Best Seaside Motorhome Parkings in the UK

A summer by the sea is everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation, and if you’re traveling in your motorhome, you can get the best of both worlds. You have all the fun and excitement of the beaches, piers, arcades, museums, sightseeing, and shopping, and when you need some quiet time, your cozy home on wheels is ready for you. It helps to plan ahead, to find the best seaside motor home parks in the UK.

 

With hundreds of miles of coastline, you have a large number of sites to choose from. Depending on where you want to travel this year – Cornwall, Wales, the Jurassic Coast in southern England or Scotland, you can find a motorhome park that puts you at or very near the beach, and also within easy reach of other attractions like seaside towns, castles, art galleries and pubs with local character.

Remember to check out your motor home to make sure it’s good to go. And if you’re looking at buying your first motorhome, a good place to begin is Oaktree motorhomes, where you can find a range of new or used ones. You can even take them for a test drive to see how well they handle.

 

Choosing a Seaside Motorhome Park

For many people, choosing a seaside motorhome park means finding one that’s actually on the beach, or just a very short walk away. We can’t argue with that stipulation, so we went ahead and made a shortlist of some of the best seaside motorhomes in the UK. These motor home parks are on or near the beach, and also near other sites and attractions in the area. This means that you can add visits to picturesque towns and villages, local farms and pubs, lighthouses and historic sights to your holiday itinerary.
Many of these sites are also family- and dog-friendly, but it’s a good idea to make sure ahead of time. Also, it’s highly recommended that you make your reservations well in time, because these popular destinations are much in demand, especially in the summer.

Cornwall
Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park
This is a quiet park with its own beach, located on the north Cornwall coastline. There are three other beaches nearby, with good surfing. It’s perfect for a family holiday and for trips to nearby sights including nature centers, lighthouses, country houses and gardens, and theatres. Walk the cliff path, which is part of the Cornwall Coastal Path, for a spectacular and inspiring view.

Wales
Hendre Mynach Touring and Caravan Park
Whoever said location is everything must have been thinking of the Hendre Mynach Touring and Caravan Park. The site is right next to a sandy beach with safe swimming, and a promenade that leads to Barmouth town, 20 minutes away. Fishing and biking are other popular sports and there is an amusement park down the beach. The site is just ten miles from Snowdonia National Park. Walks along the Mawddach Estuary are ideal for bird-watching.

Abererch Sands
This is a beach camping site in north Wales with miles of sandy beach. You won’t want to leave but if you decide on a day’s sightseeing, a railway station is right outside the site to take you up and down the coast to small towns and villages.

England – Devon, and Dorset
Ladram Bay, Budleigh Salterton
This family-friendly park is located in a sheltered bay with a pebble beach. The rock pools are safe for swimming and there are facilities for water sports and fishing. The park has a number of onsite choices for dining and entertainment. Some locations may not be wheelchair accessible due to the steep steps and climbs.

Freshwater Beach, Bridport
Located within walking distance of the beach on the Jurassic Coast, the park has plenty of entertainment on-site as well. There’s an indoor pool, the Jurassic Fun Centre for kids of all ages and plenty of games and competitions. Day trips to historic Weymouth town and Thomas Hardy’s home add variety and richness to your stay. The park is dog-friendly.

Scotland
Brighouse Bay Holiday Park
This is the perfect site for the kind of holiday by the sea that you will remember for years afterward. With a sandy beach and set next to farmland, you can get close to nature in its different forms. Activities include boating, fishing and pony trekking, or you can just bring a bucket and spade to the beach for a sandcastle-building contest.

Riverview Caravan Park
The park is right next to the beach and a championship golf course and is located in Monteith, just five miles from Dundee. There’s plenty to do at and near the park, and it’s just an hour or an hour-and-a-half from the cities of Aberdeen, Perth, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The park is well maintained, with spectacular views of the Firth of Tay. Dogs are welcome and will enjoy the many walks in the area.

When planning your holiday by the sea in the UK, you have a wide range of choices, that let you explore the seashore, the natural world, historic sites and much more. It can be difficult to choose, but remember, if you can’t visit two sites at the same time, save one for next year. Most sites are kid and dog-friendly, but it always helps to make sure. Just remember to pack a spade and bucket, and you’re ready for your seaside holiday!

