant city that effortlessly blends culture, history, and romance. The enchanting architecture of Antoni Gaudí, including the awe-inspiring Sagrada Família, leaves visitors in awe. Couples can spend leisurely days at the picturesque Barceloneta Beach or enjoy a romantic walk through the whimsical Park Güell. The city's bustling markets, such as La Boqueria, offer an opportunity for couples to explore local delicacies and fresh produce together. Barcelona's lively atmosphere and passionate spirit make it an unforgettable destination for couples.

7. Vienna

Vienna, the imperial capital of Austria, is a city that emanates elegance and sophistication. The opulent palaces, including the Schönbrunn Palace, transport visitors back to the grandeur of the Habsburg dynasty. Couples can enjoy a romantic evening waltzing to classical music in a historic ballroom or revel in the beauty of the Belvedere Gardens. Vienna's charming coffee houses provide an intimate setting for couples to enjoy traditional pastries and Viennese coffee. The city's rich cultural heritage and timeless beauty create an atmosphere that is perfect for couples in search of a refined and romantic experience.

8. Bruges

Bruges, often referred to as the "Venice of the North," is a quaint Belgian city that exudes charm at every turn. Its medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and peaceful canals create a delightful setting for couples. The Markt Square, surrounded by historic buildings and cafes, is a hub of activity. Couples can take a romantic boat ride along the canals or indulge in delectable Belgian chocolates as they explore this enchanting city. Bruges offers a tranquil and intimate retreat for couples seeking a romantic escape.

9. Florence

Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is a city of art, history, and romance. Couples can marvel at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Botticelli at the Uffizi Gallery or bask in the beauty of the Florence Cathedral's iconic dome. Strolling through the charming streets, hand-in-hand, couples can immerse themselves in the city's artistic heritage and indulge in traditional Tuscan cuisine. Florence's intimate ambience and artistic treasures make it an ideal destination for couples seeking a romantic journey through history.

10. Budapest


Budapest, often divided by the Danube River into Buda and Pest, is a city that offers a perfect blend of history and romance. The city's thermal baths, such as the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, provide a relaxing and intimate experience for couples. The Hungarian Parliament Building, with its stunning architecture, creates a mesmerizing sight when illuminated at night. Couples can enjoy a romantic cruise along the Danube River, taking in the city's iconic landmarks from the water. Budapest's dual charm and vibrant atmosphere make it a captivating destination for couples seeking a tale of two cities.

Bonus Bucharest 


Bucharest, Romania's vibrant capital, is a city where history and modernity blend to create an alluring and eclectic destination for couples. Often referred to as the "Little Paris of the East," you'll discover elegant boulevards and Belle Époque architecture that evoke a romantic charm. The most popular things to do in Bucharest for couples include visiting the opulent Palace of the Parliament, strolling the lush Cismigiu Gardens, or enjoying a boat ride on Herastrau Lake. The city's rich cultural scene is exemplified in its museums and theatres. At the same time, the historic Old Town offers intimate dining experiences with Romanian cuisine - or a nightlife experience like no other in Europe. Bucharest's fusion of culture, history, and lively urban energy makes it a captivating stop for couples seeking a unique and romantic European getaway.

Let me know, what's your favourite city to visit in Europe?

*Collaborative post

JamDoughnut The Cashback App That Saves You Money

This post is in collaboration with JamDoughnut but all the words and opinions are my own. If you use my affiliate code QHKQ when you sign up you get an extra £2 of points and I get a very small commission, at no cost to you.

Money is tight for many of us at the moment, but there is a simple way of earning as you spend, by downloading and using the app JamDoughnut. Let me explain how this works.

JamDoughnut is a cashback app that saves you money. The app allows you to buy gift vouchers from your favourite retailers. The gift voucher is stored on your phone or you can print it out. Also, every time you buy through the app it gives you points that convert to cashback. 

Jam Doughnut

It is currently the highest-rated cashback app on Trust Pilot and best of all it's free to use. That means you have nothing to lose!

Now I've used online apps in the past for cashback. Over the years I have saved thousands with shopping apps and travel apps that save you money when you buy from them, however, JamDoughnut is new to me so I was excited to see how it works. 

A Simple Guide To Using The App

  • Firstly download the JamDoughnut app and set up your account. 
  • Important! Use the code QHKQ when you sign up to receive an extra £2 of points with your first purchase. 
  • Browse for your favourite retailers. 
  • When you are ready, purchase a gift voucher for the value that you want on the app. You can use Google Pay, Apple Pay or bank transfer. Bank transfer has a better points rate and is quick if you have online banking. 
  • You will immediately receive points on the app that converts to pounds. It's as easy as that.


Your wallet will show your active prepay codes (your gift vouchers) and the points you've received that you convert to cashback are also shown.


Each company do a slightly different rate but it equates to 3% back on average. However, they also offer 'pumped up' which means increased cashback on a variety of promotions throughout the year, so it's always good to check the pp on a regular basis.

pumped up

pumped up offer

To make it clearer 1000 points means £10 cashback. Once you reach that amount you can withdraw the money to your bank account. This happens within the same working day too.

Which Brands Are Included?


There is a wide selection of brands on JamDoughnut, over 150, so you will be spoilt for choice.  Categories include Travel and Holiday, Eating Out, Events and Entertainment, Beauty, Home and Garden and Supermarkets.

