Stuff We Love + Use: Our Family Recommendations

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I get quite a few questions emailed in from readers about what holiday planning resources we use, about blogging and about what works well for our family. So I’ve put together a list here that I can refer folks to.

This is a list of stuff we use and love.

Hope this is a useful resource for you!

 

 

Holidays + Travel

Booking hotels

I swither between HotelsCombined, Hotels.com and Booking.com when it comes to checking prices and availability of hotels and other accommodation.

Hotels.com has a great Last Minute Deals page, – their motto ‘book today, holiday tomorrow’ is highly appealling!

I often book direct with hotels, especially if they are part of the Accor group, which covers thousands of hotels including great brands like Novotel and Sofitel.  The Accor website also has a section of Family Holidays and Offers, it’s worth getting to know.

I’m an Accor member so like to book direct to get the points.

 

Pricing flights

I always, always go to Skyscanner first!




Skyscanner   is a very versatile tool and can show you the cheapest flights as well as many options on flight choices to suit you.

I often use Expedia to check flights, and hotels too, it’s an easy tool to use.

NB:  I often use a new Incognito window as I don’t like the idea of my searches being tracked and prices manipulated, which I have read about here and there.

 

Travel Insurance – 10% off for readers

We use InsureandGo, it’s a very simple website to use and came highly recommended by many travel writers friends who spend months and months of the year on the road.

I must report that we haven’t had to use it yet, so… will update on how InsureandGo perform as soon as we’ve had to claim.

Click below to enjoy 10% off the regular price, a special offer for Hello Sydney Kids readers.  Just enter the promo code SYDNEY10 at the checkout.


 

Money Exchange + Travel Cash

Best not left until the last minute at the airport!  You can order currency in cash and or on a card called a cash passport with Travelex here.


Travelex - Currency

 

Renting Cars



I always check rates using the AirportRentalCars.com comparison website.

I’ve also used RentalCars.com several times and find them helpful and efficient.

Just did a 10 day rental in Edinburgh for $271 using Hertz after finding the deal on this site. Bargain!

 

 

 

Researching holidays

We subscribe to two magazines, as much for the armchair escapism and lush photos as anything:

International Traveller

Australian Traveller

I use some of my fave travel blogs to hunt for new places to go on holiday:

yTravelBlog

Get In The Hot Spot

Holy Smithereens

 

 

Blogging

 

Blog Hosting

For new bloggers I highly recommend using Bluehost, this is a huge company which makes it super easy to get started as a blogger.

I’d recommend starting with a budget of $200 – $300 and having Bluehost set up your theme for you. Check out the website here, it’s easy to use.

I have just set up a new site using Bluehost myself.  Hello Sydney Kids was set up by a developer and has a lot of traffic and uses a lot of space.  It’s currently hosted on VentraIP  as set up by my developer, this costs $25 a month and works well, but it’s not needed for beginner bloggers at all.

 

Blog Development and Support

I use Rich Candy at Mucho as my go to guru. Rich has been helping me since I started in 2011 and he’s quick and efficient. Highly recommended for business sites.

 

 

Family + Home

In general, I’d advice NOT coming to me for advice on housekeeping… however… over the past 20 years of domestic slavery these are the useful tips I can pass on.

 

Ready-Made Meals

The shop-bought ones are shocking… when I just cannot be bothered to cook but know we all need a healthy meal, I go to the freezer and pull out a meal from one of these three great Aussie companies, run by fab Sydney mums.

The Dinner Ladies

Dinner On The Table

Vegan Meals Delivered

 

Meal Kits To Make At Home

I tend to subscribe to these when I am really busy or feeling overwhelmed. Then I’ll use them for a while, and stop them when I’m back on track.  They are great for encouraging teenagers to learn to cook.  We us:

Hello Fresh who also support this blog and its readers by offering $25 off your first two orders, click here

 

The Dreaded Washing

The very lest laundry baskets are worth the extra expense, I use foldable ones described in this post.

The best clothes pegs in the world are Rainbow Pegs, click here!

Top tips for all other laundry matters?  Train the kids early.

 

This page of the website will forever be a work in progress. I’ll add to it as people ask questions.

Can I help you with something?  I’ve been a mum for almost 20 years, a blogger for six and a traveller and travel writer for a lot longer than both combined!

Email me at “hello at hellosydneykids dot com dot au” and I’ll do  my best to answer.

All the best

 

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This post contains some affiliate links.  I only recommend items that our family uses and personally endorse.  If you purchase an item using these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps support this blog. Disclosure policy is here.