What Every Parent Should Know When Traveling With Kids By Car

June 23, 2012 · Posted in Family · Comment 

Going overseas for a holiday can be great fun, but if you have young children along for the trip and need to rent a car, there are a few things you would need to give pause to, a few ideas you may have to consider to ensure your kids have fun and stay comfortable. And isn’t fun and excitement for everybody the objective of such holiday trips?

THE PLANNING STAGE If children get car-sick easily, it is best to give them something to eat or drink and to wait a while before getting into the car. This is the best time for you to take advantage of the inordinately long waiting time it takes for your luggage to arrive, or the time it takes for your car rental to be processed.

Get a detailed roadmap at home or check the internet for the latest information on the journey from the airport to your destination. Calculate how many “pit stops” you need to take over the course of the trip and plan for more than you need. It’s necessary to stop minimum 20 minutes every two hours, trying to go non-stop only leads to accidents. There also may be rest stops along the highway that could allow your children to let out that excess energy and have a good run around the area.

These stops may or may not include playgrounds optimised for your children’s safety. Take some time to relax and stretch your legs yourself. Your journey will take a bit longer but it will be a relaxed start of your holiday.

AMUSEMENT You want your kids to stay entertained, so their favourite toys would be nice to carry along in your hand luggage. Let your little boy pretend he’s a pint-sized Wayne Rooney or your little girl pretend she’s Kate Middleton’s stylist – that favourite football or princess doll of your child’s could really come in handy!

In addition, music can really keep children of all ages entertained while in a vehicle. All modern rental cars come with radio nowadays, but the suppliers do not normally guarantee if it is equipped with CD or tape deck. So it might be time to bring that Glee soundtrack with you, or your kids’ other favorite music on both CD and cassette formats.

Another way to keep your children entertained would be colorful comic books or coloring books. Even adults get car sick, including instances where they may have to read for the children, but if it does not bother you, reading stories to the children is a great way for everybody to pass the time.

Lastly, if you have enough money, a portable DVD player is great to have along. A portable DVD player is a versatile appliance because it engrosses younger viewers both at the airport and while riding in the rental car. Remember that it always rains in England – and Seattle, if you’re heading Stateside – so passing the time on those rainy days (or hot summer days) with a movie on DVD is time well spent!

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How To Have Your Dream Cruise In The Med

May 4, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

No other cruise has the options or the variations that a cruise of the Mediterranean can offer. The Mediterranean has over 120 seaports on offer which makes for a plethora of different combinations to keep everyone happy whether your cruise is for a week or for a month.

When you choose a cruise in the Mediterranean you are opening a door to a mixture of cultures. There are 17 countries that you can visit while you are on your cruise such as Egypt, Spain, Italy and Greece. Each country has its own lures and attractions, all of which you can sample at your leisure as you cruise around the Mediterranean.

There are more than 50 companies who are offering cruises around the Mediterranean via different routes. There are companies the focus on the western side of the Mediterranean calling at ports in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco. Other companies will focus on the eastern side of the Mediterranean with their cruises visiting Croatia, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.

There are many specialist cruise packages that offer different variations on the standard Mediterranean cruise. If you are looking to take a longer cruise you can setup your schedule so that you can see most, even all, of what the Mediterranean has to offer.

From the luxury of your cruise ship you will have access to the history, romance, breathtaking views and the grandeur of the Mediterranean. From sleepy little Andlucian villages in the south of Spain to the hustle and bustle of Barcelona to the romance of the French Riviera, there are lots of surprises to be found on a Western Mediterranean cruise.

Your cruise will offer you the splendid city of Rome, ancient Pompeii and the legendary mount Vesuvius as well as the beautiful and iconic Italian coast. Sicily and Sardinia are your oysters when you choose to cruise the Western Mediterranean.

Your first stop on an eastern Mediterranean cruise is Croatia with its stunning coastline and the breathtaking city of Dubrovnik, then you will turn southward to indulge yourself in Greece and all its islands gave to offer. Crete, which features heavily in Greek mythology, is the perfect island for history lovers with its historic palace of Knossos.

Through the Israeli ports of Ashdod and Haifa you can gain access to the wonders of the holy city of Jerusalem whilst you are in the Eastern Mediterranean. Port Said in Egypt has a lot to offer as well. You can get access to the world-renowned Suez Canal which allows passage to the Red Sea onwards into the Arabian Sea. The history of the Mediterranean is steeped in many different civilizations. The remnants of many fallen civilizations litter the Mediterranean from as far back as 6,000 years ago. The Mediterranean has played home to the greatest of the world’s civilizations, the Greeks, the Romans and the Egyptians, they have all left their mark on the Mediterranean and made it the wonderful place to visit that it is today.