Here are some of the brands below.

  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • Iceland
  • Tesco
  • Morrisons
  • M & S
  • Sainsbury's
  • John Lewis
  • Argos
  • Currys
  • Primark
  • Ikea
  • The Body Shop
  • Butlins
  • Airbnb
  • National Express
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Harvester
  • Costa
  • Cafe Rouge
  • Miller & Carter Steakhouse
  • Nandos
  • Pizza Hut
  • Cineworld

... and more



JamDoughnut is an easy-to-use cashback app which is worth downloading. Where I think the app excels is in the choice of brands, especially supermarkets. Almost all of us shop at mainstream supermarkets on a regular basis for our grocery shopping and many cashback apps do not have supermarkets included. Well, JamDoughnut does, so it's easy to buy a gift voucher, (like I did for Aldi) and then use it on your grocery shopping within minutes.

I think cashback will also accrue quickly on big-ticket spending like holidays. If you want to book a stay with Airbnb or a cruise with Royal Caribbean for example, you can see the cashback points will add up quickly. 

If you eat out regularly in chain restaurants, it is also worth downloading.

The expiry dates seem long too. The voucher I downloaded for Aldi had an expiry date of 5 years which is great. This would be particularly useful if you like to put gift vouchers aside for an event like Christmas. I don't know if all brands involved have such a long expiry date, so be sure to check so you use the vouchers before expiry. 

Don't Forget

If you use my affiliate code QHKQ when you sign up to JamDoughnut you get an extra £2 of points on their first purchase 

So let me know if you download the JamDoughnut app and what you think of it! I'm off to do some more shopping so see you in the next blog post!


Why Should You See An Ice Hockey Match In America?

Ice hockey is one of the most exciting sports to watch live. With its fast pace, high energy, and intense atmosphere, it offers a spectator experience unlike any other. America, in particular, has a deep love for ice hockey, making it an ideal destination to catch a live match. Whether you're a lifelong hockey fan or new to the sport, seeing an ice hockey match in America should be on your bucket list.

The American Ice Hockey Experience

ice hockey

Ice hockey is deeply ingrained in American culture, especially in the northern states and regions with colder climates. Cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago have a rich ice hockey heritage and boast iconic teams such as the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and Chicago Blackhawks. Securing ice hockey match tickets in USA states allows you to be part of this tradition and experience the electric atmosphere of an American ice hockey match first-hand.

Ice Hockey: More Than Just a Game

Going to an ice hockey match in America is about more than just watching the game; it's about immersing yourself in a cultural experience. From the moment you step into the arena, you'll be swept up in a wave of excitement and camaraderie. Fans wear their team's jerseys, face off in friendly rivalries, and join together in cheers and chants that reverberate throughout the stadium.

Combining Business And Pleasure

For those travelling to the USA on business, incorporating an ice hockey match into your trip can provide a refreshing break from work commitments. Not only does it offer an opportunity for relaxation and entertainment, but it also serves as a unique networking activity. Inviting business associates or clients to a match can foster stronger relationships and provide a shared experience to refer back to in future business dealings.

An Accessible And Family-Friendly Sport

Ice hockey in America is an accessible sport for all, with matches held regularly throughout the ice hockey season in stadiums across the country. It's also a family-friendly activity. Many stadiums have dedicated family zones and provide activities and entertainment for younger fans, making it an enjoyable outing for everyone.

A Unique Lens On American Culture

There's another compelling reason to experience an ice hockey match in America: it offers a unique lens on American culture. The sport itself, with its emphasis on teamwork, agility, and strategy, reflects many values appreciated in American society. Additionally, the match rituals — from the national anthem that commences the proceedings to the 'Zamboni' intermission where the ice is smoothed for play — are a part of the country's cultural fabric. Attending a match lets you partake in these traditions and offers a deeper understanding of America's cultural nuances. This insider's view is especially enriching for international visitors, making your travel experience more meaningful and insightful.

Embrace The Action Of American Ice Hockey

Whether you're a sports enthusiast, looking for a cultural experience, or seeking a unique business networking opportunity, seeing an ice hockey match in America is a must. The electrifying atmosphere, the sense of camaraderie among fans, and the fast-paced, action-packed nature of the game make for an unforgettable experience. So, why not join the ranks of the millions of ice hockey fans and catch a match the next time you're in the USA? You'll leave with a deeper appreciation for the sport and a host of thrilling memories.

*Collaborative post

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: A Breakthrough for Spinal Problems?

Spine disorders can cause substantial pain and suffering, interfering with everyday activities. Invasive spine surgery is a new technique for treating diseases that involve fewer incisions, less tissue damage, and a quicker recovery. This article gives a thorough introduction to minimally invasive back surgery, including its benefits, typical operations like vbt surgery, and the recovery process. Just a note that this isn't available in the UK at present and this post does not offer medical advice and is for information purposes only.

Understanding Invasive Spine Surgery


The minimally invasive surgical method treats back disorders while causing the least harm to surrounding tissues. Unlike typical open operations requiring extensive incisions and severe muscle damage, minimally invasive techniques approach the spine through tiny incisions using specialized devices and technology.

Who Needs Invasive Spine Surgery?

