Our Top 10 Travel Must Haves #markwarnermum

What an exciting start to the year!

As part of my application for Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador Programme 2017, I am pleased to present you with our ‘Top 10 Travel Must Haves’ mood board.

Now I know what you are thinking.  Why on earth is this crazy blogger putting pictures of herself on a mood board with her arms in strange positions and what does it all mean?

Read on and hopefully everything will become clear.

Mark Warner are looking for their new batch of bloggers to work with this year and, as part of the process, each applicant must outline what their top 10 travel must haves are and why they love them.

As I am a keen photographer, I have opted for a photographic mood board which highlights some of our recent family adventures.  (Of course, this would have nothing to do with the fact I was so inspired by last year’s competition that I have spent the past 12 months taking photos of myself in bizarre positions in anticipation of this year’s programme.  Nothing at all!)

Each of my photographs represents a letter and, would you believe it, all the letters spell Mark Warner.  What are the chances right?!

I wanted our ‘Top 10 Travel Must Haves’ to highlight not only what is important to my family when travelling, but also what I think a Mark Warner holiday is all about and why I would be the perfect #markwarnermum.

Here goes.


1. M = Moments

Stumbling across a magical theatre production at our first family festival. Just So Festival in Cheshire. August 2016.

For me, this is what a holiday is all about. 

Family life can be pretty tough at times, so it’s those precious little moments that often keep you going and make it all worthwhile.

Most of my favourite family moments are from our holidays.  This is the only time that we simply get to hang out as a family without the distractions of work, school, housework and CBeebies and share some truly magical moments together.

Whether it be that moment you tell the kids you are going on holiday, that special smile you get when the kids try a new activity and gain confidence at it, building sandcastles on the beach or any spontaneous moment that occurs when travelling, these are the memories you will treasure forever.

2. A = Adventure

Central Park, New York City. November 2016

I have always had an adventurous spirit and this has influenced my life heavily.

I studied Tourism at University and then spent the majority of my twenties either backpacking or working within the world of overseas charity challenge events.  My Australian husband shares this passion and in our 10 years together, we have been to some amazing countries and had some fantastic experiences.

We hope to lead by example and invoke this same passion in all of our children by exposing them to as many adventures in as many countries as possible.

3. R = Recreation

Celebrating my 40th birthday in Mammoth Mountain, California, USA. February 2017

With 3 active children and 2 parents that love skiing and watersports, it’s essential that our holidays are packed full of recreational activities.

We find it far more enjoyable to spend time with the kids on holiday by actually doing an activity together.

We always research what recreational activities are on offer and will inevitably book our holiday based upon what is provided.

4. K = Kids

The kitchen floor at Casa de Anderkins! February 2017.

Put simply, I love travelling with my kids.

I love listening to them ask questions about where we are going, then pointing it out on a map and watching as their excitement grows the closer we get to the holiday.  By the time the obligatory ‘how many sleeps’ countdown has commenced and the Trunkis are packed, we can’t wait to get going.

Watching the kids experience new places and cultures is truly fascinating.  Unless they are in the kids club!

I love my little darlings but being a parent is absolutely exhausting.  Therefore, while the kids play and make new friends at kids club, you will find my husband and I hitting the bar slopes and spending some time together.

5.  W = Water

You said you liked arts & crafts! February 2017.

Whether it be the beach, swimming pool or any type of watersport, our family knows that we are guaranteed to have fun if there’s water involved.

Many happy hours can be spent jumping into a swimming pool, paddling in the sea or simply sitting on the beach looking out to sea.

On top of this, many thrilling and exciting hours can also be spent on the water as soon as you strap on a life jacket and head out there and try some watersports!

There’s no better feeling than the wind in your hair as you crash through the waves whilst water-skiing.

6.  A = Amazing Locations

Honeymoon with the kids in Lapland. December 2016

Another big one for our family.

The World is full of amazing locations and we want to get out there and experience as many of them as possible!

We really love travelling to new destinations and having the opportunity to witness stunning scenery, meet new people, experience new cultures and taste local delicacies.

I don’t think I will ever tire of witnessing the amazing places there are in the World.

7. R = Relaxation

Cheeky spa day at Brooklands Hotel Spa, UK. January 2017

We all work hard, whether this be bringing up children or a job, so everyone is entitled to a bit of relaxation on holiday.

It’s the light at the end of the tunnel after a busy few months and the thought of relaxing on holiday is often what gets you through the day when you are tired.

Relaxing when travelling with kids is often as simple as taking turns to have a lie in or just stretching out by the pool on a sun-lounger. It can also be a luxurious trip to the spa and indulging in a spot of pampering for the afternoon while the children are at kids club.

Whatever it is, it always recharges my batteries and I have renewed energy for the rest of the day.

8. N = New Experiences

Cross Country Skiing for the first time in Mammoth Lakes, California, USA. February 2017

There are many obstacles in everyday life to prevent us from trying new things.

With 3 children aged 2, 5 and 7, I rarely have time to myself and my list of hobbies is slowly diminishing.  There are many activities I would like to pursue, but I feel extremely limited by the routine of family life, costs and the practicalities of where we live.

Therefore, travelling provides the perfect opportunity to open yourself up to new experiences as you have plenty of time on your hands.

I also think it’s really important to expose children to as many different sporting activities as possible, until they find something they really like or excel at.  Sport is a great confidence booster for children of any age, including the big kids!

9.  E = Exhilaration

Tubing in Mammoth Lakes, California, USA. February 2017

Let’s face it, the opportunity to feel exhilarated is rarely found on the school drop off!

Whether it be flying down a hill in a tube, sailing for the first time, skiing down your first black run or wakeboarding, there’s no better feeling than stepping out of your comfort zone and getting the adrenaline pumping.

It makes me feel alive and, without realising it, I always have the biggest smile on my face.

10. R = Restaurants

Half-term fun at Chessington World of Adventures Zafari Restaurant. February 2017

Last, but certainly not least, food and drink is a huge part of a holiday for us.

Nothing signifies a holiday more than a break from cooking and the ability to taste new and delicious foods from another country.  Okay, occasionally this may just be chicken nuggets and chips for the kids, but if I don’t have to cook it, then that’s good enough for me!

I also love putting on new holiday clothes for dinner and then sitting down together at the end of a busy day discussing what our favourite thing was.  This is our family tradition and a highlight of mealtimes.

Of course, this idyllic scenario doesn’t always take place, so mealtimes are also the perfect opportunity to simply pull out the ipads and sticker books so that my husband and I can sit, relax and enjoy our meals.


Thanks for reading my blog and I hope that you could, in fact, figure out what each letter was in the pictures!

From one #stayathomemum hoping to become a #markwarnermum and be a part of the 2017 Family Ambassador Programme.

2 Comments

    • February 22, 2017 / 1:13 am

      Thanks so much – I can’t wait until they announce the winners!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *