The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is a smile on everyone’s lips because we have another long weekend ahead of us!
BUT just how important is the sun when it comes to enjoying and exploring Britain’s Ocean City..?
There is no two ways about it. There is something magical that happens in Plymouth when the sun comes out. Alfresco Dining. Socialising with a drink in hand as we catch up with friends. The sea a shining rug of elegance and beauty gently soothing the soul.
When the sun comes out in Plymouth, there is no place better to be.
We are at the point where Winter feels like it’s almost beat us! Our skin looks anaemic and our souls are tiered of the dark mornings and nights and the dreary wetness! Then, a hint of Spring hits the air. Flowers start to bloom in gardens and road sides and our skin feels the breeze for what feels like the first time in a decade!
We barely believe it. We delay the Winter/Summer wardrobe swap in fear it’s just a fluke! It becomes a conversation starter in queues, on buses at the hairdressers … or just about anywhere where anyone will listen!
“Lovely isn’t it”. “I can’t believe how nice it is”. “Do you think it will last”. “Be terrible again when the Kids go back!”…
Endless sound bites that have been generated, stored and whipped out at every opportunity!
What’s more. We desperately want to be outside ALL OF THE TIME! Our gardens look pristine but our kitchens become overgrown with dishes!
But boy does it feel good!
Just like saying ‘sorry’ when someone steps on your toe; we are programmed to blame, or to thank the weather for EVERYTHING!
The roads are busy today: It’s the weather. The restaurants busy today: It’s the weather. You look tired today. It’s the weather. I don’t feel great today. It’s probably the weather..!
As well as put blame on the weathers head, we also use it a gauge as to how good a holiday will be.
When you say where you are going on a vacation, peoples almost first response is usually: “What will the weather be like?”
Now, you have one of three responses to that:
1) The weathers going to be really warm. The response) Oh, you’ll have a GREAT time.
2) Ahh, it’s ok, not great not awful. The response) Never mind, it does you good just to get away sometimes.
3) Raining and cold. The response) Oh no that’s such a shame.
The one thing that we can not argue about is yes, when the sun is shining, Plymouth is truly beautiful…HOWEVER, when the sun isn’t shining – Plymouth is truly beautiful too!
You see, the sun shining is a bonus yes, but it certainly isn’t the be all and end all of a good time in our city by the sea!
Here are some great treats; treats for the grey and cloudy, the damp and drab AND the sunny and bright – because let’s face it, we could have all three of these weather types in any given week – so we better make the most of every second, every element and every memory whilst enjoying ALL that Plymouth has to offer!
When you have a good time in Plymouth, it won’t be the weather you thank; it will be the unique and the startling that has been embedded in our cobbles DNA! When you talk about your holiday to Plymouth – you will have a smile on your face no matter what the weather and the sun will always be shining on the memories you make.
Navigating the motorways is one thing; but how do Road Warriors in the 21st century keep their mind and soul on a healthy path..?
In the lead up to Mental health Awareness Week 2019, we invited two of our most regular business travellers to share with us their tips and tricks. Telling us just how they keep their minds healthy and happy and their souls full of joy.
As an independent hotel, our guests’ and their experiences are always so important to us. Be they guests who are here as part of a tour; on a leisure break to our beautiful city or here for business. How they feel, matters.
We understand that for a business traveller there are many ‘bumps in the road’. They are away from their families a lot; they often miss milestones and celebrations. Family home-cooked meals are a thing of the past and although they may see lots of beautiful cities, they rarely get to experience them.
Brushing over the discomfort of travelling for a living seems to be a common theme for many business travellers. They love their jobs and are passionate about their product, service and customers. Like many people with high pressured jobs, they keep going because they love what they do.
But keeping going without complaint is one thing; but is it the best thing?
By ignoring and not identifying the challenges we are encountering, and how they might affect our health, can mean that we could easily become lost.
Prince Harry is a keen advocate for all things mental health and brings awareness to so many by talking about his experiences very openly. He talks at length about how scary it can feel to broach the subject: “People are scared to talk about it, but they should be scared about not talking about it,” he said at the annual Time To Talk Awareness Day.
Perhaps that has something to do with us skirting around the edges of our challenges. Be they around our jobs, our lives or both! Knowing it’s ok to find things hard – even when we love them – is part of the challenge.
We talk to some very open and honest business travellers about their routines to keep their body, and their mind, healthy. We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to them, for taking the time and for their honesty.