A specialist or an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in spinal disorders should decide whether you require minimally invasive back surgery. They will assess your illness, symptoms, and medical history to identify the best therapy option. Here are some indicators that you may need surgery.

Chronic Back Or Neck Pain

If you have persistent and severe pain that does not improve with classic therapies (medication, physical therapy, or lifestyle changes), it may be time to consider surgery.

Neurological Symptoms

The existence of neurological symptoms (weakness, numbness, tingling, troubles with coordination) and balance may indicate that nerves in the spine are compressed or irritated. Surgery may be required to alleviate pressure on the damaged nerves.

Structural Abnormalities

X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans can detect structural problems in the spine, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or deformities like scoliosis. If conservative therapy has failed and these anomalies are causing considerable discomfort or neurological problems, or if they interfere with your everyday life, surgery may be considered.

Ineffective Medical Approaches

If you have tried non-surgical treatments for an extended period and your condition has not changed or worsened, you should consider back surgery as your next option.

Functional Limitations

If your disease severely limits your ability to conduct everyday tasks and impacts your quality of life, and conservative methods have failed to give acceptable relief, surgery may be an option.

Remember that any surgical operation, even minimally invasive back surgery, should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with a trained healthcare expert specializing in spinal disorders. They will assess your circumstances and guide you through the finest treatment choices accessible to you.

Benefits Of Minimal Invasive Surgery

  • Smaller incisions. These are used in minimally invasive operations, resulting in fewer apparent scars and less tissue stress.
  • Less blood loss. Minimally invasive surgical techniques often result in less blood loss throughout the procedure.
  • Reduced muscle damage. Surgeons can use minimally invasive techniques to operate via the natural gaps between muscles, reducing muscle dissection and stress. This can lead to a quicker recovery and less postoperative discomfort.
  • Fast recovery. Compared to typical open operations, invasive surgery generally results in a faster recovery. Smaller incisions and less tissue stress result in shorter hospital stays and faster return to everyday activities.

Common Spine Surgeries

Spine surgery can treat a variety of back problems. Here are some examples of standard procedures.


This technique alleviates pressure on spinal nerves that have been crushed due to a herniated disc. The surgeon removes a tiny part of the herniated disc to reduce discomfort and enhance mobility.


A laminectomy is a surgical procedure that includes removing a tiny piece of the bony arch of the vertebra (lamina) to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. This treatment is frequently used to treat spinal stenosis.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is a treatment that fuses two or more vertebrae to support the skeleton. It can be done with minimally invasive methods, including inserting screws, rods, or interbody cages through tiny incisions.

VBT Surgery

Vertical Body Tethering (VBT) is a surgical method used to treat specific types of scoliosis characterized by abnormal spine curvature. VBT has grown in favour of a viable alternative to standard spinal fusion surgery, which involves fusing the vertebrae using bone transplants.

VBT is a minimally invasive alternative to standard spinal fusion surgery, commonly used in adolescents with moderate to severe scoliosis. Its goal is to restore curvature while maintaining flexibility and development potential.

The surgeon creates tiny incisions on the side of the chest and inserts screws into the vertebrae of the curved part of the spine during VBT surgery. A flexible rope or tether is linked to the screws and tightened to straighten the spine progressively. This tethering approach corrects the spinal curvature while retaining part of the spine's natural flexibility and development potential.

Recovery And Rehabilitation

Minimal invasive surgery allows for a faster recovery than standard open procedures. However, the recovery time depends on the individual and the technique. Following are some general guidelines:

  • Hospital stay. Most invasive spine operations are outpatient procedures, allowing patients to return home the same day. A brief hospital stay of 1–2 days may be necessary in rare circumstances.
  • Pain management. Postoperative pain medication is commonly provided to alleviate discomfort. The pain is often less severe because of the smaller incisions and less tissue disruption than in open procedures.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are critical parts of the healing process. The healthcare staff will advise you on exercises and activities to enhance healing, mobility, and spine strength.
  • Return to activities. The unique method and individual characteristics will determine returning to everyday activities. Most patients can resume mild activities gradually after a few weeks, although complete recovery may take many months.
  • Follow-up care. Regular check-up consultations will be made to check the surgery site, monitor the healing process, and address any emerging concerns or issues.


Minimally invasive back surgery has various advantages over open surgery, including fewer incisions, less tissue stress, and a faster recovery. Various disorders can be efficiently treated using minimally invasive procedures employing specific techniques and devices. However, not all disorders are candidates for minimally invasive surgery, and individual circumstances will determine the optimal treatment strategy. Consultation with a spine expert is required to establish the best treatment option for particular conditions.

*Collaborative post. This post does not offer medical advice and is for information purposes only. This treatment is not available in the UK at present.

The Affordable Childcare Dilemma: Unlocking the Hidden Costs and Surprising Savings

Childcare is a topic that weighs heavily on the minds of many parents. It is not only a matter of finding the right care for their children, but also considering the financial implications. The cost of child care can be a significant factor in the decision-making process for families.

In this article, I will delve into the affordable childcare dilemma, uncovering the hidden costs associated with childcare and exploring the potential savings that can be realised. By understanding these factors, parents can make informed decisions and navigate the childcare landscape more confidently.

