My top 10 tips for Center Parcs

My top 10 tips for Center Parcs

  • We love Center Parcs and have been quite a few times with Finn. I think we love it so much because Finn is in his element with the swimming & exploring the forest. He’s always shattered at the end of the day so we then get a chance to relax. I know people say it can be pricy but we try to keep the costs down. Hopefully these tips will help.
  • Go Swimming first
  • We always pack a bag for swimming and keep it handy for when we arrive. That way we can park up, get some lunch & go swimming. I think we make the most of the first day then & avoid the car park queues. The gates open about 3.30 for you to drive round to your lodge but we find it really busy at this time & you just waste your time queuing. I think its better to go swimming then wait for the queues to die down and drive straight round. We do similar on the last day but pack up, park the car and then go swimming and make the most of our last day.
  • Take Supplies & Shopping
  • The Parc market on site can be quite expensive. We usually bring things from home & go to the Aldi close by (Whinfell). We take our own fire logs, toilet roll, dishwasher tablets, snacks drinks etc… to keep costs down. Stock up on alcohol as well as this is expensive in the Parc market.
  • Pre Book your activities
  • Once you’ve booked your break you can start to book activities. I try to spread the cost of these by booking one every few weeks or one a month. That way you don’t have to spend a big amount when you get there. You can also pre book restaurants with a deposit. I use the app to book all my activities and you view your itinerary on here to see what you have booked.
  • Cook in your lodge & eat out at lunch.
  • We find eating out at lunch time a lot cheaper as a lot of the places have set lunch time menus. It’s also easier for us with Finn as we can then relax in the evening. We cook a few nights & just take easy to make things that way we can keep the costs down.
  • Look around for the cheapest weeks
  • We find staying Monday- Friday in term time a lot cheaper than a school holiday break or a weekend one. Also when you go to book you can scroll through the weeks to find the cheapest ones. If you’re not too tied down to set dates it’s definitely worth searching to find the cheapest week for you.
  • Pick your lodge for your Budget
  • We’ve stayed in the apartments, executive & the more basic lodges and I think they are all really nice. The executive are obviously nicer but if you are doing it on a budget I wouldn’t be put off by going to a more basic lodge. You can pay extra to stay in a central location but we never bother with this and don’t find it too much of a walk.
  • Take your bikes
  • You can hire bikes there but it can be expensive. We always take Finn’s bike or scooter, there’s plenty of bike racks so take a lock.
  • Make use of the free activities
  • There’s plenty of free things to keep you occupied there’s swimming, a beach & sandpit, parks and a massive forest to explore. We make sure we take advantage of these. We go for a walk through the forest each day and we’ve done bug hunts ( take a cheap magnifying glass) or a nature hunt. I also love the bird hide as well so we always have a walk to that. There’s a few soft plays as well so usually we go to the lakeside inn and have a drink while Finn plays in the play area.
  • Take Snacks/ Lunch for around the pool
  • Now Finn’s getting older we can definitely spend more time round the pool so next time I will take some snacks or lunch a few days so we can make a longer day of it. The subtropical swimming paradise is heated to about 29 degrees and has plenty of places for you to sit.
  • Plan your day around the quieter times
  • The pool is always busier first thing & after lunch so where possible we avoid these times. We also try and avoid the restaurants at busier times as well just to make it a bit more relaxing.
  • I hope you find these tips useful and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.
  • Jodie. X
  • My top tips for self care

    My top tips for self care

    I’m sat writing this when I’m currently out of action with a sprained knee. I’m off work, Stu & Finn have gone out for the day and I can’t do my usual cleaning & tidying. My initial thought was honestly to panic, what on earth am I going to do for a whole day when I can barely walk. It really made me think how my whole life is defined as a wife & Mum. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love that this is my world and there’s nothing I love more than a family day. It’s really made me think though about making time for myself and remembering all the things I love to do outside of family time. It’s so important to make time for yourself, it’s a proper cliche but the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup is so true. You need to make time for yourself so you can be your best self for your family & most importantly you. I’ve made a list of some self care tips that will hopefully benefit me & you. I’m not really a shopper & I like to save all my money for holidays so I’ve tried to keep these tips as budget friendly as possible.

    Have a bath

    One of my favourite things to do is have a long bath, when I say long I can literally sit in there for hours if I have the time. I love to read in the bath & feel like I can totally switch off. Definitely something I’m going to make more time for.

    Reading

    I love to read but this definitely took a back seat when I became a Mum. This year I am attempting the 52 book challenge so am trying to read 52 books in a year. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to complete it fully but it’s definitely made me fall back in love with reading. Reading makes me completely switch off and I think I sleep so much better if I read before bed.

