Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’


Posted on May 24th, 2011 by GEM Motoring Assist

Don’t write off long car journeys with children as stressful, instead learn how they can offer you the chance to strengthen your relationships and help your children grow into confident communicators.

Long car journeys with children have a bad reputation; they are usually recognised as something to be endured in order to get to a reward at the end – whether it be a holiday, visit to grandparents, or a wonderful family day out.

FinkBut time in the car can actually offer your family something very valuable, it can bring you together and help your child develop valuable skills. Let me tell you a bit more about the problems facing families today and you will see how very easily long car journeys could become a great opportunity for all involved.

A recent report showed that in some areas up to 50% of children starting school had speech and language difficulties. Experts believe one of the main reasons is due to the decline of family conversation, children are listening and watching more than speaking. The report stated that good communication was vital to children’s development, as it not only helped them academically but gave them an advantage in every other area of their life.

Talking more to our children is a very simple solution but what we have to bear in mind is that family conversation can get stuck in a rut; we can find ourselves just issuing instructions, or asking the same question over and over again. There are only so many times you can ask “How was school today?” before enthusiastic conversation turns to grunts and then eventually everyone stops talking.

So the solution is – drum roll please – to ask a different question! Yes that’s it – it really is that simple and long car journeys present a superb opportunity to try this out; here are some of my favourites

Would you rather be an adult or a child?
If you could choose a super power what would it be?
What is your earliest memory?

You are guaranteed to learn something new about each other, generate laughter and discussion whilst ultimately deepening and strengthening your relationships and giving your child a valuable opportunity to develop vital communication skills – not bad for a car journey!

Tell us about your favourite car journey games, you used to play as a child or the games that you play with your children now on the GEM Motoring Assist Facebook page.

Lisa Warner is the mother of four children, and a family communications expert. She is also the founder of Fink Cards, a company that gets people talking by creating conversation cards.

Holiday car rental: words of warning

Posted on April 12th, 2011 by David Williams MBE

Holiday car rental: words of warningIf you’re planning to hire a car on holiday this year, it might be helpful to know some of the common difficulties other holidaymakers have experienced, so that you can avoid similar problems when you’re away.

John Sansom, a travel trade journalist, says it’s damage to or theft from vehicles that have historically formed most of the complaints to hire firms, as well as endless queues at rental desks after long flights.

“The absolute classic was low cost holidaymakers pouring off night flights to Florida in the early hours of the morning and joining a huge queue for car rental,” he said.

“Many of the classic ‘condo’ (self-catering luxury house) holidays out there were based on the fly/drive model. Somewhat exhausted, often with fractious young children in tow, holidaymakers would be pressure sold into buying more insurance than they probably needed.

“If they wanted to check the fine print, they could, in theory do so. But if they tried to read the back of the rental form, they were confronted by paragraphs of tiny, light grey type that was completely unreadable in the circumstances, particularly with another 100 fellow holidaymakers behind them, all desperate to get out of the airport,” he explained.

Getting out of Miami was an adventure in itself, especially if you managed to take a wrong direction. “You would suddenly find yourself in a dodgy part of Miami very quickly,” warned John. “One firm, Holiday Autos, actually hired a local police car at a particularly tricky junction, to direct people the right way towards their holiday destination, and away from trouble.”

Thousands of holidaymakers have suffered from being oversold insurance and thus have ended up paying too much. The answer here, of course, is to buy online before you go, when you have a chance to examine all the terms and conditions and decide what level of cover you want. Then it should, in theory, be a quick pick up and go.

GEM has some good advice for making sure the hire package you choose is the right one: