Going on holiday as a single parent...

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Prior to becoming a parent, travel and adventure were part and parcel of who I was. I’d taken a GAP year before university to India, where armed with a backpack and an ill fitting mosquito net, I trawled the subcontinent before settling in Kolkata [Calcutta] where I volunteered with Mother Teresa’s sisters in their orphanage, street dispensary, and home for the dying. I continued this wanderlust to the Philippines, Naples and the Bronx, before settling to my studies. I should point out that I’ve always been an incredibly nervous flyer, but the desire to see the world gave me courage to overcome that fear. I always imagined [rather idealistically] that should I ever have children, I would be putting my toddler in a backpack and revisiting places on my travels.

However, on becoming a mother [a single one], at the age of 32, I realised that I had suddenly become rather more cautious. Gone were my days of collecting intestinal parasites as a matter of pride, or taking risks and sleeping in cheap backpacker hostels. As much as I wanted to show my son the world and nurture him with a sense of adventure, I had neither the finances or courage to whisk him off to the subcontinent and beyond.

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Benefits of outdoor play: Ready, Steady, Go. Written by Verity Worthington.

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I’ve recently trained as a secondary school teacher, and as part of our training, we were sent on a day’s outdoor adventure. I always dreaded PE at school, not because I didn’t like exercise but because I didn’t like the regimental routines of getting changed and having no choice about what we did. I was also very conscious that I wasn’t perhaps as fit as the other girls, and wouldn’t be chosen first. Consequently I dreaded our day of outdoor adventure, and didn’t sleep much the night before. There was talk of climbing telegraph poles and high ropes. It all sounded awful. It’s incredible how school memories of exercise can impact upon us in adulthood. (No one mention the Bleep Test please!) On a serious note, our own apprehensions can be passed onto our children, and I’m conscious that there is much fun to be had the other side of my fears.

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Book your 2020 holiday now, pay 2019 prices!

We're excited to annouce that we've just launched our overseas 2020 family adventure holidays, which are now available to book.

It pays to book early because if you book by the 31st August, not only will you secure your preferred holiday, but you will pay 2019 prices, a saving of around £25 per person. 

To secure your holiday, you only need to pay a £150 deposit for the whole family, with nothing else to pay until 10 weeks prior to departure. 

What's new?

1. We've added even more single parent holidays in France.  Explore our single parent family holidays. 

2. We've increased our two centre holidays. With more of our customers seeking a two week holiday, we've added a few more coach holidays to France and Italy. 

3. Malta has almost sold out for 2019, so this popular destination will see a return in 2020- we have already had 2 bookings on day 1 of the 2020 launch. 

Explore our 2020 holidays. 

 

How to beat school holiday prices

 

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There is much discussion and debate about why holidays cost so much in the school holidays. It is a big source of frustration for many parents, especially for families who can't afford the peak prices and then have to consider whether to break the rules and take their children out of school in term time. 

At Acorn, we understand this and have created family activity holidays that are affordable in the summer holidays. Our 3 night UK breaks start from as little as £188pp during the months of July and August. 

A holiday in the Brecon Beacons during the summer holidays costs just £248 per child and £288 per adult for a 4 night mid week activity break in August 2019. This includes full board accommodation, a full activity programme, evening entertainment and soft drinks with meals. 

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Brexit extension provides certainty about travel arrangements for summer 2019

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The Government has confirmed today (11th April 2019) that the deadline for when Britain will leave the UK has been extended to 31st October 2019. This means travel to Europe this summer is as normal and you can take your family to European countries without any changes or uncertainty. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said:

“The Brexit extension provides certainty for people’s travel plans going into the Summer, meaning they can continue to book and travel without the uncertainties that come with a no-deal Brexit. 

“While many people have already made their holiday plans for this Summer, booking early to get the holiday of their choice, others have been waiting to see what happens with Brexit. Today’s announcement should give people total confidence to book their holidays and travel arrangements. 

