Jump to content

Europe Travel Thread....


  • Please log in to reply
1461 replies to this topic

#1076 born.a.girl

Posted 19 September 2019 - 10:16 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 19 September 2019 - 07:42 AM, said:




Moot point, now, anyway, Finnair have increased the return flight prices by $200. Always a bit of a mystery with airfares.

Well that's interesting.  Just cleared my cache, go back to the website and the prices are back to what they were yesterday.

I've always understood the idea that prices can be tailored to your own searching to be a conspiracy theory, and I've seen it dismissed by experts.

Complete co-incidence?  It would have been overnight there, so they may just have been tinkering with their website.

#1077 CrankyM

Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:05 AM

Sigh, we have to look at booking flights soon and it's giving me a total headache. According to google flights it's cheaper to go for a 22 day trip then a 30day trip... even if the flights for that day in a different combination such as the 22 day trip are used. I don't really see much point of going to the UK for only 3 weeks and that includes the travel time.

Also Perth sucks with international flights. It really does. Our options include overnight in Perth and catch a flight at stupid hour in the morning, or hand out for 4 hours at the airport and leave on the international flight at stupid o'clock. I have to wait for a week minimum before I do anything regarding flights anyway due to a work colleague taking long service leave that ends right on when I want to fly out - of course she told me she will be retiring as soon as she "returns" from 6 months long service leave anyway... (I already told my manager I plan to take leave then because otherwise I will be losing my mind). And I need DH to talk to his work about approving leave for that period of time.

Why do I get the impression it's just not going to happen next year?

#1078 MooGuru

Posted 19 September 2019 - 12:22 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 13 September 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:



Oh it is expensive normally! it was our fault for looking this late but they either came back 3600 or just under 3000 with about 600 stops (a slight exaggeration but not by much).

Looks like we are not going back UK in nearly 2 years for the ILs golden anniversary so may turn that into a bit longer break and go to Europe again (if DS can have it off school then)

If you are open to going last minute, I few over there in Dec-Jan a couple of years back. I booked 9 days (I think) beforehand and paid $2100 direct just one stop. 3 months earlier couldn't find anything under $3500 for the same time.

#1079 born.a.girl

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:41 AM

View PostLifesgood, on 18 September 2019 - 08:16 PM, said:

What makes you think the flights will sell out bornagirl?


I'm getting good at this.  Good thing I'm retired, though.

Worked out the mystery of the flights appearing then disappearing quickly.


However, at five o'clock this morning, I suddenly realised a problem in booking direct with Finnair.  I made the mistake last year without thinking, because it was all in A$ and put the cost on my Westpac Visa, and the exchange rate added $300 to the cost. At least we got the points.

I was planning on putting these ones on our 28 degrees card, but of course then we don't get the points, but more importantly, we need to put a fair whack of the trip cost onto the Visa to get the free travel insurance that we partly utilise.

Flatbeds are exactly same price as Finnair for same flights, but of course in A$ I won't have the currency exchange cost. I'd always prefer to book direct with an airline, but that's some saving, and they seem to have great reviews.

Edited by born.a.girl, 20 September 2019 - 08:55 AM.


#1080 Lifesgood

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:47 PM

View Postmayahlb, on 19 September 2019 - 11:05 AM, said:

Sigh, we have to look at booking flights soon and it's giving me a total headache. According to google flights it's cheaper to go for a 22 day trip then a 30day trip... even if the flights for that day in a different combination such as the 22 day trip are used. I don't really see much point of going to the UK for only 3 weeks and that includes the travel time.

Also Perth sucks with international flights. It really does. Our options include overnight in Perth and catch a flight at stupid hour in the morning, or hand out for 4 hours at the airport and leave on the international flight at stupid o'clock. I have to wait for a week minimum before I do anything regarding flights anyway due to a work colleague taking long service leave that ends right on when I want to fly out - of course she told me she will be retiring as soon as she "returns" from 6 months long service leave anyway... (I already told my manager I plan to take leave then because otherwise I will be losing my mind). And I need DH to talk to his work about approving leave for that period of time.

Why do I get the impression it's just not going to happen next year?
Make it work, its important. If you go for 3 weeks, that's fine. If you can swing more (from a $$ perspective) then do it. Tell your boss you'll make sure your work is covered, put a plan in place to ensure it is.

#1081 Lifesgood

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:52 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 20 September 2019 - 08:41 AM, said:

I'm getting good at this.  Good thing I'm retired, though.

Worked out the mystery of the flights appearing then disappearing quickly.