    Get an early night

    This is something I definitely don’t do enough and I really need to do more. I think by the time Finn’s in bed we’ve had tea & tidied up I then feel like we need a few hours to catch up on TV or I spend my time blogging or editing videos. Or even more annoying I spend ages scrolling through my phone. I’m going to make a conscious effort though to go to bed before 10pm at least once a week in the hope of getting more than my usual 5/6 hours sleep.

    Go for a Walk

    Last year I made an effort to get up early a few mornings a week to go for a quick walk before Stu went to work. I used to love it, I’d listen to a podcast and enjoyed the quiet time. Definitely something I want to start incorporating into my day again.

    Have a pamper

    I don’t necessarily mean an expensive spa day or treatment, unless you want to but it’s definitely nice to make a bit of time to pamper yourself. I try and do a face mask or hair treatment every now and then, it’s nice to just switch off from time to time.

    Make time to watch your favourite film/ series

    Me and Stu are definitely guilty of sitting down to watch something together and then both scrolling through our phones. I’m going to try and make more time to catch up on the things I enjoy.

    Have some phone free time/ social media free time

    I’ll be the first to admit I’m a phone & social media addict but there’s definitely some benefits to having some phone free time. I also delete or hide people from my social media that are negative or make me feel bad. I think it’s nice to make your social media a positive space.

    Have some time with your friends.

    It’s so important to make time for your friends, I feel so much better after a catch up. A lot of my newer friends I’ve met or grown closer to since having Finn so it’s nice to spend time with these away from the kids.

    Blog or write a diary

    I know a blog isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I feel so much better after writing things down. Even if it’s just something you do for yourself it’s worth a try. One thing I also like doing is a gratitude journal, this helps me to feel more positive. Just writing down a few things that are positive in your life write now can make you a whole lot more grateful.

    Mindfulness

  • Something I like to do when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed is use a mindfulness app. I love Headspace, it helps me to feel a lot calmer and have a much better sleep if I use it before bed.
  • I hope you found these tips useful and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.
  • Our Weekend Camping in Anglesey

    Our Weekend Camping in Anglesey

    We have just come back from a 3 night stay in Anglesey camping, I’ve not been to Anglesey since I was younger and I loved it. There’s so many beautiful beaches & towns and we will definitely be back soon. We stayed at the Golden Sunset in Benllech. The Campsite had amazing views out to the Irish Sea & there was plenty of families there with children so Finn was in his element. You can also go crabbing on the rocks right by the campsite which Finn really enjoyed. My only criticism would be that on the Saturday night it was really noisy with some groups being quite rowdy but the Sunday night was lovely once they had gone. Finn’s a heavy sleeper so it didn’t wake him. There was plenty of showers, just no electrical hook up so bear that in mind. We walked the coastal path to Benllech, which was beautiful but a bit rocky so not really suitable for prams. We didn’t eat in Benllech, other than the chippy near Tesco the golden fry which was lovely. The Tesco is open till 11pm each evening which is handy.

    Golden Sunset, Benllech
    Sunrise at Golden Sunset Benllech
    Benllech Beach

    On the second day we headed to Beaumaris which is a beautiful coastal town, the views over the Menai straits to Snowdonia are amazing. We had a walk around the town & Finn loved the park near the castle. The highlight for me was the boat trip out to Puffin Island. We used Seacoast Safari’s and the whole experience was fantastic. We saw puffins, oyster catchers, seals & plenty of sea birds but the absolute highlight for us was seeing Dolphins. It really was an unforgettable experience. The captain was brilliant sailing round in search of them and even stayed over our cruise time so we could get a good look at the Dolphins. Even without seeing the Dolphins I’d recommend the cruise we really enjoyed it.

    On the Sunday we went to Southstack lighthouse, just past Holyhead. It was beautiful with amazing views and a lovely little cafe with a play area. It’s an RSPB centre so it was nice to go in there and chat about the wildlife. Finn enjoyed using the binoculars in there to see what he could spot. You can pay to walk up the lighthouse but I wasn’t sure if Finn would manage the steps, we’d definitely do this next time though.

    After this we headed to a beautiful little beach, we didn’t even know the name but there’s plenty of little coves dotted about so definitely stop at a few If you can.

    We then went to the Oyster catcher in Rhosneigr the food was really nice and it had a quirky outdoor seating area. I think if we went again I’d try and book for inside as there was a limited menu outside.

    We finished our trip with a visit to Newborough Beach, this beach is beautiful with amazing views and a lovely walk through the forest. It costs 5 pound to park for the day, there’s toilets in the car park. There’s a few little food trucks but I’d definitely say take supplies if you’re staying all day. We walked to the lighthouse which was really nice with more beautiful views.

    I’m definitely in love with Anglesey and we will be back soon, what are your must. Visit places? I’d love to know.