Travel Must-Haves for Women

Travel Tips & Tricks: 5 Items All Women Need While Traveling

Ladies, summer is the perfect time for traveling. But whether you’re headed to the 597 square miles of Oahu or the 3,000 miles of Ireland coastline, you have some serious packing to do. And it’s no secret that packing can be an absolute nightmare — from choosing the right clothes to trying to fit everything into your bag, packing can be a long process. So to ensure packing, and your actual trip, go well, here are 5 things all women need while traveling – these travel tips & tricks are a must. You will want to invest in these.

Travel Must-Haves for Women

We’re not talking about the right dress or shoes. These are the essentials you will need to ensure your travel plans go as smoothly as possible. Ready for the must-have travel tips & tricks?

A Great Toiletry Bag

Zuca TSA-Approved Toiletry Bags

Whether you’re going on a quick weekend trip or a month-long excursion, there are going to be a lot of toiletries you’ll need. And while it can be tempting to simply throw your toiletries into your bag, you’ll regret this later on. So make sure you find a great toiletry bag, preferably clear for TSA purposes, that can properly store all of your toiletries. Consider one that has compartments for easy organization or one that you can hang on the bag of a door to clearly see all of your items. You can even get a separate bag for medications, like pain killers, prescription meds, or other pills for premenstrual syndrome or allergies. Zuca has great travel options for your health and beauty travel needs. A good toiletry bag can make a big difference. Their Utility Pouches are fully-lined with durable, easy to clean clear vinyl ideal for organizing your beauty products and the Zuca Flyer Packing Pouch Set includes five packing pouches of various sizes and a one quart TSA compliant toiletry bag.

Packing Cubes

Mumi color-coded Travel Packing Cubes

Speaking of organization, packing cubes are a must-have. Not only can it be difficult to fit all of your clothes and belongings in your bag, but it can be impossible to keep them organized. Fortunately, packing cubes can keep your items organized and neat. Packing cubes can fit in almost any suitcase or bag and you can easily separate your clothing with them — consider using one cube for heavier clothes, one for lighter clothes, one for underwear and socks, and one for accessories. This way, you’ll be able to easily find whatever you’re looking for. The above Mumi Packing Cubes (set of 5) is a wonderful, versatile color-coded option. Each lightweight cube is designed to save space and simplify packing (and unpacking) to maximize luggage space, travel organized, and reduce mess. We love it even more because you can personalize them.

A Quick-Drying Towel

Laguna Blue Quick Drying Antibacterial Towels

You never know when you’re going to need a towel — whether you’re camping, at a hostel that doesn’t provide towels, or if you decide to randomly jump into a stream you happen to come across, having a towel on hand is always a good idea. This is especially true if you’re one of the 58 million people who go to a gym every year and you may need to dry off after a workout. Having a quick-drying towel will keep you dry and moving quickly. We love Laguna Blue, the smart towel. Not only is it quick-drying, but these 100% microfiber fabric towels are also antibacterial.

A Safety Alarm

Sabre Personal Safety Alarm

When you’re traveling, you want to remain as safe as possible. For burglaries and similar crimes, police report only being able to solve 13% of cases due to lack of evidence and witnesses. Thus, it’s important to enact smart safety precautions, especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory. This is true of traveling in groups, avoiding suspicious situations, and keeping personal security equipment. And while pepper spray or mace may seem like good items to have on hand, they’re not legal everywhere. There are two great options from Sabre that are great options. The above Sabre Personal Alarm with Clip & LED Light is easy to activate. With one press of a button, it blasts an attention-getting 120 dB alarm audible up to 600 feet (185 m) away. It also boasts an LED flashlight with on, slow flash, and fast flash modes. It’s weather-proof and clips to clothing, bag, waistband, etc.

Sabre Personal Safety Alarm Keychain

The even more discreet Sabre Personal Alarm with Key Ring boasts the same attention-getting 120 dB siren, is sleek, compact and its modern keychain attaches to your backpack, purse or keys for convenient, instant access; just pull its metal chain from device to sound 120 dB alarm. You can’t go wrong with either of these personal safety alarms. So consider having a personal safety alarm on you. All you have to do is press the button and a very loud sound will go off, alerting anyone near you to your location so they can help if you’re in danger.

Shoe Bags

Mumi Travel Shoe bags

You’re most likely bringing a few different pairs of shoes on your trip, especially if you have a lot of different activities planned. But when you wear your shoes outside, they get dirt and other debris on them. And if you just throw them in your bag as is, they’re going to get all of your clothes and belongings dirty, too. This is why you should have a shoe bag for each pair of shoes you’re bringing. Shoe bags simply slip over your shoes to contain whatever mess they’ll make — this can also help you keep your shoes together and organized. You can coordinate your Mumi Shoe bags (seen above) with your packing cubes for your stylish color-coded travel needs.