However, at five o'clock this morning, I suddenly realised a problem in booking direct with Finnair.  I made the mistake last year without thinking, because it was all in A$ and put the cost on my Westpac Visa, and the exchange rate added $300 to the cost. At least we got the points.

I was planning on putting these ones on our 28 degrees card, but of course then we don't get the points, but more importantly, we need to put a fair whack of the trip cost onto the Visa to get the free travel insurance that we partly utilise.

Flatbeds are exactly same price as Finnair for same flights, but of course in A$ I won't have the currency exchange cost. I'd always prefer to book direct with an airline, but that's some saving, and they seem to have great reviews.
Are you sure about the travel insurance? My credit card doesn't require any of the trip cost to be paid on it to get free insurance (CBA platinum Visa).

And the savings on international transaction fees/FX rate difference can often outweigh the points benefit on your CC.

So you are planning on using Flatbeds for the booking?

#1082 CrankyM

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:57 PM

View PostLifesgood, on 20 September 2019 - 06:47 PM, said:


Make it work, its important. If you go for 3 weeks, that's fine. If you can swing more (from a $$ perspective) then do it. Tell your boss you'll make sure your work is covered, put a plan in place to ensure it is.

We will go only with a minimum of 4 weeks. We are appallingly lucky and have family who happen to have a house in northern Wales, so accomodation isn’t much of an issue. Well except for my tolerance of MIL for that period of time... it’s more work. Budgets, staffing that barely covers us at the moment, never mind someone being away for 6months and then basically retiring. The other staff are unqualified casuals.

#1083 Lifesgood

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:57 PM

80 days until our trip :omg:

Kids and DH asked me what I'm most looking forward to and I said 'flying BC' :blush:  (its my 50th birthday gift)

Honestly the rest of the trip is so overwhelmingly exciting as well that I can't think about it sensibly, so I'm just focusing on the flight at the moment.

#1084 LittleBrownMouse

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:14 PM

View Postmayahlb, on 19 September 2019 - 11:05 AM, said:

According to google flights it's cheaper to go for a 22 day trip then a 30day trip... even if the flights for that day in a different combination such as the 22 day trip are used. I don't really see much point of going to the UK for only 3 weeks and that includes the travel time.

We did a 3 week trip this year. Admittedly, it was only the UK and France, but was the right amount of time for us... but we did travel with a 6 and 7 year old though ;)

Edited by MrsCee, 20 September 2019 - 07:15 PM.


#1085 MooGuru

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:39 PM

View PostLifesgood, on 20 September 2019 - 06:52 PM, said:


Are you sure about the travel insurance? My credit card doesn't require any of the trip cost to be paid on it to get free insurance (CBA platinum Visa).

And the savings on international transaction fees/FX rate difference can often outweigh the points benefit on your CC.

So you are planning on using Flatbeds for the booking?

A few years ago my card's travel insurance required proof of something like 50 or 75% of costs having been paid using it.

Are you sure re CBA platinum? Again this is from a few years ago but they wanted proof of purchase to make a claim.

That was one of the things my travel agent said they'd heard from people saying the terms and conditions can be changed at any time and they don't need to inform anyone so people had been caught out thinking they were covered then discovering they weren't.  *travel agent sells insurance so has advice was taken with a grain of salt.

#1086 born.a.girl

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:29 PM

View PostLifesgood, on 20 September 2019 - 06:57 PM, said:

80 days until our trip :omg:

Kids and DH asked me what I'm most looking forward to and I said 'flying BC' :blush:  (its my 50th birthday gift)

Honestly the rest of the trip is so overwhelmingly exciting as well that I can't think about it sensibly, so I'm just focusing on the flight at the moment.


That's the fantastic thing about BC, you don't dread the getting there and back.

#1087 Lifesgood

Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:52 PM

View PostMooGuru, on 20 September 2019 - 07:39 PM, said:

A few years ago my card's travel insurance required proof of something like 50 or 75% of costs having been paid using it.

Are you sure re CBA platinum? Again this is from a few years ago but they wanted proof of purchase to make a claim.

That was one of the things my travel agent said they'd heard from people saying the terms and conditions can be changed at any time and they don't need to inform anyone so people had been caught out thinking they were covered then discovering they weren't.  *travel agent sells insurance so has advice was taken with a grain of salt.
I'll double check.

View Postborn.a.girl, on 20 September 2019 - 08:29 PM, said:

That's the fantastic thing about BC, you don't dread the getting there and back.
Not only not dreading it, looking forward to it!