“It has taken me almost 7 years to find my dream job. I meet new and interesting people all the time and I have a product that I love to share. But I learnt very quickly that I would have to be mindful about certain things.
It sounds silly, but my first challenge was food! I had always been a comfortable size 12, but within just three months I was a tight 16! It’s not that I thought I was fat – but I just wasn’t comfortable in my own skin anymore!
So I started to be better organised, taking healthy snacks rather than relying on petrol station food. I choose hotels that have restaurants and gyms. Now I pre-book a table before I get there; so I don’t get tempted to fly in fast food drive throughs! I have also now re-gained my love of the gym.
I have a lot of alone time, I drive for about three hours most days, so quickly found pod-casts and when I can, I use the time to keep in contact with friends on my hands free.
The best advice came from a mentor of mine; he said if you keep your mind active, you will keep your heart alive. I am now learning Spanish whilst I drive too!”
“A Dad to three lively boys, being away from home at the beginning meant I could get a good nights sleep! After a while though, that wore off as I started to miss nativity plays and parents evenings. Now in their late teens I feel that I am actually better connected to them. In some ways better connected than some of my friends are with their children. Technology offers us countless ways to stay connected, and with great Wi-Fi we can even watch films together, play games and chat face-to-face even when I am miles away.
I don’t think working away is right for everyone, and I know that it took my wife many months to get used to the feeling of being alone. But now we make it work. I love my family and I love my job and I am really aware of what we all need to be happy and connected.”
Like with many hotels, we always want to do what we can to better your experiences. We know that there are days when you feel frazzled and want to just check-in and lie-low; but then we also know that there are days when just having a good old chat – is exactly what the doctor ordered!
Whatever you need; if like Sam it’s a table for dinner and a warm swimming pool and cool gym; or like Paddy and his room with the best Wi-Fi. Just let us know. Let us help you wipe your thoughts from your minds and find a happy place whereby you can give yourself and your family exactly what you all need whilst being on the road.
A holiday is an amazing treat; but also for some it’s critical.
Plymouth’s Dementia Action Week (20 – 26 May 2019)
In 2015, we become the first dementia friendly hotel in Plymouth. Something that we are all extremely proud of.
Many of us within the team have had our lives touched by dementia and knew that by working with Claire Puckey, Plymouth City Councils Dementia Friendly City Co-ordinator, would help us offer a better service for those needing a break away.
The UK should be so proud of the vast steps that have been made; years ahead of most countries when it comes to offering the services required for a safe retreat for those travelling with a dementia patient.
We know that it is critically important that caregivers, family and friends, who are often either on duty or call 24 hours a day, get a break away for their own health.
For that reason we took steps to get better at offering an environment that was the best it could be. Not easy with an old listed building like ours! But for us, not being able to change everything didn’t mean we didn’t want to do what we could with what we had.
We Claire’s help, we took the steps we could to be the best we could. With Plymouth’s breathtaking scenery, history and riches, we wanted to make sure that it was a city that was accessible… to everyone.
A member of the New Continental Hotels staff shares something that helped them with a family member.
When my Nan was in the early stages, I loved to be in the kitchen with her. Where I remembered her at her happiest. We would do simple things, I would help and we would just potter around together, mostly making a mess – sometimes making something edible!!
I was told about shortbread by a carer; that because it contains minimal ingredients and is easy to mix together, roll out and cook – it’s a tasty treat that is easy and satisfying!
For someone like me – when cooking is not my strength – this was perfect for me to take the lead on!
It made for a great afternoon activity; and the best bit was we could sit and enjoy our offerings with an afternoon cup of tea together!
Cheese Fest lands in Plymouth for the very first time EVER! Put the date in your diary now: 11th May 2019 … we are super excited!!
CheeseFest UK is an amazing festival, touring the entire width and breadth of the UK. It’s unlike many other festivals you have ever witnessed before! Bringing with it so much cheesy fun! With sensational live music; Wallace and Gromit will be mingling; model making with Aardman Animation; Wallace and Gromit life size vehicles; cooking demos; activity areas; street food and so much more!
What a day!
An action packed day is on the cards; celebrating 30 cracking years of Wallace & Gromit.
Experience some of the cheesiest cheeses in the world! With Melted Raclette, Cheese Wheels, Gooey Mozzarella Sticks and a whole host of cheesetastic tastes from the UK’s best cheese traders!