The Rising Cost of Child Care


Childcare expenses have risen in recent years, causing financial strain for many families. The cost of child care can vary depending on factors such as location, type of care, and the age of the child. Parents need to understand the average costs in their area and factor them into their budgeting considerations.

The rising cost of childcare poses a significant challenge for many families, but it's important to recognise that affordable and high-quality childcare is a vital investment in our children's future. By understanding the factors contributing to rising costs, exploring available financial assistance programs, considering flexible work arrangements, and researching affordable childcare options, parents can navigate the childcare landscape with greater confidence and find a balance that works for their families. Ultimately, the well-being and development of our children should remain the top priority, and together we can work towards finding viable solutions to ensure accessible and quality child care for all.

Direct Costs of Childcare

When considering childcare expenses, it is crucial to factor in the direct costs associated with childcare facilities. These costs typically include tuition or fees charged by the facility, which can vary depending on the type of care (such as daycare centres, home-based care, or preschools) and the quality of the program. Parents need to enquire about all fees upfront to have a comprehensive understanding of the financial commitment.

Childcare options vary depending on the needs and preferences of parents. It's important to note that each type of childcare comes with its own set of costs. Here are some common childcare options:

  • Childcare Centres

These centres offer full-time or part-time care for children of various age groups. Childcare centres typically have structured programs, qualified staff, and age-appropriate activities. The costs associated with childcare centres vary depending on factors such as location, hours of operation, and the age of the child.

  • Family Childcare

Family childcare providers offer care in a home-based setting. They may care for a smaller group of children, creating a more intimate and family-like environment. Family childcare costs can vary based on the provider's experience, qualifications, and the services offered.

  • Nanny or Au Pair

Hiring a nanny or au pair involves having an individual caregiver come to your home to care for your child. This option provides personalized care and flexibility but generally comes with higher costs due to the one-on-one attention provided.

  • Preschool Programs

Preschool programs focus on early education and school readiness. They usually operate for a limited number of hours and may be offered by schools, community centres, or private providers. Preschool costs can vary depending on the program, location, and duration.

  • Before and After-School Programs

These programs cater to school-age children before and after school hours. They offer a structured environment with activities and supervision. Costs may vary based on the program's duration and location.

Hidden Costs of Childcare

Beyond the direct cost of childcare, there are often hidden expenses that parents may not anticipate. These can include additional fees for registration, enrollment, supplies, meals, transportation, and extracurricular activities. Parents need to inquire about any potential hidden costs when researching childcare options to get a more accurate picture of the overall financial commitment.

Surprising Savings in childcare facilities

Despite the challenges and hidden costs, childcare facilities can offer surprising savings in the long run when compared to other childcare options. Let's explore the aspects where families can find financial relief.

Government Assistance and Subsidies

Parents should explore government assistance programs and subsidies that may be available to help offset the cost of child care. These programs vary by country and region, but they can provide significant financial relief for eligible families. Researching and understanding the criteria and application process for such programs is advisable to take advantage of the available support.

Employer Benefits and Flexible Spending Accounts

Many employers offer benefits and programs to assist their employees with childcare expenses. These can include flexible spending accounts (FSAs) that allow parents to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for childcare costs. Employers may also offer dependent care assistance programs or partnerships with childcare providers to provide discounts or subsidies. Parents should explore the childcare benefits their employers offer and take advantage of any available resources.

Community Resources and Non-Profit Organisations

There are often community resources and non-profit organisations dedicated to providing affordable childcare options. These organizations may offer subsidies, sliding-scale fees, or scholarships to make child care more accessible for low-income families. Parents should research local community resources and reach out to non-profit organizations to inquire about any available support.

Creative Solutions for Cost Savings

Parents can employ various strategies to manage childcare costs effectively. These can include exploring co-op childcare arrangements with other parents, seeking part-time or flexible childcare options, sharing childcare responsibilities with family members or trusted friends, or enrolling in childcare centres that offer financial assistance or scholarships. By thinking creatively and being open to alternative solutions, parents can find ways to reduce childcare expenses while still providing quality care for their children.

Long-Term Benefits of Quality Childcare

While the cost of childcare may initially seem daunting, it is important to consider the long-term benefits it provides. Quality childcare contributes to children's social, emotional, and cognitive development, setting them up for future success. Investing in high-quality childcare can have a positive impact on a child's education, relationships, and overall well-being.


The affordable childcare dilemma is a complex issue that requires careful consideration and research. By understanding the hidden costs associated with child care, exploring available financial assistance programs, leveraging employer benefits, and seeking community resources, parents can make informed decisions that align with their budget and provide quality care for their children. It is essential to prioritize the well-being and development of our little ones while also being mindful of the financial implications. With the right information and resources, the affordable childcare puzzle can be solved, ensuring that parents can make the best choices for their families.

*Collaborative post

Experience the Magic of The Big Screen With Low-Cost Cinema Tickets

How often do you go to the cinema? If you’re a film lover, chances are you go fairly regularly and chances are you spend a fair amount of money on it! WonderDays, the UK's most flexible experience day company, has an incredible offer that will help you save money on your movie-going experience. Imagine enjoying your favourite films at over 400 cinema locations across the country, any time, any day, all while saving on ticket prices. This remarkable deal not only benefits your wallet but also opens up a world of opportunities for quality time with loved ones. If that sounds good to you, let’s dive into the details.