#1088 born.a.girl

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:21 PM

View PostLifesgood, on 20 September 2019 - 06:52 PM, said:

Are you sure about the travel insurance? My credit card doesn't require any of the trip cost to be paid on it to get free insurance (CBA platinum Visa).

And the savings on international transaction fees/FX rate difference can often outweigh the points benefit on your CC.

So you are planning on using Flatbeds for the booking?


This is from the Westpac complimentary travel insurance site, in the very fine print:

“trip” means:overseas passage by the cardholder as a paying passenger (not as a pilot, driver, or crew member etc.) in a licensed plane, bus, train or ferry authorised pursuant to any statute, regulation, by-law or the equivalent thereof for the transportation of passengers for hire, provided that before the passage commenced the cost of the passage was charged to the cardholder’s eligible credit card account
Then further down:

You spend at least $A500 on your prepaid travel costs (i.e. your travel costs that you pay for before leaving Australia) and you charge these costs (e.g. cost of your return overseas travel ticket; and/or airport/departure taxes; and/or your prepaid overseas accommodation/travel; and/or your other prepaid overseas itinerary items) to one of your following eligible credit cardsissued by Westpac:

Because I accidentally paid our airfare with the Visa earlier this year I didn't have to think about it, but it's only $500, however it is a requirement.  I use 28 degrees overseas.


I hope to be able to use flatbeds.  I did a search on their website and it came to the same figure as me to the cent. (Obviously not the real return date, which isn't up yet.)

I then sent an email asking what percent they charge for Visa, and got a reply that they didn't charge anything, and asked me for basic details.  I gave them all my info (dates, time of day) and got told approx $6600 to $7200.   (Finnair $5990).   I then got back to her clarifying the specific flights again, and was then told Finnair didn't fly to Edinburgh, 'but they'd get me in via Manchester or London'. Again, I said, no, we're going to Edinburgh, I've actually got the flights just wanted to know if you were cheaper. Then she said that Finnair had seasonal fares so if they were operating over my travel dates they could get me on Finnair the whole way.  Um, I know, I've got all of that information myself.  In the end I felt we were going around in circles and just said I have the airfare, when the appropriate dates are up I'd let them know to see if they could beat it.  That's where I've left it.

If I book through flatbeds the transaction is presumably with them, to an Australian bank.  I will be confirming that, but interested to know what your experience was.

That covers us both for the insurance aspect AND gets us Velocity points, plus the flight gets us Qantas points.

The exchange plus cc fee amounts to $480, so even if that's what it saves, that's worth it.

I'll have to make allowances for the fact that any changes through them cost more than changes direct with the airline, but it's always a cost/benefit juggle.

Edited by born.a.girl, 20 September 2019 - 10:34 PM.


#1089 Expelliarmus

Posted 20 September 2019 - 11:40 PM

Honestly I didn't put this much thought into our flights ... I just told the travel agent where we wanted to go and let her do it ...

Obvs am a complete noob.

I should get some sort of travel card for money while in Italy, shouldn't I? I recall we were saying they didn't eftpos so much? So I need a preloaded card I can use at an ATM?

#1090 born.a.girl

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:04 AM

View PostExpelliarmus, on 20 September 2019 - 11:40 PM, said:

Honestly I didn't put this much thought into our flights ... I just told the travel agent where we wanted to go and let her do it ...

Obvs am a complete noob.

I should get some sort of travel card for money while in Italy, shouldn't I? I recall we were saying they didn't eftpos so much? So I need a preloaded card I can use at an ATM?


The exchange rate isn't great, but sometimes doing things more cheaply isn't necessarily the most efficient way to go.

If you're planning on going overseas more often, there are credit cards that charge no foreign exchange fee (around 3%) on the transactions.  Latitude (used to be 28 degrees) is one, and their exchange rate is also much better than the big banks.

A lot can change in three years, but not as much credit card use in Italy as in Australia, and signing ...  signed for 80% of what I put on credit card.

We took a wad of cash, and just wore the cost when we had to get a few lots of cash out of our Westpac Card.  I think that cost us something like an extra $50 which is peanuts in the scheme of cost of travelling.

Re: the flights, first time long haul in 30 years, we did the same (although I did do some research and found which was cheapest, skyscanner etc) discovered they couldn't beat it, went with them, he stuffed up so much of the accommodation, never again.

Unthinkingly put the Philippine airlines fares on our Westpac Visa earlier this year and copped a $300 foreign exchange fee.