There are 15 live dates throughout the UK, celebrating all that’s great in the world of cheese. Expect the most incredible melted delights and delicious cheese-based cuisine presented for your culinary pleasure by the finest fromagers from across the land. What’s more; there will be so much for the entire family that you will feel a day just isn’t long enough!
CheeseFest UK promises to be a grand day out for all the family with a jam packed programme of feasting and entertainment hosted by the world’s most famous cheese ambassadors Wallace & Gromit. Kids can enjoy model making, life-size vehicles, film screenings of popular Wallace & Gromit movies, and a meet & greet with Wallace and Gromit themselves. Young and old, all are welcome, so don’t be sheepish! – get involved!
There is just less than a month to go for the award-winning Pirates Weekend Plymouth! A weekend that offers a swashbuckling weekend of free fun for all the family to enjoy. What’s more; the sun always shines on Pirates!
This amazing weekend is organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District. It is one of THE most amazing weekends in Plymouth and this year takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Britain’s Ocean City becomes alive with merry activities as the weekend unfolds across the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe.
Meaning you wont miss a thing!
What’s It All About?
Well! What you can be sure of is two amazing days packed full of entertainment and activities. Including a pirate trail, storytellers, puppet shows, arts and crafts activities, street entertainment, amazing food and much more!
Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager and Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said:
“Pirates Weekend Plymouth won Silver at the 2018 Devon Tourism Awards for Tourism Event and Festival of the Year as the best family Pirates Weekend in the South West. Designed and funded by Waterfront businesses, Pirates Weekend Plymouth has activities linking the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe Park, whilst Mount Batten Pirates powerboat experiences and PDSSA pirate sailing lessons will give visitors a treat to get out onto the water too.”
“In its eighth year, Pirates Weekend Plymouth is unmissable – so get yourselves dressed up as pirates and come along for two days of brilliant fun!”
What To Wear..!
What’s not to wear! We say go crazy with those head scarfs and eye patches; fancy dress is encouraged throughout the weekend; and new for this year is a Pirate Parade, sponsored by Lazy Jacks. Led by the The Drake Corps of Drums and the infamous Jonty Depp, all of Plymouth’s pirates will march through the streets of the Barbican together.
Every young participant dressed as a pirate will be given a special gift!
Children can also follow a Pirate Trail around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, this is amazing fun for them and you get to see the sights whilst they are totally entertained! This event is sponsored by Sutton Harbour Group.
You can find maps from the Tourist Information Centre for just £2, every participant will receive a prize for completing the trail and also be entered into a draw to win a Lego Creator set.
A full programme of shanty bands will entertain the crowds between 10.30am and 3pm each day. The area will be full of action in a number of locations: along Southside Street, outside Capn’ Jaspers and on board the Grayhound tall ship.
For more information about all the activities at this year’s Pirates Weekend Plymouth, head to visitplymouth.co.uk.
What we know for sure – you will have an amazing time!
Over the last few weeks; we have had many of our guests’ ask us about the large bronze sculpture outside the entrance to the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Wondering why it was there and what it was all about!
There have been so many in fact, that we thought we would use this time to pop a lens over the sculpture and, in our words, share what we know about The Messenger.
The seven metre, almost 10 tonne bronze beauty was brought to life by Cornish artist Joseph Hillier. The sculpture itself was inspired by a split-second pose which was struck by an actor during a rehearsal for the award-winning production of Othello.
Believed to be the UK’s largest cast bronze sculpture, Joseph explained that ‘The Messenger’, although inspired by the pose, also represents a great deal more…
Like the artist himself, we believe that Theatre is so much more than just a home for putting a great show on the stage. Its actors breathing life into words; its audiences being captivated by the messages carried through the auditorium; it’s using art and culture to make deep rooted, significant change within communities. Yes its theatre, but by golly it’s also so much more!
Although not the official explanation, for that you can head over to the custodians themselves on the Theatre Royal Plymouth’s website, we see this sculpture as a metaphor for what great theatre does within a community and for its patrons. It carries a message. It encourages debate and opinions that usually differ; and most of all trulygreat theatre makes us ask questions and share thoughts.
Like with many of our guests, The Messenger will no doubt be like Marmite. People seem to either love it or hate it! But the point is, if we were all the same, wouldn’t that be a boring message!
Theatre Royal Plymouth…
Theatre Royal Plymouth is the premier arts organisation in the South West. They have many amazing and diverse performances on its stages. There is always a show for everyone. For more information on what to see, visit their website for their new season brochure and book you stay (and maybe play) today!