“Easter is traditionally a popular time to book a Summer holiday. The return to popularity of Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, not to mention the rise of Bulgaria, is making prices really competitive, including in popular destinations throughout the Western Mediterranean.” 
ABTA has updated its Brexit advice page – abta.com/Brexit - confirming that current arrangements, such as the European Health Insurance Card and pet passports, will remain in place during the extension. 

Read ABTA's latest European Travel advice. 

Five reasons you should visit the Ardeche, South of France

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The Ardeche in the South of France is one of the country’s best kept secrets. With its magnificent scenery, historic streets, delicious cuisine and beautiful gorge (where you can experience the best family canoe trip ever!) here’s why you should start planning a family holiday to the Ardeche this summer.

1. Family activities

If you’re an adventure enthusiast and love the great outdoors, then your family will love this region of France, which is often referred to as `The Grand Canyon of Europe`. Here you can canoe the Ardeche River, with its many turns and rapids, whilst taking in the beautiful views of the limestone gorge. Let our expert River Team help you refine your paddle skills and guide you down this beautiful stretch of river over two days. The two day canoe journey down the Ardeche River, with overnight bivouac continues to be one of the best activities we do. Acorn also offers a range of other activities in the Ardeche from climbing to high ropes, which form part of an action-packed six-night adventure. 2ef64fbf-66d7-4a0d-87dd-e49de14bfd9c

2. Visit the Orgnac Caves

The Aven D’Orgnac was discovered in 1935 and visitors to the Ardeche Region in France can now admire the gigantic chambers and their magical crystal formations. Prepare to be amazed by nature’s art gallery. 

3. Wander the historic streets of Vallon

Vallon Pont D’arc is in the Ardeche region of the Rhone-Alps at the western end of the Ardeche Gorge. The lively town is a charming place to visit with its streets lined with old buildings, cafes, and shops to explore. One of the highlights of the week is the French market which can be enjoyed on Thursday mornings or a popular night market takes place each week on a Tuesday evening. This is the perfect opportunity to experience French culture and even practice your French skills!

4. Soak up the sunshine

One of the reasons why this area is so great for outdoor enthusiasts is the fantastic weather. The summer months of July and August see temperatures soar to around 28 degrees, giving you the perfect excuse to jump in the river (or in our onsite pool) and cool down.

5. Admire the natural beauty

The Ardeche has some of Europe’s greatest natural scenery. Along with the beautiful Ardeche River Gorge, you can visit the iconic Pont D’arc, a 66-metre long natural stone bridge, which is listed as part of France’s natural heritage.

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Should you book your family holiday before Brexit?

 

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Many people are booking their family holiday and deal or no deal, flights will be operating between the UK and EU. But with the Brexit date looming, it’s only natural that some families are considering delaying their holiday plans until after `the big day` (29th March 2019). I mean, what’s another few weeks? It’s only natural that Brexit is creating some unsettlement, whatever your political viewpoint. 

What we do know for sure is that it’s in nobody’s interest for travel to Europe to stop, or become difficult, or for anyone to stop holiday in France, Italy, Spain and so on. Us Brits play a huge role in Europe’s tourism economy. European travel will continue after Brexit. That is a fact.

So now we know that travel to Europe will continue, should you book your family holiday before or after Brexit? 

If you are wishing to travel on the 29th March, or in the few days following this date, go with the mindset that there may be some delays and travel issues because change is likely to have some impact on travel immediately. If you don’t wish to have such worries and your holiday plans can wait, perhaps wait a little beyond the 29th March.

If you are wanting to get your family holiday booked for the summer, then we can see no reason why you should delay your plans, as long as you are booking with an ABTA Bonded travel operator, such as Acorn Family Holidays or another ABTA bonded company. ABTA have confirmed the following, which offers UK customers booking package holidays great reassurance that their money is protected:

“Customers who book a package holiday with a UK travel company enjoy the most comprehensive consumer protection: if you book a package, your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning you have a right to a full refund if your holiday can no longer be provided.
The UK 
Government has confirmed that the Package Travel Regulations will remain in the UK law when the UK leaves the EU”.

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