Low-Cost Cinema Tickets For Everyone

cinema ticket

Trips to the cinema have always been a delightful way to escape into the magic of storytelling on the silver screen. However, the expenses associated with a movie night, like travel, parking, drinks, and popcorn, can often deter you from indulging in this cherished pastime as often as you’d like. WonderDays' low-cost cinema tickets are here to change that. By offering tickets at discounted prices, everyone can afford to enjoy the cinematic experience without breaking the bank.

Ultimate Flexibility

One of the standout features of these cinema tickets is their incredible flexibility. Once you have redeemed your WonderDays vouchers and received your cinema voucher codes, you can choose from over 400 locations across the UK, making it easier than ever to find a cinema near you. Moreover, the voucher codes are valid for a full 12 months and can be used for any 2D film, anytime, and on any day of the week, allowing you to plan your cinema trip around your schedule effortlessly.

Perfect Gift Ideas For Film Lovers

If you're ever stuck on finding the ideal gift for the movie buff in your life, these low-cost cinema tickets make for perfect presents that will leave your loved ones delighted and grateful. Instead of giving generic gifts, you can now offer the gift of cherished memories and the chance to relish their favourite films on the big screen. The recipient will have the freedom to choose the film and timing, making it a personal and thoughtful gesture.

Family Fun For The Summer Holidays


The summer holidays often bring the challenge of keeping the kids entertained, especially during rainy days. Discounted cinema tickets provide an exciting and budget-friendly solution for those days when outdoor activities may not be possible. Be sure to plan ahead and have those voucher codes ready so you can gather the family, head to the nearest cinema, and escape the rain and reality for a few hours.

Saving For More Fun

By making savings where you can on different activities, such as cinema trips, they become an affordable treat to indulge in multiple times throughout the summer holidays. The money you save can be put towards other enjoyable activities, ensuring that your summer is filled with an array of delightful experiences. Whether it's a day at the beach, a visit to a theme park, or a cosy family picnic, the possibilities are endless.

WonderDays' amazing deal on low-cost cinema tickets is a game-changer for film lovers and families alike. With access to over 400 cinema locations, the flexibility to choose any 2D film at any time, and the opportunity to save money, this offer is too good to miss. Whether you're treating yourself or surprising someone special, these cinema tickets make for the perfect gift and open up a world of cinematic wonders.

*Collaborative post

5 Things to See in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria has it all. If it’s not white sand beaches and clear waters, it’s picturesque quaint villages - there are no compromises in the Canaries.

With a multitude of things to explore, travelling to Gran Canaria will through you into the best that the Canaries has to offer, from the diverse landscapes to stunning cuisine.

Gran Canaria

An excellent way to experience all of this is by making use of Holiday Rentals Gran Canaria. That way, you can hunker down in a base with plenty of space and comfort whilst you take day trips around the island.

For ideas on what to do when visiting, here are 5 recommendations.

The Mesmerising Maspalomas Dunes

Step onto the vast expanse of the Maspalomas Dunes, and you'll be forgiven for thinking you've been transported to the Sahara Desert. In fact, it’s not all the far away geographically when you consider how is this still Europe?!

This stunning 1,000-acre natural reserve is home to golden sand dunes that stretch out as far as the eye can see. You can choose to explore on foot or experience a traditional camel ride, the beauty of the dunes under the setting sun is a sight to behold.

The Vibrant Las Palmas City

As Gran Canaria's capital, Las Palmas is a city with a blend of traditional Spanish and modern architecture. It’s possible to see both the new and the old. Start by exploring the historical district of Vegueta, known for its well-preserved colonial buildings and the stunning Santa Ana Cathedral. The city's lively atmosphere is perfectly complemented by its renowned gastronomy, making it a great place to spend the evening at one of the many local tapas bars.

Roque Nublo

An emblem of Gran Canaria, Roque Nublo is a natural monolith standing tall against the backdrop of the island's central mountains. A hike to this impressive formation is a must for nature lovers and photographers. The trail might be challenging, but the panoramic view from the top, covering the island's varied landscapes, makes it absolutely worth it.

The Cueva Pintada Museum & Archaeological Park

Step back in time by visiting the Cueva Pintada Museum & Archaeological Park. This fascinating site gives a glimpse into the island's pre-Hispanic past. The highlight is the Painted Cave, covered with intricate geometric patterns. This archaeological gem reveals the history and culture of the ancient Canarian people, making it a must-visit for history buffs.

The Exotic Palmitos Park

Palmitos Park is a botanical and zoological park located in the south of the island. It's an oasis of tropical plants and exotic animals, including parrots, eagles, and playful dolphins. Whether you're travelling with kids or simply a nature enthusiast, the park's diverse flora and fauna, along with its entertaining shows, ensure an unforgettable visit.

Gran Canaria is not your typical holiday island. It is a miniature continent brimming with remarkable sights, experiences, and adventures. It has a story to tell of its past, but today it has plenty to offer too in food, culture, and nightlife.

*Collaborative post

Helping Your Child to Become More Independent

As you will have already started doing, it’s important that as a parent you work towards building your child’s independence. They will need to learn to do things for themselves, such as eating, getting dressed and more challenging activities as they progress through the various developmental stages. In this post, I share tips below from a prep school in Richmond on how you can help your child with this.