One million plastic bottles around the world are consumed every single minute. Isn’t that incredible to think?
Here at the New Continental Hotel, we have always tried hard to be as sustainable as possible and, as much as the business has allowed, to always act ethically and responsibly. So, knowing that over eight million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in our oceans every year, we knew that we had to work hard to help make change happen.
Although small steps, we know that any steps we make now will add up to making a difference; and if we want to play a part in a shift and see a future where our planet is less battered by our waste, we simply have to act – and act now.
By 2050, it is said that there will be more plastic (by weight) than fish in the ocean; something that all of us here at the New Continental Hotel don’t want to be a part of. So, with this in mind, we have made a commitment to do all that we can throughout the entire hotel and our events and conferencing department is cheering this change.
We know that we can’t get rid of plastic altogether; it’s useful, durable and affordable and so as a result of this, we use it every day in some form. But how we use single use plastics can – and is changing.
Although we have completed a full audit and the hotel introduced an Environmental Policy in 2016; our bars, events and conference offering has also had its own overhaul more recently.
Our Food & Beverage Manager removed plastic straws and bottles in 2018. Where possible our events team work with our organisers to share our tried and tested environmentally kind tips; and they are going down a treat!
Thank you to everyone who has helped and assisted us along the way.
How You Can Help US:
These tips have been really popular and so, we thought that we would share them! If you’re thinking of, or holding an event with us, you can see how together we can all try and take small steps to make a united difference.
Go-Paperless! Use apps, QR codes and websites to save paper. Also, make sure to put your agenda and any event information online! For organisations that don’t have their own website, we happily host a page FOR FREE on our website leading up to the event. A central place for those without a website to host all of their event information.
Email Know How! Pre-conference emails offering information such as links to information and also our Wi-Fi password in advance really helps. It means that delegates can be encouraged, empowered and enabled to go paperless!
It’s Not Just What We Say! We also offer our sustainability statement to go on any of event or conference information.
No more plastic! We no longer stock plastic water bottles for our events. Instead we place glasses and water pitchers in the meeting space. We also happily provide biscuits not individually wrapped if requested.
Go Local! Where and when at all possible our event food and beverages are locally sourced to decrease our carbon footprint.
On The Go! We no longer offer take away Coffee from events as we do not stock paper cups.
Be Collective! We suggest that even though we have ample parking, organisers suggest that delegates set up carpools and offer public transport details for their events with us. As we are in the city centre we are really easy to get to!
Our Marketing At Events:
Bin It! We do not use throwaway marketing materials within conferences that we host; nor do we give handouts to delegates. We will always put any information either on a memory stick or send before or during the event via email.
No Swag! We don’t promote our businesses products or services with any ‘swag’ style items at events we host. We don’t give away pens or branded free gifts that don’t have a ‘sustainable’ theme.
Below is a little about what we do as a general rule at the New Continental Hotel, and also what we aim to develop in the future:
What We DO:
We are undertaking the following actions to strive to responsibly lessen our impact on the environment wherever we sensibly can, by:
Factoring the environment in our everyday decision making at management meetings.
We are Raising awareness and encouraging our staff to carry out more sustainable business practices by informing and involving them at induction and during regular meetings throughout the year.
Recycling paper, newspapers, glass, batteries, fluorescent and long life bulbs, cans and cartridges.
Operating a ‘switch off’ policy for office staff to turn off computer equipment and printers, lights and heating when not in use.
Operating a ‘switch off’ policy for function spaces no longer in use.
Reducing our usage of harmful cleaning chemicals and replacing these with eco-friendly products wherever possible.
Reducing our usage of paper by printing double sided and re-using paper wherever possible.
Encouraging our guests to explore the local attractions by public transport or on foot by providing information on walks, cycle routes and cycle hire information and bus timetables at Reception.
We will continue to:
Use low energy light bulbs in public areas.
Have motion light sensors fitted where appropriate and safe to do so.
Monitor our energy consumption of gas, electricity and water.
Use email where possible to reduce the use of paper.
Turn off unnecessary lights and taps.
Buy in bulk.
We are working on projects to:
Update our website with green travel information e.g. local bicycle hire.
Continue to reduce our energy consumption by looking at energy saving devices, insulation and working on long term projects such as implementing LED lighting.
Use more organic produce, seasonal vegetables and local produce.