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A Tourist’s Guide To Las Vegas

April 7, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

If you’re over 18 and looking for a fun vacation, Las Vegas is the place to be. There is no better place to have such a vacation than Las Vegas, Nevada.

When one mentions Las Vegas the first thing he or she would likely think of would be the gambling. There are countless ways to enjoy gambling in Las Vegas’ numerous casinos. No matter what time it is, you’re sure to find a place to gamble in Las Vegas. The casinos are exciting and fun and there is never a dull gambling moment.

However, Las Vegas isn’t all about games of chance. There are so many other things to do in Las Vegas. You can check out the casinos and hotels for other alternative activities. There are many other tourist attractions, and if you wish, you can go on a roller coaster or take a boat ride on a gondola.

You can even get married if you wish in Las Vegas. This is indeed a popular spot for weddings. You can invite close friends and family members for a wedding that no one will ever forget, complete with an appearance by Elvis, is you so desire.

Regardless of your budget for food, there’s many a restaurant available to suit your tastes. The buffets in Las Vegas offer delicious menu options, so do check those out.

If you’re heading to Las Vegas, you don’t want to miss out on the shopping destinations. The shopping possibilities are almost endless and you can spend very little or really go on a spree. You can settle for souvenirs, or check out one of the many designer boutiques.

Las Vegas has many tourist destinations that you can visit when the whole night life and shopping scene gets to be too much. You don’t need to travel far to see most of the attractions in Vegas.

Lastly, you don’t want to miss out on the entertainment in Las Vegas. There are even those who travel to Vegas just to watch the shows. That’s how good the shows are at Las Vegas. Most tourists would see more than one show before going back home.

Isn’t it obvious by now that Las Vegas is also one of the best places to party? This is a city that never sleeps, so drop by one time and see how much fun you could have!

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Beginner Skiers On A Ski Vacation

April 6, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Don’t feel bad if your family wants to go on a ski vacation and you don’t know how to ski. You can just learn how to ski during the vacation. You don’t have to prepare anything before you go to the ski resort since everything you have to learn about is there.

It’s really not that hard to learn how to ski. You’ll find that most ski resorts have ski schools. You can usually choose between group and private lessons. It would be a good idea to make an appointment before you get to the resort. This is to make sure that you can have your lessons as soon as you arrive.

Your first lesson would probably involve how to move around with your equipment. You tend to incline slightly forward when you wear ski boots, since this is the proper stance when you ski down a mountain. Walking in ski boots the first time is a bit difficult – but it works just fine if you learn to walk with your knees slightly bent.

You’ll be taught the plow or the snow plow maneuver first. It involves using your skis as a snow plow. You make the back of the skis slowing move outwards, away from your body by applying pressure – and this stops you. You can move left or right by bending your knees and leaning in one direction. All of these techniques can be learned in one hour, even if you have never been on a pair of skis in your life.

Once you have that down pat, you can go ski! Get on the lift, head up the mountain, and give it a try. You should go slow at first, and use the snow plow technique. When you want to pick up some speed, draw your skis back in to pick up a little speed, then push them back out into the plow position to control that speed.

As a beginner, you should stick to the trails that are designed for beginners. A green emblem is usually used to mark these. Blue trails are for intermediate skiers, and after one day of skiing the beginner trails, you may be ready for those trails. The trails that are marked black are for the experts. People who aren’t skilled enough shouldn’t try those trails since they are quite dangerous. You should wait until you’ve had many experiences before you try black trails. You’ll just know when you’re ready!

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Considerations Before Going On A Safari

March 28, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

With South Africa having made the international news worldwide as host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament, many people will be considering returning for a vacation, or visiting for the first time. They have many private game farms and national parks. There are, however, several things that you should consider before going.

Budget

Although the exchange rate is generally in the international visitor’s favor, there are a variety of options available that can make your vacation more affordable. Usually there are game lodges that will offer nice places to stay. These vacations are for the luxury-seeking, money’s-no-object holidaymakers.

The national parks usually offer self-catering cottages and camping facilities, with stores and food available.

Another option is to stay in hotels, guest houses or bed and breakfast establishments close to the many national parks, using their proximity to take day trips into the park while still able to experience other attractions in the area. This will give you more freedom, even if you have to hire a car. South Africa has many well equipped camping sites.

Seasons

South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed. The best game viewing time is in the winter from June to September.

The animals are in the midst of a dry season at this time and will be out at the watering holes. Vegetation isn’t super dense at this time, so you can see them more clearly.