I've got plenty of time, and enjoy the logistics of all the research, I know people who hate it so they go to an agent. They've never been able to beat my prices though, simply because I've spent hours on it.

Edited by born.a.girl, 21 September 2019 - 08:07 AM.


#1091 Expelliarmus

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:51 AM

Oh I definitely don’t have hours!


#1092 can'tstayaway

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:56 AM

View PostExpelliarmus, on 20 September 2019 - 11:40 PM, said:

Honestly I didn't put this much thought into our flights ... I just told the travel agent where we wanted to go and let her do it ...

Obvs am a complete noob.
Nah, it’s just a matter of where you’re priorities are and what you value most.

Some people love the thrill they get from the ‘hunt’ of a bargain. I used to. Then life got so full and my thought load capacity was full that I valued not having to take on any more thinking and having someone else doing the thinking for me, even if it cost a little bit more.

Quote

I should get some sort of travel card for money while in Italy, shouldn't I? I recall we were saying they didn't eftpos so much? So I need a preloaded card I can use at an ATM?
Depends.

I like my CBA travel card but many people don’t like travel cards. I’ve found the exchange rate to be reasonable - not the best but on my last funds transfer, only 2cent difference to XE who has one of the ‘best’ rates. I don’t get charged extra fees for withdrawing cash or using it for payment so long as I have the correct currency loaded. I can easily check balances online or add/remove funds which is convenient for me. It also means I’m not using my regular card so minimising the risk of fraud and missing money for my regular life.

I’m ok with withdrawing large amounts of cash (a few thousand at a time) but if you are uncomfortable carrying that much cash, a card with low or no atm fees would be the way to go.

I wouldn’t do a cash advance on a credit card because the interest would kick in immediately.

#1093 Expelliarmus

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:59 AM

I think I would be paranoid about carrying cash. I’m leaning towards getting a travel visa card from our usual bank. I’ll investigate exactly how the product works first.

Really must get into DD2’s passport photo ... so we can get her passport! I think school holidays will just be easier for that.

#1094 JBH

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:20 AM

Expelli I was in Italy recently and there were a few cash only places but the vast majority accepted credit card. I took some cash with me and shopped around for the best rate, and then just used my existing credit card that doesn’t charge a conversion fee. I could probably have shopped around for a card with a better exchange rate, but I would have saved less than $100 in total I think. Depends a bit how much you will be spending (especially whether you have prepaid the accommodation).

#1095 crazy87

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:26 AM

Just wondering if anyone has been to the Churchill War Rooms in London? Recommended or not??

We have a day in the London area before heading west, we've done all the common tourist things on previous trips so looking for something a bit different. I do want to look at the Liberty of London building but won't spend long there. Also we will be hiring a car, but I'm imagining there's not much parking in London itself? What are recommendations for this? :)

If we got PT, we'd still have to get back to LHR to pick up a hire car.

Open for suggestions even out of London within an hr or so

#1096 born.a.girl

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:29 AM

View Postcan, on 21 September 2019 - 08:56 AM, said:

Nah, it’s just a matter of where you’re priorities are and what you value most.

Some people love the thrill they get from the ‘hunt’ of a bargain. I used to. Then life got so full and my thought load capacity was full that I valued not having to take on any more thinking and having someone else doing the thinking for me, even if it cost a little bit more.


Depends.

I like my CBA travel card but many people don’t like travel cards. I’ve found the exchange rate to be reasonable - not the best but on my last funds transfer, only 2cent difference to XE who has one of the ‘best’ rates. I don’t get charged extra fees for withdrawing cash or using it for payment so long as I have the correct currency loaded. I can easily check balances online or add/remove funds which is convenient for me. It also means I’m not using my regular card so minimising the risk of fraud and missing money for my regular life.

I’m ok with withdrawing large amounts of cash (a few thousand at a time) but if you are uncomfortable carrying that much cash, a card with low or no atm fees would be the way to go.

I wouldn’t do a cash advance on a credit card because the interest would kick in immediately.


That's a great rate on the CBA travel card.  Our Australia Post one (our first long haul in 30 years, we were greenies) was terrible.

That's a good point about fraud.  I do worry about that with using the CC, although we always have a backup. Great thing about the Latitude 28 degrees is that although it's the one account, if one card gets used fraudulently, the other is still able to be used, unlike our Westpac cc (and I believe CBA - neighbours had both blocked).

#1097 born.a.girl

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:35 AM

View Postcan, on 21 September 2019 - 08:56 AM, said:

Nah, it’s just a matter of where you’re priorities are and what you value most.

