When it came to booking our first family holiday, I didn't hesitate to go abroad - in fact staying at home didn't even come into the question. We did our research and decided on Sardinia. A two-hour flight away, with Caribbean style beaches - just the tonic after a crazy year.
How many times do we see parents look over at their kids with heads down on devices and hear them say, with both relief and guilt, "what did we do before iPads?". The tablet obsession may have had its day though according to recent reports.
It's funny really, because we all like to think spending time with our friends and family is the most precious thing in the world. It's what we all strive for. It's what matters. Yet finding time to do so almost feels impossible. Of course, we try.
Frequent flyer programmes have been around for many years, and now gaining children's loyalty is beginning to gather more momentum, with some airlines promoting this service amongst many other child friendly initiatives.
With three kids that have enough energy between them to run a duracell power station, I intend to fill the garden with as much entertainment as possible to help survive the summer before school starts! Here are my top picks for garden toys that have been tried, tested and approved by three VISP's (very important small people)...
Your offspring is not only bouncing off the walls but doing flipping triple somersaults as a results of consuming three times their body weight in sugar. You actually google the symptoms of a sugar induced coma. Just in case.
Poppy Pickle's imagination tends to get her into trouble with her parents. But no more so than when her imaginations begin to come to life. There's bags of humour both in the words and the illustrations for little ones to revel in here.
We took our boy to his first music festival when he was just weeks old. He did his first camping festival at the age of three. It is now just after his 5th birthday and after our first festival of the year that it has come to my attention that some people frown upon taking children to festivals.
How did we find ourselves in Rome? You have an invitation to Aix-en-Provence followed by a spin in Verona, then you find yourself in Cinque Terre, well Florence isn't that far away, and when you're in Florence you can't miss seeing Rome!
As a mum I'm aware that most of the things I say to my children are lies. Not big fat lies like that time I told my daughter it's illegal for children to have their own packet of crisps, just small untruths, things that don't mean exactly what they say.
I'd like to think, at the grand old age of 27, that I'd outgrown the built-in dread I felt anytime my parents drew attention to themselves - but unfortunately, it seems I'm still hot-wired to glow red. The only difference is that now I kind of love them for all of their cringe-worthy traits.
Officially summer has been here for a while, but the weather hasn't quite cottoned on. If the traditional image of summer is one of relaxation and strawberries and cream, then think again. Summer can present a number of challenges for parents of school-aged children, particularly if they are working.
I was kind of hoping to discover I was a nature loving, rugged, female Bear Grylls. Instead I found out I like to feel clean, sleep in a bed and have a toddler proofed room and showers without other peoples hair in them.
I hate to think I'm forcing our daughter's pastimes or interests (pushy mum alert!) BUT when we live on the edge of miles of beautiful Chiltern countryside I refuse to ignore the opportunities our natural environment presents: For educational purposes, yes of course, but overall for good old fashioned fun!
Of course there are steps you can take to ensure you and baby are as safe as possible and enjoy the journey rather than simply survive it, so here's everything I've learnt about flying pregnant over the last couple of child-rearing years while working as a travel writer, which will hopefully give you confidence if you're having flying jitters and some peace of mind too.
For those of you who are adept at exiting your car through the sunroof and magically removing your off-spring and perhaps even the car seat in the same manner, this post is not for you. However, for everyone else, I imagine you will feel my pain.