Praise Them

child smiling

Praise makes children feel good about themselves and encourages them to do more of what they are doing. As your child learns new skills, praise them on the little things they get right as it will motivate them to keep trying and help them improve.

Look and Copy

Many parents feel afraid to let their children do things for themselves as they are worried that they will injure themselves or struggle. Of course, while you should wait for when they are ready, with each thing you do for your child, such as getting them dressed, encourage them to “look and copy” what you do.

Accept Mistakes

To follow on from the point above, it’s likely they will make mistakes while learning. They are a part of the process and while you should show your child the correct way of getting things done, you should try to not be overly critical as this can hurt their confidence.

Set Aside Time

While learning they mustn't feel rushed as this can make this a scarier ordeal. As your child may take longer to do set tasks, you should allocate enough time for them to have a go and learn.

Lastly, independence can be learned through how you conduct yourself and take on challenges. Children learn from their parents so it’s important that you set a good example and take learning opportunities in your stride.

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How to Raise a Respectful Child

Regardless of background and whether they like them or not, children must learn to be respectful to others and treat everyone fairly. It's a vital social skill that can help avoid lots of awkward situations and allow them to get along with those around them. To learn about how you might go about this, we have some expert tips from a prep school in Kent.

Teach Them Good Manners

child and adult

Using good manners is a way of showing others respect. You can start by getting your child in the habit of saying please and thank you and exploring other ways of handling situations, for example apologising when they are wrong.

Explore Table Manners

Following the theme of manners, there's table etiquette that must be learned when eating at a table with others. Children must learn to keep their mouths closed while eating, not talk with a mouthful, be respectful towards others sitting at the table, engage in polite conversation and not go on their phones.

Build Their Listening Skills

As for actually communicating with others, listening is vital. Interrupting, not listening to what others have to say and asking them to repeat themselves can come across as rude and paint a poor image.

Work On Empathy And Emotional Intelligence

two children hugging

You may find it easier to get your child to think about how they would feel in others’ situations and the way they would want to be treated as there’s no way you can train your child for every single social situation. To help them with this, you should work towards building their emotional intelligence and pose questions about how they would feel if something similar were to happen to them.

In addition to the above, also be sure to set a good example for your child and treat those around you with respect and kindness.

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The Benefits of Journaling for Children

Are you looking for a way to improve your child’s English skills? Consider journaling. Keeping a journal can benefit children in many ways. It can improve their handwriting and overall literacy as it encourages them to write on a more regular basis. 

child writing

Additionally, parents find that it helps children with their mental health as it's an avenue that they can use to express themselves and explore their emotions. Below are some more benefits shared by a prep school in Northwood.

Dealing with Their Emotions

To stay on the topic of expressing themselves, children can learn to develop their emotions better. They can look at situations that they are in and think about appropriate ways to respond.

Helps Develop Their Self-Identity

During childhood, children try to understand where they fit in and learn about who they are. Journaling allows children to form a better understanding of themselves as they can learn about what they like/dislike.

Explore Their Ideas and Passions

Following on from above, it's a place children can explore their passions and interests. They can keep a note of any ideas they have and develop them further.

Communications Skills

It also enhances their communication skills as they learn how to express themselves through words and written communication.

Achieving Goals

Children can keep a log of the work they must do to reach their goals and make significant progress towards achieving them.

The key is to of course get your child into journaling. To make full use of their journal, they should feel comfortable sharing and writing about their day/emotions so you should ensure that it's something they have privacy over. Also, let them have fun with it. Journals don’t need to be basic and can come in fun colours and layouts. They can also find stickers that represent how they feel as an easier way of keeping a log.

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How to Boost Your Child's Creativity

Creativity is the single most important skill for parents to work on with children as all others rely on their ability to think for themselves and create innovative ideas, such as problem solving for example. Below are some tips from a pre school in Cheltenham on how parents can help children in this area.

Invest in Craft Supplies


Art is an area you should try and explore as it gives children the opportunity to exercise their imagination and execute their ideas. there are many ways in which you can create with crafting, painting, drawing, decorating, sewing and more depending on the age of the child.

Ask Questions

There are also things that you can do to help bring their creative side out, such as asking questions and challenging their way of thinking. You may hint or allude to other ways of doing things to show them that there are various solutions that can be applied.

Creative Writing

There are several other activities that require the skill, such as creative writing. If your child is able to read and write, they can have a go at writing their own story, poem and other forms of literature.

Unstructured Play

What’s important however is that they have the ability to think for themselves and create their own ideas. Toys can create rigid guidelines for play and can limit a child’s imagination. To provide flexibility parents can implement what is known as “unstructured play”. It utilises open-ended resources that children can use however they like, such as Lego, and involves leaving them to create games of their own. You may also look for games that provide scope for creativity such as hide and seek.

Play, therefore, has a crucial part in exploring creativity with children, although there are things you can do to encourage them to think differently and consider alternative points of view. Be sure to surround your child with plenty of learning materials and open-ended toys that allow them to exercise and explore their imagination.