Some people love the thrill they get from the ‘hunt’ of a bargain. I used to. Then life got so full and my thought load capacity was full that I valued not having to take on any more thinking and having someone else doing the thinking for me, even if it cost a little bit more.


Depends.

I like my CBA travel card but many people don’t like travel cards. I’ve found the exchange rate to be reasonable - not the best but on my last funds transfer, only 2cent difference to XE who has one of the ‘best’ rates. I don’t get charged extra fees for withdrawing cash or using it for payment so long as I have the correct currency loaded. I can easily check balances online or add/remove funds which is convenient for me. It also means I’m not using my regular card so minimising the risk of fraud and missing money for my regular life.

I’m ok with withdrawing large amounts of cash (a few thousand at a time) but if you are uncomfortable carrying that much cash, a card with low or no atm fees would be the way to go.

I wouldn’t do a cash advance on a credit card because the interest would kick in immediately.

To me, it's absolutely nothing to do with the 'thrill' of a bargain - I don't even haggle in countries where it's expected.  It's just a matter of not paying $7200 for something I can get for $5990 (x2).  To me it's just common sense to do a little bit of research at least, to get an idea of what's reasonable before agreeing for someone else to charge you more.   I did very little for our first trip because I was still working, and it was economy, but the difference in BC fares for exactly the same thing is staggering.

I WILL pay more to go directly with an airline though, rather than a wholesaler, given the nightmare stories about some of them.

#1098 Expelliarmus

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:45 AM

View PostJBH, on 21 September 2019 - 09:20 AM, said:

Expelli I was in Italy recently and there were a few cash only places but the vast majority accepted credit card. I took some cash with me and shopped around for the best rate, and then just used my existing credit card that doesn’t charge a conversion fee. I could probably have shopped around for a card with a better exchange rate, but I would have saved less than $100 in total I think. Depends a bit how much you will be spending (especially whether you have prepaid the accommodation).
We have prepaid accomodation. I suspect we will need some cash for things like Christmas markets? My existing credit card has conversion fees I think. The travel agent has a travel money service thingy but I think it might be more convenient to use a product that comes from our bank so it’s all together.

Do I get a local sim, make use of free wifi hotspots, or use international roaming ... I can’t work out which will be most convenient.

#1099 Lifesgood

Posted 21 September 2019 - 10:41 AM

Whatever you decide re money, make sure you have a backup plan or two. If your CC is frozen due to suspicious or fraudulent activity make sure you have at least one other CC to use. Also have a bit of cash.

View PostExpelliarmus, on 21 September 2019 - 09:45 AM, said:

Do I get a local sim, make use of free wifi hotspots, or use international roaming ... I can’t work out which will be most convenient.

I wrote a long post earlier in this thread about wifi/calls etc. I'll find it and re-post.

#1100 Lifesgood

Posted 21 September 2019 - 10:43 AM

View PostLifesgood, on 09 September 2019 - 09:57 PM, said:

We did 10 weeks in 2016 through 5 countries in UK/Europe/Scandi and this is what we did:
  • Phone calls - made calls within Europe sparingly using my Australian iPhone (Vodafone). Over 10 weeks it didn't even reach $100 of calls. Calls home (to my mum, maybe a couple of times) were via internet using free Wi-Fi at our accommodation.

    ETA - Vodafone has a $5/daily international plan where you get unlimited calls and SMS. You only pay on the days you use it. DH and I both are with Vodafone and we used this to keep in touch with each other whenever we went in separate directions.
  • Internet - disabled global roaming and used free WiFi. It really is everywhere in Europe. On trains, all accommodation, supermarkets, department stores, cafes, restaurants, everywhere.
  • Maps - I downloaded Google maps for all of the locations we travelled to before I left Aust, then used them offline on the rare occasion we didn't have free WiFi. They have to be updated every 30 days so don't do it too far in advance, and then update the maps using free WiFi while you are travelling if the 30 days passes while you are away.
  • Cash - I bought a small amount of each currency (like $100 worth) through Travelex online before I went. Then I withdrew more from an ATM in each country, usually just once in each country, or maybe twice.
  • Credit cards - get one that has no international fees and uses decent rates. You can find comparisons online. When we went in 2016 the BankWest Platinum and NAB had the best products, but you need to check the latest products. These can be used to buy groceries, pay restaurant bills, pay accommodation, basically the same way you use it here.
For Expelli




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.

 

Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.