Borders chef: My travel booklets can improve family holidays

A BORDERS chef has created a series of travel guides in a bid to help families spend more quality time together on holiday.

James Wignall, a part-time chef and writer, has designed the books to be conversation starters – especially when in an airport departure lounge or during long car rides.

Mr Wignall, a dad of two, said: “The books are conversation starters, to encourage families to switch off their screens.

“It’s the exact opposite of an actual book, it should get families talking rather than [keeping] quiet.”

Each book starts like a diary, with details to be filled in including who is on the trip, what hotel or campsite they are at, and what country they are in.

“We found one member of the family likes asking the questions and another fills in the booklet,” said Mr Wignall.

‘We need more shared experiences’

The booklets encourage families not only to journal their holiday but also to play a range of “silly travel games like the number plate game or word games,” said Mr Wignall, “to get everyone chatting.”

Mr Wignall, 49, of West Linton, explained that the booklets give families the chance to have short, shared experiences away from their screens.

“My family are guilty of looking at our screens on holiday too,” he said.

“Our triggering point was when we were on holiday in France and an eagle swooped down with a snake in its talons. And the kids missed it.

“When we were sitting [waiting] for a ferry, I thought we weren’t doing the right thing – we needed more shared experiences.”

‘Great keepsakes’

Mr Wignall explained that the booklet’s activities are only supposed to take 20-30 minutes each.

The Family Travel Journal is also meant to act as a family keepsake, to be looked back on after holidays.

Mr Wignall added: “They’re great keepsakes at the end of holidays.

“And then you buy another for the next year.

“As kids get older you get different responses.”

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