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Exploring Southampton: How to Make the Most Of Your All-Inclusive Trip

Southampton is a charming, historic city on the south coast of England. Vibrant, beautiful, and full of cultural experiences, it offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. It is also one of the UK’s busiest cruise ports, and there are hundreds of destinations on no-fly cruises sailing from Southampton to explore, all across Europe and beyond.

From its rich maritime history to its stunning waterfront, Southampton is an ideal destination for an all-inclusive trip. To get the most out of your English adventure and experience the best that this charming city has to offer, check out the suggestions and recommendations below.

Discover the Maritime History


The history of Southampton is inextricably intertwined with the history of seafaring and exploration, and there is no finer way to start your exploration of the city than by delving into its maritime history. The best place to do this is at the SeaCity Museum, which tells the story of the city's connection with the sea, including its role in the Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage and its links with ship-building and global exploration across the ages.

Explore the Old Town

Southampton’s Old Town is a charming and historic district, crammed with medieval architecture and winding picturesque streets, and it is well worth taking a little time to explore. Wander through Bargate, where you’ll find a mix of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, surrounded by centuries-old walls and houses. Visit the Tudor House and Garden, a beautifully preserved 15th-century building that offers a glimpse into the city's past and gives you an understanding of how important a city Southampton has always been.

Visit the City's Parks and Green Spaces

Southampton is home to a huge variety of lovely parks and green spaces where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors. The Southampton Common is a vast green expanse with walking trails, ponds, and open spaces for picnicking. It's a perfect place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Also, make sure to visit the Royal Victoria Country Park, a former military hospital turned picturesque park that offers stunning views of the Solent.

Immerse Yourself In Art And Culture

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Southampton City Art Gallery, which houses an impressive collection of works spanning from the Renaissance to contemporary art. The gallery features pieces by renowned artists such as Turner, Constable, and Lowry. Additionally, the Mayflower Theatre hosts a variety of performances, including West End shows, ballets, and concerts, providing a fantastic opportunity to experience the city's cultural scene.

Take Day Trips To Nearby Attractions

New Forest

While in Southampton, don’t miss the chance to explore the countryside around the city. Consider visiting the enchanting New Forest National Park, a haven for nature lovers with its ancient woodlands, open heathlands, and roaming ponies. Alternatively, you can take a short ferry ride to the Isle of Wight, known for its scenic landscapes, charming towns, and beautiful beaches.

Enjoy The All-Inclusive Amenities

Of course, if you are on an all-inclusive vacation then it is important to make the most of it by taking advantage of the amenities offered by your accommodation! Whether it's a luxurious hotel or a cruise ship, all-inclusive packages often offer access to fitness facilities, spa treatments, and entertainment options. Take time to relax and rejuvenate, ensuring that you return home feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Southampton offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for an all-inclusive trip. From exploring its maritime heritage to immersing yourself in its art and culture scene, Southampton has something to offer every visitor. With its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and convenient location, Southampton is sure to leave you with lasting memories of a truly remarkable all-inclusive trip.

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Elevate Your Style: The Importance of Choosing the Right Underwear under Shapewear Dresses

When it comes to achieving a flawless look, the right underwear plays a pivotal role, especially when wearing shapewear dresses. By selecting the appropriate undergarments, such as seamless underwear, shapewear, and the best bras, you can enhance your comfort, confidence, and overall appearance. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of choosing the right underwear under shapewear dresses and explore the key considerations for each category.

Seamless Underwear: A Flawless Foundation

Seamless underwear is a crucial component when it comes to achieving a smooth and seamless foundation under a shapewear dress. With their construction free of visible seams, these undergarments eliminate unsightly panty lines, allowing for a polished and seamless look. Opt for seamless panties or thongs that sit seamlessly against your skin, ensuring no visible creases or bulges. Seamless underwear not only provides comfort but also enhances the overall appearance of your outfit, giving you the confidence to rock your shapewear dress flawlessly.

Shapewear: Enhancing Your Natural Curves


Shapewear is designed to sculpt and enhance your natural curves offering targeted compression and support. When choosing shapewear to wear under a dress, consider the level of control you desire for specific areas of your body, such as the waist, hips, or thighs. A shaper dress, bodysuits, high-waisted shorts, and waist cinchers are popular options that provide smooth lines and a streamlined silhouette. Opt for shapewear that fits snugly but comfortably, ensuring it doesn't create any discomfort or restrict your movement.

The Best Bras For Shapewear Dresses

A. Strapless Bras: Shapewear dresses often feature different necklines or sleeveless designs, requiring a bra that won't show. Strapless bras are a perfect choice, providing support and lift without visible shoulder straps. Look for strapless bras with a supportive underwire and silicone or elastic bands to ensure they stay in place throughout the day or night.

B. Convertible Bras: If your shapewear dress has a halterneck or crisscross back, a convertible bra is your go-to option. These versatile bras come with detachable straps that can be repositioned according to the dress's neckline, providing the necessary support while remaining hidden under your shapewear dress.

C. Plunge Bras: Shapewear dresses with deep V-necklines call for plunge bras. These bras have a low centre, allowing them to remain discreet while providing lift and support to the bust. Plunge bras work well with shapewear dresses that have daring necklines, ensuring a flattering and seamless look.