Traveling is a great experience and you’re probably getting excited about your upcoming trip. So keep these items in mind to make your trip hassle-free and truly amazing.

Traveling On A Budget: 4 Ways To Avoid Vacation Debt As A Millennial

The millennial generation can be a bit of a contradiction. Although 69% of millennials consider themselves to be adventurous, they are also quite cautious — especially when it comes to finances. Adventure comes in many forms, but the greatest adventure of all is travel; whether you’re planning to walk the Great Wall of China or experience the culture in Johannesburg, getting out of your day-to-day comfort zone and hopping on a plane (or a train, or a car) takes some bravery. Keeping a budget in check during such exciting times can be tricky, so let’s take a look at three ways you can stay in the green and avoid vacation debt during your next (adventurous) vacation.

Sunrise in Miami

Plan Ahead!

If you always want to have money available for a trip, you’re going to need to start a vacation fund. Though it may feel incredibly daunting to have to take away from your already tight budget, remember that every dollar you save now is a dollar you won’t have to scrounge for later. The act of saving itself is fairly simple: as soon as you are paid, immediately move a base amount into a separate account. Your brain will adjust to the loss as if it was never there to spend in the first place, and you’ll have money building up in no time.

It helps to have a trip in mind during this process so that you know how much to be moving in order to reach your savings goal in time. For example, a vacation to the Poconos Mountains with its 2,400 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests is most likely going to cost less than a trip to Paris. While you can weigh the costs of previous vacations to get a general idea, it’s always better to save more than you need; the more you put away now, the more stress-free your vacation will be.

Use Credit — Wisely.

Credit cards are like double-edged swords — they can help as much as hurt you, though most people are only familiar with the latter. If you’ve done well saving in the weeks and months leading up to your getaway, you shouldn’t actually need your credit card, but it is always wise to bring one in case of emergencies. Unforeseen costs can arise suddenly, and it’s smart to have a backup option.

At the same time, vacations provide an opportunity to build your credit. There are a number of factors that go into determining an individual’s credit score, and utilization is one of the major ones; maxed-out credit cards use 100% of this ratio, but FICO recommends that you should not spend more than 30% of your credit limit. As long as you’re able to consistently make payments, relying on your credit card here and there during vacation can actually improve your credit score in the long run.

The possibility of incurring debt while on vacation is a deterrent for many millennials. Although saving is hard and learning the ins and outs (and pros and cons) of credit can be quite the challenge, the payout — which usually comes in the form of exciting adventures, great food, and new experiences — is always worth the price. Start saving today and discover the world tomorrow!

Layaway.

Did you know you can pay for your trip in installments? Thanks to Airforable, the layaway options for travel. Not only can you pay for your dream vacation in monthly or biweekly payment installments, but you can also lock in your low airfare months in advance. Thanks to Airforable’s price protection, you can fully fund your trip without feeling the financial stress of a one-time payment. Airfordable works much like a department store layaway plan. Search for your flight and hotel dates on any air travel website. Snap and upload a screenshot of your proposed trip upload it to the Airfordable website, and they will show you payment plan options. Once you’ve selected your payment plan, you pay 30% of the cost of your travel as a deposit and pay the balance in the installment schedule you’ve chosen. It’s that easy.

Germaphobe? Here Are 3 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Now that spring is finally in full swing and warmer weather is fast approaching, countless people are itching to book vacation plans before all the best deals are gobbled up. After all, an estimated 96% of American workers claim that vacation time is important to them.

But if you’re one of the many people planning a trip this year, it’s essential that you take care of your health while traveling.

While you’re putting the finishing touches on your vacation itinerary, it can be easy to forget basic sanitary needs and health goals during your trip. Even if you pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer, you never know what potentially hazardous health issues could arise during your travels. We’re going to show you a few ways to stay healthy while traveling.

passenger seat, Interior of airplane with passengers sitting on seats and stewardess walking the aisle in background. Travel concept,vintage color,selective focus

In fact, one recent Delta Airlines passenger was put in this exact predicament. As Matthew Meehan identified his seat, he was shocked to find that the floor and seat were covered in animal excrement.