Use recycled paper for our brochures with a reduced print run.
Get involved in local community projects.
Reduce water use by continuing to fit water saving devices in toilets and rooms throughout the hotel.
Donate half used bathroom products and towels and bedding to local homeless charities.
We will always comply with the law in all our actions and will continuously review our policy to improve our environmental impact.
We are dedicated to balancing our commitment to our Environmental Policy without compromising on the comfort, standards and enjoyment of our guests
More than just a city centre hotel; a business; a workplace or a historic building. This Grand Old Lady represents courage, strength and willpower…
The New Continental Hotel. A Grand Old Lady who’s seen and survived horror and history. A location that many of us have used for celebrations and special life events. A history that many of us have been part of, be it dinner & dances in the Ballroom or drinking in The Grapevine!
Not just a bricks and mortar city centre structure; but a Grand Old Lady who’s been part of many of our lives and who has witnessed centuries of change and challenge, yet has gracefully and seamlessly adapted and endured…
She is as much a part of Plymouth as the Plymouth people.As familiar to us as the face of a friend. Yes, she has seen struggles, but here she still stands. Waiting to see Plymouth’s transformations, waiting to be part of Plymouth’s future, knowing that she still has the spirit to be exactly what she needs to be, in a city she is proud to call home.
Isn’t that what incredible women need to do?
The strongest of actions for anyone is to love themselves; be themselves and shine amongst change. Building his or her own world, wearing their past pain with pride.
She has been through The Blitz, being in the hands of the receivers, being battered by storms and by the social climate! But continually in pursuit of opportunity; trusting in her value and knowing that she can be and do anything she wants; because she is proud of where she’s come from.
Happy International Women’s Day from this proud, Grand Old Lady!
It’s really no big surprise to us that the UK receives more than 30 million tourists a year!
Which ranks us in the top 10 most visited countries in the whole world!
When you work in Tourism, you see first-hand how truly blessed we are here in Plymouth; with our hugely diverse landscape, sandy beaches just a short drive away, hidden coves, moorland and more!
With all this on the New Continental Hotels doorstep; we love hearing our guests’ talk of their explorations and their ‘Devon Discoveries’!
With 2020 now in sight, and the big celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago; we take a look back at holidays gone by. We make our own predictions when we ask:
“What might the future look like for travel?”
Jetting off to foreign lands will always hold a certain sense of adventure. Like for those that we will commemorate on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, who sailed from Plymouth to America; carrying the pilgrims who founded the modern United States.
They were off to foreign lands for an ‘adventure’ – but how we choose to ‘holiday’ has changed so much throughout time.
The travel industry is a sector that will always undergo dramatic transformations; be that due to digital revolutions, fashionable trends, politics or the social and economic climate.
What has never changed though, is why we holiday; it’s to make wonderful memories.
That’s what we love to be part of, and that is why no matter what transformations take place; our passion for holidaying here at the New Continental Hotel and in Plymouth will never fade.
Holidays Gone By…
It was in 1841, Thomas Cook started the holiday industry rolling with their ground-breaking offer of a shilling-a-head rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough! Then followed swiftly in the 1870s, with the Lancashire cotton workers, who really helped develop UK holidaying. They saved all year to convert the traditional (unpaid) one-week holiday into seaside breaks. A chance for the whole family to come together and enjoy each other’s company; without the stresses of everyday life!
Then, 80 years ago in 1939, we saw holiday leave became a legal right for employees! And by 1975 most people had at least two weeks’ paid holiday a year!
For the rich jet setters 1976 saw the supersonic aircraft Concorde enter commercial services; people could now cross the Atlantic in a record 2 hours 52 minutes!!
Fast forward to 1979; a year when for the first time in history we spent more on overseas holidays than on holidays at home!
Why was this?
Well, for £50 you could spend a week in the glamorous Majorca – with the sun on your back and hotel bedrooms that had balconies and ensuite bathrooms!
And, when we talk about an industry that can be transformed overnight by factors such as social media and digital revolutions; could it also be perhaps transformed by TV?!?
In 1975, a new comedy aired on BBC2; Faulty Towers! A hilarious comedy that neatly exaggerated bad hospitality in the UK..! Could that have helped galvanise holiday’s abroad Vs staycations?!
Perhaps – but the way we book holidays today would certainly look like science fiction to the holidaymaker of the 70’s; actually, probably to those in the early 90s too!