The Best Knickers For Shapewear Dresses

When it comes to choosing the best knickers to wear under a shapewear dress, comfort and seamless appearance are key. Opt for underwear that is specifically designed to be invisible under tight-fitting clothing, such as seamless or laser-cut knickers. Look for a style that offers a low-rise or thong design to avoid visible panty lines. Additionally, consider the fabric composition; lightweight and stretchy materials like nylon or spandex can provide a smooth and snug fit. Lastly, choose a colour that matches your skin tone or the dress itself for a seamless look. Remember, the right choice of knickers can enhance your confidence and ensure a flawless silhouette.

Confidence and Comfort: A Winning Combination

shaper dresses

Choosing the right underwear under your shapewear bodycon dress, is not only about aesthetics but also about confidence and comfort. When your undergarments provide a seamless foundation, enhance your natural curves, and offer the right level of support, you'll feel more confident in your appearance. Additionally, prioritising comfort by selecting properly fitting undergarments made from breathable materials will ensure that you can comfortably wear your shapewear dress for extended periods without any discomfort or restrictions.

In Conclusion

In the world of fashion, choosing the right underwear under shapewear dresses is essential for achieving a flawless and confident look. Seamless underwear eliminates visible lines, while shapewear enhances your natural curves. Pairing the dress with the best bras, such as strapless, convertible, or plunge styles, ensures the perfect fit and support. By considering these factors and prioritising comfort, you'll elevate your style and feel your best in any shapewear dress, leaving a lasting impression wherever you go.

Is Your Child Ready For University?

*AD This post is in collaboration with BBC TVL but all words and opinions are my own.

University or college is a big upheaval for your kids. I know when my son went to university it was a big life change. I don't know who had to get used to it more, me or him!? All parents can do is support their children with this new beginning and help them the best they can. I think looking back on his first term at university I would definitely do some things differently to get him used to university life and so would my son. So in hindsight when TV Licensing contacted me to work on their Family Quiz, to test your child's readiness for university or college I wanted to be involved.  Check out their Uni Checklist for yourself. 

Is Your Child Ready For University Quiz

me and my son

So I asked my son some of these questions, that TV Licensing sent me, you may want to ask your children too if they are in their first year of university or thinking of applying! To add some context to the post, my son J stayed for three years in halls of residence close to his university.

Round One - quiz questions

son at uni

1. How often did you change your bed sheets or towel? He said: Once every couple of weeks.
A: Once a week is recommended.

2. How much did a load of washing cost in a laundrette on average? He said: £5 in the halls of residence.
A: About £4-£5 for a standard load.

3. How did you find out when bin day is? He said: They had this information in the halls of residence office.
A: Look on your local council website if you are not in a hall of residence. This will give you this information. 

4. Did you need a TV licence in student halls? He said: Yes.
A: Yes. In halls of residence, you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you plan on watching live TV in your room. But the biggest benefit for students who buy a licence for the year is that when they go home at the end of the academic year, they can apply for a refund for the unused time! This ensures students only pay for the months that they live away from a family home, provided it is already covered by a TV Licence.

5. On which shelf in the fridge is meat typically stored? He said: Bottom shelf.
A: The bottom shelf is the best place to prevent cross-contamination. 

6. How much was your first year of uni worth to your final grade? He said: It doesn't count but you have to pass it.
A: It doesn’t count but generally you have to pass by 40% (best to confirm with your child's university though).

7. How long should you boil an egg for a runny yolk? He said: I don't know I never ate boiled eggs!
A: 4-5mins. 

8. Do you need a TV licence to watch recorded TV? He said: Yes.
A: Yes, showing on or recorded from live TV requires a licence. You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or streamed live on an online TV service. And that’s not just the BBC; it’s all channels on any platform and on any device. You also need to be covered to watch BBC iPlayer.

9. When did you start looking for your next year’s accommodation? He said: I stayed in halls for three years so I don't know.
A: It can be as early as November to get the best places.

Your TV Licence

There are some myths about a TV licence. Your TV Licence is your must-have pass to 400+ TV channels as they’re being broadcast. It is also needed to watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel and to watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service. You don’t need a TV Licence if you only ever use Netflix or other online TV services to watch on-demand or catch-up programmes, except if you’re watching BBC programmes on BBC iPlayer. So make sure your child is aware of this or they could get a fine. Check out these FAQ about TV licencing   

Round Two.  


I asked my son some other questions TV Licensing sent me and had to guess his answers.

1. How many of your lectures did you attend? 
I said: 90 per cent. He said: Most of them, I literally missed a couple.

2. What is your best money-saving tip? 
I said: Buy food in advance so you don't cave into takeaways all the time. 
He said: Making sandwiches is more cost-effective than buying sandwiches. All the Tesco meal deals add up!

3. What was the first thing you cooked at university? 
I said: An omelette, I know this as that's the only thing he can cook! I was surprised to find some pans in the cellophane still when he finished uni as well as an unopened cookery book. 
He said: An omelette. 


hiking in Iceland

I don't think you can really prepare your child for the adjustment to university or college, especially if it's their first time living away from home, however doing a quiz like this will get them to think about situations they may not have thought of. Situations like - do I need a TV Licence and when do I put the rubbish out? Most students, however, manage perfectly well at university even though we may worry about them. 

My son gained a 2:1 degree and is now working in a multimedia company as a marketing assistant. He still can't cook...but he did get a TV Licence.