An ill service dog was the culprit, but passengers were allowed to board the plane before cleaning crews arrived. When Meehan asked for support from the airline staff, he was simply offered two paper towels and a small bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

“She said to me, ‘Well, that’s not my problem.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry?’ She says, ‘Well, if the cleaning crew didn’t clean your seat, I don’t have any control over that,'” Meehan claimed.

“I have never in my entire life felt more dehumanized. I felt like an animal. Words can’t even describe how awful it was, and they had so many opportunities to make it right.”

Affected passengers were offered a refund, but an investigation was launched following the incident.

The nasty little number brings us to our first point on the list…

Bring a seat cover

Airline seats aren’t the most cleanly of chairs, especially when you’re traveling on them for extended periods of time. In fact, aisle seats are among the dirtiest seats of all, according to a 2008 investigation whether they’re covered in dog poop or not.

During this study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that passengers resting in aisle seats are more likely to contract a virus from other passengers. They think this is likely due to the fact that people rest their hands on aisle chairs for support and balance as they pass by, exposing the seat to more germs. Whether you’re flying in an aisle seat or otherwise, however, a seat liner is one way to stop germs from dog poop in its tracks. While that’s certainly on the more extreme end of the spectrum, the point remains. Whether germs or other microbial nastiness, tightly woven fabrics are essential in repelling dirt and stains, acting as a barrier between you.

Don’t forget to take care of your skin

Between sun damage, insect bites, and the dry air of an airplane, your skin can take a beating. It’s vital that you drink the proper amount of water during your trip in order to promote skin health and elasticity. However, you need to make sure that it’s filtered so you aren’t exposed to any local pathogens or parasites.

You should also use a strong sunblock with a high SPF whenever you venture outdoors. It’s known that an estimated 120,000 terawatts of solar energy hit the earth every day, some of which can cause serious damage to your skin. This is doubly important for people who wear makeup. A simple layer of sunscreen can prevent your face from looking like a tomato at the end of the day. If you’re sweating a lot or swimming during your vacation, you should try to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.

For those bountiful bugs, don’t hesitate to buy a strong insect repellent. A nasty bite or itchy bump is the last thing you want to worry about on your vacation.

If you happen to suffer any serious skin damage during your trip, keep in mind that there are over 7,000 urgent care facilities throughout the United States. Even if it seems like going to the doctor can put a damper on your vacation fun, taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do.

Avoid social media

Though we’ve talked about physical health, mental health is just as important (if not more). One of the major reasons people travel in the first place is to unwind, relax, and eliminate high levels of stress associated with their day-to-day lives.

If you’re one of the many people hoping to relax on their vacation, try to limit your social media use. A digital detox is good for your brain and it allows you to enjoy being in the moment during your travels. Leave the phone in your hotel room and try basking in the experiences a new place has to offer.

Taking care of your health is vital when you go on vacation. The next time you’re planning for the trip of a lifetime, don’t forget these simple ways to stay healthy while traveling, and have fun.

3 Tropical Destinations To Beat A Long and Harsh Winter

After a long winter, it can be great to get away for a bit to a tropical, warmer destination. You might think you need to look outside the United States for a vacation spot warm enough, but believe it or not, you have plenty of options to choose from within the country. In fact, U.S. domestic travel increased by almost 2% in 2017.

There are over 19,000 airports, heliports, seaplane bases, and other landing facilities in the United States and its territories; with all of these options, one of them is sure to have your next vacation destination. Even without a passport and without leaving the United States, you’ll be able to plan a fun tropical vacation the entire family will enjoy. Check out these 3 tropical destinations for a fun vacation to beat the winter blues.

Hawaii

Always a classic for an island getaway, Hawaii has a few different islands perfect for vacationing depending on what you’re looking for. For a more nature-oriented vacation in Hawaii’s tropical forests, try visiting Kauai; a variety of movies are filmed on this island due to its picturesque landscape. If you’re looking for more of a traditional vacation experience, the Big Island could be right for you; with plenty of hotels and luxury vacation activities to choose from.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has tons to offer while still being close to home. Check out the wide variety of wildlife on this island while not being too far away from the mainland. If you’re looking for a slightly more secluded getaway, try one of the smaller islands off the coast of Puerto Rico; many of these islands haven’t had as many tourists, making them a bit quieter and off the beaten path. Don’t forget to check out all the ocean activities the islands have to offer; 19.6% of Millennials participate in water sports, and you’ll find plenty to get involved with there.