Package holidays were sold mainly from high street agencies, the only reviews in the 90’s were from friends at dinner tables. Travellers had little real clue what to expect before they arrived. Internet access was limited and the Smartphone still in development, holidaying in the 90’s was a very different kettle of fish!
Now, in 2019, we can see another big shift! The Staycation!
Our favourite for obvious reasons! Travellers searching for better value breaks, with a growing demand for interesting destinations closer to home. Destinations like Plymouth, that have a plethora of history, heritage and beautiful vistas!
Interestingly, here at the New Continental Hotel, we have also noticed a connection that we like to call: the ‘nostalgic staycation’!
If we look back to the early 80’s, when the UK entered a recession – with falling output, rising unemployment and a fall in the inflation rate; if holidays were taken, they were taken in the UK and just a short drive away from home – due to fuel prices.
We have had many conversations with adults holidaying with us, those in their 40’s, who are bringing their family back to Plymouth to relive their childhood memories.
The time was tough for families – but the holiday memories were so magical they want their children to experience them.
2018 proved to be a really successful year for the staycation market; we have also noticed that this year looks like more and more families, friends and couples are also choosing to holiday in Plymouth. And that makes us immensely proud.
We ask our guests what the ingredients are for a perfect holiday at home. Top is obviously a great location; but also an extra eye for the details that matter, whether it’s parking, or high speed Wi-Fi, or a warm family welcome. It’s these thoughtful touches that make our family owned hotel a winner for many holidayers; those from both home and away!
Throughout the years; tourism has been the lifeblood of many communities up and down the UK and many travellers are realising the fun to be had by discovering what’s on offer just beyond their doorstep.
What can we expect in the year 2039 – 20 years from now? Perhaps we will be sitting on-board a pilotless plane; with a chip in our wrist that tells the robot with the trolley our dietary requirements, and the exact temperature we like our Gin? Maybe we will all have a programme that aids us when speaking languages. Or no luggage as hotels will know what we want and our disposal holiday wares will be waiting for us. Or electronic implants that pay as we check-in..?
Who knows what our holidaying will look like 20 years from now; but one thing I am sure we can all be certain of; holidaying will always be that moment in time that we make magical memories … together. Like those on the Mayflower setting off on their adventures. Regardless of where we go, or why we go, or how we get there, or what we experience along the way; holidaying will always be about togetherness.
Whatever the future has in store; the wonderful world of holidays will always be exciting, because we will be with the people we love.
So, here’s to the next two decades of Devon adventures; of Plymouth exploring; and a hotel that hopes to help you create wonderful memories in Britain’s Ocean City.
As the great Easter getaways are being planned, the roads will soon be full of families making their Easter road-trips!
Q)Are your toes already tingling at the thought?!?
Many of us here at the hotel are parents. Parents of babies, toddlers, teens and proud Grandparents too. Most of us have had (or have) regular challenges when it comes to car journeys – both long and short!
Finding your own way to make it is essential – we all have different needs and varying tolerance levels – especially when driving!
We want you to arrive in Plymouth full of beans – not full of fury! So, we asked some of our amazing parents and grandparents who are staff here at the New Continental Hotel, if they would share some of their tips, on how to keep both children and parents happy on their car journeys!
These tips are great for either nipping down the road to swimming lessons (which can be just a gruelling sometimes!) or making the four hour motorway trip to visit family!!
We welcome many families during the Easter Holidays and sometimes, as they walk through the foyer, after their family road trip, we can feel their pain!
Parents who are wearing the signs of being road warriors; and children eager to get out of the ‘tin can’ and stretch those legs!
We all have our own techniques; for some it’s taking favourite toys; making regular ‘adventure stops’ or travelling at night!
Here are some of the methods staff at the New Continental Use…
Charlie | Head Of Housekeeping | Grandchild
Charlie is a super proud Nana! And although her Grandson is now almost old enough to drive her around; Charlie is a big fan of her IPad and so we asked her to search for something that could offer some ‘techy’ aid for the travelling family!
Her tips for surviving a car journey – load your IPad with these FREE APPS!
Talking Tom Cat
Talking Tom Cat is a virtual pet cat that’ll keep children engrossed for long periods of time, making him purr when they stroke him and drink when they pour him a glass of milk. He’ll distract them, make them laugh and I am sure offer hours of entertainment! You may want to turn the volume down a little – he repeats what they say in a rather high pitch voice! They will love it – but the adults in the car not so much (especially after the first few times!)
