Days Out Planning

Need Help Planning Days Out?

Travel Planning
Written by Kirstie Pelling

Need Help Planning Days Out?

Kirstie Profile SmallAre you allergic to planning journeys? Do you hate wading through attraction review sites that spew vitriol from the skies? Would you like to type in the number of family members or your budget and let a website do the work? Well. thanks to a collaboration with we’ve found one micro site that helps with that…  

Making family holiday planning easier

In the twelve years we have been travelling as a family, planning itineraries has been my least favourite part of the journey. While you might look at a map and a guide book and shiver with anticipation, I just shiver, turn the heating up and wonder if the local coffee shop is warmer. While I generally look at words and see poetry, give me a load of place names strung together by a contour and a B road and I become dyslexic.

Travel Planning

When it comes to travel planning, I need tools that make it child’s play

It’s even worse planning days out

I find planning a schedule of attractions even harder. I’m fine if it’s just a farm visit followed by dinner. Or a museum followed by lunch. I love a gallery as much as anyone and I could make a career out of wandering around a city I don’t know. But a fistful of attractions that need scheduling and researching brings me out in a rash. Probably because on the whole I don’t really like attractions. Or tourists. Or fast food. And I’m the most impatient person in the world when confronted by a queue.

The Big One Blackpool Pleasure Beach

I love a day out as much as the next person, once we get there!

Why am I telling you all this?

Good question. Well the other day a micro site came to my attention that makes planning and researching a summer holiday outing or short break a little easier. How? Well, you don’t just select an exhibition and a dump it in a basket along with a studio tour. You don’t just create an online list that you’ll forget to print out when you’re packing. (Or is that just me?) You don’t have to read about what Mr Angry Pants thought about the zoo on Trip Advisor. And the only map you have to read is covered in tardises, tigers and towers; pictorial versions of the attractions to make the whole thing simple.

If you’re a genuine explorer who gets off on contours, then what are you doing still reading? You should be half way up a glacier by now. This map is for people like me who like ice cream cone icons.

Ice Cream Castle Conwy

I like it when ice cream cones help me find attractions

The Littlewoods Summer Activities Map

The Littlewoods Summer Activities Map allows you to search for things to do and see by family numbers, by budget, or by post code. Simple. Like me. Like an ice cream cone.

Being a scouser I go for budget, type in the lowest I can find (free) and choose a location I know to see if it throws up anything of interest I don’t already know about.

And bing! There is my local coffee shop. With a mini petting farm that I’ve never visited. But I can guarantee that my morning coffee is indeed low budget with a great view of the Cumbrian hills. In all the site offers up over sixty attractions for a a family visiting where I live, including mines, play centres and museums. And the obligatory Beatrix Potter attraction. Well we are talking about The Lake District.

Sheep above Windermere

The site does well at finding me a place to see sheep, have coffee and more in Cumbria

There are some drawbacks though. You have to know the exact postcode for where you want. I decide to search for activities in Bristol and type in a general BS postcode but the Google map it brings up is for Lake Garda. Now I’d love to visit Lake Garda but it’s a wrong turning or two from Bristol and unsurprisingly I can’t find any UK family attractions there.

When I get the postcode right or stop trying to be clever and just type in Bristol the site serves up some useful ideas but I can’t help feeling  it could go further. Couldn’t it take details of the ages of my kids and suggest suitable activities. Or maybe allow me to search by kind of activity, you know help me find something for my thrill seeker or my culture vulture. And couldn’t it do contours. I mean I need someone to tell me what to expect if we decide we’re going to bike to our chosen destination. Or is that what Stuart is for?

Still, the site keeps me online and planning for quite a while and Stuart will tell you that’s quite an achievement. I even discover a ‘Share To Win’ competition which could win me a year’s Premium Family Merlin Pass, which I know would drive Stuart mad. And then it makes me want to visit Cardiff. Cardiff? Who knew? Why? Well, if you want to find out, go check out what’s there for yourself on the map app. And maybe I’ll see you there before the summer is out or perhaps at half term. After that pre-summer weekend in Llandudno I think I may be getting a taste for Wales. And I don’t mean sheep.

Littlewoods Summer Activity Planner helps planning days out

Planning days out with the Littlewoods Summer Activity Planner.

Disclosure Note: This post is brought to you in collaboration with The ideas and opinions expressed remain, as ever, entirely our own.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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