Catalina Islands

While you may have heard of the last two tropical destinations, these lesser-known islands are sure to help you beat back the winter blues. These islands are less than 50 miles off the coast of California but are the perfect tropical getaway. Look for all your summertime and tropical favorites, including zip lining, hiking, beaches, and more.

Even without a passport, you can make the most of these tropical destinations to help get over a long winter. Which of these travel spots can you see you and your family vacationing to?

 

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Every time you open Instagram it seems like all of your friends are jetting off on adventures around the world, and you’re always left wondering how they manage it with work responsibilities. The big secret is that many of these people have jobs that allow them to work remotely. Many millennials, a generation predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel every year by 2020, are working as freelancers, in contract positions, or at jobs that allow them to work remotely. This flexibility gives them the freedom to travel, but there are some key tricks to still getting the job done while having fun on the road.

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Young man with glasses working on his notebook, with a fresh cup of coffee nice and early in the morning, getting the business out of the way nice and early in the day

  1. Pick the right destination
    The biggest amenity you need to account for when traveling and working is internet access. Remote working is only possible through being able to communicate digitally. While something like a cruise may be enticing because the ships provide entertainment and activities for all ages while taking you to seaside destinations, you may have to fight against spotty or limited Wi-Fi. Make sure that you’ll be able to get internet access wherever you go, and consider traveling to major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, which can guarantee that you’ll have good service.
  2. Find a comfortable place to stay
    While hostels are a famously affordable lodging option for travelers, they aren’t the most comfortable or work-oriented. When you’re traveling and working, you’ll want to make sure that you have a set environment that is conducive to getting work done. Many people opt to find lodging through Airbnb or similar services, and others even rent or sublet apartments for longer stays. You’ll want to make sure the services and stores you like are nearby as well. With 54% of Americans over 18 years of age drinking coffee every day, convenient coffee shops are a necessity for many working travelers.
  3. Establish a good remote workflow
    Being in a new city, or even country presents many temptations to explore to your heart’s content and leave your work behind. However, to ensure that you keep your job you’ll need to set a routine and boundaries so that you are still productive in your nomadic environment. Make a clear schedule for yourself that includes work times and exploring times and stick to it. To stay on top of everything, be sure to factor in any time zone differences between you and your colleagues back home.
  4. Budget for the extra and hidden costs
    While you’ll still be making money because you’re working, you’ll need to be mindful of hidden expenses adding up. As previously mentioned, you’ll likely be renting or using Airbnb to stay comfortable, both of which can be more expensive than a traditional hotel or hostel. Other factors, like transportation costs, restaurant bills, and every coffee you order at the nearby shop, can add up quickly and leave you with less spending money than you anticipated.
  5. Give yourself ample time to prepare
    Before you adventure off to a new place with your laptop in hand, be sure that everything is in order. This is especially important for those taking extended trips. You’ll have to make sure that you’ve notified any supervisors and colleagues that you will be working remotely for a few months. You will also have to think about who is going to care for your home and any plants and pets you have there while you’re away. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure you’ve notified your bank, have a new SIM card for your phone, and that all of your documents for customs are in order.
Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Woman swimming with inflatable donut on the beach in summer sunny day

It is entirely possible to have the best of both worlds and be able to work and play at the same time. With efficient planning and open communication, you will be able to join those you previously envied and post goal-worthy travel pictures on Instagram.

Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator

At one point in our lives, we’ve all had to or tried to learn another language. Let’s face it, it’s very beneficial to be bilingual or multilingual, whether it’s for a job or just to enjoy life more. For many it’s easy to fully immerse yourself into a language and pick it up quickly, for some, it’s a bit of a struggle. What do you do if you’re a part of the latter group and want to travel? You pick up a Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator, that’s what!

The Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator that provides two-way verbal communication between people that don’t share a common language. Unlike text translators that require one to stop and enter each sentence word for word, one simply talks into this device and it automatically translates the phrase or sentence and “speaks” the translation to the other person. Imagine if you’re traveling and want to eat at a restaurant where English is rarely spoken, with this wonderful travel essential, you can not only order your meal, but also ask questions with ease. Need directions in a foreign country? The Live Conversation Speaking Translator will be the companion that helps you ask the right questions to get you back to where you need to be.

This wonder gadget verbally translates 12 languages without requiring internet access including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. When connected to the internet, it verbally translates 21 additional languages including Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, and Polish, and provides text translations for an additional 19 languages.

“It can be intimidating to visit a foreign country and not be familiar with the language,” explained Hammacher Schlemmer’s General Manager Nick DiMarco. “This translator helps eliminate that stress by providing a simple way to communicate across every continent.”