Pineapple Studio Jigsaw Puzzles
This is a great traditional style game; I really liked it because it cleverly fused old with digital! The electronic jigsaw – no need to hunt the car for pieces at every pit-stop with this one! This app features Toy Story, Twilight, Cars, The Simpsons and other options. I think it will be a winner – if only for 20 minutes or so!
Music is a winner and this is a really great, fun, creative app. It lets you compose your own music by tapping objects. I really liked it!! It might be a bit noisy though! So, although it will keep them happy – I might consider the option of headphones!
Claire | Events Coordinator | 6 Year Old Daughter
Claire is one of our super organised Mums. The Mum we all aspire to be like. The Mum that stays up late to bake for the PTFA and who knows her way around great Tupperware!
Being both super organised and a regular road trip maker; her tip for surviving a family road trip – plenty of snacks (and wet-wipes!)!
“We travel a great deal to visit family and friends – by both car and ferry. So we have learnt lots of tricks to keep our little one happy! The tried and tested favourite for us is making sure we pack lots of healthy snacks (and some treats of course!) Some might say I pack enough to feed an army – but you can never be too prepared!”
Here are some great ideas – many that are favourites in our four wheels!
Boots also do some great Tupperware, with lids that really keep things in!
Katie | Events Coordinator | 18 Month Old Son
Katie is what we call ‘the cool Mum’ – she is fun and always busy doing fun and creative things with her little man.
Her tip is to prepare your spotify for the journey!
‘I have quickly learnt that: a) I may never listen to my own music in the car again and b) to get over the embarrassment of bobbing along to ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ for a happy car journey! No more shame at traffic lights when my son and I are rocking along and laughing at each other for taking the tunes a little too seriously! Nor do we mind when we make it to the shops and we still have the soundtrack playing – just without the music as we dance down the cereal aisle!
For us, a silent car journey just doesn’t cut it! We need tunes and laughter! There are some great pre-made soundtracks – or create your own – which is fun in itself!”
Simon | Operations Manager | 7 Year Old & Baby
Simon is one of the best Dads; you know the ones, the one we all wish we had had!
He is hands on, cool and always wants only the best for his little brood!
Empowering his little ones and making sure they enjoy being educated. That’s what matters so much to him; hence his journey tips being educational but FUN!
“My 7 year old loves nothing more than to be armed with her special clipboard and selection of pencils and rubbers and her fun car games. Games we can all play along with – if she lets us!”
Simon has let us in to his secrets and so we have created some templates so you too can let your little ones get bossy – we mean busy (!) – in the car!
Paul, like Simon, is one of those amazing Dads. Amazing, but also one who might be considered a little ‘Competitive’! Often sharing his stories with us in the staff room of Monopoly battles at Christmas and Nerf Gun fights on Sunday’s!
Proving that being a great Dad is all about having fun…with a little healthy competition!
So…little surprise to any of us; his survival tricks for car journey is a game of Guess Who!
“Having fun and play times are perhaps the greatest setting for making memories, learning social skills and integration but also having fun! With two children we all know that the back seat can be a frenzy of squabbling and ‘Dad he did this’ and ‘Dad she did that’s’!
So, I like to add a little fun for distraction, with a dollop of healthy, family competition to the mix things up a bit!! Guess Who is perfect!
It’s a great alternative to the ‘I Spy’ game – which has to be said, can be a bit distracting as the driver!
Guess Who! The player thinks of a person; it can be a famous fictional person, like Andy from Toy Story or Carl Fredricksen from UP! It can be a singer, like Ariana Grande or Bob Marley! Or perhaps an actor, sports person or even a member of the family!
The person who thinks of the ‘who’ then has to honestly answer up to 10 questions from the other players. With the answers they then have to try and ‘Guess Who’ that person is!
If the person is guessed, the passenger that guessed it gets one point, they then start another round. If the famous person is not guessed, the passenger can then think of another person … AND get the one point!
No cheating though!”
A BIG thanks to all our staff for taking the time to share their tried and tested trip survival tactics!
Long trips with children are always a little daunting – but they are worth it once you arrive in Plymouth. And hopefully our staff have given you some great tips to make it survivable!
All you need to do now is plan your next trip to Plymouth and thank us in person!!!
We would love to welcome you and share our city – as well as our tips – with you soon!
Safe Travels. Happy Journeys. Family Fun Holidays.