Safety

The crime statistics in South Africa may deter some visitors, an alert tourist will have no problems. They do however, have to be alert and aware of what is going on around them. Petty theft is really going to be the only thing to look out for in smaller towns. Don’t leave cameras, cell phones, or wallets unattended. Cars should be locked, and any valuables packed in the trunk or glove compartment out of site before arriving at your destination.

The animals that you’ll see are wild, and very dangerous. Follow the regulations regarding staying in the car, keeping windows closed, not feeding the animals or teasing them. An animal can get spooked from the smallest things.

Check and see if the area that you want to visit is prone to malaria. Whether you are visiting a malaria zone or not, take insect repellent and use it liberally, especially in the evenings and at night. You must wear sunscreen, too.

A South African safari will offer you views of wild animals you will never see outside of a zoo. The “Big Five” are lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and Cape buffalo, and are supplemented by other animals like antelope and giraffe. South Africa has many beautiful landscapes to offer.

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All Inclusive Cruise Ship – The Pros And Cons

March 24, 2012 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Vacations can cost a lot. Often, the cost is associated with extra expenses like entertainment, food, and drinks. You don’t necessarily have to be worried about the cost if you’re planning to have your vacation aboard a cruise ship.

A ship where just about everything is included is called an all inclusive cruise ship. The cost of your drinks, food, and entertainment are often taken care of. Many people would wonder if booking reservations on an all inclusive cruise ship is better than on a traditional cruise ship.

An all inclusive cruise ship come with many advantages and disadvantages.

The biggest advantage would be is that most of your needs are taken care of. Most all inclusive cruises cover food, drinks, and entertainment. If you’re planning on feasting on the onboard food or drinking large amount of alcohol, you may do so without any charge. Exclusive admittance to movie theatres and video arcades is something you may also have.

Not all of your food and drinks are included in an all-inclusive package. Paying for your alcoholic beverages is a possibility. There are some cruise ships where alcohol beverages are included in the package, but on others it is not.

Free of charge are your food at a sit-down restaurant but your snacks are not covered. This would include small meals and snacks that you purchased from vending machines or onboard specialty shops. You can save money by bringing your own snacks onboard, if the cruise ship allows it.

Entertainment is often included in an all inclusive cruise ship package. But often, entertainment is limited just like with food and drinks. You may have free admission to a ball or dance, but gambling isn’t free of charge.

To find out whether or not you will save money aboard an all inclusive cruise ship, you should estimate your cost of food, drinks, and entertainment aboard a traditional cruise. Comparing the two will help you determine the cruise package that offers the better deal.

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Handy Tips And Techniques To Help You Save On Airport Parking

November 1, 2011 · Posted in Travel · Comment 

Off-site airport parking is a boon for travelers. This usually gives travelers a more inexpensive option as compared to airport-run parking lots, what with their online discounts and other amenities. Satellite parking lots face competition and so it is easy for those in the know to save big.

Keep a tab on offers. Every parking site wants to be the best, and most appealing to consumers, so you want to see which one of them offers the most appealing online special or coupons.

For those who regularly use airport parking lots, you can always look for a parking operator that is well established near the airport area – there is a chance you could get a 50% discount simply by purchasing enough parking vouchers with your credit card, either online or via phone.

Do not overlook parking position, as most sites offer different rates for each. To that end, research on the different rates for each position parking. Consider that you can save up to $55 for seven days.

Ask for rates depending on the length of stay. Because rates can be varied for different lengths of stay, you just might be able to get a better discount if you are parking for one week’s rates as opposed to daily rates.

Again, the frequent user program comes into play here, and you could also get some delicious perks through them. This is similar to how airlines operate their frequent flier programs.

If you are a member of Triple A, AARP or other organizations, the parking lots you use may offer you special discounts. In fact, AA members save between 10-20% on parking. Some sites even offer the service of picking up and dropping your car from the airport terminal.

Research – can’t do without it whenever looking for a good deal of any kind – same applies with parking lots, as you want to compare rates, providers, facilities, etc. Be a smooth operator and astute shopper and get more bang for your buck.

Your research mission should also cover Internet deals for daily and weekly rates. Depending on the day you make use of the service, you may take advantage of free days, guaranteed rates or discounts on weekly and daily rates. You can avail the offer by making a booking online or printing out the page with a code and presenting it to the cashier at the parking lot.

If you are traveling during the holidays, there are lots of promotions up for grabs. These would include consumer product discounts as well as coupons offered by third party products.

Often pre-booking parking can get you a saving of even 60% and more. Another source of sweet deals for parking would be hotels, so if they have such an offer, make use of these facilities.

Some travel agents who book flight tickets offer advice or coupons for parking at the point of exit and entry. Ask you agent when you book your flight.

As you can see, off site parking has more benefits than just ease of use and convenience.

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