We tried out Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator with a few people we know who spoke Spanish, Turkish, and Russian. The result was always the same…..WOW!! We loved the ease of translating entire sentences instead of singular words and the fact that this brings us all closer together as human beings. You really can have an entire conversation with someone who speaks a foreign language. We do have a few tips to get the best usage out of this revolutionary language translator. When using it, we do advise that you enunciate properly or it may interpret your words as something else. If you are using wifi, make sure the connection is strong as it will help get your translation results quicker. One aspect we truly loved about Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator is the fact that you can save phrases you’ve already used for quicker use later. This helps a lot if you are in a bad wifi spot or are pressed for time. We highly recommend this tech device if you are travelling, you will end up having an event better time.

Could this device help you with your travels? Tell us what you think of it. Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator is available from now for $349.95 on www.hammacher.com.

What’s New for Spring and Summer Travel at Busch Gardens

Still wondering what to do over spring break? Busch Gardens may be the perfect place. Thrill seekers, beach bums, animal lovers, foodies, concert enthusiasts, and those looking for a bit of everything can find it in the Tampa theme park. We got a taste of it two weeks ago when animal ambassadors and representatives from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay came to New York armed with VR headsets and a lively presentation to give us the latest scoop on all the new and exciting changes happening.

Rollercoaster lovers rejoice—Busch Gardens is an adrenaline lovers’ dream. Named the Coaster Capital, it offers some of the most adventurous rides in all of Florida. Opened in the summer of 2016, the Cobra’s Curse features a 30,000-pound snake with a 70-foot vertical lift that takes riders around 2,100 feet of snaking, spinning, and sometimes backward barreling tracks at 40mph. If your motto is “the faster, the better”, then Busch Gardens’ three-launch homage to the fastest land mammal, the Cheetah Hunt, is your ride. Appropriately starting at the Cheetah Run, guests speed through 4,400 feet of track at 60mph careening racing over bystanders and actual cheetahs.

For those looking to get in touch with their wild(life) side, spend some time getting to know the unique residents of one of America’s largest zoos. Against the backdrop of Times Square, we were introduced to Ringo the ring-tailed lemur, Peaches the cockatoo, Willow the wallaby, Emmett the screech owl, and two Madagascar tenrecs, Spike (pictured) and Star.

We learned a lot about these animals—for example, tenrecs, which are not to be mistaken for hedgehogs, are shy nocturnal insect eaters who can hang on trees upside down using tiny sharp claws. Emmett the owl was so engrossed in the M&M billboard across the way, it was hard to get his attention and have him turn his head back 270-degrees to face our cameras. Likewise, park guests can learn more about the animals, their habitats, and conservation efforts from the many experts in the park. Additionally, park goers can also opt for a safari experience on a 65-acre open-air vehicle on the Serengeti Plain. Through a VR experience, we got a feel for the 30-minute tour that allows you to hand-feed giraffes, spot rhinos, and drive along galloping antelopes and zebras. On top of that, be ready to see some seriously adorable baby animals. The park has recently experienced a baby boom with two new giraffes, sloths, and orangutans.

If all that sounds a lot and you’d rather take it easy with some food, drinks, and entertainment, the Food and Wine Festival returns with a selection of over 65 wines, 50+ craft beers and cocktails, and delectable cuisine all while watching musical acts. The Festival runs through April 29th and will feature acts such as TLC, Flo Rida, and Boyz II Men.

And of course, what would a visit to Florida be without a trip to the beach? Luckily, St. Petersburg Clearwater beach is just a few minutes away. With plenty of hotel partners that provide daily shuttles to Busch Gardens, you don’t really have to choose between thrills and relaxation.

For more watery fun, there’s also Adventure Island—Busch Garden’s sister water park filled with water-drenched fun, combining excitement with a soothing Key West vibe. New this year is Vanish Point, a 70-foot speed slide challenging park goers to choose from one of two skyboxes that will determine how they go down 425 feet of spiraling tubes. Adventure Island also has the wet and swirling Colossal Curl, a children’s playground, raging rapids, and cabanas to relax in.

Spring Break isn’t the only time to plan your Busch Gardens getaway, there are plenty of events and themes to check out all year round. Aside from the Food and Wine Festival, there will also be a Jack Hana weekend, extended summer hours (when you can ride coasters at night), a Guy Harvey weekend, Bierfest, Christmas Town, and so much more.